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Amazon orders second season of buzzy original 'Transparent'

After its first stab at original series fell short of the splash Netflix made with efforts like "House of Cards," Amazon's "Transparent" is getting early Emmy chatter.

Joan E. Solsman Former Senior Reporter
Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
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Joan E. Solsman

After debuting last month, Amazon's "Transparent" has been mentioned by critics as an Emmy contender. Beth Dubber/Amazon

Amazon said Thursday it will renew its original series "Transparent" for a second season to premier next year, after the comedy quickly hit a degree of buzz that the e-commerce giant's first shows didn't drum up.

Amazon has been chasing Netflix's originals strategy for its Prime Instant Video service -- a component of its $99 Prime program best known for free second-day shipping -- to stay competitive. Where Netflix series like "House of Cards" and "Orange Is the New Black" snagged top nominations and quickly became standard watercooler fooder, "="" and="" "betas""="" shortcode="link" asset-type="article" uuid="6dc593be-67d7-11e3-a665-14feb5ca9861" slug="with-its-original-shows-so-far-amazon-is-no-alpha" link-text="Amazon's first originals " section="news" title="With its original shows so far, Amazon is no alpha" edition="us" data-key="link_bulk_key" api="{"id":"6dc593be-67d7-11e3-a665-14feb5ca9861","slug":"with-its-original-shows-so-far-amazon-is-no-alpha","contentType":null,"edition":"us","topic":{"slug":"internet"},"metaData":{"typeTitle":null,"hubTopicPathString":"Internet","reviewType":null},"section":"news"}"> failed to get similar attention.

Amazon said "Transparent" is the top ranked series on Prime Instant Video, its streaming-video service that competes with Netflix. It also touted its scores on critic-review aggregators Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, with 98 percent and 91 percent positive ratings, respectively.

The company didn't discuss viewing metrics for the program, other than to say that it's the No. 1 ranked series on Prime Instant Video, referring to customer ratings, and that nearly 80 percent of all viewers "binge" on two or more episodes of the series in the same day.