LOS ANGELES – Revivals, spinoffs and cancelled broadcast shows are taking over Netflix. The streaming service recently began filming their newest reboot of "Gilmore Girls," with original stars Alexis Bledel and Lauren Graham. Meanwhile, "Fuller House" is set to premiere in late February on Netflix.
Pat Saperstein, deputy editor at Variety, explained why Netflix is not afraid to sign on for reboots –especially in the case one remake, “Wet Hot American Summer.” The eight episode Netflix series served as a prequel to the 2001 film.
“I think that one reason (the remakes don’t flop) is because they don’t have to do a whole season of a TV show and then try to get it picked up for another season and another season,” she explained. “In the case of ‘Wet Hot American Summer’ it was a short series… so it’s less commitment, and it’s less risk, and they can just see what the interest is for it, and then if it proves really successful they can probably go and renew it for another season but they don’t have to.”
It is estimated that a show like “Empire” on Fox costs more than $3 million per episode, which is within the price range of other network dramas. FOX411 reached out to Netflix to find out about the reboots’ success and cost but the streaming service declined to comment.
Netflix revived a fourth season of “Arrested Development” in May 2013. The show aired on FOX from 2003 to 2006 and became a cult favorite after its cancellation. It seems the fourth season was a hit, because producer Brian Grazer told The Wrap viewers should expect more episodes later this year.
Saperstein said success in the realm of Netflix differs from a success in the world of network or cable television.
“Making a Netflix show is just such a different kind of proposition because you don’t have to go out and convince people to buy commercials,” Saperstein said. “You don’t have to convince people to subscribe to a certain channel like HBO, once you subscribe to Netflix it is a lower price; so it’s a different kind of a business and it makes it easier for them to take those [kinds] of risks.”
Saperstein said the streaming service also has a leg up on the big networks because it connects with a younger audience.
“The younger demographic and sort of millennials who love these shows—these reboots and the nostalgia genre—they prefer to watch streaming anyway because they don’t particularly want to pay for cable TV, so that is what they are already watching so that makes it the natural home for these kind of shows.”
At the Television Critics Association’s Winter Press Tour in January, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos gave some insight into some of the advantages of the reboots on the streaming service.
He said with a show like “Fuller House,” for example, it is impressive that Netflix subscribers worldwide will all have access to the show at the same time as U.S. viewers.
“People grew up on this show in India, in Dubai, in Brazil, in France, in Germany and Korea. And they still love it,” he said. “The idea that they can experience ‘Fuller House’ at the exact same moment as everyone else in the world will be amazing for them.”
In January at the Consumer Electronics Show, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced the streaming service has plans to expand to 130 more countries. Netflix was in 60 countries at the end of 2015.
You can follow Blanche Johnson on Twitter @blancheFOXLA.