Critical darling and surprise awards season contender House of Cards might call it earlier than anticipated, wrapping up for good after its next season.
The ambitious Netflix original initially contracted star Kevin Spacey for two seasons, an unusual commitment for most shows. But once Spacey’s contracted seasons are up, the show will likely end, according to executive producer Rick Cleveland.
At the Vancouver International Film Festival last week, Cleveland has some pretty direct words on the subject:
“House of Cards is only going to go a second season and I think that’s it. Kevin Spacey likes to do movies and Robin Wright likes to do movies.”
It’s not a stretch to infer that Cleveland is none too happy about that. Gold Derby notes that Cleveland, an award-winning writer for The West Wing, didn’t build House of Cards with the Emmys in mind. Instead, he was seemingly experimenting with news ways to deliver and market a program. Netflix’s “all at once” method of dumping en entire season directly into your lap might not be the way to go, he suggests.
He observed that AMC’s Breaking Bad, for instance, was able to build up a lot more chatter and media coverage with its week-over-week delay and mid-season hiatus, building fan anticipation and, ultimately, award season potential. The same, he seems to regret, cannot be said for House of Cards.
Still, 9 Emmy nominations and 3 wins should serve as proof of concept, even justification, for the Netflix model. A slow-burn victory is still a victory, after all.
Anyway, capping at two or three seasons might be something that Netflix originals could benefit from.
“This is a good thing. I’d like to see Netflix put a cap on the duration of their projects. It seems like a 4 season maximum has served British television well,” wrote one commenter of the announcement.
“I was just going to say, I love the BBC model of just a few excellent seasons. But 2 seasons is 2 little Spacey. Sorry. I had to,” cheekily agreed another.
Do you think that House of Cards, indeed all Netflix originals, would benefit from a season cap?