Netflix to stream The Passion after live US TV broadcast
James R | On 20, Mar 2016
Netflix has snapped up the worldwide streaming rights to The Passion following its live broadcast on Fox.
The dramatised account of the story of Jesus Christ’s final hours – from the Last Supper to his crucifixion and resurrection – has been performed in communities around the world for years. At a time when Grease and The Sound of Music have been both performed live on TV, it’s only natural that Fox should air the live musical event on Palm Sunday.
Netflix, however, may come as something of a surprise presence in this tale: the streaming giant has repeatedly reiterated its lack of intention to enter the live streaming sector. Now, though, Netflix is beginning to circle those waters, with the announcement this week of Chelsea Handler’s talk show, which will be recorded in front of a live audience and then released three times a week for subscribers to watch.
The Passion falls in a similar ballpark, with Netflix bagging the rights to release the show internationally after its US broadcast. Narrated by Tyler Perry, Fox’s show will air on Sunday 20th March, before arriving on Netflix two days later on Tuesday 22nd March. The only territory where the special will not be released is the Netherlands, where the concept has been the highest-rated live musical TV event (produced by Eye2Eye Media) for the last five years. It will land there on Netflix on Friday 25th March, just in time for the Easter weekend.
Netflix will have the rights to stream the show for 13 months, reports Deadline, thanks to its deal with Dick Clark Prods, who produce the show alongside Eye2Eye and Anders Media.
Written by High School Musical’s Peter Barsocchini, The Passion will run for two hours, with music arranged by Adam Anders of Glee. Gospel singer Yolanda Adams will begin the event, with Jencarlos Canela leading the cast as Jesus, supported by Chris Daughtry as Judas, Prince Royce as Peter, Trisha Yearwood as Mary, Jesus’ mother, singer/songwriter Michael W. Smith as a disciple and Seal as Pontius Pilate.
The whole production will be shot over nine locations in New Orleans, in front of an audience of more than 25,000.