Netflix reportedly planning a ’60 Minutes’ inspired weekly news show

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Netflix is developing a weekly news show to rival the likes of CBS’ 60 Minutes and ABC’s 20/20, according to a report from Marketwatch.

Marketwatch says the information comes from a TV executive who worked with Netflix in the past on a documentary, although the individual asked to remain anonymous.

“Netflix have spotted a hole in the market for a current affairs TV show encompassing both sides of the political divide and are seeking to fill it,” the executive told Marketwatch. 

Few details on the alleged project are known at this time, although Marketwatch‘s report states that Netflix is “in the early stages of developing what it hopes will be a ‘sharp, balanced’ news show.”

As well, the source said that Netflix is “proceeding with caution” with the endeavour because the company is “well aware that most new current affairs shows underwhelm and are expensive.” Netflix is looking into how to make the show economically viable without compromising on production costs or news-gathering operations, the source said.

There is some skepticism that Netflix would find success in such a venture, though. Speaking to Pivotal Research analyst Jeff Wlodarczak told MarketWatch that Netflix’s content is typically evergreen, allowing users to watch months or even years later and still enjoy them. Current affairs offerings, he said, are the complete opposite type of content.

It’s also worth noting that Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings recently said the company wasn’t interested in news-related programming seen on the likes of ABC or CBS. “We have so much we want to do in our area that we’re not looking to copy competitors,” Hastings said during a March 6th media event in Hollywood. “We don’t do news, we don’t do live sports — what we do do, we try to do very well.”

While Netflix hasn’t yet dabbled in news programs, the streaming giant has expanded its content offerings to include talk shows and interview shows from the likes of Chelsea Handler, Joel McHale, Norm MacDonald and David Letterman.

Recent reports also suggest Netflix is close to finalizing a deal with former U.S. president Barack Obama and his wife Michelle to produce a series of new shows. The programs will reportedly delve into “inspirational stories,” as well as hot topics like healthcare and immigration.

Altogether, Netflix plans to spend $8 billion USD on original programming in 2018.

Source: Marketwatch Via: Engadget

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