By Evan DeSimone
Renewals are on trend today in the digital entertainment space with two of the three big streaming platforms — Amazon and Netflix — both bringing vaunted original series back for a new season.
Amazon has reportedly given the thumbs up to “Sneaky Pete,” produced by Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) and starring Giovanni Ribisi (“Avatar”) in the title role. The series was originally meant for CBS, but the network passed at the last minute only to see it rescued by Amazon. The pilot bowed on the streamer just over a month ago to largely positive critical reviews that were also echoed by the fans. The show has reportedly survived Amazon’s notorious pilot process in which fans get to weigh in on which pilots should go to series.
Over at Netflix “Narcos,” the Brazil-shot drama about the life of notorious drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, has been picked up for a second season. It premiered on Netflix less than a week ago, and although the streamer doesn’t share viewership numbers, it’s safe to assume that initial response from viewers was positive enough to warrant an early renewal. Brazilian star Wagner Moura (“Elysium”) and director Jose Padilha (“Robocob”) are expected to return for season two.
The digital-first original content space is getting increasingly crowded as a widening array of entities commit to creating original programming. Netlfix, Amazon, and Hulu currently dominate when it comes to producing TV quality programming exclusively for the web, but even as the three duke it out for dominance, new challengers like Facebook and the refuse-to-die YouTube could be poised to disrupt the already disruptive market once again. Rumors of an Apple push into original programming have been swirling on the eve of the companies upcoming roll-out event next week.