Netflix's Arrested a 'Breakthrough'
Alyssa Rosenberg is excited about the storytelling potential Netflix offers
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Jan 11, 2013 11:17 AM CST
A promo image for the new season of Arrested Development.   (c) 2005-2006 Fox and its related entities. All rights reserved)

(Newser) – Netflix's new season of Arrested Development, which will hit in May, could be a massive breakthrough for the service—and not (just) because we're all eager to see the Bluths again. At the Television Critics Association press tour, creator Mitch Hurwitz revealed that this batch of episodes, each focusing on a different character, could be watched in any order, with events becoming clearer as viewers watched more episodes. That's a bombshell, writes Alyssa Rosenberg at Think Progress, because until now, TV has fundamentally been a linear medium.

Netflix is uniquely suited to change that, because it releases episodes all at once, and doesn't need to hang on to viewers week-to-week for advertising purposes. Episodes will also vary in length a little, something Netflix could be much more daring with (imagine a 37-minute episode followed by a 2-hour one) than even HBO. "Up until these announcements, it's really seemed like Netflix was simply chasing broadcast television," Rosenberg writes. Now, she's wondering how some episodic books—World War Z for example—might look as Netflix series, "a thought that has literally never occurred to me about any material before." Read her full column.

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Jan 13, 2013 2:09 AM CST
That's a bombshell, to all seven people who read Think Progress,
Jan 11, 2013 4:34 PM CST
Reminds me of Sci Fi authors like Marion Zimmer Bradley, who wrote the Darkover series. You could read the books in any order, and get a different slice of life on the planet Darkover, with each book. It is weird that it took TV so long to catch on.
Jan 11, 2013 1:00 PM CST
Hopefully they can break that network week-to-week linear medium. No more two-part stories just to make you tune in next week. Plus there is not chronological requirement. Content creators and networks please get it together. Stop letting the cable providers force you into legacy business models. Think what would have happened if dairies fought to keep milk men employed by thwarting the refrigerator. Just like no phone carrier is currently charging for national/domestic long distance, even though there were industries built around this (MCI).