Netflix is beginning its experiment in live streaming with a performance by US comedian Chris Rock.
Rock will perform in the company’s first-ever live, global streaming event in a comedy special set to stream in early 2023. The live show will be Rock’s second Netflix stand-up special, following Chris Rock: Tamborine, which debuted in February 2018.
“Chris Rock is one of the most iconic and important comedic voices of our generation,” said Robbie Praw, Netflix VP of stand-up and comedy formats.
“We’re thrilled the entire world will be able to experience a live Chris Rock comedy event and be a part of Netflix history. This will be an unforgettable moment and we’re so honoured that Chris is carrying this torch.”
Netflix’s interest in live programming extends beyond comedy specials, with the streamer reportedly exploring investing in live sports broadcasting. A report by the Wall Street Journal this week indicated that Netflix had made a bid for the streaming rights for the ATP tennis tour for some European countries, including France and the UK, though later dropped out of the running.
Netflix is also not the only major streaming service exploring a move into live programming, with Disney+ set to become the new home for long-running entertainment series Dancing With The Stars, which until now had spent the past 16 years being shown on linear network ABC.
In related news, Netflix has also commissioned Forever, an adaptation of Judy Blume’s 1975 novel about two Black teens exploring romance and their identities through “the awkward journey of being each other’s firsts.”
Helmed by showrunner and executive producer Mara Brock Akil, Forever is the first project under her overall deal with Netflix. Author Blume will also exec produce, alongside Susie Fitzgerald and Erika Harrison.
“Judy Blume’s ability to capture the real emotions we experience during the various rites of passage of our youth influenced my life choices and writing voice. I’m honored to reimagine one of my favorite books,” said Brock Akil.