At Netflix, Who Wins When It’s Hollywood vs. the Algorithm?

As the video-streaming company plunges deeper into original production, its Los Angeles wing is doing the once-unthinkable: overriding the metrics.
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Makers of Netflix show Sabrina sued by Satanic Temple

A group of Satanists is suing the makers of TV series The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina for $ 50m (£38m) over a statue of a deity.
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Barack and Michelle Obama Are Adapting a Book Critical of Trump for Their First Netflix Project

Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama‘s first project for Netflix will be an adaption of a scathing book about President Trump‘s administration, The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis, according to the latest episode of Katie Couric’s podcast.

“ optioned the book to come up with a series for Netflix to help people better understand the government,” Katie Couric said during her interview with Lewis, who broke the news.

In May, the Obamas announced their decision to produce a variety of content for Netflix through their company Higher Ground Productions.

“We hope to cultivate and curate the talented, inspiring, creative voices who are able to promote greater empathy and understanding between peoples,” the former president previously said, according to a Netflix press release, “and help them share their stories with the entire world.”

The Obamas’ adaption of The Fifth Risk will be their first endeavor in a series production. And it will serve as an entertaining and necessary “civics lesson,” explained Lewis, who is the author of other bestselling books that have been adapted to film, like The Big Short and Moneyball.

As with his other books, in The Fifth Risk Lewis informs and entertains readers about topics that can sometimes be considered tedious. During his interview with Couric, he explained how his book delves into what he sees as the huge issues that Trump’s administration is creating across departments in the federal government — issues that Lewis says are endangering the very stability of the country.

Despite Lewis’ condemnation of Trump, a spokesperson for the Obamas’ production company, Higher Ground, said that The Fifth Risk Netflix project would center around the “civic lessons” it presents and not attack Trump, according to The New York Times.

It will be a “humorous series demystifying the little-known ways in which federal agencies improve our lives and serve our nation, from the food we eat to the planes we travel on,” the spokeswoman told the Times.

RELATED VIDEO: PEOPLE Writer Natasha Stoynoff Breaks Silence, Accuses Donald Trump of Sexual Attack

According to the author, problems in the administration began before and during the transition.

“Most everyone involved with , including Trump, were not prepared to win,” Lewis said. “He had not taken seriously the idea that he had to take over this operation.”

According to Lewis, the new president decided to appoint people into government office based on “appearance,” rather than experience.

As a result, many of the briefings that Obama’s team had prepared “for the better part of a year” to present to the new administration were not even seen, Lewis says. For instance, the Department of Energy would typically show incoming officials how to “manage the nuclear arsenal,” so they can “test atomic weapons without actually blowing one up,” Lewis explained.

“Three months ago, I was still getting briefings from very important people in the government that had never been given because no one had ever showed up to hear it,” Lewis said during the podcast. “It’s just a loss of knowledge. Who can run anything that way? There’s no decent argument for not learning about the thing you need to run.”

Lewis revealed that his book also delves into Trump’s alleged ties with Russia and how that affected his decisions during the transition. Specifically, Lewis addressed Trump’s decision to appoint Michael Flynn as national security adviser, despite then-senior aide Chris Christie’s warnings against the idea. Lewis argued that Flynn’s own ties to Russia are a “plausible explanation” as to why Trump wanted him on his team. (Flynn has since pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his connections with Russian officials.)

“I think had positive reasons for wanting chaos. I think they were friends of his… people who had connections to Russia like Mike Flynn, who he wanted to be able to put in important positions,” Lewis said. “I think thinks he functions better if things are not orderly.. was just kind of attracted to, ‘Let the chips fall where they may.’ ‘I’ll take care of all of this. I’ll decide who is going to be in the cabinet,’ mainly by casting them by appearance.”

Those type of staffing decisions have huge consequences, Lewis argued. The government is being dangerously mismanaged, according to his book. Lewis’ hope is to reframe Americans’ understanding of how government works.

“Trump is a symptom, not just cause here. We don’t elect someone who is so ignorant and negligent unless we have gotten to the point where we so misvalue and misunderstand the thing he’s running,” Lewis told Couric. “If society understood the government, if we all had a good civics lesson, we’d all say that person shouldn’t be running that because it’d be a catastrophe because that enterprise, the government, is really important.”

He continued: “The narrative needs to change first, that’s why I wrote the book… So people stop seeing the government as the problem and start seeing it as a tool, as a solution. If this society is going to survive, it’s got to happen.”


PEOPLE.com

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Emma Roberts Exits Netflix Figure Skating Drama ‘Spinning Out’

Emma Roberts has stepped down from the leading role in the upcoming Netflix drama series “Spinning Out,” Variety has confirmed. Roberts departed the series due to a scheduling conflict. Netflix still plans to continue with the show, with the search now on for a new lead. Roberts currently appears on “American Horror Story: Apocalypse,” having previously appeared […]

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What’s Coming to Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime in November 2018

Christmas may be more than a month away, but that isn’t stopping streaming platforms from adding some holiday cheer to their November lineups. Beginning with the animated film “Angela’s Christmas” on Nov. 1, Netflix is adding several holiday movies to its streaming slate, including “The Holiday Calendar,” “The Princess Switch,” and “A Christmas Prince: The […]

Variety

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The A List: The BBC teen drama taking on Netflix

The BBC’s supernatural series is set to target a generation who prefer to stream their entertainment.
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Hailey Baldwin’s Cozy Look and More Outfits You Can Netflix and Chill In

ESC: Hailey BaldwinAlthough the chill may be driving everyone inside, you don’t have to closet your style.
When celebrities aren’t on the red carpet or runway, dazzling the world in designer…

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Hailey Baldwin’s Cozy Look and More Outfits You Can Netflix and Chill In

ESC: Hailey BaldwinAlthough the chill may be driving everyone inside, you don’t have to closet your style.
When celebrities aren’t on the red carpet or runway, dazzling the world in designer…

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At Netflix, Radical Transparency and Blunt Firings Unsettle the Ranks

Buzzwords and anxiety fill the hallways as Hollywood giant tries to maintain a winning culture amid breakneck growth; the ‘N-word’ scandal gets ‘sunshined.’
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Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Does the Netflix reboot live up to the hype?

How does the revamped teenage witch favourite fare with fans of the original, much-loved series?
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Netflix ‘deceiving’ black users with ‘creepy’ posters

Netflix has been accused of “deceiving” black subscribers with “manipulative” promotional posters for films and TV shows that can change based on who is using the service.
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Netflix Reports Strong User Growth

Netflix exceeded expectations for adding new subscribers during the third quarter, reporting strong user growth in international markets. Shares jumped after-hours.
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Sky and Netflix combine to create ‘ultimate’ package

Sky and Netflix have announced details of their partnership, creating what they say will be the UK’s “biggest on demand TV service”.
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Mary J. Blige Helps Dennis Basso With Finale at His Runway Show, Talks ‘Body Cam’ and New Netflix Series

MARY J. GLADLY O-BLIGES: Nine-time Grammy winner Mary J. Blige is accustomed to performing in front of thousands, but walking the runway with Dennis Basso at his show Monday afternoon was a different kind of appearance.
“Of course, I was nervous. I’m not a runway model.” she said backstage after the show at Cipriani 42nd Street. “I was hoping that I would walk right and my train wouldn’t get caught on my shoes so I can do Dennis justice.”
The musician flew in from New Orleans where she is shooting the film “Body Cam,” to help the designer take his final bow. She also plays the lead in the designer’s latest ad campaign. Basso said, “I couldn’t feel better here with my good friend Mary. I feel exhilarated. It’s like a new everything for me. I’ve changed my collection. It’s not such a heavy hand. It’s lightweight, feathery and has just a little touch of beading here and there. It’s pure spring/summer.”
Wearing a slimming, white column gown, the musician said, “Style is however you want to express yourself. There’s no right way or wrong way to do it. It’s how you feel and what makes you feel good. When you are trying

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On Comedy: The Netflix Executives Who Bent Comedy to Their Will

The streaming service neutralized Comedy Central and HBO by relying on taste clusters rather than traditional demographics. But there have been major missteps, too.
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Facebook takes on YouTube and Netflix with launch of Watch

Facebook has rolled out its on-demand video service worldwide following a trial run in the US.
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Corbyn proposes digital BBC to rival Netflix and Facebook

Jeremy Corbyn wants to create a digital version of the BBC to be paid for by tech giants.
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This Futurama Movie Predicted Matt Groening’s Netflix Show Disenchantment

Simpsons creator Matt Groening delved into the fantasy genre 10 years before his new Netflix series Disenchantment with the Futurama movie Bender’s Game.
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This Is How Netflix Buys Shows

In order to secure top-tier series like Stranger Things and Altered Carbon, Netflix is paying more in upfront costs than traditional broadcast networks, in addition to handing out seven-figure deals to prolific producers like Shonda Rhimes, Ryan Murphy and now Kenya Barris. (Variety reports the creator of Blackish just inked a $ 10 million three-year overall deal at the streaming network).

While this aggressive financial tactic appears to be the obvious move to compete in the entertainment content wars of 2018, there are some disadvantages for creators and studios who choose the Netflix approach over traditional networks but don’t have the clout of Rhimes, Barris or Murphy.

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How Netflix Is Updating Profiles with Stranger Things and Luke Cage

Netflix is updating profiles in a few big ways.

As detailed on Netflix’s recent blog post, the streaming service is adding over 100 new profile icons based on characters from popular original shows such as Stranger Things, Luke Cage, Orange is the New Black, Queer Eye, Fuller House, and plenty more.

New Netflix profile icons, via YouTube.

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110,000 sign petition to axe ‘fatphobic’ Netflix show

More than 110,000 people have signed a petition calling for a Netflix show about a teenager who loses weight after having her jaw wired shut to be cancelled.
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7 shows that helped make Netflix so popular

We revisit the shows that made us put down the TV guide and pick up our laptops.
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Emmy Nominations 2018: ‘Game of Thrones’ and Netflix Lead the Way

“Game of Thrones” received 22 Emmy nominations, the most of any show. Netflix claimed the most nominations of any service or channel, displacing HBO from the top spot.
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On Comedy: A Netflix Experiment Gives Deserving Comics Their 15 Minutes

Instead of hourlong specials, these bite-sized sets let you in on one of comedy’s biggest secrets: the funniest stand-ups are the ones you’ve never heard of.
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Best Action Movies on Netflix Right Now (July 2018)

Everyone loves a good action movie, but we don’t all agree about what makes a “good” action movie. Some of us want carefully crafted cinema, full of smart plotting and rich characters. Some of us just want big explosions, dumb storylines, and a brainless good time. Fortunately, Netflix Streaming’s offerings currently run that whole gamut, with blockbusters, fight films, animated adventures and shootouts galore… if you know where to look for them. And that’s where we come in with our monthly updates on the best new movies on Netflix. From Bad Boys to Face/Off to Kill Bill to so much more, there’s a lot of good action movies to choose from here!

And when you’re done here, be sure to also check out our list of the 25 Best Action Movies Ever and what’s new to Netflix this month.

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Netflix to Review Nicolas Lopez Deal Amid Harassment Allegations

In the wake of recent sexual and workplace harassment allegations against Chile’s biggest box office hitmaker, Nicolas Lopez, Netflix has placed its relationship with the filmmaker “under review.” “Netflix has licensed several of Nicolás López films in the past and we have an agreement for one of his new projects, which is now currently under […]

Variety

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What’s Coming to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime in July 2018

What better way to ring in the country’s 242nd birthday than by streaming “Madam Secretary,” “American Psycho,” or “Election”? Those patriotic titles are among some of the earliest coming to Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu in July 2018. A healthy mix of classics and new originals are on their way to Netflix in the coming […]

Variety

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Karamo Brown: Queer Eye host urges Netflix subtitle change

Users on social media complain the streaming service is editing and censoring speech in captions.
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9 Eurovision moments to inspire Will Ferrell’s new Netflix comedy

The Anchorman star will find plenty of comic potential in the spectacular song contest.
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Netflix Saves Lucifer Following Fox Cancellation

Netflix has made a deal with the devil – the streaming service has resurrected Lucifer, renewing the comic book series for Season 4 after Fox canceled the show in May.

