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Moving on From Kevin Spacey Cost Netflix a Lot of Dough

Unused House of Cards content contributed to nearly $40 million wasted

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Tim Surette

The cost of doing business with Kevin Spacey was pretty high for Netflix back when House of Cards started, at an estimated $500,000 per episode for the star back in Season 1. But it turns out the cost of not doing business with Spacey is even greater.

Following allegations of sexual harassment against the actor late last year, Netflix cut ties with Spacey, suspended production of the series for a few months and then proceeded with the upcoming sixth season of House of Cards without him, choosing instead to focus the final season on Robin Wright's character. Spacey also had a Gore Vidal biopic in the works at Netflix, which was also scrapped entirely.

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The company said today in its fourth-quarter earnings report that it took a $39 million write-down "for unreleased content we've decided to not forward with," according to Variety.

House of Cards' Final Season Moving Forward Without Kevin Spacey

Some of that $39 million could have come from other sources related to the recent wave of sexual assault allegations. Additionally, Netflix had a stand-up special with Louis C.K., who was also charged with sexual harassment, in the works, and suspended production of The Ranch, after star Danny Masterson was accused of rape. Production on The Ranch will resume later this year without Masterson.

The streaming service can probably shrug off that bill though. It's expected to spend around $8 billion on original content this year. The company also said it outperformed expectations and added 8.3 million subscribers in late 2017, even with a price hike.

The sixth and final season of House of Cards is expected to air later this year.