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'House of Cards' renewed for Season 5, showrunner Beau Willimon departs

By Wade Sheridan   |   Jan. 29, 2016 at 11:41 AM

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Netflix's critically acclaimed political drama, House of Cards has been renewed early for a fifth season amid news that showrunner Beau Willimon will be exiting the series.

Actor Kevin Spacey who stars as fictional president Frank Underwood, has been confirmed by the streaming giant to return for Season 5 with no word yet on who will replace Willimon.

"Netflix and 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 Thursday. "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."

According to The Hollywood Reporter, a source has indicated that Willimon is focused on writing an original play as he departs the series.

"I'm grateful to Netflix and MRC, my fellow executive producers, our two incandescent stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, our talented writers, as well as the incredible cast and crew with whom I've had the privilege to work," Willimon said.

"After five years and four seasons, it's time for me to move on to new endeavors, but I'm supremely proud of what we've built together, wish the show much continued success, and leave it in the hands of a very capable team."

House of Cards Season 4 is set to premiere on Netflix March 4. On Monday, the company released another teaser for the upcoming season featuring Underwood and his sidekick Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly) suspiciously digging a hole in the woods.

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