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.

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