It's not *black cinema* but it does speak to these somewhat uncertain digital times, and rapid changes that are happening in the way we create, exhibit and consume content.
Also, I'm sure a lot of you are interested in this specific series.
In short, Netflix is continuing its push into the content creation space, taking on the likes of premium cablers like HBO and Showtime, commissioning its own original content, this time with a political serial featuring some Hollywood heavyweights in David Fincher and Kevin Spacey.
Titled House Of Cards, here's a description of the 13-episode series:
Ruthless and cunning, Congressman Francis Underwood (Kevin Spacey) and his wife Claire (Robin Wright) stop at nothing to conquer everything. This wicked political drama penetrates the shadowy world of greed, sex, and corruption in modern D.C. Kate Mara and Corey Stoll costar in the first original series from David Fincher and Beau Willimon.
The trailer I saw about a month ago impressed me enough that I'm definitely going to be checking this out!
But what's most noteworthy about this is that, unlike episodic broadcast TV, where audiences watch a show a week, and have to wait 7 days before the next one, Netflix is making all 13 episodes of House Of Cards available all at once. So, no having to watch this over 13 weeks, as would be the case if House Of Cards were on TV.
Nope; you can watch the entire season in one day (each episode is about an hour long).
How do you feel about that, if anything at all? I actually love that idea! I enjoy learning about some old TV series, finding out its streaming on Netflix (all of its seasons), and being able to sit and watch several episodes back-to-back-to-back, etc. And I've always wanted to be able to do that same thing with current TV shows like The Walking Dead, or Homeland, which I watch religiously.
Might Netflix's approach inspire or even force TV networks to consider a similar strategy? Likely not anytime soon. But I like the model and would embrace it. And, oh yeah, no commercials!
Here's a segment from a New York Times piece this morning on the subject:
While a large majority of TV is still watched live, not recorded, the ratings for some series — like FX’s “Sons of Anarchy” — double after a week of recorded viewing is counted. A first-of-its-kind Nielsen study last fall found that a handful of shows gain an extra 5 percent after another three weeks. Nielsen does not routinely count viewers who wait more than a week to watch an episode, nor does it count most of the viewers who watch online, so it’s hard to estimate the true amount of bingeing. Some hoarders wait years: Mr. Mazzara, for instance, said he’s waiting to watch HBO’s “Girls” until the whole series is over, several years from now. This stockpiling phenomenon has become so common that some network executives worry that it is hurting new shows because they cancel the shows before would-be viewers get around to watching them.
You can read the rest of that revealing piece HERE.
By the way, non-Netflix users should know that, in what I think is a smart bit of marketing by Netflix, the first episode of House Of Cards is available to everyone – not just account holders. So if you'd like to check out episode 1, whether you have a Netflix account or not, you can do so HERE.
But to watch the remaining 12 episodes, you'll have to sign up!