This Week in Netflix: MacDonald Has a Show, Positive Brand Association Powers Content

Norm Has a Show on Netflix

TWIN: Funnyman Norm MacDonald caused a bit of controversy a few weeks ago after initially letting the cat out of the bag about his upcoming Netflix show during a Reddit Q&A, but then quickly retracting the comment. Still, fans aware of MacDonald’s mischievous nature, continued to hope that the show was a go. 

I have a new show on @netflix and I'm tweeting the text exchange that started it all.

— Norm Macdonald (@normmacdonald) March 9, 2018

MCN Take: MacDonald’s Netflix show, appropriately titled Norm MacDonald Has a Show on Netflix, will be in the talk format and feature his long-time sidekick Adam Eget and one celebrity guest per episode.

Read the full story at B&C.

Positive Brand Association Powers Netflix Content

TWIN: Sanford Bernstein media analyst Todd Juenger took another deep dive into Netflix’s success, focusing on two recent programming wins – Will Smith sci-fi movie Bright and German-language supernatural thriller Dark. While Bright was panned by critics, Juenger noted Netflix subscribers' positive views toward the overall brand helped drive viewership to more than 13 million in the first week.

MCN Take: Juenger was even more impressed with Dark, a German-language thriller that was supposed to be an attempt to attract local market audiences in Germany. Instead, the show drew more than 90% of its viewers outside Germany.

Read the full story at Multichannel News.

Obama in Talks to Produce Shows for Netflix

TWIN: Former President Barack Obama is in discussions with Netflix to produce a series of high-profile shows. Netflix would pay the former President and his wife Michelle for exclusive content available only on the streaming service.

MCN Take: While the deal isn’t finalized and the type of shows he would produce aren’t fully fleshed out, the former President could moderate discussions that have been near his heart during his time in office -- health care, voting rights, immigration, foreign policy and climate change. One topic not on the agenda will be current POTUS Donald Trump.

Read the full story at the New York Times.

Netflix DVDs Could Stay Another Five Years

TWIN: In an interview with USA Today, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings touched on a number of topics, including the tiny red DVD envelopes that helped drive the company’s early business. Hastings said DVD rentals are still a part of the business – kept mainly for rural subs and movie buffs – and he is in no rush to get rid of it, adding they could be around for another five years.

MCN Take: Hastings also told the paper that revenue is expected to hit $15 billion in 2018, up from $11 billion in 2017, and said despite its hits, he worries about spending too much money. “We always worry about overpaying,” he told the paper. “It’s a big step for us, a big, concentrated commitment. It has good odds for success. We’re trying to make many bets. Some of our content won’t work, but we’re willing to try.”

Read the full story at USA Today.

CBS All Access to Step up Originals to Compete with Netflix

TWIN: CBS chief operating officer Joe Ianniello (pictured below) told an industry audience that its streaming service CBS All Access will add more shows to compete with Netflix and other providers. "We're doubling down there. You're going to see six to seven originals on CBS All Access in the next 12 months," Ianniello said at the Deutsche Bank Media Telecom & Business Services conference in Palm Beach, Fla.

MCN Take: CBS All access would build on its Star Trek: Discovery series, The Good Fight and an upcoming Twilight Zone reboot from Jordan Peele. Other upcoming originals include the Kevin Williamson fairy-tale anthology Tell Me a Story,Strange Angel, and the comedy No Activity. "Wherever Netflix is, I don't see why we won't be there," Ianniello said.

Read the full story at The Hollywood Reporter.