Let's take them alphabetically...
Acorn Media Group / Acorn TV
To wit: British comedies Blandingsand Dirk Gently,crime dramas Above Suspicionand Falcón,and mysteries George Gently: Sereis 5and Midsomer Murders: Set 22,amongst others, premiered on this side of the pond exclusively on Acorn TV.
And the new series of Foyle's War,which premieres on 15 September on PBS' Masterpiece: Mystery, marks the first time that Acorn Media has produced original programming. After the last series of Foyles' War aired in 2010, Acorn Media worked closely with series producer Jill Green and creator/writer Anthony Horowitz to develop the upcoming new episodes. If ever there was a program for Acorn Media to start in the production game with, Foyle's War was it, since the DVDs of the show's first two series are Acorn Media U.S.'s top two sellers of all time.
Amazon / Amazon Instant Video
|Jam & Jerusalem|
Later this year, Part 2 of the deal kicks in, and next year, Part 3, when Seasons 1 and 2 of Downton, and then Season 4, respectively, also become exclusive to Amazon Instant Video. And if a fifth series of Downton is produced, it, too, will only be available for streaming on Amazon Instant Video.
There are plenty of other British TV programs that are currently being streamed exclusively on Amazon Instant Video, such as the comedies Friday Night Dinnerand Jam & Jerusalem(which aired under the title Clatterford in the U.S.), dramas Life Beginsand Moving On,legal dramedy The Brief,PI drama Vincent,and the short-lived but fantastic supernatural show The Fades.
As for original series, Amazon Studios recently gave its customers the ability to watch several pilots for free on Amazon Instant Video and its UK counterpart LOVEFILM, and then to decide which shows should be made into Amazon's first full-fledged series. Five programs were greenlit, including Alpha Houseand Betas,but none of them are British. Perhaps the next go-round...
Hulu / Hulu Plus
|The Thick of It|
Coming later this year are the fifth and final season of the hit Brit sci-fi series Misfits,as well as the second seasons of comedy Pramfaceand dramedy Fresh Meat,and the fourth season of the ultra-popular reality series The Only Way Is Essex.
And premiering this autumn is Hulu's second co-production with the BBC via BBC Worldwide Americas: the comedy thriller The Wrong Mans, created by and starring Tony Award-winner James Corden (Gavin and Stacey) and Mathew Baynton (Spy). The first Hulu/BBC co-production was the fourth season of the hit political satire The Thick of It,starring the Twelfth Doctor himself, Peter Capaldi. (By the way, the DVD set of all four seasons of The Thick of It is now available in the U.S. Yay!)
Also coming soon as a Netflix exclusive is the first series of the Ricky Gervais comedy Derek.Other British series that are currently exclusive to Netflix include the Brit hit crime dramas The Falland Waking the Dead(Seasons 1-5), and the critically-acclaimed dramas Accused(both series) and Hit & Miss,amongst others. (As an aside, one thing that Netflix has that the others don't is its subscription DVD rental service, which is great for watching many more British television shows that aren't being streamed anywhere in the States.)
Netflix has been busy on the original series front, too. Its prison drama Orange is the New Black has been a hit, and its production of the fourth season of Arrested Development, after the show's seven-year absence from the small screen, made headlines. But the huge news was Netflix making history when it became the first non-broadcast or cable network to receive a Primetime Emmy Best Drama Series nomination for its remake of the hit British political satire House of Cards.
So, what does all of this mean for British TV fans? Well, more programs to watch (or binge watch, as your wont may be), but also fewer places to catch up on missed episodes that have aired on telly or series that are new to the U.S. Then there's the the added cost for streaming shows on demand from services one doesn't already have or from those that charge for shows on a per-episode basis. For now, I think the competition between the streaming services and the programming variety they offer are all good, but we'll have to wait to see the extent to which the costs for exclusive deals and original content get translated into our streaming video subscription and video-on-demand usage fees.
- The New Acorn TV: More Shows, No Set End Dates, and More
- Hit Comedy "Blandings" Premieres in U.S.
- "Foyle's War: Series VII" Premieres This Fall
- George Gently Series 5: US Premiere on Acorn TV
- Downton Abbey: Series 4: Full-Length Trailer
- Paul Giamatti Joins "Downton Abbey" Cast
- "Downton Abbey: Season 4" U.S. Premiere in January 2013
- Hulu Plus Adding a Bevy of British TV Programs
- Doctor Who Now Streaming on Hulu Plus
- Original UK Life on Mars: Now on Hulu Plus
- Irish Comedy Moone Boy: Series 1 Now, 2 Coming
- Binge-Watch TV: Hit Irish Crime Drama Love/Hate
- C4 Drama "Run" to Premiere in U.S. on Hulu
- "Line of Duty: Series 2" Filming, Expected Premiere in Late 2013
- "The Fall" -- New BBC Crime Drama Starring Gillian Anderson to Premiere in U.S. on Netflix
- Mystery Miniseries "The Bletchley Circle" Premieres in the U.S. On PBS