Will Viewers Turn to Netflix for Original Dramas and Foreign Programming?

  • Netflix returned from MIPCOM last week with several new foreign TV shows it hopes will draw interest from its 25 million subscribers.
  • Programs include Norwegian gangster drama “Lilyhammer” starring Steve Van Zandt, French/German co-production “Borgia,” and the British supernatural drama “Being Human.”
  • The slate of foreign programming will join the remake of BBC drama “House of Cards” as Netflix turns to original, first-run drama series.
  • “Netflix has already committed to a second season of both ‘Borgia’ and ‘Lilyhammer,’ suggesting its taste for original and foreign-made fare is no passing fancy,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. “The company is also in a bidding war with Showtime and Hulu for the rights for the relaunch of cult comedy series ‘Arrested Development.'”
  • Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos points out the strategy is in response to customer demand, since TV shows account for 50-60 percent of total viewing on Netflix.
  • “We’ve moved very aggressively into this space,” Sarandos said. “The growing audience for these 1 hour serialized dramas is typically on pay TV: Showtime, HBO or Starz, those ones who are least likely to want to sell their shows to me on our (second-run) season-after model. So we have to develop the muscle to create and distributing these shows ourselves.”