Amazon Prime is still building its library of original content, though it has a few standouts (mostly comedies like Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle). One thing it is clearly looking to specifically expand on, though, are international acquisitions. This is something Hulu got in the game with early on, and Netflix has (of course) done very well in the last few years. And when specifically talking about offerings from across the pond, PBS is no longer the primary place to find British comedies and dramas. Hulu, Netflix, even Lifetime (War & Peace) and AMC (The Night Manager) have been snatching them up lately, and it seems Amazon Prime is looking to do the same.
One of Amazon Prime’s best series is the comedy Catastrophe, starring Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan. It’s now co-produced by Amazon, which is something that’s becoming more common among the streaming services. And it seems that Amazon is now adding another British series to its ranks: Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes‘ adaptation of Doctor Thorne, based on the 1858 Anthony Trollope novel.
According to Variety, the series is set to debut on Amazon Prime in the U.S. in late May, and will feature Fellowes introducing each installment (in the UK the series ran for three 48-minute episodes), which is a format that Masterpiece viewers will be familiar with from PBS.
The series stars Tom Hollander (The Night Manager) as the titular doctor, who lives with his niece (Stefani Martini, Endeavor) in a quiet English hamlet ruled by strict Lady Arabella Gresham (Rebecca Front, Humans). Things go topsy turvy, though, when Lady Arabella discovers that her son is planning to elope with the penniless Mary, rather than go through with his arranged marriage to an American heiress (Alison Brie, Community).
Though the series received mixed reviews in the UK, Amazon already owns the streaming rights to Downton Abbey’s complete run, and is likely hoping that Downton fans will want to follow more of Fellowes’ work — or at least, would like to see some more costume dramas available for streaming.
One thing that Amazon Prime definitely has a coup on, however, is HBO’s back catalogue. Though current seasons aren’t available (and a few aren’t at all, including Game of Thrones), there is an incredibly rich listing of series including Deadwood, Six Feet Under, Band of Brothers, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and more. On the movie front, you can also check out our Amazon Prime recommendations, and keep an eye out for Doctor Thorne starting May 20th.