TCA: Netflix's Sarandos Still Silent on Ratings

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Beverly Hills, Calif. — Netflix’s Ted Sarandos stayed mum on the streamer’s viewership numbers, but says Orange Is the New Black is the most watched original on the service.

The company’s chief creative officer made those comments during his executive session at Netflix’s Television Critics Association presentation at the Beverly Hilton on Tuesday.

He added that the network’s decision to build on its original programming slate rather than on acquisitions of established shows — similar to Hulu’s recent acquisition of Seinfeld — provides the company with more flexibility with regards to scheduling and distribution internationally.

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

Sarandos also opined on several 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 reunites 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.

Jessika Walsten contributed to this report.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.