After the news broke, star Tom Ellis took to Twitter to celebrate the renewal and thank fans for their support through the #SaveLucifer campaign.

lucifer renewed season 4

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Lucifer Lives! Netflix Reviving the Canceled Show

Lucifer has been saved!

No, the original fallen angel hasn’t reformed, but the TV series starring Tom Ellis, which was canceled by Fox last month, is getting another life at Netflix. The streaming site announced Friday that it had picked up Lucifer for its fourth season.

“Fans, your voices have been heard. Season 4 coming to Netflix!!! 😈” the show’s official Twitter declared.

The comic book drama follows in the footsteps of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, another series Fox canceled in May that was resurrected elsewhere (at NBC, in this instance).

In both cases, huge fan outcry about the cancelation helped keep the conversation going. #SaveLucifer was a top trend the day it was given the ax and continued to be an active conversation in the weeks that followed, especially because the season ended in a cliffhanger.

Ellis swiftly shared his excitement on Twitter. “WE DID IT !!!!!!!!!!!” he wrote. “Thank you to everyone for your continued support and love for #Lucifer I am so happy for all our fans I’m going to burst ✊😈❤

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Creator Joe Henderson also weighed in on Twitter: “Thank you thank you THANK YOU to all the #Lucifer fans. You brought us back. YOU did this. So relax, take a breath, put some ice on those fingers that have been hashtagging up a storm… and get ready for more deviltime 😈” He also shared this Game of Thrones GIF:

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On the show, Ellis plays the titular Lord of Hell who becomes a civilian consultant for the Los Angeles Police Department and runs a nightclub. Lauren German plays as his detective partner.

“BEYOND GRATEFUL to be part of a company like @netflix,” German wrote on Instagram. “Also a huge thank you to all #Lucifer fans who poured their hearts out, tweeted, screamed, cried & showed us they wanted it….and wanted it bad. Thank you #Netflix for snatching us up, we love you already ❤

The news comes just as the options on the cast’s contracts were about to expire. No episode count has been revealed yet.

On Fox, Lucifer‘s ratings weren’t exactly soaring, averaging only 4.1 million viewers and a 1.1 rating among adults 18–49 in its third season, including DVR playback. And Hulu held the SVOD rights.


PEOPLE.com

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Lucifer Lives! Netflix Saves Fox Drama From Cancellation With Season 4 Order

LuciferDon’t count the devil out just yet.
Nearly a month after Fox canceled Lucifer, Netflix has swooped in to save the day, ordering a fourth season of the Warner Bros. TV production. The…

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Lucifer Lives! Netflix Saves Fox Drama From Cancellation With Season 4 Order

LuciferDon’t count the devil out just yet.
Nearly a month after Fox canceled Lucifer, Netflix has swooped in to save the day, ordering a fourth season of the Warner Bros. TV production. The…

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Shonda Rhimes’ First Series For Netflix Will Take on the Wild Anna Delvey Story

Shonda Rhimes, Anna DelveyWell, we already know what our new favorite binge-watch is going to be.
Shonda Rhimes is tackling the now infamous, so-insane-it-could-only-be-true tale of Anna Delvey for Netflix,…

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Best Sci Fi Movies on Netflix Right Now (June 2018)

It’s hard to imagine it now, but there was a time when a service like Netflix Streaming was the stuff of science fiction. It’s a repository of motion pictures, available to watch at the push of a button. It’s a magical, wonderful concept, and the only thing that would make it better is if they actually had all the movies you want. But that’s where we come in with our monthly updates on the best new movies on Netflix. From Guardians of the Galaxy to Ghostbusters to Rogue One, there are a bunch of sci fi movies to choose from here!

Here you’ll find the best sci fi movies on Netflix right now. Many of the best films in the genre are absent from the service lately, but there are still plenty of gems among the new releases in sci fi that are streaming on Netflix right now. From the fantastical to the dystopian, the funny to the frightening, there’s plenty worth watching. Undisputed classics, underrated b-movies, family-friendly flicks and ultraviolent action awaits you in our picks for the hottest new sci fi movies on Netflix Streaming!

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Netflix Shareholders Again Fail to Change Rules to Elect Board Members by Simple Majority Vote

Here’s one for the corporate-governance wonks: A majority of shares cast by Netflix shareholders at the company’s June 6 annual stockholders meeting were in favor of changing the bylaws to elect directors by a simple majority — but the measure failed, because it did not meet Netflix’s supermajority voting requirement. Netflix disclosed the results of […]

Variety

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Best Action Movies on Netflix Right Now (June 2018)

Action fans have a lot to discover on Netflix, including ultraviolent thrillers, adventures for all ages, buddy cop comedies and classic animation. These are the best action movies on Netflix Streaming right now.
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Kate Middleton Documentary Gets Odd Placement on Netflix

A Netflix doc on the royal family goes viral over its connection to some escorts. Watch the "Live From E!" hosts react!
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Mediaset España, Warner Bros., Netflix Link for New Spanish Drama

MADRID — In an alliance which links three of the potential key players in Spain’s new TV scene, broadcast network Mediaset España and Warner Bros. International TV Production España will produce, with the participation of Netflix, primetime cop thriller “Brigada Costa del Sol.” Starring Hugo Silva, and set in southern Spain, over 1977-82, “Brigada Costa […]

Variety

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TV Review: ‘Arrested Development’ Season 5 on Netflix

There’s something perfect about the fact that season 5 of “Arrested Development” picks up almost immediately where season 4 left off as if no time has passed at all, alternately ignoring and winking at the fact that its cast has aged. After all (narrator voice): it’s “Arrested Development.” Opting to stick with the still unfolding […]

Variety

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Obamas confirm ‘films and series’ Netflix deal

Barack and Michelle Obama have signed a deal to produce “films and series” for Netflix, it has been confirmed.
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RuPaul Is Heading to Netflix for Your Next Comedy Obsession

RuPaul, Hollywood Walk of Fame StarGet excited, kitty girls.
Why? Because RuPaul’s global domination is showing no signs of slowing. And now the supermodel of the world is extending her reach into scripted comedy with…

E! Online (US) – TV News

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RuPaul Is Heading to Netflix for Your Next Comedy Obsession

RuPaul, Hollywood Walk of Fame StarGet excited, kitty girls.
Why? Because RuPaul’s global domination is showing no signs of slowing. And now the supermodel of the world is extending her reach into scripted comedy with…

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Ranking The Best New Shows On Netflix You Can Stream Right Now

There are two shows worth checking out this week.
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Cable TV’s Cord-Cutting Woes Grow, Highlighting Divergence With Netflix

The pace of pay-TV cord-cutting is quickening, and earnings for cable and telecom companies underscore how that fundamental shift in consumer behavior is giving even more power to tech giants like Netflix.
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Netflix ‘Lost in Space’ Reboot Draws 6.3 Million Viewers in First 3 Days, Nielsen Says

“Lost in Space,” one of Netflix’s newest high-profile original series, drew 6.3 million U.S. viewers within the first three days of its release earlier this month, according to Nielsen. In addition, in the first 72 hours of release (April 13-15) of all 10 epsiodes, “Lost in Space” viewers on average watched the show for 2.5 […]

Variety

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Ranking The Best New Shows On Netflix You Can Stream Right Now

Two shows join the list this week.
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Ranking The Best New Shows On Netflix You Can Stream Right Now

Netflix adds one show worth checking out this week.
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Ranking The Best New Shows On Netflix You Can Stream Right Now

“Troy: Fall of a City” joins the list.
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Netflix ‘Acquires’ Seth Rogen’s ‘Mind, Body, Soul, Dreams and Doodles’ in April Fools’ Day Joke

Seth Rogen will definitely be reading all contracts before he signs them in the future.

Netflix announced Sunday that the Knocked Up star “entered into a lifetime deal to transfer full ownership of his personal autonomy” to the streaming service, an April Fools’ day joke complete with a news release and hilarious video of Rogen looking over his contract.

“I should have read this before I signed it,” the 35-year-old actor says after reading the terms and conditions of the agreement, which includes the “ability to frame you for murder and rights to film a docuseries about that murder and biopic starring John Goodman.”

The press release states, “‘As a general rule, I don’t really ‘read’ anything before I sign it,’ replied Rogen when asked about the deal, spilling some beer on his own head as he does the finger-symbol equivalent of air quotes. ‘That’s what Danny is for, he handles that for me, mostly,’ gesturing toward an elderly man in a poncho sleeping on the couch behind him. ‘Hey Danny!’ he shouts, unable to wake his senior contract advisor. ‘I really hope he didn’t f— this up. He’s the reason that Zach and Miri Make a Porno exists.’ ”

A longer video of Rogen hilariously going over his contract appears on Netflix’s user homepage, with the tagline, “Netflix has acquired the mind, soul, body, dreams and doodles” of the actor.

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With those rights, Netflix announced they would also be using Rogen’s recognizable chuckle as a replacement for current laugh tracks for streaming sitcoms like Friends and That ’70s Show.

The press release also put forward a few other ideas for the actor, including a “live-action Shrek remake, starring Rogen as both the titular character, as well as that character’s love interest Fiona. There will also be other tasks considered, including some off-camera roles such as ‘executive foot massager’ and ‘Quentin’s back waxer.’ ”

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The gag is a well-timed promotion for Seth Rogen’s Hilarity for Charity, a taping of a star-studded fundraiser which raises awareness about Alzheimer’s disease. The variety show — featuring Tiffany Haddish, Sacha Baron Cohen, Sarah Silverman and more — will be available to stream via Netflix on April 6.

Netflix is no stranger to teaming up with big celebrities for their April Fools’ day pranks. In 2016, a video of John Stamos having a meltdown at Netflix was “leaked,” and stars of Netflix shows gathered to warn about the dangers of binge watching the previous holiday.


PEOPLE.com

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Ranking The Best New Shows On Netflix You Can Stream Right Now

One new show joins the list this week.
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Steven Spielberg Doesn’t Think Netflix Movies Deserve Oscars

Since Netflix began distributing movies, the industry has been rife with contention about whether such films deserve the same recognition as traditional, theatrically released films, particularly when it comes to the Academy Awards. Evidently, legendary director Steven Spielberg is firmly of the mind that they do not. “Once you commit to a television format, you’re […]

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The Best Horror Movies Streaming on Netflix

Whether you’re in the mood for a classy thriller or an ultraviolent gorefest, or anything in between, there’s something for you.
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Amy Poehler to Direct, Star in Netflix Comedy ‘Wine Country’

Netflix is sending Amy Poehler to “Wine Country” to make her feature directorial debut, produce and star in a comedy about friends having a weekend celebration of a 50th birthday. The cast includes Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, Paula Pell, Maya Rudolph, Emily Spivey and features Tina Fey. The film will be produced by Poehler’s Paper […]

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Are the Obamas the next Netflix reality stars?

Barack and Michelle Obama are reportedly negotiating a deal to produce shows for Netflix.
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Sky and Netflix agree European partnership

The owner of Sky News has moved to bolster its customer experience further by signing a partnership deal with Netflix.
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Netflix Is Getting Huge. But Can It Get Great?

Having signed Ryan Murphy and Shonda Rhimes, this streaming service is creating a parallel TV universe. But imitation isn’t the route to brilliance.
NYT > Arts

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‘Fuller House’ Renewed by Netflix for Season 4

Netflix has renewed “Fuller House” for a fourth season. Part one of “Fuller House” season 3 premiered in September, with the second part debuting in December. “Fuller House” is a continuation of the ’90s ABC series “Full House,” with veterinarian D.J. Tanner-Fuller (Candace Cameron-Bure) recently widowed and living in San Francisco. D.J.’s younger sister/aspiring musician […]

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Netflix Continues Landing Customers

Netflix Inc. again posted strong subscriber growth even as it faces increased competition for viewers and programming.
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Netflix ‘Still Exploring the Opportunity’ for Switch App

Netflix is still “exploring the opportunity” to bring its streaming app to Nintendo Switch.

