Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



The Unfolding Mystery of "True Detective" and Why TV's Content War Is Escalating Fast

The content war among broadcast, cable, and on-demand television channels is heating up, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video.

In years past, Netflix and AMC Networks could count on picking up leftovers from HBO and Showtime -- well-written programs that were presumably too niche for the big pay TV channels. (Think Mad Men and Breaking Bad.) No longer.

Game of Thrones already altered the equation by adding epic fantasy to HBO's lineup. True Detective may be about to alter it further. Writer Nic Pizzolatto's drama bounces back and forth between 2012 and 1995, granting viewers an up-close look at the "true" events surrounding the investigation of a ritualistic murder that's been copycatted in the present. Sound confusing? It can be, which in years past might have kept the show from making the leap to HBO and leaving the door open for AMC and Netflix.

Time Warner (NYSE: TWX  ) executives appear to have learned their lesson, which is good, because Tim says True Detective's slow reveal can be tantalizing in its complexity. He also believes actors Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey are huge draws who deliver strong performances as unwilling partners in Louisiana's Criminal Investigation Division.

So, apparently, do many others. Episodes 3 and 4 of the show drew progressively higher viewership after a rather typical drop following the pilot. Reviews are also strong, with 88% of critics and 97% of viewers verifying the show as "fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes.

Longer term, True Detective isn't likely to mean much for the stock of HBO parent Time Warner. But the very fact that the network is paying closer attention to (and paying up for) niche dramas such as True Detective could make it tougher for AMC and Netflix to find top-notch new originals to invest in.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Are you watching True Detective? If so, could have seen it working as well on AMC or Netflix? Please watch the video to get Tim's full take on the content war, and then leave a comment to let us know where you stand.

Your best bet for growing rich
Like great stories, some stocks are timeless. But how can you tell which are worth betting on for the very long term? Our CEO, legendary investor Tom Gardner, has an idea and he's ready to share it in the new report, "The Motley Fool's 3 Stocks to Own Forever." These picks are free today! Just click here now to start reading. 

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2841450, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 8/28/2015 2:04:00 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Tim Beyers

Tim Beyers first began writing for the Fool in 2003. Today, he's an analyst for Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Supernova. At, he covers disruptive ideas in technology and entertainment, though you'll most often find him writing and talking about the business of comics. Find him online at or send email to For more insights, follow Tim on Google+ and Twitter.

Today's Market

updated 4 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,654.77 369.26 2.27%
S&P 500 1,987.66 47.15 2.43%
NASD 4,812.71 115.17 2.45%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

8/27/2015 4:00 PM
TWX $72.82 Up +1.50 +2.10%
Time Warner CAPS Rating: ***