General

It’s hard to believe that just two years ago, the very idea of Netflix offering original programming was a novelty. But the gamble paid off from the get-go. While Lilyhammer never quite reached the buzzy heights of later series House of Cards or Orange Is the New Black, it fared well enough to get a second season, and now it’s getting a third.

The company announced the renewal this week. Season 2 hit Netflix on December 13, and Season 3 is expected to debut sometime later this year. Steve Van Zandt will, of course, return in the lead role of a mobster sent to Lillehammer, Norway as part of the witness protection program. [Variety]

After the jump, read all about Netflix’s newest original series Marco Polo.

Meanwhile, Netflix is also working on adding still more new shows to its slate. One coming up is Marco Polo, created by John Fusco (Hidalgo) and produced by The Weinstein Company. Among the directors already signed on are Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg (Kon-Tiki) and Dan Minahan (Game of Thrones).

Described as “a kinetic tale of high politics, masterful manipulation and deadly warfare among clashing empires,” Marco Polo follows the legendary explorer as he gets swept up in a war in 13th century China. The show will feature a “global” cast although no specific stars have been announced at this point.

Netflix is not the only one who’s recently shown interest in the iconic adventurer. Both Tarsem Singh and Francis Lawrence were linked to Marco Polo movies at various points over the past few years, although both projects seem to have fizzled since then.

Shooting on Netflix’s Marco Polo is expected to begin shortly at Pinewood Studios in Malaysia. The nine-episode season will premiere in late 2014. [Coming Soon]

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