The news comes by way of Polygon, who was told by a Netflix representative, “We are still exploring the opportunity with Nintendo, but don’t have definitive plans to share at this time”

Over the weekend, customer service account @Netflixhelps told a customer “there are currently no plans for Netflix on Nintendo Switch,” but the tweet has since been deleted.

Although the Switch originally launched without streaming support, Nintendo said it hadn’t ruled it out for future updates, and Hulu has already brought its streaming app to the Switch.

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‘Lady Dynamite’ Not Continuing at Netflix

Netflix is not moving forward with more episodes of “Lady Dynamite,” Variety has confirmed. The network did not comment on a reason for this decision. However, series star Maria Bamford, like her character, is living with bipolar disorder, and late last year she told Variety she has had to adjust the schedule of shooting the show to […]

Variety

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Shonda Rhimes on Move From ABC to Netflix: ‘It’s Not as if We’re Going Anywhere’

Shonda Rhimes addressed concerns about the future of her ABC shows in light of her deal with Netflix during the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Monday. “I think there’s a misconception,” Rhimes said at the panel for the “Grey’s Anatomy” firehouse spinoff. “We’re already at Netflix and we’re on ABC. Our deal with […]

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Netflix defends A Christmas Prince tweet

The platform sent a tweet addressing the “53 people” that have watched the film 18 days in a row.
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Netflix accused of spying after ‘creepy’ tweet

Video-streaming service Netflix has been accused of spying on its users after tweeting a “creepy” joke regarding their viewing habits.
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The Sabrina the Teenage Witch Reboot Is Officially Happening–But at Netflix Instead of the CW

THE CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINAThe Archie Comics TV universe just got a bit bigger–and witchier!
In a surprising turn of events, Netflix has announced that they’ve handed out a two-season, 20-episode…

E! Online (US) – TV News

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With ‘Dark,’ a German Netflix Series, Streaming Crosses a New Border

While the new show may have elements of Netflix’s “Stranger Things” and “The OA,” its creators say it’s uniquely German.
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Why Godless and Its Women-Only Town Should Be Your Next Netflix Obsession

GodlessYour next Netflix binge is here!
Godless is the streaming service’s newest offering, a seven-part miniseries about a former outlaw, his vengeful ex-partner in crime, and a town…

E! Online (US) – TV News

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Godless: Netflix Series Review

This is a non-spoiler review for all seven episodes of Netflix’s limited series Western, Godless – premiering Wednesday, November 22nd.

“Welcome to No Man’s Land,” states the apt tagline for the new seven-part series Godless.

Created by Scott Frank (The Lookout, Logan) and executive produced by Steven Soderbergh, Godless brings the Western back to (streaming) TV in a big, beautiful way with a sweeping saga of love, loss, revenge, and redemption set in and around the small isolated mining town of La Belle – a community populated, and run by, mostly women after all the able-bodied fathers and husbands lost their lives in one fell mining accident swoop. “83 good men” gone, leaving the town seemingly vulnerable to conniving industrialists and crazed outlaws.

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Netflix Acquires ‘The Open House’ Starring ’13 Reasons Why’ Actor Dylan Minnette (EXCLUSIVE)

Netflix has acquired worldwide rights to the thriller “The Open House” starring “13 Reasons Why” breakout Dylan Minnette, sources tell Variety. Written and directed by Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote, “The Open House” centers on a teenager (Minnette) and his mother (Piercey Dalton) who find themselves besieged by threatening forces when they move into a […]

Variety

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House of Cards: Netflix Drops Kevin Spacey

Kevin Spacey’s House of Cards character could be killed off by Netflix.

According to a report from Variety, “one scenario being discussed.” The show would then shift focus to Underwood’s wife, Claire for its final season.

Netflix formally severed ties with Spacey, according to the Hollywood Reporter. In addition to ending Spacey’s House of Cards run, Netflix is cancelling Gore, a biopic about Gore Vidal starring Kevin Spacey as the titular character.

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Kevin Spacey: Netflix severs ties amid sex assault allegations

The move comes amid a number of sexual assault allegations against the House of Cards actor.
BBC News – Entertainment & Arts

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Netflix Officially Cuts All Ties to Kevin Spacey

House of Cards Season 5Netflix is saying goodbye to Kevin Spacey. The following statement was released Friday evening to multiple outlets, shedding light on the uncertain future of House of Cards’ final…

E! Online (US) – TV News

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Alias Grace: Netflix Series Review

This is a non-spoiler review for all six episodes of Netflix’s Alias Grace – adapted from Margaret Atwood’s novel of the same name, premiering Friday, November 3rd.

Written with melancholy flair by Sarah Polley (Go, Dawn of the Dead) and directed with a tragic ghost story panache by Mary Harron (American Psycho), Alias Grace takes us into the enchanting, incarcerated mind of a 19th century celebrity “murderess” to experience her many indignities, sufferings, and endured cruelties in a deeply rich and layered murder mystery based on true events.

Margaret Atwood, of The Handmaid’s Tale’s fame, crafted a story — a devilish narrative designed to unravel and mesmerize — around the real-life case of Grace Marks. The teenage Irish immigrant maid was convicted in 1843, in Canada, of killing her employer (while suspected of also having a hand in the death of a fellow housekeeper during the same manic spree). Alias Grace is, all at once, a coming of age story, an immigrant tale, a “whodunnit?,” and a chilling tragedy. It doesn’t involve ghosts, but it is haunted in its own way. There’s definitely a “presence” involved, a phantom feeling that permeates through the story – which is mostly, at its core, a collection of recollections.

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Netflix suspends House Of Cards production

Netflix has suspended production of House Of Cards after crisis talks about child sex assault allegations against Kevin Spacey.
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On Halloween, Netflix finally got it right

This Halloween, Netflix released two of its best shows and finally broke the curse of its terribly flawed original films.
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Netflix axes House Of Cards amid Spacey claim

Netflix has announced that it will not commission another series of House Of Cards after historical allegations were made against lead star Kevin Spacey.
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Netflix Again Tops Forecasts for Subscriber Growth

Netflix continued to exceed its subscriber-growth estimates, both at home and abroad, as the company said it expects to spend even more on original programming next year to help lure viewers amid an increasingly competitive streaming market.
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Ranking The Best Shows On Netflix You Can Stream Right Now

“Neo Yokio” and “Big Mouth” join the list.
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Top Netflix TV Shows, Ranked by Best Wardrobe of All Time

ESC: Margaret The Crown Binge-watching in the name of fashion is completely legitimate.
For some, consuming shows on Netflix becomes an escape from work or studies. For fashion girls, it’s a different kind…

E! Online (US) – Fashion Police

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Beyond Netflix: Fall’s Must-See Streaming TV

A guide to the best shows and movies on niche streaming services you haven’t heard of yet.
WSJ.com: Lifestyle

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Lady Gaga ‘hasn’t seen’ her own Netflix documentary

The singer says she has not yet watched Gaga: Five Foot Two, which debuts on Netflix this month.
BBC News – Entertainment & Arts

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Porn site offers to save Netflix cancelled show

Porn site xHamster has offered to pick up Sense8, the LGBTQ-inclusive show Netflix cancelled in June.
Entertainment News – Latest Celebrity & Showbiz News | Sky News

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Why Netflix could win the war against Disney

Netflix has poached Disney’s most successful showrunner in a move that could signal a shift in the balance of power.
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Netflix Signs ‘Scandal’ Creator From ABC as Rivalry Intensifies

Netflix has recruited prolific television producer Shonda Rhimes, the creator of ABC hits such as “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” the clearest sign yet of a race for talent between new and old entertainment industry giants.
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Shonda Rhimes poached by Netflix

The woman behind Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder has been with ABC for 15 years.
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Shonda Rhimes’ Netflix Deal & Grey’s Anatomy: Why There’s No Reason to Worry

Ellen Pompeo, Grey's AnatomyShondaland officially has a new address.
Shonda Rhimes has the TV world buzzing with news that she and her mega-successful production company would be decamping from their long-time home…

E! Online (US) – TV News

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Disney vs. Netflix: Can Bob Iger Challenge the Streaming Giant?

If content is king, then Disney’s gamble on a launch of its own OTT service to compete with its digital rivals represents perhaps the biggest test in decades for Disney’s storied studio productions. While Disney CEO Bob Iger offered plenty of detail about the company’s upcoming ESPN-branded service in a recent earnings call, questions remain… Read more »

Variety

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Disney plans to take on Netflix and Amazon

Disney has announced plans to end its deals with streaming giants Netflix and Amazon and launch its own rival service.
Entertainment News – Latest Celebrity & Showbiz News | Sky News

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Disney to Pull Its Movies from Netflix

Disney has announced plans to launch its own streaming services, and as such will pull its movies from Netflix.

During its latest earnings report, Disney said it intends to debut its own branded streaming service for US consumers in 2019 and will then expand the service worldwide, CNBC reports.

Disney and Pixar titles will be removed from Netflix, with this new service serving as the home for all Disney movies going forward. The service’s initial lineup will include Toy Story 4, Frozen 2 and the live-action adaptation of The Lion King.

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Netflix Stock Falls After Disney Announces Plans to End Movie-Output Deal

Shares of Netflix dropped as much as 5% in after-hours trading Tuesday, after Disney announced it will end its first-run movie-output deal with the streaming giant starting with 2019 releases. Netflix did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Disney’s announcement. Disney said it plans to introduce its own direct-to-consumer Disney-branded subscription VOD… Read more »

Variety

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David Letterman Is Returning To Television With A New Netflix Show

It will premiere in 2018.
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Netflix to air Simpsons’ creator Matt Groening’s new show

His new adult animated comedy fantasy series Disenchantment will premiere in 2018.
BBC News – Entertainment & Arts

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Here’s Everything Leaving And Coming To Netflix In August 2017

Will August be great or super bad?
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Amazon, Netflix to join in internet protest

Some of the world’s largest internet companies are preparing to join in a day of protest against the United States’ Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Tech News – Latest Technology and Gadget News | Sky News

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Netflix Greenlights ‘The Umbrella Academy’ Series Based on Comic Books

Netflix is bringing another superhero story to life. The streaming giant has greenlit a series based on “The Umbrella Academy” comic books, Universal Cable Productions announced on Tuesday. Universal Cable Prods. is producing the series along with Dark Horse Entertainment and Bluegrass Television for Netflix, which has ordered 10 episodes for the first season. The… Read more »

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Sense8 Shocker! Netflix to Say Goodbye to Canceled Series With 2-Hour Series Finale

Sense8, Jamie ClaytonIt’s not time to say goodbye to Sense8 just yet.
In a surprising move, Netflix has ordered a two-hour standalone episode of the sci-fi drama created by Lana and Lilly Wachowski and J….

E! Online (US) – TV News

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Netflix Cancels ‘Girlboss’ After One Season

After not-so-great reviews and fan critique, Netflix has decided to cancel “Girlboss” ― the show “loosely” based on the life of Nasty Gal founder and #Girlboss writer Sophia Amoruso. The series ran for one 13-episode season. 

According to Variety, Amoruso took to her Instagram story on Saturday to share the news, writing:

So that Netflix series about my life got canceled. While I’m proud of the work we did, I’m looking forward to controlling my narrative from here on out. It was a good show, and I was privileged to work with incredible talent, but living my life as a caricature was hard even if only for two months. Yes, I can be difficult. No, I’m not a dick. No, someone named Shane never cheated on me. It will be nice to someday tell the story of what’s happened in the last few years. Ppl read the headline, not the correction, I’ve learned.

Once she posted the statement, many assumed she was “throwing shade” at the show for misrepresenting her life and personality. Amoruso headed to Instagram again to silence the haters. 

“Jesus Christ. I absolutely loved the show and am so sad it’s over. I am grateful for it all,” she wrote on her Instagram story. “But how a website can conflate ‘throwing shade’ with saying that a woman is excited to own her narrative after bankruptcy headlines, false lawsuits, and a dramatized series is created (which I will repeat: I loved and am proud of) is bonkers. I’m sorry if I hurt anyone. Being me usually means hurting someone at any given time. Maybe I am a dick after all.” 

Thank you @charlizeafrica for choosing to play and produce flawed female characters. Proud to be one.

