News


Netflix tries new release model with Madagascar kids series

NetflixBuilding41-620x413Netflix will release its upcoming kids series All Hail King Julien in installments, eschewing the simultaneous release model it has pioneered for the first time.

DreamWorks Animation is producing the original series, which is a spin-off of its hit feature Madagascar, for Netflix as part of wider programming pact between the pair. The series focuses on the adventures of lemur King Julien with other Madagascar characters also appearing.

Netflix will release the first batch of five 22-minute episodes of All Hail King Julien on Friday, December 19 and new episodes will be released in instalments thereafter.

Netflix created the simultaneous release model, which it started with its first original series Lilyhammer in 2012. Its chief rival, Amazon Prime Instant Video, has released its original series in a multi-episode batch until recently when it moved to the Netflix all-at-once binge model with Transparent.

Another unusual feature of the series is that Netflix will not release it simultaneously across its international footprint. Netflix will launch it in North and Latin America, the UK and Ireland, the Nordics, Benelux and France on December 19. It will not, however, roll out in Germany or Switzerland, where Netflix recently launched.

DreamWorks struck a long-term output deal with Super RTL last year and, TBI has confirmed, the German kids channel has the first-window rights to the animation studio’s new TV series. Netflix will show the cartoon series in a second window.

Speaking about the new show, Margie Cohn, head of television for DreamWorks Animation, said: “All Hail King Julien is really a showcase for our talented artists to bring the Netflix audience the great storytelling, compelling characters and fantastic design that is the hallmark of DreamWorks Animation.”

“We are excited to add a series focused on one of the most beloved characters from Madagascar to our growing line-up from DreamWorks Animation,” added Cindy Holland, vice president, original content, Netflix.

The Netflix-DreamWorks programming deal has yielded original series including Turbo Fast. By end-2016, ten original DreamWorks series will have launched on the streaming service.