Surprise: It’s a ‘BoJack Horseman’ Christmas special!

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on December 19th, 2014

BoJack Horseman is an anthropomorphic horse voiced naturally by Will Arnett who stars in a wickedly smart and funny Netflix original series. If you’ve haven’t binged the 12 episode animated show yet, drop everything you’re doing and get going! Without getting too in-depth so as not to spoil the fun, BJH is about a dude (who happens to be a horse) navigating his life after being in the spotlight starring in a children’s TV show. When he’s tasked to help pen his tell-all biography with a ghost writer, his world slowly begins to get turned upside-down as he is forced to face his past. He contemplates love and so many other things, and it reaches some unexpectedly dark and cynical places, too. All in all, it’s very entertaining and it features slick animation with a stellar voice cast.

Now, onto the good news! It was previously reported that Netflix is already underway with a second season of BoJack Horseman, but seemingly out of the blue today the streaming service dropped a full-length Christmas special for fans of the series. Huzzah! In “Sabrina’s Christmas Wish:

It’s Christmas, and BoJack Horseman wants nothing to do with it, especially when Todd (Aaron Paul) shows up with a giant candy cane and one of BoJack’s “Horsin’ Around” Christmas episodes from his TV star days. But BoJack agrees to watch it with Todd, if only for the residual check. One heart-warming orphan story and lots of cans of beer later, BoJack might be willing to re-think his attitude — unless Todd gets too enthusiastic about the whole holiday thing.

Stream the special at Netflix today. And if you’re new to the show, start with episode 1 right hereBJH season 2 is expected to arrive sometime in 2015.

‘Toy Story’ special & new Netflix original ‘Marco Polo’ premiere this month [Update: ‘Black Mirror’ Christmas special]

Posted in News,Television,Video by Scott Meisner on December 1st, 2014

Now here’s something to tide you over until Disney and Pixar unleash Toy Story 4: it’s another Toy Story TV special, a follow-up to 2013’s Toy Story of Terror! Tom Hanks and Tim Allen reprise their roles as Woody and Buzz Lightyear (alongside other fan favorite characters) in a half-hour tale titled Toy Story That Time Forgot.

During a post-Christmas play date, the Toy Story gang find themselves in uncharted territory when the coolest set of action figures ever turn out to be dangerously delusional. It’s all up to Trixie, the triceratops, if the gang hopes to return to Bonnie’s room in this Toy Story That Time Forgot.

Watch the trailer here. The special premieres Tuesday, Dec. 2 at 8pm on ABC.

Jump after the break to preview Netflix’s latest drama. (Click here for more…)

‘House of Cards’ season 3 lands February premiere date

Posted in News,Television,Video by Scott Meisner on December 1st, 2014

And now, a special message from the White House: Kevin Spacey’s Frank Underwood returns to our screens on February 27, 2015. The official House of Cards Twitter account revealed the season three premiere date on Monday with a silent clip embedded here. All 13 episodes will launch at once, naturally, on Netflix.

Celebrate ‘Friends’ coming to Netflix with a new live rendition of the theme song

Posted in Music,News,Television,Video by Scott Meisner on October 15th, 2014

All 10 seasons (236 episodes) of famed NBC sitcom Friends is coming to Netflix on January 1, 2015! To celebrate the 20-year anniversary of the series (it ran from 1994-2004) and its new streaming home, Netflix has put out a live recording of the show’s theme song. Click play above to hear The Rembrandts perform the forever catchy and hand-clappy “I’ll Be There For You” featuring Central Perk manager Gunther. The music video was recorded at the Central Perk pop up coffee shop in NYC.

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TV reminder: 6 premieres to look out for in June

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on June 1st, 2014

The summer months are upon us and though many of your favorites series are taking a break until September there are quite a few new and returning ones that premiere in June. See what’s coming up and worth checking out after the break! (Click here for more…)

New trailer: ‘Orange is the New Black’ season 2

Posted in Television,Video by Scott Meisner on April 27th, 2014

It’s almost time for more jail time. Litchfield’s finest are back in season 2 of the critically acclaimed Netflix original series Orange is the New Black. Piper, Red, Crazy Eyes–the whole lot of them are featured in this momentous trailer teasing what’s to come. The streaming giant unleashes all 13 episodes June 6.

