Is There Too Much TV?

When John Landgraf says something, TV reporters listen.

The president of FX Networks has become a kind of guru of what's coming in the medium he works in. Landgraf isn't just a TV executive. He's a major TV fan who devours seemingly all of it, from obscurities like Rectify to behemoths like Game of Thrones.

His most famous proclamation came in summer 2012, several months before Netflix launched its first original series, House of Cards, in February 2013. He warned TV reporters that Netflix was fundamentally going to change the idea of what a "hit" show was by refusing to report ratings, no matter how they were asked.

And, indeed, that's exactly what's transpired. Netflix says all of its original shows are hits, but it never tells anyone who watches them. The streaming service was inventing the game of perception meaning more than quantitative data, one that's begun to take hold in significant ways. (In fact, many traditional TV networks — including FX — have stopped reporting overnight ratings in favor of ratings that factor in three days' worth of DVR viewing.)

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