Ted SarandosLatest News and Opinion
Posted Saturday 1/19/19 at 6:13AM EST
Netflix sending a 20-pound box of DVD screeners may have led to TV Academy to scrap the screener practice
Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos hated sending out all those DVD screeners, but the problem was he had to keep up with his competitors. "It was a game of Screener Chicken, and no one wanted to blink," he said last year. That's where the TV Academy decided to step in and get rid of DVD screeners altogether.
Posted Monday 12/17/18 at 1:35PM EST
Channing Dungey officially joins Netflix
The outgoing ABC Entertainment president will reunite with Shonda Rhimes and Kenya Barris on Netflix -- after working closely with them as ABC -- in the position of vice president of originals. It was just one month ago that Dungey, the first black woman to lead a broadcast network, announced she was stepping down as ABC Entertainment president five months after she made headlines for firing Roseanne Barr and canceling the Roseanne revival. Dungey will report to Cindy Holland, who will share the same title as Dungey. As Deadline reports, "in this newly created role, Dungey will partner with Holland in setting strategy for Netflix’s original series and will oversee a large and key portion of the slate, including some of the company’s overall deals with such top writer-producers as Shonda Rhimes, Jenji Kohan, Kenya Barris, Steven DeKnight, Marti Noxon, as well as Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions which has a deal there." Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said of Dungey's hiring: “Channing is a creative force whose taste and talent have earned her the admiration of her peers across the industry. She’s a risk taker and ground-breaker and talent love working with her. I couldn’t be happier to welcome her to Netflix."
Posted Monday 12/03/18 at 5:56PM EST
Friends is staying on Netflix, at least for now
Fans of Friends reruns on Netflix series went into a tizzy after a message on Netflix's Friends page stated that the series was "Available Until 01/01/2019," which led to a petition to save Friends on Netflix. Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos told The Hollywood Reporter today the "departure is a rumor." The message has since been deleted from the Netflix Friends page. The message seemed believable because WarnerMedia is planning to launch its own streaming service, and it is believed that Friends will be major part of its package. But Entertainment Weekly and Variety are reporting that there may be talks between Netflix and Warner Bros. TV for the streaming service to retain the streaming rights. Friends, which debuted on Netflix on Jan. 1, 2019, has been one of its most popular shows. UPDATE: Netflix tweets Friends will be available "throughout 2019."
Posted Tuesday 10/09/18 at 6:10PM EDT
Netflix boss says "I hope so" when asked if Barack and Michelle Obama will appear on their TV shows
“They have their eyes on film and television, fiction and non-fiction,” says chief content officer Ted Sarandos. “They want to do programming, storytelling that fits in with what they did during the presidency, obviously.” The Obamas, he adds, plan to cover everything from sports to lifestyle to nutrition — but not politics.
Posted Wednesday 10/03/18 at 12:45PM EDT
Netflix to adapt The Chronicles of Narnia
C.S. Lewis’ iconic book series is poised to become the next big fantasy TV sensation. Netflix announced this morning it will develop The Chronicles of Narnia into TV series and films as part of a multi-year deal between the streaming service and The C.S. Lewis Company. The seven Narnia books have sold more than 100 million copies and have been translated into more than 47 languages. The Chronicles of Narnia was adapted for the TV screen as a series of BBC serials in the late 1980s and as movies in the 2000s. “C.S. Lewis’ beloved Chronicles of Narnia stories have resonated with generations of readers around the world,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos in a statement. “Families have fallen in love with characters like Aslan and the entire world of Narnia, and we’re thrilled to be their home for years to come.”
Posted Friday 9/14/18 at 11:17PM EDT
Even if you're a Norm Macdonald fan, you have to admit: Netflix's Norm Macdonald Has a Show is a disaster
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Norm Macdonald is an acquired taste. Yet Tim Goodman, who says he's been a fan of just about everything the SNL alum has done, found his new Netflix show to be lacking. "Norm Macdonald Has a Show, his new Netflix series, is pretty terrible," says Goodman. "It's labor-intensive to get through. In the moments when it's disastrously bad, you wonder if that's the joke; given that Macdonald is notoriously adherent to anti-jokes and anti-stories as a conceit, it's at least a possibility. But no. Netflix basically thought the concept of his podcast — Norm Macdonald Live, with co-host Adam Eget, who reprises his role here of laughing uproariously, often without cause — would make a good show. And since Macdonald frequently mentions Netflix's Ted Sarandos in the premiere, it's quite possible this series lives because Sarandos liked it and said sure, why not, which is an operating principle that has worked way more often than it has failed over at the streaming Death Star."
