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Television

Netflix To Start Creating Original Content 169

Posted by samzenpus
from the let-the-streaming-wars-begin dept.
olsmeister writes "Netflix may be known for offering some of our favorite TV and movie streams, but the company is about to step up its game and begin offering original content. Netflix has allegedly outbid a number of major cable networks for a new drama series produced by and starring Kevin Spacey called House of Cards, and may be about to close a deal at more than $100 million, according to a report on Deadline.com."
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Netflix To Start Creating Original Content

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  • "MPAA Sues Netflix, Claims to Own Patent on "Monetization of Serialized Entertainment Video via Broadcast Medium""
    • by Tharsman (1364603)
      Don't tempt the devil!
    • by westlake (615356)

      "MPAA Sues Netflix, Claims to Own Patent on "Monetization of Serialized Entertainment Video via Broadcast Medium""

      Who do you suppose is going to produce content for Netflix?

      In 1954-1957, when ABC Television was an infant competitor to NBC and CBS, the gates were opened to Disney and Warner Brothers.

      Maverick and Zorrro.

      In the fifties and sixties, Desilu produced iconic TV shows like I Love Lucy, Star Trek, The Andy Griffith Show, Mission: Impossible, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Untouchables and I Spy.

      But the financial burden on a small independent studio is crushing. That is why you outsource production to the big

      • by rtb61 (674572)

        With the continuing fall in the price and continuing increase in the quality of CGI animation, the independent studios will make a major comeback and that's with direct distribution, studio to consumer, all middle men eliminated.

        The current CGI houses are in the best position to start producing direct to consumer content. They can even fiddle with the content investment model, selling micro investments in the particular piece of content to be distributed, now that will require some real regulatory monito

  • I don't have a Netflix account. I never had any motivation to get a Netflix account. But if Netflix bought up the rights to produce some new episodes of old cult classics such as Firefly, Stargate (SGU does not count as part of that series), Earth 2, Rugrats, Doug, Transformers cartoons, and, hell, maybe a new good Star Trek series, then I would seriously consider subscribing to an account.

    In other words Netflix, current networks are broadcasting crap, crap, and more crap. Broadcast something not-crap, a
    • by jeffmeden (135043)

      Earth 2? Really? Really. And not a single mention of Babylon 5? Ugh.

      • Babylon 5 is a completed story. Ditto Farscape. As much as I would love to see more of both, they're done. They told the story they were meant to.

        Now, if you want to do something else in the same universe... Crusade, for example...

    • by mrbcs (737902)
      Firefly has been added to netflix, Rug rats have a few seasons up. They have Stargate infinity (I know, not the same).

      I have found lots to see already and they seem to be adding more content all the time. It works perfectly in Canuckistan for me. $8. a month is well worth it, especially if you have little kids. There's lots of kid stuff and I love the fact that there is no commercials and they keep track of which episodes you've watched.

      They do have their fair share of stinker movies too, but I also like to

      • by nedlohs (1335013)

        Adding the firefly episodes to netflix is completely different thanproducing new episodes.

      • by mattack2 (1165421)

        How do they keep track of which episodes you've watched? You can only remove an entire season at a time.. not one by one.

        • by mrbcs (737902)
          When I log in, it remembers which episodes I've watched. It will automatically resume, which is awesome. If I am watching something, then just close the browser, it remembers and goes back to the same spot the next time I try to play it. I don't have to close or stop playing the show.

          I am in Canada, so it may be different from the states. I don't have anywhere to bookmark things I'd like to watch other than in Firefox. But once I've started watching something, Netflix puts it in my history which I can acc

    • by Hikaru79 (832891)
      What?! You mean, if Netflix spent a few more tens of millions of dollars just to purchase the rights to some old shows, not to mention the marginal costs associated with making them available on their platform, you might be willing to consider giving them $8 a month?!

      Hold on, I've got the CEO of Netflix on the line. He's obviously very intrigued by your generous offer; I think you guys just need a contract to make this commitment official, and he'll get his top people on this right away!
      • by steve_bryan (2671)

        I'll try not to shock you too badly, but the fact is that Netflix gets ALL of its revenue this way. One subscriber at a time. Netflix invests vast sums of capital to pursue new revenue. I've watched a few things on Netflix on my brother's Mac and did not find it quite compelling enough to subscribe. If new Firefly episodes were available I would be all over it. So would many, many more who discovered it on DVD after the fact. Enough to make it worthwhile to Netflix (or Amazon, Hulu, or Apple)? Hell yes!

