Judd Apatow comments on the current state of streaming services
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Judd Apatow comments on the current state of streaming services

Judd Apatow has provided his thoughts on the current landscape of television and screaming, sharing his concerns about old shows being prioritised over new ones.

Though Apatow acknowledged that he enjoys revisiting old shows as a viewer, he suggested that the current landscape is “scary” for those working behind the scenes as part of a new conversation. 

During a conversation with Vulture, the director stated that he is “of two minds” on the issue. “I understand why people like the comfort food of television,” he commented, “But it’s a scary thing as a creator of television because of all the streamers going, ‘Wait a second. We don’t need to spend $200 million on a new show. We can just bring back Barnaby Jones.'” 

Apatow suggested that this trend will result in less original content being made, positing that it might be less expensive to secure old shows than it is to make new ones. “They realize, ‘Oh wait, Netflix can just buy shows from HBO,’ and I would assume they’re cheaper than making new ones,” he continued.

The director suggested that Netflix will, in turn, sell their shows back to HBO. He joked, “and it’ll just be passing around all the episodes of Ballers for the rest of our lives.” 

Despite airing its final episode in 2019, Aaron Korsh’s legal drama Suits received a surge in reinterest when it hit Netflix last year. The show even took home the title for the most-watched show on the streaming service in 2023. The top ten list also included several other older shows including FriendsGilmore Girls and Supernatural

Netflix also acquired their first HBO show last year with Insecure. A co-exclusive licensing deal was formed between Netflix and Warner Bros. Discovery, with more shows from HBO arriving to the service throughout the year, including Ballers and Six Feet UnderSex and the City is set to begin streaming on the platform from April 1st. 

A number of Netflix original shows are also set to hit streaming this year, including the third season of regency romance Bridgertonand the highly-anticipated second season of Squid Game. The latter remains Netflix’s most-watched original series, just ahead of Stranger Things

As viewing numbers show a preference for older content over new stories, it’s easy to see why streaming services might start prioritising shows with existing audiences over the creation of original content. Though this may be the cheaper and easier route, it would be a disservice to filmmakers and fans alike, denying them of fresh entertainment and opportunity.