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Yahoo! Wants to Find the Next 'House of Cards'

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Yahoo! (YHOO - Get Report) is hoping to find the next House of Cards by entering the competition for original programming. The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend that Yahoo! is looking to acquire four Web series that would rival episodic shows developed by Netflix (NFLX) and premium cable channels.

Unlike Yahoo!'s foray into original content in the past, the shows would be "10-episode, half hour comedies with per-episode budgets ranging from $700,000 to a few million dollars," the Journal reported. The shows would be from writers or directors with experience in television, the article said.

While Yahoo! has dipped its toe into shorter-form Web content, producing a longer-form online hit series would be new territory for the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company.

The Journal said that Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer has reviewed more than 100 projects over the past few months, but nothing has been finalized as of yet. Mayer was hoping to have a deal in place in time for Yahoo!'s "NewFront" -- a TV ad sales presentation for marketers taking place later this month, the article said.

Yahoo! did not immediately return a request for comment from TheStreet.

The original series would be part of a broader strategic focus on video for the company. The Journal reported last month that Yahoo! was in "preliminary talks" to purchase online video service News Distribution Network. Yahoo! has also hired television news personality Katie Couric and former New York Times tech columnist David Pogue.

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