Back in 2011, Netflix took its first steps into a life beyond simply distributing content — it announced two original TV series, Lilyhammer and House of Cards, that would be exclusive to Netflix streaming subscribers. Since then, Netflix has announced a number of other shows (like the revival of Arrested Development) and creative partners (like the creators of The Matrix) as the company has tried to, in the words of chief content officer Ted Sarandos, "become HBO faster than HBO can become us." Keep up with the company's push into original programming and all the creative and financial ramifications right here.
Oct 12, 2014Read Article >
It looks like Marvel is doing everything it can to distance its Netflix-exclusive series, Daredevil, from the widely panned 2003 film of the same name starring Ben Affleck. We got our first peek of the new Daredevil yesterday at New York Comic Con, and the updated hero has swapped his iconic red suit for something a bit more sinister. It's all inspired by Frank Miller's "Daredevil: The Man without Fear" (bottom), which takes a suitably darker tone. Of course, this photo doesn't mean lawyer Matt Murdock can't slip into that well-known red outfit some other time during the show's run. The new Daredevil will be played by Boardwalk Empire's Charlie Cox, and will run as a 13-episode series next year. It, along with three other series starring Marvel's Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage, will later combine into a special miniseries called The Defenders, all of which are being created solely for Netflix.
Jul 10, 2014
Netflix will once again have a big presence at the Emmys. It's been nominated for a wide array of awards this year, including outstanding drama series for House of Cards and outstanding comedy series for Orange is the New Black. House of Cards' leads Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright have been nominated for outstanding lead actor and actress in a drama series as well. Ricky Gervais has been nominated in the lead comedy actor category for Derek, and Taylor Schilling has been nominated in the lead comedy actress category for Orange is the New Black.Read Article >
A win by Netflix in these categories is far from a sure thing, however: it's up against some impressive competition. For outstanding drama series, the other nominees include Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, Mad Men, and True Detective. In the comedy series, Orange is the New Black will be facing off against Louie, Modern Family, Silicon Valley, The Big Bang Theory, and Veep.
Jun 4, 2014Read Article >
Netflix is apparently making full use of Arrested Development executive producer Ron Howard, and has tapped him for an unlikely reimagining of the Orange is the New Black opening credits. To promote the second season of the Netflix original show, which takes place mainly in an all-female prison, the streaming video service put out a 17-second opener for the show that apes Arrested Development's intro, right down to Howard's narration. Netflix, of course, brought Arrested Development back from cancellation with a fourth season that aired exclusively on its service, and now creator Mitch Hurwitz is at work producing a slew of other projects for the company. The next season of Orange is the New Black is available on Netflix June 6th.
May 11, 2014
Netflix is continuing its push into exclusive documentaries with three new titles for this summer and fall, according to Deadline. The first, The Battered Bastards of Baseball, tells the story of Oregon's short-lived team, the Portland Mavericks; it'll be released on July 11th. The following month, on August 15th, Netflix will release Mission Blue, a look at marine biologist and National Geographic explorer-in-residence Sylvia Earle and her work toward protecting ocean habitats. The final of the three, E-Team, follows four members of a human rights abuse team as they investigate reports across the globe; it'll be released this fall.Read Article >
Two of the films premiered at Sundance this year, and all three have received warm reviews from their festival screenings. Netflix also previously announced that it's acquired the 3D-printing documentary Print the Legend, which it plans to release this year too. Though Netflix's exclusive dramas have certainly garnered it the most attention, it's been making a point of ramping up its collection of documentaries too. The head of its documentary unit, Lisa Nishimura, tells the Associated Press that it's intentionally trying to collect films on a wide variety of topics — yet another way it can ensure that it has a catalog of content that appeals to potential subscribers.
Apr 17, 2014
House of Cards may be the hottest Netflix exclusive, but at least during one point last summer, All Things D reported that Orange is the New Black was actually the most popular. Whether that's still the case or not, that means there's plenty of viewers out there eager for more, and Netflix has just debuted the trailer for the series' second season to start raising their excitement. The trailer suggests that the show will continue the same type of drama, humor, and energy that made it catch on in the first place. Its new season premieres June 6th — and naturally, every episode will be made available at the same time.Read Article >
Feb 20, 2014
People really aren't joking when they talk about binge watching House of Cards. According to a study by Procera Networks, about two percent of all Netflix streaming subscribers in the US finished the series' new season over its debut weekend. Based on Netflix's most recent user numbers, that means around 668,000 people watched the season's 13 episodes across just three days. European subscribers may have had more self-control, however, as only about one percent are reported to have finished the series before the weekend was over.Read Article >
As usual, Netflix declined to release its viewership numbers, so the exact statistics can't be confirmed. But Procera says that it worked with "several worldwide broadband networks" to gather the data, and it's done quite a bit of analysis on Netflix traffic in the past.
