Netflix is getting into original content, aiming for five new shows a year

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Netflix is hoping that 2013 will be a breakout year for the company with regards to how people think about the service. The company that was once known for offering DVDs by mail before providing streaming video is now getting into original content with the first series set to air later this week.

House of Cards is a political drama developed by Beau Willimon exclusively for Netflix. It stars Kevin Spacey as a ruthless politician that will do anything to score a job in the White House. If a big name actor like Kevin Spacey wasn’t enough of a hint, the show’s $100 million budget should tell you that Netflix is serious about creating original content.

During a recent interview with GQ, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said the plan is to generate at least five original programs each year starting in 2013. Indeed, they are well on their way as Netflix already has six original series in the pipeline for US audiences this year.

Sarandos said Netflix’s pitch is appealing to filmmakers and show creators because they don’t require a TV pilot, a one-off episode that tries to convince a network to pick up a new series for a season. Instead, the streaming video company commits to a full season from the beginning.

The executive told the publication he believes they have the chance to radically change the depth of character connectivity and further blur the lines between television and movies. Ultimately, the goal is to become HBO faster than HBO can become Netflix.

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