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TCA: Netflix Sets 475 Original Series Hours in 2015

Netflix has come a long way since the 2013 launch of House of Cards, with the over-the-top service set to offer 475 hours of original programming this year, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said.

Speaking during Netflix’s Television Critics Association tour session Monday, Sarandos said the OTT service, which only began offering original programming some 30 months ago, will have as many as 16 scripted shows, 12 documentary shows and 17 kids-targeted series on-air in 2015.

Sarandos talks about the value of original programming at #TCA15 in an original "MCN One Question for..." video.

Netflix’s original programming has been nominated for 34 Emmy awards, he added.

Netflix’s decision to build on its originals slate rather than on acquisitions of established shows (similar to Hulu’s recent acquisition of Seinfeld) provides the company with more flexibility in scheduling and international distribution, he said.

Sarandos would not reveal viewership numbers for any of the company’s original shows, although he said its comedy series Orange Is the New Black – the first to be Emmy nominated in both the comedy and drama categories – is the most watched original on the service.

Netflix is still bullish on its four-film deal with Adam Sandler despite the soft opening of his latest theatrical film, Pixels, Sarandos said, adding that Sandler’s appeal is very strong internationally.

Sarandos also opined on other Netflix original content:

--He said there’s still an opportunity for Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen to appear in the OTT service’s Fuller House comedy series. The series re-unites most of the cast from the 1980’s Full House series except for the Olsen twins, who have previously said they would not appear in the reboot.

--Netflix will roll out a Marvel-themed series approximately every six months, including new seasons of current shows. The service has already announced a second season of Daredevil and will debut Jessica Jones later this year.

--Sarandos called “unfortunate” and “unfair” the controversy surrounding the filming of the Sandler-produced original movie Ridiculous 6 in which several Native American extras walked off the set due to what they felt as culturally insensitive script writing.  

“I think when people see Ridiculous 6 they’ll see the show speaks for itself in terms of its treatment of American Indians.” he said.