"House of Cards" premiered in London last night. Charity event for the Old Vic, red carpet, loads of press. New York Times will have some coverage in their print edition on the 20th. Youtube has a video, interviews with the principals. Whenever Netflix has shown the first two episodes of HOC (as they did at MIPCOM) the stock price has moved up and such move has been incorrectly attributed to some lame upgrade.
From NY Times online edition:
"We approached this creatively as a 13-hour movie,” said Mr. Willimon, who eschewed cliffhangers at the ends of some episodes because, well, he could. “Knowing we had two full seasons in advance, I didn’t feel the pressure to sell the end of each episode with superficial cliffhangers or shock tactics in order to keep coming back, in order to jack up the ratings week to week,” he said. “I hope our version of a cliffhanger is compelling, sophisticated characters and complex storytelling.”
Since the series is set in Washington, some viewers will surely wonder if the characters are stand-ins for a real political animals. “Yeah, people will be tempted to think that it’s a real-life portrayal of life in D.C.,” Mr. Sarandos said. “It’s not at all. It’s a piece of fiction that is incredible. It’s not an attempt to portray the nastiness of Washington. It’s an attempt to portray the nastiness of mankind.”
My comment: It's important to note that Netflix is taking the serialized drama formula farther than HBO, Starz, Showtime & AMC ever imagined because there is no time slot, there is no effort to get America and the world to tune in all together at a specific time. No need to deform the story in order to produce an artificial end-of-episode cliffhanger to entice viewers to tune in again after a week's wait.
Netflix will be getting a ton of free publicity for breaking free from the restraints of time-slot TV. It doesn't hurt that "House of Cards" will be terrific.