Netflix announces return date for ‘Orange is the New Black’

Posted in News,Television,Video by Scott Meisner on February 16th, 2014

If you’ve managed to binge all the way through House of Cards season 2 this weekend then you were sent off with some exciting news. The second season of another Netflix-exclusive hit series, Orange is the New Black, now has a launch date. A title card at the end of the 13th episode of HOC exposed the date: OITNB returns with 13 new episodes this summer on June 6. Watch a brief teaser above featuring flashes of some of your favorite Litchfield Prison inmates. After her nasty outrage at the end of season one, it looks like Piper Chapman won’t be getting out of there any time soon. Hooray for us.

TV reminder: 9 premieres to look out for in February

Posted in Image cache,News,Television by Scott Meisner on February 9th, 2014

January has come and gone and as we fold into February it’s time to take a look at nine series/season premieres airing this month. Jump after the break for all the deets. (Click here for more…)

First look: ‘House of Cards’ season 2 trailer

Posted in Television,Video by Scott Meisner on December 14th, 2013

“The road to power is paved with hypocrisy and casualties,” slithers Kevin Spacey’s Frank Underwood in this first-look trailer of House of Cards season 2. The butchery begins February 14 when 13 new episodes of the political thriller release on Netflix.

Drew Goddard signs onto Netflix/Marvel ‘Daredevil’ series

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on December 8th, 2013

Quick update on Netflix’s Daredevil: Drew Goddard (director of Cabin in the WoodsCloverfieldWorld War ZBuffyAngelAlias, Lost writer) has signed on to write and direct the first episode of the Netflix/Marvel live-action original series. He will also serve as series showrunner and executive producer across all 13 episodes that are set to debut on the streaming service in 2015.

Daredevil is one of four Marvel superhero series coming to Netflix (Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage are also on the way) and they will all culminate in an Avengers-style mini-series event dubbed The Defenders. Picking up Goddard is a great way to start this massive project; the writer/director/producer is widely accepted by fanboys and girls for his work on Joss Whedon and J.J. Abrams classics.

[Via Marvel]

‘House of Cards’ returns this February

Posted in News,Television,Video by Scott Meisner on December 8th, 2013

Netflix’s Emmy award-winning series House of Cards returns for its second season on February 14. Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright return as the politically power-hungry Francis and Claire Underwood. Just like before, all 13 episodes will premiere the day the streaming service launches the new season. As you prepare your binge schedule today, check out the new season 2 synopsis:

In the second season, Francis (Spacey) and Claire (Wright) Underwood continue their ruthless rise to power as threats mount on all fronts. Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara, “American Horror Story”), an up-and-coming reporter and Francis’s former paramour, is inching closer to the truth about his crimes. President Walker’s (Michel Gill, “The Good Wife”) billionaire confidante Raymond Tusk (Gerald McRaney, “Southland”) demands that Francis reciprocate political favors or face retribution. And Claire must confront the increasing glare of the spotlight as it eats away at her and Francis’s once private existence. The Underwood’s must overcome these dangers — past and present — to avoid losing everything, regardless of collateral damage they leave in their wake.

Jump after the break to watch a sizzling promo. (Click here for more…)

Disney & Netflix team up to produce four Marvel superhero series

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on November 10th, 2013

If ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. wasn’t enough for Marvel fans, The Walt Disney Co. and Netflix are collaborating on four live-action series to air on the streaming service beginning in 2015. Each series will star a popular Marvel superhero: the first hero coming to the small screen is Daredevil, followed by Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage; click those links to learn more about each of them. A statement promises these four series will take Netflix subscribers “deep into the gritty world of heroes and villains of Hell’s Kitchen, New York.” Now get this: after the four, thirteen episodes series have aired they will culminate in “Marvel’s “The Defenders” mini-series event that reimagines a dream team of self-sacrificing, heroic characters.” It’s like what Marvel did in the movies with all those films leading up to The Avenges. This is neat stuff right here.

