Netflix is quickly coming of age, staking a full day of TCA with the most panels of any network — 11 — only three years into being an original programming player. In his second appearance before TV critics, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos showed some swagger, taking subtle shots at traditional networks for copying the company’s model of releasing all episodes in a season at once (“What looked like a radical move has become commonplace, #Aquarius or something like that”) and even making light of Orange Is The New Black‘s Emmy category conundrum (“Orange is one of the most watched dramas — or comedies — on TV”).
Netflix will offer 16 scripted comedy and drama series and 475 hours of original programming this year. That includes The Ridiculous Six, the first of four Adam Sander movies Netflix had committed to in a paradigm-shifting move. In light of the underperforming opening of Sandlar’s latest studio movie, Sony’s Pixels, Sarandos was asked how he feels about the company’s investment in the Saturday Night Live alum.
“Thrilled,” Sarandos said. “I don’t have to defend Adam Sandler,” he added, calling the weekend boxoffice for the movie, especially the strength of international, a “pretty respectable opening.” “We are as encouraged as ever and the split boxoffice got us excited.”
Additionally, “for Ridiculous Six, one of things that is happening is that most of Adam’s audience is at home and they’re watching his stuff over and over again.”
Sarandos also was asked about the controversy surrounding the filming of Ridiculous Six where Native Americans walked off the set in protest to racial stereotypes in the movie. “We live in a very complicated time with social media where things are taken out of proportion,” he said. “I think when you see Ridiculous Six, the show speaks for itself in terms of its treatment of American Indians. It was an interesting time in history when there were 120 some folks on that set and one person had a problem.”
Another season of Arrested Development is still on track. “We are plugging along,” Sarandos said. “It’s a long complex deal to make, talent is very busy… The intent to have a new season of Arrested Development, and all negotiations are underway.”
Despite Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen’s public statement that they won’t be involved in the Full House follow-up series, Netflix’s Fuller House, Sarandos hinted that the door is not completely closed. “The Olsens are teetering whether they would be around,” he said, later clarifying that “there’s a bunch of stunt opportunity for them in the future if they want to, if they choose to.”
There are no plans to release the Bill Cosby standup special, which Netflix shelved after the wave of rape accusation against the veteran comic started last year. “I don’t think it’s appropriate to release now,” Sarandos said.
As for the Marvel series, the plan is to release a new season every six months, two a year, Sarandos said. Slated for this year, Daredevil and the first of Jessica Jones.