- Norm Macdonald Has a Show was built to feed the needs and reinforce the perspective of a single person: Norm Macdonald
- It feels more like a freewheeling podcast that got filmed for posterity
- Too many of Macdonald's guests have ties to Netflix
- Macdonald excels with sometimes provocative questions -- "Do you miss cocaine?" -- while Jane Fonda's episode is one of the best TV episodes of the year
- Macdonald was smart to shun topicality on his show -- because, as he learned this week, topicality gets him into trouble
- Macdonald admits he's out of step with comedy -- he has yet to watch Seinfeld, 30 Rock or "The Amy Poehler show"
- Macdonald always wanted a talk show. "I thought I wanted one," he says. "It’s fun, but once I got it I realized how difficult it is"
- Macdonald was wrong to denounce Hannah Gadsby's Nanette without watching it because, like him, it's similarly idiosyncratic
- Macdonald's initial #MeToo disparagement proves that the world stage has always belonged to guys like him
Posted Friday 7/13/18 at 2:51AM EDT
Emmy nominations showed some progress, but voters were still too reliant on old favorites
The Emmy nominations announced Thursday showed that "the industry and its members are still broadening their scope in terms of the voices and types of shows they recognize, which counts as progress," says Jen Chaney. "But there’s also still a repetitive quality in the nominations that has been endemic to the Emmys basically since forever and hasn’t quite gone away." Modern Family was finally dropped from the outstanding comedy series category, but every outstanding drama series contender this year has been nominated in the category before. "While most if not all of them are deserving, that speaks to a long-standing trend of carbon-copy voting," she says. She also points out that the same seven reality competition series were also re-nominated from last year. The outstanding variety talk series remained nearly identical from last year, too, with the exception of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah replacing Real Time with Bill Maher. The rubber-stamping is especially flagrant in the outstanding animated series category, which has often featured South Park and The Simpsons since the 1990s -- while rejecting groundbreaking animated shows like BoJack Horseman (Rick and Morty earned its first nomination in that category on Thursday). "I said this last year, I’m saying it now, and I’ll probably say it again at roughly this same time in 2019: the television landscape is enormous and the Emmy nominations recognize only a fraction of it," says Chaney. "That’s inevitable to an extent. There’s simply too much to nominate everything that’s deserving. But while Emmy voters are recognizing more of the breadth of quality viewing that exists, they could still do even better. More than anything, they need to be more daring, something that is, admittedly, hard to do when a persistent chunk of your voting block leans toward old favorites."
- Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos on his groundbreaking day: "I’m most happy that the nominations were spread out among 40 different shows"
- Freshman comedies had their best showing in two decades, while no freshman dramas were nominated for outstanding drama series
- Late-night hosts react to Emmy nominations: Jimmy Kimmel poked fun at ABC while celebrating his show's two noms
- This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman is honored to have the only network show up for best drama series: "To be popular and well-regarded by fancy people is exciting because it means we’re threading a very fine needle"
- This was the last chance for Emmy voters to pay proper respect to The Americans, and they did the bare minimum
- Comedy has benefitted the most from Peak TV, and TV Academy is starting to recognize that
- Winners and Losers: Comedy was the big winner this year, Drama was the big loser
- Ozark was a big disappointment because Netflix sunk a lot of money into its Emmy campaign, expecting it to become the next big awards competitor
Posted Monday 6/11/18 at 8:19AM EDT
Inside Netflix's "binge factory," which has upended television by replacing demographics with "taste clusters"
According to Josef Adalian's deep dive into Netflix, the streaming service relies on "taste clusters," described as "predicating programming decisions on immense amounts of data about true viewing habits, not estimated ones. It has discovered ways to bundle enough niche viewers to make good business out of fare that used to play only to tiny markets." “Nothing is too niche,” says Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. “It’s just relative to what it costs. We can put a smaller show on the air and support the economics through subscriptions, but it’s not infinite. Eventually, there’s opportunity cost.” Adalian adds: "Mysterious though it may seem, Netflix operates by a simple logic, long understood by such tech behemoths as Facebook and Amazon: Growth begets more growth begets more growth. When Netflix adds more content, it lures new subscribers and gets existing ones to watch more hours of Netflix. As they spend more time watching, the company can collect more data on their viewing habits, allowing it to refine its bets about future programming." Or as Sarandos puts it, “more shows, more watching; more watching, more subs; more subs, more revenue; more revenue, more content."
