Netflix has pretty much come to own every genre it's forayed into: documentaries (Ava DuVernay's 13th); political dramas (House of Cards); millennial comedies (Master of None, Love); supernatural thrillers (Stranger Things); women-centred dramas (Orange is the New Black); talk-shows (Chelsea); reboots (Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life); critically-acclaimed films (Beasts of No Nation); stand-up (Amy Schumer's comedy special); superhero shows (Luke Cage, Jessica Jones); animated adult comedies (BoJack Horseman); and true crime docs (Making A Murderer).
Conspicuously missing from that list? Reality TV. But that's about to change with the streaming service's latest development strategy.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix is making a move into reality TV in a big way by investing in content including competitive reality shows and docu-soaps (as well as additional talk-shows). THR writes that by the end of 2017, Netflix's list of original unscripted series will be in the double-digits.
Netflix has a few advantages on its side. It will offer TV producers straight-to-series orders, meaning they won't have to go through the tedious process of first producing a pilot and waiting for review, approval, and input from executives before getting a full series order. They're also able to be more flexible in their negotiations and funding allocation. Sources tell THR that cable tier (lower quality) series will run £350,000 to £450,000 an episode and network tier series (higher quality) will run £800,000 and over.
"The competition should be scared out of their minds," said one unnamed producer. "These guys are monsters — they're coming in to play and play hard." Which means... more awesome reality TV for all of us! We're excited to see what Netflix comes up with.