We're now a week away from the anticipated debut of House of Cards on Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), but there's another video service hoping that original programming will help it get noticed.
Piecing together a Broadcast Now report claiming that Amazon is the company behind the project and an io9 report that casting calls went out last week for a half-hour Zombieland show, the prevailing wisdom is that the series is coming -- but it will take some time before the show is ready to stream.
CBS was reportedly going to run with this as a primetime show two years ago, after the writers of the original movie turned plans for a sequel to the movie, which grossed more than $100 million worldwide, into a television series instead. However, TV can be a pretty crowded playing field. There are too many pilots hoping to get launched, and major networks keep turning to reality shows and talent competitions that are cheaper to produce and pull strong ratings.
Netflix knows this all too well. It picked up Lilyhammer as its first original series last year, and in a few months it will greet Arrested Development fans with the long overdue fourth season of the hit show.
If original programming is expensive for networks, how can fledgling video services pay up? Well, Netflix already has more than 25 million domestic streaming accounts, so at least it can justify an investment in proprietary content. However, developing a show can always open the door to selling off international rights, syndicating the content after its initial run, and possibly DVD and digital sales down the line.
We'll see how this all plays out. Amazon hasn't gone public with the information, and it's usually quick to toot its own horn when it comes to content land grabs. It may also be waiting until there's a finished product to showcase.
The four stars from the original movie are unlikely to reprise their roles, but having the original writers, and a brand that just happens to play into the zombie craze that has only intensified with the popularity of The Walking Dead, can only help.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Aristotle Munarriz owns shares of Netflix. The Motley Fool recommends Amazon.com and Netflix. The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com and Netflix. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.