One thing about a house of cards is that it's not too difficult to start rebuilding in the event it tumbles over.
That, in fact, appears to be the attitude Netflix is taking toward its original series House of Cards, as the streaming service announced today that the critically acclaimed show will indeed return for a sixth and final season, but without former headliner Kevin Spacey.
Instead, Robin Wright, who plays the wife of Spacey's Frank Underwood character, will be the big star this time around.
As Variety (opens in new tab) reports, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said the season will help bring closure to fans, and, in a surprising measure of goodwill, provide more work for the roughly 2,300 people in the Baltimore area who work directly or indirectly on production. Shooting will begin sometime early next year.
Netflix canceled House of Cards in October after allegations of sexual misconduct were brought against Spacey, initially from actor Anthony Rapp regarding an event that happened when Rapp was 14. Other allegations came to light soon after, with some from current members of the House of Cards crew.
Netflix suspended Spacey soon after the reports surfaced, and later said it would "not be involved with any further production of House of Cards that includes Kevin Spacey."
Netflix has apparently found a way to work around Frank Underwood, and most rumors naturally speculate that Underwood will be killed off to pave the way for the sixth season's story.
However, it'll be a relatively short story. Previous seasons of House of Cards had 13 episodes, but the sixth season will have only eight.
For Netflix, the final season of House of Cards marks the end of the series that started the push toward original content that currently defines the company. It has consistently received awards and nominations that have helped maintain Netflix's reputation as a serious contender in a changing marketplace.
In some regards, House of Cards helped legitimize "online television" as a whole, as it was the first entirely internet-based series to win major Emmy awards. Now, Netflix is facing a future without its flagship show.
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