'House of Cards' to resume production on final season in early 2018, without Kevin Spacey

After more than a month in limbo, the Netflix political drama “House of Cards” will resume production of its final season in early 2018 — without Kevin Spacey.

Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos announced Monday at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York that the production would move forward, according to Variety.


“We were really excited we could get to an agreement ... for the conclusion of the show,” Sarandos said at the conference.

Netflix and Media Rights Capital, the company that produces “House of Cards,” declined to comment, but a source close to the production confirmed the news, adding that the season will have eight episodes. The cast and crew have been notified, they said.


Production on the show, which is filmed in the Baltimore area, was suspended in October after several sexual assault and misconduct allegations surfaced against Spacey, its star and executive producer.

Netflix and Media Rights Capital subsequently cut ties with Spacey, whose representatives said in November he was “taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment.”

Monday’s announcement that production will resume comes as a relief to many Baltimore-area crew members and businesses counting on the show for their livelihood.

Media Rights Capital continued paying the show’s cast and crew after the production was suspended. It confirmed last week that they would be paid through this week as the show’s future was evaluated.

“Many have been on this series since the very beginning, and everybody wanted to see the series complete itself on a high note,” said David M. O'Ferrall, a business agent for the union that represents as many as 250 members working on the series in set construction, costumes, props, special effects and more. “They didn’t want it to go out the way it could have, so I think they’re all thrilled that it’s coming back and they’re going to get to finish out.”

Lee Shapira, 65, of Towson, has worked in construction rigging and facility management for all six of the show’s seasons, and said the announcement Monday was important for the well-being of many crew members.

“I’ve been around a long time, and I know most of the people working here, and a lot of them are younger than me,” said Shapira, adding that many of them are raising families and trying to make ends meet. “I’m really thrilled for them and that the industry is still alive and this show is still alive.”

Shapira said he’s excited to see how the series, with its dark and twisted plot, will conclude.


“Things are going to change without the presence of Kevin Spacey. The storyline is going to have to take a new direction,” he said. “And it’s going to be very interesting to see what that might be.”

Writing Spacey out of the script may be easy. As Season 5 ended, Claire Underwood has just ascended to the presidency after her husband — played by Spacey — resigned in disgrace.

Harford County Executive Barry Glassman called the news “an early Christmas present.” He said the extension will buy the county time to try to lure another show to the former warehouse “House of Cards” uses for its film sets.

“We’ll finish out this one,” he said, “but we’ll begin marketing the county to bring in another production.”

The show contributed $590 million to the state’s economy over its five seasons of filming, renting or buying goods from about 2,000 local businesses each season, according to the Maryland Department of Commerce. A 2016 report from the department, which oversees the Maryland Film Office, also showed that “House of Cards” received the bulk of Maryland’s film tax credits, getting $53.1 million since the program was created in 2011.

Jack Gerbes, director of the Maryland Film Office, declined to be interviewed about the decision but released a statement saying that “we look forward to continuing our partnership with Media Rights Capital and Netflix on this critically acclaimed series.”


Del. Mary Ann Lisanti represents the Edgewood area, where the show is produced, and Havre de Grace, the historic town that has been used as a filming location.

“The economic impact to our local businesses has been tremendous during the filming thus far,” the Democratic lawmaker said. “The sudden withdrawal of the season was felt dramatically by some of our small business.”

Lisanti said the businesses that benefit from the show include downtown Havre de Grace retailers and restaurants.

Coakley’s Pub is among them. Will Nori, husband of owner Margie Coakley, said the plan to resume filming was “great news.”

Nori said that while he hasn’t seen any of the show’s stars, the restaurant frequently hosted crew members at lunchtime.

“I know it’s a positive, whether [or not] I can quantify it precisely,” he said.


Nori and his wife, who live in Havre de Grace, said the production has brought other benefits to the town, fixing up a rundown Cape Cod home and a nearby church, and paying residents $200 each to keep their cars off the street during filming.

Baltimore Sun reporter Lorraine Mirabella contributed to this article.