        • you can add me to the list of people who found it on DVD after it was cancelled
          and to the list of people who would buy new episodes (even at a premium over my current $18/mo netflix sub).
          -nB

    • I love these types of comments: "If random company spends tons of money doing everything I want, I would consider paying them a small fee." The implication is the poster would also consider not paying for any of it. Not the most persuasive of arguments.

      • The implication is the poster would also consider not paying for any of it. Not the most persuasive of arguments.

        Well that's not true. I've already paid for most of it already. I own the boxed sets of DVD's of many of the shows I listed. My problem is that no companies are funding the development of new content that I like. So I don't pay current companies money because they don't provide anything of value to me. In other words, I am not one of their customers. The point of my post was to illustrate that there is probably some market out there for folks like me that are willing to fork over cash for the development o

        • "Consider" is the word you used. Perhaps I was wrong to assume you knew what it meant.

        • by PitaBred (632671)

          Netflix updates their content nearly daily... might be worth taking another look at what they offer. Their streaming stuff is good enough that we don't subscribe to cable any more. OTA for news and sports, otherwise everything is Netflix or on discs we own (that I ripped to our media center)

    • The biggest problem for some of the shows you mentioned is that the brain dead morons at the networks moved them unpredictably around to different time slots during a season and sometimes showed them out of order. It seems to be a repeated strategy to strangle ratings and kill a show.

      With Netflix, all of that BS goes away: you can watch when you want and in the order you want.

    • (SGU does not count as part of that series)

      You may jest, but if I recall, the producers of SGU haven't entirely given up, and are looking for someone other than SyFy to possibly pick up the series. I think they even mentioned "alternative venues" or something like that. Really, even though it's not your fav, the way they've picked up in this last season, SGU may be a great fit for Netflix.

      • You may jest, but if I recall, the producers of SGU haven't entirely given up, and are looking for someone other than SyFy to possibly pick up the series. I think they even mentioned "alternative venues" or something like that. Really, even though it's not your fav, the way they've picked up in this last season, SGU may be a great fit for Netflix.

        I don't get how people crap on syfy for canceling a series that they funded for 10 years. (I know you didn't actually say anything negative and that I am just rambling.)

    • by pkulak (815640)
      The Wire, Season 6!
    • by Americano (920576)

      They could buy up the rights to do something new, and then produce complete trash. Owning the rights to any of those shows doesn't guarantee the resulting new production will be worth a damn - sets, actors, crews, locations, budgets, effects - all could very easily change, and those changes aren't guaranteed to be improvements on the originals that you so fondly remember.

      I'd rather they go find new, interesting stories and focus on telling them well, rather than suffer through two years of "A FIREFLY CLASS

    • Netflix has all of Stargate, Sliders, Firefly, earth2, and many other things..
    • by westlake (615356)

      But if Netflix bought up the rights to produce some new episodes of old cult classics such as Firefly, Stargate...hell, maybe a new good Star Trek series, then I would seriously consider subscribing to an account.

      The reboot is from scratch and it costs a lot of money up front.

      The original sets and props have been sold or destroyed. The cast and production crew are retired or dead or have long since moved on to other projects.

      Production values of the original may be five to twenty-five years out-of-date or more.

      That is good enough for the audience of a Star Trek fan flick - but not good enough for the paying customers on an HBO subscription plan.

  • What they really need to do is make it so that your instant queue can have directories or something. For a company that says they were planning on the direct stream thing all along, they sure don't have that sophisticated of a saved queue.

  • by orson_of_fort_worth (871181) on Wednesday March 16, 2011 @04:14PM (#35507976)
    from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netflix [wikipedia.org]: "Through a division called Red Envelope Entertainment, Netflix licensed and distributed independent films such as Born into Brothels and Sherrybaby. As of late 2006, Red Envelope Entertainment also expanded into producing original content with filmmakers such as John Waters. Netflix announced plans to close Red Envelope Entertainment in 2008, in part to avoid competition with its studio partners."
    • by MrEricSir (398214)

      Yes, and it's kind of strange that both Ars and Slashdot did not mention this. Are our memories that short?

