Netflix Leads in Nominations for 77th Golden Globes

In a nod toward the soaring popularity of streaming, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association honored Netflix with 34 Golden Globes nominations — more than any traditional studio or entertainment company.

The award nominations for Netflix were evenly split between movies and original series. On the movie side, Netflix garnered 17 nominations, with Sony Pictures placing a distant second with 10.

Among the Netflix films that were nominated for Golden Globes were Martin Scorsese’s critically hailed mob drama The Irishman and Noah Baumbach’s divorce drama Marriage Story, which picked up five and six noms, respectively.

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Both films were nominated in the Best Motion Picture — Drama category, along with a third Netflix film, The Two Popes. They will complete with DreamWorks’ 1917 (arriving in theaters Dec. 25) and Warner Bros.’ Joker (available digitally Dec. 17 and on disc Jan. 7).

Netflix also picked up one nomination in the Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy category with Dolemite Is My Name, which was also nominated for best actor honors (Eddie Murphy). Other films in the category include Fox’s Jojo Rabbit, Lionsgate’s Knives Out, Sony’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (available now digitally and on disc Dec. 10), and Paramount’s Elton John biopic Rocketman (available on disc and digital).

Netflix also scored well in the TV category with its original series, led by “The Crown” and Unbelievable, each with four nominations.

Noms for “The Crown” include Best Television Series — Drama, Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series — Drama  for Olivia Colman, Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series — Drama for Tobias Menzies, and Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a TV series for Helena Bonham Carter.

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Unbelievable was nominated for Best Television Limited Series and also picked up noms in that category for best actress (Kaitlyn Dever and Merrit Wever) and best supporting actress (Toni Collette).

The newly launched Apple TV+ picked up three nominations for “The Morning Show,” for Best Television Series — Drama and best actress honors for Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.

Other nominees for Best Television Series — Drama include HBO’s “Big Little Lies” and “Succession,” and BBC America’s “Killing Eve.”

Nominees for Best Television Series — Musical or Comedy were HBO’s “Barry,” Amazon Prime Video’s “Fleabag” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” and Netflix’s “The Kominsky Method” and “The Politician.”

Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television nominees in addition to Unbelievable include Hulu’s Catch-22, HBO’s Charnobyl, FX’s Fosse/Verdon and Showtime’s The Loudest Voice.

HBO was the top cable or broadcast outlet, with 15 TV nominations, second to Netflix’s 17.

The media duly noted the streamers’ success. “Is Hollywood a streaming town? The answer seems to be yes,” the Wall Street Journal remarked in its story on the nominations.

Variety echoed those sentiments, noting that the “nominations are a sign of a new world order in Hollywood, one that is increasingly dominated by streaming services.”

And the New York Post, in its typical blunt fashion, observed, “The 2020 Golden Globe nominations sent a clear message … to broadcast television: You’re toast. ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC were completely shut out of the major-category TV nominations … with streaming platforms (Netflix, Amazon, Apple TV+) and cable (HBO, BBC America, Showtime) dominating the field of contenders.”

The 77th annual Golden Globes ceremony will air on NBC Jan. 5. A full list of nominees is available here.

HBO Max Greenlights First Full Series

WarnerMedia’s pending HBO Max SVOD service has greenlit the half-hour dramedy “Generation,” which marks the streamer’s first pilot to get a full series order.

The service is set to debut in spring 2020.

“Generation” is created by 18-year old Zelda Barnz and her father, Daniel Barnz, who also directs. Executive produced by Lena Dunham and Ben Barnz, the series is described as “a dark yet playful half-hour following a group of high school students whose exploration of modern sexuality (devices and all) tests deeply entrenched beliefs about life, love and the nature of family in their conservative community.”

The cast includes Nathanya Alexander, Chloe East, Nava Mau, Lukita Maxwell, Haley Sanchez, Uly Schlesinger, Sam Trammell, Chase Sui Wonders with Justice Smith and Martha Plimpton.

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“Daniel and Zelda are an incredibly passionate team with true vision and authenticity, providing an inside look at the windy path many adolescents have to navigate as they come to terms with their identity and sexuality in ‘Generation,’” Sarah Aubrey, head of original content at HBO Max, said in a statement.

