updated 01:35 pm EST, Tue January 3, 2012
First original Netflix series called Lilyhammer
Netflix will begin to show its first original series on February 6, and not House of Cards, as expected. Instead, the series is titled Lilyhammer, and is set in Norway, with Sopranos actor and E Street Band member Steven Van Zandt as the star and the executive producer. The series will come to Netflix subscribers in Canada, the US, and Latin America.
All eight episodes from the first season of the series will become available on February 6. The story is about a New York mobster who is moved as part of the witness relocation program to Lillehammer, Norway.
Netflix has been experimenting with original content as part of an attempt to reduce its dependence on major studios, many of which are still hoping to cling to physical rentals or TV deals and see Netflix as a threat. Starz backed off in after unsuccessfully trying to press Netflix for special treatment. Original content like Lilyhammer or House of Cards could see Netflix sidestep the studios entirely by giving viewers a reason to skip regular TV altogether.