Shonda Rhimes talks move from network TV to Netflix

When Shonda Rhimes, the creator of network reaches like Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away with Murder, announced her new contract with Netflix, it marked yet another win for the digital media world.

TechCrunch recently sat down with Rhimes to hear what we can expect to see from her on Netflix, the importance of diversity and inclusion and media, and more.

“What’s great about Netflix is that everything is kind of instantaneous and it runs around the world instantaneously, ” Rhimes told me. “Everything is released at once. The format can be a little bit what it is you want.”

She went on to discuss the differences between network television and Netflix. For example, she said, “dramas are dictated by being 42 minutes and 19 seconds” and seasons are between 12 to 24 episodes.

“That’s not true with Netflix, ” Rhimes said. “You can make a season that’s six episodes. You can make a season that’s, I guess if you wanted to, 30 seconds — if you lost your mind.”

What’s exciting to Rhimes is the ability to pursue whatever “feels correct with the story you’re say, ” she said. She also noted that she loves the fact she’ll have opportunities to do documentaries.

To hear more from Rhimes, subscribe to CTRL+ T, TechCrunch’s upcoming podcast that explores how tech impacts our culture. Debuting on Saturday, December 16, and hosted by yours truly and TC Editorial Director Henry Pickavet, CTRL+ T explores some of the tech news of the week, and features interviews with influencers and innovators in their respective fields about technology’s impact on our culture. You can check out the trailer now and subscribe on most of the podcast platforms.

Netflix has officially renewed Stranger Things for a third season

What pleasant news to aim the week on. Netflix announced today its plans to renew the hitting Stranger Things for a third season. The announcement came soon after Netflix asked the Twitterverse if the streaming media company should make another season.

The show’s creators, Matt and Ross Duffer, told Vulture back in August that the third season had already been approved. But now Netflix has built it official.

Season two of the indicate garnered an average of 15. 8 million U.S. spectators within the first three days of its availability, according to some data from Nielsen. However, Netflix said Nielsen’s “math might be from the upside down.” Netflix said Nielsen’s numbers only measured a fraction of the actual quantity of viewing that went down on the streaming site.

There’s no word on when we can expect the new season to drop-off, but it will continue to superstar Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers, David Harbour as Chief Jim Hopper, Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, Noah Schnapp as Will Byers, Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven and the rest of the gang.

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Netflix keeps the mystery alive with Black Mirror

Fans are stoked for a fourth season of Black Mirror, as they should be. The Emmy-award winning series, which shows the dark side of our inevitable future, does an outstanding job of story-telling while encapsulating an entire plot line in a single episode at a time.

But Netflix is maintaining its cards close to the vest.

The streaming giant has yet to announce a release date for Season 4, but that hasn’t stopped Netflix from slowly releasing trailers for individual episodes.

Thus far, trailers for two of the six episodes have been released.

The first trailer is for Arkangel , which was directed by Jodie Foster. The tale follows a mother( played by Rosemarie DeWitt) who briefly loses way of her daughter, which understandably devotes her a bit of a frighten. She signs up to be part of the trial for technology called Arkangel, which presumably tracks her daughter. How could this go wrong?

The second trailer is for an episode called Crocodile , which stars Kiran Sonia Sawar, who plays a doctor trying to help person recollect memories of a automobile accident through the use of some sort of computer.

The first trailer was released on Saturday, the 25 th, and the second was released yesterday, November 26 th. This leaves us two options: Netflix is either releasing one per day, which means we’ll get a third trailer in a couple of hours, or it’s releasing one per day on the weekends, which means we’ll be waiting for the third trailer until Saturday.

If I had to guess, I’d expect the release date to be announced following the last trailer. But if Black Mirror has taught us anything, it’s that the future doesn’t always turn out the way you expected.

Update : We now have a trailer for the third episode, Black Museum 😛 TAGEND

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Netflix cuts ties with House of Cards actor Kevin Spacey

More fallout from accusations surrounding House of Cards actor, Kevin Spacey: Netflix has said it will no longer work with the actor at all.

