“They [Netflix] really took a visionary tact on all of this,” Willimon said. “They said, look if we put the choice in the viewers’ hands as to how they want to experience a television show, it maximizes their viewing experience. Anytime you do that, you have a better chance of people jumping on board, and getting invested. In our case, we benefited greatly from that choice.”
Willimon also talked about how, as a writer, the binge-watching model affects his writing.
“Yes, and no. At the end of the day, we can’t control how people will watch the show. Some people will binge, other people will spread it over the course of weeks or months. It just has to be a good story, either way. It has to be able to work in both extremes.”
He added that Netflix’s off-the-bat two-season commitment to “HOC” helped with the storytelling process.
“It allowed us to dive into the story in a much more sophisticated and expansive way than you might on a typical network because we knew we had at least 26 episodes at a bare minimum, and that means that you can layer the story in ways you can’t when you might have nine episodes upfront.”