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Old March 8 2012, 04:06 PM   #16
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: Netflix may pick up Terra Nova

Out Of My Vulcan Mind wrote: View Post
Dream wrote: View Post
No way in hell can Netlfix afford this show.
The first show they've greenlighted, David Fincher's House of Cards (set to star Kevin Spacey), has a budget of $100 million for 26 episodes, although it's being reported that Fincher now wants even more money. That's a budget per episode just slightly lower than that of Terra Nova. The assumption that Netflix is looking to make low budget shows and that that's all they can afford is erroneous.
Of course, to conclude from this that Netflix is just rolling in dough and can't wait to pay it out to producers would be misleading as well - 100 million to Fincher is 100 million that's not available to spend on stuff like Terra Nova. Choices have to be made.
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Old March 8 2012, 04:13 PM   #17
Out Of My Vulcan Mind
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Re: Netflix may pick up Terra Nova

My Name Is Legion wrote: View Post
Of course, to conclude from this that Netflix is just rolling in dough and can't wait to pay it out to producers would be misleading as well - 100 million to Fincher is 100 million that's not available to spend on stuff like Terra Nova. Choices have to be made.
Sure, but I was responding to the notion that there's no way Netflix can afford a show like Terra Nova. That's not the case. Plus they wouldn't be on the hook for the whole budget. They'd pay a license fee for the North American rights and Fox TV would cover the rest of the budget through overseas sales and ancillary markets. Even so, Netflix may well pass on picking up Terra Nova.
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Old March 8 2012, 06:13 PM   #18
Dick Whitman
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Re: Netflix may pick up Terra Nova

It will be interesting to follow this and other efforts by Netflix to produce television series. Its a logical progression in the increasingly fractured number of television outlets available for viewers.

My best friend for example. She used to have DirectTV and Netflix. But now only watches TV series she follows via streaming from Netflix. She does not even bother with an antenna.
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Old March 8 2012, 06:16 PM   #19
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Re: Netflix may pick up Terra Nova

Would be better if Netflix picked up a show that's, y'know, good.
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Old March 8 2012, 06:18 PM   #20
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Re: Netflix may pick up Terra Nova

When you're choosing from the leavings of canceled shows, you shouldn't set your sights too high.
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Old March 8 2012, 06:33 PM   #21
Dick Whitman
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Re: Netflix may pick up Terra Nova

This is a long shot to be sure but I wonder if at some point they could release a new Star Trek series exclusively through Netflix.

Sure there would be budget issues. But with fresh cast and crews it could start lower than recent series finished with.

Also it's known that its fan base tends to be willing to purchase new content at every opportunity. Why wait for DVD sales when they can get money from the first time viewing. Instead of giving it away on a network broadcast.
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Old March 8 2012, 06:38 PM   #22
Cookies and Cake
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Re: Netflix may pick up Terra Nova

It is a wise move to study the idea. It's an opportunity that could demonstrate the feasibility of a new type of market.

And while I agree that it would be foolish to make radical changes, I don't see that they necessarily have to make a clone of the first season either. Seems like their highest priority would be to identify their audience and give them what it wants, if the audience is big enough and devoted. The audience would be interested in a continuation of the show that was aired.
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Last edited by Cookies and Cake; March 8 2012 at 08:26 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old March 8 2012, 08:21 PM   #23
jefferiestubes8
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Trek as a subscription-based series

Donald Draper wrote: View Post
This is a long shot to be sure but I wonder if at some point they could release a new Star Trek series exclusively through Netflix.
Donald Draper see this older thread I started in Future of Trek:

provider for new Trek series as original series download


and for that matter this lively discussion also in that subforum that goes into USA & international licensing, syndication, audiences, and budgets:
Would it really matter if the next Trek series were on linear TV?
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Old March 8 2012, 09:45 PM   #24
Temis the Vorta
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Re: Netflix may pick up Terra Nova

It's obvious that Netflix and broadcast TV are in two very different businesses. If Netflix doesn't know this, they're in bigger trouble than I thought.

Terra Nova
was created for the broadcast business, where content has been shaped by the need to corral huge, broad-based audiences for big-ticket advertisers like McDonald's and Ford. This business model has been undermined by competition from cable, etc, so the show's basic problem is that it's being made for a need that no longer exists, as even broadcast is forced to start chasing niche-ier audiences.

And if that need doesn't exist on broadcast, it certainly doesn't exist anyplace that is funded by subscriptions rather than ads. Under the subscription model, you don't need mass audiences - there are no advertisers to please - so the name of the game is pleasing smaller niche audiences well enough to motivate them to pay for your service. That's the premium cable business model. Basic cable is a mix of the two and the shows on basic cable are, logically, also a mix of the two approaches.

Since Netflix is subscription, not ad supported, they need to act less like FOX and more like HBO. If HBO or Showtime wouldn't bother with a show like Terra Nova - and of course they wouldn't, at least without changing it fundamentally to appeal to their own audiences - then it would make no sense for Netflix to do that either.

