How to Fix Our Binge Spoiler Alert Problem

Blogger's proposal: Forget binges, let's try marathons
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2015 12:53 PM CDT
This file photo released by Netflix shows Kevin Spacey as Francis Underwood and Robin Wright as Clair Underwood in a scene from 'House of Cards.'   (AP Photo/Netflix, Nathaniel E. Bell)

(Newser) – We live in "confusing times," writes Rex Sorgatz at Medium, and any fan of good shows will know exactly what he means. Did you finish House of Cards or the new Tina Fey show on Netflix? Great, but don't tell anyone about it for fear of violating the now-sacrosanct rules on spoilers. Netflix tried to do a good thing by releasing entire seasons at once, "but it has actually wreaked havoc on the best part of television: talking about television." Amazon Prime's idea of releasing a pilot and then deciding whether to produce more based on popularity is even worse. It's time for a new model, argues Sorgatz. Think marathons, not binges.

He notes that in the 1970s, ABC engineered a ratings smash when it aired the Roots miniseries over eight consecutive nights. It can work again: "Every day, a new episode is released, always at the same time, and blind to time zones." If, for example, Netflix had followed this model with the latest season of House of Cards, we would just now be wrapping up the 13-day marathon. "The conversation around this viewing window would be massive, almost unbearable," he writes. "Fans would feel compelled to catch up every night, so as to be involved in tomorrow’s discussion." With marathons, Netflix, Amazon, HBO, and others could bring back a cool part of being a fan of TV. Click for the full post.

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