Question: When do you know that a new entertainment form is here to stay? Answer: When the A-List players start participating in that form.
The newest form to officially be welcomed as part of the mainstream entertainment world and here to stay: web series. Sure, there’s tons of worthless crap out there. But there’s also enough quality that the A-list is starting to participate, namely Meryl Streep. Yep, that’s right, Meryl Frackin Streep, she of the 16 Oscar nominations, 25 Golden Globe noms, and 2 Emmy Awards, has reportedly shot 3 episodes of the Streamy Award nominated Lisa Kudrow web series Web Therapy, produced by L Studio and headed to Showtime to air as a half-hour series on the pay cable network.
New entertainment forms are always viewed with caution and suspicion by the established ones. When TV began, the major movie studios like Warner Bros. and Universal all refused to produce programming for the networks or sell them their feature films to broadcast. Now many of the studios are corporate brethren to the major networks and are the dominant suppliers of programming for television, broadcast or cable.
Web series have often been viewed with the same condescension by today’s big media players. But the times they are a’ changin’. Blogs are being made into TV series for the oldest of old-guard networks, CBS. And now Meryl Streep is doing Internet television.
Mark your calendars: November 2010 is when made-for-the-Internet series officially came of age.