Wednesday, 3 Mar 2021

Opinion | What’s Next in Your Netflix Queue?

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Bela Bajaria has an unprecedented job at Netflix. In an executive shake-up this year, she was elevated from head of “local language” (read: non-English) productions to a newly created role, head of global television (read: all TV, everywhere). Her promotion signals how much Netflix is banking on international markets and diverse content to help it win the streaming wars.

Ms. Bajaria previously ran Universal Television, the studio arm of NBC. She was behind many of the shows the world has been watching, including “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Master of None,” and “The Mindy Project.” On the way, she hit pushback from executives who thought unconventional shows would be small and play only for niche audiences. Bela had other plans: “I want to do big shows that have underrepresented voices and people. They can be big, and they can be commercial.”

In this episode of “Sway,” the Netflix executive discusses how change happens in Hollywood, why she got fired from NBC-Universal and which shows you might be bingeing next.

A podcast about power, hosted by Kara Swisher (@karaswisher). Every Monday and Thursday, from New York Times Opinion. Listen and subscribe.

This episode of “Sway” was produced by Nayeema Raza, Matt Frassica, Heba Elorbany, Matt Kwong and Vishakha Darbha and edited by Paula Szuchman; fact-checking by Kate Sinclair; music and sound design by Isaac Jones; mixing by Erick Gomez. Special thanks to Renan Borelli, Liriel Higa and Kathy Tu.

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