Cancelled Programming Finds A New Home Online

As online programming providers mature into more self-confident market players, they feel more secure in their position and are increasing the relative risk of their financial investments. While initially online programming was meant as an alternative to TV, it is quickly becoming a replacement. Internet TV no longer plays second fiddle as an archive for old TV episodes.

Major market players like DirecTV and Netflix are taking tentative steps towards producing their own exclusive programming.

DirecTV will be getting its feet wet for the first time this coming August, with the production of the first series which it commissioned itself. The show, called ROUGE, is a drama about a turbulent cop, played by Thandie Newton, who is struggling with the death of a child, and her own suspicious involvement with a local crime lord.

DirecTV provides other exclusive content, for shows like Damages and Friday Night Lights, which initially were aired traditionally on TV. They also provide exclusive content for shows like Underbelly and The Slap.

While Hulu does provide original programming, they have,as of yet, only provided a outlet for cancelled shows, as is the case with Arrested Development. Most shows that are cancelled end up being taken down because of low viewership ratings, but Arrested Development was met with almost exclusively positive reviews. Over the course of its airing, it earner six Emmy awards, a Golden Globe, and was listed as one of Time Magazine's '100 Best Shows of All-TIME' list. When the show was dropped, director David Fincher says he began receiving hundreds of letters per day, asking for to return the beloved show to production.

Airing Arrested development comes with the advantage of already having a full established fan base. In fact, a testament to the show's popularity, their viewership actually continued to increase after the show was removed from the air in 2006. Nearing the end of 2011, Netflix announced that they would be purchasing an exclusive license to ten new episodes of the popular show, which are projected to air in 2013.

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