If foreign audiences are enough to tempt Netflix, then why don't HBO and Showtime also pick up broadcast flops? (Answer: it would screw up their brand image, which is something Netflix needs to start concerning itself with, especially since their business is in flux, and therefore their brand image is up for grabs. HBO and Showtime understand that making a quick buck is not a smart idea at the cost of their brand image, which is the most valuable thing any business owns.)

It will be interesting to follow this and other efforts by Netflix to produce television series. Its a logical progression in the increasingly fractured number of television outlets available for viewers.
That's my interest here, too. The Terra Nova deal really doesn't make a lot of sense for Netflix from a strategic standpoint. At this point, they need to start creating their own brand of content, and picking up the pricey rejects of the dinosaur broadcast model (no pun intended) is not the way to do that.

Sure, they might make some short-term money, but anyone who understands long-term strategic thinking and where the business as a whole is going will quickly understand that Terra Nova is an irrelevance. They have the right basic idea to be interested in a cultish sci fi show, but to try to retool one that has been massively rejected by American audiences is simply not worth their while.

Shows like Terra Nova simply have no place on TV anymore, and certainly not in the emerging streaming video market. The fact that foreign audiences like it more than Americans just shows that foreign audiences are a few years behind where Americans are, in terms of TV viewing tastes, because their markets are not as mature. They'll get where we are sooner or later. Strategic marketing is all about shooting for where the market is going, not picking low-hanging fruit today.

Sindatur wrote: View Post
Forbin wrote: View Post
I had no idea Netflix produced their own shows!
I'm not sure they have actually done so yet, but, it's known to be the step on their ladder, they want to implement
They produced Lilyhammer, and it's been a big honking flop. but that's more the type of show you'd see on HBO or Showtime, so at least they had the sort of right idea. House of Cards is also obviously in the same category since HBO and Showtime were bidding on it. Terra Nova is a weird outlier when compared with the other shows Netflix is developing or reviving.

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
When you're choosing from the leavings of canceled shows, you shouldn't set your sights too high.
Arrested Development is the kind of cancelled show they're right to set their sights on. It was always too nichey and sophisticated for broadcast, which is why it failed there. Netflix also realizes that sci fi's inherent cult appeal fits their business model, but Terra Nova has already been fatally crippled by the attempt to pound it into the square hole of bland broadcast tastes. They'd have to invest more money in reshaping it into something to fit their own business model, and it's more cost effective to start over from scratch with something different.

And frankly, I wouldn't worry too much about catering to the specific tastes of foreign audiences. They are less picky than Americans because their markets are less developed and they have less to be picky about. A revamped Terra Nova with less of the soapy teen angst crap and formulaic storytelling would work just as well overseas. But it's more bother for Netflix than it's worth.

This is a long shot to be sure but I wonder if at some point they could release a new Star Trek series exclusively through Netflix.
My mind keeps drifting in that direction, too. Netflix should be talking to CBS about Star Trek. Now there's a brand name that has some cachet, thanks to JJ Abrams, and if they have money to burn, burn it on something good. Or, go the Game of Thrones route and pick up a sci fi or fantasy book series with a big dedicated fanbase. Or do both.

And don't forget the opportunity cost in all this. Netflix has the resources to do X new shows. Whatever that number is, it's finite. Why waste time putting lipstick on a pig? Right now is a very crucial time for Netflix, as they are shaping their brand image going forward. Do they really want to be known as the purveyor of cosmetically enhanced porkers?

Last edited by Temis the Vorta; March 8 2012 at 10:17 PM.
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Old March 8 2012, 10:06 PM   #25
Cookies and Cake
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Re: Netflix may pick up Terra Nova

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
Since Netflix is subscription, not ad supported, they need to act less like FOX and more like HBO. If HBO or Showtime wouldn't bother with a show like Terra Nova - and of course they wouldn't, at least without changing it fundamentally to appeal to their own audiences - then it would make no sense for Netflix to do that either.
That's true as far as it goes, but complete similarity doesn't exist because their overhead has a different cost structure. According to this article, HBO splits new subscription fees about 50-50 with the distributors, while Showtime has a different arrangement with distributors. Netflix would have a third arrangement not involving contracts with cable or satellite providers, at least not the same sort of contracts. Since there is distinction in their business models at least at the margin, not everything unattractive to HBO need necessarily be unattractive to Netflix. My guess is they're running the numbers of various scenarios to see whether it's worth the risk.

Also, the productions they've already committed to are different.
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Old March 8 2012, 10:26 PM   #26
Temis the Vorta
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Re: Netflix may pick up Terra Nova

That doesn't change my essential point, which is that broadcast TV has been a certain way because of the needs to cater to advertisers who want big mass audiences. Premium cable is more about what specific audiences want, not about what advertisers want. Netflix needs to follow the premium cable approach, because they have no advertisers to please.

