Netflix Shocks Everyone By Buying The Exclusive Rights To ‘Gotham’ Before It Even Airs

Netflix clearly wants us all to know they have a lot of cash burning a hole in their pockets. First they go out and pull off a monster deal for NBC’s The Blacklist at around $2 million an episode, a pretty noteworthy deal given the show’s success. But now word is out that the streaming giant has inked a deal for WB’s Gotham for around the same figure. From Variety:

The pact is unusual not only because the series has yet to air an episode but because WB is granting Netflix multi-territory rights as opposed to the typical country-by-country dealmaking.

“In this era of new business models and expanding windows, this is an unprecedented deal for our company and our industry,” said Jeffrey R. Schlesinger, president, Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Distribution, in a statement.

Netflix proved its willing to take risks for what it perceives to be top-shelf content, as evidenced by the streaming service’s deal just last week with Sony Pictures Television for rights to the NBC drama “Blacklist,” which emerged as a hit during its first season.

Netflix ponied up a reported $2 million per episode to Sony for “Blacklist,” a sum sources say is is in the neighborhood of what each “Gotham” episode fetched. But while “Blacklist” was strictly a domestic deal, the global nature of the “Gotham” deal makes this a far more lucrative payout.

When they talk about the global appeal of Gotham, it makes a lot more sense. Then again, there is no Batman in this television series. The super villains they’re alluding to in the show have no real foil to give them a reason to exist, leaving you wondering where this show is going to go.

It’s going to get ratings, but the quality might not be there. I’m not one to knock a show before it even airs, but there’s little interest here for me aside from Donal Logue’s presence. It just seems like it’ll be nothing more than a parade of cameo appearances for Batman villains in the first season, which could be a shame if they don’t find a way to tell interesting stories within that.

If anything, Netflix doesn’t care. They’re willing to bet on the name factor winning out before even one episode airs on Fox. Possibly with a connection to the new slate of DC Comics films on the way, which could be a big deal.

(Via Variety / Deadline)