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Netflix has entered the original programming game by outbidding HBO and AMC, among others, for the rights to the dramatic series House of Cards, based on the book and miniseries of the same name, adapted by David Fincher and starring Kevin Spacey. Netflix is reportedly committing to a ridiculous two-season, twenty-six-episode deal for the one-hour drama, which could cost them in excess of $100 million when promotion costs are factored in.
This could be a real game-changer for Netflix, which rules the movie-streaming market with a sixty-one-percent share, as Facebook and Amazon get their toes wet in the streaming-media market themselves. It's a risky move to shell out that kind of dough without even taking a test run, but, if successful, it could pay some serious dividends. Netflix has about twenty-million users already, and with cable TV reaching about 127 million households, Netflix as a mega-entertainment platform could attract many more subscribers.
The Oscar-snubbed Fincher will direct the pilot for House of Cards, which in the U.K. original followed an ambitious politician aspiring to be Prime Minister at the end of Margaret Thatcher's reign. The reboot will feature Spacey as the ruthless politician, but in a contemporary U.S. setting. Cable networks have to be a little uneasy as the internet future becomes the present.