In a statement given to the Verge yesterday, a Netflix spokesperson said: “Netflix will not be involved with any further production of House of Cards that includes Kevin Spacey. We will continue to work with MRC[ HoC production company Media Rights Capital] during this hiatus time to evaluate our route forward as it relates to the depict. We have also decided we will not be moving forward with the release of the film Gore, which was in post-production, starring and produced by Kevin Spacey.”

It’s not clear what that means for the sixth season of House of Cards, for which production was underway at the time the allegation was made against Spacey, and devoted how central his character, congressman Frank Underwood, is to the show.

The Verge indicates producers are holding killing off Underwood or possibly moving to spin-off indicates that focus on other characters.

Netflix severing ties with Spacey follows an account by actor Anthony Rapp, given to Buzzfeed last month, alleging that the older actor made a sex advance towards him when Rapp was only 14 and Spacey was 26.

Spacey’s response to the allegation has been to say he does not “remember the encounter”, and also to say that: “If I did behave the way he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior.”

But he also selected the same moment to publicly come out as lesbian — in what was widely blamed as an attempt to distract attention from Rapp’s accusation that he made sex advances towards a minor.

At the end of last month Netflix said production on House of Cards had been suspended while it and the show’s production company reviewed the situation — and to “address any concerns of our cast and crew”.

Just prior to that it had also announced House of Cards would end after season six, saying it was “deeply troubled” by the allegations made against Spacey. Although TV industry press reported that the decision to end the present had been taken months before.

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Netflixs first Mark Millar project is a comic called The Magic Order

Netflix is launching its first project with Wanted inventor Mark Millar, since acquiring Millarworld, the publishing company he owns and operates with Lucy Millar. The scheme is to develop TV, movies and even kids’ proves based on Millarworld properties, but the first thing Netflix will release from the team is actually a comic, to be sold both in digital and publish formats, called’ The Magic Order.’

The six-issue series is written by Mark Millar, and includes art by Olivier Coipel, who previously did work for Marvel on Thor, The Avengers and other series. The narrative centers around a family squad of musician heroes who take on an enemy targeting them. It voices a little bit like a Harry Potter but for adults, with the magicians blending in among normal people with boring everyday jobs.

Millar told Variety that there’s “an enormous gap in the market” for a project like this focused on “dark fantasy, ” and says he’s also excited to be teaming up with Coipel on the first volume of the project.

Netflix getting into comics is still a very interesting developing, though they announced they’d be doing this back when Millarworld was first acquired. Now it’s putting the comics before the TV and movie projects, but perhaps it wants to build a groundswell of interest from fans of the books and then translate that to better streaming media success.

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Netflix cuts ties with Louis CK

Netflix has announced that it will not be making a second stand-up special with comedian Louis CK.

For years, rumors have swirled that Louis CK engaged in inappropriate sex behavior with the women around him. Gawker led coverage of these rumors in 2015( and even as early as 2012 ).

But this week, the New York Times reported that five females, many of whom went on the record, have accused Louis CK of sexual misconduct.

In response, Netflix has cut ties with CK, who admits that these narratives are true.

That said, other Louis CK content is still available on the Netflix service.

Beyond Netflix, Louis CK’s upcoming film, I Love You, Daddy , which was set to be released on November 17, will no longer hit theaters, according to the NYT. The Times also reports that HBO has pulled Louis CK from its on-demand library and dropped him from the lineup of its comedy benefit broadcast “Night of Too Many Stars.”

FX, the network behind the the series “Louie” in which Louis CK starrings, said that “the matter is currently under review, ” according to the NYT.

As more allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct come to light across Hollywood and beyond, big players in the media world are now having to take sides. Netflix, for one, has depicted a line in the sand, cutting ties wholly with Kevin Spacey after allegations that he made a sex advance toward performer Anthony Rapp when Rapp was just 14.

We’ve reached out to Netflix asking if they have any plans to remove other Louis CK content from the platform.

