Hot on the heels of Lilyhammer’s extremely quiet debut last week, our friends over at Slashfilm are reporting rumors that Netflix has already ordered its second original series — Orange Is the New Black from Weeds creator Jenji Kohan. The drama, which is based on a memoir of the same name by Piper Kerman, tells the story of “a nonprofit communications exec who gets sent to a minimum-security women’s prison in Connecticut for being part of a drug smuggling and money laundering scheme during her college years.” Sounds like a good fit, right?
Curious as to why they’d greenlight another new show before finding success with their first? As Austin Carr at Fast Company points out these original series — which are available all at once as opposed to episodically to encourage “binge viewing” — aren’t married to the same metrics as traditional TV shows. The idea of nightly ratings or a winning a time slot goes out the window. Rather, they provide “an opportunity to market Netflix’s streaming offerings — to show off how subscribers gain unlimited, all-you-can-watch access to the series, as they can with tons of other shows and movies,” he explains. “It’s a strategy that’s been adopted by HBO, which now features just about every episode of every original series the cable network’s ever created…”
What do you think of the strategy? Do you think Netflix will ever be able to compete with companies like HBO?