For seven years, the drama Vikings has been one of the greatest shows in history and the cable network’s most successful foray into the field of scripted series.
The story had split the Vikings’ sixth and final season in two, with the first 10 episodes of season six ending earlier this year. Surprisingly, the last 10 episodes of the series will not be premiered on the linear cable network, but on Amazon Prime Video. These final episodes will be streamed in the US, UK, Germany and Ireland on December 30th for the final half of the season.
Those last 10 episodes will also air sometime in 2021, although a specific air date has not been announced.
“Our monumental Viking saga is coming to an end, but not before you’ve had the chance to watch some of my all-time favorite episodes,” Viking creator Michael Hirst said in a statement. “Prime Video will uniquely make the series finale first accessible to a streaming audience. Let yourself be surprised and surprise you on your way. And if you need to shed tears, be ready to shed them too. “
History agreed to postpone the surprise plan as the network advanced its business model with scripts. According to a history source, the cable network is moving away from ongoing shows and instead focusing on limited series (cable networks like the US have gone through a similar script shift). That Amazon deal also enabled the network to air the final season of History at a fraction of the cost.
For the past decade, History has been one of more than a dozen ad-supported cable networks to try their luck at creating original script shows under the leadership of AMC and FX. Most of them have since withdrawn: Of the newer networks in space, only History, National Geographic and OWN have remained constant actors.
As for Amazon, the move will mean a vacation tie for existing Prime Video subscribers and potentially convince others to get on board. Several other streamers have big events planned around Christmas to attract more subscribers: HBO Max will air Wonder Woman 1984 on December 25th, the day Disney + begins streaming the next Pixar movie, Soul.