Critics didn’t particularly like the 13-episode horror series that Netflix introduced Friday. But CEO Reed Hastings told analysts today that Hemlock Grove is “getting viewed by even more subscribers in its first couple of days” than House Of Cards was in February. Overall the company is “feeling very excited” about the original shows, which provide “a very nice redefinition and broadening of what Netflix is.” Even so, the political drama had “a nice impact but a gentle impact” on subscriptions. As a result, he doesn’t believe that the company will see a huge response right away next month when it offers 15 new episodes of Arrested Development. Although he considers it an “absolutely spectacular phenomenon” that’s “going to be great for us,” he adds that the company has “no history of it being a step function.” The CEO says that Netflix will have six or seven original shows this year and will “take that up next year” — though it has “no set number” of originals it wants to offer.
The trend towards transatlantic series was further confirmed this week at Mip-TV which starts winding down today. Internationally-packaged dramas that were tubthumped here included Starz/BBC Worldwide’s Da Vinci’s Demons, Endemol/AMC’s Low Winter Sun, Netflix/Gaumont International TV’s Hemlock Grove, Starz/BBC’s The White Queen, eOne/DirecTV‘s Rogue and Tandem Communication’s Crossing Lines, which NBC picked up last month for a summer debut. Early on in the market, Starz announced it was partnering with Sky Atlantic on Fortitude, a drama written by Simon Donald, creator of the original British version of Low Winter Sun.
Apart from their international flavor, the shows also have in common that they were almost all picked up in straight-to-series deals. Horrormeister and Hemlock Grove exec producer Eli Roth said knowing that he had 13 episodes from the outset was “really an advantage.” It enabled him to keep working along the way on one aspect of the initial episodes – a character’s complex transformation into a werewolf. Tandem’s Rola Bauer, who’s exec producing Crossing Lines said, “I would encourage” Hollywood to do more straight-to-series orders, and “trust us.” During pilot season, she said, “everyone is chasing the same actors” and trying to access state and foreign tax credits at the same time, making for a frenzied atmosphere. But she allowed that “The UK and America are open to realizing the economic market needs to have a different way of working creatively… I hope the show makes it easier for people to come over here and make co-productions.”
If, as Eli Roth contends, “people want their horror horrific,” then judging by the six minutes of Hemlock Grove that screened here today, fans of the genre shall not be disappointed. Roth, who exec produces the Netflix original series, was in Cannes this afternoon with star Famke Janssen. He directed the first of 13 episodes which all become available in the U.S. on April 19. The Gothic horror with a Twin Peaks lilt was produced by Gaumont International TV, a division of the French major. Roth called the studio, “director friendly” and joked, “Especially because they’re French, we can say auteur, and not ironically.”
Roth said he’d been looking for a TV project, but was having a hard time cracking the nut. Netflix let him “run wild” with Hemlock Grove which is written by Brian McGreevey and Lee Shipman and based on McGreevy’s novel. Network TV “has all these standards” but in horror, Roth contends, “you want to see the sex and the killing and the violence. What’s great about Netflix and Gaumont is you can really push the envelope in that direction.” Roth he was aiming for something “beautiful and horrific,” especially in showing how one character transforms into a werewolf, that “would really fuck up an entire generation.”
Executive producer Eli Roth directed the first episode of Netflix‘s new Gothic horror series, which debuts with 13 episodes on April 19. The Gaumont International TV production stars Famke Janssen, Bill Skarsgard, Landon Liboiron, Dougray Scott, Penelope Mitchell, Freya Tingley, and Lili Taylor as the denizens …
EXCLUSIVE: The Hunger Games‘ Latarsha Rose and Omari Hardwick (Middle Of Nowhere) have been added the cast of BET’s hourlong pilot Being Mary Jane (form. Single Black Female) starring Gabrielle Union. Written by Mara Brock Akil and to be directed by Salim Akil, Being Mary Jane centers on successful talk show host Mary Jane Paul (Union) looking to one day become the No.1 nightly news anchor while searching for Mr. Right. Rose, repped by SMS Talent and Bleecker Street, will play Dr. Lisa Hudson, Mary Jane’s best friend from college who is a professional yet conflicted single woman whose strong religious values have driven her to a life of celibacy. Hardwick, repped by Greene & Assoc. and Brian Medavoy, will play Mary Jane’s love interest.
Australian actress Freya Tingley (Beneath The Waves) has been cast as a regular in Netflix’s Famke Janssen-starring original series Hemlock Grove, from Eli Roth and Gaumont International TV. Written by Brian McGreevey and Lee Shipman based on McGreevy’s upcoming goth horror novel, Hemlock Grove revolves around the murder of a young girl found close to the former Godfrey steel mill. The suspects in her killing include Peter (Landon Liboiron), a 17-year-old Gypsy kid from the wrong side of the tracks, and Roman (Bill Skarsgard),
Australian actress Penelope Mitchell has been cast in a regular role in Netflix’s new original series Hemlock Grove, from Eli Roth and Gaumont International TV, joining previously cast Famke Janssen, Bill Skarsgard and Landon Liboiron. Written by Brian McGreevey and Lee …