February 4, 2014

THE SKED: “House of Cards” Keeps Standing


We don’t know how many people actually watch HOUSE OF CARDS, because Netflix keeps that information as close to its corporate vest as Francis Underwood keeps his doublecrossing strategies, but we know that Netflix is pleased with the result, because the streaming service/network has renewed the series for a Season 3 before the second season is even released (on Feb. 14, in its 13-episode entirety, as it did last year).

An early announcement like this is meant to make a point, and the notable one about this, apart from the show’s evident success, is that the House talent, including stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, were originally under contract for only 2 seasons, so Netflix had to go back and make new deals for the extension–something that doesn’t come cheap.  That sends a message to the entertainment community at large, first that Netflix is in the premium original content business to stay and values stability as much as any other network, and also that it’s willing to open its checkbook for the programming and talent it wants.  (But in the future, it may well be looking for deals that extend beyond 2 seasons.)

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."