Prime Video reveals £1 billion investment for UK content

Prime Video revealed it has invested more than £1 billion in TV, movies, and live sport since 2018 in the UK, as it greenlights new Originals and confirms major casting news during its Prime Video Presents showcase.

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"The Devil’s Hour": Nikesh Patel, writer Tom Moran, Jessica Raine, producer Sue Vertue and Peter Capaldi

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Prime Video revealed it has invested more than £1 billion in TV, movies, and live sport since 2018, as it greenlights new UK Originals and confirms major casting news at a star-studded event. The announcement was made at its UK showcase, Prime Video Presents, where Prime Video UK Head, Chris Bird, was joined at The Londoner Hotel by Amazon Studios’ Georgia Brown and Dan Grabiner, and a host of acting, directing, and writing talent, including Louis Theroux, KSI, Jessica Raine, Peter Capaldi, Nikesh Patel, Katherine Ryan, Jez Butterworth, Naomi Alderman, and some of the stars and creator of US Original series “The Boys.” A celebration of Prime Video’s investment in the UK slate, Prime Video Presents was hosted by radio and TV presenter Gemma Cairney.

●  INVESTMENT IN UK ENTERTAINMENT

According to the company, Prime Video UK has invested more than £1 billion in TV, movies, and live sport to date. This includes spend on UK Amazon Original series like “Clarkson’s Farm”; licensed series like “Soho Theatre Live” and investment in movies like “Paddington 2”; co-productions on flagship British series like “A Very English Scandal”; as well as investment in live sport.

“It was important to bring people together at Prime Video Presents to not only showcase our brilliant upcoming shows and movies, but to demonstrate how committed we are to the UK in the long term. We’ve spent a long time building a service that offers customers a variety of ways to access the TV shows and movies they love – either included as part of their subscription, as an add-on channel or being able to rent or buy at a low price. We have invested more than £1 billion on TV series, movies, and live sport since 2018. But it’s just as important that we’re investing in the UK’s world-leading production and creative industries, with a growing number of UK Originals; through a £10 million commitment to training and skills schemes; and by taking a long-term lease at Shepperton Studios,”  explained Chris Bird, Managing Director of Prime Video UK.

● INVESTMENT IN NEW UK-PRODUCED PRIME VIDEO SERIES

Prime Video’s investment in UK content continues with the announcement of new UK Originals, including “Fifteen-Love,” a scripted drama from UK producers World Productions (Vigil), part of ITV Studios. The show is an enthralling exploration of the dangerous lines where personal and professional relationships collide, set amid the glamorous cut-and-thrust world of elite tennis. The story examines themes of power, sex, and ambition, within an international sporting industry worth over $2 billion.

Moreover, Prime Video unveiled a raft of UK Amazon Original series, including two new true-crime series. The first, “The Disappearance of Patricia Hall” (working title), from ITN Productions, is the chilling, real-life story of the disappearance of Patricia Hall from a small town in Yorkshire and the subsequent investigation in which her husband, Keith Hall, appeared to admit to her murder, before questions were raised about the reliability of his “confession.”

Furthermore, “Three Mothers” (working title) is a new three-part series from Scottish independent production company Firecrest Films. Set in the wild west days of the infancy of the internet, it tells the gripping real-life story of three women who all found themselves in the middle of an unbelievable series of events that captured the world’s attention. Meanwhile, “Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes” sees the new England cricket captain discuss the highs and lows of his record-breaking career with Academy Award-winning director Sam Mendes in a new UK Amazon Original documentary.

“We have supercharged Prime Video’s UK slate with a diverse range of high-quality, distinctive programmes across documentary, drama, comedy, entertainment, and film. It’s such a thrill seeing the slate grow in partnership with some of the UK’s most talented creatives, from first-time creators to legends of British television,”  commented Dan Grabiner, Head of UK Originals of Amazon Studios.

●  CASTING NEWS AND FIRST-LOOK REVEALS

Academy Award- and BAFTA Award-winning actor Daniel Kaluuya has been revealed as the narrator of "All or Nothing: Arsenal." A lifelong fan, Kaluuya will bring the club’s rich history to life and take viewers on the journey of Arsenal’s roller-coaster 2021/22 season, as they fight to return to European competition. As well as capturing the highs and lows of life at Emirates Stadium and the Arsenal Training Centre, the "All or Nothing" cameras will follow Arsenal’s squad away from the pitch to examine the daily challenges faced by elite athletes throughout a demanding calendar of high-pressure competition.

Ahead of the launch of Hartswood Films’ six-part thriller series “The Devil’s Hour” later this year, Prime Video revealed first-look images from the series, as well as a teaser featuring cast members Jessica Raine, Peter Capaldi, and Nikesh Patel, all of whom also appeared at Prime Video Presents as part of “The Devil’s Hour” panel alongside writer Tom Moran and executive producer Sue Vertue. The series follows the story of Lucy, played by Raine, who is woken every night by terrifying visions at exactly 3.33 am: the devil’s hour.

Jez Butterworth took to the Prime Video Presents stage as part of a writers panel — alongside “The Rig” writer David Macpherson and author of “The Power,” Naomi Alderman — to discuss his forthcoming comedy-drama series, “Mammals.” Following the panel, Prime Video released a first-look image of James Corden in character as Jamie. Prime Video Presents also featured appearances from the cast and creatives of many other forthcoming UK Original series.

Within the executive session that opened Prime Video Presents, Chris Bird outlined the distinct aspects of the Prime Video service in the UK, explaining that Prime Video encompasses a quality streaming service offering access to exclusive and Original series; access to home premieres and more through the “rent or buy” service; the ability to seamlessly add Prime Video Channels; plus ad-based streaming, offering customers a whole new tranche of engaging content, entirely free, with Amazon Freevee (formerly IMDb TV).

These announcements build on previous commitments from Prime Video in the UK, including the £10 million commitment in skills through its Prime Video Pathway programme, and its landmark deal with Pinewood Group to take production facilities at Shepperton Studios. These and other initiatives form part of Prime Video and Amazon Studios’ strategy of expanding its investment into UK-produced content, whilst ensuring a diverse talent pipeline is developed and sustained for long-term industry need.