A post shared by sophia amoruso (@sophiaamoruso) on

Amoruso’s fashion retailer Nasty Gal filed for bankruptcy last year just as the show was gearing up to be released. It debuted on Netflix on April 21, but seemingly failed to secure a committed following. “Girlboss” received a 32 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, as sites like The New York Times and The Guardian said the on-screen Sophia (Britt Robertson) “isn’t particularly interesting” and is “a walking selfie, whining about having to work for a living.”

“Pitch Perfect” screenwriter Kay Cannon served as executive producer and showrunner of the series, with Charlize Theron also executive producing alongside Laverne McKinnon, Beth Kono, Christian Ditter and Amoruso.

“Girlboss” joins other canceled Netflix series, such as “The Get Down” and “Sense8.” 

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Netflix film Okja gets ‘le boo’ at Cannes

One of the two controversial Netflix movies opening at the French festival has been booed just five minutes into a screening.
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Nick Kroll And John Mulaney’s ‘Oh, Hello’ Is The Perfect Netflix Special

Netflix is home to a lot of comedy specials: Ali Wong, Aziz Ansari, Tracy Morgan, Maria Bamford, Jim Gaffigan, Louis C.K. ― they’ve all got one.

But, making their special extra special, comedians Nick Kroll and John Mulaney are bringing a different kind of routine to the streaming service this summer. That’s right, “Oh, Hello,” their sold-out Broadway play based on “Kroll Show” characters Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland, is headed for a screen near you.

If you’re unfamiliar with Gil and George’s schtick, just imagine the elderly muppets Statler and Waldorf come to life with a mission to prank (or, “prahnk”) people into eating enormous tuna sandwiches. They do so while hosting a public-access show, wearing a lot of turtlenecks and suffering from bagel-induced cholesterol.

If you’re versed in the improv-heavy antics of the “Oh, Hello” men, then you’re probably aware of how difficult it was to get your hands on a ticket to their comedy act on Broadway, which closed earlier this year after more than 100 performances. Kroll and Mulaney (who has a Netflix comedy special of his own) have actually been honing the characters since the early 2000s, long before the “Kroll Show” premiered on Comedy Central. But the duo has become particularly popular in recent years, as the comedians took their act to late-night show couches.

On Broadway, Kroll and Mulaney welcomed a slew of famous guests to their stage, including Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Whoopi Goldberg, Jerry Seinfeld and Amy Schumer. According to Playbill, the performances streaming on Netflix on June 13 will likely include footage from two taped performances that occurred on Jan. 19 and 20. If you know who the guests were, let us know!

R.I.P. “Kroll Show,” how we miss thee.

 

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Cannes jury chief blocks Netflix films for gong

The jury president of this year’s Cannes Film Festival has announced he will only award cinema-released movies, which would exclude Netflix productions.
Entertainment News – Latest Celebrity & Showbiz News | Sky News

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BAFTA’s Netflix snub: Part of a co-ordinated attack?

After promising a step towards the future, the BAFTA TV awards seem to have gone back to the “good old days” when the British public had just three terrestrial channels to choose from on a night in.
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Netflix at Cannes: One step forward, two steps back

The Cannes Film Festival has reversed a recent decision to allow streaming-only movies to compete for the Palme d’Or.
Entertainment News – Latest Celebrity & Showbiz News | Sky News

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Anne With an E Introduces Anne of Green Gables to the Netflix Generation

Anne With an E, Anne of Green GablesWhat do Breaking Bad’s Walter White and Anne of Green Gables’ Anne Shirley have in common? Moira Walley-Beckett.
Walley-Beckett, who won an Emmy for her work on Breaking Bad, is…

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’13 Reasons Why’ Will Return To Netflix With Season 2

After much speculation, Netflix has confirmed that its hit teen drama “13 Reasons Why” will have a second season. 

Executive producer Selena Gomez shared the news on social media Sunday, posting a teaser video with the caption, “Their story isn’t over. Season 2 of #13ReasonsWhy is coming.”

Their story isn't over. Season 2 of #13ReasonsWhy is coming.

A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on

“13 Reasons Why,” based on the best-selling book by Jay Asher, follows the story of teenager Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford), who takes her own life. She records 13 tapes to give to the people she says played some part in her decision, leaving her friend Clay (Dylan Minnette) to uncover the heartbreaking reality behind her death. 

The show has faced its fair share of controversy, as many were taken aback by the graphic scenes depicting suicide and sexual assault featured in Season 1. But despite the pushback, “13 Reasons Why” was a giant success for Netflix and quickly became the most tweeted-about show of 2017.

“I believed in the project for so long and I understood what the message was,” Gomez said of the show. “I just wanted it to come across in a way that kids would be frightened, but confused ― in a way that they would talk about it because it’s something that’s happening all the time. So, I’m overwhelmed that it’s doing as well as it’s doing.”

Reports about a second season have been swirling for weeks, with the show’s stars saying there was more story to tell. 

“I honestly did not realize how much was going to be left open at the end. I think that there’s potential to know more about these characters and I think that there are good stories to be told,” Minnette recently told Entertainment Weekly.

There’s no news yet on what the new season will cover, but some of the stars of the show are set to attend the MTV Movie & TV Awards on Sunday night, so perhaps we’ll find out more. 

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Netflix Responds To ’13 Reasons Why’ Backlash With New Trigger Warnings

Netflix has decided to alter the trigger warnings that play before its controversial series “13 Reasons Why.” 

By now, you’re probably aware that the show, based on the book of the same name by Jay Asher, tackles tough issues like sexual assault and suicide. In doing so, it features a few extremely graphic scenes that many believe are problematic.

Backlash surrounding the show has been swift, with mental health advocates claiming its difficult-to-watch scenes are troublesome. Asher and executive producer Selena Gomez, however, stand by the series and its depictions of the difficult topics. 

For their part, Netflix has warning cards in place ahead of three specific episodes ― two depict sexual assault, while the other shows Hannah’s suicide. But following the backlash, the streaming service has decided to alter their warnings. In addition to updating the current advisories, Netflix will add a new warning card before the first episode. 

According to Buzzfeed, the changes could be implemented as early as next week. 

Netflix released a statement about their decision to the outlet:

There has been a tremendous amount of discussion about our series “13 Reasons Why.” While many of our members find the show to be a valuable driver for starting important conversation with their families, we have also heard concern from those who feel the series should carry additional advisories. Currently the episodes that carry graphic content are identified as such and the series overall carries a TV-MA rating. Moving forward, we will add an additional viewer warning card before the first episode as an extra precaution for those about to start the series and have also strengthened the messaging and resource language in the existing cards for episodes that contain graphic subject matter, including the URL 13ReasonsWhy.info — a global resource center that provides information about professional organizations that support help around the serious matters addressed in the show.

Aside from the trigger warnings, there is a 30-minute special that viewers can watch after the series, called “13 Reasons Why: Beyond the Reasons,” in which the cast members discuss the making of the show. The special feature also mentions a website with resources and information for anyone who feels like they might need help. 

If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HELLO to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.

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Nick Graham Dressing Bill Nye for Netflix Series

Nick Graham has expanded his relationship with Bill Nye and is dressing the scientist and educator for his new Netflix series, “Bill Nye Saves the World.”
The 13-episode show started on Friday.
“Bill is one of those rare personalities that combines a strong compassionate message with his slightly irreverent, but always brilliant observations of the world,” Graham said. “Besides that, he has always had an enormous sense of style that he has made his own, and so all I had to do was take a bit further.”
Nye said: “Nick is incredibly creative and it’s reflected in his clothes. I love wearing his suits. And besides, they fit me right off the rack.”
On each episode of the Netflix show, Nye will take on a specific science-related topic or concept with panel discussions and correspondent reports. The set, which is designed as a modern science lab, is an extension of his popular series in the Nineties, “Bill Nye the Science Guy.”
Nye also walked in Nick Graham’s fall men’s show, titled “Life on Mars,” in January, which garnered over 1 billion impressions and 385,000 likes for Nye on Instagram, according to Graham.
The designer collaborated with Nye on a limited-edition collection of quirky, science-themed bow ties in November of 2015,

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Netflix Nears 100 Million Subscribers, But Q1 Gains Fall Short of Expectations

Netflix added fewer subscribers than expected for the first three months of 2017, while the No. 1 subscription-video provider said it will surpass the 100-million mark this coming weekend. For the first quarter, Netflix added 1.42 million U.S. subs and 3.53 million overseas. Previously the company had projected net gains of 1.5 million in the U.S…. Read more »

Variety

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Netflix Is Reportedly Reviving Carmen Sandiego With Gina Rodriguez

Gina Rodriguez, Carmen SandiegoWhere in the world is Carmen Sandiego?
Pretty soon, the answer to that question just may be: On Netflix. According to a report by Tracking Board, the streaming giant is reviving the…

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Sounds Like Netflix Is Bringing Back ‘Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?’

Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? It seems like the answer could soon be Netflix.

Tracking Board, a site dedicated to entertainment industry news, is reporting that the streaming service has ordered 20 episodes of an animated series based on the video game series and children’s game show “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?”

We even have a name for who will voice the globetrotting Sandiego: Gina Rodriguez, star of “Jane the Virgin,” is reportedly all aboard. 

The brand has always doubled as an educational tool for young children, and it sounds like Netflix has no interest in moving away from that.

It seems to be part of a larger Netflix push to reboot some of America’s favorite educational children’s shows. In February, for example, Netflix revealed that “Saturday Night Live” cast member Kate McKinnon would be voicing Ms. Frizzle for a reboot of “Magic School Bus.”

The original PBS “Carmen Sandiego” game show ran for five seasons in the early 1990s.

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Amy Schumer Already Has Regrets About Her Leather Special on Netflix, Namely the Leather Part

Amy Schumer: The Leather SpecialAmy Schumer already has regrets about her Netflix comedy special and it isn’t even out yet. In the exclusive trailer for Amy Schumer: The Leather Special, which can also be seen on E! News on…

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Amy Schumer Already Has Regrets About Her Leather Special on Netflix, Namely the Leather Part

Amy Schumer: The Leather SpecialAmy Schumer already has regrets about her Netflix comedy special and it isn’t even out yet. In the exclusive trailer for Amy Schumer: The Leather Special, which can also be seen on E! News on…

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From Dear White People to Orange Is the New Black: Your Handy Guide to Everything Premiering on Netflix in 2017

Orange is the New Black, Dear White People2017 is only a month and a half old, and already Netflix is having one whopper of a busy year.
Since January 1, the streaming giant has dropped new original series One Day at a Time, A…

E! Online (US) – TV News

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Netflix Revives ‘Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’

Netflix has ordered eight new episodes of seminal ’00s hit “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” The new season will begin production in the spring, bringing on a new Fab Five to replace original stars Carson Kressley, Ted Allen, Kyan Douglas, Thom Filicia, and Jai Rodriguez. Per Netflix, the revival will move far beyond the… Read more »

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Queer Eye for the Straight Guy Is the Latest Reboot Coming to Netflix

Queer Eye for the Straight GuySing it with us: All things just keep getting better!
Not content to merely reboot and revive beloved comedies, Netflix is jumping into the world of reality TV with a just-announced…

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What’s New On Netflix In February 2017?

Netflix just keeps swimming along with its new titles for February 2017.

The additions include a mix of family favorites such as “Finding Dory” and “Babe” as well as highly anticipated originals such as Drew Barrymore’s “Santa Clarita Diet” and Ricky Gervais’ ”David Brent: Life on the Road.”

February is also known for Valentine’s Day, so there are some steamy ones for all the Netflix and chill enthusiasts. These include “Magic Mike” and “Michael Bolton’s Big, Sexy Valentine’s Day Special.” 

(We’re using “steamy” very loosely here.)

