14. House of Cards
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, Kate Mara, Corey Stoll, Kristen Connolly, Sakina Jaffrey, Sebastian Arcelus, Constance Zimmer, Sandrine Holt, Jayne Atkinson, Mahershala Ali, Michael Kelly
Premieres: February 1
Why we're excited: Netflix has already launched its inaugural original series, Lilyhammer, but that show has mostly flown under the radar. House of Cards, however, will almost certainly gain attention for leading man Kevin Spacey alone (who developed the show with David Fincher and Beau Willimon), and if the series is a hit it could set the next big phase of original television programming in motion.
Adapted from a BBC miniseries, Cards features Spacey as Frank Underwood, a politician working very closely with the next president of the United States, who goes on the offensive against the administration when he doesn't receive his promised appointment as Secretary of State. His ruthless retaliation sets a secret political scandal in motion. Skeletons are unearthed, backs are stabbed and judging by trailers, it's all done with a cinematic, HBO-style execution.
It's been awhile since there was a popping political drama that didn't also involve spies, bullets, and explosions. House of Cards looks poised to put the genre back on the map while paving new territory for the video rental giant.