Prime Video and IMDb TV, Amazon’s premium free streaming service, have closed a licensing deal with Sony Pictures Television for a suite of classic television series from legendary producer Norman Lear. The series, including All in the Family, Good Times, Maude, One Day at a Time, 227, Diff’rent Strokes, The Jeffersons, Sanford and Sanford & Son, represent the largest collection of Norman Lear series and the highest number of episodes ever available to stream at one time, according to the companies.
Some of the series will be available on SVOD platform Prime Video, the others on ad-supported IMDb TV. There will be no overlap as the two platforms do not share programming, with Amazon making the decision about which shows goes where.
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227 and Diff’rent Strokes will launch on Prime Video tomorrow, July 15. The Jeffersons, Sanford & Son, and Sanford will launch on the SVOD service later in 2021.
All in the Family, Good Times, Maude, and One Day at a Time will also launch tomorrow, July 15 but on IMDb TV. This will be the first time that episodes of Maude and all seasons of All in the Family are available to stream.
The majority of the series, including All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Sanford and Son, Diff’rent Strokes and 227, will have their entire runs available; a few series will offer two seasons at a time. Noone would comment on the value of the deal but Sony TV reportedly licensed Seinfeld to Netflix for $500+ million, so the Norman Lear collection probably commanded a price tag in the nine figures.
In the past, some of the Norman Lear series have had seasons streaming on various platforms, including Crackle when it was owned by Sony.
“Norman Lear is a national treasure and his impact on television and popular culture is immeasurable,” said Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios. “We are so honored to bring his classic television series to Prime Video and IMDb TV so new audiences and a new generation can laugh, enjoy and be inspired, like so many of us have been throughout the years.”
Amazon has been aggressive in licensing content; the company just made a Pay-window deal for Universal movies.
The agreement, which comes as an early birthday present for Lear who turns 99 on July 27, stems from the first-look deal his Act III Productions has with Sony Pictures Television.
“In 2018, our Act III Productions sat with the team at Sony Pictures Television and formed a partnership to not only produce new content, but to bring a new awareness to my former Embassy library,” Lear said. “That Sony found a home for that library with Prime Video/IMDb TV where new generations could find it, is the best present a man entering his 100th year can have.”
Lear’s Hollywood career has encompassed both the Golden Age and Streaming Era of television. At one point, Lear was responsible for seven of the top 10 shows in America. Most recently, Lear executive produces and co-hosts Live in Front of a Studio Audience…, alongside Jimmy Kimmel, which won the Emmy award for Outstanding Variety Special for two consecutive years.
Lear is a 2017 Kennedy Center Honoree, a recipient of the National Medal of Arts in 1999, a winner of the Peabody Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016, and a member of the inaugural group of inductees into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1984. He has won six Primetime Emmys overall.