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Netflix Says Production Shutdown Won’t Disrupt Output Until ‘Maybe Later This Year’

Netflix's chief content office Ted Sarandos says streaming numbers are surging as subscribers across the world practice social distancing.

"Stranger Things"

“Stranger Things”

Netflix

Production on Netflix original series has shut down across the world, including on the streamer’s blockbuster series “Stranger Things” and “The Witcher,” but the company isn’t expecting any disruptions in output for the foreseeable future. Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos appeared on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” this weekend and downplayed fears that his company’s production shutdown would result in a lack of new viewership content. Sarandos called the shutdown “unprecedented in history,” but he said Netflix works overtime to deliver content far in advance of its debut date (see recent 2020 hit “Love Is Blind” being filmed in 2018). This strategy means Netflix has enough finished content to roll out over the next several months.

“What’s happening now is we work pretty far ahead with delivering all the episodes of our shows at once,” Sarandos said. “So there will be no disruption over the next few months, maybe later in the year as physical production is not operational.”

Sarandon continued, “You can imagine, all viewing is up. It’s up on Netflix, on CNN on television in general. The system has been very robust and can help out a lot of people. People certainly are watching a lot more Netflix. As Governor Andrew Cuomo said so beautifully, the best thing you can do is stay at home. We are trying hard to help.”

Production on Netflix series is continuing in some capacities. The crew of the animated comedy “Big Mouth” recently used video chat to hold a 40-person table read for the new season. Sarandos says the goal is to keep shows in production moving so that once filming can resume the transition is instant. The executive said, “People are getting geared up for a time they can get back to work.”

Netflix announced last week it was creating a $100 million fund to help the film and television industry through the production shut down. The majority of Netflix’s fund will go to support the hardest hit crew members of their own productions around the world, but $15 million of the total fund is being committed “to third parties and non-profits providing emergency relief to out-of-work crew and cast in the countries where we have a large production base.”

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