“This deal is unparalleled in its scope and size, and reinforces our commitment to deliver Marvel’s brand, content and characters across all platforms of storytelling. Netflix offers an incredible platform for the kind of rich storytelling that is Marvel’s specialty,” said Alan Fine, President of Marvel Entertainment. “This serialized epic expands the narrative possibilities of on-demand television and gives fans the flexibility to immerse themselves how and when they want in what’s sure to be a thrilling and engaging adventure.”

“Marvel’s movies, such as ‘Iron Man’ and Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’, are huge favorites on our service around the world. Like Disney, Marvel is a known and loved brand that travels,” said Netflix COO Ted Sarandos.  “With ‘House of Cards’ and our other original series, we have pioneered new approaches to storytelling and to global distribution and we’re thrilled to be working with Disney and Marvel to take our brand of television to new levels with a creative project of this magnitude.”

As Disney and Netflix begin work on this massive production, stick it here for the latest developments.

[Via Netflix]

Netflix touts 14 Emmy nods in this powerful promo

Posted in Television,Video by Scott Meisner on August 24th, 2013

Now here’s a cool clip that nicely summates Netflix’s rise in power with original programming. As previously reported, the streaming service collected 14 Emmy nominations among three of its shows; namely Hemlock Grove (2 nods), Arrested Development (3), and House of Cards (9). The Kevin Spacey political drama even managed to break into the Outstanding Drama category to be seated among popular cable series like Breaking BadMad Men, and Homeland.

“Take a step back, look at the bigger picture; we have the opportunity to make history here,” says Spacey as House of Cards‘ Francis Underwood. With so many nominations, Netflix is poised to make a name for itself when the Emmys air September 22. Whether these series win or lose at the awards show, Netflix has already changed the game and that’s what makes this teaser feel so…empowering.

Netflix introduces personal profiles for all subscribers

Posted in News,Technology,Video by Scott Meisner on August 3rd, 2013

It’s been a long time coming and now the Netflix feature you’ve been waiting for (whether you realized it or not) is finally here: personal profiles.

So you’re a Netflix subscriber and you share your account with family and friends. Say you’re into action films like Thor and your little brother is high on animated comedies like Phineas and Ferb. Netflix will recommend both action movies and animated series aimed at children to you. Sure, it’s not the end of the world, but wouldn’t it be better and more efficient if the streaming service was able to compartmentalize the shows you watch and are into versus the other type of programming your younger sibling might be addicted to?

Now, Netflix subscribers can create his or her own profile (no extra fees required) to enable “a uniquely personalized experience based upon their individual watching habits, their personal favorite shows, and favorite genres, all driven by Netflix recommendation technology.” Up to five profiles can be created per account. When you log into your Netflix account, you can select which profile you’d like to jump into and you’ll be presented with recommendations based solely on the content you watch. Brilliant! Netflix posits that you can also set up profiles headlining various genres like “Date night” or “Hanging with the bros.” You even have the option to personalize your profile further with a fun profile picture; and if you choose to link your Facebook account to your Netflix profile your picture will automatically show up as your Facebook profile picture.

Netflix started rolling out this new feature on August 1 and the company says profiles will be accessible globally for all subscribers by August 15. New members will be notified about creating profiles during the sign up process; existing members can add profiles on Netflix.com and on the PS3 Netflix app. According to the company, “profiles can be accessed on most devices that support Netflix, including the Netflix website, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, iPad, iPhone, Apple TV and other iOS devices, and most smart TVs. Additional devices will be added over the coming months.” So if you don’t see it yet on your device, patience.

After the break, a video demonstration. (Click here for more…)

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Netflix’s next original show ‘Orange is the New Black’ premieres July 11

Posted in News,Television,Video by Scott Meisner on July 6th, 2013

Netflix is on a roll with pushing out exclusive content. First it was Lillyhammer with Steven Van Zandt, next it was David Fincher’s House of Cards with Kevin Spacey, then came the resurrection of Arrested Development, and now get ready for Orange is the New Black from Weeds creator Jenji Kohan. It’s loosely based on Piper Kerman’s memoir Orange Is The New Black: My Year In a Women’s Prison. Over the course of 13 episodes–all available simultaneously on Netflix starting July 11–viewers will witness a fish-out-of-water story following Taylor Schilling (The Lucky One) playing a version of Piper Kerman, a woman who all of a sudden finds herself locked behind bars. A synopsis follows with a trailer posted after the break.

