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Netflix to Air Original Series on Marco Polo by Weinstein

Jan. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Netflix Inc., the largest subscription streaming service, reached an agreement to carry an original television series about the explorer Marco Polo from Weinstein Co., the independent film studio.

The nine-episode series will be available to subscribers of Los Gatos, California-based Netflix late this year, the companies said today in a statement. Shooting will begin soon at the Pinewood Studios in Malaysia, Netflix said.

The accord builds on an August deal giving Netflix exclusive rights to Weinstein films released in theaters starting in 2016. The online service already airs documentaries and foreign movies from closely held Weinstein, the New York-based studio owned by brothers Harvey and Bob Weinstein. Netflix is attracting subscribers with a combination of exclusive films, original shows and a library of vintage content.

The Marco Polo series will take place during a war in 13th century China, featuring martial arts, sexual and political intrigue, and battle scenes, Netflix said.

Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg, who made the 2012 Oscar nominated feature “Kon-Tiki,” will direct the series, joined by executive producer and director Dan Minahan, and executive producer and creator John Fusco, according to the statement.

Netflix, which counts more than 40 million subscribers worldwide, rose 0.3 percent to $337.96 at the close in New York. The stock almost quadrupled last year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rob Golum in Los Angeles at rgolum@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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