That doesn't change my essential point, which is that broadcast TV has been a certain way because of the needs to cater to advertisers who want big mass audiences. Premium cable is more about what specific audiences want, not about what advertisers want. Netflix needs to follow the premium cable approach, because they have no advertisers to please.
I wouldn't want to see Netflix simply imitate HBO and Showtime. They need to forge their own identity, and not just a grab-bag of various premium cable-ish shows. Right now, they don't seem to be putting any thought into their brand identity.
Whatever their brand identity needs to be, Terra Nova
in its present incarnation is definitely not it. It represents a phase of TV that no longer even exists on broadcast, well, not unless Netflix is aiming for some kind of TVLand nostalgia approach. Someday that wouldn't be a bad idea as a sub-brand for them - new shows, made the old-fashioned way! - but they need a brand before they start worrying about sub-brands.
They need to identify the ways in which Netflix customers (current and potential) are different from premium cable customers, find some chink in that armor and exploit it. I can't help but think that HBO/Showtime do have a snobby, unapproachable air about them, big business, not friendly...maybe there's a branding opportunity for Netflix there. And then create content that could be on premium cable, but isn't, because they're too damn full of themselves. Mad Men
is exactly what Netflix shouldn't do. What they should do...well, I'm thinking Star Trek