In an age where streaming behemoths the likes of Amazon Prime and Netflix reign supreme in the realm of content production, any intellectual property supported by traditional distributors and television networks gaining domineering status is an achievement unto its own.
But, throughout the digital content revolution, content made under the watchful eye of HBO has defied expectations.
The vanguard cable network retained a position atop the pedestal for the best part of a decade with the on-screen adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy novel series A Song of Ice and Fire – Game of Thrones.
Beginning in 2011, the series attracted record-breaking ratings and secured a slew of award nominations during each of its eight seasons, accruing an international fanbase that made it arguably the most influential series to have been aired during the 21st century – until another HBO production dethroned it.
HBO is no stranger to mini-series, and can perhaps be considered one of the pioneers of modern short-format television programming, with a sizeable contribution similar in value to that of another network on the other side of the Atlantic; the BBC.
Thus, keeping with their past, HBO debuted Chernobyl earlier this year.
Based on the nuclear disaster that took place in 1986 at the eponymous Ukrainian power plant, the mini-series spanned five episodes and was soon hailed as a masterpiece of storytelling, quickly dismantling a raft of records, including one set for viewership on HBO’s online service by Game of Thrones.
But, it now seems that the streaming giants are back to usurp their traditional counterparts.
Created by Alex Pina and premiering on Netflix in 2017, Spanish crime drama Money Heist has reached soaring heights in a short period of time, obliterating a barrier that normally prevents the global proliferation of content – language.
Aside from capturing the highly lucrative market of South America, the series has won hearts the world over and was recently announced by Netflix to be the most viewed non-English language series in the history of their platform.
Season Three of the series debuted back in July and became a sensation thereafter, prompting its producers to instantaneously clarify that yet another season had already begun production given the immense success.
With Money Heist’s natural appeal itself an advantage due to the genre being centered around crime, and its proven ability to break through cultural and linguistic barriers, there’s no telling how far it can ago – perhaps even more than HBO’s gold standard.