This puts Netflix on par to compete with other pay cable channels. I will be shocked if Spacey doesn't get at least an Emmy nomination, if not a win. It's premium-quality entertainment, and the series has single-handedly made Netflix a formidable player in the television landscape.
Rather than rest on its laurels, though, or continue a slow dip into this side of the industry, Netflix has a slate of more programming coming soon. Second seasons have been ordered for both Lilyhammer and House of Cards. The cult favorite Arrested Development, canceled years ago by FOX, will find a new home on Netflix with a brand new fourth season, before moving to the big screen. Ricky Gervais's British hit Derek is coming, as are two more original series, Hemlock Grove and Orange is the New Black, which star the likes of Jason Biggs, Laura Prepon, Kate Mulgrew, Taylor Schilling, Bill Skarsgard, and Famke Janssen. And this is just their 2013 lineup.
It's a slate of comedy and drama, new stuff and revered favorites. It's an impressive batch for a first year, and it means that Netflix is willing to put forward the capital to make a name for itself.
If Netflix begins serving up more new shows, maybe more of their subscribers will flee cable and broadcast. After all, it's cheap, and the quality is high. It will satisfy their urge to watch shows before they age, and it makes more competition for already established networks. If Netflix were to add in-season episodes of other channels' lineups, it would quickly dominate.
One advantage Netflix series have over their peers is that Netflix has decided to drop the entire season's worth of episodes at once. I've only made it halfway through House of Cards in the past week, but for many who use Netflix to consume marathons of episodes, watching them back-to-back, they don't expect to have to wait a week for the next installment, and Netflix doesn't make them do so.