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House of Cards star Spacey dreams of 'no cliff-hangers, no spoilers'

Kevin Spacey reckons Netflix could do away with the TV show as we know it and bring an end to "arbitrary cliff-hangers".

Kevin Spacey, star of Netflix political potboiler House of Cards, reckons the new online-focused way of making entertainment could transform the TV show as we know it and bring an end to "arbitrary cliff-hangers".

Online streaming service Netflix paid for and released the US adaptation of House of Cards without it ever going near a TV channel, based on data about viewers' habits suggesting the show would be a success. It's a new model for both producing and viewing a show, as each series is made available in one go, worldwide. 

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Front Row, Spacey reiterates his argument that the Netflix model has "learned the lesson the music industry didn't learn: give them what they want, when they want it, in the form they want it, at a reasonable price."

No cliff-hangers 

"While it's exciting to be part of a new paradigm, the audience doesn't give a s**t about the platform -- they just want good content," says the two-time Oscar-winning actor. "Audiences want to be in control, to treat entertainment like a novel: they pick it up when they want, they put it down when they want."

Spacey even posits a time when stories could abandon traditional 45-minute-long episodes we're familiar with from telly, wondering "whether or not you could, for example, tell a 13-hour... experience; with no breaks, with the audience in absolute control of when they push pause. There are no chapter endings, there are no arbitrary cliff-hangers... there's just story-telling."

No spoilers 

There are a few things Spacey is less keen to talk about, including the actual show he's in. "We live in a really cool non-spoiler generation, so it's really uncool of me as the actor to start spoiling things for people just because a journalist asked me to reveal things. So I'm not going to play the game." Good for you, Kev.

And he told Auntie Beeb that the crucial viewing numbers, which allow Netflix to commit to shows, are also "none of your business."

CNET UK has previously exclusively revealed that original programming still lags behind imports from tellyland such as Breaking Bad and Doctor Who, according to measuring company SimilarWeb. 

Season two of House of Cards joins season one -- and the original BBC adaptation starring Ian Richardson, to boot -- on Netflix now. Netflix costs £5.99 per month.