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I have a confession: Instead of spending quality time with friends and family over Christmas, I holed myself up in a room and watched more than 15 hours of “Downton Abbey.”
I’m not alone. A recent New York Times article that touches on binge-watching got me thinking about how the concept of the weekly show has changed. No longer does it matter that you never watched “Lost.” You can now watch all six seasons on Netflix or Hulu and not go through the agony of wondering what’s going to happen to the ill-fated passengers of Oceanic Flight 815.
It’s the television evolution.
There is a serious consumer demand for binge-watching, and companies—Netflix and Amazon instantly come to mind—are finally figuring out how to profit from it. Just a few weeks ago it was announced that Amazon Prime Instant Video has exclusive streaming rights to “Downton Abbey.” Bad news for Netflix who in their own right just released 13 complete episodes of original programming, but great news for the five million or so Prime members who had the chance to watch the final episodes of the current season before they aired on PBS.
As the ways we consume media continue to change and more shows become instantly available, I wonder if the traditional weekly schedule, summer hiatus and sweeps will become ancient history. I think there’s something nice about the wait. The break allows time to let the nuances sink in, review characters and dissect every delicious moment at the water cooler. Of course for some, there’s also this.