GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

Netflix's Ted Sarandos Says Firefly has "a fraction of the original audience."

POSTED BY: MICJWELCH
UPDATED: Friday, May 17, 2013 19:12
SHORT URL: http://bit.ly/YxY6cb
VIEWED: 10440
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Thursday, May 2, 2013 3:44 AM

MICJWELCH


http://www.stuff.tv/news/apps-and-games/news-nugget/netflixs-ted-saran
dos-talks-arrested-development-4k-and-reviving-old?fb_action_ids=10151533848688260&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%7B%2210151533848688260%22%3A519886984715362%7D&action_type_map=%7B%2210151533848688260%22%3A%22og.likes%22%7D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D


He says that while fans continually get more passionate, there are fewer Firefly fans every year. I for one had never even heard of Firefly until after the movie was out of theaters, because to be honest the trailer for the movie sucked. I loan out my Firefly DVDs about once a month to someone else who then becomes as big of a fan as I am. Well, almost.

What can we do to convince this guy he's wrong?

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Thursday, May 2, 2013 3:57 AM

REAVERFAN


" The Firefly fan is still the Firefly fan from when it was on TV and there’s fewer of them and they’re more passionate every year. Whereas with Arrested Development we’re going to be serving a multiple of the original audience. Any of the other shows we could bring back would be a fraction of the original audience."

That makes no sense to me. I never heard of the show until 2009, when I stumbled upon it while incapacitated and looking for something to pass the time. The comments section was filled with people like myself who'd just discovered it, and like me, wondered how such an excellent show only lasted one season. Lots of them asked when Hulu would show season 2!

You'd think the DVD sales alone would prove him wrong...


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Thursday, May 2, 2013 4:50 AM

TWO

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


When asked about Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Netflix's Ted Sarandos said, "That’s one that’ll come up on everyone’s list. She’s a great character. If it was my property I’d do infrequent movies. There’s not enough kick-ass female characters like that."

Would Firefly movies with kick-ass female characters be enough?

The Joss Whedon script for "Serenity," where Wash lives, is
Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/two

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Thursday, May 2, 2013 4:54 AM

EVILDINOSAUR


I don't even understand what he's saying. It sounds as though he's saying that 1) Firefly has no more fans than when it aired on Fox, clearly false as I'm certain the number of fans that weren't even aware of the show when it was on Fox numbers in the thousands.

And 2) Many of those original fans, were new episodes to become available, would have no interest in watching them...I don't think I even need to explain how wrong that is.

I don't know where his data comes from, but clearly he needs a new source.

"Haha, mine is an evil laugh."

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Thursday, May 2, 2013 5:21 AM

REAVERFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by wr_orion:
I'm with ya REAVERFAN. Same here, I JUST got introduced to Firefly and am only half way through the series so far.

I also created an account and commented. Firefly would definitely be a reason to sign back up with Netflix. I cancelled my account about a year ago but would gladly sign back up for something like this.

"Go then, there are other worlds than these."

When I watched the first episode, I was blown away. I made sure to ration it, one a day, because it was that good. I looked forward to it! Then, I watched it again. And again.

I eventually got Netflix for the sole purpose of seeing Serenity. That was a great day. A couple brews, some good Cali medical, and the closure I craved, which made me sad, knowing that this wonderful story was over, when there was still so much to be told. Still flying, indeed!

Arrested Development was funny, but not the kind of show I'd watch over and over again. Dumb, selfish people doing bad things is only funny to me the first time around. Lost interest after a while.

When I saw that it'd been revived, I didn't care. I just wondered why they wouldn't do the same for a show that was superior in every way, and is still picking up fans every day.

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Thursday, May 2, 2013 10:04 AM

REAVERFAN


I actually registered on the site and said my peace. I wasn't alone. One person was looking for Sarandos's office address in order to write him.

The guy does nothing to dispel the "out of touch TV executive" stereotype, does he?

[img][/img]

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Thursday, May 2, 2013 10:51 AM

EBFIDDLER


Fan base getting smaller?
Would that include fans like me who never heard of Firefly until three years ago?
I think the only issue is publicity. If they make it and publicize it properly (like they didn't do when it was on the air), there will be an audience for this show.
I think there are other issues, and this "lack of fan base" stuff is just what they say to mask the real reasons they aren't willing to go forward with it.

