For House of Cards producer Dana Brunetti, Netflix–which wasn’t even doing original content when he started shopping the show around–was an afterthought.
In fact, Brunetti told Fast Company it was a “B team” that initially met with Netflix while he and House of Cards star Kevin Spacey were in London. When Netflix bought the rights to distribute the show and signed on for two seasons on the spot, without even seeing a pilot, Brunetti first had to convince his colleagues that it was the best move. Then, he realized it was an opportunity to rethink how it would be released.
“We had sort of kicked around that maybe we’ll do it in chunks. Because a big concern was the way the audience consumes and the water-cooler talk, and whether or not that would really sustain the life of the show. Do you just get a big hit and (then) everyone kind of fizzles away?”
The decision to release 13 episodes in one fell swoop was questioned by many in the industry, but Brunetti tells Fast Company it was the best possible outcome from a creative and business standpoint.
“A lot of people said we were crazy going into Netflix and were like, ‘What is this? Why would you do that?'” Brunetti recalled. “But there’s a lot of big names now in the industry that come and sit on this couch and ask me, ‘How do I get into Netflix?'”
Play the video to learn more about how the Netflix model helped generate buzz and endear audiences to House of Cards (and get ready to binge watch again on February 14th when all of Season 2 is released).