Netflix schedules its original series 'House of Cards' for release February 1st

While Netflix has built its streaming service on content previously available elsewhere, its dive into exclusive original content begins in earnest February 1st of next year. That's when the David Fincher-directed House of Cards series that it reportedly outbid the likes of HBO and AMC for will debut, with all 13 episodes immediately available for streaming in all of Netflix's service areas. Lilyhammer was an exclusive of sorts that debuted earlier this year, however that was in association with Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

Netflix is going it alone backing several original series that will roll out over the next year including the highly anticipated return of Arrested Development (they're apparently looking for walk-ons, check the video after the break), a murder mystery titled Hemlock Grove from Eli Roth, comedy Orange is the New Black from Jenji Kohan, the creator of Showtime's Weeds, and the second season of Lilyhammer. There's no word on why the series will launch next year instead of the originally scheduled "late 2012" window, however production of the second 13 episode season (which Netflix agreed to up front) is already scheduled to begin in the spring as well. We'll see if the new push for exclusive content can cover some of the holes in Netflix's catalog and keep current customers aboard while also attracting new viewers, even as competition in the subscription streaming arena increases.


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Netflix Original Series, House of Cards, Starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright Available Exclusively On February 1, 2013

Entire 13-Episode First Season of David Fincher and Beau Willimon's Dramatic Series Available to Netflix Members Everywhere at Launch

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Oct. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Netflix original series, from Media Rights Capital, "House of Cards," starring Academy Award® winner Kevin Spacey ("Horrible Bosses," "American Beauty"), Golden Globe® nominee Robin Wright ("The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," "Forrest Gump") and Kate Mara ("American Horror Story") will be available for members to watch instantly beginning February 1, 2013.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101014/SF81638LOGO)

All 13-episodes of the drama series's first season will be available to Netflix members in territories where Netflix is available - North America, the UK, Ireland, Latin America and Scandinavia.

"'House of Cards' combines the best of filmmaking with the best of television. Beau Willimon's compelling narrative, David Fincher's unparalleled craftsmanship, indelible performances by Kevin Spacey and the rest of the cast unite to create a gripping story and new kind of viewing experience for Netflix members," said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer, Netflix. "In offering the entire season at once, Netflix is giving viewers complete control over how and when they watch the show."

From director David Fincher ("The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," "The Social Network"), award-winning playwright and Academy Award® nominated screenwriter Beau Willimon ("Farragut North," "The Ides of March") and Academy Award® winner Eric Roth ("Forrest Gump," "Munich"), "House of Cards" is based on the BBC miniseries of the same name. This wicked political drama slithers beneath the curtain and through the back halls of greed, sex, love and corruption in modern Washington D.C.

An uncompromising exploration of power, ambition and the American way, the series orbits Francis Underwood (Spacey), the House Majority Whip. Underwood is the politician's politician – masterful, beguiling, charismatic and ruthless. He and his equally ambitious wife Claire (Wright) stop at nothing to ensure their ascendancy. In addition to Spacey, Wright and Mara, the series also stars Corey Stoll ("Midnight in Paris"), Kristen Connolly ("The Cabin in the Woods"), Michael Kelly ("The Adjustment Bureau") and Sakina Jaffrey ("Definitely Maybe").

Fincher directed the first two episodes of the series, which were written by Willimon. James Foley ("Glengarry Glen Ross"), Joel Schumacher ("Falling Down"), Charles McDougall ("The Good Wife"), Carl Franklin ("Devil in a Blue Dress") and Alan Coulter ("The Sopranos") also serve as directors on "House of Cards."

The drama's second season is due to begin production in spring 2013.

House of Cards is executive produced by Fincher, Willimon, Joshua Donen, Eric Roth, Kevin Spacey, Dana Brunetti, Andrew Davies, Michael Dobbs and John Melfi. The one-hour drama is produced by Donen/Fincher/Roth and Trigger Street Productions, Inc. in association with Media Rights Capital for Netflix.

About Netflix:

With more than 27 million streaming members in the United States, Canada, Latin America, the United Kingdom and Ireland, Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) is the world's leading internet subscription service for enjoying movies and TV programs. For one low monthly price, Netflix members can instantly watch movies and TV programs streamed over the internet to PCs, Macs and TVs. Among the large and expanding base of devices streaming from Netflix are the Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and Sony PS3 consoles; an array of Blu-ray disc players, internet-connected TVs, home theatre systems, digital video recorders and internet video players; Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, as well as Apple TV and Google TV. In all, more than 800 devices that stream from Netflix are available. For additional information, visit www.netflix.com. Netflix's upcoming original series include the political drama "House of Cards," which stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright; the fourth season of the critically acclaimed comedy "Arrested Development;" "Hemlock Grove," Eli Roth's murder mystery series based on Brian McGreevy's gripping novel of the same name; Jenji Kohan's series "Orange is the New Black," which stars Taylor Schilling, Laura Prepon and Jason Biggs; and the second season of "Lilyhammer," which stars Steven Van Zandt. Follow Netflix on Facebook and Twitter.