Netflix, Inc. Goes After HBO With Stand-Up Comedy Specials

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Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) announced stand-up specials from five comics to debut before the end of 2014. In addition to the “Cos” and Jim Jefferies, Chelsea Handler, Chelsea Peretti, and Bill Burr will also be coming to the video streaming site.

Unique platform

“Stand-up comedy is a category of original content that we’re very focused on,” said Lisa Nishimura, Netflix’s vice president of original documentary and comedy programming. “There’s a really huge scope of types of comedy within stand-up, and we have the ability to provide that entire scope.”

She added that Netflix is always on the hunt for new and old talent alike to feature in the new lineup as Netflix looks to build the niche. “Our flexibility and ubiquity of access is a really important component, specifically for comedy,” she added.

Jefferies echoed the uniqueness of the Netflix model and this from a man that has done specials on HBO, Showtime and FX.

 “When you tell people you’re doing a special for a cable channel, you say they’re going to air it at 8 o’clock on Saturday and again at 2 in the morning on Tuesday,” he explained. “But here, all you have to say is, ‘It’s on Netflix.’ It’s easier.“People can watch it over and over again,” he said, then laughed before finishing with, “and fast forward through the bits they don’t like.”

Netflix’s stand-up comedy specials: The lineup

And it’s Jefferies who will kick off the lineup on Aug. 29th with “Jim Jefferies: BARE,” which was taped at Boston’s Wilbur Theatre.

Following that, Chelsea Handler will be given her debut on Oct. 10 with “Uganda Be Kidding Me Live” which will feature performances from her international tour. Handler will begin her own “late night” talk show on Netflix in 2016.

November 14th will see the debut of “Chelsea Peretti: One of the Greats” while November 28 will bring “Bill Cosby 77,” which was filmed on the legend’s 77th birthday last month at the San Francisco Jazz Center.

“Bill Burr: I’m Sorry You Feel That Way,” will finish out the comedic programming for the year with his debut on December 5th.

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