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On Friday, Netflix subscribers will get access to all 13 episodes of House of Cards, a political thriller starring two-time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey, directed by David Fincher and written by The Ides of March’s Beau Willimon.
Netflix has high hopes for the series, which was filmed in Baltimore and is based on a 1990-1996 BBC series. While the company had done the same with Lilyhammer, that show was not preceded by the same anticipation as House of Cards and the upcoming Arrested Development revival. By posting all of the episodes at once, the company believes that they are feeding into new viewing habits. The audience would rather watch more than one episode at a time at their leisure, rather than waiting months to see a full season, or so Netflix hopes.
“I feel like what we’re seeing is a huge generational shift toward on-demand,” Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, told The Washington Post. “And Netflix is a pure on-demand product.”
Netflix has already ordered a second season, ensuring that there will be 26 episodes. According to Indiewire, production is slated for the Spring.
On the creative side, Fincher discussed taking on the new medium of television with the Associated Press. “I walk into this as a total neophyte. I don't watch much TV,” the Social Network director admitted. “What was interesting to me was the notion of having a relationship with an audience that was longer than two hours.”
Fincher directed the first two episodes and acted as showrunner for the remaining episodes. He directed Spacey in Se7en and joked that his character from that acclaimed film is now scarier. “Now that John Doe's in Congress, he's so much more evil,” Fincher joked.
Netflix is confident that this is just the start. The company claims to have 27.1 million subscribers and House of Cards will be available in 50 countries.