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CBS Licenses ‘Good Wife’ to Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus

13 Mar, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Coveted series, which is not going to Netflix, is the first primetime CBS show to go to SVOD while still on the air

CBS Corp. March 13 said it has licensed past seasons of primetime series “The Good Wife” to Amazon Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus and not Netflix. It marks another win for Amazon, which beat out Netflix for SVOD rights to PBS' "Downton Abbey" as well as CBS midseason series "Under the Dome," from Stephen King.

It also represents the first CBS show to stream on SVOD while still airing on primetime TV. Heretofore, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves has mandated that SVOD be limited to catalog programming not currently airing on primetime broadcast.

Amazon Prime Instant Video will spearhead the off-network launch with previous-season episodes beginning March 14. Hulu Plus will to roll out complete seasons of the legal drama starring Julianna Margulies beginning in September. The Golden Globe-winning show has been on the air since 2009.

Hallmark Channel will bow past seasons of “Good Wife” on cable starting next January, with local CBS stations carrying reruns beginning in September 2014.

“This is an off-network model for a unique serialized show in today’s television ecosystem,” Moonves said in a statement. “It uses creative windowing to serve the content needs of best-in-class partners while realizing the full syndication value for a high-quality series. In addition, the potential for catch-up viewing across multiple platforms can provide incremental value to future broadcasts on the CBS Television Network.”

As part of an agreement with Amazon, the first three seasons of “The Good Wife” will be available on Prime Instant Video, with season four coming later this year. Prime Instant Video is a free streaming service to Amazon Prime shipping members.

“‘The Good Wife’ has consistently been one of the strongest sellers on Amazon Instant Video, so we know our customers love the show,” said Brad Beale, director of digital video content acquisition for Amazon.

For Hulu, previous seasons of “Good Wife” available to Hulu Plus, which builds on previously announced licensing agreements between CBS and Hulu for library content and for CBS-produced programming that airs on The CW. The show is not available on ad-supported Hulu, underscoring Moonves' mandate that CBS programming only be licensed to SVOD.

“[The show] is one of the best dramas on network TV and we are thrilled to bring this show — as well as thousands of episodes from 20 other shows in the CBS library — to our Hulu Plus subscribers,” Andy Forssell, SVP of content for Hulu, said in a statement.

“Good Wife” has earned numerous awards, including the AFI Award (2012) and the Peabody Award (2011), as well as Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Awards for Margulies. The series has also received numerous WGA nominations for its writing. 

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