David Bloom is a Deadline contributor.
You’d think a big new TV revenue source that has goosed income, built audiences and boosted marketing might be the favored guest at a show creator’s next holiday gathering, but that’s not necessarily the case, a panel of industry notables said today at a conference in Los Angeles. In fact, sometimes they spend as much time referring to Netflix as “the N word” as they do celebrating the good things it might do for their shows.
And there are some reasons for that ambivalence. As the streaming-video giant creates and markets more of its own shows, it creates branding problems and other conflicts for networks and producers with shows on the service. As Netflix pushes for the rights to run more recent shows, networks are pushing back. And as Netflix builds deeper knowledge about customer preferences, but doesn’t share enough of that data, distributors and creators have found new ways to be unhappy, even if they appreciate the very real benefits of their Netflix deals.
Related: Netflix Shares Hit New Highs in Q3
“I think [Netflix is] the true definition of frenemy,” said Chuck Saftler, FX Networks’ COO and President of Program Strategy, during the The State Of Next Generation Television panel at the Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey. “We make money when Sons of Anarchy is on Netflix. But as they put out more original content, and call House of Cards a Netflix original, and Orange Is The New Black a Netflix original (and mix that with messages about FX shows), that becomes a concern because it starts to lump our brand in with theirs.” Read More »
Kevin Beggs is staying put at Lionsgate with a new long-term agreement and a title bump from president to chairman of the Lionsgate Television Group, the company announced today at Lionsgate’s annual shareholders meeting in Toronto. The move is a recognition of the growth Lionsgate’s TV business has experienced over the past decade. Since Beggs joined the company in 1998, he guided the television division from $8 million in revenue in 2000 to nearly $400 million last year. The company started in cable, becoming one of the first studios to produce original series for AMC, the Emmy-winning Mad Men, and Showtime, Weeds and then Nurse Jackie. Lionsgate has since expanded into broadcast where it co-produces ABC’s returning drama Nashville and continues to support emerging platforms, most recently Netflix with breakout Orange Is The New Black and WGN America with upcoming drama series Manhattan. The 2006 acquisition of Debmar-Mercury gave Lionsgate a foothold in first-run syndication and distribution and an entry into the 10-90 model that has yielded a slew of comedy series, most recently Anger Management and the upcoming George Lopez and Martin Lawrence-Kelsey Grammer sitcoms on FX. Lionsgate’s television roster now encompass 30 series on 20 different networks. As chairman, Beggs will continue to oversee development and production of all scripted and non-scripted programming for broadcast, cable and digital platforms worldwide, and he will continue to report to Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer. “Kevin epitomizes the entrepreneurial leadership, innovative thinking and creative vision that have shaped the consistent and successful evolution of our television business,” said Feltheimer. Read More »
The Hollywood Radio & Television Society’s board of directors has elected WME partner Sean Perry as the new president of HRTS for the 2011-13 term. He will succeed Lionsgate TV president Kevin Beggs, who headed the organization for the past three years. Perry, who is co-head of WME’s non-scripted television department, has been on the HRTS Board of Directors since 2008, and co-chaired the Unscripted Hitmakers Newsmaker Luncheon in April 2011. Additionally, Ian Moffit, head of Digital Video at BermanBraun, is the new VP; Martha Henderson, EVP Entertainment for City National Bank, has been re-elected Treasurer; and Kelly Goode, producer for GSN, is the new Secretary. HRTS Executive Director Dave Ferrara has also been re-upped to a new three-year deal. Reminder: HRTS’ annual Networks Chiefs luncheon is tomorrow. Prepare for long valet lines at the Beverly Hilton.
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV Coverage.
UPDATE 1:30 PM: During the HRTS’ State of the Industry panel, Lionsgate TV Group president Kevin Beggs was again asked about his company’s decision to develop a series with troubled actor Charlie Sheen. He maintained that being in business with the king of misbehavior is “not as big a risk as you might think. He’s been on a show for eight years, and the (production) model we’re employing compresses the time period way down (from a typical network sitcom production).” Beggs concluded, “There’s risk in everything you do, but we think that we’re going to insulate ourselves as best we can,” after noting earlier, “If Charlie isn’t a good fit with Anger Management, we don’t know what we’re doing.”
PREVIOUS 12:45 PM:Lionsgate TV Group President Kevin Beggs told Deadline a few minutes ago that there is as yet no target network or showrunner in place for the announced Charlie Sheen-attached TV series project based on the 2003 Jack Nicholson-Adam Sandler feature Anger Management. It’s being produced jointly by Lionsgate TV and Debmar-Mercury, producer of the TBS sitcoms House of Payne and Meet the Browns. Beggs, who serves as HRTS president, confirmed while rushing in to participate on an HRTS Luncheon panel at the Beverly Hilton that the series will “follow the model pioneered by (Debmar-Mercury co-heads) Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein. They’re really the innovators of this.” That likely means a similar format to the pair of TBS sitcoms that calls for an initial short … Read More »