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Talking Amazon's crowdsourced TV pilots on NPR and Netflix's new Arrested Development episodes on PBS' NewsHour

Netflix debuts 15 news episodes of Arrested Development on Sunday.


Netflix debuts 15 news episodes of Arrested Development on Sunday.

You know online TV shows have reached a tipping point when NPR and PBS' NewsHour taps you to talk about them on the same day.

It's also because we're on the cusp of Memorial Day weekend and no one has much news going on, I'm sure. But we're all also trying to figure out exactly how having high-quality TV shows available through streaming video online just might change how we watch TV overall.

I told NPR that Amazon's gimmick allowing the public to vote on pilot episodes for new shows feels like exactly that -- it's pretty obvious which shows are best among the eight comedies they've placed online.

I told PBS that Netflix's move to debut new episodes of Arrested Development is so new, it's hard to know whether the project will ultimately pay off for netflix. so far their stock price is doing well and the buzz they've generated is spectacular -- just like the playbook HBO followed in building its channel around hip, critically-loved shows such as The Sopranos and Sex and the City.

Both companies are withholding crucial details journalists can use to judge their true success, allowing spin and hype to replace facts about viewership and revenue. In the end, that may be their biggest legacy -- moving the yardstick we journalists and critics use to judge TV projects into the realm of secret, proprietary information.

Below are embedded players for the NPR and PBS appearances; consider them my gift to you for the Memorial Day holdiay. Have and safe and fun weekend, especially if you're spending much of it in front of a video screen.



[Last modified: Friday, May 24, 2013 5:53pm]


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