USA operated its business model completely out of character when it renewed newcomer Mr. Robot for season 2 ahead of its (critically acclaimed) series premiere. Elsewhere, Amazon has likewise issued an early renewal of their own for its award-winning series Transparent, starring Jeffrey Tambor (in a Golden Globe-winning turn) as a retired college professor who finally admits to her family that she's always identified as a woman.
Transparent season 2 won't be available for viewing on Amazon until Fall 2015, but clearly the streamer is confident about the show's longevity - enough so to have gone ahead and issued a season 3 renewal. That means the comedy/drama show (created by Jill Soloway) will live on through to at least 2016.
Said Amazon Studios Vice President Roy Price:
Jill is truly a creative force and I’m thrilled that we will be collaborating with her additional projects in the future and on a third season of Transparent. The second season is currently starting production, and I know our customers will be delighted to continue the journey with Maura and the Pfefferman family.
Netflix has picked up Golden Globe wins for the acting on House of Cards, but that pales in comparison to fellow streaming service Amazon's Transparent netting a Golden Globe win for Best Comedy after one season. Amazon opted to pave its own path with programming that not even the home of Game of Thrones may have attempted until now. There’s nothing “safe” about a show anchored by a trans main character, but the risk has had big reward for Amazon (which up until now was struggling to find its place among the shadow of its main competitors).
Like yesterday’s Mr. Robot news, renewing Transparent for season 3 ahead of its season 2 debut says a lot about the kinds of things Amazon is hoping to do with the show moving forward. The company wants Transparent to be their flagship series that can lead them to major acclaim (read: Emmy wins) in the future. It also doesn’t hurt that the news will put the show right at the front of everyone’s minds, just as voting is about to begin.
Thanks to Transparent and already ordered series like The Man in the High Castle, 2015 seems like it’s going to be a breakout year for Amazon. Is it going to be so breakout that it will allow the service to usurp Netflix as the internet’s streaming video king? Probably not. Netflix is still an institution while Amazon’s streaming offerings still feel like a high-end add on to the prime service people get in order to receive packages within 2 days of ordering. However, all this acclaim and willingness to stick to risky projects like glue will certainly help Amazon gain more street cred.
Transparent season two will debut on Amazon in Fall 2015; season three will likely be made available a year thereafter.