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With launch of 'Lilyhammer,' Netflix is getting more like HBO

February 06, 2012|By Pat Benson
  • Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer for Netflix, in his Beverly Hills office in front of a screen showing "Lilyhammer" the first Netflix original series.
Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer for Netflix, in his Beverly Hills office… (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles…)

Netflix is debuting its first original series Monday -- "Lilyhammer," starring Steven Van Zandt of "The Sopranos." Entertainment business reporter Ben Fritz explains why you'll be seeing more original programming from Netflix in the video above.

Netflix plans to host "House of Cards," a political drama starring Kevin Spacey; a new comedy from the creator of "Weeds"; and new episodes of "Arrested Development," canceled by Fox six years ago. The company is also negotiating to pick up at least two other shows that it has not publicly identified.

Netflix is venturing into original programming in part because it expects traditional networks to make fewer series -- and that's where Netflix makes a growing chunk of its profits.

More than 60% of the 2 billion-plus hours of video streamed by Netflix subscribers during the fourth quarter of 2011 was television shows, not movies, Fritz and Joe Flint write in their report on the company's transformation from a DVD mail-order business to a streaming video provider.

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Video by Pat Benson

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