The renaissance in great TV is quite surprising. It’s come from the cable channels, which today are putting out more great TV than the network channels.

Wired took a peek at why and how these networks are catering to niche audiences.

From Game of Thrones to the new Arrested Development, television is better than ever. And it’s not just a lucky accident. Turns out that networks and advertisers are using all-new metrics to design hit shows. Under these new rules, Twitter feeds are as important as ratings, fresh ideas beat tired formulas, and niche stars can be as valuable as big names. Case in point: Mad Men and Community’s Alison Brie.