Netflix Renews ‘Marco Polo’ #TCA15

Netflix presented at the TCA Winter 2015 Press Tour for the first time Wednesday, kicking off the marathon event with announcements and an executive session with Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos.

The online streamer ordered up a 10-episode second season of Marco Polo, which is produced by the Weinstein Company and was created by John Fusco, who executive produces with Dan Minahan.

The streaming service also unveiled the premiere dates for four new original series — Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on March 6; Bloodline on March 20; Marvel’s Daredevil on April 10; and Grace and Frankie on May 8.

Sarandos fielded questions about the streamer’s orders as well as addressed metrics, its deal with Adam Sandler and its plans to run or not run Sony’s controversial film The Interview.

Highlights from the session included:

• Sarandos addressed Netflix’s policy of not releasing viewership metrics for its original programming. “Most of the business reasons why you would publish ratings is that you use it to justify ad rates, and we don’t sell advertising,” he said. “And you might use it to justify carriage fees to cable operators, and we don’t have those relationships with cable operators. So there’s no real business reason for us to internally or externally report those numbers.”

• Netflix’s deal, announced in October, to release four feature films starring and produced by Adam Sandler represents a strategy for original feature film at Netflix, according to Sarandos. “Our intention here is that these are to be the movies that would be similar to the movies you would see in the theater,” he said. “So this is not a TV movie strategy or an art house movie strategy. These are films that you would say could be or would be released by any studio, so similar in scope and budget to the Warner and Sony releases from Adam.”

• Asked whether Netflix would cut a deal to stream Sony Pictures Entertainment’s film The Interview, Sarandos said, “Nothing to talk about on The Interview right now.”