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House of Cards will end after season six, Netflix deeply troubled by Kevin Spacey allegations

Netflix announced today that House of Cards will end after its next season.

The news comes after actor Anthony Rapp told BuzzFeed that House of Cards superstar Kevin Spacey made a sexual advance toward him when Rapp was only 14. However, TVLine reports that the decision was not a response to Rapp’s accusations, and in fact was stimulated months ago.

After Rapp went public, Spacey responded, “I honestly do not recollect the encounter, ” but added, “If I did behave the style he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior.” In the same statement, Spacey came out as a gay man, a move that has also drawn criticism.

Netflix and production house Media Rights Capital released the following statement 😛 TAGEND

Media Rights Capital and Netflix are deep troubled by last night’s news concerning Kevin Spacey. In response to last night’s revelations, executives from both of our companies arrived in Baltimore this afternoon to meet with our casting and crew to ensure that they continue to feel safe and supported. As previously scheduled, Kevin Spacey is not working on set at this time.

House of Cards premiered in 2013 as Netflix’s first big bet on original content, with the streaming company paying MRC $ 100 million for exclusive rights to the first two seasons. It went on to win a number of awardings, including seven Emmys.( Creator and showrunner Beau Willimon departed after four seasons — he’s now working on a indicate for Hulu .)

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Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia to leave Netflix this December

Catch up while you can — all 12 seasons of the popular FX reveal It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia will no longer be available on Netflix after December 8th, according to Netflix Life.

The departure is due to the end of a licensing agreement with 20 th Century Fox that, regrettably, doesn’t look like it will be renewed.

Fox and FX shows have been slowly disappearing over time on the entertainment platform due to expiring agreements. This popular slapstick is merely the most recent to get yanked.

Other loved demonstrates under the Fox umbrella that have been removed from Netflix include Bob’s Burgers, Louie, Bones, Family Guy , the X-Files and certain seasons of Futurama as well.

Though other indicates defined for removal have been re-upped before. FX series American Horror Story is a good example of a reveal Netflix was able to secure for renewal right when its license with the platform was about to expire.

But let’s not get our hopes up as that is not the way it usually has run in the past.

There is a silver lining here, of course. Mac, Dee, Charlie, Dennis and Frank will still be there for you on Hulu. The online network has picked up the show’s 12 th season.

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Netflix crushes its own expectations for subscription growth again

Netflix is still on its rounded-up-to-pretty-great run as it continues to add more and more subscribers, and once again is outperforming its own the cost estimates for growth.

Today the company said it added 5.3 million new total subscribers, with 850,000 coming in the U.S. and 4.45 million coming from international markets. Netflix is expending very aggressively on original content, and so far it seems to be paying off in terms of net subscriber growth as it seems to turn Emmy awardings into contributions for its bottom line.

Here’s the money chart 😛 TAGEND

Revenue: $2.98 billion, compared to $2.97 billion estimated by Wall Streed

$2.98 billion, compared to $2.97 billion assessed by Wall Streed Earnings( adjusted ): 37 pennies per share, compared to 32 pennies per share estimated by Wall street

37 cents per share, compared to 32 pennies per share estimated by Wall Street Net subscription adds: 5.3 million (8 50,000 million in the U.S. and 4.45 million abroad ), compared to previous estimates of 4.4 million net additions( 750,000 in the U.S. and 3.65 million abroad)

5.3 million (8 50,000 million in the U.S. and 4.45 million abroad ), compared to previous estimates of 4.4 million net additions( 750,000 in the U.S. and 3.65 million abroad) Q4 forecast subscription adds: 6.3 million( 1.25 million in the U.S. and 5.05 million abroad)

: 6.3 million( 1.25 million in the U.S. and 5.05 million abroad) Q4 Revenue forecast: $3.3 billion

In the golden age of TV, the existential-animation is king

From the critically lauded time traveling of Rick and Morty to the antics of a Hollywood horse, animation is the place to find Tv that Sartre mightve liked

Why is a talking cartoon horse stimulating me weep? It’s a question many of us might have asked ourselves as the new season of BoJack Horseman- an improbably moving Netflix cartoon about a version of Hollywood populated by talking animals- surfaced over the weekend.

