Netflix might be about to produce its own original current affairs show
Just days after we received wind that former US president, Barack Obama, was being courted by Netflix to front-man his own series, a new report appears to suggest that Netflix is about to venture even further into streaming television’s untested waters: current affairs programming
According to Marketwatch, Netflix is about to produce a current affairs news magazine show in the vein of two popular US series: CBS’ 60 minutes and ABC’s 20/20. The shows present viewers with topical stories in short segments, aiming to give viewers the facts they need to know to stay informed. Think Newsnight over here, or maybe Panorama.
“Netflix [has] spotted a hole in the market for a current affairs TV show encompassing both sides of the political divide and are seeking to fill it,” a TV executive, who previously worked with Netflix on a documentary series, told Marketwatch.
What’s risky about the move is that a streaming service has never attempted to make a current affairs news show before. The nature of streaming platforms means that people come to shows at different times in the series’ lifecycle, sometimes even years after it’s finished. This seems to jar with topical, short-lived current affairs programming which, by the content’s very nature, ages quickly.
The source went on to say that Netflix is “proceeding with caution,” adding that Netflix wants “to make their show economically viable without compromising the production costs and news-garnering operation”.
Back in February, former UK Labour cabinet minister, Andrew Adonis, controversially called out the BBC for being “largely responsible for Brexit”, and urged Netflix to set up a “sharp, balanced news service” to rival British TV coverage.
Netflix announced that it will spend a massive $8 billion on original content this year. With the streaming giant most recently signing up famous show hosts like David Letterman, Norm Macdonald, Michelle Wolf and Joel McHale, it certainly seems like the company is gearing up to enter the world of current affairs news programming. In what exact form it’ll take, we’ll just have to wait and see.