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'House of Cards' returns to Netflix February 14

The second season of the streaming service's popular show will return a little more than a year after the first season premiered.

"House of Cards" is one of Netflix's popular original series. Netflix

"House of Cards," the Netflix original series, returns for a second season on February 14.

The series, which premiered on February 1 of this year, has earned Netflix critical and popular acclaim, including the first prime time Emmys awarded to an online-only show.

As with most Netflix originals, all 13 episodes will be available on the day of its release for members to watch instantly in all territories where Netflix is available.

Netflix's binge-inducing release model is something the company has stood by, stating that it fulfills what customers want. Critics, however, have said the model has the potential to marginalize the buzz a series can generate as it would when it's presented like a traditional TV show aired over multiple weeks. (An interesting side note: Netflix is trying a different strategy for its first original children's series, "Turbo FAST," a partnership with DreamWorks Animation. The first five episodes of the cartoon will launch on Christmas Eve, but additional episodes will premiere throughout the year.)

According to Netflix, in the second season of "House of Cards," protagonists Francis and Claire Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, respectively, "continue their ruthless rise to power as threats mount on all fronts."

Reporter Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara) is inching closer to the truth about Francis' crimes. Billionaire presidential adviser Raymond Tusk (Gerald McRaney) demands that Francis reciprocate political favors or face retribution, and Claire must confront the increasing glare of the spotlight as it eats away at her and Francis' once private existence. The Underwoods must overcome these dangers -- past and present -- to avoid losing everything, regardless of collateral damage they leave in their wake.

Originals like "House of Cards" are a key tenet of Netflix's strategy to shift from its DVD-delivery origins to a self-proclaimed leading Internet television network, while taking greater control of costs and rights for streaming content.

More recently, the company has expanded beyond hour-long dramas and half-hour comedies, like "Arrested Development," with documentary films and stand-up comedian features.

If you're desperate for a "House of Cards" fix, Netflix posted this enigmatic trailer on YouTube.