Amazon taps ‘Survivor’ producer to create its own ‘House of Cards’

amazon hires survivor producer phillipines
Looking for a more potent weapon to wield against its primary streaming rival, Netflix, Amazon has hired the co-creator of the reality TV shows Survivor and The Apprentice as part of an effort to “make their House of Cards.” According to TechCrunch, a source familiar with the matter has confirmed both the hiring of the co-creator of the popular reality shows, Conrad Riggs, as well as the fact that Amazon hopes Riggs’ experience could spawn a much-needed hit for its Prime Instant Video service.

To be clear, it would appear the House of Cards quote is in reference not to the show’s thematic content, but its immense success. Since its debut, the political thriller has helped Netflix gain not only a loyal viewership for its own studio productions, but also credibility with the traditional TV industry powers that be, and the public at large. Amazon apparently came to the conclusion that Riggs’ knack for crafting hit reality shows makes him a prime candidate for putting out an original series that could elevate its programming to the next level.

Related: Netflix confirms the Bluths are coming back for Arrested Development season 5

There are hardly any specifics related to which project (or projects) Riggs will be working on at this point, so we don’t know if Amazon is planning on breaking into reality territory. Regardless, the producer certainly has his work cut out. Simply churning out another House of Cards – a tentpole for Netflix’s growing studio, and winner of the first Emmy for a Web-based series – is much easier said than done. Neither of Netflix’s biggest competitors in the market, Amazon, or Hulu Plus, have hosted similar successes, and both services have found the goal of raising original projects from the ranks of online obscurity to stand with traditional TV programming tough going.

In related news, Netflix has pulled in another score for its ever-expanding vault of  unoriginal programming. The service procured exclusive streaming rights to the UK hit, Happy Valley, a six-part BBC mini-series that debuted across the pond earlier this year to impressive ratings. Netflix will premiere the show exclusively in the U.S. and Canada on August 20, according to coverage from CNET.

Home Theater

Boy dies after being electrocuted through his headphones

A 16-year-old Malaysian boy appears to be the latest victim in a growing list of people who have been electrocuted by their smartphones via their headphones. It's believed that a faulty charging cable is the culprit.
Movies & TV

Lose the torrents. Here's how to watch 'Game of Thrones' online (legally)

Game of Thrones is one of the most popular shows on TV, but unless you're a cable subscriber, finding a way to watch isn't always easy. Check out our guide on how to watch online, whether you prefer using HBO, Hulu, or Amazon.
Movies & TV

The best Amazon Original series, from 'Bosch' to 'Transparent'

Amazon Studios may not have as big a collection of in-house productions as Netflix, but there are still lots of shows worthy of your eyeballs. Here are our picks for the best Amazon original series.
Movies & TV

'Stranger Things' season 3 teaser reveals the new episodes' titles

With a sophomore season as strong as its first, Stranger Things is now moving on to season 3. Here's everything we've learned so far about the Netflix series' upcoming third season.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Home Theater

Step aside set-top boxes, the best streaming sticks are tiny and just as powerful

Which streaming stick reigns supreme? We pit the Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra against the Roku Premiere, Roku Streaming Stick+, and the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K to help you decide which one will be the best fit in your living room.
Product Review

AKG's signature studio sound goes straight to your head with these stunning cans

With gorgeous looks and great sound, AKG’s N700NC are a formidable entry into the wireless noise-canceling headphone race. We put them to the test to see if they can beat out the absolute best in the business.
Home Theater

Looking for the best 4K Ultra HD TVs you can buy? Here are five great options

If it's time to upgrade your old 1080p to a new 4K model but you don't know what to look for, fear not, as we're here with a list of the best 4K Ultra HD TVs to help make your buying process as easy as possible.
Home Theater

Here's how to pick out the best TV stand to enhance your viewing experience

This TV stand buying guide will cover how much space you need for equipment, how the stand manages cables, and the size of the stand you need as you look for a new model that fits in your home.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best wireless earbuds around.
Movies & TV

Sit down and watch some of the best stand-up comedy on Netflix

Feeling a little funny? There are hundreds of hilarious comedy specials out there, and you can't be expected to comb through them all. Lucky for you, we've compiled a list of the best stand-up specials on Netflix.
Home Theater

Block the outside world, tune into your own with the best in-ear headphones

Over-the-ear headphones offer top-flight sound, but they're not so easy to take along with you. If you're looking to upgrade your portable sound, check out our favorite in-ear headphones -- there's a model for every user and every budget.

Don't know what to do with all your old DVDs? Here's how to convert them to MP4

Given today's rapid technological advancements, physical discs are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Check out our guide on how to convert a DVD to MP4, so you can ditch discs for digital files.
Home Theater

Get ready to ditch your amplifier: New LG TVs add a powerful way to go wireless

WiSA, a wireless technology designed for high-end home theaters, might finally start seeing more love. LG's top-tier 2019 TVs will be WiSA certified, and that could mean a new wireless future for premium surround sound.