Netflix Goes Big on Live Content with Pre- and Post-Show Programs to Bookend Chris Rock Comedy Special
Netflix is looking to enhance its first major foray into live content by adding pre- and post-show programs to complement Chris Rock’s March 4 standup special “Selective Outrage.”
The live March 4 special is a big experiment for the service, which has also disclosed how the live stream function will work on the platform. The live pre-show, dubbed “The Show Before the Show,” will begin at 6:30 p.m. PT and originate from Los Angeles’ famed Comedy Store nightclub on Sunset Boulevard.
More from Variety
SAG Awards Top 1.1 Million Views on Netflix's YouTube Channel
Arnold Schwarzenegger Is Back in Action, and His First TV Series, in Netflix's 'Fubar' Trailer
The special will be hosted by Ronnie Chieng and feature Leslie Jones, Deon Cole and Arsenio Hall, among others, as well as appearances aond commentary from Amy Schumer, Cedric the Entertainer, Ice-T, Jerry Seinfeld, Kevin Hart, Paul McCartney, Sarah Silverman and Wanda Sykes.
At 7 p.m. ET, Rock will take the stage of Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theatre for a performance of unspecified length. After that, “The Show After the Show” will return to the Comedy Store for appearances by NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, actor JB Smoove and Hall.
“March 4 will be a hilarious evening, with an incredible set from Chris Rock – one of the greatest stand-ups of all-time – and contributions from an amazing lineup of special guests,” said Robbie Praw, Netflix VP of Stand-up and Comedy Formats. “Our goal is to deliver the best stand-up comedy to our members and this live streaming event further reinforces all the ways we continue to invest in the genre.”
The pre- and post-show specials will be produced by production banner Den of Thieves and directed by Joe DeMaio. Executive producers are Jill Leiderman and Den of Thieves’ Jared Morell. The “Selective Outrage” special will be available for on-deamnd viewing after the live airing, but the pre- and post-show programs will not be archived and will only be available during the live stream.
The investment in the Rock special is a clear signal that Netflix is looking to add more live events to its massive worldwide platform, which reaches about 231 million subscribers across 190 countries. But being a first-time effort, Netflix has to educate its users on how the live stream will work on the platform that to date has been entirely on-demand.
Netflix disclosed Monday that a “Watch Live” button will appear on its user interface at around 6:20 p.m. PT on March 4. According to the streamer:
** Members will be able to rewind, pause and jump to Live.
** If members join late, they can opt to “Play from the Beginning” or start watching from where the Live currently is.
** If members pop out of the Live event, the title will remain under the “Continue Watching” row.
“Selective Outrage” marks Rock’s second comedy special for Netflix, following 2018’s “Tamborine.”
Best of Variety
Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.