When “The Leftovers” returns for its third and final season April 16, it’s not just aptly timed to celebrate Easter. It’s inheriting a new timeslot. A very coveted timeslot. “Game of Thrones'” timeslot, to be exact.
For the past six years, “Game of Thrones” has debuted as HBO’s major spring drama, premiering in April for five of its six seasons (March 31 was the sole holdout). The series has seen a steady rise in the ratings, more than tripling its audience since Season 1, and has become a major Emmys player in recent years.
So the natural question is, “Can ‘The Leftovers’ reap the same success in its final season?”
IndieWire TV Critic Ben Travers sat down with co-creator Damon Lindelof and star Justin Theroux to ask them how their show could woo the “Game of Thrones” audience, and the two men had some very good ideas. First up: dongs.
“We have more dongs than ‘Game of Thrones,'” Emmy winner Damon Lindelof said. For more (and proper context), watch the video below.
How can “The Leftovers” win over “Game of Thrones” fans?
Another way for fans to get hooked on a show is to catch a random episode, especially when HBO NOW and other streaming services make all episodes available at any time. Given how “The Leftovers” chooses to devote entire episodes to individual characters, the series is more accessible than most when it comes to sampling episodes out of order.
Past character spotlights have included:
- Matt (Christopher Eccleston) in both Season 1 (“Two Boats and a Helicopter”) and Season 2 (“No Room at the Inn”
- Nora (Carrie Coon) in Episode 6, “Guest” (as well as a shared spotlight in the sixth episode of Season 2, “Lens,” alongside Regina King’s Erika)
- The Murphy Family in Season 2, Episode 1, “Axis Mundi”
- Kevin (Justin Theroux) in Season 2, Episode 8, “International Assassin”
- Meg (Liv Tyler) and Tom (Chris Zylka) in Season 2, Episode 9, “Ten Thirteen”
See which episodes Lindelof and Theroux chose to highlight below, and hear Lindelof recount his first experience watching “The Wire” — starting with Season 2.
For those looking to catch up on “The Leftovers,” HBO2 will be airing a Season 1 marathon on Saturday, April 8, starting at 10 a.m. Both Season 1 and Season 2 are also available on HBO NOW. Season 3 premieres April 16.
The Best “Leftovers” Episode To Hook New Viewers