‘Stranger Things’: Ted Sarandos Says Netflix Could Have “Got A Couple Of Extra Episodes” Without Covid Costs

Stranger Things was financially impacted by the Covid pandemic more than many of Netflix’s other shows, according to Ted Sarandos.

The Co-CEO and Chief Content Officer admitted that the burden of the pandemic meant that the streamer was running up the hill when it came to additional costs due to the virus.

The streamer revealed that Covid costs were on average about 5/10% of its content spend. This year, the Netflix is spending around $17B so that’s a pretty large sum.

“If you did that all again and took that off the top you might even get a couple of extra episodes out of it,” said Sarandos.

It’s not clear whether the exec meant that the fourth season, which featured nine episodes across two drops, would have been 11 episodes or that the extra costs attributed to shutdowns and extra health and safety measures would have paid for a couple of episodes, but either way, it’s clear that Covid had a massive impact on Netflix’s biggest English-language hit series.

Season four of the Duffer Brothers’ supernatural juggernaut launched its first seven episodes on May 27 with the final two episodes of the penultimate season dropping on July 1.

“[Stranger Things] was probably affected as any [by Covid] because of the young cast and the size and scope of the production and the multiple locations that we shot in. It was a very expensive burden on the show to make sure that we could deliver it. One of the catalysts of splitting the season was how long it took to produce that show and a lot of that was stalled because of early shutdowns of the production and being extremely careful with the cast of the show, early on in Covid,” he added.

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