Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Will Netflix' House Of Cards Gamble Pay Off?

One of my favourite TV shows of all time is getting a glossy hollywood make over. House Of Cards was originally shown in the 1990's on the BBC, it was followed up by two sequel series To Play The King, and The Final Cut. The show offered a chilling scenario, what if the most ruthless man living in the country, who killed as and when it suited, and slept with whoever he wanted was the Prime Minister? Francis Urquhart (Played by the late Ian Richardson) rose to the position of Prime Minister in the original House Of Cards, in the process several were killed, and others lives were torn asunder. Francis was not afraid to get his hands dirty, rather than getting people to carry out his hits, more often than not, he'd do it himself.

Now Kevin Spacey has teamed up with David Fincher (Seven, The Social Network) in a lavish $100 million dollar thirteen part TV series. The action moves from London to Washington, and I'm sure this will not be the only variation. The difference with House Of Cards is that all thirteen episodes will be available all at once to anyone who subscribes to Netflix. Though not unique, this is the first time such a stunt has been attempted with such a high budget, and with such an impressive cast which also includes Robin Wright,  Kate Mara and Jaclyn Jones.

With no adverts, and an already semi-captive audience it's a risky gamble for Netflix, who presumably are hoping that more customers will sign up to the £6.99 per month subscription service. House Of Cards has been the hot gossip for over a year (when I first heard about it), now this gripping new thriller is taking the future of television in potentially a new direction. Should House Of Cards take off it may be the start of a whole trend in television making.

The $100 million dollar budget does have some security, not only do they have a viable selling product should Netflix want to take it out of their service (i.e. DVD, Digital Download). But it's actually a wise investment, and potentially one of the best money saving purchases for quite a while. Netflix have already committed to two series, with the second series already in the works, that means that the show actually has a cash value of around $3.5 million per episode, considerably less than some shows, The back to back filming of two series also allows a lot of cost savings.

Will the gamble pay off? Judge for yourself when House Of Cards hits Netflix this Friday globally.

Trailer for the show!

A brief look at the original series.

Purchase all three original series by clicking the link below. 

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