Netflix and Media Rights Capital have finally figured out their way forward on House of Cards. The show had just begun production on its sixth and final season when allegations broke out about star and producer Kevin Spacey. The Oscar-winning actor was subsequently fired from the series while filming was put on hiatus and the writers room reassembled to figure out how to proceed. A number of options were posed—including killing off Spacey’s Frank Underwood—but it marked a difficult task as Spacey was the lead of the Netflix series.
Today, Netflix announced (via Variety) that House of Cards Season 6 filming will resume in early 2018 with an eight-episode final season as opposed to the usual 13. Robin Wright will continue to star, but as previously announced Spacey will not be part of the last season.
Finding a way forward for Season 6 was not only important so that fans could have closure, but also so those on the crew of House of Cards would still have jobs. If the show had been cancelled and shut down, many people who had planned on having months worth of work to take them through Spring 2018 would be scrambling to find work elsewhere. The crew has continued to be paid while the show has been on hiatus.
No doubt interest will be high once House of Cards Season 6 premieres to see exactly how the show addresses Frank Underwood’s absence, but I’d be surprised if they found a “graceful” way to write him out of the show. The character has long been despicable, and now that Spacey’s alleged actions have come to light, one imagines there’s not a strong desire to give Frank Underwood an emotional farewell.
There’s no word on when Season 6 will premiere but given the delay, it might not be complete until Fall or Winter 2018.