Big Shots: Ted Sarandos

Netflix’s chief content officer talks shop—i.e. disrupting the entertainment industry—with Giselle Fernandez

“I never felt like there was much to lose.” That’s how Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, chalked up his meteoric rise in the entertainment industry when the media executive sat down to discuss his career—and his competition—with Giselle Fernandez this summer.

Over the past 15 years Sarandos has helped transform Netflix from a DVD rental service to an Internet television network with award-winning programming. He cut deals to launch House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black, giving cable networks a run for subscribers and making binge-watching a thing. Just one reward? Critical acclaim. Netflix nabbed 34 Emmy Award nominations this year, a company record. With success, Sarandos’ ambition is growing; he says 13 original shows are going into production in 2015 and seven will debut before the year’s end.

In this rare on-camera Q&A, Sarandos opens up about reimagining Hollywood’s traditional TV business model; hiring comedian Chelsea Handler; refusing to reveal ratings for the network’s shows; being in power couple with his wife, former U.S. ambassador Nicole Avant; and what’s next for Netflix. Take a look.

TED SARANDOS ON…

HOUSE OF CARDS

CRANKY COMPETITORS


NORMAN LEAR


TED TURNER


TRUSTING HIS GUT

PLUS: Watch his extended Big Shots episode.

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