“Zelda has a particular ability to speak to and about her generation with humor and relatability, only brought further to life by this incredible cast. We couldn’t be prouder of a show to mark our first pilot to series order for HBO Max,” added Kevin Reilly, chief content officer of HBO Max, and president of TBS, TNT and TruTV.

“I wanted to see myself and kids my own age represented on TV in a way that felt real, without judgement or nostalgia. I’m so appreciative of my mentor and soul-sister Lena Dunham for all her support and guidance, and so thankful to HBO Max for making this crazy dream come true,” said Zelda Barnz in a statement.

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“I have fallen head over heels for this brilliant family, who have allowed their 18-year old daughter Zelda to express herself in a way that’s both effortlessly funny and plumbs the depths of the adolescent experience. Daniel’s direction is sensitive and artful and as a producer, Ben is equally committed to rigor and fun. I cannot wait for people to see Zelda’s brilliance come to life and to meet this insanely impressive cast of honest, powerful performers and I’m so excited to be a part of the soon to be juggernaut of HBO Max,” added Dunham.

Netflix Film Chief Talks Theatrical Windows, Viewership Data, Building Studio ‘From Scratch’

Netflix film chief Scott Stuber discussed his leap from the studio system to Netflix, releasing viewership data and the SVOD service’s theatrical model at the Variety Innovate conference in Los Angeles Dec. 5.

“The appealing thing was to do something from scratch,” he said of his joining the streaming service after a long studio career, adding that he “saw Reed [Hastings] and Ted [Sarandos] as decent human beings.”

The mission is to “evolve storytelling and give new voices chances,” he said.

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Variety editor-in-chief Claudia Eller asked about the service’s evolution on the theatrical window, from day-and-date on the streaming service to giving theaters a few weeks’ exclusivity, as it did with the Oscar-lauded Roma, and more recent award contenders such as Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman and Marriage Story.

Stuber said that Netflix has to consider the desire of its subscribers, which finance the business, to get the content as soon as possible.

“For that $10 [monthly sub price], do you get that content or do you have to wait?” he said.

He said giving Roma and other films from the studio a theatrical window only increased the appeal, noting Roma is still playing theatrically in Europe.

“We are sometimes categorized as anti-theatrical, and that’s not the truth,” he said.

Discussing the SVOD service’s legendary reticence to release viewership data, Stuber said Netflix would be more forthcoming in the future.

“No one’s afraid of it, and we really want to do it,” he said. “It’s just getting it right.”

He noted that some films theatrically are declared failures when they don’t meet a certain box office benchmark, but at Netflix they see a streaming audience not reflected in the theatrical numbers.

“I just want it to be articulated correctly to protect the filmmaker,” he said, adding, “You’ll see more numbers from us, more transparency.”

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Eller noted Netflix has a shot at a Best Picture Oscar with The Irishman and Marriage Story, which are getting rave reviews.

If that happened, “it would be big,” he said.

“I will be running around cheering.”

Panelists Discuss SVOD Services, Data at ‘Variety’ Conference

SVOD services’ design, data collection and effect on content creation were front and center at the Variety Innovate conference Dec. 5.

On the heels of its launch Nov. 12, Michael Cerda, VP of product at Disney+, told attendees, “What it really comes down to is building a really compelling consumer experience that’s easy to use that honors the content.

“We weren’t going to reinvent the wheel, but what you do is put touches in.”

That included putting buttons on the site with brand names such as Marvel, Disney and National Geographic that help consumers find the content they want.

“It’s pretty straightforward,” he said.

Households can have up to seven profiles, with kids getting buttons that appeal to them, such as “character sets like princesses,” rather than brands.

Executives also quietly tested Disney+ in the Netherlands for a month before its U.S. launch, he noted.

As for the much-reported glitches at launch, he said, “It’s software and stuff happens with software. You deal with it quickly.”

“Amongst CTO’s there’s a great deal of empathy for Disney,” said Jeremy Legg, CTO, WarnerMedia, who noted that its upcoming SVOD service HBO Max will be using human curation, in addition to algorithms, to help consumers discover content.

