Streaming TV has arrived. Just look at the best drama series nominees in Sunday's Emmy Awards: Not one show from the broadcast networks. Four cable dramas. Public TV's "Downton Abbey." And one series that debuted online. Netflix both funded and premiered Kevin Spacey's political drama, "House of Cards," now up for Emmy's top trophy alongside heavy hitters like "Homeland" and "Mad Men."
At last weekend's Creative Arts Emmys ceremony, the subscription streaming service picked up early wins for "Cards" casting and cinematography.. Almost instantly with the February debut of its first big-name, big-money original production -- all 13 episodes available at once -- Netflix changed the image of streaming video from its early days of cute cat clips and viral selfies. Then the service cemented its status as a series-showcase alternative by debuting the thriller "Hemlock Grove" and new episodes of "Arrested Development."
Other streaming outlets also have picked up the pace -- and widened the program options. Rival subscription service Hulu provided a new platform for axed ABC daytimers "All My Children" and "One Life to Live," then launched Seth Meyers' animated comedy, "The Awesomes." Sony-owned Crackle showcased Jerry Seinfeld's road trip "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" and Milo. Ventimiglia's cat-and-mouse thriller, "Chosen." Even Amazon jumped in, asking its Video on Demand users to watch original pilots and vote which they'd like to see go to series.
This fall, TV critics' annual 10-best lists may well include both "House of Cards" and fellow Netflix original. "Orange Is the New Black," the prison portrait from "Weeds" creator Jenji Kohan. And streaming is only getting started. Having pushed beyond computers into set-top boxes like TiVo and Roku, it's moving onto mobile tablets and phones. More and more "smart TV" sets are being sold, with wireless capability built-in, turning streaming into "real" TV. Soon, even your Luddite parents will get it.
Here's some of what to expect this fall:
'Lilyhammer' (Season 2; date TBA). Steven Van Zandt of "The Sopranos" starred in the first Netflix original as an American mobster gone witness-protected in Norway. He's coming back for more.. New this week Ricky Gervais in seven episodes as old-age-home worker "Derek"; plus "Mako Mermaids: An H2O Adventure," sequel to TeenNick's hit "Just Add Water."
'Fugget About It' (Oct. 13). Animated sitcom about a New York mobster witness-protected in small-town Canada. Guests include Howie Mandel.
'Behind the Mask' (Oct. 29). Docuseries portrait of sports mascots, from filmmaker Josh Greenbaum ("The Short Game").
'Mother Up!' (Nov. 6). Producer-actor Eva Longoria in cartoon comedy of a disgraced music exec learning the ways of suburban parenthood.
'The Wrong Mans' (Nov. 11). BBC coproduction of office workers who try to be heroes in a messy kidnap case.
'Cleaners' (Oct. 3). Emmanuelle Chriqui, Emily Osment, Gina Gershon and David Arquette in the action tale of two hit women who discover a sedated 8-year-old in their car trunk.
'The Bannen Way' (Season 2; date TBA). More of the Streamy Award-winning series about a con man played by Mark Gantt.
'Alpha House' (date TBA). John Goodman and Mark Consuelos in D.C. comedy of four roommate senators, from Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau.
'Betas' (date TBA). Silicon Valley startup comedy with Joe Dinicol and Charlie Saxton, directed by Michael Lehmann ("Heathers")