Netflix has struck a deal with Disney Entertainment for 14 titles to stream non-exclusively in the US, including sci-fi mystery series Lost, adult animation Archer and comedy How I Met Your Mother.
The titles will continue to be carried by Disney+ and Hulu, though the move, alongside Max licensing Young Sheldon to Netflix US last month, underlines the growing flexibility being shown by US studios to third-party deals.
Other titles being licensed by Disney to the streamer include This Is Us, The Wonder Years, Reba, 30 For 30, The Resident, My Wife & Kids, White Collar, Prison Break, Home Improvement, Bernie Mac and The Hughleys. The shows will land on Netflix in the US between January 2024 and February 2025.
Live sport expansion
Netflix is also continuing its push into live sport with The Netflix Slam, a special one-night tennis exhibition match between Spanish champions Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz.
The event, hosted by MGM Resorts International, will take place on 3 March at the Michelob Ultra Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. This will stream as a duaI broadcast for English and Spanish speaking markets and additional players and matchups will be announced at a later date.
The move follows the streamer’s launch of The Netflix Cup last month, a celebrity golfing event featuring athletes from its shows Formula 1: Drive to Survive and Full Swing.
Netflix’s entry into live sports follows similar moves from other US streamers, such as Amazon’s multi-year deal for the NFL’s Thursday Night Football and Peacock’s Major League Baseball coverage.
“I’m thrilled that with The Netflix Slam, we can give our global audience an opportunity to watch two tennis greats battle each other in a one-of-a-kind live event,” said Gabe Spitzer, VP of non-fiction sports, Netflix.
Comedy & anime orders
Meanwhile, Netflix has also commissioned Too Much, a romantic comedy series created by Lena Dunham (Girls, Catherine Called Birdy) and her husband Luis Felber.
Too Much will be produced by Working Title Television, which is part of Universal International Studios, and Lena Dunham’s Good Thing Going.
Megan Stalter (Hacks) will star as Jessica, a New York workaholic in her mid-thirties, reeling from a broken relationship that she thought would last forever and slowly isolating everyone she knows.
Moving to London to escape her own bad behaviour, Megan meets Felix (Will Sharpe) and strikes up an unusual connection that creates more problems than it solves. Now they have to ask themselves: do Americans and Brits actually speak the same language?
“This is a show that is very close to my heart – created with my husband Luis, cast with my favourite actors – the geniuses that are Meg and Will, along with a bevy of friends – and partnering again with Working Title, who are behind the romantic comedies that formed me.
“Netflix has been so deeply supportive of the vision, which is to create a romantic comedy that makes us root for love, brings joy but also has the jagged edges of life,” said Dunham of the 10 x 30-minute show, which will begin production in 2024.
The streamer has also renewed anime series Blue Eye Samurai for a second season.
Produced by Blue Spirit, and created by Amber Noizumi and Michael Green, who also serve as executive producers and writers, alongside exec producer Erwin Stoff, the series is set in Edo-period Japan, and follows Mizu (voiced by Maya Erskine), a master of the sword who lives a life in disguise seeking revenge.