House of Cards, How Netflix broke the TV pilot mold (video)
Ken Auletta on how Netflix broke the TV pilot mold:
When House of Cards came -- Kevin Spacey and the producers came to them with the idea of House of Cards they said, "We will give you a commitment without doing what every other TV network does which is insist on seeing a pilot, testing it and letting it compete against others. We will give you a two season commitment." Not just a one season commitment which only very few get a full season. We'll give you a two season commitment. And so people said, "How would they dare risk a two season commitment without seeing a pilot, without, you know, without testing it."
What people missed which is something they miss what Netflix actually did. What Netflix actually did before Kevin Spacey and the producers came -- and David Fincher came to them -- they looked up and they saw Kevin Spacey movies did very well on Netflix. David Fincher movies that he directed did very well. Political dramas did very well on Netflix. They had a built in audience for all of those three. And the British series that ran earlier than House of Cards had a lot of popularity on Netflix. And Netflix was saying, "If we could combine those four audiences together, we've got a show that's gonna do very well, particularly when you've got Kevin Spacey fronting it, you know, as an actor."
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