Netflix, which introduced viewers around the world to the full-season binge drop, is experimenting with new scheduling around two of its biggest non-scripted shows.
The Circle and Too Hot to Handle are returning later this spring, and their release pattern looks a lot more like traditional broadcasting scheduling than it used to.
Season 2 of Studio Lambert’s The Circle, which sees a cast of eight contestants flirt, befriend, piss off and compete in challenges against each other to earn a cash prize as top influencer and catfisher, will premiere on Wednesday, April 14.
It will begin with the first four episodes and will be followed the following Wednesday, April 21 with the next four episodes and Wednesday April 28 with four more before the finale drops May 5.
The four-week event comes after the first season aired in three drops starting in January 2020.
The move towards a more traditional style scheduling pattern, albeit with a binge-able twist, is even more pronounced with the return of reality dating competition Too Hot to Handle. The show, which comes from Fremantle’s Thames and Talkback, will take over the same “slot” in June, rolling out over multiple weeks with new batches of episodes each Wednesday.
Season 1 of Too Hot to Handle, in which 10 sexy singletons try and win a cash prize by not kissing or anything further with their peers, dropped all of eight episodes in April 2020, but this will change for Season 2, which has yet to set a firm date.
Netflix’s unscripted chief Brandon Riegg said Wednesdays are “getting real” this spring. “We’re also experimenting with the release format so you have time to dissect and dish on every step of the competition as it unfolds,” he said.
Riegg added that when these shows dropped last year, they may have “felt a little too real at times,” but “fans all over the world rallied around them with an energy and excitement we could not have imagined.”
“We can’t wait for our members to see what’s in store in their second seasons. We’ve added new twists and surprises to keep the games fresh — and all new players that we think fans will love rooting for,” he said.
The Circle is exec produced by Stephen Lambert, Tim Harcourt, Jo Harcourt Smith, Toni Ireland, Richard Foster and Chet Fenster. Too Hot to Handle, which was developed by Laura Gibson and Charlie Bennett, is exec produced by Amelia Brown, Saul Fearnley, Jonno Richards and Ros Coward.
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