House of Cards is folding: The Netflix drama’s forthcoming sixth season will be the series’ last, TVLine has learned.
News of the political drama’s impending swan song comes less than 24 hours after actor Anthony Rapp accused House of Cards leading man Kevin Spacey of making a sexual advance at him when he was 14. Multiple sources confirm, however, that the decision to bring HoC to an end was made months ago and was not in response to the allegations. (A Netlix rep confirms this.)
Last June, TVLine asked House of Cards co-showrunners Melissa James Gibson and Frank Pugliese about an end date, to which they responded, “It’s not entirely up to us,” before acknowledging that the show is in “new terrain” creatively.
At the conclusion of Season 5, Spacey’s Francis handed the Commander in Chief reins over to wife/first lady Claire (Robin Wright) and exited the political arena (at least the official one) altogether. “It’s a significant pivot at the end of Season 5,” Gibson noted. “We’re saying that there’s power beyond the power. That’s a radical thing for the show to say that there’s power beyond the presidency. That’s been the be-all and end-all for five seasons. I think there’s definitely more to dig into there.”
Production on House of Cards‘ sixth and final season began earlier this month despite the fact that Netflix never officially confirmed that it had even ordered a Season 6. (The streamer has always played by its own unique rules when it comes to announcing renewals.)
Regarding Rapp’s allegations, Spacey released a statement late Sunday saying he was “beyond horrified to hear [Rapp’s] story,” adding, “I honestly do not remember the encounter, it would have been over 30 years ago. But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years.”
Spacey also took the opportunity to set the record straight about his sexuality. “I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man,” he said. The Oscar winner’s statement was met with a swift backlash from the gay community, with GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis lamenting, “Coming-out stories should not be used to deflect from allegations of sexual assault.”
House of Cards creator Beau Willimon, who stepped away from the series at the end of Season 4, released a statement of his own via Twitter early Monday.
My statement regarding Anthony Rapp and Kevin Spacey: pic.twitter.com/8z6zotHWE5
— Beau Willimon (@BeauWillimon) October 30, 2017
House of Cards‘ sixth and final season will premiere in 2018.