Global streaming platform Netflix has revealed that its upcoming docuseries ‘Harry and Meghan’ is set to hit the big screens December 8 and 15.
The streamer made this in the second trailer it shared on its Instagram handle about the upcoming docuseries. The docuseries which will give an in-depth look into the Sussex’s love life will be released in two volumes.
The first volume will launch on Thursday 8 December, with the second volume to be released on 15 December respectively.
“Harry & Meghan. A Netflix Global Event. Volume I: December 8. Volume II: December 15”
A fifth season is due to be released in November and is expected to chronicle 1990s events involving the monarchy including the death of Princess Diana, with Imelda Staunton stepping into the role of the Queen.
Netflix has not released details about season six, but it is expected to portray more recent events including the aftermath of Diana’s passing in a fatal car accident, and its impact on the royal family.
The announcement came as Hollywood stars and executives from Netflix and other major studios gathered in Toronto for the city’s international film festival.
Theaters turned off their illuminated marquees in the Canadian city on Thursday to mark the death of the Commonwealth monarch, while flags were lowered and the famous CN Tower also dimmed its lights.
Former “Harry Potter” star Daniel Radcliffe was among the stars to address the Queen’s death at the festival, telling reporters that her absence felt “weirdly inconceivable and surreal right now.”
“My parents and I, nobody of my age or their age has ever lived in a country without her,” he said on the red carpet for his new movie “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.”
Later on Friday in Toronto, Stephen Frears and Steve Coogan will introduce the world premiere of their monarchy-themed “The Lost King,” about the discovery of King Richard III’s remains.
A hit Netflix K-drama about a high-functioning autistic lawyer is prompting soul-searching in South Korea, where some on the spectrum say they can feel invisible.
The endearing “Extraordinary Attorney Woo”, featuring a neurodivergent attorney, has been Netflix’s most-watched non-English show for over a month, following a path blazed by fellow Korean smash “Squid Game”.
Even K-pop sensation BTS are fans of the global hit, with band members posting a video performing the signature greeting between Woo and her best friend — a dance step-slash-dab that is tearing across social media.
But the 16-episode series, which follows a rookie lawyer whose condition helps her find brilliant solutions to legal conundrums but often leaves her socially isolated, has gone beyond memes to trigger a serious debate in South Korea about autism.
Star lawyer Woo Young-woo is fiercely intelligent, with an IQ of 164, but also has visible autistic traits such as echolalia — the precise repetition of words or sentences, often out of context.
Lead actress Park Eun-bin, 29, who has received rave reviews, said she initially hesitated to accept the role, aware of the power of the story to impact perceptions of autistic people in South Korea and beyond.
“I felt I had a moral responsibility as an actor,” she told AFP.
“I knew (the show) was inevitably going to have an influence on people with autism and their families,” she said, adding that she had questioned whether she would be able to pull off the complex character.
“It was the first time that I had absolutely no idea what to do, when it came to how to express things, while I was reading the script,” she added.
– ‘Erased’ in South Korea – But in South Korea, some families of autistic people have described the show as pure “fantasy”, saying her character is unrealistic.
For many on the spectrum, achieving like Woo would be equivalent to “a kid winning an Olympic medal for cycling without being able to walk yet”, Lee Dong-ju, the mother of an autistic child, told a local broadcaster.
But while Woo is clearly “a fictional character that has been created to maximise the dramatic effect”, there is actually more truth to her story than many South Koreans realise, said psychiatry professor Kim Eui-jung of the Ewha Womans University Mokdong Hospital.
About a third of people on the spectrum have average or above-average intelligence, she said, and may not have any noticeable autistic characteristics — or even realise they have the condition.
This was the case for Lee Da-bin, who is on the spectrum but was not diagnosed until later in life.
“People don’t recognize the mild forms of autism at all,” she said. “I feel that I’m being erased.”
Lee shares many traits with the fictional Woo, from hypersensitivity to taste to academic excellence despite suffering from bullying. She grew up knowing she was different but blamed herself for not being able to fit in.
