Amazon.com launches original programming, interviews authors
With the launch of Amazon.com’s “Amazon Fishbowl with Bill Maher” earlier this month, the Internet-based retailer made its first foray into the realm of original, episodic entertainment webcasting.
The new half-hour program is a talk show produced by Amazon. “Amazon Fishbowl” can be found exclusively on its Web site home page. It features conversations between Maher and a variety of guests who come on to promote recently-released books, music and movies.
A new episode of the show premieres each Thursday night 8 p.m. PST throughout the summer, while host and executive producer Maher, best known for his edgy political humor and pop culture observations, is on hiatus from the taping of his hour-long live HBO late night show, “Real Time with Bill Maher.” Show segments stream on-demand after the initial broadcast.
Unlike the regular roster of traditional late night programs found on television, an author is selected as one of Maher’s guests each episode.
“That’s really the point of the show -- to introduce our customers to new books and authors, as well as new films and music,” says Drew Herdener, senior public relations manager for Amazon.com.
Amazon -- initially begun as an online bookstore before it expanded its offerings into other realms of retail -- remains one of the largest and most influential booksellers on the Internet.
In the first five episodes, Maher has chatted with popular and well-known authors, such as Stephen King, Armistead Maupin, Dean Koontz, Christopher Noxon, Chuck Klosterman and Janet Evanovich. Thomas Friedman and Jim Cramer also made appearances on the show to make a promotional delivery of their newest books to Amazon customers.
According to Herdener, the variety of authors who will appear throughout the remaining episodes will vary in the level of familiarity among viewers as the 12-episode season continues.
“Amazon works with publishers and authors directly to select new books and new authors so that we can truly help our customers discover new work,” Herdener says. “We are certainly interested in selecting authors that our customers love, but we are also planning to bring on newer authors that we think our customers will like.”