House of Cards?
By now everyone has probably seen the news that Netflix got in on the original content game by securing the rights to 26 episodes of the original series House of Cards. The news had both the TV and tech digerati in a tizzy, but that’s understandable: everyone loves a good David vs. Goliath story. On top of that, while there are few legitimate cord cutters, it seems every.single.one.of.them desperately (and vocally) wants to see the traditional broadcast and cable model brought to its knees.
I did see a few stories about how Netflix’s next move should be to save canceled fan favorites. It’s an idea I’ve put out there myself before the House of Cards news, but only to debunk its likelihood. But as a web publisher, I’d love to see Netflix save a canceled show or two if only for the thousands of “ok, its ratings suck, but the critics love it and Netflix could save it!” comments. I could also resurrect and rebrand the “DirecTV Save Our Show Top Ten” which I scuttled once DirecTV announced it was out of the business of saving canceled shows.
I wouldn't look for much original content from Netflix though. In its current business, Netflix’s economics are pretty good for TV shows on the streaming side, but that’s for old episodes which can be licensed relatively cheaply. But with streaming-only subscriptions available for just for $7.99, the economics don’t suggest Netflix can afford to get bogged down funding a lot of original content. At this point I’d be surprised if Netflix did much to divert its focus on dominating with movie and not-new TV episode streaming.
It will be interesting to see how it all shakes out, but we’ll have to wait a while since House of Cards isn’t set to begin on Neflix until late 2012.
Are Women 18-34 Safe at CW?
Last December the news broke that current CW entertainment president Dawn Ofstroff had decided to leave after the current season. Today the news broke that former Disney/ABC TV executive Mark Pedowitz was the top candidate to replace Ms. Ostroff. Pedowitz currently runs his own production company. Assuming he gets, expect a ton of speculation on whether CW will migrate away from its strategy of targeting women 18-34. To be kind, CW has struggled to gain a foothold in its target demographic. I’d expect such speculation regardless who takes over and regardless of their gender. But what I wouldn’t expect is much, if any change next season since Ostroff will be responsible for figuring out CW’s 2011-12 schedule.
Both are potentially big stories, but with about zero near-term consequences. I’d put a poll up about which is the bigger story, but I know how that would shake out. Veronica Mars, Veronica Mars, Veronica Mars! If Netflix had announced it was reviving Veronica Mars, that would've made for a very interesting poll indeed.