Netflix has created shows with talk show hosts. It's brought beloved shows and people out of retirement. And now, with yesterday's announcement that David Letterman would be creating a longform interview series for the streaming platform, Netflix has managed to do both at the same time.
Hold on, you might be thinking right now. There was just a big Netflix announcement last week, wasn't there? And you'd be right! That was the one about the company picking up a dozen new anime series. Or maybe it was the one about Netflix's first Chinese production? Either way, it's almost stale by now; the Letterman news isn't even the first big Netflix announcement of this week.
In fact, the streaming company has spent the past three months expanding its reach, jumpstarting development slates in new countries, and supercharging genres that it had previously ignored. Taken singly, each of these 19 moves might have felt like an incremental step—but look at them together and you can almost imagine the Risk board of the global entertainment landscape turning a very familiar shade of red.
May 8: Netflix announces The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, a prequel series to the 1982 puppet-driven film.
May 11: The company claims that it has spent more than $1.75 billion on European productions since 2012, with more than 90 productions in development—including the first original series from Spain, Germany, and Italy, all of which launch this year.
May 16: Netflix announces its first Australian original series, supernatural crime drama Tidelands.
May 17: Four years after Arrested Development's Netflix revival, the company announces that the cult comedy series will return next year for another season.
May 17: Netflix announces the development of a drama series based on Andrzej Sapkowski's Witcher saga of fantasy novels (and the subsequent videogame franchise).
May 23: Netflix launches a Romanian localization, complete with subtitles and dubbing.
May 29: Netflix's first Turkish original series is announced, a "hero-driven action story" set in Istanbul that incorporates Ottoman and Turkish legend.
June 26: Production begins on Denmark's first original Netflix series, post-apocalyptic Scandinavian YA drama The Rain.
June 27: The company triples down on nostalgia (Fuller House, Stranger Things) and announces Everything Sucks!, a dramedy set in an Oregon high school in 1996.
July 6: Netflix announces that writer/director Ava DuVernay will write and direct a five-episode "dramatic limited series" based on the case of The Central Park Five, to air in 2019.
July 11: A live-action adaptation of Dark Horse Comics' superhero-family series The Umbrella Academy—created by My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way—is announced.
July 13: Spain's second original series, "an effervescent, uninhibited, and sensual drama" called Élite, is announced for 2019 release.
July 25: Simpsons creator Matt Groening receives a 20-episode order for two seasons of Disenchantment, an adult animated fantasy-comedy. ("Viewers will be whisked away to the crumbling medieval kingdom of Dreamland, where they will follow the misadventures of hard-drinking young princess Bean, her feisty elf companion Elfo, and her personal demon Luci. Along the way, the oddball trio will encounter ogres, sprites, harpies, imps, trolls, walruses, and lots of human fools.")
July 31: Netflix teams with Hasbro for animated kids' series Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters, based on the classic Hasbro toy.
August 2: Netflix announces a slate of new anime properties, including new series from the studios that made Ghost in the Shell and Fullmetal Alchemist.
August 2: At a "Vive Netflix" event in Mexico City, Netflix announces numerous projects: Diablero, a new original series filming in Mexico; a slate of 21 standup specials from comics in Latin America; and a total of 50 "Latin American original productions" releasing through 2018.
August 3: The first Chinese-language Netflix original series is announced: Bardo (擺渡身), an eight episode Taiwanese thriller "with a karmic dimension."
August 7: Netflix announces its first acquisition: Millarworld, Mark Millar's comic book publishing company. "Together, Netflix and Millar will bring Millarworld’s portfolio of critically and fan-acclaimed character franchises to life through films, series and kids’ shows available exclusively to Netflix members globally. Millarworld will also continue to create and publish new stories and character franchises under the Netflix label." (The deal doesn't include Millarworld properties Kick-Ass, Wanted, and Kingsman, all of which have already been adapted.)
August 8: David Letterman's interview series is announced.
Who Said it? Luke Cage or Nic Cage
It’s surprisingly easy to get the two confused. Both are tall badasses known for saying outlandish things. So we threw some quotes at Mike Colter, who plays Luke Cage in Netflix's new series, and asked him to guess who said them—Nic Cage or Luke Cage.