2012 is the year Netflix stops sitting on the sidelines and gets into the game. After years of distributing and streaming popular content, the company is finally releasing several new shows that are exclusive to the service. LILYHAMMER, a Norweign comedy starring Steven Van Zandt, premiered last week. While Netflix is the sole US distributor of that series, it didn’t create it from the ground-up. The same goes for ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, which will return only on Netflix in 2013.
Netflix already has one completely original production underway, the Kevin Spacey vehicle HOUSE OF CARDS. CARDS will be produced and financed by Netflix for Netflix. It’s their first attempt at actually creating a show, not just fighting for the right to air it.
Now comes word that they’ve got another show on the horizon. Netflix has ordered 13 episodes of ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, a series from WEEDS creator Jenji Kohan. Based on the memoir by Piper Kerman, ORANGE is about a successful exec who is sent to a minimum-security women’s prison for drug charges.
Netflix hasn’t officially announced anything but sources inside say the deal is being brokered with Lionsgate TV, who are already partnered with Kohan. Lionsgate has a good relationship with Netlflix; MAD MEN has made a lot of fans since it started streaming in the summer.
All of this comes after a dismal 2011 for the company. They raised their prices, they planned to split into two companies, they cancelled their plans, they lost rights to many studios. All the while, the company promised they’d restructure and move forward.
Netflix has said it wants to have five original shows by 2013. LILYHAMMER, ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, HOUSE OF CARDS, ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK. What’s next, Netflix?