Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Another news story that's bigger for Netflix than Arrested Development -- and this time in a good way

I have to admit, I was starting to wonder if Reed Hastings could do anything right.
DreamWorks Animation, trying to lessen its dependence on the volatile movie business by aggressively expanding into TV programming, has decided to forgo cable television in favor of Netflix.

In a multiyear deal announced early Monday, DreamWorks Animation will supply a flood of new episodic TV programs to the Internet streaming service. The partnership calls for 300 hours of original programming, perhaps the biggest commitment yet to bring Hollywood-caliber content to the Web first.

The new programs will be “inspired” by characters from past DreamWorks Animation franchises, which include “Shrek” and “The Croods,” and its coming feature films. Series will also come from Classic Media, which the studio bought last year. Classic Media’s holdings include characters like Casper the Friendly Ghost, Lassie, She-Ra and Mr. Magoo.
This doesn't solve all of Netflix's problems -- that's a long list -- and we don't know some very important details, but this does address quite a few of the biggest concerns. It gives them a producing partner with a proven track record that can greatly step up the company's current trickle.

Here's how big a bump. According to Wikipedia, these are the future programs currently announced by Netflix (boldface added):

John Hodgman: Ragnarok' Television special Stand-up comedy
Orange Is The New Black Series Comedy-drama July 11, 2013
Turbo: F.A.S.T. (Fast Action Stunt Team) Series Animation December 2013
Narcos Series Drama 2014
Shrek Series Animation 2014
The Croods Series Animation 2014
Kung Fu Panda Series Animation 2014
Sense8 Series Sci-Fi-Drama Late 2014

And, while this does not come close to filling the hole left by Nick, particularly with preschoolers (you do not want to be the one to tell a four-year-old no more Dora... ever), but it moves in the right direction.

And since this was obviously in the works for a while, it makes Netflix's "What, me worry?" response a little less disturbing.

UPDATE: Netflix continues to add to its preteen/teen listings. That's good news but it still doesn't address the bigger problem.

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