The Netflix Natives
The streaming service is subverting and saving TV all at once, with help from House of Cards' creator and the star of Orange Is the New Black.

Netflix had already proved it could save another network's shows (as Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan famously declared), so why not produce its own? Never one to think small, it premiered five series this year—including the David Fincher–produced, Emmy-winning House of Cards and the Jenji Kohan–created Orange Is the New Black. How did they do? Three have already been renewed, and that's about as clear an indication of success as you're going to get. Nielsen doesn't track Netflix's shows, but no matter: The plan is to make TV ratings obsolete. The on-demand provider has already dispensed with another network anachronism: a singular identity. "Look at the eclectic nature of their shows," says House of Cards creator Beau Willimon. Netflix COO Ted Sarandos, he continues, "is attempting to provide something for everyone. What matters to him is the success of the story, as opposed to the success of the brand. Because of that, shows have focus and voice. It's a new way of thinking and, I think, the way all of entertainment is going." Taylor Schilling, star of the raunchy Orange, says the unofficial Netflix motto is "'Go further.' There's no clamping down from executives." She adds, "I feel like TV is at a point where old methods and measures of success simply aren't working. It reminds me of Hollywood in the sixties, when the studio and star systems imploded, making way for people like John Cassavetes and what many consider a golden age of film."

Beau Willimon, 36 (pictured, above)
Credit Check: The Ides of March, House of Cards
Slow Burn: "Knowing that we had two seasons took a lot of pressure off us. It allowed us to dig deeper into character without the need to have cliffhangers or weekly fireworks. Ultimately, we do what we think is right, and sometimes we stumble, but Netflix is a culture of encouraging risk, and that's a great recipe for art-making."

Taylor Schilling, 29
Credit Check: The Lucky One, Argo, Orange Is the New Black
Keep It Real: "Netflix isn't the first place to put the emphasis on story or to give directors a voice, but they've figured out a way to deliver content that matches where we are technologically. It's kind of a perfect storm."

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The 2013 Hollywood Mavericks
 

The Transformer

The New Kings of Doc

The Antiestablishment Exec

The Dynamic Duos
 

The Soundtrack Wizard

The Netflix Natives

The Cutting-Edge Comedians

The Character Actresses
 

The Crowdsourcer

The Creative Capitalists

The Prestige Producer

The Rookie Filmmakers
 

The Indie Auteur