Netflix Now Allows You Share Your Favorite Shows to Instagram Stories

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Get ready for your friends to start recommending even more shows for you to binge, with Instagram will now allow users to share their favorite Netflix shows and movies directly to their Instagram Stories.

The feature, only available on iOS right now, is pretty straightforward: Through the Netflix app, users can post artwork of “Stranger Things” or “Queer Eye” onto their Stories feed, along with the usual Instagram polls and stickers. Their Instagram friends, if they have the Netflix app on their phones, will see a “watch on Netflix” tag on the Story, allowing them to click and watch the show if their interest is piqued.

Here’s how it’ll look on Stories:

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(via Netflix)

“We’re always on the lookout for ways to make it easier for members to share the Netflix titles they’re obsessing about and help them discover something new to watch,” a Netflix spokesperson told TheWrap.

This isn’t the first time Netflix has integrated with other popular apps. Netflix already allowed its users to promote its shows on WhatsApp, Twitter and Messenger — as seen in the below screenshot of its new share screen.

Also Read: Netflix’s US Subscriber Dominance in 1 Graph

(via Netflix)

The Instagram-Netflix crossover makes sense for both companies. Instagram, which has a similar feature in place with Spotify and other major apps, now has another way to keep its 400 million daily Stories users sharing updates. And for Netflix, the feature acts as a new form of digital word of mouth, allowing its users to drive more eyeballs to its shows. After revealing last week it hit 60 million U.S. subscribers during Q4 — and 139 million subscribers overall — the feature is free advertising for Netflix.

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Netflix Raises Subscription Prices Nearly 20 Percent, Company Stock Jumps 6 Percent

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Netflix is increasing its subscription prices again, with the company’s Standard package bumping up 18 percent from $10.99 per month to $12.99 per month on Tuesday.

The company’s Premium plan, which includes up to four HD streams, moves from $13.99 a month to $15.99 each month, while its Basic plan increases $1 per month, hitting $8.99 each month. The new prices will impact new subscribers immediately, while existing customers will be moved to the new rates in the coming months, according to a Netflix spokesperson.

“We change pricing from time to time as we continue investing in great entertainment and improving the overall Netflix experience for the benefit of our members,” the Netflix spokesperson told TheWrap.

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Netflix’s new prices already greeted potential customers on their website on Tuesday morning:

Netflix’s new prices (via Netflix’s website)

While streamers might not love the price hike, Wall Street did, with Netflix’s stock jumping 6 percent to $353 in early-morning trading. The Los Gatos, California-based company is set to report its Q4 financials on Thursday.

The price raises, between 13 and 18 percent, reflect the biggest increases in Netflix’s history. Netflix last raised its prices in late 2017, with its Premium plan increasing about 17 percent from $11.99 to $13.99 each month at the time — its biggest increase until Tuesday. Existing Netflix customers will receive a heads up email ahead of their monthly increase, according to the Netflix spokesperson.

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The price increases will hit Netflix’s U.S. subscriber base — 58 million accounts when the company reported its Q3 earnings back in October — and Latin American and Caribbean countries where Netflix bills customers in U.S. dollars, including Barbados, Uruguay and Belize. The increases won’t hit markets like Mexico and Brazil.

Even after the hikes, Netflix’s monthly fee is still in-line with its competitors: HBO Now runs customers $15 each month, while Hulu’s ad-free streaming costs $13 per month.

Netflix will likely use its new monthly revenue — which could easily pass $100 million each month — to pay for content and offset its mounting debt. Netflix raised $2 billion in debt in late October, weeks after the company reported it had $8.3 billion in long-term debt at the end of Q3.

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Netflix’s Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos Will Each Earn $31.5 Million in 2019 After Big Raises

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Netflix’s two leading men, CEO Reed Hastings and chief content officer Ted Sarandos, will each see their pay rise to more than $31 million in 2019, according to a filing with the SEC on Friday.

Hastings could make $31.5 million next year, according to the filing, which counts his $700,000 salary and up to $30.8 million in stock options — marking about a 7 percent raise on the $29.4 million he was poised to receive this year.

Sarandos is lined up for an even bigger raise. He’ll make $18 million in salary in 2019 — a healthy jump from the $12 million salary he earned this year —  and $13.5 million in stock compensation, matching Hastings in overall pay at $31.5 million. That marks a 20 percent increase from the $26.2 million he earned in 2018. This is the first time Sarandos will make as much as Hastings.

