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Spacey to Sun: 'House of Cards' will be back for Season 3

But tax incentives could prove to be a sticky issue

By David Zurawik

The Baltimore Sun

2:12 PM EST, February 4, 2014

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NEW YORK – “House of Cards” executive producer and star Kevin Spacey said in an interview with The Sun on Tuesday that the program will be back for a third season — and that it will film in Baltimore as it has the for past two years.

Season 2 of the widely acclaimed political thriller — that is set in Washington but made on soundstages in Joppa and Baltimore-area locations — will debut Feb. 14 on Netflix with all 13 episodes available for on-demand streaming.

“I am shooting a Season 3,” Spacey told The Sun. “End of story. There is no debate,” he added when asked about a report in October attributed to a former writer on the series saying Spacey was going to leave the series to make feature films.

But even as some state officials welcomed news of the series' return, there could be unresolved issues involving tax incentives for the series in its third season that could cause problems down the road..

“The first two seasons of ‘House of Cards’ had a huge economic impact on the state of Maryland,” said Jack Gerbes, director of the Maryland Film Office. 

The show's first season, he said, had an impact estimated at $138 million. That included the hiring of 2,198 crew, actors and extras, plus purchasing goods and services from 1,814 Maryland businesses.

In addition to winning critical praise, “House of Cards” has become the poster series for the new ways that media are being distributed and consumed.

As for Baltimore, “I’m very happy to be [coming back],” Spacey said. “I’ve been loving being in Baltimore and having such a really nice time there.”

Spacey praised the production workers here who have helped make the series a Netflix success story.

“The crew, they’ve become our family,” he said. “You come to work in the morning and you’re surrounded by a group of people who probably got there before you did and will be there long after you’ve left.”

He also noted the role that the governor has played in spearheading efforts to increase tax incentives for film crews to work in Maryland. 

“I’ve also been enormously pleased with Gov. O’Malley and the efforts he’s made in terms of increasing the tax rebate,” Spacey said.

The money set aside for film-industry tax rebates in next year’s budget is currently less than half of what it was last year, according to state and city officials. While it is expected to grow during the legislative session, if it doesn’t, it could affect the return of the series, which is scheduled for June. 

Speaking of other Maryland productions such as HBO’s “Veep” and “Game Change,” Spacey said: “I think the more that other states follow the example of Maryland, they’ll see that you can bring an economy to your city. And it employs thousands and thousands of people. And we are enormously delighted to have our home in Baltimore.”

Chris Kaltenbach contributed to this article.