Will ‘Bosch’ Give Amazon Success With Drama?

After winning two Golden Globes for its comedy series Transparent, Amazon has dated the premiere of its first original drama series, Bosch. The company will soon see if it will have the same luck in the drama department with the show based on Michael Connelly’s best-selling mystery novels starring the detective Harry Bosch. The 10-episode adaptation of the books will premiere on Amazon’s Prime Instant Video streaming service on February 13.

Bosch appears in 21 of Connelly’s books published between 1992 and 2014. The LAPD detective grew up on the mean streets of Los Angeles after his prostitute mother died when he was 11, leaving him an orphan. He was raised in a series of foster homes and went on to do two tours in Vietnam before joining the police force. In the show Bosch will be played by Titus Welliver, who is known for his roles in Argo, Transformers: Age of Extinction, and The Town, as well as numerous television series including The Mentalist, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and The Good Wife. Jamie Hector, Amy Aquino, Lance Reddick, Annie Wersching, Sarah Clarke, and Jason Gedrick will co-star.

Bosch will follow the detective as he works on the case of a serial killer who is taken into custody when he confesses to murdering a boy. When the killer manages to escape police custody and begins cutting a homicidal path across Los Angeles, Bosch must find him before he ends more innocent lives. Based on the trailer, the show looks like it will include a lot of Bosch being mysterious and suave in that classic detective manner as he and the LAPD try to stop a psychopath.

The show will likely appeal to the many fans of Connelly’s mystery novels, and Amazon is likely hoping it will get positive critical attention comparable to Transparent. That show was named by critics as one of the best series of the year and won the Golden Globe for Best Television Series in the comedy category. Transparent’s star, Jeffrey Tambor, also took home a Globe for Best Actor in a TV comedy. Those wins represented the first major awards for Amazon’s original programming. The company then followed up that success with the announcement that legendary director Woody Allen will direct his first television series for the streaming service, to debut sometime next year. The company has hit the ground running with content that critics love and clearly has no intention of slowing down in that department.

Even if Bosch isn’t a critical smash, Prime Instant Video could use a popular hit as much as more critically acclaimed material. According to the results of a recent study from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, Amazon’s streaming service has the least consumer penetration of all the online TV streaming services, because many Amazon Prime customers subscribe to the service for the free two-day shipping rather than access to Amazon’s video content. The study found that only 40% of Prime customers had seen at least one episode of Transparent, while almost 80% of Netflix customers had seen at least one episode of that service’s original comedy Orange Is the New Black.

In order to expand the reach of Prime Instant Video, having popular success could help Amazon just as much as another critical hit. Bosch looks like it will appeal to fans of the popular mystery and crime genre, and that might be just the thing Prime Instant Video needs.

Follow Jacqueline on Twitter @Jacqui_WSCS

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