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'House of Cards' Season 3 hits Netflix early, then quickly vanishes

'House of Cards' Season 3 hits Netflix early, then quickly vanishes
Francis Underwood came back to Netflix a little earlier than expected Wednesday, when Netflix briefly released episodes from the new season of "House of Cards." (Netflix)

President Underwood's first term got a little head start Wednesday.

Netflix briefly released the third season of its acclaimed political drama "House of Cards" on Wednesday afternoon, more than two weeks before its scheduled release date.

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Ten episodes of the new season, which chronicles the continued rise of Machiavellian sociopath and former U.S. Rep. Francis Underwood, were briefly available for streaming Wednesday afternoon.

Later in the afternoon, many Netflix subscribers on social media were saying the episodes had vanished from their service.

Lindsay Colker, a spokeswoman for Netflix, told the Los Angeles Times that the early release was "due to a technical glitch." She said the season will be released in its entirety Feb. 27, as scheduled.

The series, which stars Kevin Spacey as the charismatically psychotic Frank Underwood and Robin Wright as his wife, Claire, has won four Emmys over its first two seasons, including a best actress nod for Wright in 2014.

The official "House of Cards" Twitter account acknowledged the leak, saying: "This is Washington. There's always a leak. All 13 episodes will launch February 27."

Los Angeles Times staff writer Ryan Parker contributed to this report.

Follow @JamesQueallyLAT on Twitter for breaking news.

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