Here are the rest of the titles:

 

Feb. 1

  • ”Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies, and Cyber Attacks” (2016)
  • ”Babe” (1995)
  • ”Babe: Pig in the City” (1998)
  • ”Balto” (1995)
  • ”Balto 2: Wolf Quest” (2001)
  • ”Balto 3: Wings of Change” (2004)
  • ”Contact” (1997)
  • ”Corpse Bride” (2005)
  • ”Disney’s Finding Dory” (2016)
  • ”Eleven P.M.” (1928)
  • ”From This Day Forward: A Trans Love Story” (2016)
  • ”Gun Runners” (2015)
  • ”Hell-Bound Train” (1930)
  • ”Highly Strung” (2015) 
  • “Hot Biskits” (1931)
  • “I Am Sun Mu” (2016)
  • ”Invincible” (2006)
  • ”Les beaux malaises” (Seasons 1–4, 2014)
  • ”Magic Mike” (2012)
  • ”Masha’s Spooky Stories” (Season 1, 2012)
  • ”Mother with a Gun” (2016)
  • “Paris Is Burning” (1990)
  • ”Project X” (1987)
  • ”Silver Streak” (1976)
  • ”The Blair Witch Project” (1990)
  • ”The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe” (2005)
  • ”The Five Heartbeats” (1995)
  • ”The Furchester Hotel” (Seasons 1–2, 2014)
  • ”The Girl from Chicago” (1932)
  • “The Longest Day” (1962)
  • ”The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993)
  • “Twilight” (2008)
  • “Women in Gold” (2015)

Feb. 2

  • “American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson” (2016)
  • “Frequency” (Season 1)

Feb. 3

  • “Daniel Sosa: Sosafado” (Netflix Original)
  • “Imperial Dreams” (Netflix Original)
  • “Santa Clarita Diet” (Netflix Original)

Feb. 4

  • “Superbad” (2007)

Feb. 5

  • “Elvira I Will Give You My Life But I’m Using It” (2014)
  • “Los herederos” (2015)

Feb. 6

  • “Girls Lost” (2015)
  • “Me, Myself and Her” (2015)

Feb. 7

  • “Michael Bolton’s Big, Sexy Valentine’s Day Special” (Netflix Original)

Feb. 8

  • “Tiempos Felices” (2014)
  • “Girl Asleep” (2015)

Feb. 10

  • “Abstract: The Art of Design” (Netflix Original)
  • ”David Brent: Life on the Road” (Netflix Original)

Feb. 11

  • “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” (Season 2, 2016)
  • ”Stronger Than the World” (Netflix Original)

Feb. 12

  • “Clouds of Sils Maria” (2014)

Feb. 13

  • “Code: Debugging the Gender Gap” (2016)
  • “Magicians: Life in the Impossible” (2016)

Feb. 14

  • “Girlfriend’s Day” (Netflix Original)
  • ”Katherine Ryan: In Trouble” (Netflix Original)
  • “King Cobra” (2016)
  • ”Project Mc^2: Part 4” (Netflix Original)
  • “White Nights” (Netflix Original)

Feb. 15

  • “Aram, Aram” (2015)
  • “Before I Go to Sleep” (2014)
  • “Fire Song” (2015)

Feb. 16

  • “Milk” (2008)
  • “Sundown” (2016)

Feb. 17

  • “Chef’s Table” (Season 3, Netflix Original)
  • “DreamWorks Dragons: Race to the Edge” (Season 4, Netflix)
  • “Kill Ratio” (2016)
  • ”The Seven Deadly Sins” (Season 2, Netflix Original)

Feb. 19

  • “Girl Meets World” (Season 3, 2016)
  • “Growing Up Wild” (2016)
  • “Tini: El Gran Cambio De Violetta” (2016)
  • “When Calls the Heart” (Season 3, 2016)

Feb. 23

  • “Sausage Party” (2016)

Feb. 24

  • “I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore” (Netflix Original)  
  • “Legend Quest” (Season 1, Netflix Original)
  • ”Ultimate Beastmaster” (Netflix Original)
  • ”Ultimate Beastmaster Mexico” (Netflix Original)
  • “VeggieTales in the City” (Season 1, Netflix Original)

Feb. 26

  • “Night Will Fall” (2016)

Feb. 27

  • “Brazilian Western” (2013)

Feb. 28

  • “Be Here Now” (2015)
  • “Michael Birbiglia: Thank God for Jokes” (Netflix Original)

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Sundance: Netflix Buys Global-Warming Doc ‘Chasing Coral’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Netflix has bought worldwide rights for the documentary “Chasing Coral,” Variety has learned. The film, about the destruction of coral reefs because of global warming, premieres on Saturday afternoon. It’s part of the U.S. documentary competition. The project is seen as being particularly newsworthy in light of Donald Trump’s election and his selection of advisors… Read more »

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Netflix Predicts HBO Will Soon Take A Page From Its Binging Playbook

As Netflix smashed expectations, announcing Wednesday that it added just over 7 million subscribers in the last quarter of 2016, CEO Reed Hastings said he expects one rival might begin taking a cue from his company soon.

Noting in a letter to shareholders that the BBC is reportedly set to “go binge-first” with new seasons of certain shows, the Netflix exec said we can “presume HBO is not far behind.”

Although HBO has been in the premium TV game far longer, Netflix has been quickly catching up with buzzy shows like “Stranger Things,” “Orange Is the New Black” and a number of others, with their episodes released all at once.

“In short, it’s becoming an internet TV world,” Hastings wrote. 

Does that mean the rumored “Game of Thrones” spinoff might land online all at once? Maybe not. Cable viewers are still an important part of HBO’s business, and in that format episodes are best released one by one, week by week. And it clearly serves Netflix’s interests for its CEO to proclaim a new age of internet-friendly entertainment.

But as Netflix inches closer to 100 million subscribers across the world, traditional networks are undoubtedly paying attention.

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Netflix Trolls Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life Fans With Cliffhanger Question

Gilmore Girls, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the LifeNetflix has a little gift for Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life fans. Well, some may call it a gift, others may call it trolling. Since the Gilmore Girls revival dropped on Friday, Nov. 25, fans…

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In Africa, a Homegrown Rival Takes On Netflix

Africa’s biggest company is challenging the world’s largest video-on-demand service in the race to lure African eyeballs—and wallets.
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Leaving Netflix in January

Netflix is kicking off 2017 by ditching every season of Saved by the Bell, South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut, Bring It On, Coming to America, Saving Private Ryan and more.

That’s right, we’re making a list, so check it twice, because these are all the movies and TV shows expiring from the site come January. The first and third Fast and Furious flicks are gone, along with a bunch of 30 for 30s, Blade 2, Sixteen Candles, a few seasons of Property Brothers and Fixer Upper, all of Murder, She Wrote and Columbo, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Here’s the full list:

jesse-kelly

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New to Netflix for December

Netflix is wrapping up 2016 with a festive array of movies, TV shows, and site-specific originals that’s sure to satisfy your binging needs this holiday season. December contains blockbusters like Captain America: Civil War, The Rock, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, The Angry Birds Movie, and Hannibal, as well as the first season of USA Network’s Colony.

On the Originals front, there’s a cornucopia of offerings including the second season of Fuller House, Australian animated comedy Pacific Heat, Mythbusters spinoff White Rabbit Project, sci-fi flick Spectral, and many many more.

Titles and dates are for US only and subject to change.

IGN SPOTLIGHT

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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings Pay Jumps 50% in 2015, to $16.6 Million

Netflix chairman and CEO Reed Hastings garnered a 2015 compensation package worth $ 16.6 million, an increase of 50% from the year prior, with most of it coming in the form of stock options. “Hastings deeply understands the technology and business of Netflix,” the company said in its proxy statement, filed Wednesday. “He brings strategic and… Read more »

Variety

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Netflix Just Announced The Premiere Dates For All Your Faves

See What's Next for Netflix in 2016

Mark your calendars.

Posted by Netflix on Sunday, January 17, 2016

All is right in the world of Netflix. 

On Sunday, the streaming service announced the premiere dates for 11 original series including ”Orange is the New Black,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and “Grace and Frankie.” Oh, how we’ve missed you. 

Joining Netflix’s esteemed ranks are Ashton Kutcher’s “The Ranch,” Baz Luhrmann’s “The Get Down” and Winona Ryder’s “Stranger Things.”

Check out the premiere dates, trailers and descriptions of the new series below. 

March 11

“Flaked” brings “Arrested Development” favorite Will Arnett back to Netflix. The eight-episode comedy follows Arnett’s character Chip, ”a celebrated long-time resident of the insular world of Venice, California, who falls for the object of his best friend’s fascination. Soon the tangled web of half-truths and semi-bullshit that underpins his all-important image and sobriety begins to unravel.”

April 1

“The Ranch” is staging a “That ’70s Show” reunion with Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson this spring. In the 10-episode multi-camera comedy, Kutcher stars as a failed former football player who returns home to Colorado to run a ranch with his brother, “Rooster” (Masterson). The series also stars Sam Elliott and Debra Winger. 

“Lost & Found Music Studios” is a live-action series following the musical careers of young artists trying to break into the music industry. Each episode will track the ups and downs of a group of tweens and teens as they find their voice at a famous music studio. (Is this a reality show? Or like Netflix Idol? We’re confused, and have asked Netflix to clarify.)

April 15

“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” returns for a second season (Chica Hamburguesa is back!)

“Kong: King of the Apes” is an updated take on the classic King Kong story. The animated series picks up with the famous ape in 2050. According to the description, a villain with a pack of “gigantic robotic dinosaurs” at his or her disposal frames Kong, setting up an international manhunt for the world’s No. 1 fugitive. Kong gets some help from three human friends along the way.

May 5

“Marseille” is a political drama starring famed French actor Gérard Depardieu about the power struggle in the port city of Marseille, France. The synopsis reads: “As the municipal elections approach in Marseille, Robert Taro (Depardieu), the city’s Mayor for the last twenty years, prepares his last coup … Nothing has been left to chance, and his successor, Lucas Barrès, is already designated. But the latter’s all-consuming ambition and the secret interests of the city’s leaders, whether they come from its opulent villas or from the cities of the northern suburbs, impede the Mayor’s plans.”

May 6

“Grace and Frankie” is back for a second season with Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston.

June 3

“Word Party” is a vocabulary-building show for youngsters from The Jim Henson Company. Four state-of-the-art baby animal puppets will sing, dance and play, all in the name of education.

June 17

It’s time to return to Litchfield for “Orange is the New Black” Season 4. 

July 15

“Stranger Things” is a supernatural drama about the disappearance of a young boy that captivates a small Indiana town. The eight-episode series promises “secret experiments, terrifying supernatural forces, and one very strange little girl” in the hunt for the missing child. Winona Ryder stars. 

Aug. 12

Baz Luhrmann brings his unique talents to Netflix with part one of ”The Get Down,” a “music-driven drama” that follows a group of ragtag teenagers in 1970s New York. The series is billed as a ”mythic saga of how New York at the brink of bankruptcy gave birth to hip-hop, punk and disco — told through the lives and music of the South Bronx kids who changed the city, and the world…forever.”

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Here’s What You Need to Watch Before It Leaves Netflix

Here’s What You Need to Watch Before It Leaves Netflix

The clock is winding down on 2015. Here’s what you need to watch before it leaves your queue.

The post Here’s What You Need to Watch Before It Leaves Netflix appeared first on WIRED.

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A Gilmore Girls Revival Series Is Reportedly Happening at Netflix

Netflix has already delivered every single episode of Gilmore Girls for us to binge watch—and now, the streaming site is coming through in an even more major way: Our beloved Gilmore Girls is reportedly coming…


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Everything New on Netflix in October 2015

Bummed over everything that left Netflix this month? Us too. But luckily, those feelings should be short-lived—thanks to the wave of new arrivals hitting Netflix this month. October brings a hefty crop of fun new…


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Everything New on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime This Week

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Everything New on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime This Week

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The 8 Stages Of Watching ‘Batman & Robin’ On Netflix

For whatever masochistic reason, the film “Batman & Robin” is trending on Netflix, and has been for a few weeks or so. Helmed and steered clear off a cliff by Joel Schumacher, “Batman & Robin” stars George Clooney as the caped crusader with nipples on his batsuit.

One of the plot points is that Bruce Wayne’s butler Alfred is dying, and you see him in various scenes privately wincing from some unknown pain. Well, it’s clear now that just being in this movie was probably physically paining the actor who played Alfred, Michael Gough.

It’s an awful movie. And I fell for watching it.

It began like any other Saturday: no pants, a vague sense that I had embarrassed myself the night before, and the urge to drown my brain in some mindless Netflix viewing.

