[Yesterday].. Netflix…release[d] a drama expressly designed to be consumed in one sitting: “House of Cards,” a political thriller starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. Rather than introducing one episode a week, as distributors have done since the days of black-and-white TVs, all 13 episodes will be streamed at the same time. “Our goal is to shut down a portion of America for a whole day,” the producer Beau Willimon said with a laugh.
“House of Cards,” which is the first show made specifically for Netflix, dispenses with some of the traditions that are so common on network TV, like flashbacks. There is less reason to remind viewers what happened in previous episodes, the producers say, because so many viewers will have just seen it. And if they don’t remember, Google is just a click away. The show “assumes you know what’s happening all the time, whereas television has to assume that a big chunk of the audience is always just tuning in,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer.
The producer Glen Mazzara took a similar approach to AMC’s “The Walking Dead” this year. In the second half of the season, which will start in mid-February after a two-month break, “we decided to pick up the action right away ”” to just jump right in,” Mr. Mazzara said. Fans of the show, he said, have little tolerance for recaps, since many of them will have just watched a marathon of the first half to prepare for the second.