“OhMyGod Netflix is making a series for itself—all the TV networks are going to go out of business—please someone stop them!”

A lot of pundits and industry muckety-mucks were saying that type of thing a few years ago. But here we are. A few days after the Emmys, for which Netflix’s shows received double-digit nominations, and not only has TV not gone the way of the dinosaur, it may be better and stronger than ever.

During the Emmys, the words “new Golden Age” of television were used more than once. Jack Lemmon described the first Golden Age as time when “you could try anything. Comedy one week . . . a drama the next . . . a musical . . . I mean . . . It was terrific. It hadn’t been commercialized yet and no one knew it was going to be around that long. There was this sense of total abandon. Total abandon.”

So if the first Golden Age was about experimenting with formats, then the second Golden Age is more about experimenting with how those formats are shared—their distribution.

In a recent Variety article, Vince Gilligan, creator of the Best Dramatic Series winner Breaking Bad noted the changes in television since the premiere of the show six years ago:

“I’m no expert on the sociological elements of it, but I’ve got to think a big part of what has changed is streaming video on demand, particularly with operations like Netflix, iTunes and Amazon Prime.”

Presumably, Gilligan was referring to increasing the show’s audience after the first run on cable network AMC. Many people missed “Bad” during its short seven-episode first season. But as the show became available on Netflix and other digital platforms over subsequent seasons, more and more people discovered it and started watching the new first run episodes on AMC when they got caught up. Now, with one episode left in the fifth and last season of the series, the show has hit all-time ratings highs http://insidetv.ew.com/2013/09/23/breaking-bad-ratings-record-granite-state/.

Point is, viewers finding good TV shows on Netflix, iTunes, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and anywhere else (legal) actually helps TV viewership in the long run. Netflix and digital outlets haven’t killed traditional TV. Instead, they’ve helped save it.