Netflix breaks a boundary. Is it our turn?

Entertainment industry history was made yesterday when Netflix, the service I formerly referred to as Blockbuster-online, was nominated for 14 Emmy Awards for its original programming.

It was only a little over a year ago that the DVD/streaming video service launched their original programming, which included the high profile fourth season of cult-and-critic favorite Arrested Development, and the Kevin Spacey driven political thrilled House of Cards (which features Broadway’s own Sebastian Arcelus).

And wouldn’t you know it, their “HBO did it, so why can’t we?” move paid off big time.  (You can read about it here.)  For the first time in Emmy history, a “streaming service” was honored with noms.  And a bunch of them.

If you hear a chattering sound, it’s the teeth of every major television executive out there . . . including HBO.

What’s exciting about this (besides the fact that even more companies that you might not think of may start producing shows – and therefore hiring artists) is that it’s such a major game-changer, that perhaps it’ll rub off on Broadway!

Could the Tonys open up their doors and start making shows at non-Broadway theaters eligible, in the same way the Emmys spread their net wider to the actual ‘net?  Is the Off-Broadway Tony finally getting closer to fruition?

What if organizations that usually served the content (like Netflix) also started creating the content?  Like . . . what if Ad Agencies start producing shows (God knows they can afford it – I was just in the new offices of one this morning, and let me tell you, their conference room is bigger than my apartment)?  What if the theater owners start producing again big time?  What if Playbill started producing?

I hate being interrupted.

But I love when a company like Netflix interrupts a business and forces everyone to listen to a new way of doing something.

And now it’s time for that interruption on Broadway.

(This story is so cool to me – look for a follow up blog on “Three Things we can Learn from the Netflix Emmys” on Monday!)

 

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Comments
  • LA Producer says:

    To add my own shameless plug which does tie in to this blog: WE want to bring live theatre to television (video media?) as well. Shot professionally, edited creatively and marketed to those who may have never seen live theatre, perhaps more warm bodies will find their way into seats?

  • Anita says:

    Amen, my brother! Preach it!

  • Beth says:

    Here here! And LA Producer, how about a renaissance of the TV variety show? NPH anyone?

  • David Merrick Jr says:

    Every attempt to bring live theater to TV fails. Why? Because the whole idea in watching theater is that’s it’s LIVE.

    So TV or the closed-circuit/movie thing (i.e. MEMPHIS) never works…

  • James says:

    The problem is that Broadway productions are so expensive they require too much capital to be assembled. If vertical integration of the supply chain had been an option in theatre, I am sure it would have been tried back when it was the fad in industry in general. Ad companies and theater owners know they make their money off others taking the gamble. Much like political consultants, PAC fundraisers, TV ad makers etc make their money off one piece of politics rather than being the candidate as well. I love the idea, but theaters are a much more limited commodity than the outlets for independently created work like TV.

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Ken Davenport
Ken Davenport

Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer

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