Netflix is already conquering the adult couch-potato market, so it's only natural that the streaming giant's original programming would eventually target your children — and early Monday morning came a new deal with DreamWorks Animation to produce hours and hours of new shows to air exclusively online. You can expect the house that built Shrek to produce over 300 hours of original programming for Netflix over the next few years. (Term limits and financials weren't released.)
The new shows will be based off characters from DreamWorks Animation's movie franchises, like Shrek or maybe more like The Croods. The studio arm is also expected to mine the character rights they acquired last year with Classic Media; that could mean modern revivals of classic characters like Lassie, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Gumby, Fat Albert, and He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. (The Atlantic Wire is both excited and cautious about that last one.)
Obviously, this isn't Netflix's first foray into original shows. The fourth season of Arrested Development was a wild success, and so was House of Cards, while Eli Roth's Hemlock Grove was a bit more hit-and-miss. But with comedy, intrigue ,and horror covering Netflix's bases with adults, children's programming was a logical next step. The generation growing up with iPads is seen as the next big thing for streaming sites: "Children are avid streaming consumers, particularly overseas, and cartoons allow the company to pitch itself to parents as a commercial-free alternative to television," writes The New York Times' Brooke Barnes. And Netflix lost a huge portion of its kids programming when their deal with Nickelodeon fell through earlier this year. The new partenership with Dreamworks plugs a major hole with programs from characters kids are already familiar with. It's kind of like Netflix's Arrested Development plan, but with more Shrek.