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Netflix to Bow Original ‘Lilyhammer’ Series Feb. 6

3 Jan, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Netflix Jan. 3 said it would bow its first scripted series, “Lilyhammer,” to subscribers in the United States, Canada and Latin America, beginning Feb. 6.

The eight-part series (see trailer) stars Steven Van Zandt (“The Soparanos”) as New York mobster Frank "The Fixer" Tagliano, who enters the federal witness protection program after ratting on his boss. A long-time sports fan, Tagliano chooses to relocate to Lillehammer, the Norwegian town that hosted the 1994 Winter Olympics. Of course, Tagliano calls it “Lilyhammer.”

The dark comedy represents Netflix’s inaugural effort to produce original programming aimed at luring and maintaining subscribers. The Los Gatos, Calif.-based streaming service is spending upwards of $2 billion this year on exclusive third-party SVOD license rights, in addition to creating original content.

Later this year, Netflix will bow “House of Cards,” a rebooted British drama starring Kevin Spacey and directed by David Fincher (The Social Network), for which the streaming service outbid HBO and others for the rights.

Notable to the SVOD platform, all episodes of a newly scripted series can be watched in their entirety without broadcast restrictions. In other words, viewers can watch all eight episodes immediately.

“'Lilyhammer' is a well-observed, funny and occasionally brutal story of culture clash, focused on Stevie's inimitable portrayal of an East Coast mobster,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. “We're proud to introduce this terrific original series exclusively to our members. If you love the first episode, there is no need to wait until next week, or to set a DVR, to catch the next one.”

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