“You won’t see some giant volume play,” new Amazon Studio chief Jennifer Salke said of her streaming strategy during a Television Critics Association panel last week. “I think of us as an alternative to some of those places.”
By “some of those places,” of course, Salke was referring to Netflix, the current king of streamers, whose approach famously involves releasing an almost oppressive amount of content on a weekly basis. In 2017, Netflix chief creative officer Ted Sarandos announced the company would be spending somewhere between $7 billion and $8 billion on programming for the following year. When the company took the spotlight at TCA on Sunday, it revealed a lot about where that money would be going for the next six months–along with what’s coming next.
Here’s a quick and dirty look at everything Netflix VP of original programming Cindy Holland revealed about the upcoming slate.
Although no date has been announced yet, Holland confirmed that the company’s signature sci-fi hit it is coming next summer (rather than a fall release like season two), and attempted to explain the delay. She explained that series creators the Duffer brothers “want to deliver something bigger and better than what they did last year. And so they really want to take the time to get it right.” Look at it as a throwback to the days when The Sopranos would sometimes take up to two years between seasons. Furthermore, when Deadline asked whether the show’s producers have an expiration date in mind for the show, Holland cryptically offered, “We have made a determination how long Stranger Things will go.”
Jason Bateman’s Breaking Bad-ish series returns for season two on August 31, and now it has a trailer.
Coming off of a season that garnered . . . wait for it . . . glowing reviews (sorry, impossible to resist), a season three order for GLOW seems like a no-brainer. However, nothing official has been announced yet for our favorite Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling.
“We have a lot of dreams for how we would shoot the show,” series creator Liz Flahive offered. Anyone who has seen the second season in its entirety, though, will likely rejoice at her stated anticipation of “exploring Vegas fully” in hypothetical future episodes.
House of Cards
Netflix’s breakthrough original series hit promptly became its most problematic product last fall when Kevin Spacey was alleged to be a serial predator. After jettisoning Spacey from the project entirely, Netflix took some time to rejigger its planned sixth season. Although the studio dropped a trailer for the show on the 4th of July, Holland said at TCA that she was not ready to announce a premiere date for the upcoming final season, beyond the fact that it was scheduled for “later this year.” The smart money, however, is on a premiere date that coincides with the midterm election in November.
Master of None
Although there are currently no future seasons of this series in the works, Holland announced that Netflix does indeed want more episodes if Aziz Ansari is willing to make them.
Ditto the above, except applied to series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, who is likely not in a rush to delve back into Gilmore Girls as she’s receiving some of the best notices of her career for her Emmy-nominated Amazon series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
Holland on whether there will be a sixth season: “I actually don’t know if it is a possibility or not. We haven’t discussed it at all.” Considering the scathing press the male members of the cast received after a disastrous New York Times interview, and the soft fan response to the new season as a result, a sixth season seems highly unlikely.
Jessica Jones. Luke Cage. Daredevil. Iron Fist. The Defenders. The Punisher. Frankly, there are enough Marvel shows on Netflix right now to merit their own separate network. When asked about any future additions to this partnership, Holland said, “There’s always an ongoing discussion about spinning off additional characters into additional properties.” She also added that there are currently no plans for a second season of The Defenders, the series which features the titular characters from all the other Marvel shows coming together, Avengers-style. Holland cited difficulties related to scheduling as the reason for Netflix’s delayed decision.
UPDATES ON PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED SHOWS
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
The Kiernan Shipka-starring dark adaptation of Sabrina the Teenage Witch‘s comic-book incarnation now has a release date. It will premiere on October 26, which is, of course, prime time jack-o’-lantern season. The new series is said to be in the style of Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist, which is leagues away from the Melissa Joan Hart series fondly remembered by upper Millennials.
This forthcoming series, based on a 2014 Norwegian TV show, is just an avalanche of talent. The cast includes Emma Stone, Jonah Hill, Justin Theroux, and Sally Field (in a recurring role), while each episode is directed by Cary Fukunaga. Along with revealing a release date of September 21, Netflix also dropped a fresh trailer for the show, which follows two strangers who are drawn to the late stages of a strange pharmaceutical trial.
— See What's Next (@seewhatsnext) July 29, 2018
The Good Cop
Netflix premiered the first trailer for The Good Cop, a series in which Tony Danza plays a former NYPD officer who lives with his detective son, played by Josh Groban. The show premieres the same day as Maniac, September 21.
Madam C.J. Walker
Netflix announced this eight-episode limited series, which Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer will star in and executive produce. (LeBron James is also involved as an executive producer.) Based on A’Lelia Bundles’ book, On Her Own Ground, the series centers on the titular legendary black hair-care entrepreneur and philanthropist, America’s first black, self-made female millionaire. Nicole Asher is scripting.
Alex Pina, creator of the Netflix’s Spanish hit, La Casa de Papel, is going to be the showrunner on this fictional series, which investigates what happened to a famous Manchester DJ in the twenty years between his unsolved disappearance from Ibiza and the day his body is finally discovered.
The Kominsky Method
Big Bang Theory creator Chuck Lorre hasn’t had much luck with Netflix so far. His pot-centric comedy, Disjointed, was quickly canceled earlier this year. However, the mega-producer is taking another big swing on the streamer with his forthcoming comedy, The Kominsky Method, which stars Michael Douglas as a faded actor-turned-acting coach, and Alan Arkin as his agent and pal. (Picture a show entirely about Henry Winkler’s character from HBO’s Barry.) When Lorre was asked about continuing his relationship with CBS following Friday’s bombshell accusations against network head Les Moonves, he declined to respond.
The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell
Instagram-superstar chef, artist, and baker Christine McConnell has a deal in place to serve up a bunch of weird dishes with this just-announced series. It won’t be Netflix’s lone new food offering, though . . . .
Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat
This four-part food/travel series follows chef and author Samin Nosrat on her Bourdanian quest to eat food around the world. The show, which shares its title with Nosrat’s book, will premiere on October 11.
“INSATIABLE” AND “13 REASONS WHY” CONTROVERSY
The only real news on these twin fronts is that there is no news. Insatiable will still premiere in August despite its growing, trailer-driven backlash, and the 13 Reasons writers are currently at work on a third season. The latter has been upsetting parents since its 2017 debut, because of what some consider a glamorized look at teenage suicide. During TCA, Holland echoed Netflix CEO Reed Hastings’ June defense of greenlighting the show’s third season, adding, however, that the show’s creator Brian Yorkey is processing the negative feedback and “seeking to be mindful.”
Meanwhile, Holland also took the opportunity at TCA to respond to the Insatiable backlash, best embodied by a Change.org petition calling for the show’s cancellation, which picked up more than 200,000 signatures in a week. The reason many are upset about the show–which depicts a newly svelte high schooler exacting revenge on those who were mean to her when she was overweight–is that it appears to promote the same negative attitudes about body image that it’s ostensibly combatting, and may inspire eating disorders in some viewers.
“The creator [Lauren Gussis] felt very strongly about exploring these issues based on her own experiences, but satirically, in a very over the top way . . . . Ultimately, the message of the show is that what is most important is that you feel comfortable in your own self. Fat-shaming itself, that criticism, is embedded in the DNA of the show,” Holland said in her defense of the series.
Series creator Gussis responded to the controversy on Twitter two days before TCA:
— Lauren Gussis (@GussisLauren) July 21, 2018
Expect criticism of this show to intensify when the review embargo ends on August 8, and critics who have seen more than just the trailer reveal what they think about Insatiable.