Another model to follow, maybe the best so far: Netflix picks up Sense8 from JMS and the Wachowskis.
The Wachowskis’ new sci-fi drama project Sense8 has landed at Netflix with a 10-episode order for a debut on Netflix Instant in late 2014. The series is produced by Georgeville TV, Reliance Entertainment/Motion Picture Capital’s TV studio, in association with J. Michael Straczynski‘s Studio JMS. This marks the first foray into TV series for the Wachowski siblings, the masterminds of The Matrix franchise, who are teamed with sci-fi veteran Straczynski (Babylon 5). Sense8 is described as “a gripping global tale of minds linked and souls hunted” that incorporates the Wachowskis’ storytelling style.
Added the Wachowskis, “We’re excited to work with Netflix and Georgeville Television on this project, and we’ve wanted to work with Joe Straczynski for years, chiefly due to the fact his name is harder to pronounce than ours, but also because we share a love of genre and all things nerdy.”
Not a space opera, but the key features are: it's for a sci fi friendly audience (streaming customers = tech early adopters = nerds, or at least enough to justify a series for them
), and it's got two big names attached, which can tap into - and be marketed to - the fanbases of both the Wachowskis and JMS, or just people who are interested in shows that have a strong vision behind them, even if you weren't wowed by Cloud Atlas
, and is unafraid to be nerdy.
And if all you need is $2M per ep to make a decent space opera series, Netflix can cover that handily. Their episodes run more like $4M on average
(and a lot more if you're David Fincher and can blow the budget with impunity.)