Streaming services have re-mapped the media landscape. The Netflix streaming service grew in just a few years to become one of the dominant means of accessing film and TV content, and its first forays into original content have been a great success. House of Cards, the first show to premiere exclusively on Netflix, has reportedly done very well, though the company hasn’t released official numbers to publicly tally the show’s viewership.

Netflix already has other new programming in the can, such as the fourth season of Arrested Development, and the Eli Roth-produced show Hemlock Grove. It is developing more shows, but being first doesn’t mean that Netflix will be able to remain the only streaming service with original content for long. Amazon is developing its own material, and now the Verizon/Redbox streaming venture and Xbox Live are both reportedly pursuing their own original content. Read More »

This extra-British installment of TV Bits includes updates on across-the-pond favorites Sherlock and Downton Abbey — but not all of it is good news. After the jump:

  • BBC’s Sherlock might not come back until 2014
  • Downton Abbey gets picked up for a fourth season
  • … but Dan Stevens, a.k.a. Matthew Crawley may be out
  • Watch the trailer for BBC America’s Ripper Street
  • HIMYM is getting a special hourlong Christmas episode
  • A Two and a Half Men star urges viewers to stop watching his show
  • The Daily Show is losing correspondent Wyatt Cenac
  • Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel join Girl Meets World
  • Beyonce will direct a documentary about herself for HBO
  • Get your first peek at Patton Oswalt on FX’s Justified
  • HBO’s Girls reveals the first images from Season 2
  • See how BSG: Blood and Chrome made its green screen universe
  • AMC warns FiOS customers that they could lose AMC channels

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Redbox, the DVD rental kiosk company owned by Coinstar, has been steadily encroaching on the market share of Netflix and storefront DVD rental shops for the past few years. The company’s biggest promise, the details of which have so far remained a mystery, is the eventual launch of a streaming service that will compete directly with similar offerings from Netflix, Amazon, iTunes and other companies.

Today Rebox announced that it has partnered with Verizon to make this streaming service a reality. The venture, which is currently unnamed, will charge customers a monthly subscription fee for which they’ll be able to take DVDs from Redbox kiosks, and access streaming catalogue film titles, with that aspect of the business powered by Verizon’s existing digital infrastructure. Read More »

Netflix’s shares may have dropped over the past several months, but as a news topic, the company is as popular as ever. After the jump:

  • Netflix supports a bill that would allow it to share your video rental and streaming choices with your friends
  • Rumor has it Verizon may be looking to buy Netflix
  • Netflix takes yet another step into original programming with Eli Roth’s Hemlock Grove.

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The worst of the Netflix backlash may be over, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be nothing but smooth sailing for the company from here on out. Even as services like Amazon and Hulu ramp up their offerings to compete with Netflix, Verizon has just announced that it too plans to jump into the fray, as it plans a major partnership with Redbox. Meanwhile, during a recent presentation Netflix CEO Reed Hastings named HBO Go as his company’s primary competition, noting that “They’re not competing directly with us, but they can.” More after the jump.

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