‘House Of Cards,’ ‘Peaky Blinders’ & ‘Arrested Development’ Among Series Not Streaming On Netflix’s Ad Tier

Netflix launched its ad tier Thursday, and several popular series are missing from the streamer’s library due to licensing restrictions, including originals House of Cards and Arrested Development.

While the titles still appear in the Discover tab and the search function, a small lock icon appears in the top right corner to indicate that subscribers of the Basic with Ads plan do not have access.

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As expected, several other series are also not available with the ad tier, including Peaky Blinders, New Girl, The Magicians, The Last Kingdom, The Sinner, Good Girls, Queen of the South, The Good Place, and Friday Night Lights as well as a number of movies from various studios.

House of Cards was Netflix’s first big statement of intent in the originals space. From David Fincher and Beau Willimon, the series, which starred Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood, landed a two-season order and launched in February 2013.

The political drama series, which also starred Robin Wright, Kate Mara, Corey Stoll and Michael Kelly, was a hit for the streamer before allegations of sexual misconduct against Spacey, which led it to produce a sixth and final season without his involvement.

Like many of Netflix’s earliest originals, it was licensed, rather than owned, and the adaptation of the British series was produced by MRC and distributed by Sony Pictures Television.

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Arrested Development was also one of Netflix’s first original comedies. The series, which aired for three seasons on Fox, was brought back to life on the streamer in 2013 with a fourth season and a fifth season that was split into two parts in 2018 and 2019.

From creator Mitch Hurwitz, it starred Jason Bateman, Portia De Rossi, Will Arnett, Alia Shawkat, Tony Hale, David Cross, Jeffrey Tambor and Jessica Walter and followed wealthy dysfunctional family the Bluths. It came from 20th Television and Imagine Television.

Netflix executives had already indicated that about 5% to 10% of programming would be missing from the Basic With Ads tier at launch, though up until now it had not been clear which titles would be impacted. Having built a powerhouse of streaming on the premise of an ad-free experience for both consumers and creators, it isn’t possible for Netflix to simply throw the switch and have all titles available both with and without ads. Instead, the move has required a months-long process of obtaining rights and revising contracts.

Netflix’s Basic With Ads plan went live at 9 a.m. PT in the U.S., UK, Australia, Japan, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy and South Korea. Pricing varies by region, but at $6.99 a month in the U.S. the plan is toward the low end of the streaming spectrum — less than half of the most popular option, which costs $15.49.

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