At present, previous seasons of the Netflix megahit House of Cards, are still available for fans to stream. However, that may soon change. The streaming media juggernaut recently announced plans to cancel any further seasons of the hit program after the accusations of sexual misconduct against series star Kevin Spacey went public.
It’s a difficult decision for Netflix. The program is one of a handful that made the streaming network a major entertainment media contender. Fans were riveted to Spacey’s conniving Frank Underwood and his manipulative life-mate, Claire, played by Robin Wright.
House of Cards Was Popular Among Fans
House of Cards, along with Orange is the New Black, put the network on the map. Now, four years after those shows debuted, the network is riding a wave of hit programming, including a long-running set of series based on Marvel Comics characters, as well as an interesting grab bag of suspense programs, cop shows, period dramas and historical epics.
It’s fair to say House of Cards helped invent binge watching. The program certainly shares some of the credit for telegraphing the potential success of other streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.
Now, though, that legacy is tarnished. After the allegations against Spacey came out, Netflix immediately announced it would no longer create or air new episodes of the program. That abrupt decision, especially based solely on a single allegation against one series star, upset many dedicated fans who wanted to see what happened to Underwood in the long run.
But fan reaction has been decidedly split. Many are saying Netflix made the right call. They want a strong and definitive line drawn in the sand, and they are tired of hearing rumors and accusations of abuse coming out of Hollywood with absolutely no results.
House of Cards Without Kevin Spacey
Now, Netflix is trying to walk the tightrope between these fans by leaking rumors that they might have some House of Cards spin-off shows in the works that don’t involve Spacey. While, on the surface, that sounds like an appealing compromise, many are saying that boat won’t float. Despite the accusations against him, there’s no doubt it was Spacey who drove that show. Underwood was the corrupt and manic energy behind the plot. Without him, the magic is gone, perhaps irreparably.
Sitcoms have tried to replace key characters many times in the past, with mixed results. Some programs are able to limp along. Others immediately implode. What will happen with House of Cards? Some are saying a clean break is best. Keep pumping out great programs and fans will eventually forget. That may be the best course of action. How they handle this will be interesting to watch.
Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of the New York based public relations firm 5WPR: one of the 20 largest PR Firms in the United States