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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
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.

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