Posts Tagged ‘netflix’

Review: ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ Lands on Netflix

March 4, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

“Star Wars” is always better when it leans toward its darker side, and that’s certainly true of the batch of “The Clone Wars” episodes, dubbed “The Lost Missions,” premiering exclusively on Netflix. A huge coup given the importance of fan passion in driving subscription enterprises, these episodes are more adult in tone than many past... Read more

Read More

FX Is the Edgiest and Most Prolific Drama Producer on Ad-Supported TV

March 3, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Not so long ago, the prospect of an established actor accepting a role on a television series was as remote as the moons of Saturn. Backsliding from film to the boob tube was a tacit admission of defeat, one that could only lead to the purgatory that was a seat inside a garishly lit 6-foot-square window, flanked by your newfound friends and peers Dixie Carter and ALF. Billy Bob Thornton remembers it well. “When I was coming up, we all did television initially, and that was OK,” he says, speaking from the Calgary set of Fargo , an adaptation of Joel and Ethan Coen’s 1996 theatrical . “I’d get a bit part on Hunter or Matlock or Evening Shade, but if you were already established and you did TV, it meant the next stop was Hollywood Squares.” While certainly in no danger of fading into the long twilight of syndicated game-show obscurity, Thornton says the changing face of the independent film marketplace has made it increasingly difficult to tell the stories he’d like to pursue as a writer and an actor. “The $20-30 million adult drama, the medium-budget independent film, is a vanishing breed,” Thornton says. “Especially an adult drama with humor, which is my wheelhouse. Television has taken the place of those films. And there’s nothing wrong with that.”

Read More

Production Companies Can Influence TV Networks

February 18, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Good news! Fox’s kicky comedy New Girl is now on Netflix and Hulu . Bad news! If you want to catch up, it’s time to get cable. Like many of its peers, Fox has adopted the “trailing five” model for its big shows on Hulu, notably the Zooey Deschanel vehicle (past seasons of which recently debuted on Netflix). Briefly, that means that if you want to catch up on New Girl from the beginning, you need to subscribe to a cable/satellite/telco TV service in order to watch every episode—otherwise, you can only access the most recent five episodes on a nonauthenticated service (eight for The Simpsons). Neither the networks nor producers wanted to talk on the record about this, but the ideal setup is mostly gleaned from historical data. “The Turner networks, a few months ago, acknowledged that making kids’ content available to Netflix maybe hurt their ratings,” said Brian Wieser, senior research analyst with Pivotal. Yet serialized dramas frequently gain viewership with a large digital presence—Breaking Bad, for example, got a major helping hand from Netflix. But production companies and the networks aren’t always going to agree on terms for digital rights. Serial sci-fi drama Almost Human, for example, is produced by Warner Bros. Television, though it’s broadcast on Fox—WBTV only makes five episodes available at a time. Revolution—another Warner Bros. show—trails five as well. It’s hard to imagine these shows wouldn’t benefit from a greater digital presence, but the value proposition for Hulu is strong, too.

Read More

Netflix to Raise $400 Mil in Additional Debt to Fund Original Content, Euro Expansion

February 4, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Netflix formally announced it is seeking to offer $400 million aggregate principal amount of senior notes due 2024 to institutional investors, coin it expects to use for acquiring original content and expanding into Europe. The Internet streaming leader had disclosed plans to raise the additional debt when it reported fourth-quarter 2013 earnings last month. As... Read more

Read More

Super Bowl: Netflix Traffic Fell 20% in First Half, But Bounced Back to Normal Levels

February 3, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Sunday’s Super Bowl evidently pulled Netflix subscribers away from the streaming video service early in the game — but as the Seattle Seahawks padded their lead over the Denver Broncos, Netflix usage returned to regular levels, according to an analysis of Internet traffic patterns during the game. Netflix usage dropped as much a 20% during... Read more

