Why House Of Cards Season 5 Worked After Losing Its Creator, According To Neve Campbell

LeAnn and Claire in a meeting

Producing long running TV shows are a tricky thing. Although the first few seasons are an excitingly new time where the cast and creatives can allow their artistry to flow freely, it can be hard to sustain the same excitement as the years go by. And when showrunners depart, it can be even harder. So when Netflix's pride and joy House of Cards lost its showrunner and creator Beau Willimon after Season 4, skeptics feared for the future of the political drama. But according cast member Neve Campbell, those worries are for naught.

I had the opportunity to speak with Neve Campbell and Michael Kelly at Netflix's recent press junket in New York City. Regarding Beau Willimon's departure and the handling of Season 5, Campbell said:

It felt different in the sense that we love Beau. He became a dear friend to all of us. And it's a family on the show. So in that way it's challenging, and the man's a genius. But I think Netflix was really smart in not taking someone from outside the show, and trying to bring them in. Because they had big shoes to fill. So having Frank and Melissa take over, who were already writing on the show, and already knew the voices of the characters, and knew where Beau was going with. I think that was a very smart move.

Well, this should put the critics at ease. While Beau Willimon's departure may have confused and terrified the hardcore fandom, House of Cards is still very much being run from within the family. No stranger was brought in, instead two senior writers got major promotions.

Those two new showrunners are Frank Pugliese and Melissa James Gibson. The duo joined the series back in Season 3, and have each written quite a few episodes during the last two seasons of House of Cards. They had two seasons to get to know creator Beau Willimon, as well as each of the show's main characters. Frank, Claire, Doug, and the whole motley crew are very complex and layered creations, so they needed to be handled delicately.

It should be interesting to see where House of Cards goes in Season 5. The past four seasons saw the Underwoods commit heinous acts or murder and villainy, ultimately landing Frank in the Oval Office. But Season 4 ended with some of the Underwoods' enemies seemingly closing in. Between Conway's Presidential Campaign and Hammerschmidt's article exposing the President and First Lady, they're going to have to make even more cutthroat moves in order to secure the Presidency and destroy their enemies.

House of Cards will return for Season 5 on May 30th, when Netflix releases the new season in its entirety. Be sure to check out our summer premiere list to plan your next binge watch.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.