- “Love Is Blind” has regularly been near the top of Netflix’s lists of its most popular titles in the US and it’s Netflix’s most in-demand romance reality TV series yet, according to data company Parrot Analytics.
- LightShed analyst Rich Greenfield said in a recent note that the show illustrates “the power of Netflix to have an impact in the reality-TV genre that has long been dominated by broadcast TV.”
- Series creator Chris Coelen told Business Insider that Netflix was his first call when he came up with the idea because he felt it could resonate with Netflix’s users across the globe.
- “I think there should be many seasons in many countries and languages,” he said.
- Netflix has experimented with an extended rollout for its recent reality shows, and its unscripted series boss Brandon Riegg told Business Insider that it would be “more proactive in identifying certain shows” for the release model in the future.
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Netflix has ramped up its push into reality television in a big way with recent hits, particularly the romance reality series “Love Is Blind.”
“Love Is Blind,” which premiered in February, has consistently been near the top of Netflix’s most popular titles in the US since the streamer included the daily lists on its service late last month. It’s also Netflix’s most in-demand romance reality TV series yet, according to data company Parrot Analytics.
“‘Love is Blind’ is a clear breakout hit,” LightShed analyst Rich Greenfield said in a recent note on Netflix’s daily lists. He added that the show illustrates “the power of Netflix to have an impact in the reality-TV genre that has long been dominated by broadcast TV.”
In the show, single men and women “date” one another in separate rooms where they can only hear each other’s voices. When they make a connection, they can get engaged for the chance to actually see each other in real life and go through phases of a relationship at a rapid rate (living together, meeting the parents, etc.). Five weeks after meeting and living the experiment is their wedding day, at which point they’ll either say “I do” or “I don’t.”
Series creator Chris Coelen, who has produced other reality shows like A&E’s “Marriage at First Sight,” told Business Insider that Netflix was his first call when he came up with the idea.
“I wanted to find a show that could resonate on Netflix globally,” Coelen said. “What connects everyone across the globe, regardless of geography or background or social status or ethnicity? It felt obvious that what everyone wants is to be loved for who they are on the inside.”
The pitch sold Netflix’s unscripted series boss, Brandon Riegg on the show. Riegg told Business Insider’s Ashley Rodriguez that Coelen “touched on something that is true.”
“At the end of the day, you want to feel valued for who you are as a person,” Riegg said. “And that’s something I think that everybody aspires to. The way [Coelen] framed the idea that we responded to was: is this a way to get as close as possible to that principle? And it was an intriguing question of whether you could pull off that sort of experiment.”
Netflix has experimented with different release models for reality TV
“Love Is Blind” was released in batches over a three-week period. The first five episodes dropped on February 13, followed by episodes six though nine on February 20, and then the finale on February 27 (a reunion special was released on March 5).
This is different from Netflix’s usual binge-release model, in which it releases entire seasons of a show at once. But it’s experimented with new models for reality and talk shows, such as the recent competition series “The Circle” and the hip-hop series “Rhythm + Flow.” The extended rollout helps drive the conversation over a longer period of time.
“There was a difference in what people were talking about on social media and even what the press was discussing,” Riegg said. “They ended up being able to talk about specific moments in time because of the way that the show was released essentially kept everybody in within the same timeline.”
Riegg said that the staggered releases are “still an experiment” for Netflix, but it will continue to toy with them.
“Moving forward, now that we’ve seen the impact and the benefit of that approach, we’ll probably be more proactive in identifying certain shows [for the staggered rollout],” Riegg said.
Coelen said that Netflix hasn’t renewed “Love Is Blind” yet, but he’s optimistic for a season two based on the positive reaction.
“I think there should be many seasons in many countries and languages,” he said. “I think the potential is unlimited,”
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