As count down the days toward the release of the fourth series of House of Cards on Netflix, there's some good and bad news for fans everywhere.
The good: a fifth season is definitely going to happen.
The bad: it will be happening without its creator, developer and producer, Beau Willimon, who's leaving the show to "move on" to other projects.
Willimon explained: “I’m grateful to Netflix and MRC, my fellow executive producers, our two incandescent stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, our talented writers, as well as the incredible cast and crew with whom I’ve had the privilege to work. After five years and four seasons, it’s time for me to move on to new endeavours, but I’m supremely proud of what we’ve built together, wish the show much continued success, and leave it in the hands of a very capable team.”
It would have been so much funnier if he'd said, "Yeah, I'm leaving, and it definitely won't be as good without me".
The show was originally based on the 1990 UK miniseries of the same name, itself based on the novel by former Conservative MP Michael Dobbs - so the whole thing didn't entirely stem from Willimon. However, as Netflix acknowledged, he has been hugely important in creating the critically-acclaimed show.
“Netflix and MRC owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Beau Willimon for his strong narrative vision for House of Cards over the show’s first four seasons. As an Academy Award nominated writer, he made his first foray into television and built a riveting and critically acclaimed series, establishing his place in TV history. The producers, cast and crew join us in wishing Beau the best in his next creative adventure.”
Again, would have been great if they'd said, "Yeah, go on, off you go, didn't really like you anyway and it'll be much better without you."
The announcement of a fifth series inevitably means that we can assume that the forthcoming fourth season will end on some sort of cliffhanger. What will it be?
We'll find out very soon - in the meantime, watch the latest trailer below, and all of them here.
House of Cards season 4 premieres 4 March 2016