Kevin Spacey delivered the James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture at this week's Edinburgh Television Festival and during his speech he didn't give the usual garb of how TV bosses have continued to bring quality television to viewers over the last year, but instead sent out a warning to those still preoccupied with the old ways of TV consumption. He claimed that the old ways of watching shows in front of the television were coming to an end and a new era of internet-based programming would soon be the norm, where "binge viewing" and freedom of selection exist over scheduled timetables.

Kevin Spacey
Spacey says 'the times they are a-changing' for TV

The speech, which The Telegraph have reprinted in it's entirety on their website, was full of enthusiasm and vigor for the future of TV, but it is (apparently) a future that will look nothing like the state of television from, say, ten years ago. The future of TV, he claimed, will develop from the current craze of readily available programmes available on streaming sites like Netfilx - the website that aired his much-praised starring vehicle House of Cards. That particular show has become one of the most discussed programmes in recent memory, and for good reason too; not just because it was well written and expertly acted, but because it was presented in a way nearly all programmes will be in the near-future (Spacey claims).

"Kids aren't growing up with a sense of television as the aspirational place for their ideas; all they know is the incredible diversity of entertainment, stories and engagement that they can find online and if they do love a show on Netflix or Apple TV you can bet they probably don't know which network it originally aired on," Spacey told the captivated audience. He went on to say that the ways of watching telvision as a communal activity was still alive, only this had changed from sitting around in a living room to discussing things with friends online. He continued, "We no longer live in a world of appointment viewing. So the water cooler has gone virtual, because the discussion is now online. And it's a sophisticated, no-spoilers generation' and because of that we need never be alone with our Breaking Bad habit or our crazy obsession with Dexter."

Kevin Spacey House of Cards
Expect more shows like Spacey's House of Cards, if the prophecy is true...

Spacey's James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture, the first to be given by a major Hollywood star, managed to be easy to follow and informative and although his enduring message was 'the times they are a-changing,' Spacey seemed content in thinking that this will be a change that we will all eventually accept and adapt to, rather than have it thrust into our lives without warning. The end of television is nowhere in sight, but the end of television as we know it could be over sooner than we think.

Kevin Spacey Scott's Restaurant
Will the future of television mainly exist on the web?