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Hastings and Sarandos’ increased compensation comes after Netflix shareholders have seen the company’s stock jump more than 25 percent this year — even after a stark downturn in recent months that has impacted several major tech companies. Netflix, now at 137 million global subscribers, has already added about 20 million new customers in 2018. The company will report its fourth quarter financials and subscriber figures next month.

David Wells, Netflix’s outgoing chief financial officer, is set to receive a $3.5 million salary and stock options worth $2.8 million. Wells, a longtime staple of the company’s earnings calls, announced he’d be leaving Netflix in August after 14 years with the company. He’ll remain with the company until his successor is picked.

Greg Peters, Netflix’s chief product officer, will take home a $10 million salary next year and receive up to $6.8 million in stock.

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Netflix Addicts Love Cineplexes: Frequent Moviegoers Also Watch 50 Percent More Streaming Content, Study Finds

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Netflix and the moviegoing business can live in harmony, it turns out.

People who frequently go to the movies are also more likely to stream more content at home, according to a new study from EY’s Quantitative Economics and Statistics group, which bucks the prevailing wisdom that Netflix is slowly killing off the movie business.

Instead, there’s a correlation between routine trips to the theater and heavy streaming, with 31 percent of respondents who went to the theater nine times or more in the last year spending at least 15 hours each week streaming content. On the other hand, only 15 percent of respondents who went to the theater once or twice in the last year spent at least 15 hours a week streaming.

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That trend was consistent as the study worked its way from people who rarely went to the movies to people who probably had a MoviePass card. For respondents who went to the theater two times or less in the last year, they spent an average of seven hours each week streaming; that jumped to eight hours of average streaming for respondents who went to the theater three to five times in the last year. For people who saw between six and eight movies this year, their streaming average increased to 10 hours per week. And for those going to the theater nine times or more, they spent an average of 11 hours a week streaming.

The study, commissioned by lobbying group National Association of Theater Owners, surveyed 2,500 people last month. Age and race didn’t sway its findings. Rather, instead of shunning the movies in order to stay home and stream, the study found that teens between 13 and 17 were going to the movies on average 7.3 times per week — as much as any age group — while also streaming the most content, at 9.2 hours per week on average

There’s a strong correlation between streaming and moviegoing. Of the 500 respondents that haven’t went to the theater in the last year, nearly 50 percent said they spend zero hours each week streaming content (via NATO)

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“Across all age groups, those respondents that visited a movie theater nine or more times in the last 12 months also
streamed at least 10 hours of online content per week,” the study said. In short, Netflix didn’t kill the movie star — at least according to this study.

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SAG Awards Nominations by the Numbers: Netflix Is Back on Top

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Netflix to Raise $2 Billion to Fund New Content

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Netflix announced Monday that its raising another $2 billion in debt — the third time in a year the company has offered more than $1 billion in debt securities — as it looks to fund its aggressive content strategy.

“Netflix intends to use the net proceeds from this offering for general corporate purposes, which may include content acquisitions, production and development, capital expenditures, investments, working capital and potential acquisitions and strategic transactions,” the company said in its announcement.

The Los Gatos, California-based company is spending upwards of $8 billion on shows this year, and reported last week it had $8.3 billion in long-term debt at the end of the third quarter. Monday’s announcement follows the company raising $1.5 billion in debt in April; Netflix also raised $1.6 billion last October.

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Netflix shares dipped about 0.75 percent, hitting $330 a share, in early morning trading on Monday.

But investors have largely signed off on Netflix’s big spending, as the company aims to attract subscribers with a mountain of original shows, including “Ozark” and “Maniac.” Netflix shares jumped more than 10 percent last week, despite posting a record $859 million cash burn for the third quarter. Why? Because the streaming heavyweight blew past subscriber estimates, swelling to about 137 million global customers.

For the year, Netflix shares have increased more than 60 percent.

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Netflix Smashes Q3 Earnings and Subscriber Projections, Stock Soars 14 Percent

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Netflix surged past Wall Street subscriber projections when it posted its third-quarter earnings on Tuesday, sending its stock back towards $400 per share in the process.

The streaming giant posted $3.99 billion in revenue, matching analyst projections, while its earnings of 89 cents per share trumped analyst expectations of 68 cents per share. Revenue increased 34 percent year over year.

Most importantly for investors, the company added 6.96 million more subscribers during Q3, easily passing Netflix’s forecast of 5 million new customers. As Netflix edges toward a saturation point at home, with nearly 60 million domestic subscribers, it’s increasingly focused on pulling in international customers. That bet paid off during the third quarter, with Netflix adding 5.87 million new customers outside the U.S.