Jan 14, 2014
Netflix's next original series is headed to 13th-century China. Premiering late this year, the new series is based on the explorer Marco Polo and is described as having elements of action, adventure, politics, and war. It's being created by John Fusco, the writer behind Hidalgo, and will have episodes directed by Dan Minahan, who has directed several Game of Thrones episodes, and directors Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg, whose 2012 film Kon-Tiki was nominated as best foreign language film at the following year's Oscars. The series — which is still unnamed — was originally planned for Starz, but Netflix picked it up after development there was ended.Read Article >
"John Fusco and his team have created a timeless tale of power, adventure, betrayal and lust that combines deft storytelling and cinematic ambition," Ted Sarandos, Netflix's chief content officer, says in a statement. The Weinstein Company is producing the new series, which will consist of nine episodes. Netflix has a number of other series planned for this year too, including a second season of House of Cards, a third season of Lilyhammer, and the Wachowskis' Sense8. It's also been making a big play to acquire documentaries lately, several of which will be premiering soon — meaning there should be plenty of exclusives to watch on Netflix throughout the year.
Jan 13, 2014Read Article >
Fresh off of an impressive showing at CES and its first ever Golden Globe win, Netflix has announced that its original series Lilyhammer will be coming back for a third season. The show debuted in February 2012 as Netflix's first original series, and has since been followed up by other shows including House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. "Lilyhammer is the type of global show that Netflix members around the world have discovered and love and season three will see that world expand even more," says Netflix CCO Ted Sarandos. The second season of the Norway-set crime drama debuted last month, while season three is expected to be released later in 2014, fleshing out a year of Netflix content that includes a new season of House of Cards in February.
Jan 13, 2014
Robin Wright has been awarded the Golden Globe for best actress in a TV drama for her work in House of Cards. Wright, most recently spotted at CES advocating the use of conflict-free minerals, plays the ambitious wife of grasping politician Frank Underwood — played by Kevin Spacey — in the Netflix series. The award is the first Golden Globe to go to a Netflix original show, coming after the streaming service's Emmy win last September.Read Article >
Wright faced stiff competition for the prize, up against a set of top actresses that included Taylor Schilling, the star of fellow Netflix original show Orange is the New Black. Wright arrived on stage without a speech, but thanked director David Fincher — who directed the first two episodes of House of Cards — for convincing her to take the part of Claire Underwood. The director apparently told Wright that she "could create her."
Dec 9, 2013
Netflix will continue its dive into original documentaries with the premiere of Mitt, a behind-the-scenes look at Mitt Romney from 2006 through his presidential candidacy. Though the film will debut at Sundance on January 17th, Netflix will begin showing it exclusively just one week later — on Friday, January 24th — in all areas where its service is available. According to Variety, Netflix has acquired both theatrical and television rights for airing the documentary. It'll only be streaming for now, but Netflix has previously said that it's considering the idea of theatrically releasing films as well.Read Article >
With the acquisition of rights for Mitt, Netflix has started to assembled quite the slate of documentaries to release over the next several months. It'll release its first title, The Short Game, on Thursday, and early next year will begin streaming The Square, which is on the shortlist for potential Oscar nominees. Netflix said in July that it would begin moving into original documentaries, and while rights acquisitions didn't begin occurring until recently, it appears to be off to an aggressive start — and if both The Square and Mitt receive plenty of buzz this winter, Netflix's bet might quickly pay off.
Dec 9, 2013Read Article >
Is Netflix killing event television? In the New Republic, Columbia law professor Tim Wu rethinks Netflix's latest move into content as a fundamental challenge to the traditional regime of premieres, finales, and finite seasons, offering viewers "the freedom to only watch television you really enjoy." It's a more profound shift than you might think, as Netflix's numbers grow and the traditional broadcast values of timeliness and collective culture slowly erode. As Wu points out, it's big business. The average American still watches 34 hours of television every week (more time, Wu points out, than the average French person spends working), and the number has actually increased since the rise of the web.
Dec 4, 2013
House of Cards will soon be back. The series will be returning on February 14th of next year, and Netflix has just released an initial teaser to stoke fans' excitement. The slow, noirish shot may not reveal much, but its moody atmosphere should do plenty to remind viewers of why the show is so addictive in the first place. Netflix hasn't revealed much about what's to come, but it does say that season two will follow Frank's continued plays for power, while reporter Zoe Barnes investigates his crimes. In standard Netflix style, all 13 episodes of the new season will be premiering at once, which should give viewers plenty to watch this Valentine's Day.Read Article >
Nov 15, 2013
The crime drama The Killing was recently cancelled for the second time, but Netflix has stepped in to give it one more chance. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the company will be producing six more episodes of the show, which will be billed as its final season. The show's writing staff and crew will be returning for the final episodes, scheduled to start production in February. They will be released in true Netflix fashion: simultaneously across all of its territories worldwide.Read Article >
Created by Veena Sud, The Killing tracks the relationship of Detectives Linden (Mireille Enos) and Holder (Robocop's Joel Kinnaman). The show first centered around the death of a character named Rosie Larson, and drew favorable reviews and more than a few comparisons to Twin Peaks in the process. After the Larson storyline was concluded, the show was cancelled, but AMC reversed course and brought it back for a third season.
