When it comes to stand-up comedy Netflix it trying to do something different again. In addition to releasing the lion’s share of stand-up specials in 2017 (averaging 1 a week) they also took an experiment with launching The Standups by taking 6 great comedians and giving them half hour specials and it worked out really well for the parties involved. The shows will tape in February at Atlanta’s historic Terminal West theater.
Now, Netflix is working on re-inventing the format again and this time they’re trying the 15-minute format, doling out quick “specials” released as bundles throughout the year. Why this lenght of time? Well, 15 minutes is a pretty standard set performed by comics in clubs so they’d feel natural to comedians. The program sounds most closely in line with the showcase shows like Premium Blend, Half-Hour Comedy Hour, or Gotham Comedy Live. Allowing emerging comedians to get some exposure while making them searchable on the all-important Netflix algorithm.
The initial names of the currently untitled show include the likes of Aisling Bea, Michelle Buteau, Tim Dillon, JR De Guzman, Sabrina Jalees, Janelle James, Sam Jay, Josh Johnson, Ian Karmel, Jak Knight, Matteo Lane, Max Silvestri, Taylor Tomlinson, Phil Wang, Emma Willmann, and Kate Willett. They’re all great up-and-coming comedians that are scoring headlining spots around the country (which means they have a lot more material than 15 mins). With Tim Dillon, Michelle Buteau, Sam Jan and Josh Johnson having Comedy Central Half Hours, some of them have already logged longer time on television.
Why do we ask is Netflix making a move like this? Well, if we were to guess, it helps them create a comedy farm team. With the streaming giant investing heavily in stand-up comedy these last few years, they’ve quickly established relationships with the biggest names in the game – Dave Chappelle, Amy Schumer, Louis C.K, Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld have all released or are scheduled to release Netflix specials. A steady stream of new talent allows a system where they can track progress of talent and give them a path to an hour stand-up special, or even perhaps a series on platform.