  • There's a reason I don't watch TV anymore, the creativity of the medium is approaching zero. Movies are pretty well already at zero, unless you indulge in the independent cinema, which is still capable of surprising you.

    Will Netflix go with risky indy thinking or will it hedge with Tried and True Copy-Cat entertainment?

    Someone else let me know, 'K? I'll be outside watching for rattlesnakes along the trail.

    • by fiannaFailMan (702447) on Wednesday March 16, 2011 @04:55PM (#35508492) Journal

      Will Netflix go with risky indy thinking or will it hedge with Tried and True Copy-Cat entertainment?

      Someone else let me know, 'K? I'll be outside watching for rattlesnakes along the trail.

      Netflix subscribers pay their subscription no matter how much or how little they watch. This gives NF the freedom to experiment and put a ton of content up there that their subscribers are free to watch. Whether or not an individual production is a hit or a miss is irrelevant, it simply adds to the huge array of content available on Netflix, and the bigger the amount of available content the more it encourages more people to sign up.

      I can see it now - trailers on TV advertising kick-ass looking movies followed by the caveat "Only available on Netflix instant download." If people start seeing enough of that then they're going to start thinking "there's something big happening on Netflix, and I'd sure like to see what it is."

      • by Nyder (754090)

        Wonder if they make movies like this: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1612774/ [imdb.com]

        After all, that is the best idea I have ever heard for a movie, evah!

        don't subscribe to netflix, won't ever. As long as the big studios keep making movies, I will keep downloading them.

        Until they change their business practises, I am NOT supporting them at all.

        Which is too bad for netflix, since I don't have anything against them, but I'm not paying them, so they can pay the shit head movie studios.

    • by PCM2 (4486)

      There's a reason I don't watch TV anymore, the creativity of the medium is approaching zero.

      Seriously? When were you born? Do you have any idea what TV was like before shows like The Sopranos, The Wire, Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire, The Walking Dead, Arrested Development, etc.? Just look at the difference between Battlestar Galactica (1978) and Battlestar Galactica (2004). Hell, even House is more intelligent and creative than pretty much any doctor show of the past (at least the first couple seasons were). At one time, for a "movie actor" to appear on a TV show was the career kiss of death, and

  • by Mr_eX9 (800448) on Wednesday March 16, 2011 @04:16PM (#35508010) Homepage

    This move puts Netflix in even more direct competition with traditional broadcasting/media companies than ever before--as if NBC-Comcast wasn't already looking to throttle YouTube and Netflix traffic to hell and back. Real net neutrality seems like it aligns with Netflix's business model--they may become a true defender of how many people here think the internet "should" work on top of their apparent desire to be a true independent alternative to old media.

    Is there a negative here that I'm not seeing? Does one of the big media companies secretly own Netflix?

    • by jgagnon (1663075)

      I'm betting Netflix is doing this BECAUSE the big media companies are trying to marginalize them. They seem to want Netflix and related content sites to be limited to reruns and the less profitable stuff that they no longer care about.

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      How about this? The sum total of Entertainment Value based upon Development and/or Possession of Natural Talent is being further diluted. The revolving door in Hollywood will spin faster as more young, pretty and vacuous actors enter the medium. At some point watching this media will compare unfavorably to watching a tomato rot in real time.

    • by Khomar (529552)

      The biggest threat that Netflix is going to face is the cost of bandwidth to the end users. Someone has to carry the cost of transmitting all of this video data across the Internet, and Netflix is rapidly becoming the biggest hog of them all. ISP's are no longer able to carry this cost and so will be looking to push it back to Netflix or onto their end users with higher prices. There is also the danger of the ISP's becoming their own content distribution centers and shutting out Netflix entirely.

      It shoul

  • Netflix isn't stupid. They want advertising revenue just like every other network. Why else would they do this? $100 million is a lot of money, if you are going to just "give it away" to Netflix subscribers.

