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Lovefilm takes on Netflix with its own House of Cards rivals

Lovefilm is fighting back against Netflix with original pilot episodes for TV shows, including a satirical show from The Onion.

Lovefilm is fighting back against Netflix with its own new TV shows to rival Netflix's House of Cards and Arrested Development, including a sideways look at the news from The Onion.

Netflix produced the Kevin Spacey-starring political thriller and the new series of cult comedy Arrested Development, so they're not on telly -- you have to subscribe to the online streaming service to watch them. And Lovefilm is getting in on the original programming action with 11 pilot episodes of potential TV shows.

The pilot episodes are produced by Amazon Studios, the production arm of the online retail behemoth that owns Lovefilm. Episodes are free to members, and audience reaction will help Amazon Studios decide which pilots get picked up to be expanded into a full series.

The new shows are led by a pilot for a news programme from satirical website The Onion. The other shows are titled Alpha House, Browsers, Dark Minions, Supanatural and Those Who Can't; as well as five childrens' shows entitled Creative Galaxy, Oz Adventures, Teeny Tiny Dogs, Tumbleaf and The Untitled JJ Johnson Project.

The five kids' shows make an interesting departure from the markedly adult original fare produced by Netflix. As well as the US version of the classic BBC series House of Cards, Netflix is also behind Eli Roth's horror series Hemlock Grove, and womens' prison-set comedy-drama Orange is the New Black, from the creator of Weeds.

Netflix and Lovefilm are locked in battle over the rights to stream films and TV. New releases are increasingly divided between Lovefilm and Netflix -- not to mention Sky -- suggesting you either need to pick one or keep access to all of them to get your complete fix of movies and TV.

Sky's online viewing service Sky Go can only be watched by Sky customers. Those of us without a dish can watch Sky Movies, and, soon, Sky Sports, on Sky's online streaming service Now TV.

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