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Netflix to Bow Original Stand-Up Comedy, Doc Series

3 Sep, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Comedian Russell Peters

Comedian Russell Peters has sold 250,000 DVDs in the U.S.

Netflix Sept. 3 said it would stream stand-up comedian Russell Peters, in addition to a four-part documentary on the Canadian comic's "Notorious World Tour," on Oct. 14.

The availability of Peters’ “Notorious World Tour” show and behind-the-scenes doc Russell Peters vs. the World are part of Netflix’s efforts to branch out beyond original episodic TV.

CEO and co-founder Reed Hastings first mentioned the subscription video-on-demand pioneer’s planned foray into live events (excluding sports) and documentaries during the service’s most recent fiscal call and shareholder newsletter.

Netflix is no stranger to stand-up comedy — its streaming and disc library boasting myriad comics, including performances by Kevin Hart, Bill Burr, Jim Gaffigan, Louis CK, Daniel Tosh (Comedy Central's "Tosh 2.0") and the late George Carlin, among others.

Peters’ “Notorious” tour, which was filmed March 15 in Sydney, is unique in that it is exclusive Netflix and its foreign territories. Netflix Nov. 1 will stream its second exclusive stand-up Aziz Ansari: Buried Alive.

"Russell's genius is his uncanny gift to identify the idiosyncratic within all of us," Lisa Nishimura, VP of originals with Netflix, said in a statement. "He is prolific, fresh and a global force that will resonate with our members around the world."

Filmed live at the Allphones Arena, Peters brings his laugh-out-loud observational comedy, blending in stories about his Anglo-Indian family to touch on racial, ethnic, class and cultural stereotypes.

Netflix claims Peters has sold out arenas from Madison Square Garden to the Sydney Opera House, and his Notorious World Tour has become the highest-attended comedy tour in the history of Australia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Lebanon, South Africa, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and his home country of Canada, selling more than 300,000 tickets globally.

Previous stand-up performances Russell Peters: Red, White and Brown, Russell Peters: The Green Card Tour and Russell Peters: Outsourced are currently available on Netflix.

On Nov. 10, 2012, Peters became the first comedian to play Brooklyn's new Barclays Center. More than 10,000 fans attended the show, making it the largest comedy show ever in the history of the New York City borough.

Peters' last special, The Green Card Tour LIVE From the O2 Arena, was recorded in London in 2010. The special was broadcast on Showtime, Comedy Central and Netflix U.K. In 2009, Peters set a U.K. attendance record for the highest attendance for a one-off comedy show with more than 16,000 fans attending his show at the O2 Arena. Peters also went on to have the highest-attended comedy shows at Sydney, Australia's Acer Arena and Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena in 2010.

Starting in 2008, Peters was one of the first stand-up comedians to self-finance, self-produce and distribute his own comedy specials and DVDs, with Red, White and Brown and The Green Card Tour.

The DVDs went on to sell more than 250,000 units across North America, according to Netflix. 


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