Netflix -- reportedly outbidding the likes of HBO and AMC -- consummated a widely rumored deal with independent studio Media Rights Capital to acquire the rights to a minimum of 26 episodes of House of Cards, an adaptation of a BBC miniseries, set to debut on the Internet streaming service in late 2012.
House of Cards is set to star Kevin Spacey, and the show's executive producer is David Fincher, whose directing credits include The Social Network. The TV series will be available exclusively in the U.S. and Canada from Netflix, which had about 20 million subscribers as of the end of 2010.
Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. According to Netflix, the deal is a regular licensing deal except the episodes have not been produced yet; the company doesn't pay until the TV shows are delivered.
"The gripping, serialized one hour drama has become a very important part of the Netflix experience," Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement. "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. We are thrilled to be working with this amazing team."
House of Cards, based on a book by former U.K. Conservative Party chief of staff Michael Dobbs of the same name, "explores the ruthless underside of British politics at the end of the Thatcher era," according to MRC.