“There has been no decision yet if Season 2 will be released simultaneously like Season 1,” said House Of Cards executive producer Beau Willimon tonight. There has also been no discussion yet if the Netflix series will go on to a Season 3, the showrunner added. And that is all Willimon or star Kevin Spacey (who was emphatic with a “No!” when asked for details about the upcoming season) or anyone else from House Of Cards would say Thursday about the future of the series, which is now filming in Maryland. What they did say was how House Of Cards has set out to change the game and succeed. “What we set out to prove is that the film and TV industry can learn what the music industry failed to learn: Give people what they want when they want it and at a good price and they won’t steal it,” said Spacey on the decision for Netflix to release all 13 episodes of the political drama’s first season. simultaneously when it debuted on the streaming service February 1. It’s a decision that the star/EP thinks has paid off. “Netflix’s recently announced they’ve had 2 million more subscribers, in large part to House Of Cards…they’re making money,” Spacey told TV Academy members tonight at an Emmys “For Your Consideration” panel at the Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre.
Willimon and Spacey were joined on the panel by cast members Robin Wright, Kate Mara, Corey Stoll, Michael Kelly, Sakina Jaffrey and Kristen Connolly. David Fincher, who directed the first two episodes of Cards and is an EP on the show, was scheduled to be at the event but dropped out this week. However, he was not totally absent. “The show is the epitome of the adage, “Cast well and get the hell out of the way,” Fincher said in a message read out by Willimon at the beginning of the panel.
Referring to the series as a “13-hour movie,” Spacey and Willimon talked about the differences making Netflix’s first show commissioned by the company compared with past production experiences. “They didn’t even have an office to give us notes. We were the first,” half-joked Spacey to the audience. “That’s the great thing about Netflix. Every step of the way they trusted us,” added Willimon, who initially developed the American adaptation of the BBC series based on Michael Dobbs’ novel. Netflix recently replicated the process with its latest original Hemlock Grove and plans to do the same with the Arrested Development fourth season in late May.
As tonight’s event displayed, moving into Emmy season, House Of Cards holds a lot of possibilities for Netflix, which clearly hopes to see nominations for the series, Spacey, Wright, Fincher and others. The strongly promoted series has been a big deal for the company even before its debut. Netflix outbid various cable networks last year for the series in a two-season, 26-episode deal worth $100 million. Part of that investment was the hope that House Of Cards would provide a boost in Nexflix memberships. As a tease, the company announced February 1 that non-subscribers could watch the first episode of the Media Rights Capitol series for free. Later that month, CEO Reed Hastings said Cards “met all of (our) expectations” in becoming “a great success”, though he provided no data as evidence. Earlier this week, Hastings said the series had “a nice impact but a gentle impact on subscriptions” for the streaming service.