Today, streaming giant Netflix announced that it is backing the Canadian survival thriller series Between, which will star iCarly alum Jennette McCurdy.
The drama, created by writer-director Michael McGowan (One Week), will simultaneously debut on City, the Canadian TV network developing the ambitious six-hour series, and in all Netflix territories outside of Canada. However, in Canada, it will first stream on Shomi, a local creation of City parent company Rogers Communications and cable giant Shaw Communications, before arriving on Netflix Canada a year after its initial premiere.
Between centers on a town beset by a mysterious and deadly disease that quickly kills anyone over the age of 21, leaving local teens to fend for themselves in a frightening new world. When the government quarantines the town, trapping the survivors, most of high school age, inside, a deadly power struggle ensues. McGowan will direct the episodes alongside Jon Cassar (24, The Kennedys).
Netflix’s Eric Barmack, vice president of global independent content, said of the recent three-way deal:
“What you see is the ability of different groups to contribute to a great series. So you have a Canadian broadcaster, you have us and you have Canadian talent all coming together because we’re all just excited about the show.”
Oscar-winning producer Don Carmody (Resident Evil, Chicago) is also on board as an executive producer, as are Dabid Cormican, Naveen Prasad and McGowan. Though Carmody admitted that Netflix’s involvement complicated making a deal for Netflix, he spoke favorably of the streaming giant, stating:
“They have been very helpful and supportive in letting the filmmakers make what they want. They haven’t been crazy network executives in trying to micro-manage us.”
The deal for Between is historic for Netflix, marking the company’s first venture into Canadian original drama production in partnership with a rival company. Nataline Rodrigues, director of original programming at Rogers Media, explained:
“They’re [Netflix] not doing it as an acquisition. It’s not an afterthought. It’s a pre-sale. There’s a different level of commitment, which speaks volumes in terms of showing support for the project.”
With so many big players involved, there’s reason to expect great things from Between. We’ll keep you posted as more on the series unfolds.