Sony has become the first major studio to jump in bed with Netflix, announcing that its Sony Pictures Television arm will produce a psychological thriller for the streaming provider in 2014. The show, which will be created by the team behind award-winning FX drama Damages, is currently unnamed but will be premiered on Netflix, the WSJ reports, in all locations where the company offers its on-demand service.
Production on the show will begin in early 2014, Sony TV said. According to Todd A. Kessler, Daniel Zelman, and Glenn Kessler – the team behind Damages – the series will examine “the complex bonds between parents and children, brothers and sisters, and the rivalries, jealousies, and betrayals at the core of every family.”
Each episode will run for an hour, though Sony is expected to handle distribution and sales in regions where Netflix is not operational. The company was similarly responsible for distribution of House of Cards in such regions, a deal which is said to have helped convince Sony that the partnership makes financial sense.
“We’re willing to do different things and bet on the future,” Steve Mosko, president of Sony Pictures Television, said of the collaboration. “We’re pumped up – it’s a challenge to show a major studio can be in business with one of these services.”
Netflix has been aggressively pushing its homegrown drama offerings in recent years, and with positive feedback. House of Cards and Orange is the New Black have been critically acclaimed – the political drama, starring Kevin Spacey, won a primetime Emmy – and while season four of Arrested Development, which Twentieth Century Fox TV produced specially for Netflix, did not have quite the same warm reception, it is nonetheless being seen as a success for the brand.
Meanwhile, Warner Bros. TV is also reportedly considering creating content for Netflix distribution, and Fox TV is believed to be examining other possible partnerships.
Netflix’s goals are more compelling content and more reasons to be taken seriously by cable companies. The firm is said to be in talks with a number of cable TV providers about including its on-demand service into their set-top boxes.