I wouldn't want to see Netflix simply imitate HBO and Showtime. They need to forge their own identity, and not just a grab-bag of various premium cable-ish shows. Right now, they don't seem to be putting any thought into their brand identity.

Whatever their brand identity needs to be, Terra Nova in its present incarnation is definitely not it. It represents a phase of TV that no longer even exists on broadcast, well, not unless Netflix is aiming for some kind of TVLand nostalgia approach. Someday that wouldn't be a bad idea as a sub-brand for them - new shows, made the old-fashioned way! - but they need a brand before they start worrying about sub-brands.

They need to identify the ways in which Netflix customers (current and potential) are different from premium cable customers, find some chink in that armor and exploit it. I can't help but think that HBO/Showtime do have a snobby, unapproachable air about them, big business, not friendly...maybe there's a branding opportunity for Netflix there. And then create content that could be on premium cable, but isn't, because they're too damn full of themselves. Mad Men is exactly what Netflix shouldn't do. What they should do...well, I'm thinking Star Trek again...
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Old March 8 2012, 10:30 PM   #27
Cookies and Cake
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Re: Netflix may pick up Terra Nova

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
That doesn't change my essential point, which is that broadcast TV has been a certain way because of the needs to cater to advertisers who want big mass audiences. Premium cable is more about what specific audiences want, not about what advertisers want. Netflix needs to follow the premium cable approach, because they have no advertisers to please.
Yeah, this makes sense. My point was simply, and to elaborate further, that Netflix doesn't depend on the same middle men that HBO and Showtime do, at least not in the same way, so there is a difference in what their best course of action is. They need to make that work to their advantage.
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Old March 8 2012, 10:56 PM   #28
Dick Whitman
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Re: Netflix may pick up Terra Nova

Similar to Star Trek in this vein of distribution would be DC and Marvel properties. They are moving into online digital versions of their actual comics. It would be a natural extension of that with live action series or animation.

What is the alternative the CW? How many affiliates does it even have at this point? Cartoon Network which has eradicate scheduling.
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Old March 8 2012, 11:19 PM   #29
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Re: Netflix may pick up Terra Nova

Mr Light wrote: View Post
Second Season Premiere: All the dinosaurs have mysteriously vanished!

Also, Terra Nova now looks a lot like Vancouver.

You forgot half of the cast being killed off, probably by a plague.
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Old March 8 2012, 11:19 PM   #30
Temis the Vorta
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Re: Netflix may pick up Terra Nova

Similar to Star Trek in this vein of distribution would be DC and Marvel properties. They are moving into online digital versions of their actual comics. It would be a natural extension of that with live action series or animation.
Well there's an idea. Who says Netflix needs to just imitate any type of TV business, broadcast or cable? Why couldn't they start distributing online comics? Why not do both traditional (still image) comics and some hybrid between still images and animation? Maybe there's a new form of comics to be invented.

Now that's the kind of creative thinking Netflix needs. Their business has been TV and movies to date. No reason it needs to stay that way. They could distribute ebooks. They could distribute forms of media that haven't even been invented.

And I just read that airlockalpha link, ay yi yi!

Netflix would hope that having "Terra Nova" would be a draw to the service. If it were to simply retain the 7.5 million viewers it had on Fox, having that audience buy service for just three months at current rates would generate about $179.8 million in new revenue.

However, it's likely that many "Terra Nova" viewers who would follow the show are already Netflix subscribers, and others may choose not to follow it to a new venue. Even if the new-subscriber figures were based on a more reasonable 2 million viewers, that would equate to $47.9 million for three months service.
I really hope Netflix doesn't think for one millisecond that very many people who might watch Terra Nova because it's free and easily available from the comfort of their couches would pay good money to watch it, or even take the trouble to seek it out. It's not at all the kind of grabby-niche "gotta have it!" type show that can induce people to pay for content on the internet, which is notoriously hard.

Netflix really needs to remember it has built its service to date by being a cheaper alternative to video stores. I'm sure I'm not the only person who bailed on Blockbuster with its $5-per-video rentals in favor of Netflix, where I've been averaging more like $1.50.

That's a very different motive than someone who isn't a current Netflix subscriber, and says, omg! they have X! I have to see X! It's extraordinarily difficult to induce people to pay for content on the internet, where everyone is trained to get things for free. Netflix needs to be very careful about jumping from their rational, cheapskate-driven business into a business where the motive is driven by fan obsession.

And once again, we're back to Star Trek as the answer. (Or a Game of Thrones-type novel series.) Netflix just needs to go find the type of content that does elicit a true fan-obsession reaction. Terra Nova ain't it, but there's a lot out there that could be.
It might be a loss-lead Netflix may consider worth taking, considering the attention it will get for producing an original Steven Spielberg series.
If they're willing to take a loss on a show just to build their brand, they should set their sights much higher than a drivelly broadcast reject!
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