And you thought your Netflix account was only good for watching old episodes of The Office online. Late Tuesday, Deadline reported that the online on-demand and DVD giant had closed a deal with Kevin Spacey and David Fincher to "air" their new television (or is it now "television") series House of Cards.
According to the report, Netflix committed to two seasons worth of Cards, for a total of 26 episodes. The series—which would star Spacey and have its pilot episode directed by Fincher—is based on a British political thriller of the same name, and had been shopped to HBO and AMC, among other cable titans. Now, why should you care about the fact that Netflix might stream it to your laptop, other than because it features talent like Spacey and Fincher? Because of what it could me for other television shows.
Extrapolate things out: If Cards winds up being a success for Netflix (financially and critically), the company could branch out and acquire other programming. Programming, for instance, that might be on the bubble at a network—or, worse, already canceled. Imagine if Netflix was around when Party Down or Better Off Ted were unceremoniously dropped from their respective networks. Or Arrested Development. Netflix could become a cult provider where series go to live, instead of live on in the petrified state of reruns. There are a lot of reasons why this won't happen—namely, how can Netflix have a budget to produce multiple shows—but if it does, well, this could be the start of something beautiful for television fans. Fingers crossed House of Cards doesn't tumble like one.