The services are using data and algorithms to better target consumers.

“All of us are using some sort of personalization algorithm,” said Lindsay Silver, VP of product at Conde Nast.

“We collect 100 terabytes of data every day,” added Jim Denney, VP of product management at Hulu.

That data is combined with input from such sources as surveys and ethnographic studies.

“You have to collect all these things,” Denney said.

Variety co-editor-in-chief and moderator Andrew Wallenstein asked if streaming services can gauge such things as interest “when Baby Yoda comes on screen,” referring to the new Disney+ original “The Mandalorian.”

“We do have real-time video analytics,” Cerda said. “You pay attention to this stuff.”

“You have to pick and chose what works together,” said Sonu Durgia, director, product management, search, Walmart Labs. She noted that someone who buys diapers might be receptive to content for young kids.

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The growth of streaming services has generated an explosion in spending on content, noted Wallenstein.

“We have crossed the $100 billion mark,” he said with spending in 2019 at an estimated $108.2 billion, according to the magazine’s research.

One content producer taking advantage of this explosion is legendary TV creator Chuck Lorre, who at the event explained how his “The Kominsky Method” on Netflix has changed how and what he writes. For one thing, appealing to the advertising sweet spot of those 18-49 isn’t a concern with streamers.

“You’re not concerned with how old the audience is,” he said. “You are determining if there is one.”

This allowed Lorre to explore a subject with “Kominsky Method” that he couldn’t on broadcast TV.

“I wanted to write about the minutia of getting old,” he said, as well as older folks’ “fears of being irrelevant.”

Writing for a streaming service without commercials also allows for different pacing.

“You’re not writing to an ad break,” he said. “You’re not writing to the ‘Perils of Pauline’ cliffhanger [hoping the viewer will come back].”

He compared watching a season of “Kominsky Method” to a four-hour movie or reading a book. Viewers can choose when they want to pause before continuing the story.

“In the Netflix environment, if an audience is watching show four, you know they’ve watched one, two and three,” he said, which isn’t true in broadcast TV.

“It changes the way the story unfolds,” he added. “It’s not so episodic.”

 

‘Friends’ Top Binge on TV Time Chart

The classic 1990s sitcom “Friends,” which is available on Netflix, was the top binge on the TV Time chart for the week ended Dec. 1.

TV Time is a free TV viewership tracking app that tracks consumers’ viewing habits worldwide and is visited by more than 1 million consumers every day, according to the service. The weekly “Binge Report” ranks shows with the most binge sessions. A binge session is when four or more episodes of a show are watched and tracked in the app in a given day.

Coming in at No. 2 on the binge chart was Netflix’s “The End of the F**king World,” the second season of which hit screens Nov. 5. “The Crown,” which took the bronze on the binge chart, had its third season debut Nov. 17 on Netflix with Olivia Colman taking over in the role of Queen Elizabeth II.

Arte’s French series “Mytho,” available on Netflix, topped the “Shows on the Rise” chart, which is calculated by determining the week-over-week growth in episodes watched for a given program.

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Top Binge Shows Week Ended Nov. 24 by Share of Binges:

  1. “Friends” (NBC) — 2.50%
  2. “The End of the F***ing World” (Netflix) — 2.07%
  3. “The Crown” (Netflix) — 1.80%
  4. “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC) — 1.765%
  5. “Atypical” (Netflix) — 1.73%
  6. “Riverdale” (The CW) — 1.44%
  7. “How to Get Away With Murder” (ABC) — 1.41%
  8. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (NBC) — 1.38%
  9. “The Good Place” (NBC) — 1.29%
  10. “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS) — 1.26%

 

Top Shows on the Rise Week Ended Nov. 24 by Rise Ratio:

  1. “Mytho” (Arte) — 98%
  2. “La Villa des Coeurs Brises” (TFX) — 97.5%
  3. “Who Killed Little Gregory” (Netflix) — 88.8%
  4. “Nailed It! Holiday!” (Netflix) — 82.2%
  5. “Final Space” (Adult Swim) — 77.3%
  6. “The Man in the High Castle” (Amazon Prime Video) — 77%
  7. “Umbre” (HBO Europe) — 72.5%
  8. “Prodigal Son” (Fox) — 61.1%
  9. “Carnival Row” (Amazon Prime Video) — 53.9%
  10. “Nobody’s Looking” (Netflix) — 51.6%

Research: Content Variety, Ease of Discovery and Original Programming Key in OTT

The top three reasons why consumers would recommend their OTT service are content variety, ease of content discovery and good original programming, according to research from Parks Associates.

