Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Is Netflix Ready To Save Its First Show?

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says he might get into the TV salvage business–footing all or part of the bill for a show that the networks want to cancel, so that his customers can keep watching new episodes.

So here’s a candidate: “The Event,” a “Lost”-style serial that NBC had big hopes for last fall, but doesn’t want anymore.

Comcast’s broadcast network has cancelled the show in advance of Monday’s upfront presentation, where it will try to sell its new stuff to advertisers. But floats the notion that the producers of “The Event” will find a new home for the show, and reporter Nellie Andreeva says she hears “new original programming player Netflix’s name tossed around.”

Netflix spokesman Steve Swasey won’t comment on the report, but I’ll go ahead and file it under “possible but not likely.” That’s because:

  • It’s not unheard of for shows that start out on one network to find new life somewhere else. But those are usually shows that have lasted multiple seasons. “The Event” just limped through a single one.
  • That short run also makes it seem like “The Event” would be a hard sell for Netflix. If the service had access to past seasons of the show, and had seen significant subscriber interest, it’d be easier to justify. But in this case, it would have to guess that something that didn’t appeal to NBC’s audience would resonate with Netflix users. That’s a pretty big leap.

Then again, I said the same thing about reports that Netflix was going to foot a big part of the bill for a “House Of Cards,” a new HBO-style series from Kevin Spacey. And that turned out to be true. So I’ll leave myself just a bit of wiggle room here: Ya never know!

Here, as a reminder, is the show that few of you have been watching:

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus