Much has been made of US VoD platform Netflix’s move into original production and now it is finally here.
On February 1, all 13 episodes of the US$100m political thriller House of Cards became available to subscribers, giving them the choice of watching them in a binge-viewing session or one at a time, depending on the user’s viewing habits.
But for those who do not yet subscribe to Netflix in the US and its international operations in the UK and Ireland, Scandinavia, Latin America, Brasil and Canada, the service has made the first episode available free to view for one month.
House of Cards, based on the BBC miniseries of the same name, is executive produced by David Fincher, Beau Willimon, Joshua Donen, Eric Roth, Kevin Spacey, Dana Brunetti, Andrew Davies, Michael Dobbs and John Melfi. It is produced by Donen, Fincher, Roth and Trigger Street Productions, in association with Media Rights Capital for Netflix.
Fincher (The Social Network) directed the first two episodes.
The political drama stars Spacey as Francis Underwood, the House Majority Whip – masterful, beguiling, charismatic and ruthless. He and his equally ambitious wife Claire (Robin Wright) stop at nothing to ensure their ascendancy.
What impact this one-episode-free strategy will have on Netflix subscription rates in the short-term remains to be seen, though it is the long-term effect of the platform’s decision to release all 13 episodes at once that will have a greater influence on the future of television as broadcast schedules continue to lose ground on DVR players and catch-up services.
See the House of Cards trailer here:
See the first episode here.
Other original dramas coming to Netflix include Hemlock Grove, produced by Gaumont International Television, and Orange is the New Black, from Lionsgate Television.