|How Netflix Exec Cindy Holland Spots A Hit Show
By: Fast Company
As vice president for original content at Netflix, Cindy Holland oversees the streaming company's buzz-generating original shows and documentaries, a job she's had since 2011, when House of Cards went into production. (She's been at Netflix, however, since 2002.) Since then, the volume of Netflix's original programming has skyrocketed to more than one new show a week. That partly explains why its subscriber base continues to skyrocket too. Holland spoke to Fast Company about managing her workload and how she predicts whether a show will be a hit.
Fast Company: Can you explain your role at Netflix? What convinces you to greenlight a show?
Cindy Holland: I oversee both the creative and business aspects [of show-making], so both my team and I are deciding which show we invest in and getting the deals done for them, and then overseeing the creative.
As far as greenlighting, it really starts with the storytellers and somebody coming in with a really passionate vision for the series they want to create or the piece of content they want to create, and our belief that they have the ability to execute against that vision. It could be anything from anyone, from Jenji Kohan, who had proven success on Weeds, and came to us with a memoir about a woman in prison and told us how she wanted to expand that world and really focus on all of the characters in that world; to somebody like Raphael Bob-Waksberg, who was a well known TV writer but hadn't run a series of his own. But he came in and he pitched Bojack Horseman, season one, all 12 episodes of that season in minute detail, and about halfway through the meeting, we said, "Wow. This is something we've never experienced before and never heard before." It was such a different approach—an adult, half-hour animation series, that we were really—we kind of knew it in the room. So many times, that kind of magic happens. And you know pretty quickly that it's there, and really that comes from the spirit and the enthusiasm of the creators themselves.
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This article was published on Fast Company. A link to the original piece appears after the post.
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