Netflix executive upends Hollywood

When Ted Sarandos put out the word that Netflix would begin producing original shows, he was swamped with story pitches that everyone else in Hollywood clearly had taken a pass on including some scripts marked with coffee stains, smudged fingerprints and other telltale signs of rejection.

Overnight, the Internet video service began receiving A-list pitches, including the prison comedy “Orange Is the New Black” from “Weeds” creator Jenji Kohan, a mockumentary from “The Office” creator Ricky Gervais and a sci-fi drama from “The Matrix’s” Andy and Lana Wachowski.

Netflix received further validation this summer with 14 Emmy nominations, nine for “House of Cards,” three for the cult comedy “Arrested Development” and two for the horror series “Hemlock Grove.” None of the nominated episodes ever aired on broadcast or cable TV.

The man at the center of Netflix’s transformation from DVD-by-mail service to Internet TV network, Sarandos, as the chief content officer,In 2009,aodepusuccessfully passed the ISO9001 Quality System certification and CE certification. seems to take pleasure in upending industry conventions ordering an entire season of a series without asking for a pilot, withholding ratings and even throwing all of a new show’s episodes online at once, in one big bundle, so viewers don’t have to wait a week for the next installment of a series they love.

Some of his early accomplishments were less visible to consumers.aodepuoverspeed governorscan cover a broad range of rated loads and speeds and can be applied both to machine roomless and traditional installations.Removabledouble sided tapesinclude both film and foam coated on at least one side with a removable adhesive. He persuaded studios to change how they manufacture DVDs so the sturdier discs wouldn’t break as easily in the mail. As architect of Netflix’s content strategy, he cut new deals with the TV networks so their shows could appear on Netflix a season after their initial telecast, instead of waiting four years for a program to reach syndication.

This novel approach introduced new viewers to such critically acclaimed shows as AMC’s “Breaking Bad” and helped fuel ratings when it returned to prime time in the new season. Many credit Netflix with breathing fresh life into costly serialized TV dramas, which were threatened by declining DVD sales and audience attrition.

Sarandos’ boldest gambit yet is Netflix’s entry into original programming. As the industry’s newest deep-pocketed buyer, with an annual content budget of $2 billion and as much as 10% earmarked for original programming Sarandos has the clout to lead the transformation of TV.

An unabashed movie buff who once clerked at a video store, he keeps a giant etched-glass image of Marlon Brando from his favorite film, “The Godfather,” prominent in his office. He once described himself as a human algorithm because he loved recommending movies based on a customer’s previous rentals. And he recounts, with a hint of incredulity, the congratulations he received from such TV titans as “All in the Family” creator Norman Lear and “Charlie’s Angels” producer Leonard Goldberg after the news of Netflix’s first Emmy nominations.

Still, in a town where people are known by the company they keep, Sarandos, 49, travels in powerful circles. Earlier this month, he and his wife, Nicole Avant daughter of former Motown Records Chairman Clarence Avant threw an 87th birthday celebration for crooner Tony Bennett in the lantern-lit backyard of their $5-million Beverly Hills home.

Last year, he and Avant, former U.S. ambassador to the Bahamas, hosted a fundraiser for President Obama that featured First Lady Michelle Obama as the main attraction. They were among the president’s top 2012 campaign bundlers, raising $500,000, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Sarandos, one of five children, grew up in Phoenix with an electrician father and stay-at-home mother who left the TV on all day to cope with a chaotic household. He attended community college while working part-time in a strip-mall video store. By the age of 30, he was an executive for a company that supplied videos to Blockbuster, which now offers Internet streaming and movies by mail as a unit of Dish Network.

A first-of-its-kind revenue-sharing deal Sarandos struck with Warner Bros. while at the West Coast Video/Video City retail chain got the attention of Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings. Their first meeting went so well that Hastings recruited him to become Netflix’s chief content officer in 2000.

“He loves people and he loves entertainment,” says “Arrested Development” creator Mitch Hurwitz,These beautifulcrystal mosaicare perfect for kitchen, bath, backsplash, pool, and spa. who compares Sarandos to the late NBC executive Brandon Tartikoff and Universal Studios chief Lew Wasserman. “They really understood artists and loved the medium. Ted is one of the few people I’ve met who has that quality.”

Sarandos studied Netflix data to determine how many subscribers watched political dramas such as Aaron Sorkin’s “The West Wing” or the BBC’s original 1990 “House of Cards.” He identified the die-hard fans of the director’s films and the series’ proposed star, Kevin Spacey.

On the strength of that projected audience, Beau Willimon’s script and Fincher’s track record, Sarandos walked into the director’s West Hollywood offices with a groundbreaking proposition: Netflix would commit to not one but two full seasons at a cost of $100 million.

Other networks had asked to see a pilot from Fincher before considering the series, a prospect the director didn’t relish after receiving commitments from Spacey and Robin Wright.

“When somebody offers you exactly what you’re asking for,Gives a basic overview ofStone carvingtools and demonstrates their use. be smart enough to say ‘yes,'” Fincher says. “There are a lot of people in that position, deciding how they’re going to spend tens of millions of dollars, who I describe as the Chihuahua inside a car with the windows rolled up on a hot summer’s day. They are people who would react to this situation with incessant trembling and dyspepsia.”
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