Once upon a time, Netflix was a DVD mailing service whose biggest selling point was that it was more convenient than your local Blockbuster. Today, it is one of the biggest online streaming services available, with 53 million subscribers worldwide, and a raft of awards nominations and wins in its trophy cabinet for its original programming. Some of the most popular shows of recent years have come from Netflix, with new titles being regularly added to its slate.
Speaking to USA Today, Chief Content Officer for Netflix, Ted Sarandos, explained how the coming year represents the next stage of a long-term business plan.
“ brings us about halfway to our hopes and plans of what kind of projects are feasible. We can successfully support about 20 original scripted series every year, with a new series or a new season every two to three weeks, and still maintain a level of quality we expect.”
A reported on TV By The Numbers, Netflix unveiled its schedule of premiere dates and new content, as the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour got underway. Containing a mixture of highly anticipated, returning original shows, such as House Of Cards and Orange Is The New Black, along with brand new ventures, such as Daredevil, the 2015 Netflix schedule also provides a second platform for new shows already broadcast elsewhere.
The Fall (season two) – January 16
Starring Gillian Anderson (The X Files) and Jamie Dornan (soon to be seen in Fifty Shades Of Grey), this acclaimed psychological drama from the BBC follows a British Detective Superintendent as she hunts an elusive serial killer though Belfast. Season two comprises six episodes.
The Adventures Of Puss In Boots – January 16
DreamWorks Animation delivers a children’s action adventure series, featuring the famous spin-off character from the Shrek franchise. The show promises mystical and comic tales in faraway locales.
House Of Cards (season three) – February 27
With award-winning performances and production, this Netflix Original is an adaptation of a BBC drama that was broadcast in 1990. Starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright as a manipulative political couple, scheming their way up the ladder of power in Washington D.C, House Of Cards was among the first of Netflix’s dramatic ventures, and remains one of its most successful.
Better Call Saul – Expected February or March
The long-awaited spin-off from television phenomenon Breaking Bad will finally debut on AMC on February 8, 2015. Netflix has committed to adding it to its streaming content “soon after.” The series is essentially a prequel to Breaking Bad, focusing on the beloved character of Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) in his pre-Walter White days. Michael McKean (Family Tree) and Jonathan Banks (Breaking Bad) also star.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – March 6
From the creators of the multiple award-winning 30 Rock – Tina Fey and Robert Carlock – this new 13 episode, half-hour comedy follows the titular Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) as she attempts to start her life over in New York City, after escaping from a doomsday cult. Jane Krakowski (30 Rock) and Carol Kane (Gotham) play supporting roles.
Bloodline – March 20
This series is a family drama comprising 13 episodes, from the team behind Damages. Sam Shepard, Sissy Spacek, Kyle Chandler and Linda Cardellini star in the story of the Rayburn family, who find long-buried rifts are thrown open by the unexpected return of the eldest sibling.
Daredevil – April 10
Young blind lawyer Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) serves his community in the court room by day, and on the streets as a vigilante superhero by night – harnessing the power of his heightened senses to help him bring justice where the law fails. Based on the Marvel comic book, the 13 episode drama also stars Rosario Dawson and Vincent D’Onofrio.
Grace And Frankie – May 8
A 13 episode comedy from Marta Kauffman (Friends) and Howard J. Morris (Home Improvement), which sees Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in the title roles. They are ‘frenemies’ who find themselves having to support each other when their respective husbands run off together.
Orange Is The New Black (season three) – July 10
As Netflix’s other awards-magnet, Orange Is The New Black quickly became a hit for the streaming service when it first appeared in 2013. Now heading into its third season, the show is based on the memoir Orange Is The New Black: My Year In A Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman, and stars Taylor Schilling, Jason Biggs, Kate Mulgrew, Danielle Brooks, Laura Prepon, Laverne Cox and Natasha Lyonne.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend – August 28
The sequel to Ang Lee’s hugely successful Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is directed by Woo-ping Yuen, with a screenplay by John Fusco, adapted from the book by Du Lu Wang. Starring Donnie Yen, Michelle Yeoh and Jason Scott Lee, the film is notable as being the first movie ever to release on Netflix and in theatres simultaneously. This release plan has led to some major theatre chains boycotting the title, as reported by Slash Gear.
Several other titles were announced as being scheduled for release later in 2015, with specific dates yet to be allocated.
Marco Polo – A second season of this adventure series has been commissioned. The first season – starring Lorenzo Richelmy, Benedict Wong and Joan Chen – came under fire from critics, but was well-received by audiences.
Marseille – Set in the French port city, the series details a dramatic story of power, redemption and corruption.
Sense8 – Created by Andy and Lana Wachowski (The Matrix Trilogy), along with J. Michael Straczynski (Thor), this drama follows a group of people scattered across the globe who suddenly experience an inexplicable mental link.
Narcos – Starring Wagner Moura, Boyd Holbrook and Pedro Pascal, this series looks at the story of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.
DreamWorks’ Dragons – Another series of this animated hit show, aiming to bridge the gap between How To Train Your Dragon feature film sequels.
Netflix series House Of Cards and Orange Is The New Black will feature heavily at the 72nd Golden Globe Awards ceremony on January 11th 2015, where both shows have received multiple nominations.
[Image via Huffington Post]