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Thursday, May 2, 2013 4:13 PM

DMI

Expired, forgotten, spoiled rotten.


This just sounds like a challenge to me. What should we do this time? Firefly watch parties on Netflix? Send postcards that say "We're still here?" Bombard Netflix's facebook page?

-----------------------------
I pray for one last landing,
on the globe that gave me birth.
Let me rest my eyes on the fleecy skies
and the cool, green hills of Earth.

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Friday, May 3, 2013 3:48 AM

GWEK


For someone who has mad so many savvy decisions, I'm surprised by the ignorance that this article conveys.

I find it interesting that he draws a distinction between ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT and other "failed" shows -- where none seems to exist. Put our feelings about FIREFLY aside for a moment, there's no evidence to support the assertion that ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT has grown an audience at any faster rate than any other cult show. If he's basing it on netflix numbers, my guess would be that more people *OWN* FIREFLY so they don't need to go to netflix (at a quick, unscientific glance, FIREFLY seems to sell at twice the rate of ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT on amazon).

Certainly, Michael Cera and Jason Bateman (among others) have gone on to pretty big movie careers following ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, but neither has demonstrated a particularly strong following or the ability to "open" a movie on their own. Nathan Fillion, though, has similarly expanded his fan base with CASTLE. Joss's star has rise. Certainly, "from the guy who brought you THE AVENGERS" is likely to provide a little more cred with the general public these days than "from the creator of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER" did in 2002.

I find it intriguing that ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT is adding current hot properties, like Kirsten Wiig and Seth Rogen. I'm sure many of them are fans who are excited to be on the show, but it seems like a ploy, if you ask me.

To me, the biggest lapse in the article is addressing WHY shows failed. ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT failed to develop a large audience for two reasons:

1) It presented a fairly unique and non-traditional comedic model, particularly for the time.

2) The characters were not relatable, or particularly likeable.

Now, personally, I like the show, and I think thoese are two of the reasons why. But if those circumstances haven't changed (and I don't believe they have), the show is unlikely to expand it's audience.

Consider the reasons FIREFLY failed in 2002. Although I also attribute it to the adversarial relationship between FOX and Joss (yes, I'm one of the rare folks who lays some of the blame on Joss's subversive nature), two of the biggest business reasons:

1) Bad marketing/premise not clearly explained (easy to fix with better support)

2) Bad timing.

Timing was a key, key, KEY element in the failure of FIREFLY. Joss knows it. In one interview, he says something like "FOX came to me and said, Do you have an idea about something patriotic and straightforward and bright? And I said, I have this dark, complex show about nine pioneers in space living a constant struggle for subsistance."

FIREFLY was about mistrusting the government -- but it came out a year after 9/11, when Americans wanted to strongly believe in their government. FIREFLY is about the poor vs the wealthly, the rights of Big Government and Big Business vs the rights of the individual. Firefly was about what you can hold on to and what the establishment is trying to take away.

My contention is that timing is the biggest thing that did in FIREFLY, and that if FIREFLY had come out a few years later, we'd have had "seven seasons and a movie."

And that awareness is wholly missing from the assessment in this article.




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Friday, May 3, 2013 8:44 AM

BYTEMITE


GWEK paints it exactly.

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Friday, May 3, 2013 10:06 AM

STORYMARK


Quote:

Certainly, Michael Cera and Jason Bateman (among others) have gone on to pretty big movie careers following ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, but neither has demonstrated a particularly strong following or the ability to "open" a movie on their own. Nathan Fillion, though, has similarly expanded his fan base with CASTLE.


Yes, but to be fair - not a one of the actors from Firefly has had much of any success in film. Cera and Bateman might not be mega starts - but they are pretty well known.


And Im guessing that this guy is just referring to how much the respsctive shows are viewed on Netflix, and they've said for a long time that Arrested was one of their most-streamed shows.

And as for why they'd bring back one low rated show and noth another... there are LOTS of factors (remember, even Joss has said that its not feasible to relaunch at this stage, even if the money was there), but cost would be a big one. One show is set mostly in a couple houses, the other.... in outer space. That's a huge cost differnece.


Excuse me while I soak in all these sweet, sweet conservative tears.

"We will never have the elite, smart people on our side." -- Rick "Frothy" Santorum

"Goram it kid, let's frak this thing and go home! Engage!"