Nov 7, 2013
Marvel is creating four live-action superhero series and an Avengers-style special event that will all air exclusively on Netflix, beginning in 2015. The first of the TV series will focus on Daredevil, while the following series will star Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage. At least 13 episodes of each series will be produced, and — like all good Marvel series — they'll eventually come together for a special event. For Netflix, that event will be a mini-series called The Defenders, though there's no word on just how long it'll run.Read Article >
"This serialized epic expands the narrative possibilities of on-demand television and gives fans the flexibility to immerse themselves how and when they want in what's sure to be a thrilling and engaging adventure," Alan Fine, president of Marvel Entertainment, says in a statement. The series will all be set in Hell's Kitchen, New York, and will unfold over several years. Their world is said to be a gritty one as well, though Marvel's series have largely straddled the line between realistic worlds and comic book-style fun.
Nov 5, 2013
Netflix will stream its first original documentary 'The Short Game,' on children's golf, in December
Netflix is quickly following through on its promise to expand into original documentaries, announcing today that its very first one will premiere online just over a month from now on Thursday, December 12th. The documentary is called The Short Game and follows a number of seven-year-old golfers as they compete in the World Championships of Junior Golf. While that may not be the type of catchy, high-concept story that's been bringing Netflix's original media so much attention lately, the streaming service appears to be interested in bringing together quality documentaries regardless of their focus.Read Article >
The Short Game's premiere will be followed by The Square, a Netflix original documentary that'll start streaming early next year. Though The Short Game hasn't attracted quite as much acclaim as The Square, it did win an audience award at this year's SXSW and has also completed an Oscar-qualifying theatrical run, according to Indiewire.
Nov 4, 2013
Netflix may be looking for an Oscar. According to the Associated Press, the streaming service announced today that it's acquired the award-winning documentary The Square, which took home audience awards at both Sundance and TIFF this year. The picture will debut exclusively on Netflix in early 2014 everywhere that its service is available, though the film is also undergoing a small theatrical run in Los Angeles right now to qualify it for the Oscars. It's not Netflix's first foray into purchasing features, but with The Square's existing acclaim and serious subject matter — the Egyptian protests in Tahrir Square — it suggests that Netflix is intent on moving beyond movies that'll fly under the radar and into films that'll bring it attention during awards season.Read Article >
The announcement comes after remarks by Ted Sarandos, Netflix's chief content officer, saying that Netflix could begin releasing movies in theaters and on-demand on the very same day. His remarks, naturally, weren't taken well by theater owners, who he also said were stifling innovation. "Why not premiere movies on Netflix the same day they’re opening in theaters?" Sarandos said during a speech in late October, reports Variety. "And not little movies. There’s a lot of people and a lot of ways to do that. But why not big movies?"
Oct 21, 2013
It's no secret that Netflix sees itself as a viable challenger to HBO, but the web-based company has so far declined to release viewership data to back up its claims. According to Bloomberg, however, Netflix may have already overtaken its rival in one key metric: paid US subscribers.Read Article >
According to analysis from Needham & Co., it's likely that Netflix's paid US subscriber base reached 30 million by the end of September. That may be enough to overtake HBO, which has an estimated 28.7 million subscribers in the US, according to analysts at SNL Kagan. Averaging estimates from eight analysts, Bloomberg projects that Netflix likely reached 31 million US subscribers in the latest fiscal quarter.
Oct 17, 2013
There's no such thing as bonus content when you're streaming a movie or TV show with Netflix, but that's something the company may be looking to change. At the GigaOm Mobilize conference, Todd Yellin, Netflix's VP of product innovation, recently hinted that the streaming service is toying with the idea of releasing supplemental content — at least for its own programming. "We'll experiment with our originals," Yellin said, referring to Netflix's successful lineup that includes House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. He seemed to hedge a bit though, saying "no one ever knew how many people were really watching" special features that have long been packed into DVD and Blu-ray releases.Read Article >
Yellin also revealed that Netflix plans to take new risks as it relates to the second screen. "If you're not testing things that fail, you're not testing aggressively enough," he said. "At Netflix, like any company, we have a certain number of chips to keep on innovating on our product," he said. "I want to keep on pushing those chips in the right thing to make a better and better user experience." Yellin said that Netflix has closely observed the approach others have taken when it comes to second-screen apps and experiences meant to complement primary content. He cited the Game of Thrones app that was marketed to HBO viewers last year as a "super elaborate" (and expensive) project that failed to reach any significant audience.
