Kevin Spacey Goes All Frank Underwood in MacTaggart Lecture

Kevin Spacey gave the MacTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival this week, passionately arrguing that the small screen had become its own art form, eclipsing film in terms of character-driven drama.

It's hard to disagree with, following some hugely ambitious shows over the past few years, including Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Homeland and Spacey's very own House of Cards

"Our challenge now is to keep the flame of this revolutionary programming alive by continuing to seek out new talent, nurture it, encourage it, challenge it, give it home and the kind of autonomy that the past and present . has proved it deserves," he told the audience of TV executives, according to the Guardian

Crucially, Spacey criticized the American model of piloting shows before committing to a full series. It's a weak format that allows executives to test the water for ratings though forces writers to establish characters, create ridiculous cliff-hangers and prove their show will work in just 45 minutes.

The actor, who is artistic director of the Old Vic theatre, pointed towards models like Netflix, where entire series are available at the click of a button.

"We wanted to start to tell a story that would take a long time to tell. We were creating a sophisticated, multi-layered story [House of Cards] with complex characters who would reveal themselves over time and relationships that would take space to play out."

The $100 million first series was nominated for nine Emmy awards, the clearest sign yet that the balance of power from traditional broadcasters to new digital platforms.

Of Netflix, the internet video-streaming service that has 38 million subscribers worldwide, Spacey said: "The audience wants control. They want freedom. If they want to binge - as they've been doing on House of Cards - then we should let them binge.

"We have learned the lesson that the music industry didn't learn: give people what they want, when they want it, in the form they want it in, at a reasonable price, and they'll more likely pay for it rather than steal it. Well, some will still steal it, but I believe this new model can take a bite out of piracy."

Ultimately, Spacey's argument was that broadcasters had to take more risks and go back to television's early days in the 1950s, where creative were given freedom to run wild with new ideas.

Kevin SpaceyKevin Spacey At The House of Cards Premiere

Kevin Spacey
Kevin Spacey Took A Risk With 'House of Cards,' A Risk That Ultimately Paid Off


Tags: Kevin Spacey - Netflix


More Kevin Spacey

Horrible Bosses 2 Trailer

In the wake of their struggle to murder their bosses in the first film, 'Horrible Bosses 2' sees Nick (Jason Bateman), Dale (Charlie Day) and...

Despite Emmy Snub, The Future is Bright for Netflix (Starting with Gervais Ad)

Netflix probably didn't have any deserved winners of major Emmy awards on Monday night (August 25, 2014). 'House of Cards' - which is fast becoming...

Primetime Emmy Awards 2014 -Breaking Bad Predictably Dominates Drama

The Primetime Emmy Awards were held on Monday evening (25th August) in Los Angeles and there was stiff competition in every category although the results...

Pussy Riot To Appear In Third Series Of 'House Of Cards'

Members of the Russian punk group imprisoned for their protest against their government are set to appear in the next season of acclaimed US drama...


'Horrible Bosses 2' Trailer: The Scheming Trio Are Back For Number Two (Poop Jokes Included)

The trailer has been released for the upcoming comedy sequel, Horrible Bosses 2, giving us our first glimpse of the follow-up to the successful and...

Horrible Bosses 2 Trailer

Having previously got involved with a scheme to kill their abusive bosses (a plan which didn't go exactly as they thought), Nick, Dale and Kurt...

Here's Why Kevin Spacey Absolutely MUST Be The Next Bond Villain

Kevin Spacey fans were sincerely disappointed to hear that the actor wouldn’t be appearing as the villain in the next James Bond movie, which is...

Kevin Spacey Won't Be Next Bond Villain. But Wow, That Would've Been Good

It’s hard to call this sad news when it was never news to begin with, but Kevin Spacey won’t be terrorising agent 007 in the...



Kevin Spacey Newsletter

Subscribe to this news alert service to receive news and reviews on Kevin Spacey

Unsubscribe | Unsubscribe All