This summer, The West Wing and several other Warner Bros. TV series like Fringe and Alcatraz will stream exclusively on Amazon Instant Video through the Amazon Prime annual subscription service. This marks the first time The West Wing has been available in an a la carte streaming package — previously you had to buy episodes or seasons from the show on DVD, iTunes, or Amazon Instant Video.
The exclusive deal will last through the summer, after which time the series may appear on rival services like Hulu Plus or Netflix — though no announcements have been made about deals with those services, the end of Amazon’s contractual exclusivity with Warner Bros. would open the door for the deals to occur.
The West Wing was created by Aaron Sorkin, who is now known as the showrunner for HBO’s The Newsroom. It ran from 1999 to 2006 and won 26 Emmy Awards. It’s a (mostly) idealized depiction of the administration of fictional U.S. President Josiah Bartlett.
The service has been pushing to increase the size of its streaming library, although we’ve noted before that Amazon inflates its numbers in sales and press copy by counting individual episodes of a series as “shows,” meaning Amazon will claim that The West Wing is actually 156 shows instead of 1.
Still, the Prime service is an alluring part of any cable cord-cutter’s arsenal of services, especially now that it will be streaming on the Xbox 360 and on the Nintendo Wii U in addition to the PlayStation 3 and Roku boxes.