It's been a very messy past couple of days for Netflix and their flagship original series House of Cards. In light of the shocking accusations lodged against Kevin Spacey by actor Anthony Rapp, the streaming service previously announced that the upcoming Season 6 of House Of Cards would be the show's final season. Less than 24 hours later, it is being reported that production on Season 6 has been suspended indefinitely, and chances of the series properly finishing out its run appear unlikely at the moment.
The news comes from Deadline, who writes that the cast and crew of House Of Cards were informed of the decision this morning. Netflix released a joint statement with Media Rights Capital (who produces the series) and stated that the two companies are taking the time to review the "current situation" and address any and all concerns the cast and crew may have. Executives from both organizations traveled to the Baltimore set of the series yesterday to speak with cast and crew, and it is believed that Kevin Spacey was not present or scheduled to be there.
As of this writing, the final season of House Of Cards was believed to be 13 episodes long, with a premiere eyed for mid-2018. Now that production has been halted on the series indefinitely, this would probably affect the show's release window, and that's assuming it will resume production following the investigation. Without knowing how far along the sixth season was in filming, or how long this halt in production could last, it's possible the series could see no change in schedule should the situation get resolved rather quickly. (Considering the circumstances, though, that is on the far end of the possibility spectrum.)
If production is forever suspended and the series is cancelled before House Of Cards reaches its planned conclusion, one has to wonder what will become of the rumored spinoff Netflix and MRC are reportedly talking about. Since a new House of Cards offshoot would likely follow whatever happened in Season 6, it's unclear if the streaming service will pass on the still-unofficial project, or if little would change beyond the story's starting point.
Kevin Spacey, who is the root of all of this drama, has been silent on social media following his public apology to Anthony Rapp, so we shouldn't expect any reactions from him. However, Lord Michael Dobbs, who created the original U.K. version of the series, was very disappointed in the production's possibly permanent stoppage. Here's what he told Deadline.
I am devastated almost beyond words. I created aHouse of Cards 30 years ago and up to this point it has been an exhilarating and totally joyous journey. Media Rights Capital and Netflix have always set the highest standards in their work and I want to thank them unreservedly. It has been an honor to have worked with them and so many of the cast, writers and production crew. But right now I'm heartbroken.
The future of House Of Cards is uncertain as this whole situation continues to develop. Currently, all 5 seasons of House Of Cards are available to stream on Netflix. As for Kevin Spacey, one has to wonder if other franchises he's involved in will react the same way as Netflix has in investigating the situation surrounding him before continuing to work with him. For more programming being made available this fall season, check out our fall premiere guide.