Thus began the eight stages of watching “Batman & Robin” on Netflix.

 


STAGE 1 – Optimistic Amnesia

Maybe it wasn’t as bad as I remember! I mean, it was goofy, I remember that much, but maybe it’s goofy in a “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” kind of way.

 


STAGE 2 - Regret

I’ve made a huge mistake.

 


STAGE 3 – Confusion

Who green-lit this? OMG, they just go-go-gadgeted ice skates from their boots. And now they’re fighting hockey team henchmen. Did Robin just pull out a laser gun? This feels wrong …

 


STAGE 4 – Uncomfortable Laughter

The only entertaining thing is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ice puns, because by comparison to the rest of the so-bad-it’s-funny film, those are high quality hilarity.

 


STAGE 5 – Pun Delirium

You no longer have a reasonable grasp on reality and your brain is quickly liquifying. 

 


STAGE 6 – Full-On Joker Dementia 

You’re a zombie. A jolly, smiling zombie.

 


 STAGE  7 – Discombobulation

The standard notions of direction and position have lost all meaning. You are lost in a multi-dimensional spacial hellscape for which there is no escape.

 


STAGE 8 - Death

There’s no chance of resuscitation at this point. Like telling your friends you’ll stop out for “just one beer.” Once you’ve begun, it’s already too late.

 

 

Anyway, hello from heaven! It’s pretty nice up here! It’s all the Arnie puns you can handle, you get to watch Joel Schumacher try to direct his way out of a paper bag for all eternity, and the batsuits don’t have nipples! 

PARADISE.

 

Huge thanks to fellow lover of puns Kate Bratskier for taking a flurry of photos for me and being so … cool.  She snows what’s up. (Also, apologies to Kate Bratskier for the previous sentence.)

 

 

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Netflix, Binging And Quality Control In The Age Of Peak TV

Matt Singer posed a timely question today: Why is it that the original programs made by Netflix — the place that perfected binge-viewing — aren’t necessarily all that binge-able? 


By downplaying the importance of individual episodes in favor of longform narratives, the company has also downplayed the propulsive storytelling style and shocking cliffhangers that define the best binge-watch shows. A television show structured as a one giant 13-hour story can be highly absorbing. But without those big hooks and twists at the end of every episode, it’s very difficult to make it addictive.

Singer’s onto something here: I’ve spent the summer rewatching “The X-Files,” and there’s something about traditionally made, pre-“peak TV” dramas that often makes them deliciously binge-able. Writers on the kinds of shows that eventually made binging a thing were often under pressure from networks to hook viewers, through juicy relationship arcs, propulsive stories, exciting mythology reveals and hints that something big was coming in the next week. Not all good “binge-ers” have those elements, but many of the good ones are very good at serving up self-contained episodes, distinctive characters and moments so entertaining that you just want another hit of whatever they’re selling. 

Obviously television’s ambitions have expanded since the heyday of binge-inducers like “Alias,” “Lost” and “24,” and Netflix is among the many outlets testing the boundaries of what kinds of television can sustain an audience for a binge or a leisurely stroll, even as TV redefines what success means in an era of micro-niches and all manner of nonlinear viewing opportunities.

That said, my first reaction to Singer’s piece on the binge-resistance of Netflix’s dramas consisted of a question: I really wonder how much of that is intentional. It may not be a feature, but a bug.

Singer’s theory is that Netflix executives don’t really care if it takes a few months to watch one of their original series; that’s actually a good thing, if the slow pace keeps a subscription active. That makes sense from a business perspective, but, based on statements Netflix executives have made and the shows they’ve released, I wonder if that’s their primary intent.

My theory’s different: I think Netflix and Amazon executives give their creative types a lot of rope, and I’ve often had occasion to wonder is they’re giving them too much rope. It’s common for their dramas to get tangled up and slow down, even at the pilot stage, and in the middle of seasons, Netflix dramas often sag and meander, and — as Singer notes — they take a long time to work up a head of steam. 


My first reaction to Singer’s piece on the binge-resistance of Netflix’s dramas consisted of a question: I really wonder how much of that is intentional. It may not be a feature, but a bug.

But this isn’t just the case at streaming services: It’s happening a lot in the more ambitious realms of television. Maybe it’s just me, but when it comes to many shows, especially dramas, in the cable, pay-cable and streaming arenas, I see a trend toward laxness and a lack of energy and dynamic tension. There’s more ambition than in a derivative NBC or CBS procedural, sure, but there’s also often a lack of urgency within an episode and, most notably, over the course of a season.

It’s also fairly common to find that the character development is not strong and vivid enough to make me want to revisit these shows while they figure out how to crank up the narrative drive, as was the case with Amazon’s “Bosch” and USA’s “Complications.” I did finally begin to enjoy AMC’s “Halt and Catch Fire,” especially in its second season, but most people had checked out well before it kicked into high gear, and that may have doomed the show (though I hope not). 

Of course, it’s unfair to cherry-pick the best examples, but let’s face it, this wasn’t too often the case with with the best binge-ers the Commercial Television Machine produced. Even in a bad episode of “The X-Files” or “Lost,” the Mulder and Scully banter or the Hurley quips make up for a lot. Hence my current obsession with what I call B-movie TV: Genre fare that is smart and subversive but also energetic and not overly concerned with being Important. (The two best new shows of the year, Lifetime’s “UnREAL” and USA’s “Mr. Robot” may not neatly fit in the B-movie TV category, but both were pleasingly knotty, had great characters and were suspenseful from the jump. They’re binge-ers, for sure.)  

Sag and drift problems have cropped up throughout TV history, obviously. But I think it’s telling that it’s cropping up a lot lately, often at places that could and should know better (despite its great cast and terrific moments, I gave up on the rudderless “Masters of Sex” near the end of Season 2 and haven’t seen a compelling reason to jump back on board). As Todd VanDerWerff has pointed out, TV is fumbling for direction in the age of binging and stacking and all episodes of television existing simultaneously everywhere (well, not really, but it feels that way sometimes). So as TV figures out the creative implications of the nonlinear era, some sloppiness and experimentation is to be expected.

But I think there’s more to it than that. The competition for talent and the huge desire lock down hot writers while also trying to create Signature Programs has led to situations where executives have let way too much bad writing slide.

There’s an enormous scramble for content at the moment, so much so that multiple seasons are being ordered at an accelerated pace and it’s almost normal for shows to be renewed before they debut. That was decidedly not normal only a few years ago. But Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and any number of other new players have changed the game, just as cable did a decade or so ago.

As I’ve argued elsewhere, this is a good thing, overall. Not every show in Ye Olde Golden Age was a keeper, but almost every network was forced to raise its game and give writers more leeway. Hooray!

But there was sigh-inducing side to that revolution: There was too much imitation and a blind pursuit of uninspired dramas about tortured white guys. These days, as TV expands into what FX president John Landgraf has called peak TV, there’s a lot of great TV, but the signal-to-noise ratio is not necessarily heading in a reassuring direction. As TV competes to keep eyeballs on its ever-expanding array of content, we’re being subjected to a lot of empty spectacle and rote brand extension. And it’s worth pointing out, as Linda Holmes does in her great essay series on TV’s growing pains, that the kinds of people who get to make TV now are usually the kinds of people who always have gotten to make TV. Diversity is a buzzword executives know they should throw around these days, but their commitment to it seems tenuous at best.

So this revolution has its frustrations, among them the problems Singer neatly delineates. And given that the issues he noticed and I’ve described are mostly taking place in the streaming, cable and pay-cable arenas, the following statement mostly applies to them: Maybe its because they have too many shows to keep track of, or maybe it’s because they’re working with writers they think might try to get a better deal somewhere else, but I get the sense that a number of networks and executives are not exercising the quality control they used to. It’s a problem.

Too many times lately, with too many shows that are well cast and clearly expensive, I’ve wondered why the people in charge appear to be asleep at the switch. “Fear the Walking Dead” is repetitive and boring, but AMC wants to keep “Walking Dead” mogul Robert Kirkman in the corporate family, so that show’s going to be what Kirkman wants it to be, for good or ill. The last two seasons of “American Horror Story” haven’t been very good, but they’ve been noisy enough to get a lot of eyeballs, and FX wants to be in business with Ryan Murphy, so that show will continue to be variable and frustrating (and maybe occasionally excellent, who knows). “Bloodline” assembled various prestige TV markers without going anywhere all that compelling with them, but it seems like the kind of show Netflix should be making — and if they didn’t make it, someone else might — so it got renewed. And so on.

The power dynamics in the industry are unstable — only in certain places, of course, and only for certain people. But the current scramble for talent has given some writer/producers more power than these kinds of folks have ever had in the past, and the side effects of that development aren’t always good. For one thing, in part due to talent flight, drama pilots on the broadcast networks have been mostly lame and terrible for years, with a few rare exceptions, because those who don’t want to deal with a lot of network interference are going elsewhere. (The CW, which has been on a roll, is the exception among the broadcast networks, but that’s a story for another day.)


The current scramble for talent has given some writer/producers more power than these kinds of folks have ever had in the past, and the side effects of that development aren’t always good.

As many writer/producers head to what they perceive to be greener pastures, executives are doing whatever they can to lock down talent, and the end result of this whole process can sometimes be self-indulgent and lazy television. Drift, repetition and laxness are things a good executive can spot, catch and help correct. With the good or improving shows, that’s likely at least part of what’s happening. Given the glut of bad, lazy or directionless dramas, that’s not happening enough, or some creatives just aren’t listening. When a drama like “True Detective” goes that off-course and wastes that much potential, it’s not just a chance to have fun with memes and hashtags, it’s a sign that something has seriously gone awry in the quality-control systems that helped TV get to where it is now. 

HBO, once the strutting king of the TV scene, can’t openly criticize newcomer Nic Pizzolatto, lest he bolt and the network’s reputation as a welcoming haven for top talent take a hit. Netflix and Amazon go further: They openly celebrate their hands-off approaches. Executives at both places have basically said that because they’re not married to the usual commercial television models, they’re letting their talent do … whatever. 

“We are not really in the solid outcome business, you know,” Amazon Studios head Roy Price said at an Amazon executive panel at the Television Critics Association press tour recently. “We are not really in the programming business.”

“It’s not the intent to draw the biggest audience from any single show,” Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos said at TCA. “The shows are built and designed and we invest in them based on the audience that we believe the show can attract. And it’s successful if it attracts that audience segment.”

Joe Lewis, Amazon’s comedy chief, said something similar: “I think we are … just looking for shows that are our customers’ favorites.”

That all sounds good, in theory. And in practice, it’s occasionally resulted in wonderful television. Netflix’s “BoJack Horseman” is as weird a concoction as I can think of, but it’s incisive and funny even as it goes to some heartbreaking places. I’m glad that Amazon is betting big on “The Man in the High Castle,” which may supply the smart sci-fi I’ve been searching for. And of course, all of television is a crapshoot; most shows fail, good ones are always hard to make and great ones are always rare.

But these streaming executives are indicating that they think non-interference is the only way to get good shows.

“[W]e built the company on this in this internal culture of freedom and responsibility, and we really did apply that to our showrunners too,” Sarandos said at TCA. “We decided it would be our role not to coach the creatives because it really wasn’t our wheelhouse. It was going to be our role to pick the right projects, pick the right worlds, pick the right talent to run those shows, and then really try to create an environment for them to do the best work of their lives.”

This statement kind of floored me, honestly. If the executives not there to make shows better, what are they there for? Also, can I have an executive job at Netflix? Because I would really like to make a lot of money to not do things. They give many millions to those making their shows, but telling them how to spend that money wisely? LOL, pass. 

Of course, some of this is just the kind of chest-thumping tech-exec hyperbole that “Silicon Valley” lampoons so well. And that’s the analogy I’ll stick with: Amazon and Netflix executives don’t seem to consider themselves TV executives, and it may be more useful to think of them as the kinds of guys who run Uber and other boastful, well-funded startups. They hacked television, bro, and they’re going to do it better.