“For consumers, video services are all about the content and experience,” Brett Sappingston, senior research director and principal analyst at Parks Associates, said in a statement. “While pricing does matter, people are ultimately looking for something to watch. So, having a compelling library with unique content is critical. Services that can quickly surface desired content will maximize viewing time and continue to prove their value to users.”

Other considerations in OTT recommendation were if the service has the genres desired or regularly adds new programs.

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Parks Associates: Top Reasons for OTT Service Recommendation

Netflix Series ‘The Witcher’ and ‘You’ Top TV Time Most Anticipated Shows Charts

Netflix dominated the list of top anticipated returning and new shows on TV Time’s December charts.

TV Time is a free TV viewership tracking app that tracks consumers’ viewing habits worldwide and is visited by more than 1 million consumers every day, according to the company. TV Time’s “Anticipation Report” is based on data from those users.

Netflix’s “The Witcher,” debuting Dec. 20, took the top spot on the anticipated new shows chart. Based on Andrzej Sapkowski’s book series of the same name, the adventure follows the story of Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill) who struggles to find his place in the world where people often prove to be more wicked than beasts. Coming in at No. 2 was Netflix’s “V Wars,” about a doctor pitted against his best friend when a fast-spreading disease starts to make people crave blood. It debuts Dec. 5. Showtime took the third spot with “The L Word: Generation Q,” a sequel series that relocates to the east side of Los Angeles and follows a new, diverse generation of LGBTQ+ friends as they experience love, sex and heartbreak. Rounding out the top five anticipated new shows were Hulu’s “Reprisal” (No. 4), about a femme fatale who leads a campaign against her brother and his gang of gearheads, and new streaming entrant Apple TV+’s “Truth Be Told” (No. 5), following a true-crime podcaster (Octavia Spencer) during an investigation of a convicted serial killer.

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Among returning shows, Netflix took two of the top five spots. The service’s “You” topped the chart. In season two of the drama, debuting Dec. 26, the stalker moves to Los Angeles and begins to obsess over a new love interest. Netflix’s “Lost in Space,” season two of which debuts Dec. 24, took the silver. “Vikings,” the History Channel’s first original scripted series, appeared at No. 3 among returning shows, while Amazon Prime’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” with season three debuting Dec. 6, was No. 4, and Hulu’s “Marvel’s Runaways,” with season three (its last) hitting screens Dec. 13, rounded out the chart at No. 5.

 

Most Anticipated New Shows for December:

  1. “The Witcher” (Netflix) — Dec. 20
  2. “V Wars” (Netflix) — Dec. 5
  3. “The L Word: Generation Q” (Showtime) — Dec. 8
  4. “Reprisal” (Hulu) — Dec. 6
  5. “Truth Be Told” (Apple TV+) — Dec. 6

 

Most Anticipated Returning Shows for December:

  1. “You” (Netflix) — Dec. 26
  2. “Lost in Space” (Netflix) — Dec. 24
  3. “Vikings” (History Channel) — Dec. 4
  4. “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon Prime) — Dec. 6
  5. “Marvel’s Runaways” (Hulu) — Dec. 13

Disney+ Mobile App Downloaded 15.5 Million Times in First Two Weeks

The Disney+ mobile app has been downloaded 15.5 million times in its first two weeks of availability, according to a Nov. 26 report from Apptopia.

The mobile app has generated $5 million through in-app purchases, according to the company’s estimates. Apptopia revenue data is calculated post app store fees. The numbers don’t include subscribers who downloaded to devices such as Apple TV or Roku.

