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tv news

Terra Nova could be saved by Netflix

Posted by Patrick Sauriol on Thursday, March 8, 2012

Just when I thought that there was no hope for continuing the adventures of Terra Nova, along comes this story that shows that there is still an outside chance of a second season happening. Netflix is in early talks with Terra Nova's production owners to bring the show to the live streaming network.

20th TV is the production entity that owns Terra Nova, and they're the ones talking with Netflix's upper management. Before you write this off, you should know that Netflix has already committed $100 million dollars to Kevin Spacey's new series House of Cards, which will be available for watching only via Netflix. The online movie streaming company also is bringing back another Fox cancelled series, Arrested Development, with new episodes slated to air later this year.

Even for an expensive to make show like Terra Nova ($4 million an episode, and that's with tax breaks from the New Zealand government), the Netflix deal could become a reality. The show was ranked as one of the most downloaded via DVR (digital video recorder) and that's right up Netflix's business model. The big question that I've got is how would Netflix replace the revenue generated from commercials that Fox would air between acts of Terra Nova? The money can't just all come from their subscriber base, can it?

Quasar
Location:
Posts: 7588
Posted: 7 years 39 weeks ago

I may have to re-subscribe to Netflix after all.

Faster and faster, a nightmare we ride. Who'll take the reins when the miracle dies? Faster and faster till everything dies. Killing is our way of keeping alive. - Virgin Steele, Blood and Gasoline
Jack S. Pharaoh
Location:
Posts: 2231
Posted: 7 years 39 weeks ago

Jeez, Quay, you must really love 'Terra Nova'.

Patrick wrote:

The big question that I've got is how would Netflix replace the revenue generated from commercials that Fox would air between acts of Terra Nova? The money can't just all come from their subscriber base, can it?

This seems like an odd question; Netflix looks like they're following the HBO model, which never required commercials (HBO's actually noted for their war chest, and the expensive series they can afford; Netflix seems like they are instantly going for that, too, since 'House of Cards' sounds like it will be the most expensive (or one of the most expensive) shows in production).  Just like HBO, original programming makes Netflix's subscription more valuable, important in a competetive market where Red Box, Amazon Instant Video and iTunes are competing with them for streaming/downloadable/rentable shows/movies.  The moves by Netflix toward original programming seems like a great thing to me, as it's basically adding another cable channel, which are the places that produce almost all good television.  Hopefully they can be as successful as HBO, FX & AMC in producing at least a couple of really good shows.

Quasar
Location:
Posts: 7588
Posted: 7 years 39 weeks ago

I've never actually watched an ep of Terra Nova yet, but I've got them all recorded. I was thinking more along the lines of Terra Nova, Arrested Development, and assumably other shows they'll be producing, like every good show that gets cancelled. Plus Firefly, when people get wind that they've had a glimmer of thought about it, then enmasse send a crush of emails demanding Firefly be brought back or executives everywhere will die.

Faster and faster, a nightmare we ride. Who'll take the reins when the miracle dies? Faster and faster till everything dies. Killing is our way of keeping alive. - Virgin Steele, Blood and Gasoline
Patrick Sauriol
Location: Canada
Posts: 20119
Posted: 7 years 39 weeks ago

@ Jack: Netflix's interest in TERRA NOVA seems like an odd thing to me because they've already committed to 2 original series and one of them will cost $100 million alone. TERRA NOVA's $4 mil pricetag per episode seems like an expensive bill to pay for mediocre TV ratings. It's not like Netflix would have the luxury of having people tune in to check it out for the first time. Those that did watch TN and didn't like it most likely wouldn't care that it's got new episodes on Netflix.

No matter where you go, there you are.
Jack S. Pharaoh
Location:
Posts: 2231
Posted: 7 years 39 weeks ago

Patrick Sauriol wrote:

@ Jack: Netflix's interest in TERRA NOVA seems like an odd thing to me because they've already committed to 2 original series and one of them will cost $100 million alone. TERRA NOVA's $4 mil pricetag per episode seems like an expensive bill to pay for mediocre TV ratings. It's not like Netflix would have the luxury of having people tune in to check it out for the first time. Those that did watch TN and didn't like it most likely wouldn't care that it's got new episodes on Netflix.

Well, I was referring to the idea of whether they would need commercials to provide revenue. Whether or not 'Terra Nova' specifically is a good project to pick up is certainly a point, and something I've seen people skeptical of. But my thinking is you've got to start somewhere, and picking up a couple of cancelled shows makes sense to me ('Terra Nova' makes sense in a way that 'Arrested Development' doesn't, because I don't know how many of the cast and creative team for AD that Netflix will be able to bring back together; with TN, they have the production company and everything); you look at network startups (like Fox and ESPN) and how they lost millions in their early years trying to get established; Netflix probably already has the revenue stream to support these projects, so it doesn't really seem like there's that much at stake. Networks launch shows and cancel them all the time, so it doesn't really seem that big of a deal to me if Netflix greenlights a season of TN and then decides to drop it. According to what I read somewhere, TN is a big seller overseas, which is a reason why the production company wants to keep it alive (but one question is whether or not that would make the show more attractive to Netflix; they wouldn't own the show, so wouldn't make money from overseas sales (or DVD, I suppose)). Anyway, some people are pretty skeptical that Netflix is even going to pull the trigger on this, but I think it would be interesting. It seems like a move that would get them attention, and TN is a show that has done well with DVR-viewings, something that doesn't mean as much to networks but sounds like it would translate well to Netflix.