Netflix Has Problems But "Stranger Things" Isn't One of Them (BCTV DD)

From coming late to the game when it comes to offering an ad-supported, lower-priced tier and a high rate of subscriber password-sharing to a "binge drop" release philosophy that may have hurt the chances for some shows to grow and audience, there are more than a number of legit reason to go after Netflix. And during a week where the streaming service saw its worst Wall Street day in over 15 years, it seems like everybody and their mother is doing just that. And yet, here we are having to defend Netflix once again. And just like Elon Musk yesterday, it's all about really, really bad takes. In "Netflix, Facing Reality Check, Vows to Curb Its Profligate Ways," The Wall Street Journal looked at how the streaming service "spent lavishly on productions" to lure subscribers and how that's now contributing to its rough times. Now while that's definitely a topic worth discussing, it's also one that's too complex to boil down to "Netflix spends too much." Because then things like this end up in an article:

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Image: Netflix/Screencap

"Under-the-radar, relatively low-cost hits are necessary to balance out the costs for big-ticket programming such as the special-effects-filled show 'Stranger Things,' whose new season has a per-episode cost of $30 million, according to people close to the show."

Clearly, that number proved "shocking" to more than a few folks on social media, who found the $30M/episode price tag for the nine-episode fourth season of Matt Duffer & Ross Duffer's (Duffer Bros.) Stranger Things a blatant "smoking gun" when it comes to the streamer spending money like a dying man at a strip club. And when we read that? Well, we're not sure but we're pretty certain that our eyes bled. Just a little. Why? Because of all of the shows that you could use to make the case that Netflix just air-drops millions of dollars without a care in the world, one of the very last ones should be Stranger Things. Here's why:

Did Anyone Actually Do the Math? So why mince words? If the WSJ report is true, then Stranger Things 4 has a budget of $270M. Once you get past the "sticker shock," think about what viewers are getting for that budget: nine episodes clocking in at one-hour each (at least, confirmed by the Duffer Bros). Basically, they're getting three, 3-hour films. Now let's compare that to the following films' costs & running times (based on reported & estimated budgets): The Batman, which cost $185M and ran 2 hours 46 minutes; Morbius, which cost $75-83M and ran for 1 hour 44 minutes; and Sonic the Hedgehog 2, which cost $110M and ran for 1 hour 39 minutes. Amazing how a number like $270M can go from mind-blowing to a steal in less than five minutes.

"Stranger Things" is a Global Juggernaut: How do you know a series has achieved world domination? When it ranks in the Top 10 around the globe during years when it didn't even roll out a new season, an achievement Stranger Things can claim bragging rights to throughout its run. And thanks to our friends over at Parrot Analytics, we have the most recent look at how the show is doing in the U.S. this week against other digital originals since the Season 4 trailer dropped

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Image: Parrot Analytics

Stranger Things became the most in-demand digital original this week [April 9-15] after Netflix dropped another trailer for the upcoming season on April 12. The new trailer also shed light on why Eleven left Hawkins, and clearly did what it was meant to do- ensure a revival of interest (more than usual) in the show. The series saw a 32% increase in demand and had 46.8 times the average series demand in the U.S.

"Stranger Things" – The Gift That Keeps on Giving: Let's put aside the fact that the "Stranger Things" franchise helped give Netflix the reputation it rode on for so long as the home for quality, original content. From a "dollars & cents" standpoint, the sci-fi series is a merchandising monster for the streaming service. And because the franchise has become such an important "tentpole" for Netflix, talks are already underway to explore spinoffs once the show wraps with its fifth season. All of that goes to making the original IP more and more valuable. And just ask AMC (The Walking Dead & Better Call Saul) and HBO (Game of Thrones) how nice (and lucrative) it is to have shows with huge global followings.

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(Shutterstock.com)

Now here's a look at today's BCTV Daily Dispatch rundown for Friday, April 22, 2022:

Echo: Alaqua Cox-Starring Hawkeye Spinoff Reportedly Begins Filming

Arrow: Stephen Amell Brings Oliver Queen's Hooded Justice to TikTok

Cruel Summer Season 2 Shocker: New Storyline, Cast & Showrunner

The Sandman: Neil Gaiman Reminds Fans How Long He's Had to Wait

The Winchesters: Meg Donnelly on Supernatural Prequel, Being Team Dean

3 Matches From AEW Dynamite That Were Just So Disrespectful to WWE

Walker S02E15 Preview Images: Cordell Looks to His Past For Help

Straight Man: Bob Odenkirk-Starrer Gets AMC Series Green Light

The Time Traveler's Wife Official Trailer: HBO Series Arrives May 15th

AquaDonk Side Pieces E04: The Mooninites Aren't Big Fans of Critics

Star Trek: SNW – Celia Rose Gooding on Zoe Saldaña's Influence & More

Ghosts Season 1 Finale Preview; Rose McIver Previews "Tender Scene"

Full Details on AEW x NJPW: Forbidden Door at the United Center

Moon Knight: Could There Be More Clues Within the Key Art Posters?

Star Trek: Prodigy – Kate Mulgrew Has High Hopes for Voyager Reunion

The Flash EP: Seasons 6-8 "All One Big Story" & More; New Key Art

The Masked Singer No Longer Tucking In Its Shirt for Rudy Giuliani?

Even On Netflix's Worst Day, Elon Musk Still Gets It Wrong (BCTV DD)

And let's wrap things up with our BCTV DD long-distance dedication… Run The Jewels "Yankee and the Brave (Ep. 4)":

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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