Created and executive produced by Jenji Kohan (“Weeds”) and based on the U.S. best-selling memoir of the same name by Piper Kerman, the comedic drama starring Taylor Schilling follows engaged-Brooklynite Piper Chapman (Schilling) whose decade-old relationship with drug-runner Alex (Laura Prepon) results in her arrest and year-long detention in a federal penitentiary. To pay her debt to society, Piper must trade her comfortable New York life with fiancé  Larry (Jason Biggs) for an orange jumpsuit and a baffling prison culture where she is forced to question everything she believes and form unexpected new alliances with a group of eccentric and outspoken inmates. (Click here for more…)

More ‘Arrested Development’ clips: Mitch Hurwitz and the cast on bringing back the show

Posted in Television,Video by Scott Meisner on July 6th, 2013

It will never get old celebrating the comeback of cult classic comedy Arrested Development. Let the good times ride with these new AD clips featuring creator Mitch Hurwitz,the all-star cast, and some behind-the-scenes footage. Embedded above you’ll hear from the lot of them and get to see just how excited they all were to bring the band back together. After the break catch featurettes on characters like George Michael, Gob, Buster; plus, get an inside look at how the show’s wardrobe department works and the many challenges they faced in making the new season. (Click here for more…)

Netflix renews ‘Hemlock Grove’ for a second season

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on June 22nd, 2013

Hemlock Grove, Eli Roth’s horror series produced for Netflix is coming back for more. On Wednesday the streaming service renewed the series based on Brian McGreevy’s gothic horror novel for a 10-episode second season to premiere all-at-once sometime next year. Chic Eglee–a veteran TV producer who’s worked on shows like The Walking Dead, Dexter, and The Shield–is joining Hemlock Grove as an executive producer in season 2.

Executive producer Roth on the renewal: “The worldwide fan response to Hemlock Grove was phenomenal. Netflix members loved the potent combination of sexy monsters, mystery, and the dark family soap opera that ended with a huge twist, leaving audiences worldwide totally shocked. Season One was just a warm up for what we have in store for season two. Get ready to be scared in ways you never expected.”

Netflix VP of Original Content Cindy Holland: “In its first season, Eli, Brian, [exec producer] Lee [Shipman] and the team did an incredible job of introducing viewers to a unique world of memorable charactersChic’s addition to the show, and his experience on such fan favorites as The ShieldThe Walking Deadand Dexter, will heighten the intensity of the mystery that grips Hemlock Grove.”

[Via Deadline]

Mitch Hurwitz opens up about the future of ‘Arrested Development’ (video inside)

Posted in News,Television,Video by Scott Meisner on June 8th, 2013

Warning: Do not proceed if you haven’t finished watching the new season of Arrested Development. Spoilers ahead; you have been warned.

Netflix wants more, Imagine Entertainment wants more, and obviously so does series creator and mastermind Mitch Hurwitz. On May 26 Arrested Development returned after a seven year hiatus with 15 new episodes. The new season ends with without much resolution and this is by design, reveals Hurwitz. In a postmortem interview with Vulture, Hurwitz discusses exactly why so many plot points and character arcs were left up in the air.

The initial idea for these new episodes was to reset things. Let’s show what happens to this family, who were starting to make progress as human beings, when they decide to go it alone. Part of the theme of this thing is that we do need our families. Our families are attached to us whether we like it or not, in all these mysterious, invisible ways. It’s somewhat allegorical but we see that they’ve all affected each other’s lives in really profound ways for the negative because there’s no communication between them to speak of. So in one sense that was the theme, but in another way it really was just setting up the future. If the pilot was about their lives falling apart, then this was designed to be the first act of a larger story about winding everybody up, getting everybody to a point of peril and then having a jumping-off place for the next story where they all come together.

