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Netflix to add 20 unscripted series in 2017

Netflix is readying the premieres of nearly 20 nonfiction series for the new year, Ted Sarandos, the global streaming giant’s chief content officer, has confirmed. The SVOD will grow out its 2017 ...
December 5, 2016

Netflix is readying the premieres of nearly 20 nonfiction series for the new year, Ted Sarandos, the global streaming giant’s chief content officer, has confirmed.

The SVOD will grow out its 2017 slate to include up to 1,000 hours of original content production – “a conservative measure right now,” Sarandos said at the UBS 44th Annual Global Media & Communications Conference in New York on Dec. 5.

The move will more than double Netflix’s 2016 catalog.

Among the new series currently in various stages of development or release heading to the digital platform next year is global competition series Ultimate Beast Master, which features athletes and announcers from across the U.S., Brazil, South Korea, Mexico, Germany and Japan as they compete in myriad challenges. It is exec produced by Sylvester Stallone and Dave Broome.

“It’s a new model for us of simultaneous international co-production versus formatting, but we think we can be successful in this space,” Sarandos said, noting that Netflix will look to add value to its factual programming in the scale of production in order to stand out from the increasingly saturated unscripted world.

Netflix is also producing a factual series, which began shooting last month, on the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, Sarandos said.

“Unscripted television is a very interesting business,” he added. “What we could do by producing our own [content] is focus on the shows that are more likely to travel internationally, where we can do things that are slightly elevated and event driven.”

Netflix’s VP of original series Cindy Holland will host a keynote session panel at the Realscreen Summit in Washington DC, taking place Monday, Jan. 23 to Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017 at the Marriott Marquis.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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