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What Is ‘7 Days in Hell’ and Why Is HBO Making More Programs Like It?

What Is '7 Days in Hell' and Why Is HBO Making More Programs Like It?

Not that long ago, HBO was singularly focused on garnering as many awards as possible for its original content. Whether it was via new series, miniseries or films, the premium cable network wanted to lure in viewers with traditional programming made for more sophisticated audiences. In other words, they were doing what the other networks did, only better and with more swearing. Now, though, HBO is breaking the mold, and the success of “7 Days in Hell” may play a big part in the company’s future.

With the implementation of HBO NOW, more viewers than ever before have legal access to the network’s programming. But the expense of creating a new series as well as scheduling it for maximum impact makes it difficult to quickly increase the number of shows available through HBO. Instead, the network seems to be adding lower cost options that diversify its library while expanding its reach. HBO Docs is becoming more prominent, while “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” provides topical and relatively inexpensive new shows every week. Of the same vein, one-off “specials” like “7 Days in Hell’ and the upcoming “Ferrell Takes the Field” (watch the trailer below) offer big name stars performing in intriguing side projects.

All this ads up to a wider array of choices for the modern HBO viewer. As Netflix keeps releasing more and more content each month through acquisitions and original content, HBO is trying to keep up (and thus justify its monthly $15 price tag). Will we see more “specials” and one-off programs in HBO’s future? What else can we look forward to via this new distribution model? And, of course, was “7 Days in Hell” actually worth watching to begin with? 

Indiewire TV Editor Liz Shannon Miller and TV Critic Ben Travers take on the topic and more in this week’s new edition of the Very Good TV Podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe to Very Good TV Podcast via Soundcloud or iTunes. Follow Indiewire on Twitter and Facebook for all your pertinent TV news — as well as all the latest news from HBO, Neflix, Hulu, Amazon and all the streaming options out there — plus check out Liz and Ben’s Twitter feeds for more, more, more. Plus, vote in our poll below for your favorite new-age marketing strategy.

Related Articles and News:
– Check out Liz’s review of “7 Days in Hell” after listening to the episode above.

– Keeping up with “True Detective”? Read Ben’s Episode 4 review pronto. 

– So, another upcoming series is “Westworld,” starring Anthony Hopkins and Evan Rachel Wood. We’ve got the first look photos, and you don’t want to miss seeing these.

– Oh, and there’s also a little thing called “Show Me a Hero” coming out from the creator of “The Wire,” David Simon. Watch the trailer here

– Catch up on all the Comic Con trailers with our convention round-up

READ MORE: Why No One Can Agree On Anything About ‘True Detective’ Season 2

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