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Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: Coronavirus: Business and technology in a pandemic

Netflix says it resumed production on Stranger Things

The streaming video giant says it is making progress restarting production on its biggest titles.

As part of its Q3 financial report Tuesday afternoon, Netflix said it has restarted production on the series Stranger Things, among other titles, after work had been suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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"We are making good and careful progress returning to production, particularly in EMEA and APAC, but also across much of LATAM and UCAN," said Netflix in its quarterly letter to shareholders

"We've restarted production on some of our biggest titles including season four of Stranger Things, action film Red Notice (starring Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds) and The Witcher season two."

Netflix says it has completed "principal photography" on more than 50 projects. 

"While the course and impact of C-19 remains unpredictable, we're optimistic we will complete shooting on over 150 other productions by year-end," the company said.

Netflix's quarterly revenue this evening came in above expectations, although its quarterly subscriber additions fell short of both its own expectations and that of Wall Street.

Revenue in the quarter of $6.44 billion rose 23%, year over year, and topped consensus for $6.38 billion. EPS of $1.74, excluding some costs, fell short of the consensus $2.13 per share.

Netflix added 2.2 million paying subscribers, worldwide, net of those who gave up the service. That was below the company's own forecast for 2.5 million, and well below Wall Street consensus for 3.7 million paid net additions. 

For the current quarter, the company said it expects to add 6 million paying subs, again, below the expectation on Wall Street for 6.6 million additions.

The company said the reduced subscriber additions were not a surprise given a surge in user sign-ups earlier in the year, during the first months of the pandemic.

"As we have highlighted in our recent investor letters, we believe our record first half paid net additions would result in slower growth in the back half of this year," the company said. "If we achieve our forecast, it will put us at a record 34m paid net adds for 2020, well above our prior annual high of 28.6m in 2018." 

Netflix's biggest subscriber gains this past quarter were in Asia-Pacific, the company said.

Netflix stock declined by 5% in after-hours trading.