When "House of Cards" star Kevin Spacey accepted his award for male actor in a drama at Sunday's SAG Awards, he gave a tip of the hat to the series' showrunner, Beau Willimon.
The Netflix political drama was recently renewed for a fifth season, to premiere in 2017 — but Willimon will not return as its ringleader. The news comes ahead of the show's fourth season, which rolls out March 4.
"I would like to first thank our creator — no, not that one, the one grounded here on Earth," Spacey joked, before continuing, "Beau ... you have been an extraordinary collaborator, a remarkable challenge, I've loved every single time that we have tousled, fought and argued these four seasons."
Asked backstage about Willimon's exit and what it means for the show going forward, Spacey was ever the Frank Underwood with the profane beginning of his response.
"I have no ... idea how to answer you," said Spacey, who serves as an executive producer on the series. "We haven't made any decisions about who might come in. There's a tremendous amount of discussion and work to be had. I wish Beau all the best. He's worked tirelessly for four seasons — whatever he goes on to, he's going to show extraordinary range as a writer.
"I hope we will work together again some day .... we will without question honor the road that he paved."
"House of Cards," which Willimon adapted from the BBC miniseries of the same name, helped Netflix make a name for itself in the original-series arena. From its debut, the quickly drew awards recognition winning three Emmys for its freshman season in 2013.