Are Netflix and Movie Studios Eyeing ‘Movie Serials?’

Old Movie Theater

In the 1930s, the “movie serial” was one of the most popular forms of entertainment for movie-goers. Released in episodic form, serials told a continuous story that would unfold over the course of several trips to the movie theater. Of course, if that sounds similar to modern television, that’s because modern television essentially is what the serial was in 1930s — and as a result, serials faded away as television entered the homes of most Americans. Now, major studios are pitching a very similar concept to Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) following chief content officer Ted Sarando’s recent critical statements about the state of film distribution.

According to a Business Insider source, several major film studios have approached Netflix with a proposal involving the creation of miniseries of around ten episodes that would be released in theaters every two months. Soon after the theatrical release — anywhere from one week to a month — Netflix would gain exclusive rights to stream the episodes that would be anywhere from one to two hours each.

The news comes after Sarando recently made statements likely to give theater owners chills. ”Why not premiere movies on Netflix the same day they’re opening in theaters?” Sarando asked. But while the potential deals are certainly a step in the right direction, Business Insider reports that Sarando is not convinced that this specific model is different enough from the status quo.