Network Television has been in our lives for more than 70 years, growing as our lifestyles and tastes evolve. The days of only three major networks are long since gone, and with cable offering hundreds of programming choices, where does that leave artists? Through the years, the canvas of control has rapidly diminished, leaving the almighty dollar as the force behind scripted television. Networks more interested in the bottom line over quality and artistry has stifled the voice of the creative. The genre arguably hit the hardest is daytime scripted serials. Question is, how can the arts survive in the current structure of greed vs expression?
Over the past five years, many within the entertainment industry have begun to migrate to the web. The Internet is rich with talent able to put their vision online without pesky network executives demanding they curttail their creations for content or lack of time. There has been an explosion of talented writers, producers, actors and veterans who have made the jump, realizing the net is untapped and slowly rising as the place to be! What makes creating online serials appealing is complete control and 100% freedom to do whatever you want without restrictions. It has become a mecca for those in the entertainment industry and also serves as a platform for all genres, be it a soap opera, comedy, drama, supernatural, scifi or reality series. The variety is endless.
The Indie community has really benefited from the escalating popularity and We Love Soaps, as well as sites like Indie Intertube are popping up everywhere. Web programming is in its infancy just as network television was back in the '50s, but look at how far it has come in 70 years. In my opinion, the online arena will double what television did, within the next 10 years. With award ceremonies specifically tailored to web content such as The Shorty Awards, International Television Festival, Hollyweb, and other indie film festivals, the best of the best are being recognized.
I think one of the most important apsects that separates web series from network television is the interaction between creators and fans.
Audiences have a voice within the web arena, but most network executives have failed to see the advantage in that sort of engagement. Social media have played a huge part in the evolution of the genre, and I believe will remain a major component in the years to come. Twitter is probably the most effective means I've observed by following several A-list online serials. It makes a difference when creators, as well as actors take the time to develop a relationship with their audience.