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The company pointed to “greater-than-expected acquisition globally, with strong growth broadly across all our markets including Asia,” as a driving force behind its subscriber growth in a note to investors.

And Netflix expects that growth to accelerate as 2018 comes to a close, with the company projecting it’ll add 9.4 million new customers in its Q4 guidance — comfortably eclipsing its quarterly record of 8.3 million new viewers. Analysts had anticipated Netflix would project 7.7 million new subscribers.

After an underwhelming second quarter report, Wall Street was clearly happy with what it saw from Netflix on Tuesday afternoon, with shares jumping 14 percent in after-hours trading to $393 per share. Netflix shares, after factoring in Tuesday’s after-hours burst, have increased 88 percent since the beginning of the year.

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As a sign of the times, Netflix touted its shows as “launching pad for a new generation of global stars” by highlighting the “explosive growth” of its stars’ followers on Instagram.

Netflix shows off the growth its stars have seen on Instagram

As usual, it was a busy quarter for the Los Gatos, California-based company. Netflix released new seasons of “Orange Is the New Black” and the Jason Bateman-led “Ozark.” It also added international hit “Black Panther” to its service — something analysts anticipated would fuel subscriber growth outside the U.S. Netflix also recently announced it was acquiring a New Mexico production facility as it looks to create more content in-house.

To pack its service with new shows, Netflix is spending big, with $8 billion committed to content in 2018. The company looked to assuage fears about its spending in its shareholder letter. “We recognize we are making huge cash investments in content, and we want to assure our investors that we have the same high confidence in the underlying economics as our cash investments in the past,” Netflix said. The company ended the quarter with $8.3 billion in long-term debt and $3.1 billion in cash.

Investors haven’t minded the spending, though, as long as the company keeps pulling in new subscribers. Netflix now has 137.1 million total subscribers.

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The company will share a webcast of its earnings call at 6:00 p.m. ET on its YouTube investor relations page.

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Will Netflix bounce back?

The streaming giant is set to report its third-quarter financials on Tuesday, looking to rebound from an underwhelming second quarter where it missed both Wall Street and internal estimates for new subscribers.

It marked the first time since early 2017 that Netflix missed on subscriber estimates, with the Los Gatos, California-based company falling 1 million new streamers short of the 6.2 million it had projected. The quarter perfectly summarized where Netflix stands as a public company right now; despite slightly beating earnings and revenue forecasts, Netflix shares have taken since taken a beating, dropping 17 percent since July.

Netflix reported a rare miss on subscriber growth last quarter (via Netflix)

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Of course, “bounce back” might be a bit dramatic. Netflix, even after showing it isn’t immune to an underwhelming quarter, has 130 million total subscribers. It’s trading at $336 per share — 62 percent higher than where it started the year — even after a healthy dip. Still, the company rises and falls largely on a single metric, something analysts are well aware of.

“We worry that another second consecutive subscriber miss could impact the narrative about the pace of subscriber growth moving forward,” Evercore analyst Anthony DiClemente recently said in a note to clients that was shared with TheWrap.

DiClemente is optimistic that won’t be the case, though, thanks to a strong slate of new content. Netflix released new seasons of “Ozark” and “Orange is the New Black” during the quarter, and added global hit “Black Panther” to the fold.

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As Netflix edges towards a saturation point in the U.S., with 57 million domestic subscribers, the company is increasingly looking for new customers outside the States. DiClemente, using data from analytics firm SensorTower, believes the fresh content has spurred “robust international subscriber growth” during Q3.

“In total, the Netflix app was downloaded more than 40 [million] times from the App Store and Google Play Store in the [third quarter],” DiClemente wrote, marking a 48.5 percent year-over-year growth. “Download activity experienced the most rapid growth in five quarters.”

That trend was especially clear in India. CEO Reed Hastings pointed to the country as a critical market earlier this year, saying greater internet access will drive its “next 100 million” subscribers. Netflix downloads increased 500 percent year-over-year in India, according to Evercore’s data, hitting nearly 5 million downloads for the quarter.

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Netflix has seen its popularity soar in India, according to data collected by Evercore

Goldman Sachs analyst Heath Terry made a similar observation in a Monday note to clients that was shared with TheWrap. He said that the “launch of local originals such as ‘Sacred Games’ and ‘Ghoul’ in India accompanied with significant marketing and local partnerships are representative of the potential that these earlier stage, mobile first markets have to drive international subscriber growth.”

