Netflix is becoming a comedy juggernaut, showing just how much the network has grown compared to its competition. Variety reports that the company is working with Ellen DeGeneres for a standup special. The effort would be DeGeneres’ first special in 15 years, and adds fuel to the argument that Netflix is now the new go-to for top-tier comics.
“It has been 15 years since I did a stand-up special. 15 years,” DeGeneres said in an official statement. “And I’m writing it now, I can’t wait. I’ll keep you posted when and where I’m gonna shoot my Netflix special. I’m excited to do it; I’m excited for you to see it.”
Today’s announcement was teased by two cryptic tweets sent earlier this afternoon:
Deadline assumes that deal for the special is in the $40 million range, roughly the same amount paid out to major stars Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, and Jerry Seinfeld.
Netflix wants to grow bigger and faster than the competition
That DeGeneres is returning to standup comedy at all is significant. Her last special was HBO’s Ellen DeGeneres: Here and Now, which aired in 2003 and earned multiple Emmy nominations. Since then, the comedian has worked on her award-winning daytime talk show and done voice-acting for Pixar’s Finding Nemo and Finding Dory.
However, Netflix is clearly bullish on working with top comedy talent, announcing special after special at a stunning pace. In addition to the likes of Rock and Seinfeld, the company recently released specials for Louis C.K. and The Daily Show’s Hasan Minhaj. And at a time when it’s betting big on bigger and riskier projects, like Bong Joon-ho’s Okja, working with Ellen DeGeneres shows Netflix looking to grow bigger and faster than its competition.