Report: Netflix Could Start Incorporating Viewer Choice Into Live-Action Shows, Starting With Black Mirror

Douglas Hodge and Letitia Wright in the fourth season of Black Mirror. (Photo: Jonathan Prime, Netflix)

Dramas such as Black Mirror are filled with characters caught up in grim moral debates, forced to make gripping decisions designed to make you wonder what you’d do in their (usually dire) place. But what if you actually could make the decision for them?

An intriguing new Bloomberg report claims that Netflix will, by the end of 2018, introduce new iterations of some live-action shows — starting with the latest season of the dystopian anthology series Black Mirror — that will include the ability for viewers to decide how the story ends.

This isn’t the first time Netflix has tried to integrate viewer interaction into its content. Several kids’ shows streamed on the service currently do so, and Netflix was working with The Walking Dead and Batman choose-your-own-adventure game developer Telltale Games to develop a Minecraft TV series based on the developer’s Minecraft: Story Mode game — the only project Tellale is now working on, after recently, catastrophically shedding hundreds of workers ahead of a complete closure.

But this would be the first time Netflix has attempted to add viewer choice to live-action shows — and beyond Black Mirror, the streaming service has allegedly closed at least one other deal with an unidentified show to include the additions, with more deals close to completion according to Bloomberg.

It’ll be interesting to see how the technology plays out — both in how it keeps viewers attentive instead of just passively binge-watching something, and also creating the potential for viewers to get wildly different experiences with what is otherwise a linear piece of TV.

For Black Mirror’s anthology framework it’s less of a potential nightmare, but what happens when ongoing series start having to integrate whether or not a certain outcome happened at the end of the last series?

That said, can someone at Netflix make a deal so we can choose to force Danny Rand into his comic book costume at the end of Iron Fist season three, please?

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