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Netflix will make a big impression with 'Arrested Development' and 'House of Cards'
Netflix is making a major push into original programming in 2013 with a revival of "Arrested Development" — a comedy that, thanks in part to the availability of old episodes on Netflix, has seemed far more popular in death than it did in life on FOX — and the launch of "House of Cards," an adaptation of the British political drama, produced by David Fincher and starring Kevin Spacey. It's a possible paradigm shift on several levels, as it cuts out the cable middle man with program that will theoretically look exactly like something you'd get with your expensive cable package), and as Netflix will be releasing all the episodes of each show at the exact same time, making timeslots and scheduling irrelevant. It's all but a guarantee that these two shows will pick up Emmy nominations in the summer, as Netflix has been told they're eligible, "Arrested" was nominated for 22 Emmys during its FOX run (and won Outstanding Comedy Series for its second season), and "House of Cards" has that movie star sheen that inevitably excites Emmy voters. But I'm curious to see what other effects they'll have on the business. If they're successful, will that inspire HBO or Showtime to make more episodes of each season of their shows available upfront via On Demand? Will they embolden Amazon (which is starting to invest in its own original content), Hulu (which has tried some web-only shows of its own) or other streaming services to ratchet up the money they're spending? Will they encourage even more TV viewers to cut the cord from cable, thereby jeopardizing (or transforming) the business model that allows HBO to make something like "Game of Thrones" in the first place? I can't tell you exactly what the impact will be, but something interesting is going to come of this.
Photo Credit: FOX