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The comedian has signed a multifaceted production deal with the streaming giant, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Under the pact, Seinfeld’s award-winning Crackle series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee will move with new episodes to Netflix, with the comedian also set to film two new stand-up specials exclusively for the streamer. Seinfeld also will help develop scripted and unscripted programming for Netflix. Additional elements of the pact will be announced later.
New episodes of Comedians in Cars will move from Crackle to Netflix in late 2017, with the streamer also becoming the exclusive home to all 59 of the previous episodes of the series in which Seinfeld and his famous guests go for a ride-along interview. The deal calls for 24 new episodes of Comedians in Cars on Netflix, which will roll them out globally starting this year, with subsequent episodes in 2018 and beyond. The first of the stand-up specials, filmed specifically for Netflix, will bow later this year.
“Jerry is known the world over as both a great TV innovator and beloved comic voice,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said Tuesday in a statement. “We are incredibly proud to welcome him to the Netflix comedy family.”
Added Seinfeld: “When I first started thinking about Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, the entire Netflix business model consisted of mailing out DVDs in envelopes. I love that we are now joining together, both at very different points. I am also very excited to be working with Ted Sarandos at Netflix, a guy and a place that not only have the same enthusiasm for the art of stand-up comedy as I do, but the most amazing technology platform to deliver it in a way that has never existed before. I am really quite charged up to be moving there.”
The Seinfeld deal marks the latest investment in comedy for Netflix, which also shelled out $20 million each for a pair of Chris Rock stand-up comedy specials. The streaming services aggressively entered the stand-up space a few years earlier, and has been consistently outbidding competitors Comedy Central, Showtime and HBO to land bold-face names including Rock, Amy Schumer and Aziz Ansari.
The deal means Netflix will be the home for Seinfield’s current show and stand-up specials (among future projects), while Hulu remains the streaming home for his former NBC comedy Seinfeld. (Sony reportedly sold the latter to Hulu for $160 million.)
The deal is a blow to Sony streaming service Crackle, which had been the exclusive home for the series, which Sony Pictures TV produces in partnership with Seinfeld. A move was expected, however, as Seinfeld’s Comedians deal recently expired and his closest Sony ally, Steve Mosko, was pushed out in mid-2016.
Many industry watchdogs pegged the price tag of Netflix’s Seinfeld deal at $100 million, given that it includes the Comedians in Cars library, new episodes, a development component and two stand-up specials.
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