Bloomberg News

CBS in Talks to Produce New Shows for Netflix, Moonves Says

February 16, 2012

(Adds “Orange Is the New Black” in fourth paragraph.)

Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) -- CBS Corp., owner of the broadcast network and the Showtime cable channel, is in talks to produce an original program for Netflix Inc., Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves said.

“We are talking to Netflix about a potential deal to produce a show for them,” Moonves said today on a conference call. “Until they are doing 22 hours a week of premium content, we do not look at them as a competitor, but rather another place to put our content.”

Supplying Netflix would give CBS, based in New York, new revenue as online video services order more exclusive shows. Netflix is is adding five original programs by 2013, including “Lilyhammer,” “House of Cards” and “Arrested Development,” said Steve Swasey, a spokesman for Los Gatos, California-based Netflix. He wouldn’t comment on CBS talks.

Netflix, pressing competition with Time Warner Inc.’s HBO, will produce 13 episodes of a new comedy series, “Orange Is the New Black,” a person with knowledge of the situation said yesterday. The series from “Weeds” creator Jenji Kohan is based on the memoir of a communications executive who served time for drug-related crimes.

The fifth series is expected to be Gaumont International Television’s 13 initial episodes of the horror series “Hemlock Grove,” the person said.

Netflix Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings said in December he sees an “arms race” to dominate Web-based TV viewing, one that will be won by companies that offer the most compelling content and easy access.

Separately, Netflix director Charles Giancarlo won’t stand for re-election in May, according to a regulatory filing today. He had served on Netflix’s board since April 2007.

Netflix fell 0.8 percent to $122.06 at the close in New York. CBS declined 0.7 percent to $29.57. The company, which reported fourth-quarter results after markets closed, has added 9 percent this year.

--Editors: Anthony Palazzo, Stephen West

To contact the reporters on this story: Andy Fixmer in Los Angeles at afixmer@bloomberg.net; Cliff Edwards in San Francisco at cedwards28@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net


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