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DreamWorks to Produce 300 Hours of Programming for Netflix

In the continuing evolution of the on-demand streaming deal between Netflix and DreamWorks Animation, it was reported earlier this week that DreamWorks will produce more than 300 hours of original programming for the popular streaming media outlet.

The new content, which will be inspired by characters from existing DreamWorks franchises like Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar, as well as properties from the recently acquired Classic Media library (Casper the Friendly Ghost, Lassie, Rocky and Bullwinkle, among others) will begin to air in 2014.

The agreement is part of DreamWorks’ initiative to expand their entertainment brand by courting television production away from mainstream TV outlets like Cartoon Network and Nick, where its TV shows currently air. This will begin with the December Netflix debut of a new original series, Turbo F.A.S.T., based on the upcoming feature film Turbo, which will hit theaters on July 17. It will also offer Netflix exclusive streaming rights to a selection of DreamWorks animated films, including The Croods and their movie version of Mr. Peabody and Sherman, coming to theaters in March 2014.

For Netflix, the contract, which is the most significant first-run content deal in its history, is part of their ongoing efforts to beef up their selection of children’s programming, which is very popular among parents as it offers a commercial-free alternative for younger, more impressionable viewers. The streaming site did not renew a deal with Viacom for reruns of Nickelodeon cartoons, and will rely heavily on DreamWorks for kids’ content.

DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg spoke about his company’s Netflix deal on CNBC:

  • Chappell Ellison

    Maybe now Jeffrey Katzenberg can convince Netflix to liberate animation from the Children & Family category in the site’s taxonomy?

  • Roberto Severino

    Somehow, I had been predicting that someone in the animation industry would see Netflix as a big opportunity to get their content out there and it’s happening sooner than I thought it would. I was hoping it would be an independent animator rather than some big company like Dreamworks.

    I still think that online programming is going to grow even bigger in the future and maybe to the point where television becomes more like a second thought in the eyes of many people just like with what’s been happening to the radio business. A lot of traditional networks are going to struggle dealing with the mentality of people watching television mainly for the sports and adapting to the times.

  • Alex Irish

    300 hours? I would hope the people producing this content will be well-compensated for their labours

  • superbiasedman

    How long will they be releasing this over? It seems like a worryingly high amount from a studio that recently mentioned plans for multiple films per year.

  • Dana B

    So just two weeks of programming? I wonder what they’ll go with. 1 or 2 shows, maybe shorts? And if it’s a huge hit, will DW continue to make more programming for Netflix or do the whole channel idea like they said before?

    Ugh, no more Shrek, please. What’s over and done with should stay that way when it has overstayed its’ welcome. Instead, they should look back at some of their properties that had great potential to be a fun series. You know, like the one people thought it was going to be complete crap due to abysmal advertising, but wind up surprising quite a few with its’ quirky humor and decent story(not the one that already has a t.v. series on the air for some weird reason). Like hell that’ll ever happen…

  • James Fox

    Why doesn’t DreamWorks do something convenient with the Classic Media library for Netflix like say… oh I don’t know… RELEASE THEM ALL FOR STREAMING!

  • Curious where they’ll be creating the animation (jobs) for this.

  • Shambrook

    I hope this means we’ll be able to watch the kung fu panda show at a regular time instead of whenever the fuck nick decide to air it that they have going now.

  • rnenno

    Isn’t it a bit too premature to start producing a Turbo tv series when the film it’s based on hasn’t even come out yet? What happens if (and I suspect will) the film flops? Katzenberg needs to slow down and see if he has a viable property first before he starts throwing money at it.