Disney+ has been ranking No. 1 overall in the U.S. iOS and Google Play app stores since its launch, according to Apptopia. It has been No. 1 in iOS grossing ranks since Nov. 19 and since Nov. 20 on Google Play.

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Australia and New Zealand were able to start watching Disney+ originals such as The Mandalorian Nov. 19. Disney+ has been ranking No. 1 overall in both app stores in both countries since launch.

Netflix Signs Lease to Keep Open Iconic New York Theater

Netflix has announced a lease agreement to keep open New York’s iconic Paris Theatre, one of the oldest art houses in the United States, and the last single-screen theater in New York. The theater was shuttered earlier this year and was re-opened earlier this month to a successful run of Marriage Story, by filmmaker Noah Baumbach.

Netflix plans to use the theater for special events, screenings and theatrical releases of its films. Terms of the lease were not disclosed.

“After 71 years, the Paris Theatre has an enduring legacy, and remains the destination for a one-of-a kind movie-going experience,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, in a statement. “We are incredibly proud to preserve this historic New York institution so it can continue to be a cinematic home for film lovers.”

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The Paris Theatre first opened in 1948, when actress Marlene Dietrich cut the ribbon to commemorate the occasion. The theater, opened by Pathé Cinema, originally showed French titles, the first of which was La Symphonie Pastorale, which ran for eight months.

The Paris became a symbol of prestige cinema, known for showcasing specialized films, and can be credited with introducing renowned foreign-language films to an American audience, including Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet, which ran for almost a year from 1968-1969; Claude Lelouch’s A Man and a Woman; and Marcello Mastroianni’s comedy Divorce Italian Style, which played for more than a year. The theater closed in August 2019 after a successful run of Ron Howard’s Pavarotti.

Netflix’s ‘The Crown’ and ‘The Dragon Prince’ Top TV Time Charts

Two Netflix shows topped the TV Time charts for the week ended Nov. 24. “The Dragon Prince” was the top rising show while “The Crown” was the top binge.

TV Time is a free TV viewership tracking app that tracks consumers’ viewing habits worldwide and is visited by more than 1 million consumers every day, according to the service. The weekly “Binge Report” ranks shows with the most binge sessions. A binge session is when four or more episodes of a show are watched and tracked in the app in a given day. The “Shows on the Rise” chart is calculated by determining the week-over-week growth in episodes watched for a given program.

The third season of top binge “The Crown” debuted Nov. 17 on Netflix with Olivia Colman taking over in the role of Queen Elizabeth II. Coming in at No. 2 on the binge chart was Netflix’s “The End of the F**king World,” the second season of which hit screens Nov. 5. It was last week’s top binge.

The animated series “The Dragon Prince,” which was the top rising show, follows two human princes and an elven assassin on a quest to bring peace to their warring lands. Its third season debuted on Netflix Nov. 22.

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Top Binge Shows Week Ended Nov. 24 by Share of Binges:

  1. “The Crown” (Netflix) — 3.18%
  2. “The End of the F***ing World” (Channel 4/Netflix) — 3.12%
  3. “Friends” (NBC) — 2.44%
  4. “Atypical” (Netflix) — 2.39%
  5. “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC) — 1.87%
  6. “Riverdale” (The CW) — 1.57%
  7. “The Good Place” (NBC) — 1.44%
  8. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (NBC) — 1.37%
  9. “How to Get Away With Murder” (ABC) — 1.28%
  10. “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS) — 1.24%

 

Top Shows on the Rise Week Ended Nov. 24 by Rise Ratio:

  1. “The Dragon Prince” (Netflix) — 95.8%
  2. “The Bonfire of Destiny” (TF1) — 95.7%
  3. “High Seas” (Netflix) — 92.3%
  4. “I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here” (UK) (ITV) — 90.2%
  5. “Balthazar” (TF1) — 88.3%
  6. “The Man in the High Castle” (Amazon Prime Video) — 79.9%
  7. “The Crown” (Netflix) — 77.9%
  8. “Ray Donovan” (Showtime) — 77%
  9. “The Club” (Netflix) — 76.8%
  10. “The Neighborhood” (CBS) — 60.3