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.

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At the end of last week I got into a twitter debate with producer Dana Brunetti (The Social Network, 21, Fifty Shades of Grey). Dana, executive producer on the new David Fincher-produced/directed tv series House of Cards starring Kevin Spacey, began tweeting about how he didn’t understand how some people didn’t get Netflix’s decision to release the entire season onto their streaming service all at once.

I understand it, and I get why Netflix thinks this is the way things should be. Netflix has ton of television programing available, and their users binge watch seasons in the matter of days. They have the stats to prove this. Why change whats been working for them? Why not challenge the status quo of releasing an episode a week with an original series?

I’m all about challenging the way things are done… but does it make sense?

So I responded to Dana and our back and fourth debate has now been chronicled by Mentorless and other sites. I thought it might be worth exploring further in a format that allowed me more than 140 characters.

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Don’t get your hopes up too high just yet, but depending on how things go with Star Trek 2 it may just be possible for Bryan Singer and Bryan Fuller to try and bring Trek back to television at some point. Also after the jump:

  • Bryan Fuller has a seven-season plan for Hannibal
  • James Patterson’s Private series heads to television
  • Netflix’s Lilyhammer gets renewed for Season 2
  • HBO cancels The Life and Times of Tim after three seasons
  • NBC picks up a half-hour sitcom from Matthew Perry

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In order to survive, Netflix is getting in the business of producing and distributing original content alongside their portfolio of catalog movies (a model first made profitable by HBO). I’m sure you’ve all read that they will be brining back Arrested Development in 2013. A couple other series are in the works, the first of which will premiere on Monday, February 6th 2012. Lilyhammer is the fish-out-of-water story of a New York mobster who enters the federal witness protection program after ratting on his boss. Sopranos veteran and E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt plays Frank “The Fixer” Tagliano. Netflix has released a 3 minute trailer for the series, which you can watch now embedded after the jump. Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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Netflix is all in with this original programming thing. They already acquired the rights to the David Fincher/Kevin Spacey produced show House of Cards, are interested in exclusively airing the rumored next season of Arrested Development and have now picked up a Norwegian-produced TV show called Lilyhammer. They show stars Steven van Zandt (The Sopranos, Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band) as a Mafia informant who chooses to move to Norway as part of the Witness Protection Program.

Watch the trailer for the show and read its full, official description after the jump. Read More »