Hulu and Netflix launch original Web programming -

Hulu and Netflix launch original Web programming

Streaming giants take first step toward the Internet replacing regular TV

Lights, camera...Internet
Evan Agostini/AP

Clearly there aren’t enough videos on the Internet. In February, the streaming giants Hulu and Netflix branched into original programming, with Hulu launching the comedy Battleground a week after Netflix unveiled its drama Lilyhammer. Despite their proclamations that this is the first step toward replacing regular TV, both shows reflect just how little money the companies are willing or able to invest: Lilyhammer takes place in Norway so that Norwegian television can pick up a lot of the tab, while Battleground creator J.D. Walsh joked, “Wait, other shows have a writers’s room?” to TV Guide. But with TV content less readily available to Web services, this may be the first step toward planning for the future: like cable companies, the Web firms realize that original content is a more durable investment than reruns. Of course, they might make more money if they’d make Hulu available in Canada.