Terry, despite cutting his year-long price target on Netflix from $470 to $430, remains bullish on Netflix, projecting the company to add 4.7 million international subscribers, along with another 850,000 in the U.S, eclipsing Netflix’s own forecast of 5 million new users.

From a financial standpoint, Netflix is expected to report earnings of 68 cents per share on $4 billion in revenue, according to Yahoo estimates. The company is spending big on new shows, with $8 billion going towards content in 2018. That figure will increase in 2019. And it’s expected to burn more than $3 billion by the end of the year. But for most investors and analysts, those numbers are ancillary. If Netflix can top 5 million new subscribers on Tuesday, it’s all but guaranteed to enjoy a Wall Street boost. For that to happen, it’s leaning on “Black Panther” and its original content to drive growth outside the U.S.

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UTA Sets Joint Venture With ‘House of Cards’ and ‘Ozark’ Producer Media Rights Capital

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United Talent Agency (UTA) has set a joint venture with Valence Media and its independent studio division, Media Rights Capital (MRC), to develop, produce and finance premium television series and partner with the creative community’s top artists.

The new venture will be named Civic Center Media, of which UTA will have an undisclosed financial stake. The financial details of the transaction were also not disclosed. A search is currently underway for an executive to lead the new venture.

Valence Media and MRC’s film and TV roster includes “House of Cards,” “Ozark,” “Counterpart,” “Ted,” and “Baby Driver.”

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As part of the new venture, UTA will offer the agency’s clients access to significant resources for development and production. Through more streamlined overhead and processes, Civic Center Media will be able to offer more attractive terms — both financially and creatively — to partners who bring their content projects to the studio. In particular, clients will benefit on the back end, where they stand to make the most money if their content is well-received by audiences.

“We’ve enjoyed a terrific relationship with UTA for more than 15 years,” said Modi Wiczyk and Asif Satchu, co-CEOs of Valence Media. “UTA sees the opportunities both within and beyond the traditional studio system and prioritizes new business models that protect and advance artists. Even more, they have always had deep passion and an uncanny eye for identifying gifted talent and groundbreaking creators. We’re excited to build this venture with them.”

The arrangement is non-exclusive for both UTA and MRC, and Civic Center Media will seek to develop projects with artists represented by all talent agencies. Additionally, UTA will continue to work with all studios and MRC will continue to develop and acquire projects from all agencies.

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Upcoming MRC series and films include “The Great,” “Mortal Engines,” “Knives Out.”

“As we looked at the landscape of potential partners and content models, our priority was to work with a studio that puts artists and creators first,” said UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer. “MRC shares our ‘artist first’ mentality and our belief that the time has come for a new business model that offers more creative control and ownership opportunities to artists. They have one of the best track records in our industry and will bring superb infrastructure and resources to the projects we create. As new distribution platforms fundamentally change the economics of our business and tilt the balance of power towards creators, there is no better partner for us and our clients.”

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Amazon, Netflix Lead Streaming Revolution at Primetime Emmys

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The streaming revolution took another step forward on Monday night at the Primetime Emmys, with Amazon — powered by the success of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” — and Netflix highlighting Hollywood’s increasing dependence on new media.

In total, the big three streaming services — Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix — took home nearly half of the night’s awards, grabbing 12 of the 26 trophies handed out. That tripled last year’s total of four wins for the three companies. (It’s worth mentioning there were nine more trophies handed out at this year’s broadcast.)

“Mrs. Maisel” was the star of the show — much like “The Handmaid’s Tale” was last year for Hulu — netting five Emmys for Amazon, including for Outstanding Comedy Series. Rachel Brosnahan, playing aspiring late-1950s stand-up comic Midge Maisel, won for lead actress in a comedy, while Alex Bornstein won for her supporting role as Maisel’s brash manager. “The Looming Tower,” Amazon’s take on Lawrence Wright’s book on 9/11, was nominated three times, but didn’t earn a victory.

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Not to be outdone, Netflix pulled in seven Emmys for the night. The Western drama “Godless” netted both Jeff Daniels and Merritt Wever trophies for their supporting roles, while “The Crown” contributed two awards as well.

Netflix’s big bet on stand-up comedy paid off, too, with John Mulaney’s “Kid Gorgeous at Radio City” winning for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special.

The night wasn’t as sweet for Hulu, though. One year after being the belle of the ball, Hulu was shut out and its trademark show “The Handmaid’s Tale” lost its bid for back-to-back Outstanding Drama Series victories to HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”

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The writing was on the wall heading into this weekend’s awards. Altogether, the big three streaming service earned 161 total nominations — a 31 percent jump from last year. Netflix led the way, with its 112 nominations toppling HBO’s 17-year run as the most nominated network. (HBO, for its part, still pulled in 108 noms and has transitioned about as well as any legacy media company to the streaming world.)

