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It begins: Netflix branches out into original programming with Kevin Spacey drama series

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First they came for your brick-and-mortar Blockbusters, then they gunned for your pay cablers, and now they’re making a bid to become their very own network: Netflix has just made a surprising move into original programming by outbidding the likes of HBO and AMC for the rights to House Of Cards, David Fincher’s adaptation of the British book and miniseries of the same name. Acquiring the drama (which, as previously reported, stars Kevin Spacey as a ruthless politician) reportedly cost Netflix an estimated $100 million up front and a commitment to two seasons at 26-episodes—the sort of deal no one’s ever had the guts to make before. Obviously it’s an expensive gamble, but more importantly, it’s one that 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.