Netflix has renewed political drama House of Cards for a fifth season which will air in 2017. That's no surprise considering the show's popularity and the number of accolades it's won over the years but there's a big change taking place behind the scenes.

House of Cards creator, executive producer and showrunner Beau Willimon will not be returning for season five.

Netflix said in a statement that it owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to Willimon for his strong narrative vision over the show's first four seasons.

Likewise, Willimon said he is grateful to Netflix and MRC (Media Rights Capital, the show's producer) as well as his fellow executive producers, the show's stars, its writers and the cast and crew with whom he's had the privilege to work with. After five years and four seasons, however, Willimon said it was time to move on to new endeavors.

House of Cards couldn't have arrived at a better time. The show debuted on February 1, 2013, as the company was reeling from missteps that included spinning off its DVD-by-mail business and an unwelcomed price hike. Since that time, Netflix stock has gone on to hit an all-time high last month. More importantly, it proved that Netflix was a true contender as a producer of original content and paved the way for other hits such as Orange is the New Black and Bojack Horseman.

The fourth season of House of Cards premiers in its entirety on March 4, 2106.