It was only after she had dropped out of school and began seeing a psychiatrist for depression that she was diagnosed with autism and her teenage struggles to connect with others began to make sense.
“It was a life where you would not even speak 10 words a day,” Lee told AFP of her time at school.
“I’d lived my whole life thinking that I’m just a weird person… and it’s my fault that I can’t get along with other people.”
– Limited understanding – “Public awareness or understanding of high-functioning autism is still very limited in South Korea,” said Kim Hee-jin, professor in psychiatry at Chung-Ang University Hospital in Seoul.
The general public views autism as “a condition that involves severe intellectual disability”, she said, adding this contributed to broader failures to diagnose and offer support early on.
Early interventions can help prevent those on the spectrum “from blaming themselves for the challenges they face due to autism, such as difficulty making and maintaining friendships.”
For Lee Da-bin, knowing her condition earlier in life could have helped her avoid enormous hurt and pain.
Since receiving her diagnosis, she has been able to restart her studies with the ultimate goal of a career in medicine.
And, like the fictional Attorney Woo — whose struggles with dating and dreams of living fully independently are touchingly portrayed in the hit show — Lee said she wants a life with a sense of agency and connection.
“I want to make enough money to support myself and afford my own place, where I can live with someone I love.”
Netflix reported losing subscribers for the second quarter in a row Tuesday as the streaming giant battles fierce competition and viewer belt tightening, but the company assured investors of better days ahead.
The loss of 970,000 paying customers in the most recent quarter was not as big as expected, and left Netflix with just shy of 221 million subscribers.
“Tough in some ways, losing a million and calling it success, but really we are set up very well for the next year,” the company’s co-chief and founder Reed Hastings said in an earnings presentation.
The company said in its earnings report that it had expected to gain a million paid subscribers in the current quarter.
Netflix shares were up slightly in after-market trades — a sign that investors were remaining faithful.
Analysts noted that the results, even if not as poor as feared, were still troubling.
“Netflix’s subscriber loss was expected but it remains a sore point for a company that is wholly dependent on subscription revenue from consumers,” said analyst Ross Benes.
Benes added that “unless it finds more franchises that resonate widely, it will eventually struggle to stay ahead of competitors that are after its crown.”
– Fewer free rides – Netflix executives have made it clear the company will get tougher on sharing logins and passwords, which allow many to access the platform’s content without paying.
“It’s great that our members love Netflix movies and TV shows so much they want to share them more broadly,” director of product innovation Chengyi Long said Monday in a blog post.
“But today’s widespread account sharing between households undermines our long term ability to invest in and improve our service.”
Long said that an “add a home” subscription feature that Netflix in March began testing in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru will be expanded to Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.
Netflix said it is aiming to have an account-sharing payment system deployed broadly by next year.
Meanwhile, Netflix is working with Microsoft to launch a cheaper subscription plan that includes advertisements, which The New York Times has reported could launch by the end of this year.
Netflix opted to develop the lower-cost offering after a disappointing first quarter in which it lost subscribers for the first time in a decade — and after years of resistance against the very idea of running ads.
Microsoft will be responsible for designing and managing the platform for advertisers who want to serve ads to Netflix users.
“These earning results buy them time, and they need time to focus on stopping the bleeding,” analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle Group told AFP.
“Netflix is facing a significant amount of competition; to hold on as well as they have is an example of how resilient they are but they are not out of the woods.”
– ‘Stranger Things’ – Netflix has been investing heavily in original content such as hit shows “Squid Game” and “Stranger Things” to fend off powerhouse competitors such as Disney, with its Marvel and Star Wars franchises.
The recently released fourth season of “Stranger Things” racked up 1.3 billion hours of viewing in just four weeks at Netflix, making it the platform’s biggest-ever English language television release, according to the company.
Meanwhile, some 284 million hours were spent watching the latest season of “The Umbrella Academy,” executives said.
Action-thriller film “The Gray Man” — based on a novel of the same name, and set for release on Netflix on Friday — is “mind-blowing,” co-chief Ted Sarandos said in the earnings presentation.
“Netflix’s ability to produce smash hit content is undoubted,” said GlobalData managing director Neil Saunders.
