Well, there it is: Netflix has announced that House of Cards will indeed be returning for a sixth and final season, with Robin Wright replacing Kevin Spacey as the show’s lead.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of months, you’ll know that Spacey was ejected from the production of the show’s sixth season after multiple allegations of sexual harassment and assault emerged against the veteran actor. There was much internal debate within Netflix about how to proceed with the show, which was already in production when the allegations surfaced.
Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos confirmed that the final season will begin production in 2018, and that it will “bring closure of the show for fans”. He also said that he production will provide some certainty for the 2,000-odd people in the Baltimore area who have worked on the show in some capacity in the past.
It will be a shorter season than others in the past, clocking in at eight episodes in total.
It’ll be interesting to see how the show’s writers work to wriggle Claire Underwood into the lead while disposing of Frank Underwood, though it must be said that the show hasn’t been particularly shy about suddenly killing off characters. I won’t spoil the end of season five, but it’s a pretty damn smooth setup for Claire as the lead character.
In October, just after the initial Spacey allegations broke, Variety reported that Netflix were keen to work on a House of Cards spinoff series, though it was reported that the actual direction of such a show was far from being set in concrete. A handful of spinoff ideas were being explored – so there’s a good chance Netflix will find a way to wring a bit more out of the franchise in the post-Spacey era.