Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Aaaaand there go the old shows...

Should we be worried about Netflix? I haven't been too concerned with Netflix's ongoing effort to become HBO. I would much rather it spend its money on acquiring OLD content, not producing tons of new shows, each of which lately sounds less interesting than the previous one. I understand the strategy, though, and I can believe it is tougher to get library content at a decent price these days.

But it's easy for me to be ambivalent about spending money on Adam Sandler movies and Lily Tomlin series when there's tons of other programming I want to watch. Make no mistake, there still IS. But this summer is worrying me.

"Mission Impossible," "Hawaii Five-0 (1968)," and "Knight Rider" left Netflix at the end of the month. That's two CBS shows and one Universal. In a few weeks, Universal's "Miami Vice" and the 1960s "Dragnet" will be gone. At the end of the month, we'll say good-bye to "Leave It to Beaver" and "Magnum P.I."

I'm not shedding tears over the loss of "Wings" and "Melrose Place," but they are two more long-running CBS shows that left Netflix at the end of June.  No, another season of "Glee" arriving in a few weeks doesn't satisfy me. Where are the new library deals? A big part of Netflix's appeal is access to commercial-free, unedited shows from the CBS and Universal vaults. I want to see these deals expanded, if anything, but right now there is no sign that anything is in the works.

I hope these shows come back in the near future. I believe "Mission Impossible" left and returned before. Netflix doesn't usually tip its hand on these kinds of things. We need to keep a close eye in particular on the CBS shows, which could show up on Amazon Prime or maybe on CBS' own lame subscription video on demand service, which could use a whole lot more content. Universal doesn't have its own dedicated offering yet, so I hope these shows will migrate to Hulu and/or come back to Netflix.

 I worry, though, that there isn't the outcry I've seen when other deals expire, possibly because these departures are staggered.  Does anybody else care?

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