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Friday, May 3, 2013 3:02 PM

ECGORDON

There's no place I can be since I found Serenity.


FOX is a fairly conservative company, and they didn't like the dark nature or the anti-government slant in Firefly, and they may have consciously sabotaged the project, but not for one minute would I ever think that our own government had anything to do with the show's demise. There were plenty of people at FOX that were stupid enough to do it on their own.

There is no doubt in my mind that the audience for Firefly is much bigger than when it was on the air, and you can see that with new fans signing on here on a regular basis, the response at last year's Comic-Con, and the near perpetual mention of the show on numerous sites and blogs. Sarandos' comments are more likely just his own opinion and also a way to pat himself on the back for the Arrested Development deal. They're not doing Firefly simply because it would cost too much, end of story.




wo men ren ran zai fei xing.

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Sunday, May 5, 2013 4:41 AM

FILLYGIRL

Operative: "Its worse than you know..." Mal: "It usually is."


Just adding my own 2 cents worth, we just had a con here (Denver) and I saw "Adam Baldwin" hats more than I have ever seen them, there were quite a few folks dresses as Mal & Jayne and the dealers room had so many "Firefly" themed T-shirts for sale that I was amazed! So (JMHO) the PTB are so out of touch as usual,...

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Sunday, May 5, 2013 5:13 AM

SISTER


Don't believe this for an instant. Have personally introduced dozens to the 'verse who'd never seen the show or the film. PTB out of touch indeed.

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013 12:54 AM

ECGORDON

There's no place I can be since I found Serenity.


The number of Netflix subscribers watching Firefly on that service and the total number of Firefly fans are two entirely different things. There is absolutely no way that the show has fewer fans now than when it was broadcast on FOX.

As Jayne would say, "That's just crazy talk."




wo men ren ran zai fei xing.

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013 2:32 AM

TWO

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by ecgordon:
As Jayne would say, "That's just crazy talk."

If a Firefly fan is anyone (dead or alive) who watched and liked it, the number of fans will grow forever. But Netflix would use a businesslike fan count – anyone who rented two episodes in the last 365 days. This number will fall unless new episodes are made or there is a wonderful Whedon renaissance ignited by Avengers 2. I can imagine the trailer saying that you must also see Firefly because it is from the mind of the genius/creator of Avengers 2, to be in theaters in May 2015.

The Joss Whedon script for "Serenity," where Wash lives, is
Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/two

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013 5:01 AM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

Originally posted by WUBWUBWUB:
I hate to bust your filter bubble, guys, but he's not an "out of touch TV executive." He's exactly the opposite – do you know how much information Netflix has access to? They know what shows you're watching, they know when you watch them, they know whether you finish the shows, and at what point you stopped watching. They have 29.2 million subscribers ( http://news.yahoo.com/numbers-netflix-subscribers-205626746.html), all of which are feeding them the above information on what shows they're watching. You have access to... your circle of friends. He's not basing this on supposition, he's basing it on cold, hard facts: he's run the numbers, and the number of Netflix subscribers who've been watching Firefly doesn't justify the expense of a series.



I actually agree that this is probably what the guy was trying to say, but it's very poorly worded. Either that or the articles quoting this took it out of context.

Fans and netflix subscribers aren't the same animal. The mistake here is saying that the number of FANS has gone down since the original broadcast. For that to be true there would have to be less new people finding that they like the series, adding to the existing base, than there are people who have grown to dislike the series and are lost from the existing base. That loss is itself different from people who have become inactive but who still consider themselves fans. All of the inactive browncoats would enthusiastically embrace new Firefly, so they're still fans, but they could only wait so long before they moved on to something else.

With Firefly you might have increasing inactivity, but you don't really have a lot of fan loss over time. People don't really start out liking the series and then grow to dislike it, the trend is that you see the series and you either love it or you think it was overhyped and hate it.

What he MEANT is that the number of netflix subscriptions for Firefly has gone down from the original numbers when they first posted it. Which is a rather obvious end result without new episodes.

But to conflate those numbers with fan numbers and conclude fan numbers have gone down is basically erroneous. Apples and Oranges.

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013 9:12 AM

TWO

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


It is time for the Two Minutes Hate video. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_Minutes_Hate
Loose your fury!



The Joss Whedon script for "Serenity," where Wash lives, is
Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/two

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013 9:28 AM

WISHIMAY

You can't even run your own life, I'll beat you to death if you try to run mine... sunshine.


