Netflix officially announced that it has acquired its first original TV series, “House of Cards,” from David Fincher and Kevin Spacey.
The show will be offered to customers via the company's streaming service beginning in late 2012.
News that Netflix beat out AMC and HBO for rights to the high profile series began leaking out earlier this week, but the company waited until Friday to unveil its pricey acquisition.
As previously reported, Netflix has committed to a minimum of 26 episodes of the Media Rights Capital drama.
That massive commitment was necessary for the company to land such a top shelf property. It also represents a shot across the bow for the cable industry, which is already privately griping that Netflix's popular streaming service could lead viewers to abandon paid television -- a possibility that could increase as the company offers more premium content digitally.
"House of Cards" success is not a fait accompli. Netflix's previous experiment in original production, Red Envelope Entertainment, closed in 2008 with few hits to its name. The company also said at the time that original productions distracted from its core business.
Fincher, the Oscar-nominated director of "The Social Network" and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," will direct the pilot written by Beau Willimon ("Farragut North"). Spacey will star.
“House of Cards” is based on the book and BBC mini-series of the same name. It followed an ambitious English politician and charts his rise to power.
The new version has been reset in America, but the political element remains.
“The gripping, serialized one hour drama has become a very important part of the Netflix experience,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. “David Fincher’s unique vision, the indelible performances of Kevin Spacey and the original version of 'House of Cards,' all have a big following among our members, giving the series a very good chance of becoming a fan favorite. We are thrilled to be working with this amazing team.”