“However, with the loss of almost one million members since the prior quarter, translating this into commercial success is proving to be more of a challenge.”
Challenges facing Netflix include changing habits, as house-bound people who signed on for the service during the height of the pandemic are re-evaluating their subscriptions now that they are resuming their former lifestyles, Saunders noted.
The analyst pointed out that Netflix had about 27.7 million more paid subscribers in the recently ended quarter than it did in the same period a year earlier.
“Despite the slowdown, Netflix isn’t in trouble,” Saunders said.
“However, to get back into growth it will need to change — but that change needs to be more about evolution than revolution.”
Busisiwe “Busi” Lurayi, who starred in Netflix’s comedy series How to Ruin Christmas, has died. She was 36.
The tragic news was confirmed in a statement by Lurayi’s family, which was shared by the actress’ talent agency, Eye Media Artists. According to the statement, Lurayi died on Sunday at home.
“We are deeply saddened to notify you of the passing of our beloved Busisiwe Lurayi,” read the statement posted on the agency’s Instagram account. “Busisiwe passed away suddenly and was pronounced dead at her residence on Sunday [July 10, 2022] by medical personnel.”
“The reason for her death is still unknown as we await the results of the autopsy report,” the statement continued. “We humbly request that you allow us as the family to come to terms with this tragic news.”
“We thank you for the support that has been given so far and will provide further information as soon as it has been made available,” the family added.
Eyes Media Agency captioned the post, “Rest In peace @busi_lurayi.”
The South African actress portrayed the “free-spirited” character of Tumi Sello on Netflix’s How to Ruin Christmas, which premiered in 2020, prior to her death.
The three-episode comedy series followed Tumi as she attempted to right her wrongs after ruining her sister’s Christmas wedding.
“A reluctant bridesmaid to the core, Tumi arrives the day before her sister’s traditional wedding day and manages to upset almost everyone. Can she make it through this holiday family reunion without running it completely?” the show’s official synopsis reads.
In December 2021, a second season of the show, titled How to Ruin Christmas: The Funeral, was released with four episodes.
Most recently, the series was officially renewed for a third season in June. “Here we go again. #HowToRuinChristmas: The Baby Shower is currently in production,” Netflix captioned an Instagram post announcing the news.
Want to play “Squid Game” for real? Netflix is looking for recruits to compete for millions of dollars — and even promises not to have you violently murdered if you lose.
“With the largest cast in reality TV history, 456 real players will enter the game in pursuit of a life-changing cash prize of $4.56 million,” the streaming platform said on a site set up to look for candidates.
“Squid Game: The Challenge” is looking for English-speakers from around the globe, aged at least 21 and free to travel for up to a month in early 2023.
Unlike the original, ultra-violent fictional show from South Korea, that became one of the biggest-ever hits on Netflix last year, losing contestants will not be killed.
“The stakes are high, but in this game the worst fate is going home empty-handed,” the platform promises.
Describing the new reality show as its “biggest-ever social experiment”, Netflix says players will compete “in a series of heart-stopping games”.
The original fictional series was seen as a biting satire on modern capitalism, with contestants drawn from the fringes of society to play children’s games for the chance to win big sums of money — with the threat of being killed if they lose.
The new announcement comes shortly after Netflix confirmed a second season of the “Squid Game” was on the way.
In April, its creator Hwang Dong-hyuk said the follow-up would not be ready until 2024.
Russian subscribers have lost access to streaming giant Netflix in the latest pullout of a Western company over the conflict in Ukraine.
The Netflix site and apps were no longer available from Friday and a Netflix spokesperson confirmed that subscribers no longer had access.
“This is the fulfilment of the withdrawal from the Russian market” announced in March, a Netflix spokesperson told AFP on Monday.
The US-based platform announced in early March that it was withdrawing from Russia after Moscow sent thousands of troops into pro-Western Ukraine.
The spokesperson said the company had waited until the end of the current billing cycle before cutting off customers.
Netflix is the world’s leading streaming platform, with 221.8 million subscribers at the end of 2021, but was a minor player in Russia.
