It looks as though Netflix has done it again. Right on the heels of the streaming juggernaut's hefty deal to acquire the streaming rights to The Blacklist for $2 million an episode, they've struck a precedent-setting deal with Warner Bros. to acquire the rights to Gotham before the show even premieres.
Gotham delves into the origin story of the Dark Knight, and follows a young Detective James Gordon and an even younger Bruce Wayne in a dark time for Gotham City. Gordon must navigate his way through the corruption of Gotham City in hopes of making his fair city a better place. Unfortunately, the criminals of Gotham have other plans. Throughout the show, viewers will see the rise of Gotham’s most iconic heroes and villains, and gain a deeper understanding of what makes these characters tick. The cast includes Ben McKenzie, David Mazouz, Donal Logue, Sean Pertwee, and Jada Pinkett Smith.
As Deadline reports, Netflix will become the exclusive VOD distributor of the Fox show in the U.S. - as well as Netflix other territories. The deal itself is reported to be around $1.75 million an episode, and it’s only the beginning. Netflix has also been in talks to strike a similar deal with AMC’s Breaking Bad spin-off, Better Call Saul. And this deal isn’t Netflix's first foray into the comic book world. They're currently working on four original series based on Marvel characters - Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Jessica Jones - that will all culminate into a min-series that would bring all four characters together.
The show itself will follow the normal Netflix protocol and will premiere the first season shortly before the current season begins. So, if the show does get renewed for a second season - and I'd be shocked if it didn't - the first season should make its way on to Netflix sometime in September 2015.
While the deal between Warner Bros. and Netflix may mean big business for the companies, it’s also good news for audiences. More often than not, viewers fall in love with television shows that quickly get the axe due to poor ratings. VOD service gives new hope, because with their interest in acquiring programming, studios like Warner Bros. may be more apt to letting shows find their audience before prematurely jumping ship.