The Netflix original series House of Cards is returning for a fourth season.
The online streaming service made the announcement in a tweet with an upside down American flag that read, “I will leave a legacy. #Underwood2016.”
No other details have yet been released.
House of Cards stars Kevin Spacey as Francis “Frank” Underwood, originally a corrupt, conniving, and vengeful Democrat U.S. Congressman from South Carolina who — with his equally ambition-driven wife, Claire (Robin Wright) — over the course of the two seasons intrigued his way into the presidency.
Production in Maryland will commence this summer, with the likelihood that new episodes, presumably a 13-installment run, will become available all at once in February 2016 — amidst the real U.S. presidential campaign — if Netflix follows the pattern of the prior seasons. Variety reports that both Spacey and Wright indeed have signed on for 13 more episodes.
The series created by former political operative Beau Willimon has won a number of Emmys and other awards since its debut in 2013. Spacey and Wright have both received Golden Globes for their performances as the Washington power couple.
Why the delay in striking a deal for a fourth season? “This official order for season four took a long while — which is what sometimes happens as TV shows mature and become more successful,” CNN Money noted.
According to a recent Reuters poll, fictional presidents, including Frank Underwood, are apparently more popular than Barack Obama.
In its basic premise and certain plot elements, House of Cards is a remake of the BBC miniseries of the same name (and its two follow-ups, To Play the King and The Final Cut). The U.K. original starred the late Ian Richardson as devious British politician Francis Urquhart who similarly manipulates his way to becoming the country’s prime minister.
House of Cards Season 3 seemed to depart from the prior successful formula of featuring lethal political machinations in the nation’s capital, however, as it detailed Underwood’s troubled presidency, as well as some tangential storylines, in meandering soap opera fashion.
Could the producers call it quits after Season 4? “The line: ‘I will leave a legacy’ implies a certain finality. But as one of Netflix’s most popular and successful original series, House of Cards could continue if the online service and the creative talent behind the show are so inclined,” CNET observed.
— House of Cards (@HouseofCards) April 2, 2015
Netflix has recently renewed several other original series, including 10 new episodes for the costume drama Marco Polo. The streaming service intends to spend $450 million (an 88 percent increase year over year) on original programming in 2015, according to the New York Times.
Are you looking forward to the return of House of Cards in Season 4 for Underwood 2016?
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment]