We're just a few days away from the long-awaited fourth season of Arrested Development, one of the most high-profile Netflix original series to be released. Ted Sarandos, the man behind the company's ever-burgeoning original content strategy, just sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to talk about Netflix' strategy and what you can expect in the coming year in terms of new material. When asked what "phase two" of its original content strategy would look like, Sarandos said "it's feasible that we would double the load that we did this year."
Given that there are at least five shows lined up for this year, it's conceivable that we'll see Netflix hit double digits on its original series next year. It's not clear what those new shows will be, but Sarandos did say that the company wanted to get into both "adult contemporary sci-fi" (which it will be doing with Sense8 from the creators of The Matrix) as well as "tween" horror, along the lines of what the CW network shows.
"We would love to do more ['Arrested Development'], and we have a deal in place that says that there could be.
As for the big Arrested Development release, Sarandos managed to throw a little more fire on the ongoing conversation about whether or not the Bluths will be back for a fifth season. "We would love to do more, and we have a deal in place that says that there could be," Sarandos said. "The problem is logistics. They were all working full-time and doing this show in between" — something that led to the show being shot with green screens to make up for the difficulties of getting the whole cast together. Still, there's a bit of hope for more Arrested Development: "We'd love to do it again," Sarandos said. "And we have talked openly about a movie scenario, too."
Sarandos also talked responded to some unverified talk around how much it spends on its original series — back in March, Creative Artists Agency lawyer Peter Micelli claimed that House of Cards cost around $4.5 million per episode. In response, Sarandos said that "it was remarkably ill-informed and really out of character, so I don't want to beat him up about it. But no, it's not accurate." Still, there's no doubt that it's not a cheap business, but nonetheless Sarandos believes it's a business worth being in. "If we were to get into original programming and it didn't work out, I didn't want it to be because we didn't try hard enough or we weren't ambitious enough," he said. "For us, I wanted to know that if it didn't work, it was because it was a bad idea."