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Amazon to make 'Transparent' available free to stream -- but not for long

Have five free hours on Saturday? Amazon to make first season of #Transparent available for free

Forget free shipping, Amazon wants to make "Transparent" available for free.

For one day.

Still on its Golden Globes high from Jan. 11, Amazon wants more people to get acquainted with its half-hour dramedy about a middle-age transgender woman and her family. The Web giant said Thursday that it would make the 10-episode first season of its original series available for free on Saturday.

And it figures users are willing to set aside five hours in front of a device of their choosing, given the acclaim and two Golden Globes the Jill Soloway series has received (one for best musical or comedy series, the other for its lead, Jeffrey Tambor).

“We’re incredibly proud of everyone involved in the making of 'Transparent' -- the team took a risk and it paid off,” Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon.com, said in a statement. “Big kudos and congrats to Jill, Jeffrey, and all the cast and crew.”

The series, which is usually available to Amazon Prime members, can be viewed at no cost on Saturday using the Amazon Instant Video app for TVs, connected devices and mobile devices, or online at Amazon.com/Transparent.

"I love that there may be a whole new group of people that will have a chance to check it out -- and maybe even binge -- all in one day," Soloway told The Times in an email. "I cannot wait to gauge the reaction." 

The series is set to return for a second season later this year -- and Soloway said the new attention to the show is not lost on those preparing to take the fictional Pfefferman clan into its next phase.

"The writers and I have been in the room all week hatching storylines," Soloway said. "The free Saturday, the awards nominations, the widespread love -- all of it gives us so much more confidence to wildly attempt things we never could have."

Amazon is hoping users will be impressed enough to come back for more of the series (and its other offerings). On Saturday, the company is also making Amazon Prime available for $72 (membership costs usually total $99). 

The Seattle-based company has been making headlines as of late. In addition to its big night for "Transparent" earlier this month, it has announced plans to acquire and produce about a dozen "original, prestige" films a year.

I tweet about TV (and other things) here: @villarrealy

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

3:24 p.m.: This article has been updated to include statements from "Transparent" creator and executive producer Jill Soloway.

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