The characters, led by BoJack( was put forward by Will Arnett ), induce terrible decisions about sexuality and dating, sell themselves short, and generally end up miserable in the funniest possible ways. It’s a indicate at the forefront of a recent harvest of animated TV series for adults that outshine most live-action shows this side of Twin Peaks to its implementation of sheer emotional aspiration.

There’s BoJack, Adult Swim’s critically lauded sci-fi series Rick and Morty, the Duplass brethren’ Animals on HBO, and Archer, a workplace slapstick about a spy bureau that has gone crazily off the rails. In broad words, TV is still embracing what critic Jenny Jaffe dubbed the” sadcom“- a indicate with an ostensibly comic outlook that trades in for pathos – but something special is happening in animation. With animated demonstrates TV is able to flex different muscles.

BoJack, for example, had a partly wordless episode last season that featured a gorgeous sequence of its titular protagonist, a washed-up performer and pony, chasing a newborn seahorse through a cave filled with multicolored, glowing ocean anemone. The impact was somewhere between Looney Tunes and Fantasia. Archer has had a dream sequence that has lasted two full seasons and counting. It’s not that you can’t do that sort of thing on live-action television( merely look at the Sopranos for ambitious dreaming sequences ), simply that it is so much harder to pull off and takes a lot of fund. In cartoon sitcoms, as Archer demonstrates, you can use character as an anchor and change utterly everything else without breaking the show.

Rick and Morty … Dr Who’s sardonic offspring. Photograph: Adult Swim

Rick and Morty, always gleefully profane, also seems as though it ought to be ill-suited to its narratives’ hardcore existentialist leanings. On newspaper, it sounds like an appealingly high-concept sci-fi series. It follows a bitter mad scientist and his dim grandson on the various kinds of spacefaring adventures you might ensure on Doctor Who or Star Trek, but, to give credit where due, in far weirder visual terms, with aliens who are truly alien.

It is, in big measure, a cartoon about disturbingly genitalian interplanetary ogres, xenocidal gaseous intelligences, and plenty more who otherwise look like something HP Lovecraft sneezed. But like BoJack, Rick and Morty is better at plumbing some very deep intra-family emotional depths than nearly anything shooting with an actual camera- in a recent episode, Morty’s mother and sister get into a fight and are was transformed into giant, inside-out Clive Barkerishmonsters; only then can they reconcile.

Dan Harmon, who co-created the present with Justin Roiland, described it to me this route to me before it premiered in 2013:” If[ Justin] says,’ Well, I want there to be a giant testicle monster with testicles hanging off of it, and it has a vagina in the middle of it ,’ what I can provide is,’ OK, what kind of narrative might make use of that? Does the testicle monster come in on page one, and what are we learning on page five ?'” You, too, can learn valuable emotional lessons from testicle ogres, reader.

Success breeds success on television, so it’s easy to see how these presents stand on the shoulders of giants like South Park, The Simpsons, and Futurama. Without those proofs of theory, Rick and Morty, BoJack Horseman and Archer aren’t possible. For Harmon, BoJack creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg, Archer’s Adam Reed and hopefully many more to come, the colorful and plastic trappings of genre fiction and children’s fantasy- it’s hard to watch BoJack without thinking of Richard Scarry’s children’s books– aren’t incongruous or nonsensical. They’re a new emotional country, fertile, welcoming and as big as anything you can think to draw.

These indicates are all formally ambitious in more abstract routes, as well; Harmon and Bob-Waksberg both seem to understand that stasis is built into the nature of the half-hour comedy – you’re transgressing the rules if you don’t put things back where you observed them at the end of 30 minutes. For decades, the commission has been a very comforting kind of television to ingest. But what Harmon and co understand is that approach speaks to a kind of depressing, existential truth: most imperfect people can’t change. Thankfully for a new generation of animators, they can.

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