Not to be confused with SundanceTV, the cable channel, Sundance Now in 2020 is a premium streaming service dedicated to ”authentic, emotionally moving stories told from unexpected global perspectives.” A monthly subscription gives you access to ad-free original productions and exclusive content that you won’t find on other streaming services.
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Sundance Now traces its history back to 1996 when the actor Robert Redford and premium movie channel Showtime launched the Sundance Channel on cable. Shortly after being bought by AMC Networks in 2008, the SundanceTV began a video-on-demand streaming service — Sundance Doc Club — that focused on independent documentaries.
A rebranding to Sundance Now in 2016 saw the streaming service add films and TV shows acquired on the international market. Sundance Now debuted its first original production, the dramedy This Close, in 2018.
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Where is Sundance Now Available?
When Sundance Now first launched, it was only available in the United States but later expanded to Ireland and the United Kingdom. Canadians got access to Sundance Now in 2017. Within a year, Sundance Now entered the Australia and New Zealand markets. The service is also available in Germany and Austria. Licensing issues may mean certain titles are not available everywhere. AMC Networks has not detailed plans for further international expansion.
Who is Sundance Now For?
Sundance Now’s executives use words like “thought-provoking” and “evocative” to describe their approach to story-telling. This appeals to a certain audience who want their TV shows to have less flash-bang and more substance.
What Kind of Content is on Sundance Now?
Since its 2016 rebranding, Sundance Now has become known for its slate of exclusive and original programming. That programming spans genres from family drama to true crime to fantasy, but the shows all share a focus on the human-interest side of the story.
This French spy thriller is now in its fourth season on Sundance Now. The show follows agents with France’s intelligence agency, the Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure (DGSE). Vulture said The Bureau is “the series practicing the best spycraft these days.”
Riviera is a crime thriller starring Julia Stiles as the wife of a murdered billionaire who gets drawn into the criminal underworld of France’s Côte d’Azur. Originally produced by British broadcaster Sky, Sundance Now picked the series up as an exclusive. Filmed on location in Monaco and the Mediterranean coast.
This Icelandic legal drama has been compared to the BBC America series Killing Eve. Poldark’s Heida Reed plays the title character, a lawyer with “with a dark past, a fluid sexuality, and a taste for whiskey and easy money.”
A Discovery of Witches
Based on Deborah Harkness’s “All Souls” trilogy, A Discovery of Witches is a co-production of Sundance Now and its sister streaming service Shudder. Diana Bishop has chosen a career as a historian over witchcraft, but a bewitched manuscript draws her back. The show has been so popular that subscriber levels increased dramatically at both streaming services.