‘House of Cards’ Renewed By Netflix For Season 5, Creator Beau Willimon to Depart

Golden Globes TV Drama Contenders
Courtesy of Netflix

Netflix has renewed its signature drama “House of Cards” for a fifth season in 2017, but there will be a change behind the scenes as creator and showrunner Beau Willimon will depart.

“House of Card’s” fourth season bows on March 4. Star Kevin Spacey is on board for season five, Netflix confirmed.

“Netflix and MRC owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Beau Willimon for his strong narrative vision for ‘House of Cards‘ over the show’s first four seasons. As an Academy Award nominated writer, he made his first foray into television and built a riveting and critically acclaimed series, establishing his place in TV history. The producers, cast and crew join us in wishing Beau the best in his next creative adventure,” Netflix said in a statement.

Willimon said he decided it was time to “move on” after spending five years in the world of Frank Underwood.

“I’m grateful to Netflix and MRC, my fellow executive producers, our two incandescent stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, our talented writers, as well as the incredible cast and crew with whom I’ve had the privilege to work,” he said. “After five years and four seasons, it’s time for me to move on to new endeavors, but I’m supremely proud of what we’ve built together, wish the show much continued success, and leave it in the hands of a very capable team.”

The 2013 debut of “House of Cards,” produced by Media Rights Capital, kicked off Netflix’s rapid rise as a force in TV as a voracious buyer of original series. Playwright Willimon teamed with director David Fincher to adapt the British miniseries of the same name revolving around a scheming politician and his hunt for power. The series packaged by MRC commanded a two-season order from Netflix right off the bat, signaling the streaming giant’s intention to play in TV’s big leagues.

Questions about the future of “House of Cards” swirled earlier this month when Spacey and his producing partner, Dana Brunetti, surprised the biz by taking on the job of running the film side of Relativity Media, which is being reassembled following the bankruptcy proceeding that began last fall. Presumably, Spacey will be occupied for several months later this year filming “House of Cards” in the Baltimore area if Netflix sticks to its traditional first-quarter release schedule for the show.

“House of Cards” marked Willimon’s first TV series effort. He made his name as the playwright with the political drama “Farragut North,” which was adapted as the 2011 feature “The Ides of March” directed by George Clooney. Willimon earned an adapted screenplay Oscar nom for co-writing the screenplay with Clooney and Grant Heslov.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 27

Leave a Reply


Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Matt Toomb says:

    Wow. I am surprised how many people just don’t get this show. There will never be a “downfall” of the Underwoods, they’re the heroes of this twisted psychological/political thriller! The show only ends with Frank Underwood being declared King of the World! (Or of course, with Claire unhinging her jaw and swallowing him whole..) Kevin Spacey was BORN to play this role and this is one of the best shows on any TV. Why bother comparing it to source material when this is America not England? I’m glad you can all feel bonus point boners for sitting through the original, but nothing holds a candle to this expertly crafted soap. Ten more seasons! Frank becomes dictator of the galaxy!

  2. I liked the British version. I like the American version. If they decide to produce a French, Danish, or Italian version, I bet I’d like them, too. Why are so many people set on an “either-or” thing? What’s wrong with liking both? Sure the British version was the original, but the UK has a different political system, so to make it work for the U.S., it had to be redone for OUR political system. And it’s a great show. And there are a lot MORE shows, which personally, I really appreciate.

  3. Matt says:

    This version of House of Cards can’t hold a candle to the 1990 British production that starred Ian Richardson and a cast of quality British actors. While the original House of Cards primarily featured the skullduggery if Francis Urquhart, a British politician who claws and finagles his way to office of Prime Minister, this American soap opera is heavily endowed with the romantic intrigues of Claire Underwood (played by Robin Wright). Kevin Spacey’s role as Francis Underwood is definitely relegated to second fiddle. Francis Underwood is a buffoon in comparison with the venomous Francis Urquhart. Who or what brought Robin Wright’s role to such a prominent position in the course of the drama? I liked her much better as Jenny in Forrest Gump. Do yourself a favor and watch the real House of Cards from 1990 on Netflix.