Posted Tuesday 5/29/18 at 6:28PM EDT
Netflix boss: Our Obama deal doesn't mean we're becoming "the Obama Network"
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
"It's not The Obama Network, it's not the MSNBC shift," Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos, a Democrat, said at the Paley Center for Media in New York. "There's no political slate to the programming." Sarandos did acknowledge that "it's hard to argue there's not a left lean to the creative community." But he says he pursued the Obamas because "I didn't want to see that deal go anywhere else, because I think they're going to be great at it."
Posted Monday 5/21/18 at 1:08PM EDT
The Obamas ink deal to produce TV shows and movies for Netflix
Barack and Michelle Obama have officially signed on for a multiyear Netflix production deal. It was first reported on March 8 that the former president and first lady were in advanced talks to "produce a series of high-profile shows that will provide (them) a global platform." On Monday, Netflix announced that the Obamas will work on potential scripted and unscripted series, including documentary series. According to an article in The New York Times, "the former president has told associates that he does not intend to use the new platform to wage a public campaign against his successor in the Oval Office, or to fight against conservative media outlets like Fox News." In a statement, President Obama said: "One of the simple joys of our time in public service was getting to meet so many fascinating people from all walks of life, and to help them share their experiences with a wider audience. That’s why Michelle and I are so excited to partner with Netflix – we hope to cultivate and curate the talented, inspiring, creative voices who are able to promote greater empathy and understanding between peoples, and help them share their stories with the entire world.” Michelle Obama added: “Barack and I have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire us, to make us think differently about the world around us, and to help us open our minds and hearts to others. Netflix’s unparalleled service is a natural fit for the kinds of stories we want to share, and we look forward to starting this exciting new partnership.”
Posted Monday 5/14/18 at 11:28PM EDT
Netflix boss: Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy "don't care" about viewership numbers
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
"They don't want to know," says Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. "In fact, there's great comfort that comes from not having this arbitrary apples-to-oranges measurement against other things on television. If we're happy, they're happy."
Posted Monday 5/07/18 at 5:09PM EDT
Netflix boss: "it's not humanly possible anymore" for me to watch everything on my streaming service
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Chief content officer Ted Sarandos admits even he can't watch all the shows on Netflix. Asked by The Hollywood Reporter how he keeps up, he confessed: "Not very well sometimes. I have an amazing team. And more than that, an amazing team that's super empowered, that can make those decisions. There was a time when I got to watch every cut and read every draft, and I don't even think — it's not humanly possible anymore." Sarandos made his comments at a For Your Consideration Emmy campaign event featuring a nearly 200-strong red carpet representing nearly 60 different Netflix programs, from Dave Chappelle to the stars of G.L.O.W., American Vandal and 13 Reasons Why.
Posted Wednesday 4/18/18 at 6:54AM EDT
Stranger Things taps Cary Elwes and Jake Busey for Season 3
The Princess Bride star Elwes will play Mayor Kline and Gary Busey's son will join the cast as Bruce, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos announced, without revealing further details on their characters.
Posted Friday 3/09/18 at 2:00PM EST
Norm Macdonald will host Netflix's Norm Macdonald Has a Show from executive producer David Letterman
Source: Entertainment Weekly
The former Saturday Night Live "Weekend Update" anchor-turned-podcast host announced the news that he previously hinted about on Twitter, posting his text exchange confirming the deal with Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. Letterman will serve as executive producer, or "location scout" on the talk show, which will feature Macdonald, sidekick Adam Eget and a celebrity guest, featuring “great and unexpected conversation, jokes, and a behind-the-scenes look at Norm’s world." Netflix has ordered 10 episodes to premiere later this year or early next year.
Posted Thursday 3/08/18 at 9:15PM EST
Former President Obama is in advanced talks to produce and appear in TV shows for Netflix
Source: The New York Times
The New York Times reports that the proposed deal, which is not yet finalized, would have Barack and Michelle Obama creating exclusive content for the streaming service that would be available to Netflix's 118 million subscribers. "Mr. Obama does not intend to use his Netflix shows to directly respond to President Trump or conservative critics, according to people familiar with discussions about the programming," reports The Times. "They said the Obamas had talked about producing shows that highlight inspirational stories. But the Netflix deal, while not a direct answer to Fox News or Breitbart.com, would give Mr. Obama an unfiltered method of communication with the public similar to the audiences he already reaches through social media, with 101 million Twitter followers and 55 million people who have liked his Facebook page." Potential shows include the former president moderating discussions, the former first lady championing topics like nutrition and the ability to lend their name and brand to projects such as documentaries. The Times reports that Apple and Amazon also expressed interest in signing the Obamas, but the former president is particularly close to Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos, whose wife served as his ambassador to the Bahamas. It was on Netflix that Obama submitted to his first televised interview since leaving office, on My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman.