This past weekend, producers from some of the most popular serial programming on the Web presented on a panel at the Television Critics Association press tour. Together, these industry professionals, responsible for buzzy shows like "Husbands" and Yahoo!'s own "Burning Love," gave us all a little insight into why it is that the Internet is the new frontier for entertainment. Here are a few reasons why you should be on the lookout for Web series when you're searching for new shows to watch.
1. They open up new creative possibilities.
The first thing that the panel was eager to share was how they have different expectations for their shows because, first and foremost, they answer to themselves. Television shows and their creative teams must often answer to the networks on which they air, meaning they must sometimes compromise their wants and needs to fit the goals of a company.
Mike Rosenstein, executive producer on "Burning Love," and Jane Espenson, producer on "Husbands," both cited the lack of "network notes" as the best part of being involved in an Internet production.
Watch a clip from "Husbands" below:
2. They're passion projects.
Without network notes, these producers have the chance to work on something they really love and enjoy. As Stuart Cornfeld of "Burning Love" said, "It's soul-crushing to work on something that you don't like." He continued, "It's invigorating to work on something that you do like."
The "Burning Love" crew even said that the cast of the show, which consists of many A-list actors and actresses (including Jennifer Aniston, Kristen Bell, Ken Jeong, and Michael Cera), calls the Yahoo! series one of the most fun productions to work on.
See the premiere of the second season of "Burning Love" here:
3. They have passionate cult followings.
It isn't only the cast and crew that has fun with these Web series, though. As Espenson described, a lot of Web series (like cult TV shows) have the added benefit of making people feel like they're in a "secret club." It becomes exciting to meet people with a similar love for a particular show.
4. They encourage "binge-watching."
During the first season of "Burning Love," the episodes rolled out once a week, but with each subsequent season the frequency has increased. By the third season, the show was being released daily, making for optimal binge-watching.
According to Ryan Lewis, an executive producer on the Web series "Chosen," binge-watching has become "a trend" among TV viewers. Recent examples cited included the revamped "Arrested Development," which came back after a hiatus of several years, with a fourth season released on Netflix this past May.
Check out a trailer for "Chosen" here:
5. They're a lot of fun to watch.
Bottom line: Web series are making a splash in the entertainment world because they're really fun to watch. In the case of "Burning Love," Cornfeld said, "We really had an insanely talented group of actors going off of a script that was already really good." That combination makes web shows equal in value to what you'd find on TV.
So whether they are YouTube series made by independent video bloggers or professionally produced shows like "Burning Love," "Chosen," and "Husbands," TV on the Internet is becoming a vastly important new form of entertainment, and something that people who love TV should get a jump on while it's hot.
Take a look at our slideshow with photos of stars the Television Critics Association press tour:
- Arts & Entertainment