Netflix's hit series House of Cards will return with all 13 episodes of Season 4 streaming on Friday, March 4. Earlier today, the streaming service issued an early renewal for Season 5, which will debut sometime in 2017. However, the news also came with the announcement that series creator, executive producer and showrunner Beau Willimon is leaving the show. Here's what both Netflix and production company Media Rights Capital had to say in a statement, courtesy of Deadline.

"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."
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Beau Willimon is an accomplished playwright who adapted his play "Farragut North" into the 2011 Oscar-nominated drama The Ides of March. In 2012, Netflix picked up his script for House of Cards, adapted from the BBC miniseries of the same name and turned it into the streaming service's first hit series, with the show marking Beau Willimon's first foray into television. Here's what Beau Willimon had to say in his statement about leaving the series.

"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 endeavors, 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."

Deadline reports that Beau Willimon may not be leaving on his own terms, and that there have been rumors of issues with the production that have been traced back to him. Netflix has not announced a replacement for Beau Willimon yet, who served as executive producer alongside David Fincher, Joshua Donen, Eric Roth, Dana Brunetti, Andrew Davies and Michael Dobbs. While we wait for more news on the series, take a look at the renewal announcement made through the House of Cards Twitter feed.