Netflix gets into original TV programming with David Fincher

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Netflix gets into original TV programming with David Fincher

Postby J.M. Vargas » Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:42 pm

And Kevin Spacey too: http://www.deadline.com/2011/03/netflix-to-enter-original-programming-with-mega-deal-for-david-fincher-kevin-spacey-drama-series-house-of-cards/
...Netflix has outbid several major cable networks, including HBO and AMC, for Media Rights Capital's drama series House of Cards, executive produced and directed by David Fincher and exec produced by and starring Kevin Spacey.

Negotiations are still going on, but I hear Netflix landed the drama project by offering a staggering commitment of two seasons, or 26 episodes. Given that the price tag for a high-end drama is in the $4 million-$6 million an episode range and that a launch of a big original series commands tens of millions of dollars for promotion, the deal is believed to be worth more than $100 million.

Given the strong interest in House of Cards from multiple networks, observers had speculated that the project may get an episodic commitment, but a massive two-season order is pretty unheard of these days. Going straight to series itself is a risky proposition as attested by NBC, which recently tried it before reverting to the traditional pilot model. Besides the sandals-and-toga Rome, which was a co-production with the BBC, HBO has piloted all of its projects, including those with A-list talent such as Martin Scorsese/Terence Winter's Boardwalk Empire and Michael Mann/David Milch's Luck starring Dustin Hoffman. AMC went straight to series with The Walking Dead but with a modest six-episode order. Rome and Fox's CGI extravaganza Terra Nova started off with 13-episode orders. Snatching a high-profile project like House of Cards is certain to put Netflix on the map. But by committing to air and market a 26-episode original series, something it has never done before, it will also put the company to the test.

Netflix has been looking to diversify beyond movies. The day Amazon.com announced its entry into the online video space, Netflix unveiled a $200 million deal with CBS for two years for nonexclusive rights to stream such shows as The Twilight Zone, Star Trek, Family Ties, Twin Peaks, Cheers and Frasier. Adding original series to the portfolio seems like a natural next step.

In his TV directorial debut, Fincher will helm the pilot for House of Cards, which is based on the book and British miniseries of the same name. Fincher is executive producing with Eric Roth, Joshua Donen as well as Spacey and his producing partner at Trigger Street Prods. Dana Brunetti. The political-thriller novel House of Cards, written by Michael Dobbs, a former Conservative Party chief of staff, is set at the end of Margaret Thatcher's tenure as prime minister and follows a British politician with his eye on the top job. In 1990, it was adapted by the BBC as a miniseries written by Andrew Davies and starring Ian Richardson. Fincher's adaptation, set in the U.S., was written by playwright-screenwriter Beau Willimon (The Ides of March).


Boldness (and some pretty deep pockets)! 8)
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Re: Netflix gets into original TV programming with David Fincher

Postby Steve T Power » Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:53 pm

Always nice to see a new player in town, and that's coming out with both barrel's blazing. Kudos to Netflix, now lets see if they can go the distance.
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Re: Netflix gets into original TV programming with David Fincher

Postby mkiker2089 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:31 pm

This is strange because Netflix has done it before. They used to have the "Red Envelope" label that produced niche items and documentaries. Then they had a press release saying that producing content as well as distributing it was a conflict of interests and unethical.

Since they've obviously changed their minds, and are as of now supporting Stars original material, it begs the question of what is next. Right now the last stumbling block of the new TV age is the networks. They have the ability to tie up the rights for years and have so far done so to an alarming extent. Now at least Netflix can get terms into production schedules if not fully secure the rights like they have now.

Actually in some ways this parallels DVD. For the longest times movies were made without regard for DVD in the budgeting. A throwback to the VHS days perhaps where it was considered general studio profit and not really tied to any particular movie. It was difficult to get special features or even decent transfers because the funds simply were no longer there for that film and the expense wasn't fully justified from one department to the next. Then when studios started planning for DVD revenue they were able to take more chances and give us better products.
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Re: Netflix gets into original TV programming with David Fincher

Postby Dan Mancini » Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:16 pm

mkiker2089 wrote:This is strange because Netflix has done it before. They used to have the "Red Envelope" label that produced niche items and documentaries. Then they had a press release saying that producing content as well as distributing it was a conflict of interests and unethical.

Netflix never said that Red Envelope was unethical (I don't think). They said it was putting them in direct competition with their partners, which was a polite way of saying that Hollywood studios didn't like the idea of Netflix snapping up indie flicks all over the place and likely threatened to deny them licensing for streaming their catalog titles.

Apparently, they're not worried about potentially pissing people off in the TV biz.
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Re: Netflix gets into original TV programming with David Fincher

Postby J.M. Vargas » Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:21 pm

^^^ And here's why ('movies' also includes streamed TV shows'):

Netflix now accounts for more movies watched on the Internet than all of its competitors combined.

According to new data released Tuesday by market research firm NPD Group, 61% of movies downloaded or streamed between January and February came from Netflix. Its next biggest competitor, Comcast Corp.'s video-on-demand, accounted for just 8%, followed by 4% each for DirecTV, Time Warner Cable and Apple's iTunes.

The numbers demonstrate just how dominant a player Netflix has become in online movies with its 20 million subscribers, more than two-thirds of whom have streamed video from the company for a monthly fee that starts at $8. Only one other company, Amazon.com, offers unlimited movie streaming as part of a subscription, its selection is smaller than Netflix and includes fewer recent releases. Other rivals such as cable video-on-demand and iTunes all make users pay separately for each film.


http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2011/03/netflix-controls-61-of-movie-streaming-stock-jumps-on-upgrade.html
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Re: Netflix gets into original TV programming with David Fincher

Postby HGervais » Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:50 pm

If this happens, is this the first real shot in getting people to cut the cord?
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