Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

 
News
Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA

LOS ANGELES — Netflix, in a sign of its growing importance in television, will become Don Draper’s second home.


The home entertainment company has bought the rerun rights to the TV series “Mad Men,” making its online streaming service the next place to watch episodes after the show’s initial airing on cable network AMC.


Netflix will pay “Mad Men” producer Lionsgate between $750,000 and $900,000 per episode, according to people familiar with the situation.


The first-of-its-kind deal means that reruns for the critically acclaimed program won’t air on a broadcast or cable network, as typically is the case. It’s the first time that Netflix has bought syndication rights to a currently airing program for its online streaming service.


Though the agreement is a sign of Netflix’s growing influence in the television industry, it also underscores the tough hurdles Lionsgate might have faced trying to sell the show to a traditional network. Serialized dramas such as “Mad Men” do not perform well in reruns, negatively impacting their value.


For example, A&E shelled out $2.6 million per episode for reruns of HBO’s mob drama “The Sopranos” and the show performed poorly. Reruns of ABC’s “Lost” and Fox’s “24” also did not deliver good returns for various networks.


A big hit with critics, “Mad Men” has always had a modest audience compared with other cable shows such as TNT’s “The Closer” and USA’s “Burn Notice.” Last season, it averaged just under 3.3 million viewers per episode.


The show, however, is expensive to produce. AMC pays close to $3 million an episode for “Mad Men.” Lionsgate receives an additional $2 million from foreign rights and DVD sales.


The first four 13-episode seasons of “Mad Men” will debut on Netflix Instant on July 27. Future episodes will not become available on Netflix’s streaming service, which many people access on their televisions, until seasons are complete. “Mad Men” creator Matt Weiner has said he expects to produce three more seasons.


About half of the video streamed by Netflix is now television shows. The Internet service has proved particularly popular for dramas, as many people choose to “marathon” several episodes in a row of programs with intricate, continuing plotlines like “Mad Men.”

Related Articles
By Meredith Blake
3 Apr 2015
When Mad Men debuted on AMC, Sally Draper was a cherubic 5-year-old with a mop of blond ringlets and an adorable lisp. Nine fictional years later, she’s a boarding school student with a smoking habit and a perfectly sullen teenage eye-roll.
By Caroline J. Smith
3 Apr 2015
Mad Men may have started out as a feminist show, but in later seasons it reinforces rather than critiques the sexism faced by its female characters.
By Elizabeth Howells
30 Mar 2015
Given the parallels between Dorian Gray and Don Draper, can we use the lesson of the former to predict the fate of the latter?
24 Mar 2015
Many readers of our generation emulate Don Draper, having lost Dante's connections to Christianity or perhaps to any such deity.
Comments
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2015 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.