Last night’s Emmy awards marked yet another step in the evolution of video entertainment. NetFlix’s re-tread of the British original, House of Cards won an award for best direction for a drama series. That marks the first time a straight-to-streaming production has won a major video award.
IMO it’s inevitable that an increasing proportion of new video entertainment will be produced by streaming servides. NetFlix isn’t alone. Hulu has produced a number of original series, Amazon isn’t far behind, and Acorn is just now releasing newly-produced episodes of Foyle’s War, with first showings concurrently on PBS and Acorn’s own streaming service (to which I’m a subscriber).
Nowadays the action in video entertainment is really on cable with the broadcast networks producing increasingly dreary and tired shows. There are exceptions; ABC’s Modern Family and CBS’s The Good Wife come to mind. I would estimate that straight-to-streaming today is about where straight-to-cable was roughly a decade ago. It will mature fast.
How successful these straight-to-cable productions are can only be measured by whether they favor the fortunes of their parents. For NetFlix it’s so far so good. House of Cards and Arrested Development have added some subscribers and they certainly boosted the stock price. We’ll see.