The fate of the political television drama House of Cards has been decided: it will return in 2018 for a sixth and final season, Netflix has confirmed.

But the show’s star, actor Kevin Spacey, who was suspended amid a stream of sexual harassment allegations, will not return with it.

The series, which is based on the UK drama of the same name, is the story of a scheming fictional US president Frank Underwood, played by Spacey.

The final season will focus on Underwood’s wife Claire, played by Robin Wright.

Eight one-hour episodes will be produced, Netflix has confirmed.

Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos told US media the streaming giant had reached “an agreement for the conclusion of the show.”

Sarandos said he hoped the move would provide some security for the 370 people who work on the series, and “the 2000 people in Baltimore” who have jobs which are connected to the production.

The series is shot in Baltimore, Maryland, in the eastern United States.

The show’s fate had been uncertain since Spacey was suspended and production was halted.

Spacey was initially accused of making inappropriate sexual advances towards actor Anthony Rapp when Rapp was only 14.

Spacey responded to the accusation with a statement confirming his homosexuality and was criticised for conflating the two issues.

But in the wake of that first accusation, others have surfaced including claims of sexual harassment and sexual assault.

Spacey now faces a long list of accusers, including eight people who either currently work or previously worked on House of Cards.

And according to UK media reports there are another 20 claims of alleged inappropriate behaviour by Spacey from current or past employees of London’s Old Vic theatre, where Spacey was artistic director for 11 years.

In the wake of the claims, Spacey has said he is seeking “evaluation and treatment” for his behaviour.

His talent agency CAA and publicist Staci Wolfe have both terminated their relationships with him, and the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences reversed its decision to give Spacey the 2017 International Emmy Founders Award at last month’s International Emmys in New York.

Spacey’s expected appearance in Ridley Scott’s film All the Money in the World was also erased in dramatic fashion: with less than a month before the film’s release Spacey’s role, as industrialist J. Paul Getty, was recast with actor Christopher Plummer.

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