Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thankful for American Horror Story! Available Today in the US

It’s Thanksgiving week, so what’s a blog post without giving thanks for certain things in your life?  I’m thankful for the typical: family, friends, good health, and my job (this is not because this is my employer’s blog, although I figure, it can’t hurt).  I’m also thankful for the less essential, yet still appreciated things like new albums from The Killers and Mumford & Sons, seasonal gingerbread lattes, and incredible TV shows like American Horror Story, which is available today in the US!

We’re thrilled to bring our US subscribers FX’s hit show, American Horror Story!  For those of you not familiar with the critically-acclaimed show, we know you’ll enjoy watching the Harmon family as they move from Boston to Los Angeles seeking relief from their messy pasts, only to find out that they have taken up residence in a house haunted by its former residents. Gripping and scary, this present-day story stars Dylan McDermott, Connie Britton, Taissa Farmiga, and many others including a performance by Jessica Lange as Constance Langdon, which earned her Golden Globe, SAG, and Emmy awards! Be sure to keep an eye out for Kate Mara, who also stars in the Netflix Original Series House of Cards, arriving on February 1.

Happy Thanksgiving!

-Allie, Director Content Acquisition

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Netflix on the New Wii U

Millions of Netflix members use Nintendo’s Wii system to watch movies and TV shows. Nintendo products are popular with our members and today we are happy to announce that Netflix is available on Wii U!

The Netflix experience on the Wii U system was designed to take advantage of the console’s unique two-screen experience with up to 1080p HDTV and the Wii U GamePad for the best browsing and viewing experience.

When browsing, movies and TV shows and detailed information are shown on both the TV and GamePad so everyone in the room can see all of the TV shows and movies available.

Scrolling or browsing is shown both on the TV and GamePad. All traditional controls are accessible on the GamePad such as play, episode selection, rating capability, and add to queue. Key functions like Play are accessible by both touching the screen or using the buttons on the GamePad.  At the bottom of the screen is the primary navigation which provides access to Search and Netflix Just for Kids.

The Netflix playback experience is unique on the Wii U as the TV show or movie is presented in high-definition (when playing an HD title on an HDTV with appropriate connections) while play controls (play/pause/stop, episode selection, play scrubber) and title information are available on the GamePad.

Exploring the show is very easy with GamePad and is reflected on the TV as you move across the timeline.

Another unique feature is the ability to play video on the GamePad for a personal viewing experience. In the main playback experience simply tap the play on GamePad button and playback switches to the GamePad with sound through the speakers on the GamePad or the headphone jack. You can easily switch back to playing on TV.
Accessible from the main navigation, Netflix search on Wii U has a full keyboard on the GamePad for easy text entry. All search interactions and results are presented on the TV in real-time. Results for TV shows, movies, actors, and directors are available.

Netflix Just for Kids is available from the main navigation. This enters the Just for Kids section with our character-based navigation and Kids “safe” search experience. The Kids experience is also presented in a coordinated way between the GamePad and the TV.

Netflix is available today on the Wii U home screen with the Wii U launch in the US and Canada. Netflix members can sign-in for full access. If you are not yet a Netflix member, you can learn more and sign-up for a free trial right on the Wii U.



Chris Jaffe is Director of Product Innovation at Netflix where he leads our work on game consoles and mobile phones.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

First Look Trailer: Netflix Original Series ‘House of Cards’

With less than three months to go before our premiere, we’re proud to share the first trailer from the Netflix Original Series House of Cards.

From acclaimed director David Fincher, award-winning playwright and Academy Award® nominated screenwriter Beau Willimon, and Academy Award® winner Eric Roth, this wicked political drama slithers beneath the curtain and through the back halls of greed, sex, love and corruption in modern Washington D.C.

An uncompromising exploration of power, ambition and the American way, House of Cards stars Academy Award® winner Kevin Spacey as Francis Underwood, the House Majority Whip. Underwood is the politician’s politician – masterful, beguiling, charismatic and ruthless. He and his equally ambitious wife Claire, played by Robin Wright, stop at nothing to ensure their ascendancy. The series also stars Kate Mara, Corey Stoll, Kristen Connolly, Michael Kelly and Sakina Jaffrey.

House of Cards combines the best of filmmaking with the best of television. Netflix members worldwide can instantly watch all 13 episodes of the first season of the show beginning on February 1, 2013. In offering the entire season at once, Netflix is giving viewers complete control over how and when they watch the show. Learn more about the series and explore the characters at Netflix.com.


Ted Sarandos is Chief Content Officer for Netflix

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tony Bennett sings with Amy Winehouse in 'The Zen of Bennett,' Exclusively on Netflix

Amy Winehouse was like a lot of tragic and gifted figures to cross Tony Bennett’s path in his 85 years on this planet and his more than 65 years in show business. In the new Netflix exclusive documentary The Zen of Bennett, director Unjoo Moon captures their last encounter during a recording session for the Award winning album “Duets II.”  We see a very nervous and distracted Winehouse trying to pull together her performance of “Body and Soul.” Voices from the behind glass are trying to coach her through, but it is finally Tony Bennett who takes control of the situation, calmly recalling stories about her idol, Dinah Washington and comparing the two. Tony knew Washington (of course he did), as he knew Billie Holiday and Bill Evans and so many other artist who tragically lost their lives to various addictions. In that moment, there was nothing else but Tony, Amy and the memories of Dinah Washington. Through that connection, almost possessed by Washington, Winehouse nails “Body and Soul.” That performance went on the win a Grammy for Tony and Amy, but she would never live to see it. Amy Winehouse died just weeks after that session. “She died so young,” Tony reflects in one of film’s more tender moments.

“The Zen of Bennett” is a special portrait of Tony Bennett the singer, Tony Bennett the artist and Tony Bennett the elder statesmen for mankind. With remarkable endurance, we follow Tony around the world for recording sessions with Andrea Bocelli, Lady Gaga, John Mayer, Willie Nelson and many others.  Into the wee hours of the morning, Tony is the calming force in the madness of what working with big personalities can bring. We see the artists who perform with Tony in awe of this living legend and in acceptance that this crooner can keep up and even force them to stretch to keep up with him. The film is light on music and heavy on reflection and intimate moments with Tony, the other duets artists and his family. The film was conceptualized and produced by Tony’s son Danny Bennett, who was the masterful architect of the post MTV Tony Bennett. It is beautifully shot by Oscar winning cinematographer Dion Beebe (“Chicago”) and a powerfully entertaining film that will stay with you long after the final song.

Netflix is proud to present this original and exclusive documentary that the San Francisco Chronicle said is “like the singer himself…smooth and classy.”


Ted Sarandos is Chief Content Officer for Netflix