Once Monday wrapped up, Netflix had tied HBO, taking home 23 Emmys this year.

While the streaming services are often coy when it comes to viewership, it’s not hard to see their trajectory in comparison to traditional TV. Netflix passed 130 million subscribers last quarter, Amazon chief Jeff Bezos revealed earlier this year it has 100 million Prime customers, and Hulu boasts about 20 million paying customers.

Their shows are now the mainstream. And with more tech money entering the content battle, expecting YouTube or Apple to crash the party in the years ahead isn’t a stretch.

For a look at all of Monday’s winners, click here.

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‘Ozark’ Stars Promise to Go as ‘Treacherously as We Possibly Can’ in Season 2

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(Spoiler alert: Please do not read ahead unless you’ve seen “Ozark” Season 1)

Anyone who watches “Ozark” knows it’s not a show that will guide your moral compass. Well, stars Jason Bateman, Laura Linney and Julia Garner at least hope you aren’t looking to their characters as role models.

The Netflix drama — which returns for Season 2 Friday — stars Linney as Wendy, the wife of Bateman’s Marty Byrde, a Chicago financial adviser who makes a single bad decision that leads him and his family down an increasingly dark and dubious path of Mexican drug cartel money laundering, murder and betrayal in the Ozarks. Wendy and Marty stand by each other, at all costs, as they all make some bad, bad choices.

“Wendy is not a great mother. I mean she’s just not. She’s just not,” Linney told TheWrap of her character, during the Television Critics Association press tour last month.

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“But to be fair, I don’t think any of the characters are great. Even Ruth, Marty, Wendy, anybody on this show,” Garner, who plays Ruth, the fowl-mouthed 19-year-old badass who gets mixed up with the Byrdes, added.

“I mean, if you’re looking to ‘Ozark’ to feel good and soft and cozy, it is not the show to visit,” Linney said. “It’s not a show that is going to … it’s not ‘Little House on the Prairie,” Garner continued, with both actresses laughing.

But to give the characters some credit, Bateman thinks they are at least trying to get better going into the second season of the Emmy-nominated series. Well, Marty is at least trying to keep his family together, while also maintaining his drug money laundering biz. And after the events of last season, that’s going be pretty tough for the Byrdes, as they need to start being more careful when covering up their dirty cash.

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“Hopefully [fans are] witnessing the efforts the characters are making to not repeat some of the old mistakes or in an effort to double down they are trying to get themselves out of it and find safer ground for the family,” Bateman — who stars in, executive produces and directs the series — said. “So hopefully they are invested in watching us try to become better, because, certainly, mistakes were made.”

Here’s Netflix’s official description for Season 2:

With Del out, the crime syndicate sends their ruthless attorney Helen Pierce to town to shake things up just as the Byrdes are finally settling in. Marty and Wendy struggle to balance their family interests amid the escalating dangers presented by their partnerships with the power-hungry Snells, the cartel and their new deputy, Ruth Langmore, whose father Cade has been released from prison. The stakes are even higher than before and the Byrdes soon realize they have to go all in before they can get out.

“What’s interesting are the moral and ethical dilemmas that these characters find themselves in, and the choices that they do make — whether they make them consciously or unconsciously,” Linney said. “So I think that’s really, you know, what it is. So I just try and play it as honestly as I possibly can, and I don’t judge her.”

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“And she’s not pretty,” Linney added. “She ain’t pretty. And I don’t think any of us are trying to point to the show as to, ‘this is how people should behave.’”

Linney said that because viewers enjoyed following these not-so-great characters’ journey in Season 1, they are looking to go darker in their sophomore year.

“I think because the first season went well, they seemed to like it, so the invitation to stick with us, I think they’re gonna jump in deeper. And I think that gave us permission to go deeper,” she said. “There is a sense that they were hungry for more. So we want to satisfy that and go as deep and as treacherously as we possibly can.”

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“And not give them the same thing,” Bateman added. “The writers set the table perfectly in the first year. In a second year, things could collide and braid in an interesting way and people are rewarded for staying on the train with us. That being said, there was effort to create a sequel as opposed to a second season.”

“For my money, it’s even better than what they had in Season 1,” he added. OK, game on, Byrdes.

“Ozark” Season 2 drops Friday on Netflix.

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