Netflix’s first original series, the acquired Norwegian fish-out-of-water dramedy Lilyhammer starring The Sopranos alum Steven Van Zandt, launched yesterday. How did it do? We may never know as the video streaming is refusing to disclose figures. In a memo, Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos explains why. While instant viewing is less and less important for most TV networks, especially premium cable ones which, like Netflix, doesn’t rely on commercials, I still think that Netflix should provide cumulative streaming data over time, especially as it paints itself as a viable alternative to pay cable. As for the future of Lilyhammer, it probably doesn’t depend on its performance on Netflix as it launched big in its homeland and reportedly has Netfix already on board to co-produce a second season. Here is Sarandos’ memo:

     Many of you have asked us to disclose day-after viewership numbers for our new original series “Lilyhammer,” which Netflix members in the U.S., Canada and Latin America could watch instantly beginning yesterday.  Let me explain why we won’t. (more…)