House of Cards Renewed for Season 5, But Creator Leaves

Beau Willimon is out.

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Netflix has renewed its political drama House of Cards for a fifth season to air in 2017. However, the online network also announced that Beau Willimon, the program's creator, executive producer, and showrunner, is leaving the show.

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"Netflix and [House of Cards production company] MRC owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Beau Willimon for his strong narrative vision for House of Cards over the show's first four seasons," Netflix said in a statement (via Deadline). "As an Academy Award-nominated writer, he made his first foray into television and built a riveting and critically acclaimed series, establishing his place in TV history. The producers, cast, and crew join us in wishing Beau the best in his next creative adventure."

In his own statement, Willimon said he is "supremely proud" of House of Cards and wished the show continued success in the future "in the hands of a very capable team."

Willimon is moving on to "new endeavors," though he didn't say exactly what he's doing next. His replacement on House of Cards has not yet been named.

Deadline's Nellie Andreeva said it's possible there is more to the story regarding Willimon's departure.

"I hear the circumstances surrounding Willimon's exit are not as clear-cut, and he is likely not leaving of his own volition," she wrote. "There had been rumors about issues with the series' production that would be traced to the showrunner."

The fourth season of House of Cards begins in March.

House of Cards, which debuted in 2013 and stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, represented Netflix's first stab at original programming. Netflix has since invested heavily in the area of original shows with programs like Orange Is the New Black, Bloodline, and Narcos, among others.

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