Ok, I'll Hate. I have sharp pointy things, where do I put them??

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013 2:54 PM

ECGORDON

There's no place I can be since I found Serenity.


One can be a fan of other shows without having to give up being a Browncoat. I've seen all of the rebooted Doctor Who, I've seen Game of Thrones, The Wire, Breaking Bad, Veronica Mars, Freaks and Geeks, Arrested Development, Dead Like Me, Battlestar Galactica, and quite a few other shows they didn't mention like Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, The Middleman, Eli Stone, Joan of Arcadia, Odyssey 5, Chuck and Fringe, just to name a few off the top of my head.

I'll go on record that only one of the above shows is better than Firefly, and that's The Wire. Everything else is great too, else I wouldn't have mentioned them, but no matter how long it has been since the cancellation, Firefly will always inhabit a special place in my heart. If it never comes back I can live with it because what we got was extra special. But there is nothing wrong about continuing to hope.




wo men ren ran zai fei xing.

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013 1:13 PM

REAVERFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by two:
It is time for the Two Minutes Hate video. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_Minutes_Hate
Loose your fury!



A bit of a troll vid, but I replied anyway. I like a lot of the shows mentioned, but FF just puts me right in that world, and not many shows can do that.

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013 3:14 PM

REAVERFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by DOMOKUN1:
Yeah, they're a bunch of chumps. Everybody is entitled to their opinion - but as for the Serenity being the end of it comment? NO WAY! There is so much more that could be done pre and post-Serenity. Dude's on crack.



He's an attention whore trying to get himself and his wannabe "actors" some notoriety. He gives himself away by noting that the fandom still gets attention, then names a bunch of shows, not all of which are all that good, then says that Firefly wasn't even Whedon's best show.

So what was? The nice thing about opinions is that they can't be wrong. A post-ironic hipster with nothing to say. He's a troll, and not original, at that.


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Wednesday, May 8, 2013 3:20 PM

REAVERFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by SC_FF_FAN:
WOW, what a mean natured video but I can see the underlying business behind it. As mentioned, he is nothing more than a You-Tube troll trying to bump up his site's hit count by attacking various groups with avid fans and thus getting paid. This guy and his video crew tried to hit every hot button to anger the Firefly Fans. I hope these folks have some good security because there are a few extreme fans of these different venues they attack that may come after them. Unfortunately, I watched it and probably gave him another hit credit. It would ironic if this video launched a remake of the Firefly series where everything else failed.

Where's the like button?

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Thursday, May 9, 2013 2:52 AM

GWEK


Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:
Quote:

Originally posted by WUBWUBWUB:
I hate to bust your filter bubble, guys, but he's not an "out of touch TV executive." He's exactly the opposite – do you know how much information Netflix has access to? They know what shows you're watching, they know when you watch them, they know whether you finish the shows, and at what point you stopped watching. They have 29.2 million subscribers ( http://news.yahoo.com/numbers-netflix-subscribers-205626746.html), all of which are feeding them the above information on what shows they're watching. You have access to... your circle of friends. He's not basing this on supposition, he's basing it on cold, hard facts: he's run the numbers, and the number of Netflix subscribers who've been watching Firefly doesn't justify the expense of a series.



I actually agree that this is probably what the guy was trying to say, but it's very poorly worded. Either that or the articles quoting this took it out of context.

Fans and netflix subscribers aren't the same animal. The mistake here is saying that the number of FANS has gone down since the original broadcast. For that to be true there would have to be less new people finding that they like the series, adding to the existing base, than there are people who have grown to dislike the series and are lost from the existing base. That loss is itself different from people who have become inactive but who still consider themselves fans. All of the inactive browncoats would enthusiastically embrace new Firefly, so they're still fans, but they could only wait so long before they moved on to something else.

With Firefly you might have increasing inactivity, but you don't really have a lot of fan loss over time. People don't really start out liking the series and then grow to dislike it, the trend is that you see the series and you either love it or you think it was overhyped and hate it.

What he MEANT is that the number of netflix subscriptions for Firefly has gone down from the original numbers when they first posted it. Which is a rather obvious end result without new episodes.

But to conflate those numbers with fan numbers and conclude fan numbers have gone down is basically erroneous. Apples and Oranges.