Except … really? They think they’re going to do it better than the kinds of people responsible for the Commercial Television Machine? I mean, maybe someday they will, and if they get to that point, break out the Champagne. But their track record isn’t nearly there yet, and it’s more than a little grating that they’re so dismissive of the kind of TV-making processes that led to the creation of so many good and great shows — the very binge-able content they so eagerly bought up and built their businesses on top of. 

And that brings me back to my reaction to Singer’s essay, which boils down to this: Giving people a lot of rope is not necessarily how the best TV gets made. It can produce good results, in the hands of a disciplined professionals who know what to do with that freedom — and what not to do with it. If the discipline, vision and restraint are lacking and are not supplied by the showrunner or by executives, the results are usually ponderous messes (“House of Cards,” “Hand of God,” “Low Winter Sun”).

It’s worth noting that Jill Soloway (“Transparent”) and Jenji Kohan (“Orange Is the New Black”), who created the best shows in the streaming realms, are longtime veterans of the Commercial Television Machine. And all that has happened before has happened again. Long before those shows were a gleam on some site’s server, Ron Moore reinvented “Battlestar Galactica” by taking the best of what he’d learned in a long career as a writer for various “Star Trek” TV series and blowing up the rest. I really wish streaming executives wouldn’t valorize throwing out the baby with the bathwater, at least not until their rosters have more shows like “Transparent” and “OITNB” and “Battlestar Galactica” and fewer sludge piles like “Hand of God” and “Marco Polo.”

Quality control matters in television; look at how USA nurtured “Mr. Robot” into an accessible yet deeply adventurous show, and the showrunners of “The Americans” often talk about how executive input helped the show go from good to great, to name just two examples. And this concept matters even more when you think about the fact that Amazon and Netflix — like many networks — are ramping up their content machines. The efficacy of quality control is partly related to volume, and it’s moderately terrifying that this phenomenon of peak TV could result in 400 primetime scripted shows in 2015 alone.

 At TCA, Landgraf said he’s capping the number of shows FX and FXX make.

“I really don’t care how much money a business has to spend. As someone who struggles every day to program good and great television, who still reads nearly every script and watches every rough cut of every episode we program, I believe it’s impossible to maintain quality control with too many shows,” Landgraf said.

 His Peak TV speech contained a lot of food for thought, some of which good critics are still chewing on, but he’s right about that. Despite my fears for my sanity, I generally think Peak TV is a good thing — without it, we don’t get weird gems like “Rectify” and “BoJack” and a more diverse array of creators and protagonists. Given how many more shows are being made and how many of them have less experienced or inexperienced showrunners, however, now’s not the time for executives to just let people sink or swim, but signs of floundering are already all over the place. All in all, I am very concerned about whether we’re going to get more good TV, or just more TV. 

There are certain kinds of quality control that Netflix and Amazon executives seem amused by or appear to think is unnecessary. And stories of the excesses of overly controlling, uninspired and unhelpful networks executives are not hard to find and easy to mock, but the good ones are also partly responsible for sweetest fruits of the Commercial Television Machine. 

Of course, writers, actors and directors are incredibly important when it comes to a show’s quality, but knowing how to shepherd, shape and market a show — these are real and important skills. If you read Difficult Men and The Revolution Was Televised, you’ll come across many instances of writers doing their best to rebel against whatever network strictures had frustrated them in the past. But you’ll also come across TV executives who knew what they were doing and helped birth great shows and unquestionably helped turn those programs into the juggernauts that they became. These are the shows we all binged at some point or want to binge someday — and they didn’t appear by magic.

Covering TV for the past 15 years has taught me that the best shows tend to have two elements embedded in their DNA: Collaboration and tension. I don’t mean conflict, not exactly, which is not unknown on the sets of ambitious shows, of course. Conflict is inevitable when grown people work together on any project for any length of time. But what I’m referring to is the kind of creative tension that exists when people who work together don’t always agree but find ways to let the better and smarter ideas win. Sharp people questioning each other, pushing each other, testing each other and leading each other to epiphanies — those are among the conditions that can lead to great TV, and sometimes those exchanges involve executives who care and know television. They exist, and right about now, I wish there were more of them. Maybe they exist at Amazon and Netflix, but if so, I wish their bosses weren’t so disparaging of the work they were (possibly) hired to do.

Every writer I’ve ever spoken to has told stories about executive notes that were dumb — and notes that were brilliant. Dealing with feedback from an executive — even an executive a creator doesn’t much like — can force a writer to better articulate her vision. Probing questions can lead to stronger and clearer choices and even dumb questions can lead to breakthroughs. As Joss Whedon has said, “It’s very important to know when to stick to your guns, but it’s also very important to listen to absolutely everybody. The stupidest person in the room might have the best idea.”

Who is asking questions these days? How smart or dumb are the ideas under consideration? And is anyone listening? As we head into the uncharted waters of peak TV, those are some of the questions I have. 

Also on HuffPost:

For a constant stream of entertainment news and discussion, follow HuffPost Entertainment on Viber.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.




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Netflix, Binging And Quality Control In The Age Of Peak TV

Matt Singer posed a timely question today: Why is it that the original programs made by Netflix — the place that perfected binge-viewing — aren’t necessarily all that binge-able? 


By downplaying the importance of individual episodes in favor of longform narratives, the company has also downplayed the propulsive storytelling style and shocking cliffhangers that define the best binge-watch shows. A television show structured as a one giant 13-hour story can be highly absorbing. But without those big hooks and twists at the end of every episode, it’s very difficult to make it addictive.

Singer’s onto something here: I’ve spent the summer rewatching “The X-Files,” and there’s something about traditionally made, pre-“peak TV” dramas that often makes them deliciously binge-able. Writers on the kinds of shows that eventually made binging a thing were often under pressure from networks to hook viewers, through juicy relationship arcs, propulsive stories, exciting mythology reveals and hints that something big was coming in the next week. Not all good “binge-ers” have those elements, but many of the good ones are very good at serving up self-contained episodes, distinctive characters and moments so entertaining that you just want another hit of whatever they’re selling. 

Obviously television’s ambitions have expanded since the heyday of binge-inducers like “Alias,” “Lost” and “24,” and Netflix is among the many outlets testing the boundaries of what kinds of television can sustain an audience for a binge or a leisurely stroll, even as TV redefines what success means in an era of micro-niches and all manner of nonlinear viewing opportunities.

That said, my first reaction to Singer’s piece on the binge-resistance of Netflix’s dramas consisted of a question: I really wonder how much of that is intentional. It may not be a feature, but a bug.

Singer’s theory is that Netflix executives don’t really care if it takes a few months to watch one of their original series; that’s actually a good thing, if the slow pace keeps a subscription active. That makes sense from a business perspective, but, based on statements Netflix executives have made and the shows they’ve released, I wonder if that’s their primary intent.

My theory’s different: I think Netflix and Amazon executives give their creative types a lot of rope, and I’ve often had occasion to wonder is they’re giving them too much rope. It’s common for their dramas to get tangled up and slow down, even at the pilot stage, and in the middle of seasons, Netflix dramas often sag and meander, and — as Singer notes — they take a long time to work up a head of steam. 


My first reaction to Singer’s piece on the binge-resistance of Netflix’s dramas consisted of a question: I really wonder how much of that is intentional. It may not be a feature, but a bug.

But this isn’t just the case at streaming services: It’s happening a lot in the more ambitious realms of television. Maybe it’s just me, but when it comes to many shows, especially dramas, in the cable, pay-cable and streaming arenas, I see a trend toward laxness and a lack of energy and dynamic tension. There’s more ambition than in a derivative NBC or CBS procedural, sure, but there’s also often a lack of urgency within an episode and, most notably, over the course of a season.

It’s also fairly common to find that the character development is not strong and vivid enough to make me want to revisit these shows while they figure out how to crank up the narrative drive, as was the case with Amazon’s “Bosch” and USA’s “Complications.” I did finally begin to enjoy AMC’s “Halt and Catch Fire,” especially in its second season, but most people had checked out well before it kicked into high gear, and that may have doomed the show (though I hope not). 

Of course, it’s unfair to cherry-pick the best examples, but let’s face it, this wasn’t too often the case with with the best binge-ers the Commercial Television Machine produced. Even in a bad episode of “The X-Files” or “Lost,” the Mulder and Scully banter or the Hurley quips make up for a lot. Hence my current obsession with what I call B-movie TV: Genre fare that is smart and subversive but also energetic and not overly concerned with being Important. (The two best new shows of the year, Lifetime’s “UnREAL” and USA’s “Mr. Robot” may not neatly fit in the B-movie TV category, but both were pleasingly knotty, had great characters and were suspenseful from the jump. They’re binge-ers, for sure.)  

Sag and drift problems have cropped up throughout TV history, obviously. But I think it’s telling that it’s cropping up a lot lately, often at places that could and should know better (despite its great cast and terrific moments, I gave up on the rudderless “Masters of Sex” near the end of Season 2 and haven’t seen a compelling reason to jump back on board). As Todd VanDerWerff has pointed out, TV is fumbling for direction in the age of binging and stacking and all episodes of television existing simultaneously everywhere (well, not really, but it feels that way sometimes). So as TV figures out the creative implications of the nonlinear era, some sloppiness and experimentation is to be expected.

But I think there’s more to it than that. The competition for talent and the huge desire lock down hot writers while also trying to create Signature Programs has led to situations where executives have let way too much bad writing slide.

There’s an enormous scramble for content at the moment, so much so that multiple seasons are being ordered at an accelerated pace and it’s almost normal for shows to be renewed before they debut. That was decidedly not normal only a few years ago. But Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and any number of other new players have changed the game, just as cable did a decade or so ago.

As I’ve argued elsewhere, this is a good thing, overall. Not every show in Ye Olde Golden Age was a keeper, but almost every network was forced to raise its game and give writers more leeway. Hooray!

But there was sigh-inducing side to that revolution: There was too much imitation and a blind pursuit of uninspired dramas about tortured white guys. These days, as TV expands into what FX president John Landgraf has called peak TV, there’s a lot of great TV, but the signal-to-noise ratio is not necessarily heading in a reassuring direction. As TV competes to keep eyeballs on its ever-expanding array of content, we’re being subjected to a lot of empty spectacle and rote brand extension. And it’s worth pointing out, as Linda Holmes does in her great essay series on TV’s growing pains, that the kinds of people who get to make TV now are usually the kinds of people who always have gotten to make TV. Diversity is a buzzword executives know they should throw around these days, but their commitment to it seems tenuous at best.

So this revolution has its frustrations, among them the problems Singer neatly delineates. And given that the issues he noticed and I’ve described are mostly taking place in the streaming, cable and pay-cable arenas, the following statement mostly applies to them: Maybe its because they have too many shows to keep track of, or maybe it’s because they’re working with writers they think might try to get a better deal somewhere else, but I get the sense that a number of networks and executives are not exercising the quality control they used to. It’s a problem.

Too many times lately, with too many shows that are well cast and clearly expensive, I’ve wondered why the people in charge appear to be asleep at the switch. “Fear the Walking Dead” is repetitive and boring, but AMC wants to keep “Walking Dead” mogul Robert Kirkman in the corporate family, so that show’s going to be what Kirkman wants it to be, for good or ill. The last two seasons of “American Horror Story” haven’t been very good, but they’ve been noisy enough to get a lot of eyeballs, and FX wants to be in business with Ryan Murphy, so that show will continue to be variable and frustrating (and maybe occasionally excellent, who knows). “Bloodline” assembled various prestige TV markers without going anywhere all that compelling with them, but it seems like the kind of show Netflix should be making — and if they didn’t make it, someone else might — so it got renewed. And so on.

The power dynamics in the industry are unstable — only in certain places, of course, and only for certain people. But the current scramble for talent has given some writer/producers more power than these kinds of folks have ever had in the past, and the side effects of that development aren’t always good. For one thing, in part due to talent flight, drama pilots on the broadcast networks have been mostly lame and terrible for years, with a few rare exceptions, because those who don’t want to deal with a lot of network interference are going elsewhere. (The CW, which has been on a roll, is the exception among the broadcast networks, but that’s a story for another day.)


The current scramble for talent has given some writer/producers more power than these kinds of folks have ever had in the past, and the side effects of that development aren’t always good.

