When HBO first brought True Detective to subscribers, it had the benefit of star power in Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. The same dynamic could boost the fortunes of Grace and Frankie, a just-ordered Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) original series, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video.
The Hollywood Reporter says Friends creator Marta Kauffman is developing the comedy, which features Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as wives whose husbands declare their love for each other. Plans call for a 13-episode series order, putting Grace and Frankie in an increasingly diverse lineup of Netflix original series that includes not only acclaimed comedy Orange Is the New Black, but also four Marvel Comics-themed series, and the horror epic Hemlock Grove.
Star power isn't always a magic bullet in television, of course. Last month, Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) unit NBCUniversal pulled the remaining episodes of The Michael J. Fox Show, effectively canceling the struggling series. Fonda and Tomlin may not fare any better.
And yet the difference here is that the show isn't just about them. Like True Detective, their presence adds heft to what fans and investors hope will be a great story -- a formula we've seen pay off not only at HBO, but also with Netflix original series House of Cards, which stars Kevin Spacey and Golden Globe winner Robin Wright. Comcast recently struck a deal with Sony to sell individual episodes of the first season via its Xfinity Store.
What should investors be watching for with Grace and Frankie? Buzz. Netflix original series don't bring in ad revenue. But if the show scores well with critics and builds an initial fan base, the ensuing buzz could entice those who've been on the fence to become members.
If you're interested in getting exclusive, unfiltered access to Motley Fool co-founder and CEO Tom Gardner's personal "Everlasting Portfolio" of stock picks -- a portfolio that's outperformed a stunning 99.6% of similar mutual funds during the past 12 months -- you're in luck. For a limited time only, Tom is inviting new members to apply for "early acceptance" into The Motley Fool's crown-jewel service -- Motley Fool ONE. If you're accepted, you'll be invited to test-drive Motley Fool ONE with zero risk or obligation for an entire 365 days. Simply click here to apply now... time is running out!
Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Netflix at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+, Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.
The Motley Fool recommends Netflix. The Motley Fool owns shares of Netflix. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.