Cheap sitter? Netflix lines up 300 hours of DreamWorks TV

A deal between Netflix and DreamWorks Animation will create multiple original series based on big movie franchises like Shrek and Kung Fu Panda.

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Joan E. Solsman
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Shrek will be among the DreamWorks original TV series Netflix premieres next year. PRNewsFoto/Netflix Inc.

If you need a cheap sitter for almost two weeks straight, next year Netflix will oblige.

After losing popular Nickelodeon content earlier this year, the Internet's top streaming service is set to bring 300 hours of original kids' television programming based on blockbuster DreamWorks Animation franchises to its streaming subscribers next year.

Terms were not disclosed. The content will be available everywhere Netflix is.

The agreement, which Netflix calls its largest deal for original first-run content ever, fills a vacuum of kids' programming on its streaming service. Netflix declined high-demand Nickelodeon content because parent Viacom wanted to bundle it together with less popular programs in a hulking deal.

Amazon later snatched up the forsaken Viacom content.

Netflix's pivot to DreamWorks from Nickelodeon underscores its more surgical strategy with content licensing, aiming not only for exclusivity but also for paying only for the content it wants and not the content it doesn't.

Monday's DreamWorks deal also buttresses Netflix's original-series push. The company has been rolling out new programs it produces itself to appeal to audience groups using the same principles that its content-suggestion algorithm recommends movies.

So far, the original programs have been aimed at an edgy HBO-like set with "House of Cards," young adults with vampire-gothic horror with "Hemlock Grove," and cult comedy afficionados with "Arrested Development."

Next month, Netflix subscribers will get sample of what next year's Dreamworks feast. "Turbo: F.A.S.T.," a DreamWorks/Netflix TV program, is set to become available July 17. Like the coming programs under the 300-hour deal, "Turbo F.A.S.T." is an episodic animated series that picks up where the DreamWorks movie "Turbo" letft off.

Netflix will also get the original "Turbo" feature film exclusively from DreamWorks next year for streaming in the U.S. and Latin America, as well as "The Croods" and an adaption of Mr. Peabody and Sherman from the old "Rocky & Bullwinkle" shows, which opens in theaters in March 2014.