×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Netflix to Expand Beyond Series Into Original Documentaries, Stand-Up Comedy Specials

Netflix is moving to mimic HBO even more closely: The Internet streaming service’s execs said they will widen the original programming beyond TV series to include documentaries as well as stand-up comedy specials.

“Over the last six months, our move into original programming has begun to redefine Netflix in the eyes of consumers,” CEO Reed Hastings and CFO David Wells said in a letter to shareholders discussing second quarter results.

In terms of relative size, about 5% of Netflix’s approximately $3 billion in content library net book value is for originals. That ratio could increase to 10% to 15% in the years ahead, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said at a recent investor conference.

Down the road, Netflix’s originals initiative will include “broadly appealing feature documentaries” and stand-up comedy specials. “Netflix has become a big destination for fans of these much loved and often under-distributed genres,” Hastings and Wells said.

SEE ALSO: Netflix the ‘New HBO’? Get Real

Netflix is still buzzing from garnering 14 Primetime Emmy nominations last week, with “House of Cards” earning nine nominations — including Outstanding Drama — while “Arrested Development” notched three, and thriller “Hemlock Grove” landed two.

“We couldn’t be more proud and pleased for the series creators, actors, composers, designers and others who are being recognized by their peers for the excellence of their storytelling on Netflix,” Hastings and Wells said.

Netflix has not disclosed any viewing metrics associated with specific shows. The company gauges success of each original title “by looking at viewing-to-date and estimated future viewing, relative to cost,” the execs said.

So far, Netflix has ordered second seasons of its initial four projects — “Lilyhammer,” “House of Cards,” “Hemlock Grove” and “Orange Is the New Black,” which the streamer picked up for a second run before the first season debuted. Netflix is in discussions with the cast of “Arrested Development” for a fifth season.

Later this month, Netflix will premiere “Mako Mermaids,” a series aimed at teen audiences, followed by Ricky Gervais series “Derek,” season two of “Lilyhammer,” and “Turbo: F.A.S.T. (Fast Action Stunt Team),” its first animated original from DreamWorks Animation.

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Overall View of the Rose Bowl

    One Dead, One Injured in Rose Bowl Parking Lot Shooting

    One person was killed and another was injured Saturday night following a shooting in a Rose Bowl parking lot, the Pasadena police confirmed. According to a statement from the police department, police responded to reports of a physical altercation and shots fired at 11:22 p.m. near the area of Arroyo Boulevard and Seco Street, where [...]

  • Felicity Huffman

    Felicity Huffman Issues Apology After Receiving Prison Sentence: 'There Are No Excuses'

    Felicity Huffman issued a long statement of apology on Friday after receiving a two-week prison sentence for paying to illegally boost her daughter’s SAT score. In the statement, Huffman, in addition to saying  she accepts the court’s decision, acknowledges and apologizes to other parents fighting to get their children into college. Along with the prison [...]

  • Actress Felicity Huffman (C-L) and her

    Felicity Huffman Sentenced to 14 Days in Prison in SAT Cheating Case

    Felicity Huffman was sentenced on Friday to 14 days in prison for the crime of paying $15,000 to boost her daughter’s SAT score. Judge Indira Talwani also ordered her to serve 250 hours of community service and a year of probation, and pay a $30,000 fine. The sentence came as a surprise, as Talwani had [...]

  • NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER

    Rihanna Sings (Briefly), Pharrell and DJ Khaled Rock the Mic at Star-Studded Diamond Ball

    In just five years, Rihanna’s Diamond Ball has become one of the music industry’s biggest events of its kind, nearly on the level of the Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Gala. While there are several dazzling charity events with equal starpower and often-unique performances, what makes the Diamond Ball different is, obviously enough, Rihanna’s supernova aura and [...]

  • Amber Heard Seeks Info on Johnny

    Amber Heard Seeks Info on Johnny Depp's Arrests and Substance Abuse

    Amber Heard is asking Johnny Depp to turn over records related to his arrests and drug treatment, as her lawyers defend her from a $50 million defamation suit. Depp filed suit in March, accusing his ex-wife of tanking his career by writing a Washington Post op/ed alluding to her domestic violence allegations against him. Heard [...]

  • David Nevins, Chief Creative Officer, CBS

    David Nevins: CBS-Viacom Merger to Create 'Virtuous Eco-System' for Content

    CBS and Viacom leaders are looking for opportunities to create a “virtuous eco-system” for content that can prosper across the various platforms of the two companies that are set to merge by year’s end. That was the sentiment shared by David Nevins, chief creative officer of CBS and chairman-CEO of Showtime Networks, during a Q&A [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content