Netflix Inc. ((NFLX - Free Report) ) is expanding its original content portfolio by bringing in Judd Apatow, well-known producer, director, comedian, actor and screenwriter for a comedy series called Love, which will be streamed in 2016.
Apatow will co-write the two-part series (22 episodes in total) along with Inglorious Basterds’ Paul Rust and Girls’ Lesley Arfin. The series focuses on the relationship between Gus (played by Paul Rust) and Mickey (played by Gillian Jacobs).
The half-hour comedy series is produced by Apatow Productions and Legendary Television. Brent Forrester (The Office and The Simpsons fame) will be the executive producer of the show.
Netflix’s original programs have gained significant popularity due to the quality of their productions, depth of storyline and an apt casting. The popularity of Netflix’s first original series House Of Cards is is mostly attributable to the brilliant acting of Kevin Spacey.
Based on his superb performance as a corrupt politician, the first season of the drama series received nine Primetime Emmy award nominations. The second season received 13 nominations in the recently concluded Emmy Awards 2014.
Apart from House Of Cards, Netflix’s other original programs like Orange is the New Black and Hemlock Grove also received rave reviews, due to storyline and casting. This helped Netflix to boost its subscriber base.
Netflix’s upcoming productions like Marco Polo, Grace and Frankie and kid shows like The Magic School Bus 360 degrees is expected to add new subscribers while retaining the older ones. Not only dramas and comedy, the company is also looking to expand its documentary and chat show portfolio.
Netflix signed a deal with renowned comedian and actress, Chelsea Handler, to create a new talk-show slated for a 2016 launch. The deal also includes a stand-up special along with four docu-comedy specials, all featuring Chelsea.
However, growing content cost has been a major headwind for Netflix, as it continues to expand its library to counter intensifying competition from Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) , Hulu and HBO. Nonetheless, an engaging content library that offers an eclectic mix of original and third-party shows is the major growth catalyst for Netflix.
Netflix’s partnerships with major film studios and production houses like The Wachowskis (creators of The Matrix trilogy), J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5), Gaumont International, The Weinstein Company, Walt Disney (DIS - Free Report) and CBS Corp (CBS - Free Report) are also expected to further expand its content library in 2014 and beyond.
Although rising costs related to international expansion is another major headwind, we believe that fast growing subscriber base will drive the top line this year. Additionally, price increases (for both domestic and international new users) will help Netflix to offset higher expenses in the near term.
Currently, Netflix has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).