For its next high-profile project Netflix is banking on nostalgia: the studio has ordered Grace and Frankie, a half-hour comedy from Marta Kauffman, the creator of Friends, starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. Take that in for a second.
The show, according to a press release, centers on "on nemeses Grace (Fonda) and Frankie (Tomlin) facing the last chapter of their lives, though not in the way they expected." The two women are thrown for a loop when their husbands declare they are in love and planning to get married. Presumably, Grace and Frankie become reluctant friends.
The show addresses some of Netflix's blind spots. Outside of Arrested Development, which came to the network with an already established fan base, Netflix hasn't made many waves in the half-hour comedy market, which is where Amazon is now staking a claim. Last year they streamed Ricky Gervais' Derek, which was both a British import and a dud. Grace and Frankie also seems like a pointed effort to recruit more older viewers.
And while this all sounds very exciting, we are proceeding with a little bit of caution. Kauffman, who co-created the show with Howard J. Morris, hasn't really had a success since Friends. (We are pretending Joey didn't exist.)