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House of Cards to stay in Maryland for Season 5

Netflix has confirmed that Kevin Spacey’s political drama House of Cards will stay in Maryland to film its fifth season.

The online platform revealed the news to local Maryland media outlet the Baltimore Sun.

House of Cards tells the story of ruthless DC politician Francis Underwood (pictured) and his wife and partner-in-crime Claire. The show has been based in Baltimore for the past four years, largely doubling the city for Washington, DC. Maryland offers filming incentives for both film and TV productions, with television producers able to access a tax credit of up to 27% of regional expenditure.

Although the tax credit figure itself is generous, Maryland’s annual film fund is in fact relatively small at just $7.5m. Last year Media Rights Capital, the production company behind House of Cards, delayed filming while producers negotiated a new deal to keep the series in Baltimore.

“In the economics of today’s Hollywood, that’s pretty much the first question that comes out of a producer’s or a studio executive’s mouth when they call Maryland: What are the film incentives?” said Jack Gerbes, director of the Maryland Film Office, in comments to the Baltimore Sun.

The latest, fourth season of House of Cards launches on Netflix in a few weeks, in March 2016. Spacey will return to play Underwood in next year’s fifth season, but the series will appoint a new showrunner after the departure of Beau Willimon.

Baltimore is a popular double for Washington, DC, and also hosted the award-winning political satire Veep until the show chose to relocate to California. 

Washington is a popular setting but the city itself is not generally regarded as a film-friendly location owing to a lack of meaningful incentives and complex local bureaucracy. 

For more on filming in Maryland see our production guide.

Image: Netflix