Magazine article ADWEEK

Five Great Shows You Can't See on Linear TV

Magazine article ADWEEK

Five Great Shows You Can't See on Linear TV

Article excerpt

If you're promoting or buying programming during this year's Digital, Content NewFronts, one question you'll inevitably hear from clients is: "Yes, it's good--but is it as good as television?" Every service, ad-supported or not, is trying to establish a brand with content its users can't get anywhere else, and some are definitely better than others. Here, five very different shows that make good on the oft-broken promise of top-tier, entertaining video that's not found on linear television.



What's dark as pitch and British all over? Why, it's Black Mirror, Charlie Brooker's bleak, satirical anthology series about contemporary technology and all the ways it separates us from each other under the guise of drawing us together. The horrifying premiere episode, The National Anthem, is a small masterpiece but has taken a while to get stateside, possibly because the whole series is a mere six episodes (two seasons of three) and possibly because it plays like a hard-R Outer Limits. Now it arrives here courtesy of DirecTV, which seems to have realized it can't just provide the video content everybody else has anymore--rather, it has to have something special just for its own subscribers.



One of most undeservedly obscure streaming services out there is Acorn, a subscription-based Web platform featuring every great British miniseries you know (and quite a few that haven't yet made it across the pond) in its library. Among its offerings: Foyle's War, a 90-minute mystery series about a middle-aged detective vet who isn't allowed to serve in World War II. Instead, he's charged with solving all the murders, arsons and robberies that go on in his quaint little English town as it crumbles around his ears.



Discovery Communications decided not too long ago that it would make its own Web platforms loosely connected to its linear networks but with content all their own. …

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