Netflix has picked up "House of Cards," a political thriller series from executive producer David Fincher and starring Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey.
In their first move into original programming, Netflix will stream the drama exclusively through its Internet subscription service. If successful, the move could draw even more viewers away from traditional media.
The pilot is being directed by Fincher (hot off last year's "The Social Network" and currently shooting "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"). "House of Cards" will be adapted from the book and BBC mini-series of the same title. That series took a satirical look at dirty Brit politics at the end of the Thatcher era. The Netflix redo will move the action to the corridors of power in Washington, where an ambitious politician (Spacey, last seen in "Casino Jack") does what he has to to stay on top.
Netflix has committed to a minimum of 26 episodes of the drama, which is expected to be available beginning in late 2012. The service has more than 20 million members and counting.
"The gripping, serialized one hour drama has become a very important part of the Netflix experience," said Netflix's Ted Sarandos in a press release. "David Fincher's unique vision, the indelible performances of Kevin Spacey and the original version of "House of Cards," all have a big following among our members, giving the series a very good chance of becoming a fan favorite."
Read Alan Sepinwall's analysis of how Netflix original programming could have radical effects on the state of traditional media here.