Even Netflix Boss Ted Sarandos Can't Watch Everything on His Streaming Service

Streaming service kicked off its Emmy campaign with a more-than-170-person tip sheet from nearly 60 different properties.
Vivien Killilea/Getty Images
From left: Robbie Praw, director of standup comedy; director Stan Lathan; documentary head Lisa Nishimura; chief content officer Ted Sarandos; and Dave Chappelle

There are so many shows on Netflix that even chief content officer Ted Sarandos can't always watch everything.

At the kickoff party for the streaming service's annual Emmy campaign, FYSee, Sarandos told The Hollywood Reporter that it's actually not possible for him to watch everything.

How does he keep up with it all?

"Not very well sometimes," he confessed. "I have an amazing team. And more than that, an amazing team that's super empowered, that can make those decisions. There was a time when I got to watch every cut and read every draft, and I don't even think — it's not humanly possible anymore."

The FYC bash, held on a soundstage at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood that will host panels and events for the next month, boasted a tip sheet of more than 170 people from nearly 60 different titles — series, specials and movies included. Most of the talent who spoke with THR confessed that they, too, are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the streamer's content.

Said actress Britt Baron, who stars on women's wrestling series GLOW, "There's so much, so if you want to just scroll through you could be there for hours. I waste so much time scrolling." That's when they turn to two sources: recommendations from friends and Netflix's own algorithm.

"I'm actually really stressed every time I open [Netflix]," Dear White People star Logan Browning said. "There's so much content now. I like that there are categories based on the kinds of films or shows [you've seen]. I typically go to what's trending or what are people watching the most, that way when I go out I can talk about whatever everybody else is watching."

Patton Oswalt — whose Comedians of Comedy documentary was actually Netflix's first piece of original content and whose latest Netflix stand-up special, Annihilation, was released in late 2017 — said word of mouth is how he finds most of the shows he watches.

"It makes you reach out to your friends a little bit and go, 'Hey, what are you watching?' You get such a wide variety of stuff," he said.

In the last month, he's watched Western miniseries Godless, German acquisition Berlin Babylon and cult documentary series Wild Wild Country.

Netflix head of originals Cindy Holland said she doesn't expect viewers to watch everything the streamer offers — but that there will be enough options that they'll be able to find something that they'll want to watch.

"We're not intending for every program to be for everybody, but we definitely want people to find their favorite show on Netflix," she said.

The nearly 200-person-strong red carpet list of talent comprised just a fraction of the guest list at the FYSee party, where attendees snacked on short ribs, lobster rolls, vegan tacos and vegan Beyond Meat dishes, followed up by fruit-topped shortbread cookies, butterscotch Budino and cookie pie topped with vanilla ice cream.

Stars from Netflix favorites including 13 Reasons Why, Marvel's Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, American Vandal, Black Mirror, GLOW, Orange Is the New Black and more mingled while checking out the interactive exhibits, which included a Cheetos mural of the OITNB cast, a Stranger Things arcade, a mirrored exhibit of some of The Crown's intricate costumes, a Mindhunter photo booth and more activations for Netflix's Emmy-hopeful series.

Also in attendance: comedian Dave Chappelle, who released two comedy specials on the service last year 2017; he held court onstage with Luke Cage showrunner Cheo Coker and Dear White People creator Justin Simeon while the DJ played '80s hip-hop hits.