What's new in April on Prime Video, CTV Comedy, and more.
The dark comedy series Made for Love, starring Cristin Milioti and Ray Romano, and based on the novel of the same name written by Alissa Nutting, will be released in the United States by HBO Max beginning on April 1, 2021.
However, HBO Max is not available via authorized means in Canada, and HBO Max's main Canadian partner Crave does not have rights to the series here either.
Instead, Made for Love will be available in Canada on Amazon Prime Video, which will be debuting the full season on Friday, April 16, according to programming notices that Amazon has sent to multiple media outlets, including here at WCIW. Prime Video is part of Amazon's Prime subscription program, which costs $7.99 per month or $79.00 per year (plus applicable taxes), with a 30-day free trial available to first-time subscribers in most parts of Canada.
Why isn't "Made for Love" available on Crave?
In the absence of HBO Max in Canada, much of that service's programming has instead aired in Canada on Bell Media's Crave streaming service through output deals with HBO parent company WarnerMedia. So it would be reasonable to assume that Made for Love, which is being promoted in the U.S. as a "Max Original", could have been covered by these agreements.
In fact, Made for Love is an exception. That's because, although the series was commissioned (ordered) by HBO Max, the producing studio is Paramount Television Studios, owned by ViacomCBS. A sister division, ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group, handles international distribution rights outside of the regions where HBO Max operates directly. This meant that ViacomCBS could sell the Canadian rights to any other service it wanted – which ended up being Prime Video.
Although Bell Media / Crave has deals for programming from other ViacomCBS divisions like Showtime, Comedy Central, and MTV, as well as streaming rights to a few library series like Frasier, it seems that rights for new Paramount Television programming is sold separately.
Prime Video Canada, meanwhile, also has a good relationship with ViacomCBS, having carried other recent programs distributed by Paramount or sister company CBS Studios, including The Great (originally commissioned by Hulu) and The Stand (produced for CBS All Access / Paramount+), not to mention recent Paramount movies like 2020's Sonic the Hedgehog movie, all of which are currently available at no extra charge for Prime subscribers.
That's all on top of a number of other Paramount-produced titles that Prime Video holds worldwide streaming rights to, including Jack Ryan and Coming 2 America.
Why do Canadians have to wait for April 16 to see "Made for Love"?
In the United States, HBO Max will be rolling the eight-episode series out over several weeks, releasing the first three episodes on April 1, the next three on April 8, and the last two on April 15.
It appears that Prime Video has decided to wait until the entire series has been released in the U.S., then dropping it all at once in Canada, in line with how it typically releases series. The Friday release is also consistent with when Prime releases most of its programming (usually it ends up being midnight UTC, which would be Thursday evening in North America – and it's doubtful that they would be able to release the program on, say, Wednesday evening, before HBO Max had released the final episodes).
Header photo by John P. Johnson/Paramount Television/HBO Max; furnished by Prime Video Canada