    My guess is that the show will have ads. If you don't want ads, you can pay extra. Never mind that you are ALREADY paying for Netflix.

    • by Americano (920576)

      $8 per month per subscriber times 12 months in a year times 1,041,667 new subscribers equals 100 million dollars. Never mind promotional fees and product placement fees that companies could be paying them for placement in their original series; distribution deals with other outlets who pay a fee to show Netflix's new content, etc.

      They have roughly 20 million subscribers [netflix.com] according to their own investor relations page. Adding a million may take time, but it's not out of the realm of possibility that they'd

  • I won't be watching that piece of fei-oo. Finish Firefly. I can kill you with my brain.
    • by ackthpt (218170)

      I won't be watching that piece of fei-oo. Finish Firefly. I can kill you with my brain.

      Call me crazy, but could we please have a space-based scifi show which would be closer to the realities of space travel and habitation? I'm sure it would be more gripping than the cartoonish series we have had to put up with (Firefly aside, it's actually the one bright spot in the past 30 years.)

      • Call me crazy, but could we please have a space-based scifi show which would be closer to the realities of space travel and habitation? I'm sure it would be more gripping than the cartoonish series we have had to put up with (Firefly aside, it's actually the one bright spot in the past 30 years.)

        Watch NASA TV feeds of the ISS. Pretty damned boring. The very least they need to do is orbit Jewel Staite or Summer Glau.

      • Babylon 5 was relatively realistic. At least the ships moved as though they were in a vacuum, and not like aircraft.
  • Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey will star in and executive produce MRC's television series "House of Cards," TheWrap has confirmed.

    David Fincher, who was nominated for an Academy Award for directing "The Social Network," is directing the pilot and producing the show. Beau Willimon, who is attached to George Clooney's "Ides of March," wrote the pilot.

    Eric Roth, who wrote Fincher's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," is also an executive producer, as are Joshua Donen and Dana Brunetti also are executiv

    • "You might very well think that. I couldn't possibly comment."

      Well, actually I can, and I agree: "Americanizing" House of Cards will ruin it completely. It would be like making an American version of Doctor Who. Some things are just too sacrilegious to even consider.

    • Agreed. There are so many stories out there that would look good on the small screen that I can't fathom why media companies would spend fortunes just for the right to make a shitty version of something that already exists.

  • I would watch it. If it airs globally. I'm in Europe. If thats ok. I can't wait four years before it airs over here. I suppose so, because this is original content and releasing it globaly would only be in your benefit. Yay! Yay? Or is this wishful thinking..

    • Sky One started airing SGU in the UK 4 days after Syfy...
  • by OverlordQ (264228) on Wednesday March 16, 2011 @04:53PM (#35508458) Journal

    How about you add streaming to all the stuff you currently have first.

    • by dunezone (899268)
      Its not as easy as you think. All those films they stream they need to get licensed from the distributors. Then depending on the release of the film, the popularity, they might only be able to stream X number of times or for X number of days. The mail service is a legal renting system, they purchased 100 dvds so they can send out 100 dvds to 100 renters. Streaming is a different area because they could technically buy 1 dvd, rip it, and stream it 100 times but this wouldn't be legal so they have to get perm
  • FIREFLY (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Seumas (6865) on Wednesday March 16, 2011 @04:59PM (#35508540)

    Buy the rights to firefly and pump that shit out!

  • "House Of Cards" wouldn't be a political black comedy now would it?

    original content indeed.

    though i wouldn't mind seeing Spacey in the F.U. role.

  • Please help Marina Sirtis and Jonathan Frakes to make The Rikers In Space a real sitcom.

  • /. seems to be off by a ways here. Netflix already offers original content. There is a Zach Galifinakis special that is streaming and put out by Netflix.

    How old? http://www.imdb.com/company/co0144901/ [imdb.com]

    Producing content since 2005
  • Kind of reminds me of the path that movie channels like HBO, Showtime and AMC took. They all started out as just showing movies, but began to differentiate from each other by producing exclusive original content. And a lot that original content has been high quality stuff, like The Sopranos, The Wire, Mad Men, Breaking Bad. Maybe this will be the same way that distributors of online content will start to compete for customers?
  • Idiots! Should have bought the rights to Firefly.

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