  4. Zoe says:

    Enjoyed the show but over & tired of the lies & bullying of the Underwoods. Like really, how much crime and lying can one couple continue to do before the are caught and punished. Was really hoping Francis was going to die . Lol

    • PJ says:

      but i bet you just play along and enjoy the clintons lifetime of lies

    • Alan says:

      Well…look back to the last episode in season 4..the Conway’s “ARE” Francis and Claire, but 30 years younger. Season 1-4 were about the Democrats…season 5 and forward will be the Republican Conway’s.Netflix did the Dems and now it’s the Republican turn at being ruthless etc.etc.etc. I mean all’s fair in love and war right ?

  5. Just finished season 5 today (took me two days). And I’m still not tired of the Underwoods yet. I’m glad it got renewed.

  6. Jen says:

    I I love this series house of cards. When is series 6 coming out.? I don’t want this to end,tell Kevin kudos don’t disappoint to fan leaving this in mid air complete the series dammit Frank underwood never would have allowed it !

  7. It is a great show. It is reality in our faces. We need America to wake up to what type of people we elect to “protect” our liberties.

  8. S.P.Brody says:

    Please, no more. Mr Spacey is now becoming a a parody of life imitating art imitating life. . . . .

    No more Shakespeare please. The Boss was better as it was far more realistic than this.

    His “aide de camp” , Stanper, has been turned into some sort of lame dog, pointless characterisation.

    Enough is enough. It’s past the proverbial and time to move on.

    Flogging a dead horse comes to mind.

  9. House of Cards in all it’s up and downs twists and turns remains one of the most well written, directed and acted programs available. A note to Cynthia Littleton, Managing Editor of Variety on this article; You have misspoke in referring to House of Cards being a ” television ” show, it is not. It is a Streaming program, a show never meant to be televised via television in the traditional sense, but rather streamed through the internet via it’s ” channel ” brand Netflix. Streaming is indeed a new term, and seems strange at times to use it but we should all begin to use it within the proper context and to distinguish streaming, television, film etc in its format, availability, and means of viewing. Thanks.

  10. Dave says:

    I like this show a lot, but i do believe season 5 has to be the end, the downfall of the Underwoods, if its drag more than this it would loose its credibility.

  11. Noneofyourbusiness says:

    The show is done – please stop! Season Five is the laziest writing of any show on tv.

  12. Andrew says:

    It’s excellent. Seasons 1 and 2 were gripping and powerful. Seasons 3 and 4 saw a dynamic change to cope with the Underwoods in the White House, but the show continues to cause pulse quickening story lines. If you tune in expecting the show to give you a fictional facsimile of reality, the show you are looking for is The West Wing. House of Cards emphasizes the dark side of politics and pontificates “what if this type of person played the game”. The exciting aspect of the show is how well it earns its name, every season our lead characters are two steps away from either total control or total disaster. The differentiator, an inner steel and level of ambition Michael Jordan would fold against. Lucky for us, as viewers, they keep getting a good hand.

  13. Philip W says:

    Season 1 and 2 were fun but not as good as the British version. Season 3 was mediocre. Season 4 is pitiful. Can’t believe they are extending one more season. I tell anyone who hasn’t watched it…..Don’t bother! It is sad that Netflix could screw up such an opportunity by taking this into the unimaginable. One star is as much as I could give this production.

  14. Chan says:

    Claire needs to be replaced with a younger model. I know it isn’t in keeping much with the original (Brit) but she is looking a bit too long in the tooth.

    • Bree says:

      Are you crazy? She is stunning and in perfect shape.

      • popeye013 says:

        Robin Wright is one of the most talented and beautiful actresses on TV and in film today!
        They made one of the best choices in casting her at Claire, so where you think she needs to be replaced, I can only conclude is born out of pure ageism and sexism, both of which has zero place in modern society and in any walk of life.

      • Terri says:

        I echo Bree…Robin Wright is absolutely stunning…articulate, talent beyond anything thing “a younger model” could handle in such a role. I’m tired of shows with nothing but eye-candy and no substance. If I wanted ‘younger models’ I’d turn on any network station and be bored to tears.

        HOC shows the viewer the underbelly of politics while mocking it in a campy thriller, soap opera-esque style.
        Francis Underwood’s asides to his off screen confidante just adds to the interest and quirkiness of the show. Have finished season 4, and have to wait another year for season five!

    • She is amazing. You do not see talent. Age does not warrant talent.

    • RON HARMAN says:


  15. 85wzen says:

    I could never get past the 1st season… just didn’t take.

  16. John Bata says:

    Oh no. I really think it is time for this show to end.

More TV News from Variety