Official: House of Cards Will Return for Its Sixth and Final Season without Kevin Spacey

House of Cards, the drama that put Netflix on the map as a provider of original content, will be back for a sixth season, without its main star Kevin Spacey, said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos at UBS’s Global Media and Communications Conference in New York. The announcement ends speculation about how the series will proceed without Spacey.

The final season will have eight episodes, Netflix told a UBS media conference (as reported by Reuters). The sixth season was originally expected to air sometime in summer 2018, but given that production has already been delayed and that significant rewrites will be needed, late 2018 or early 2019 would be a much better guess at this point.

Spacey was essentially fired from the program by Netflix in early November. Since then, rumors swirled that House of Cards might kill off his character or write him out via some other means. In the wake of the multiple sexual harassment allegations against Spacey, production on Season 6 was suspended, with Netflix saying it would “review the current situation” with its partners at Media Rights Capital (MRC), as well as the rest of the cast and crew of the show.

Alas, Netflix was quick to drop Spacey when the allegations first surfaced, and it said that it would not be a part of any House of Cards that involved Spacey going forwards.

The lengthy House of Cards hiatus should allow the series’ writers to rework the show to be about Claire, but even before the Spacey scandal broke, the series was pushing Claire more into the foreground with every new season; without spoiling the end of season five, it serves as an almost eerily perfect handoff to Claire.