The company said in an April letter to shareholders that it had lost 700,000 paid subscribers as a result of its withdrawal from Russia, blaming the pullout for its first global drop in subscribers in a decade.
Netflix is among a host of foreign companies that have announced the suspension of operations or outright withdrawal from Russia since the launch of Moscow’s campaign in Ukraine on February 24.
Having lost subscribers for the first time in more than a decade, Netflix faces the new challenge of stagnation from a position of strength.
A drop of just 200,000 users — less than 0.1 percent of its total customer base — was enough to send Wall Street panicking, with shares plunging more than 30 percent on Wednesday.
The loss of subscribers and the company’s various plans to revive business “change the historically simple story” of Netflix’s solid success, said Wells Fargo analysts, who cut its price target in half.
“The new outlook is clear as mud,” they said.
If the Q1 loss of subscribers might seem a blip at first blush, Netflix is signaling otherwise: The company anticipates a much larger drop in its second quarter — of around two million net subscribers.
“I’m not sure that’s a turning point” for Netflix, said Scott Zari of S&P Global Ratings.
“But I think it is indicative of maybe a new phase of slower growth,” he said.
Bank of America analysts said in a note that Netflix “made it clear that we can expect very low subscriber growth in ’22 and ’23 with no margin expansion.”
The shift was felt even in the tone of the company’s results presentation on Tuesday evening.
The affair focused less on the streamer’s mega hits such as “Bridgerton” and “Ozark” and more on combating the 100 million households who watch Netflix for free thanks to shared passwords.
“When we were growing fast, it wasn’t the high priority to work on,” co-founder Reed Hastings admitted. “And now we’re working super hard on it.”
Chief operating officer Gregory Peters said Netflix wasn’t trying to shut down sharing, “but we’re going to ask you to pay a bit more to be able to share.”
According to Zari, “future growth will be dependent on how can they monetize those households.”
– Advertising is coming – To attract viewers, Netflix is preparing cheaper subscriptions with advertising — which it expects to roll out in the next couple years.
The Los Gatos, California-based company has long defended its no-ads model, which set it apart from competitors such as Disney+, HBO Max and Apple.
For Pivotal analyst Jeff Wlodarczak, streaming “appears nearly fully penetrated globally post-Covid,” and the companies now must set their sights on converting pirates into subscribers, gaining greater market share from each other and driving up prices.”
Increasing prices won’t help Netflix in the short term, though it raised its fees in January to the extent that it is now the most expensive among the major streamers.
“I think they’ll have to adjust their business,” said Paul Hardart, a professor at New York University, including “on the cost side, investing in content.”
For University of Richmond professor Joel Mier, Netflix’s price increases and axing of password sharing are “peripheral but meaningful” short-term solutions, while its long-term strategy remains “investing in local-content creation and establishing its gaming presence.”
With 221 million subscribers, “Netflix is by far the market leader in the streaming space,” Zari said.
“They’re very far ahead, particularly in the global marketplace,” said Hardart. “I think it will give them a lot of advantages.”
The problems Netflix faces are “not good news” for the company, he emphasized.
But as the global leader, whatever Netflix goes through, the other streamers are also likely to face eventually.
It’s “probably worse news for the other services that are starting to try to build themselves,” he said.
Netflix shares plunged more than 35 percent early Wednesday following disappointing results, while the Dow pushed higher in a mixed open for US stocks.
The streaming giant caught Wall Street off guard for the second quarter in a row, reporting a drop in subscribers for the first time in a decade.
The company blamed the quarter-over-quarter erosion on suspension of its service in Russia due to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. The drop in shares was reminiscent of the prior quarter, when a weak subscriber outlook sent Netflix shares diving.
Netflix’s plunge especially weighed on the Nasdaq, which was down 0.7 percent at 13,522.73.
About 25 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.5 percent to 35,084.97, while the broad-based S&P 500 edged up less than 0.1 percent to 4,464.19.
Analysts said the bargain-hunting that drove Tuesday’s rally was still on view on Wednesday, boosted by strong results from Dow members IBM and Procter & Gamble.
