Netflix will reportedly spend a whopping $8 billion on original programming next year, in an effort to build its portfolio of original television shows and movies to 700 in 2019.
Some of those original works will be aimed, apparently, at audiences looking for faith and family-friendly content.
“It’s a very important audience to us,” Cindy Holland, vice president of original series, told the media at the 2018 Television Critics’ Association Summer Press Tour, an event that took place over the weekend in Beverly Hills, California.
Holland said she “grew up in a place that was very much steeped in those traditions” and that faith and family-friendly content was important not only within America, but around the world.
“I want to make some great programming for my cousins and their families, too,” she added. “So it is something that we are focused on — really building out a robust slate of family-friendly programming.”
Even so, Holland said there was nothing specific yet that she could reference.
If Netflix is serious about this, it’s a smart business move. Many traditional studios have for too long ignored an incredibly large audience that responds to content focused on faith values.
And there’s plenty of content for Netflix to choose from, to be sure. If it really wants to prove to audiences that it’s committed to this sort of programming, let’s see it put its money where its mouth is — and start pushing forward some high-profile projects.
There’s Mel Gibson’s promised sequel to “Passion of the Christ.”
And actor and director Kevin Sorbo has made clear he’s ready to step behind the camera to create more faith-based content after last year’s hit “Let There Be Light.”
There’s always the chance Netflix is trying to save face with these comments after recently announcing a rather controversial partnership with the Obamas to create content — but here’s hoping it’s serious and that faith-driven content indeed has found a new home.