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As other streaming services scramble to catch up to Netflix, Netflix has long eyed HBO as its biggest rival. And if Netflix isn’t hasn’t pulled off a decisive win quite yet, it is at least closing in. The company reported that it had 29.17 million domestic subscribers in the first quarter of 2013, surpassing the 28.7 million reported by HBO at the end of 2012. Netflix’s numbers represent an increase of 2 million domestic and 1 million foreign subscribers since the end of 2012.

Those figures come with a couple of caveats, however. SNL Kagan, which compiled the data, has not yet offered information on Netflix’s first quarter of 2013, so it could turn out that Netflix has grown as well. Additionally, while the two companies are neck-in-neck for subscribers in the U.S., HBO is trouncing Netflix worldwide, with 114 million subscribers globally compared to Netflix’s 7.14 million. [Variety]

After the jump, Netflix reveals in a letter to investors that it’s not renewing its Viacom deal, but is adding a new plan for families.

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Hemlock Grove 1

The Walking Dead ended its third season a couple weeks back, but horror fans looking for their next fix will find that other TV makers are very eager to deliver. Exec producer Eli Roth promises a sexy, gory good time when Hemlock Grove debuts on Netflix next month, while Battlestar Galactica creator Ronald D. Moore is re-teaming with Syfy for the outbreak thriller Helix. Check out new trailers for both after the jump.

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Joe Biden Veep header

Happy Monday! After the jump you’ll find the following TV news:

  • Patrick Duffy would do a Step By Step reunion
  • Boardwalk Empire adds Patricia Arquette
  • Homeland loses Virgil as a series regular
  • The Newsroom gets a return date and a teaser
  • AMC sets a date for Hell on Wheels
  • When are your other faves returning?
  • House of Cards  Season 2 is about to start shooting
  • See Veep‘s Veep meet the real Veep
  • The Office says farewell via a web series
  • See the first footage from Dexter Season 8

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The Simpsons Breaking Bad couch gag

Netflix’s awesomely playful campaign for Season 4 of Arrested Development continues with a banana-flavored Easter egg. Also after the jump:

  • The CW moves Cult from Fridays to never
  • Starz sets a premiere date for Magic City
  • Being Human gets renewed by Syfy
  • Jamie Foxx will direct horror for Syfy
  • … and see what else the network has planned
  • Adrien Brody is History’s Harry Houdini
  • Ryan Murphy‘s new drama heads to HBO
  • Jason Bateman says “Manage your expectations”
  • See The Simpsons‘ homage to Breaking Bad
  • … and Family Guy‘s nod to King of the Hill

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Arrested Development

Seven years, three months, and sixteen days. That’s how long Arrested Development fans will have been waiting for new episodes when the fourth season finally premieres on Netflix next month, as revealed by the streaming service today.

The fact that the beloved cult comedy is returning at all is reason enough to get excited, but Netflix and the show’s producers are further sweetening the deal with another extra episode, bringing the total for Season 4 up to 15. To celebrate the announcement, the company has released a new teaser poster which you can see after the jump.

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Cougar Town

It’s gonna be a great spring for TV lovers, with the returns of Game of Thrones and Mad Men just around the corner and Louis CK‘s new standup special waiting in the wings. Watch trailers for all three after the jump. Also:

  • Damian Lewis talks Carrie and Brody’s future
  • Look for cameos and references in Hannibal
  • Seth Green also joins Seth MacFarlane‘s pilot
  • Will Seth Meyers replace Jimmy Fallon?
  • Cougar Town gets renewed for a fifth season
  • TNT sets a return date for Falling Skies
  • Mattel is working on UNO: The Game Show
  • Bryan Cranston‘s Breaking Bad script gets stolen
  • See new images from Eli Roth‘s Hemlock Grove
  • Watch the first 14 minutes of TNT’s Defiance

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Enlightened

Let’s just dive right in. After the jump:

  • Enlightened gets canned, CSI gets renewed
  • A Once Upon a Time spinoff is in the works
  • Fox is developing an O.J. Simpson series
  • Is Jimmy Fallon replacing Jay Leno?
  • Adam Green‘s Holliston sets a return date
  • American Horror Story gets a subtitle
  • Sam Raimi will direct the Fox pilot Rake
  • Adam Scott could’ve been Jim Halpert
  • David Brent returns in The Office Revisited
  • Game of Thrones gets a new promo and a GRRM cameo
  • Hemlock Grove and Hannibal get twisted new trailers
  • HBO reveals a teaser for Phillip Noyce‘s Mary and Martha

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Streaming services have re-mapped the media landscape. The Netflix streaming service grew in just a few years to become one of the dominant means of accessing film and TV content, and its first forays into original content have been a great success. House of Cards, the first show to premiere exclusively on Netflix, has reportedly done very well, though the company hasn’t released official numbers to publicly tally the show’s viewership.

Netflix already has other new programming in the can, such as the fourth season of Arrested Development, and the Eli Roth-produced show Hemlock Grove. It is developing more shows, but being first doesn’t mean that Netflix will be able to remain the only streaming service with original content for long. Amazon is developing its own material, and now the Verizon/Redbox streaming venture and Xbox Live are both reportedly pursuing their own original content. Read More »

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