Shares of both companies were higher after IBM profits were boosted by good software and cloud computing sales, while P&G scored higher profits am
The government plans to privatise Britain’s free-to-air public-service television network Channel 4, arguing that it otherwise cannot keep up with streaming giants such as Netflix and Amazon.
The company launched in 1982 and its remit involves supporting Britain’s independent production sector and producing a unique and diverse range of programmes.
The publicly-owned but commercially-funded broadcaster draws 90 percent of its income from advertising.
But culture minister Nadine Dorries tweeted late Monday that government ownership was “holding Channel 4 back from competing against streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon”.
Dorries said a change of ownership “will give Channel 4 the tools and freedom to flourish and thrive as a public service broadcaster long into the future.”
The plans will be outlined in parliament “in due course”, she added.
A statement by Channel 4 said “it is disappointing that today’s announcement has been made without formally recognising the significant public interest concerns which have been raised” by the potential sale, which it is reported could raise up to £1 billion ($1.3 billion, 1.2 billion euros).
Channel 4 chief executive Alex Mahon said in an internal email to staff that it was for the “government to propose and parliament to decide” the future of the broadcaster.
Labour’s Lucy Powell, the shadow culture secretary, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the decision “doesn’t make any sense. I can’t find many people are in favour of it.
“I fear that … rather than competing with some of the big US streaming giants, it is more likely to be bought by one of them,” she added.
Ill-advised regulation of streaming platforms by the Federal Government may negatively affect the flow of foreign investment into Nigeria.
This is according to a new report published by Tech Hive and Ikigai Innovation Initiative.
Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed has revealed plans to regulate streaming platforms such as Netflix, arguing that they can be exploited to cause chaos and undermine the country’s democracy.
“The misclassification of streaming platforms as broadcasting entities by the government should be corrected by the government as it could drive out much needed foreign investment,” the report, titled ‘The State of Tech Policy in Nigeria’ said.
It also noted that there are a “plethora of outdated laws and policies in the technology sector.
“Therefore, the regulators and legislators must adopt an adaptive strategy to the ever dynamic and evolving technology ecosystem.
“Our laws and regulations must be designed in a flexible and dynamic way that permits flexibility so as to not stifle innovation.”
Fake heiress Anna “Delvey” Sorokin, who was jailed in 2019 for scamming hundreds of thousands of dollars from hotels, banks and friends, and who inspired a hit series on Netflix, was to be extradited to Germany on Monday, US media said.
The 31-year-old Russian-German citizen managed in 2016 and 2017 to deceive New York’s elites by posing as a wealthy heiress, when in fact she was the daughter of a truck driver originally from the suburbs of Moscow.
Sorokin, who carried out her scams under the assumed name of “Anna Delvey”, was due to be put on a flight to Frankfurt later Monday after being released from a detention center in the State of New York, said the tabloid New York Post, citing sources familiar with the matter.
Sorokin was sentenced to between four and 12 years in prison but was released in February 2021 for good behavior, only to be arrested again the next month for overstaying her visa. She was held in a facility by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, or ICE.
An ICE spokesperson told AFP Monday that Sorokin “remains in ICE custody pending removal,” without providing further details.
Capable of weaving skilful lies with extraordinary aplomb, the young woman posed as a German heiress with a fortune of $60 million, allowing her to obtain tens of thousands of dollars in loans from several banks.
Between November 2016 and August 2017, she traveled for free by private jet, lived on credit in Manhattan hotels, without ever paying anything, according to the New York justice department, which estimated her frauds were worth around $275,000.
The daughter of a Russian truck driver and a tradeswoman who emigrated to Germany in 2007, Sorokin, who arrived in New York in 2013, had even tried to obtain a loan of $22 million dollars to launch a select club in Manhattan.
Her incredible story seduced television producer Shonda Rhimes (“Grey’s Anatomy”, “Scandal”) who made it into a mini-series for on Netflix “Inventing Anna”, with Julia Garner in the title role. According to media reports, Sorokin received $320,000 dollars from the streaming giant.