Oct 14, 2013
Netflix has landed its first deal with a major Hollywood studio for a new TV series. Beginning next year, Sony Pictures Television — the production company behind titles like Breaking Bad and The Shield — will begin working on a psychological thriller created by the trio behind Damages, which airs on FX. The show is currently untitled, but Netflix says that it'll be a suspenseful drama between several siblings, the events of which get kicked off when their "black sheep" brother returns home. The show's 13-episode first season will premiere exclusively on Netflix in every region that it operates.Read Article >
However the deal seems to come after Netflix missed out on another Sony show that it was reported to be eyeing: the Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul. Even if it missed out on what's sure to be one of the most anticipated upcoming series, the Journal notes that the deal that Netflix did manage to make is a somewhat unusual one. Studios usually sell US and international rights separately, while Netflix is getting a chunk of the latter category — and not solely the US rights.
Sep 17, 2013
When Netflix got its start more than a decade ago, it built its business on shipping DVDs through the mail and its primary rival was Blockbuster Video. Last year, Netflix declared in it's "long term view" statement, written up for investors, that its main competition was video-streaming service Hulu, and later HBO. On Monday, Netflix publicly changed its perspective once again: now its rivals include not just traditional TV networks (which Netflix refers to as "linear TV") and other streaming services, but nearly anything that requires your attention.Read Article >
"We don't and can't compete on breadth with Comcast, Sky, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Sony, or Google," Netflix says, giving a nod to companies each rumored to be working on their own streaming TV services. "We are not a generic 'video' company that streams all types of video such as news, user-generated, sports, music video, or reality," the company explains, seemingly speaking of YouTube and general video hosting websites. "We are a movie and TV series network," the statement reads. "We are about fantastic content that is only available on Netfilx."
Aug 26, 2013
When David Fincher and Kevin Spacey's House of Cards debuted earlier this year, it didn't just make waves because Netflix was creating high-profile original content — it also made an impact because it was released with all episodes available at the same time. The Telegraph reports that Kevin Spacey recently spoke at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, and made the case to traditional networks and production companies that the Netflix strategy was the way of the future, and they should embrace its audience-pleasing model as a new path forward. With House of Cards, he said, "we have demonstrated that we have learned the lesson that the music industry didn't learn. Give people what they want, when they want it, in the form they want it in, at a reasonable price — and they'll more likely pay for it rather than steal it."Read Article >
For audiences today, Spacey said, the distinctions between film, television, and other types of programing are breaking down. "The device and the length are irrelevant," Spacey said, pointing out that a movie is no less a "film" just because it's viewed at home rather than in a movie theater. "It's all content," he said. "It's just story." It's a stirring call to action for fans of film and television as well as those that create it. To hear him make the case — and to find out how Kevin Spacey pronounces "GIF" — check out the video below.
Aug 1, 2013
Netflix has built one of the world's most powerful recommendation engines. But if you belong to a family sharing a single account — dad loves screwball comedies, mom loves slasher films, little Timmy is an action flick fan, and baby Pete watches mostly cartoons — it can have a hard time pinning down your personal taste. Without good suggestions, users can be left feeling as if Netflix's streaming service, which lacks a lot of big titles and new releases, has little worth watching.Read Article >
So today the web's top video-rental service launched Netflix Profiles, which enables multiple users of the same account to create their own profile page. The idea is to give the company a better idea of an individual viewer's preferences. Profiles starts rolling out on Netflix globally today and will be available to all members within two weeks
Jul 23, 2013
Netflix is one of the web's top entertainment companies and one of the tech sector's best comeback stories, but sometimes management makes it hard to trust its success.Read Article >
The company reported earnings yesterday that beat estimates, but left investors disappointed. One reason was that all the original programming Netflix is spending big on doesn't appear to be attracting very many new subscribers. Another possible reason: leading up to the second-quarter report, Netflix announced it would do away with the company's traditional earnings-call format in favor of a video chat, which featured analyst Rich Greenfield and journalist Julia Boorstin asking Netflix managers a variety of questions.
May 28, 2013
"It's like you always say," George Michael tells his dad. "Family first unless there's a work thing."Read Article >
I've been waiting for Arrested Development to arrive on Netflix for months. Years, even — there's a part of me that's convinced CEO Reed Hastings added Instant Streaming to Netflix just so we could all re-watch the show, then started producing original content just so he could bring it back. I fully support both decisions, and when the show's 15 new episodes finally became available on May 26th, I bailed on my family’s Memorial Day activities, hunkered down in front of my TV on a gorgeous day in New York City, and watched every single one.
May 22, 2013
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."Read Article >
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.