Many companies are jumping into original production to keep their customers from falling away, from Netflix to DIRECTV. But Netflix has more to offer its subscribers at this point in the way of sophisticated taste algorithms than DIRECTV, which is ordering up its first original series, suspense thriller "Rogue," from Entertainment One and Greenroom Entertainment. And Netflix is going A-list with David Fincher's "House of Cards," starring Kevin Spacey, as well as Eli Roth's werewolf saga "Hemlock Grove."
Clearly, Roth has drunk the Netflix Koolaid; during a must-hear NPR interview, he described how he's making a thirteen-part independent movie; audiences now watch entire seasons of shows all at once, and rely on recommendation software to find things to see. DIRECTV, on the other hand, is dipping its toe in the original series waters with a relatively B-tier series, ordering ten episodes of "Rogue," starring Thandie Newton ("Crash"), which goes into production in August 2012 and is set to premiere in summer 2013 on DIRECTV’s four-year-old Audience Network, available only to DIRECTV subscribers.
The question with both Netflix and DIRECTV is how audiences will discover and find these shows if there isn't substantial marketing behind them. If they don't brand them, will they come?