Whether it’s a movie or another season on Netflix, Hurwitz has a plan for what’s to come next. As far as we know, Lucille Austero aka Lucille 2 is dead and the impetus for the next Bluth adventure will be a murder mystery.

That really is the idea. Everybody’s gotten their lives into a state of peril and everybody said, “To hell with this family,” and Michael said “I’m done with all of you,” and then — Buster is arrested for murder! Now what do they do? Now they have to come together or let their baby brother go to the chair. We’re sort of resolving or ending the season with both an emotional story and a plot story. The plot is that Buster’s been arrested for the murder of Lucille 2. And think about it, all the Bluths have a relationship with her. One of the main reasons we were kind of obsessed with telling the story in the right order is because we wanted to slowly reveal not only that Lucille 2 was gone and that she died, but that they all had ways in which they were connected to her that could either look like motives or could exculpate some of them. But they’re all connected to this woman who disappeared … It’s always been a show that dealt with a lot of big plot points, stealing the Queen Mary and all these off-the-wall things. The more important stuff is really what’s going on in their hearts and minds. That’s what the Michael–George Michael thing is about.

When can fans expect the next chapter in the story? It’s all up to the talent and their inherently conflicting schedules.

Whatever the next step is, I will say that by design the Bluths will come together. They’re all going to be together. Now it’s a question of what’s the most efficient way to do that, how do we make that happen and when do we make that happen? It certainly won’t be another seven years. If we do it, we’re going to do it soon while we’re all still alive. While we’re all still sensate. A lot of it has to be worked around John Beard’s schedule.

I highly recommend you jump over to Vulture to read the Hurwitz interview in full; in addition to talking about the future of the show, he also discusses the intensive creative process behind making the new season, Franklin’s absence, the return of Ben Stiller as Tony Wonder, making Ann Veal a more substantial character, the idea behind the Fantastic Four musical, the many easter eggs, George Michael’s almost chicken dance, and why ostriches.

Also this week, Hurwitz spoke to the press at large about making more Arrested, responding to reviews, finally revealing Michael’s late wife Tracey Bluth in a flashback, going back on his idea of watching the new episodes out of order, the inspiration behind Terry Crews’ Herbert Love, and he shares a scene that didn’t make the final cut involving Mitt Romney and George Clooney. In fact, he also blurted out that there are tons of extra footage that he hopes will eventually see the light of day. “We have a lot of material that we’re planning on putting out on Netflix at a later time, probably, to tie in there.” Consume all the juicy quotes at Entertainment Weekly.

Bonus! Pop after the break to watch behind-the-scenes featurettes with Hurtwitz, Portia de Rossi (Lindsay Bluth), David Cross (Tobias Fünke), Jessica Walter (Lucille Bluth), and Henry Winkler (Barry Zuckerkorn). Also there you’ll find a Q&A clip with some of the cast and a look at the walk-on contest winners. (Click here for more…)

‘Arrested Development': the aftermath

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on June 2nd, 2013

In case you’re putting off watching all 15 episodes of the new season of Arrested Development, I’ll be careful not to spoil things here.

And so it came and went. On May 26 Netflix released an entirely new batch of Arrested Development episodes that played out quite brilliantly; I consider them to be some of the most complex, layered & brilliantly designed episodes ever produced for any series spanning the drama and comedy genres. Even more so than the original three seasons, these new installments beg to be rewatched again and again.

The consensus is like this: the majority of long-time AD fans absolutely loved the new episodes while critics gave mixed reviews. The New York Times bashed the whole experiment starting with the line, “Chalk one up for the Internet: It has killed Arrested Development.” But in my opinion, the NYT review must be taken with a grain of salt since the piece’s writer had only watched the first 8 of 15 episodes before “deadline” arrived. Fans would ferociously argue that all 15 must be screened before an appropriate review could be conjured; jokes set up in episode 1 are not unlocked until the final episode, in fact. A more delicate review can be found over at The Atlantic; “Hurwitz et al. have bequeathed to us something that doesn’t really have a name, or a meaningful precedent: not a series, or a movie, or even a mini-series, but rather a single, eight-hour work of dada televisual art,” writes Christoper Orr. It’s true–what creator Mitch Hurwitz did here is something so unusual and unique that it’s hard to categorize it into a single genre or type.

