Production of “House of Cards” season 6 was suspended in October, following sexual assault allegations against star Kevin Spacey.
Season 6 of the political thriller will be eight episodes, starring Robin Wright, Sarandos said. The final season will not include Spacey, as previously announced. Each of the previous season have comprised 13 episodes.
“We’re really excited about bringing some closure to the show for fans,” said Sarandos, speaking Monday at UBS’s Global Media and Communications Conference in New York.
“House of Cards,” the first major original show to pop for Netflix, is produced by Media Rights Capital (MRC) and is shot in Baltimore. Sarandos said he was gratified to have reached the deal for the team of 370 people who directly work on the show and for “the 2,000 people in Baltimore” who have jobs working on “HOC.”
Variety reported last month that “House of Cards” producers were contemplating killing off Spacey’s character — the devious political animal Frank Underwood — to focus on Wright’s Claire Underwood as a way to salvage season 6.
Netflix is already a huge buyer of programming, and it’s jacking up the content budget for 2018 — projecting it will spend between $7 billion and $8 billion, up from $6 billion this year. The streamer’s content slate for next year includes around 80 original films through productions or acquisitions, Sarandos reiterated Monday, which he’d told investors on Netflix’s earnings call in October. One-third of all viewing on Netflix is of movies, he said.
For most movies, theatrical release is a “lousy business,” he said. “The question is, can you shake up the market enough for big event movies to be only on Netflix?” He said he’s hopeful theaters would screen a movie like “Bright,” the Will Smith cop movie directed by David Ayer set for Dec. 22 release, “because people want to go out on Friday night.”