2013 TV Pilot Guide and a Thought on Netflix’s ‘House of Cards’

Here’s a look at the pilots in contention for the 2013-14 television season, which The Hollywood Reporter will be updating throughout pilot and casting season. Should give you an idea of what shows are coming down the pipe in the fall.

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It’s interesting to peruse this list and ponder how networks develop shows to air and eventually cancel in light of Netflix, who wants to become HBO, blowing the entire door off the old television model with House of Cards. 

With House of Cards, though, the old rules do not apply. Without a TV network to arrange our virtual viewing parties, how do we know when it’s safe to talk about, say, Episode 7, when ambitious blogger Kate Mara is mauled by a hungry wolverine? Or Episode 12, when Kevin Spacey’s power-hungry Congressman is revealed to be Keyser Soze? Without weekly recaps, where do we gather to express our dislike of a given character’s direction, especially knowing that said character’s endpoint is just a trackpad tap away?

The company only needs approximately 500,000 new subscribers to offset the $100 million cost of the show and really, it’s worth it — fantastic cast, great atmosphere, high production value, etc. I binged watched about ten-episodes over the weekend and would have finished the first season entirely had it not been for the Super Bowl.

What Netflix is doing with House of Cards, and eventually all its original programming, is monumentally changing the television game in a way HBO will never be able to. It’s taking HBO’s penchant for quality, long-form storytelling, and marrying it to a disruptive distribution model driven by technology. It’s not reliant on anything or anyone other than quality shows and quality distribution.

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