Memorial Day weekend is considered the official start of cable’s hot summer programming season where the industry rolls out its biggest hits and new original series.
From the holiday weekend until September, the cable industry will offer new episodes for a whopping 110-plus original series, reality shows and made-for-movies, dwarfing the handful of new broadcast network shows.
Usually the broadcast networks and other content providers take a back seat to cable over the summer, as hot shows like The Killing, Pretty Little Liars, Hot In Cleveland and True Blood garner the lion’s share of summer-themed TV headlines.
But the days of cable’s total summer dominance may be over.
This year most of the pre-Memorial Day buzz is not for a hit cable series or marquee original movie, but rather for Netflix’s May 26 debut of resurrected comedy series Arrested Development. The online content distributor will stream 15 new episodes of the series all at once– the first new original episodes for Arrested Development since Fox cancelled the series in 2006.
Fans of the series will be able to binge-view star Jason Bateman and the fictional Bluth family at their convenience, a different scenario than the traditional weekly schedule of premiere episodes most cable shows adhere to.
Next summer, Fox will roll the dice by debuting one of its most revered franchises up against the teeth of cable’s summer season. Jack Bauer will look to blow up cable’s summer domination when 24 returns for a 13-episode run next May.
After virtually having the summer TV playground all to itself, cable may soon have to share the sandbox with others.