As many writer/producers head to what they perceive to be greener pastures, executives are doing whatever they can to lock down talent, and the end result of this whole process can sometimes be self-indulgent and lazy television. Drift, repetition and laxness are things a good executive can spot, catch and help correct. With the good or improving shows, that’s likely at least part of what’s happening. Given the glut of bad, lazy or directionless dramas, that’s not happening enough, or some creatives just aren’t listening. When a drama like “True Detective” goes that off-course and wastes that much potential, it’s not just a chance to have fun with memes and hashtags, it’s a sign that something has seriously gone awry in the quality-control systems that helped TV get to where it is now. 

HBO, once the strutting king of the TV scene, can’t openly criticize newcomer Nic Pizzolatto, lest he bolt and the network’s reputation as a welcoming haven for top talent take a hit. Netflix and Amazon go further: They openly celebrate their hands-off approaches. Executives at both places have basically said that because they’re not married to the usual commercial television models, they’re letting their talent do … whatever. 

“We are not really in the solid outcome business, you know,” Amazon Studios head Roy Price said at an Amazon executive panel at the Television Critics Association press tour recently. “We are not really in the programming business.”

“It’s not the intent to draw the biggest audience from any single show,” Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos said at TCA. “The shows are built and designed and we invest in them based on the audience that we believe the show can attract. And it’s successful if it attracts that audience segment.”

Joe Lewis, Amazon’s comedy chief, said something similar: “I think we are … just looking for shows that are our customers’ favorites.”

That all sounds good, in theory. And in practice, it’s occasionally resulted in wonderful television. Netflix’s “BoJack Horseman” is as weird a concoction as I can think of, but it’s incisive and funny even as it goes to some heartbreaking places. I’m glad that Amazon is betting big on “The Man in the High Castle,” which may supply the smart sci-fi I’ve been searching for. And of course, all of television is a crapshoot; most shows fail, good ones are always hard to make and great ones are always rare.

But these streaming executives are indicating that they think non-interference is the only way to get good shows.

“[W]e built the company on this in this internal culture of freedom and responsibility, and we really did apply that to our showrunners too,” Sarandos said at TCA. “We decided it would be our role not to coach the creatives because it really wasn’t our wheelhouse. It was going to be our role to pick the right projects, pick the right worlds, pick the right talent to run those shows, and then really try to create an environment for them to do the best work of their lives.”

This statement kind of floored me, honestly. If the executives not there to make shows better, what are they there for? Also, can I have an executive job at Netflix? Because I would really like to make a lot of money to not do things. They give many millions to those making their shows, but telling them how to spend that money wisely? LOL, pass. 

Of course, some of this is just the kind of chest-thumping tech-exec hyperbole that “Silicon Valley” lampoons so well. And that’s the analogy I’ll stick with: Amazon and Netflix executives don’t seem to consider themselves TV executives, and it may be more useful to think of them as the kinds of guys who run Uber and other boastful, well-funded startups. They hacked television, bro, and they’re going to do it better.

Except … really? They think they’re going to do it better than the kinds of people responsible for the Commercial Television Machine? I mean, maybe someday they will, and if they get to that point, break out the Champagne. But their track record isn’t nearly there yet, and it’s more than a little grating that they’re so dismissive of the kind of TV-making processes that led to the creation of so many good and great shows — the very binge-able content they so eagerly bought up and built their businesses on top of. 

And that brings me back to my reaction to Singer’s essay, which boils down to this: Giving people a lot of rope is not necessarily how the best TV gets made. It can produce good results, in the hands of a disciplined professionals who know what to do with that freedom — and what not to do with it. If the discipline, vision and restraint are lacking and are not supplied by the showrunner or by executives, the results are usually ponderous messes (“House of Cards,” “Hand of God,” “Low Winter Sun”).

It’s worth noting that Jill Soloway (“Transparent”) and Jenji Kohan (“Orange Is the New Black”), who created the best shows in the streaming realms, are longtime veterans of the Commercial Television Machine. And all that has happened before has happened again. Long before those shows were a gleam on some site’s server, Ron Moore reinvented “Battlestar Galactica” by taking the best of what he’d learned in a long career as a writer for various “Star Trek” TV series and blowing up the rest. I really wish streaming executives wouldn’t valorize throwing out the baby with the bathwater, at least not until their rosters have more shows like “Transparent” and “OITNB” and “Battlestar Galactica” and fewer sludge piles like “Hand of God” and “Marco Polo.”

Quality control matters in television; look at how USA nurtured “Mr. Robot” into an accessible yet deeply adventurous show, and the showrunners of “The Americans” often talk about how executive input helped the show go from good to great, to name just two examples. And this concept matters even more when you think about the fact that Amazon and Netflix — like many networks — are ramping up their content machines. The efficacy of quality control is partly related to volume, and it’s moderately terrifying that this phenomenon of peak TV could result in 400 primetime scripted shows in 2015 alone.

 At TCA, Landgraf said he’s capping the number of shows FX and FXX make.

“I really don’t care how much money a business has to spend. As someone who struggles every day to program good and great television, who still reads nearly every script and watches every rough cut of every episode we program, I believe it’s impossible to maintain quality control with too many shows,” Landgraf said.

 His Peak TV speech contained a lot of food for thought, some of which good critics are still chewing on, but he’s right about that. Despite my fears for my sanity, I generally think Peak TV is a good thing — without it, we don’t get weird gems like “Rectify” and “BoJack” and a more diverse array of creators and protagonists. Given how many more shows are being made and how many of them have less experienced or inexperienced showrunners, however, now’s not the time for executives to just let people sink or swim, but signs of floundering are already all over the place. All in all, I am very concerned about whether we’re going to get more good TV, or just more TV. 

There are certain kinds of quality control that Netflix and Amazon executives seem amused by or appear to think is unnecessary. And stories of the excesses of overly controlling, uninspired and unhelpful networks executives are not hard to find and easy to mock, but the good ones are also partly responsible for sweetest fruits of the Commercial Television Machine. 

Of course, writers, actors and directors are incredibly important when it comes to a show’s quality, but knowing how to shepherd, shape and market a show — these are real and important skills. If you read Difficult Men and The Revolution Was Televised, you’ll come across many instances of writers doing their best to rebel against whatever network strictures had frustrated them in the past. But you’ll also come across TV executives who knew what they were doing and helped birth great shows and unquestionably helped turn those programs into the juggernauts that they became. These are the shows we all binged at some point or want to binge someday — and they didn’t appear by magic.

Covering TV for the past 15 years has taught me that the best shows tend to have two elements embedded in their DNA: Collaboration and tension. I don’t mean conflict, not exactly, which is not unknown on the sets of ambitious shows, of course. Conflict is inevitable when grown people work together on any project for any length of time. But what I’m referring to is the kind of creative tension that exists when people who work together don’t always agree but find ways to let the better and smarter ideas win. Sharp people questioning each other, pushing each other, testing each other and leading each other to epiphanies — those are among the conditions that can lead to great TV, and sometimes those exchanges involve executives who care and know television. They exist, and right about now, I wish there were more of them. Maybe they exist at Amazon and Netflix, but if so, I wish their bosses weren’t so disparaging of the work they were (possibly) hired to do.

Every writer I’ve ever spoken to has told stories about executive notes that were dumb — and notes that were brilliant. Dealing with feedback from an executive — even an executive a creator doesn’t much like — can force a writer to better articulate her vision. Probing questions can lead to stronger and clearer choices and even dumb questions can lead to breakthroughs. As Joss Whedon has said, “It’s very important to know when to stick to your guns, but it’s also very important to listen to absolutely everybody. The stupidest person in the room might have the best idea.”

Who is asking questions these days? How smart or dumb are the ideas under consideration? And is anyone listening? As we head into the uncharted waters of peak TV, those are some of the questions I have. 

Also on HuffPost:

For a constant stream of entertainment news and discussion, follow HuffPost Entertainment on Viber.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.




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What’s Expiring On Netflix In March 2015?

Nothing lasts forever, which means some of your favorite Netflix titles are leaving the site come March. Take this chance to watch the flicks waiting in your queue one last time before they go out of rotation. (If you still haven’t seen “The Graduate,” even though you really keep meaning to, act now.)

This list is tentative and subject to change. HuffPost Entertainment will attempt to keep the list as current as possible.

Movies and Specials
“3 Ninjas: Kick Back”
“Air Bud”
“Anaconda”
“Arachnophobia”
“Brokedown Palace”
“Cheech & Chong’s Nice Dreams”
“Cool Runnings”
“Desperado”
“Dumb and Dumber”
“Emma”
“Evita”
“Fireproof”
“Freaky Friday”
“Fright Night”
“Girlfight”
“Honey, I Shrunk the Kids”
“Jackass: Number Two”
“Lords of Dogtown”
“Old Yeller”
“Ordinary People”
“Out of Time”
“Pretty in Pink”
“Rachel Getting Married”
“Riding in Cars with Boys”
“Robin Hood: Men in Tights”
“RoboCop 2”
“RoboCop 3”
“Saving Silverman”
“Seven”
“Swiss Family Robinson”
“The Baby Sitters Club”
“The Blair Witch Project”
“The Graduate”
“The Possession”
“The Sweetest Thing”
“Troop Beverly Hills”
“Uptown Girls” (March 2)
“The Preacher’s Wife” (March 3)
“The Muppet Movie” (March 5)
“Flubber” (March 11)
“The Grey” (March 12)
“House on Haunted Hill” (March 15)
“Muppet Treasure Island” (March 15)
“The Tale of Despereaux” (March 16)
“Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion” (March 22)
“Legends of the Fall” (March 31)

TV Shows
“Adventure Time,” Seasons 1-4 (March 30)
“Ben 10,” Seasons 1-3 (March 30)
“Children’s Hospital,” Seasons 1-2 (March 30)
“Codename: Kids Next Door,” Seasons 4-6 (March 30)
“Cow and Chicken,” Season 2 (March 30)
“Dexter’s Laboratory,” Seasons 3-4 (March 30)
“Dude, What Would Happen?”, Season 2 (March 30)
“Ed, Edd ‘n; Eddy,” Seasons 3-4 (March 30)
“Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, Season 2 (March 30)
“Johnny Bravo,” Season 2 (March 30)
“Regular Show,” Seasons 1-4 (March 30)
“Robot Chicken,” Seasons 1-2 (March 30)
“Samurai Jack,” Season 2 (March 30)
“The Grim Adventures of Bill & Mandy,” Seasons 3-4 (March 30)

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Catch These 10 Movies Before They Leave Netflix in 2015

The good news: We are just five short days away from every.single.season of Friends debuting on Netflix. The bad news: The first day of 2015 also marks a mass exodus of nearly 60 movies from…




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Netflix Postpones Launch Of Bill Cosby Comedy Special

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Netflix says it is postponing Bill Cosby’s upcoming standup comedy special.

A spokesperson for the company says it is postponing the launch of “Bill Cosby 77.” This follows accusations that Cosby has sexually assaulted several women.

Cosby has remained silent, and his attorney, John P. Schmitt, issued a statement Sunday saying his client would not dignify “decade-old, discredited” claims of sexual abuse with a response.

The 77-year-old Cosby was never criminally charged in any case.
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Adam Sandler To Make 4 New Movies For Netflix

Netflix has taken another huge step into originally content, signing comic/actor Adam Sandler to a four-movie deal that could see the first release as early as next year.

““People love Adam’’s films on Netflix and often watch them again and again,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement released online. “His appeal spans across viewers of all ages — everybody has a favorite movie, everyone has a favorite line — not just in the U.S. but all over the world.”

Sandler joked on Twitter and Instagram that he was trying to sign up for Netflix, and signed the four-picture deal instead:

““When these fine people came to me with an offer to make four movies for them, I immediately said ‘yes’ for one reason and one reason only…,” Sandler said in a statement released by the company. “Netflix rhymes with Wet Chicks. Let the streaming begin!!!!””

Variety reports that Sandler’s Happy Madison productions will develop the films with Netflix, and that the first could start streaming in 2015.

Earlier this week, Netflix announced its first original film, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend.” That movie is set for release on both Netflix and in select IMAX theaters on Aug. 28, 2015.
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