The changing landscape of great dramatic TV

posted by Jeff | Saturday, February 2, 2013, 2:54 PM | comments: 1

There's an interesting phenomenon around great television shows these days. While they don't have the numbers you see for a broadcast network, the critical acclaim, and I suspect the better profit margins, are coming from other places. Many of them start on the premium cable channels like HBO, or middle-tier networks and sometimes even on basic cable, and then there are battles ensuing about where you can watch them via the Internet. I love to see Netflix and Amazon engaging in these fights.

Even more interesting now is that Netflix and Amazon are committing to creating the programming themselves. I think that's what you call a game changer, for sure. The latest hotness came last week, when Netflix released 13 episodes of a new series called House of Cards, all at once. Kevin Spacey is the star, and people are really going apeshit over it. I wonder if the hype will last, given that they released an entire half-season at once, but it's still neat to see.

As someone who hasn't been able to justify paying for cable TV for the last year, and frankly not missing it, I do enjoy seeing the really good stuff come to light in ways that don't involve cable. I mean, Downton Abbey on PBS is fantastic. We've really taken advantage of Amazon Instant Video via the Prime subscription as well. It's not that I object paying for good content, I just object paying a lot for it and getting little from it, which was really the case with cable.



February 2, 2013, 4:13 PM #

The only thing keeping me from moving away from cable is access to HBO GO. It's giving me the chance to catch up on all of their great shows that I missed out on for years while I didn't subscribe. If they'll ever offer it without a cable subscription, I would jump ship in a heartbeat.

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