Wachowskis to Make Sci-Fi Series for Netflix


NEW YORK - Netflix's newest original series will be science fiction from the duo behind "The Matrix" trilogy.

Netflix announced Wednesday that it will stream "Sense8" late next year for subscribers to its Internet video service, which costs $8 per month in the U.S. The series is the first foray into television for Andy and Lana Wachowski, the filmmaking siblings who directed "The Matrix" and last year's "Cloud Atlas."

Netflix Inc. described the 10-episode series as "a gripping global tale of minds linked and souls hunted." The show runner will be J. Michael Straczynski, creator of "Babylon 5," which aired for five seasons in the 1990s.

By buying the rights to series that viewers can see only on its service, Netflix is hoping to retain current customers and lure new ones. Over the next few years, Netflix is hoping to double or even triple its worldwide audience from its current size of 33 million subscribers.

The high hopes for Netflix's expanding line-up for original programming is one of the reasons the price of the company's stock has more than doubled so far this year. The stock closed Wednesday at $190.24.

Netflix made its biggest splash with an original series last month with the debut of the political thriller "House of Cards," starring Kevin Spacey. This spring, it will premiere the horror series "Hemlock Grove" and the resurrected comedy "Arrested Development."

Without providing specifics, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has said "House of Cards" is being watched by more subscribers than the company anticipated. Netflix, which is based in Los Gatos, Calif., reportedly paid about $100 million for the rights to "House of Cards." The second season of the series is due out next year.

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