When you’re spending $6 billion in 2016 on original content like Netflix is, the programming announcements come so fast and furious, it’s sometimes hard to keep up.
It wasn’t enough for Netflix confirm it was ordering a second season of “Stranger Things” yesterday. It followed with two more programming reveals later in the day.
First, it announced that Bill Nye — who hosted 101 episodes of “Bill Nye, The Science Guy” between 1993 and 2011 — will be returning to TV in the new Netflix talk show “Bill Nye Saves The World,” produced by Bunim/Murray Productions (“The Real World,” “Keeping Up with The Kardashians”). In each episode, Nye will tackle a topic from a scientific point of view, dispelling myths and refuting anti-scientific claims espoused by politicians, religious leaders and titans of industry. It will debut in the spring of 2017.
Michael Naidus (“The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson”) will serve as showrunner, as well as executive produce along with Gil Goldschein and Julie Pizzi of Bunim/Murray Production. Writer and stand-up comedian Mike Drucker will serve as head comedy writer, and astronomer, author and science communicator Phil Plait will serve as head science writer.
Later on Wednesday, Netflix announced it was adding two new live-action titles to its lineup of original series for older kids, an untitled Horse Mystery project and “The Worst Witch,” both set to premiere in 2017.
The untitled Horse Mystery project is a coming-of-age story about Zoe (Jaylen Barron, “Good Luck Charlie “), a 15-year-old American spending her summer at Bright Field Stables in the English countryside whose life changes forever when she meets the mysterious horse Raven.
Executive produced by Rebecca Hodgson, Kate Little and Claire Poyser for Lime Pictures and directed by Paul Norton Walker (the original U.K. version of “Shameless”), the 10-episode series also stars Celine Buckens (“War Horse”) and Kerry Ingram (“Game of Thrones”).
Based on the series of novels by Jill Murphy, “The Worst Witch” focuses on Mildred Hubble (Bella Ramsey, “Game of Thrones”), a trainee witch at Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches. The first book in the series was turned into an HBO telefilm starring Fairuza Balk and Tim Curry in 1986. A TV series based on the books aired on ITV in the U.K. from 1998 to 2001, which were followed by a pair of spin-offs, “Weirdsister College” (2001) and “The New Worst Witch” (2005).
Netflix’s “The Worst Witch” also stars Clare Higgins (“Doctor Who”) as Miss Cackle and Raquel Cassidy (“Downton Abbey”) as Deputy Head, Miss Hardbroom. The 12-episode series is being produced by CBBC Productions in collaboration with ZDF, ZDF Enterprises and Netflix. It will be available to Netflix members around the globe in 2017, and in the U.K. and Germany after its premiere on ZDF and CBBC.
The Netflix news kept coming today, with first looks at a pair of upcoming series.
Netflix unveiled the first images from its original series “Haters Back Off!” (top and above) starring Colleen Ballinger-Evans as her nasally YouTube alter ego Miranda Sings. All eight episodes of the show will premiere globally on Netflix on Oct. 14 at 12:01 a.m. PST.
Produced by Brightlight Pictures, “Haters Back Off” also stars Steve Little (“Eastbound & Down”) as Miranda’s overly confident and utterly misguided Uncle Jim, Angela Kinsey (“The Office”) as Miranda’s mom, Bethany, and Erik Stocklin as Miranda’s neighbor and best friend, Patrick.
Ballinger-Evans and her brother Christopher Ballinger executive produce the series along with Perry Rein, Gigi McCreery, Jeff Kwatinetz and Josh Barry.
Netflix also debuted the trailer for director Christopher Guest’s latest mockumentary “Mascots,” which premieres on Oct. 13 in select theaters and everywhere Netflix is available. The film has an ensemble cast packed with Guest regulars, including Jane Lynch, Parker Posey, Fred Willard, Ed Begley, Jr., Bob Balaban, Jennifer Coolidge and John Michael Higgins.