HBO Speculation

Patience is a virtue, part 2

An article on the Broadcasting & Cable website, sent along by Tom Hogan from the aforementioned Boardwalk Empire blog, highlights something that many of you have correctly identified. Sue Naegle, President of HBO, has this to say regarding HBO’s philosophy when it comes to picking up new series:

She’s confident the new regime’s new ways of doing things will return HBO to glory. “We have all the right ingredients to make great TV,” she says.

That includes patience. As we dine at the beginning of April, filming is wrapping on the pilot Treme, a heavily researched post-Katrina New Orleans drama from The Wire creator David Simon. Naegle has scripts for several additional episodes in hand and expects the show will go into production as a series this fall. But it’s not ordered yet.

Nor is there a series order for Boardwalk Empire, the 1920s-era drama written by Terence Winter (Sopranos) and directed by Martin Scorsese, the pilot for which will start rolling in late May. Or Game of Thrones, a fantastical drama based on the George R.R. Martin books. She’s also piloting a fourth project, comedy The Wonderful Maladys, between now and the fall and “may go into production on others,” she says. “They’re moving as if they’re moving into series.”

However, going forward on these projects will be a deliberate, collaborative process. There will be a period of time for each project to get the pilot right. “If we need to edit, make changes, reshoot anything, we want to have time for all of us to tinker,” she explains. “It’s not just for us, it’s for them [the creators]. We’re in it together, to make sure it’s working. It’s not at all because we need Terry Winter or David Simon to pass some test; it’s more that we want to be very careful about being smart with money and production and making sure we’re prepared.”

Winter Is Coming: Well it looks like those predicting a long wait before we get any announcement on Thrones being picked up are correct. It seems HBO is taking it’s time with these projects, and despite my hopes and speculation to the contrary, it seems they are content to wait before giving any orders.


  • Still, it sounds like HBO is approaching things the right way at least. I’d rather them take the time to make sure GoT is the best it can be rather than rushing it out.

    Winter: do we know what The Wonderful Maladys is?

  • I am hoping the offer Ireland is making to anyone who uses that building will be the fiscal straw on the camals back for HBO, to be able to make it for relatively cheap means they can still make money even if the show starts off with just book fans watching.

    if they do pick it up, the Ireland offer will probably help keep the show going longer.

  • I hope this wasn’t the HBO announcement that Martin hinted about.

    So what exactly is GoT running up against now (since I think BwE and Treme are shoe-ins)?

  • Anon: Agreed. Despite wanting to see this series get on air as soon as possible, I think HBO taking their time is a good thing as it means if they do decide to go ahead with the show it will not meet an untimely end like Carnivale, Deadwood and Rome before it.

    The Wonderful Maladys is a comedy pilot starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. Don’t think it is going to be challenging Thrones in any way.

  • I don’t care when, only if. Once the series is “go” I’ll quit stressing about all of this.

    I can handle a fall 2011 debute; and, I’ve got $100 on the HBO series AGoT being aired before ADWD is complete./sarc off

  • If HBO fails to pick up Game of Thrones, I hope they release it. I’m an HBO subscriber, but I would switch to Showtime to follow Game of Thrones if it went there.

  • “The Wonderful Maladys is a comedy pilot starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. Don’t think it is going to be challenging Thrones in any way.”

    Like hell you say. They’ve grabbed Molly Parker, thus denying us the ideal casting for Catelyn Stark. Rrrr . . .

  • Personally, the longer to get this series going, the better, I say. It will give Martin longer to work on the rest of the series and hopefully prolong the tv show if/when it does get picked up and aired. With any luck, most of the books can get made into seasons, but only if Martin has the time to finish the books.