Nellie Andreeva

Netflix just announced that it has acquired House of Cards, a political thriller drama series from executive producer/director David Fincher starring Kevin Spacey, which will be distributed exclusively via the company’s Internet subscription service. This marks Netflix’s first foray into original programming.

Netflix, which has more than 20 million subscribers at the moment, has committed to 26 episodes of the drama, which is being produced by Media Rights Capital. Its premiere is scheduled for almost two years from now, in late 2012. Over the next year, the show will work on the 13 scripts for its first season. Fincher, who is now busy directing The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, will direct the first episode of House of Cards next spring. That episode will then be evaluated like a pilot, and adjustments will be made if needed before production on the remaining episodes commences. In the next 3-6 months, MRC is expected to assemble a team to support the big production. More from Netflix’s release:

A satirical tale of power, corruption and lies, “House of Cards” is based on the book and acclaimed BBC mini-series of the same name. “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.”

Originally written as a novel by former U.K. Conservative Party Chief of Staff Michael Dobbs, “House of Cards” explores the ruthless underside of British politics at the end of the Thatcher era. Reset against the backdrop of modern-day U.S. electoral politics, the new one-hour drama follows an ambitious politician (Spacey) with his eye on the top job.

Scripts for 13 episodes will be delivered before production on the “House of Cards” pilot begins in the spring of 2012. Production on subsequent episodes of “House of Cards” will commence several months later, allowing producers time to carefully develop the series.

Media Rights Capital’s “House of Cards” stars Kevin Spacey (Casino Jack) and was developed by Beau Willimon (The Ides of March). David Fincher (The Social Network), Josh Donen (Spartacus: Blood and Sand), Academy Award-winner Eric Roth (Forrest Gump ), along with Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti of Trigger Street Productions (The Social Network) are Executive Producers for the series. Emmy Award-winner Andrew Davies and Michael Dobbs, who produced the original BBC series, also serve as Executive Producers, with Willimon as Co-Executive Producer. The “House of Cards” pilot is written by Willimon and will be directed by Fincher.

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