Re: Intermission 010 - Making things on the TV box.
Interesting. Just to sum up so I know I understand correctly: show owner sells Hulu the rights to air their show, and Hulu gets it's money back by selling ads. Presumably there is a point at which the cost to buy the show is paid for by the ads, and Hulu and the owners get a share of those profits (?).
I'm assuming networks work the same way, but with a much greater audience; the networks can charge more for ad space, making it a more profitable business model. That and the fact that television is much older and more established than the internet model.
While I do not have a couple million friends in my back pocket, that does give me an equally implausible idea. Since the online model is so similar to the television model, all we need to do is get more people watching online, allow creators and owners to sell directly to entities like Hulu (much in the same way musicians are now able to record and release albums without a label or contract), and starve the networks out. Easy!
I jest, but I realize it costs a lot to make a t.v. series, and I'm guessing the networks are paying for that as well (?). Not to mention the logistics; networks have the infrastructure in place to make them (studio, lights, cameras, crew, etc.), which would drown an independent effort before they had shot a single frame.
That's not to say it isn't possible of course. I won't pretent to guess at the level of personal pain and sacrifice Trey put into Ark, but despite the long journey it did turn out to be a profitable venture. I can't speak to its profitability, but Dr. Horrible also showed us that one does not need a studio or network to make or release episodic content. Heck, wasn't that kind of the subtext of the show anyway?
What about mailing networks checks care of whatever show you want to support? Kind of like the public radio model? "Keep it coming folks! We only need $500,000 more to get another season!"
Yeah, probably not.
I guess for now I'll just keep doing the Hulu thing until the Nielsen people stop by and drop off a ratings box. Or I make a couple million new friends.