Netflix has confirmed a rumor from earlier this week saying the company wants to rival traditional cable networks by acquiring an original television series. In late 2012, the video streaming giant will exclusively offer its American and Canadian members at least 26 one-hour episodes of "House of Cards."

The political thriller television series, which is based on a BBC mini-series from the 1990s and was originally written as a novel by former UK Conservative Party Chief of Staff Michael Dobbs, explores the ruthless underside of British politics at the end of the Thatcher era. Executive Producer David Fincher (Oscar-nominated director of The Social Network and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) will direct while Kevin Spacey will have the lead role.

Currently, all TV shows and movies on Netflix are licensed from movie studios, TV networks, distributors, and sometimes directly from the producers. House of Cards will be the first exclusive TV series to originate on Netflix, meaning the company is taking a risk by agreeing to license it before it is successfully produced.

"Our goal remains to constantly expand our selection of previous seasons of popular TV shows and we may bring more exclusive series to Netflix in the future, if an opportunity arises that has the key elements a show needs to be successful; great storytelling and great storytellers," a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement. "We are really excited to be bringing you 'House of Cards' and will keep you informed about the premiere date closer to that time."