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"House of Cards," Maryland reach deal to keep show in state

"House of Cards" will stay in Maryland for at least one more season, Gov. Martin O'Malley and the Netflix television series' production company announced late Friday.

O'Malley and Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Media Rights Capital reached an agreement that will provide the company with $11.5 million to film the show's third season in Maryland.

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The money going to "House of Cards" will come from a combination of both the 2014 film production tax credit program and a General Assembly authorization of $7.5 million in grants in the fiscal 2015 budget, O'Malley's office said.

"Spoiler alert," O'Malley said. "We're going to keep the 3,700 jobs and more than $100 million of economic activity and investment that 'House of Cards' generates right here in Maryland."

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Media Rights Capital's decision to stay comes after a company executive told legislative leaders "House of Cards" could leave Maryland if the money wasn't right.

Charlie Goldstein, the firm's senior vice president of television production, wrote legislative leaders in February that the show had pushed back its filming schedule for its third season to see if lawmakers would boost tax credits.

"In the event that sufficient incentives do not become available, that gives us time to break down our stage, sets and offices and set up in another state," Goldstein wrote to House Speaker Michael E. Busch, D-Annapolis.

In March, "House of Cards" star Kevin Spacey socialized with lawmakers at Red Red Wine Bar in Annapolis as they considered whether to hike the amount Maryland would hand out.

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Afterward, there was a heated discussion between leaders of the Senate and the House of Delegates in the House lounge on the final day of the 90-day General Assembly session.

Differing opinions kept a deal from being reached through legislation. But lawmakers were able to free up several million dollars in addition to $7.5 million authorized for show in fiscal 2015.

Asif Satchu, co-CEO of Media Rights Capital, said in a statement distributed through O'Malley's office that the show's production company was "very grateful" for the efforts of O'Malley and legislative leaders.

The producers expect to begin production on the third season over the next several months, according to the statement.

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