No matter which way you see it, Netflix has confirmed that the May 26 launch Arrested Development was a great success. “It’s been huge, just as we had hoped,” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings told CNBC in a televised interview. When pressed about sharing numerical results, Hastings held back. “Netflix is about being able to watch when you want, not having to watch at a certain time like linear TV is. So we’re really not focused on the day one ratings, it’s really over the first year.” So perhaps by next May we will have a better idea as to how the new episodes performed for the streaming service in terms of how many people watched and how many new subscribers the company picked up along the way.

This brings us to the big question fans ’round the world are wondering: is there more where this came from? AD season 4 ends with many plot points still up in the air, but this shouldn’t have come as a huge surprise for most. Leading up to the launch star Jason Bateman spilled that these new installments serve as “simply just the first act of what we hope to continue and complete in a movie, which would [serve as] Act 2 and 3. These episodes set that up. One does not work without the other.” He added, “There is certainly a satisfying conclusion to these episodes, if for some unfortunate reason the movie does not happen. But [the episodes and the movie] are all meant to work within each other as a hybrid package of Arrested Development stuff.”

Since the new season launched, Netflix’s Hastings and someone high up in the AD camp commented on the series’ future. “Arrested is unique, because that’s really up to the talent. If the talent were willing to do more, and interested in that, I’m sure we would be willing,” said Hastings to CNBC. And then in an interview with Deadline, Imagine Entertainment co-founder Brian Grazer said, “It’s up to [Netflix Chief Content Officier] Ted [Sarandos]. If Ted is into it, we would be very excited to pursue it.” Added Imagine TV president Francie Calfo, “It’s also up to Mitch, who is probably resting right now as he put everything he had into these episodes and hasn’t had a chance to think beyond that.” When asked about the potential of the long-imagined AD movie Grazer simply stated, “We’re hoping that we could do that; the popularity of the series will inform that decision.” So in sum, Imagine (the producers) and Netflix (the content distributor) are certainly interested in bring the gang back together to make more Arrested whether it’s another season or a movie. First, Mitch must do what he does best and come up with more character arcs and interweaving plots to continue the story; and second, the actors must make time in their busy schedules to reunite again.

As we wait (again) to learn the fate of Arrested Development, don’t lose sight of what’s right in front of you and available now.

TV reminder: ‘Arrested Development’ premieres this Sunday with 15 new episodes on Netflix

Posted in News,Television,Video by Scott Meisner on May 25th, 2013

We made it. Seven years after it was cancelled and banished from network TV, cult comedy Arrested Development is not making a huge mistake by coming back for another season consisting of 15 brand new episodes. All of them will be made available for streaming on Netflix at once when the clock strikes midnight (PT) / 3AM (ET) on Sunday, May 26. Creator Mitch Hurwitz recommends you watch the episodes in order, at least during your initial binge marathon. Each installment intentionally follows a single member of the Bluth clan but don’t fret–characters will weave in and out of other characters’ storylines and the entire bunch will congregate at least twice over the course of the season. Other things to look out for: you will witness the same scenes multiple times but they will play out differently and you will learn more context each time because they will be told from different character perspectives; also, these episodes serve as one giant setup for more AD in the future, whether it’s another season or the long dreamed about feature film.

Relive the journey of Arrested‘s anticipated comeback here. After the break, watch four teaser clips taken from the new batch; G.O.B., Lucille, Maeby, Lindsay, bees and an ostrich are all involved.

Ladies and gentleman, it’s the final countdown. Grab some bananas and blue paint and let’s (almost) break Netflix!

UpdateAD creator Mitch Hurwitz (a man who obviously knows to always leave a note) posted to Facebook a picture of a handwritten letter made out to “friends, fans, supporters, detractors, haters, enemies, and arch enemies.” In it he acknowledges everyone who supports the show and he is thankful for the opportunity to bring these characters back to life. The note is posted in full after the break. (Click here for more…)