When Netflix isn’t slamming broadband providers, speaking out for net neutrality or against big cable-industry mergers, or dealing with disgruntled shareholders, it’s pulling people aboard the Netflix original-content train. The newest passengers: Chelsea Handler. Martin Sheen. And in case you haven’t heard, the train’s making a stop in San Francisco.
• With its push to produce its own series, Netflix has offered up serial shows such as “House of Cards” or “Orange is the New Black.” But a talk show? On Netflix? It’s showing in 2016, and it’ll be hosted by Handler. The “Chelsea Lately” star, whose contract with the E television network will expire in December, will also be starring in four Netflix “docu-comedy” specials in 2015, “featuring her efforts to gain a better understanding on a variety of subjects ranging from NASCAR to politics and from Silicon Valley to the NBA draft,” according to the Los Gatos company’s press release today.
• Another new Netflix show started filming Wednesday in San Francisco. “Sense8,” a show by the creators of “The Matrix,” is scheduled for release late this year. The show will also be filming in eight other cities around the world. Filming on the streets of San Francisco will reportedly go on for the next three weeks.
• There are both big names (Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright) and largely unknown actors on Netflix’s shows. “Grace and Frankie,” a comedy that’s set to make its debut next year, is banking on the big names. It will star Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, and now Martin Sheen, the former “West Wing” star, is reportedly on board to play Fonda’s husband. Hey, it’s not TV, it’s Netflix.
And speaking of the borrowed slogan above, Netflix is looking more and more like HBO, isn’t it? And it’s definitely keeping children in mind. Also in the past couple of weeks, Netflix announced a few original series for kids that are set to roll out next year, including “Ever After High,” based on the Mattel franchise.
Photo of Netflix headquarters by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images