Agreed. And, as I said before, for someone so savvy otherwise to make this assumption seems a bit silly and sad. Certainly, if Netflix (or any other source) were the only game in town, the number of subscribers viewing Firefly would jump dramatically (indeed, I suspect the number of subscribers would jump).

A few people have brought up cost as an issue, and it's likely that the average episode of FIREFLY would cost more than the average episode of ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, but what about HEMLOCK GROVE or HOUSE OF CARDS? Heck, while ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT's sets are every day, there are also a lot of them, and the show features a large cast.

Joss is a master of quality on a shoestring budget, and many of the Firefly stars have publicly expressed how much they love the show and how willing they would be to sign on again. I don't imagine the per-episode cost would be dramatically high, once the set of the ship was reconstructed. And there are ways to defray that. I guarantee a "please help us out" kickstarter would produce enough fan support to cover the costs of an episode or two per season... And Joss Whedon -- the man who brought the world the highest grossing non-James Cameron film -- that's gotta count for something.

Speaking of Joss... I can't help wonder if Joss himself and some face-saving isn't a factor here, since Joss has said recently that he's locked in to other projects and there will be no FIREFLY for the foreseeable future.

Otherwise, Sarandos's comment reminds me a little of that scene in JURASSIC PARK (the book, not the movie), where the scientists insist that the dinosaurs are not breeding because their computers tell them the right amount of dinosaurs are out there... until someone realizes that the computers are pre-set to STOP at the right number, and once they remove the artificial restriction, they're very surprised to see how high the numbers soar.


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Friday, May 10, 2013 3:29 AM

TWO

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by GWEK:
I can't help wonder if Joss himself and some face-saving isn't a factor here . . .

I wonder why Dark Horse isn't producing a monthly Firefly comic. Their last one was a year ago, written by Zack Whedon, for Free Comic Book Day. I believe that TV dramas start with "I've got an idea!" from a writer, followed by "I've got money to produce your idea!" from Netflix. There is the same dynamic in comics -- the ideas come first. Maybe Zack is too short on ideas for Firefly comics?

If there is not enough ideas for a monthly comic, then a weekly TV series is hopeless.

Serenity Now by Otis Frampton http://otisframpton.deviantart.com/art/Serenity-Now-370737451


The Joss Whedon script for "Serenity," where Wash lives, is
Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/two

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Friday, May 10, 2013 5:01 AM

BROWNCOAT1

May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.


Quote:

Originally posted by ecgordon:
The number of Netflix subscribers watching Firefly on that service and the total number of Firefly fans are two entirely different things. There is absolutely no way that the show has fewer fans now than when it was broadcast on FOX.

As Jayne would say, "That's just crazy talk."





Exactly!

These "facts" and numbers this Netflix exec makes are based solely on the number of people watching Firefly through their service, and is in no way indicative of the size of the fanbase, it's alleged loss of members, or anything else. It means quite simply that fewer people are watching it on Netflix. Period.

To assume that the browncoats are losing numbers based solely on how many people are watching the series through Netflix is laughable. Many have already seen it through this medium. Many watch the series when it airs on networks, watch it on their dvd sets, or through other means.

Is the fanbase quiet now? Sure. Not much new to discuss of late, but that does not mean the browncoats aren't lurking out there.

_______________________________________________

Holding the line since December '02!



C.O. 76th Independent Battalion


http://76thbattalion.proboards.com


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Friday, May 17, 2013 7:12 PM

SHINYGOODGUY


That's it, brilliant DMI.................bombard Netflix Facebook page with comments and likes, then maybe he gets the hint.

Or, campaign to have all fans of Firefly quit Netflix on a specific day, that'll grab his attention. It's all bottom line folks..........money talks and you know the rest.

I agree that the original ads and promos for Firefly wasn't enough, plus preempted and out-of-order episodes. But today's fans are different than the OGs from the TV broadcast days, but they are nonetheless passionate.

By the way, I'm an OG (original Firefly fan from Day One on Fox)


SGG

Quote:

Originally posted by DMI:
This just sounds like a challenge to me. What should we do this time? Firefly watch parties on Netflix? Send postcards that say "We're still here?" Bombard Netflix's facebook page?

-----------------------------
I pray for one last landing,
on the globe that gave me birth.
Let me rest my eyes on the fleecy skies
and the cool, green hills of Earth.


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