Read More

TV Review: ‘House of Cards’ – Season Two

January 30, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

The first season of “House of Cards” achieved the dual feat of instantly emerging as a first-rate drama while simultaneously being seriously overrated – riding the “Netflix reinvents TV” angle and juicy inside-the-Beltway bits to front-page coverage. No fools they, season two generally proceeds with more of the same, exhibiting a show with abundant strengths... Read more

Read More

No Ads for New Nickelodeon Channel (Yet)

January 15, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

My Nickelodeon Jr. is set to launch on Verizon in the coming months—and presumably on other systems soon thereafter—but there's one thing you won't be seeing on the network at launch: advertisements. The network is a hybrid digital/linear offering that will sit next to toddler-focused Nick Jr. on the Verizon dial, but won't feature that net's sponsor support (Nick Jr. doesn't have interstitial ads, but it does run sponsored spots aimed at parents between shows). Programming will be Nick library content, at least initially. The new network will be programmable, along seven pre-made tracks with names like "super-sonic science" and "get creative," according to The Wall Street Journal , which broke the news this morning. Viacom tested the channel in France last year, where it said results were encouraging. Interestingly, within the WSJ article is one of the few times a Viacom exec has admitted that part of the precipitous viewer decline at Nick a few years ago (from which it has in large part recovered) may have been its own strategy of selling content to over-the-top distributors like Netflix. "You haven't seen that cannibalization effect" president and chief exec of Viacom International Bob Bakish told the Journal. And a Viacom source tells Adweek that Nick hasn't ruled out the possibility of ad support just yet. It's getting less difficult to monetize digital content with traditional ratings measurements—Nielsen's DPR ratings product, which tracks mobile and digital viewership and ad delivery, launches this year, and the blended CPM programmers have been pushing in lieu of a real ratings metric may finally get pushed aside by something a little less jury-rigged. For parents, the new network is certainly a boon: it's an easy way to control not just the kid-friendliness but the specific content types your kid has access to on television. It's an interesting shot across Netflix's bow at a time when the streaming VOD provider is looking more threatening to kids' networks—the company's animated feature film spinoff, Turbo: FAST, premiered just three weeks ago, and it's bought a slew of kid and tween programming in recent months.

Read More

4K Is Great for Everybody Except the TV Networks

January 7, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Most of it you'll just see in the video, but Michael Bay was not able to make it through the presentation he was supposed to be giving in Las Vegas at CES 2014 because of what appeared to be a problem with the text crawl behind the audience. "The type is all off. Sorry. I'll just wing this," he said, before a brief, valiant attempt to improv his way through the introduction of Samsung's giant 105-inch curved-screen TV. Then he gave up. Video below courtesy of the quick-fingered Joshua Topolsky at the Verge . Bay later apologized, saying he'd skipped a line. He's not an improv comedian, people! Samsung's new TV will probably be the best place to watch the new season of House of Cards, as Netflix said it will definitely be streaming it in the super-duper-hi-def 4K format that was the belle of last year's CES ball. The streaming service announced partnerships with Samsung, Sony, LG and others; Amazon also announced a partnership with Samsung that includes content producers

Read More

Netflix Boosts CEO Reed Hastings Pay Package 50% in 2014 to $6 Mil

December 31, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Happy new year, Reed Hastings: The Netflix co-founder and CEO’s compensation package will climb 50% in 2014 after the company’s stock soared to record levels over the past year. Hastings, 53, will receive $3 million annual salary and $3 million in yearly stock options, Netflix disclosed in an SEC filing late Monday. That’s up from... Read more

Read More

Rdio Killed the Vdio Star

December 27, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Not even a year old, and already Vdio is taking a dirt nap. Rdio said on Friday that it is scrapping the nascent video-streaming platform with which it had hoped to take on Netflix and Hulu. “Despite our efforts, we were not able to deliver the differentiated customer experience we had hoped for, and so Vdio is now closed,” the company said in a message to users of the service. Evidently, Rdio’s bottom line has taken precedence over its dreams of becoming a global entertainment streaming platform.

Read More