Amazon has renewed its hit drama “The Man in the High Castle” for a third season, in another apparent win for the content provider, which was is also behind the leading awards season contender film “Manchester by the Sea.”
“Castle,” which is based on a Philip K. Dick novel of the same name, takes place in an America which lost World War II and is now ruled over by the Nazis and forces from Japan. It stars Rupert Evans, Alexa Davalos, and Rufus Sewell.
According to Amazon, the pilot for the show was the most-viewed since the company had started creating new series. (It also airs shows such as “Transparent” and “Mozart in the Jungle.”) When a second season of the show premiered last month, the company said that the new episodes drew the highest amount of viewers ever for the debut weekend of a scripted Amazon show.
(While Amazon is presumably comparing the “Castle” numbers to its other original shows, we don’t know how the ratings for “Castle” would compare to, for example, a broadcast show or a Netflix program.)
As Amazon Studios moves forward with “Castle,” it’s also involved with another high-profile project. Amazon made a deal for the drama “Manchester by the Sea” after “Manchester” screened at the Sundance Film Festival last year. Now the movie is viewed as a leading Oscars contender and has already been nominated for prizes such as the Golden Globe for best drama and the best cast Screen Actors Guild Award (the equivalent of a best picture prize at the SAG Awards.)
As providers like Amazon and Netflix have begun to produce original content, they’ve become presences at TV awards shows, with programs like Amazon’s “Transparent” and Netflix’s “House of Cards” winning Emmy Awards. But they’re still working on breaking into award-winning film. (Netflix’s “Beasts of No Nation,” for example, missed out on Oscar nods despite being viewed as a possible contender.) If “Manchester” scores Oscars nominations – and many are predicting it will – it will be a big step forward for Amazon in the movie realm.