Menu
Netflix gets its own 'Downton Abbey' with a period drama about the British Monarchy

Netflix gets its own 'Downton Abbey' with a period drama about the British Monarchy

'The Crown' tells the story of a young Queen Elizabeth II, set against the collapse of the British Empire

Netflix has just announced a massive global expansion of its service, along with two new shows coming this year including a period drama about Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.

The other original Netflix series will be "The Get Down," from director Baz Luhrmann, which tells the story of "when a crime-ridden city" -- New York -- "gave way to the birth of disco, graffiti and hip hop."

Netflix CEO Netflix/IDGNS

Reed Hastings shared growth figures for netflix over the years

CEO Reed Hastings announced the shows in a talk at CES Wednesday morning. The streaming company hopes to repeat the success of other original Netflix series like "House of Cards" and "Narcos," about the Colombian drug cartels.

The show about the British monarchy, called "The Crown," is set in the 1950s and charts the collapse of the British Empire and the creation of modern Britain. It stars Claire Foy as a young Queen Elizabeth and Matt Smith, of "Doctor Who" fame, as her husband Prince Philip.

Period dramas have played well on TV lately and Netflix will be hoping to capitalize on the popularity of PBS's "Downton Abbey," which is available on DVD from Netflix but not streamed.

The new shows could play to a far bigger audience than Netflix has today. 

"While you've been listening to me talk, the Netflix service has gone live in nearly every country of the world except China, where we hope to be in the future," Hastings said.

The Netflix juggernaut now reaches 130 countries, he said, with additions like India, Russia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan, Poland, Korea, Turkey, Nigeria and Singapore. 

Netflix is in 70 million homes globally, he said, and people watched 12 billion hours of content in the last quarter of 2015, up from 8.25 billion a year earlier.

He offered a succinct reason why Netflix is so popular compared to "linear TV" -- "You don’t have to sit through commercials, or be at the mercy of an 8 p.m. tune-in time."

Another Netflix executive slammed what he called a “discriminatory patchwork of global content availability” offered by other TV services, though that seemed a bit rich since Netflix cut out the trailers of its new shows from its livestream of the CES event, showing them only to those present in the audience.

Netflix CES keynote Netflix/IDGNS

Actors Will Arnett, Krysten Ritter, Wagner Moura and Chelsea Handler join Netflix on stage

Hastings was joined by some of its stars including Wagner Moura of "Narcos" and Chelsea Handler, who provided some off-color humor not often seen at the buttoned-down trade show.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags playCES 2016

Featured

Slideshows

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session

New Zealanders kick-started EDGE 2018 with a bout of Super Rugby before a dedicated New Zealand session, in front of more than 50 partners, vendors and distributors on Hamilton Island.​

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session
EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research

EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research

EDGE 2018 kicked off with a dedicated New Zealand track, highlighting the key customer priorities across the local market, in association with Dell EMC. Delivered through EDGE Research - leveraging Kiwi data through Tech Research Asia - more than 50 partners, vendors and distributors combined during an interactive session to assess the changing spending patterns of the end-user and the subsequent impact to the channel.

EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research
Show Comments