Don’t expect to see any of the “Game of Thrones” prequel spinoffs until at least 2020. That’s the word from HBO original programming president Casey Bloys, who said nothing will air for “at least a year after the final season.” With confirmation that the final season of “Thrones” doesn’t air until 2019, that pushes the future series into the next decade.
Bloys said the five potential projects are all still in the works, and he’s seen some material, but that it’s not a bakeoff. “They’re all on different schedules,” he said. “They didn’t start at the same startlines, so we’re at different stages, but I’m very encouraged by what we’ve seen. I don’t have a timetable when we’re going to make decisions on anything. I could make between zero and five. Probably more likely around one.”
Why not use the “Thrones” finale as an opportunity to promote a brand new series? “What I don’t want to do is detract from the final season,” Bloys said. “The final season has to air as the huge event in the TV season that it is. I don’t want to cheapen it with a spinoff airing right after it. That would diminish the achievement of how big and meaningful the show is.”
In October, HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler said there was “an embarrassment of riches” to choose from. The five projects in the works come from Bryan Cogman, Max Borenstein, Jane Goldman, Brian Helgeland, and Carly Wray. As originally reported, George R.R. Martin will actually co-write with two of them: Goldman and Wray.
“Thrones” executive producers Dan Weiss and David Benioff, as has been widely reported, won’t be involved with the successor shows (especially as they turn their focus to their next show, “Confederate”), although they will be attached as executive producers on all projects, as will Martin.
Meanwhile, Bloys also confirmed that HBO is closer than ever to finally greenlighting a long-awaited “Deadwood” film from David Milch. “I’m feeling very confident that if they can get those actors together we’ll do something this year, but there are a lot of logistics involved,” he said. “This is the most optimistic I’ve ever been.”
Bloys also said Damon Lindelof’s script for “Watchmen” is “fantastic,” and he’s looking forward to making the pilot.
Bloys also gave an update on “Veep.” Star Julia Louis-Dreyfus is currently undergoing chemotherapy as she fights cancer, but “she’s a trooper,” he said. “They’ve had a couple of table reads that she’s gone to and I think that’s good for her spirits. We have a plan for coming back. She’s going to go through her treatment and we’ll go back to work.”
As for Season 2 of “Big Little Lies,” original book author Liane Moriarty has completed a novelette that serves as a sequel and a guidepost that writer David E. Kelley has used to pen new episodes. The series is expected to be around seven episodes, identical to its original run. As previously announced, Andrea Arnold is taking over as director for the new season.
Meanwhile, as reported, HBO is taking a wait-and-see approach to James Franco and “The Deuce” in light of reports of past sexual misconduct. The show’s second season is still in the writing stage.