So recently I was spending prime-time work hours watching videos at Will Ferrell and Adam Mc Kay’s comedy site Funny or Die.All new stuff, all original, and a lot of it funnier and (really noticeable) of a higher professional quality than the funny stuff over on traditional broadcast TV. ” dead-horse-beating here.) At one point I stopped and laughed — but not just at the latest video on my laptop screen. Rather, at the realization that these days when I want to “watch TV” I don’t go to my TV, but to my laptop or i Pad.It’s a topic I’ll be getting into more in coming weeks.
Our current “digital native” generation has never lived in a benighted world with only a handful of broadcast entertainment sources, or without video access across a variety of devices from HDTVs to tablets to the phones in their club pants.
And here’s the thing: they’ll never, ever want or need to imagine it any other way.
It’s not just the Old World studios paying attention to that.
Companies we don’t automatically associate with new, original programs are now out to carve their own mountains in TV’s so-called vast wasteland.
Over at the licensed-streaming game-changer Hulu, two new original comedy series — “Battleground” and “Paul the Male Matchmaker” — are clearly angling to attract viewers who miss the faux-documentary, cringe-comedy stylings of “The Office.” Those shows are joining original documentary series by Morgan Spurlock and Richard Linklater and are original Hulu online TV content.
Meanwhile, Hulu’s arch-rival Netflix has already delivered the entire run of eight 50-minute episodes of “Lilyhammer,” starring Steve Van Zandt from “The Sopranos.” But the Netflix series that’s lifting my antennae way up is “House of Cards,” a 26-episode political thriller that will star Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright.
David Fincher (The Social Network) will serve as Executive Producer and direct the pilot episode.
Slated for a debut later this year, this show is the reason why the phrase “highly anticipated” exists.
With producers looking to the web as largely virginal digital distribution territory, companies already plugged into the online world are positioning themselves to compete not just against the traditional Big Three broadcast networks in the U. — ABC, CBS, NBC — but also serious cable heavy-hitters such as HBO. has been maneuvering in the original programming arena since last year.
The site has branched out with relatively low-profile stuff: some women-focused programs, celebrity gossip shows and short-form reality shows such as Morgan Spurlock’s “The Failure Club.” Now, however, keep your eye on the Y this spring for their first foray into scripted original programming.
It’s the web series “Electric City,” an animated science fiction series co-produced by Tom Hanks, who will also lend his voice to a character (not, I assume, a puppet cowboy). made the announcement at last month’s Consumer Electronics Show, which for me seals the deal that “Internet TV” is already moving well beyond the traditional ways of doing these things.