Comedian Jerry Seinfeld is taking his popular web series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, to Netflix, Variety reported. This means he’ll be leaving behind Sony’s Crackle after nine seasons.
This is considered another huge coup for Netflix, which has been trying to attract big names like Dave Chappelle, Amy Schumer, and Chris Rock, with lucrative contracts and a growing audience. Netflix has been making a move in the direction of more comedy by developing extended stand-up programming every month.
Netflix has been placing itself in a position to dominate the market, and the Jerry Seinfeld grab, along with his popular show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, is just another step in that direction for the streaming service.
In addition to the series deal, Jerry Seinfeld will also create two stand-up specials for Netflix alongside Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and participate in developing new scripted content down the road, according to the Verge.
According to Yahoo, the deal is worth $100 million, which is testament to the confidence Netflix has in Jerry Seinfeld’s enduring popularity. It is also testament to the popularity of the show itself. Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, scored 100 million views to date on Crackle since it debuted in 2012. Losing the hit show represents a huge blow for Sony.
The move to Netflix also gives Jerry Seinfeld more creative freedom on the series and additional programs he may create for the network.
“When I first started thinking about Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, the entire Netflix business model consisted of mailing out DVDs in envelopes,” Jerry Seinfeld is reported as saying in a statement to Variety. “I love that we are now joining together, both at different points. I am also very excited to be working with Ted Sarandos at Netflix, a guy and place that not only have the same enthusiasm for the art of stand-up comedy as I do, but the most amazing technology platform to deliver it in a way that has never existed before. I’m really charged up to be moving there.”
Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee will bring 24 new episodes to Netflix sometime in late 2017. Subsequent episodes will be coming in 2018 and beyond. The shift in networks is part of a multi-faceted deal Jerry has made with Netflix.
Netflix also has exclusive global distribution rights to the entire Seinfeld series. This includes not only the new episodes but 59 older ones that ran on Crackle. Seinfeld’s episodes on Crackle varied between five and six per season since the series aired online with a 10-episode season back in 2012.
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee has earned three Emmy nominations and most recently in the variety talk category. This previously was unheard of for a streaming service. Jerry Seinfeld has been the creative force behind the series since its debut, first on the web, later on Crackle, and now as the show shifts to Netflix.
“This has been such an exciting Lewis-and-Clark, ‘paddle down the river and see what’s down there’ adventure, there was no expectation of anything,” Jerry Seinfeld told Variety following his nomination. “I’m flattered and humbled that our little show has gotten this far. We didn’t even know whether audiences would watch a TV show on the internet every week.”
This deal for Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee comes only days after Sony entertainment chief Michael Lynton announced he was leaving the company for Snap, Inc. Jerry Seinfeld’s relationship with Sony goes back years, according to Business Insider. Sony has retained the rights to the comedian’s sitcom since 2002; however, Hulu has exclusive streaming rights for Seinfeld.
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