Brace yourself: Netflix has 20 unscripted reality shows in the works

Uh-oh. Netflix users can expect to see an increase in the number of original unscripted and reality shows in their library in 2017, if comments made by Netflix’s Chief Content Officer, Ted Sarandos, are anything to go by.

According to Variety, Sarandos said “Unscripted television is a very interesting business” and the company is increasingly interested in shows that are “more likely to travel internationally.” 

There are 20 unscripted shows in the pipelines, but Sarandos makes reference to its first announced reality show Ultimate Beastmaster as a good example of the kind of international appeal the company is seeking. 

Let's get real

The show, produced by Sylvester Stalone, is an athletic competition which will be localized across the US, Brazil, South Korea, Mexico, Germany, and Japan. Each country will have its own hosts that will appeal to the local audience and make them more likely to tune in.

Considering Netflix is aiming to make more than half of its content library original programming over the next few years, it makes sense that some of it would fall into the unscripted and reality genres.

Netflix has already proven its scripted originals are capable of massive audience and critic success and though its original movies inspire less adoration, it still has a reasonable number to choose from and many more in the pipeline. 

The problem with projects such as these is that they’re expensive; since unscripted reality shows are generally cheaper to produce and are able to draw in a wide audience, it’s unsurprising that Netflix would want to create a few to reach its in-house original content goals.

It seems that the only big area Netflix has yet to move into is sports. However, when Sarandos was asked if this was something the company was considering he said Netflix is just not a great platform for live programming and that we shouldn’t be looking to them “to be bidding for league rights.” League creation, on the other hand, he said “might be interesting.” 

Watch this space, we suppose. 

Emma Boyle

Emma Boyle is TechRadar’s ex-Gaming Editor, and is now a content developer and freelance journalist. She has written for magazines and websites including T3, Stuff and The Independent. Emma currently works as a Content Developer in Edinburgh.