Today was HBO’s summer Television Critics Association presentation and during the executive session, HBO co-presidents Richard Plepler and Michael Lombardo answered some Game of Thrones-related questions. From HitFix’s liveblog of the session:
3:08 p.m. Are they fonder of “the genre” now after the success of “Game of Thrones”? “I think the show was a great surprise to a lot of people who thought it was going to be about fantasy,” Plepler says. Lombardo adds, “I’m still not a fan of the genre, but I love the show. That doesn’t mean I’m going to watch another fantasy show, but I’d certainly be open to another one.”
3:26 p.m. Mo Ryan is concerned by what will happen to “Game of Thrones” in later seasons if they stick to the season-per-book pace. “If we could do 12 episodes of a show like ‘Game of Thrones,’ we would,” Lombardo says. He says that “there is no way they could physically do more than 10,” without sacrificing quality. “I can promise you that we won’t stop it before it’s ready to stop,” Lombardo adds. Lombardo hasn’t read the books and he says he isn’t telling the “Game of Thrones” guys that they need to do a story-per-season. Plepler says that Weiss and Benioff are “the best protection you have” against the fears that the show could become too plot-crammed.
3:32 p.m. “The production challenges for this particular season far exceed even what we looked at last season… I think that’s the beauty of the books,” Lombardo says of “Game of Thrones.” A reporter worries that unlike “Deadwood,” there will be major problems with fans if the story finishes in the middle. “He is linked to everything they’re doing. It’s not like he’s disappeared,” Plepler says of Martin. “I don’t know where the show for us ends as opposed to the books,” Lombardo says carefully. So they’re not committing to running “Game of Thrones” forever. “I think the challenge for us is always, how long do the creators want to stay with the show?” Lombardo ponders. “Dan and David have signed on for a couple years and we’re going to have that conversations with them every couple years,” Lombardo adds. He takes very seriously the relationship the show has with its fanbase, noting the audience’s attention to even the smallest detail. “That’s a relationship that we’re obviously very aware of and respectful of,” Lombardo closes.
Winter Is Coming: Nothing too suprising here. Obviously they don’t want to tie themselves into a long-term commitment right now. A bit disappointing that they won’t go for longer seasons. I guess this means we can expect books three, four and five to probably extend over four, five, maybe even six, seasons. Assuming we get that far, of course.
UPDATE: James Hibberd has some quotes as well. I particularly like this one.
“I hope it lasts for 20 years,” says HBO programming president Michael Lombardo of the show. “I promise you we won’t stop it before it’s ready to stop … there’s a great relationship fans have with the show and we appreciate that. We’ve never seen people get so excited about casting [decisions].”
Sounds like someone has been surfing our site!
UPDATE: Maureen Ryan also has a write-up about the session and she even includes a cool Q&A with George R. R. Martin from last weekends Comic-Con. Here is a snippet:
Maureen Ryan: Were there any divergences from the books that you personally would have loved to have seen and just had to accept that they were just not going to happen? Changes weren’t keen on or things you were sorry to lose or what have you?
George R.R. Martin: Yeah, there were. You know, when they adapted the stuff that’s in the books, I loved it and most of the new scenes that they added that were not in the books, I loved. My only quibble, and it is a quibble, I think, rather than any serious criticism, is there were scenes I missed. [There were] scenes that didn’t make it in at all that were never filmed, that were simply cut in script or never even put in script because we simply did not have the time to include them all. There are a number of little favorite scenes and moments that I would have wanted in the show and was looking forward to. The television viewers, of course, don’t even notice that those scenes are missing because none of them were essential scenes.