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Spoiler Alert: House of Cards to continue filming in Maryland

Bryan P. Sears//Daily Record Business Writer//April 25, 2014

Spoiler Alert: House of Cards to continue filming in Maryland

By Bryan P. Sears

//Daily Record Business Writer

//April 25, 2014

The popular Netflix series ‘House of Cards’ will film its third season in Maryland, Gov. Martin J. O’Malley announced late Friday.

“Spoiler alert: we’re going to keep the 3700 jobs and more than 100 million dollars of economic activity and investment that House of Cards generates right here in Maryland,” Governor O’Malley said in a statement. “Media Rights Capital has been a great supporter of the people and entertainment community in Maryland and we couldn’t be happier to continue our partnership.”

Under the agreement between the state and the series’ producers, Media Rights Capital, the show will receive a total of $11.5 million in 2014. The amount is a combination of the 2014 Film Production Tax Credit program and a General Assembly authorization of $7.5 million in grants in the fiscal 2015 budget, according to a statement issued by O’Malley.

The amount negotiated is “less than the production qualified for, but enough to keep the hit franchise in Maryland,” according to O’Malley’s release.

“House of Cards is the gift that keeps on giving, having injected hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy, while also helping to provide thousands of jobs to our Maryland community,” Asif Satchu, co-chief executive officer of Media Rights Capital, said in a statement released by O’Malley’s office. “We are very grateful to both Governor O’Malley for his tireless efforts to help keep jobs in Maryland and the leadership of the General Assembly for their continued advocacy and support.”

The popular and critically acclaimed show, starring Kevin Spacey as the ambitious politician Francis Underwood, filmed its first two seasons in Maryland. Media Rights Capital maintains a soundstage in the state and rents space at The Baltimore Sun as part of its production facilities, in addition to filming at various locations in Maryland.

But concerns about the future of the series arose when producers of the show sent a letter to O’Malley and legislative leaders threatening to leave the state if a film tax credit program was not expanded.

The Senate passed a bill that would have increased the program to $18.5 million.

The House of Delegates balked at the increase and Del. C. William Frick added language to a budget reconciliation bill that would have authorized the state to use eminent domain to condemn the production company’s facilities and attempt to wrest ownership of the show from Media Rights Capital.

A final attempt to reach a compromise failed in the waning moments of the 2014 session but Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller vowed the next day that he and O’Malley would work out a deal.

In its first two seasons, ‘House of Cards” received $26 million in tax credits from the state—more than any other television production. The HBO series Veep received $23 million, the second most credits. Other productions received a total of $1.5 million, according to the Department of Business and Economic Development.

The department estimates that the show is responsible for $583 million in economic impact in Maryland because of the tax credits.

O’Malley said the show is expected to begin production of its third season over the next few months.


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