Suspended by the sexual abuse scandal that led to Kevin Spacey's firing, House of Cards will resume production on its sixth and last season in early 2018, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said Monday.
Speaking at the Global Media and Communications Conference in New York, Sarandos said Netflix reached an agreement to finish up the last season with eight episodes instead of the usual 13, and without Spacey's character, malevolent ex-president Frank Underwood, reports The Wrap, Variety, and Deadline.
Instead, the final season will focus on Robin Wright's character, Claire Underwood, who's gone from being the first lady to vice president and then ascended to the presidency in Season 5 after her husband resigned.
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“I can actually give you some news in the room today because we have been in arrangement to produce a sixth season of House of Cards. It’ll be an eight-episode season that’ll start production early ’18, and it will not involve Kevin Spacey,” Sarandos said. “It will star Robin Wright. And we’re really excited about bringing some closure to the show for fans.”
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Sarandos said the lifting of the Cards suspension will not only bring closure but return 370 people who work for the show to their jobs. In addition, he said, about 2,000 people in the Baltimore area have jobs linked to Cards, which is filmed there.
Last week, the production company, MRC, told the cast and crew the suspension of Netflix' first major original show would be extended through Dec. 8 but said the crew would be paid during the break. Now production will remain on hiatus into the new year.
Netflix fired Spacey in November after the first allegations of sexual misconduct against him surfaced in late October when Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp said Spacey had made sexual moves on him in his New York apartment in 1986, when Rapp was 14.
“Netflix will not be involved with any further production of House of Cards that includes Kevin Spacey," Netflix said in a statement on Nov. 3.
Since Rapp came forward, more than a dozen men have accused Spacey of misconduct ranging from groping to assault in episodes as recent as last year and as far back as three decades.
Spacey is currently under criminal investigation in Nantucket, Mass., in connection with an allegation that he groped a 19-year-old man in a bar in the summer of 2016.
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