Deadline's Nellie Andreeva's reported that Netflix was the lead bidder to acquire House of Cards, a television series developed by David Fincher and Kevin Spacey. Rather than focusing on the two big Hollywood names involved, most of the chatter this morning was centered on how Netflix--which has already reshaped the home video experience--now seems poised to change the rules on original programming.
In a signal that it wants to compete with networks like HBO and AMC, Netflix's offer is getting attention for its sheer size--the Deadline report pegs it at $100 million for two seasons, 26 episodes upfront--says New York magazine's Kyle Buchanan. The company with no experience in original programming "not only picked up a marquee series," but also "upended the way television deals are made: Never before has anyone made such an up-front commitment to a one-hour drama, and suffice it to say, it's a landmark move away from networks and towards a new Internet-derived future, as well." At The A.V. Club, Sean O'Neal seems to be only slightly kidding when he predicts the deal, if succesful, "could herald the tectonic shift from traditional TV networks toward an Internet-based, streaming future should it prove successful. Next up: Netflix handles your dreams."
Andreeva says the move is "probably the biggest gamble in [the company's] 14-year history, " but also argues it was neccessary. With the company "feeling the heat from new competition" looking to take a bite out of Nextflix's share of the streaming movie market, original content would distinguish them from the immitators. In this regard, writes Andreeva, Netflix is mirroring the corporate evolution of HBO, which "established itself as premium cable movie channel before hitting gold with original series that have now become its bread and butter."
Which is ironic, because all HBO really wants to do right now is be Netflix