NETFLIX Programming Based on Books

House of Cards SpaceyNetflix begins streaming an original series today, House of Cards, starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. The first two episodes of the 13-part series are directed by David Fincher (The Social Network). It is based on a BBC series (with the setting changed from the House of Commons to the House of Representatives), which in turn is based on a trilogy of novels by former British Conservative Party Chief of Staff and best-selling author in Britain, Michael Dobbs:

  • House of Cards (1989)
  • To Play the King (1992)
  • The Final Cut (1994)

The novels are no longer in print in the U.S., but several libraries own them.

House of CardsNPR covers the new venture today  and NPR’s movie critic, David Bianculli, gives House of Cards a thumbs up, saying it “is to Netflix what The Sopranos was to HBO…an identity maker and a game changer.” He also gives kudos to the original, a “wonderful British miniseries from 1990, which starred Ian Richardson as a career politician who spoke to the camera directly as he schemed and charmed his way through the corridors of power.”  That series is owned by libraries; if it is languishing on your shelves, now is the time to put it on display.

Netflix is currently at work on another series, based on a book, Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman (RH/Spiegel & Grau, 2010). It is being directed by Weeds creator Jenji Kohan.

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