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HBO Execs and GRRM on Game of Thrones

Thanks to Maureen Ryan of AOL TV, there’s a great article covering both the TCA and part of Ryan’s exclusive interview with George R.R. Martin Yesterday, HBO had its session at the Television Critics Association press tour, and while they discussed many of their current programs, questions did circle back to Game of Thrones, presently in production for its second season.

Mo shares the highlights of the TCA talk, with an optimistic-sounding remark from Richard Plepler opening things up: “We told George we would go as long as he kept writing.” That sounds to good to be true, as if they were committing to filming all the books, and so of course that’s not exactly the unvarnished truth. Later on, Michael Lombardo provided somewhat more down-to-earth remarks, indicating that the show will run as long as everyone making it is happy; not exactly a blanket committment to covering the whole series. Still, HBO does seem intent on making sure that if the series ends, it ends when it makes sense to them—no Deadwood situation where the ratings were just fine when it was brought to a somewhat premature end.

One other thing they remark on is that they feel ten episodes simply is not possible for the executive producers to create. This reminds us of a similar remark from some months back (possibly the previous TCA) where they said much the same: David Benioff and Dan Weiss simply weren’t capable of writing two additional episodes per season and still remain as involved in the production as they recently are. This rather presupposes they couldn’t bring in additional writers to make up the gap (and personally, we’d have no objections at all if the solution to pick up the slack was to give Bryan Cogman an additional episode or two, or perhaps even to invite George to script an additional episode), which seems odd. So it’s interesting to see GRRM’s view of that very topic in the interview excerpt that Mo has shared. There, Martin points out that other HBO hour-longs manage to get 12 episodes, which is a pretty reasonable point. As he’s always said, he would have preferred it if the first season had 12 episode order, and for that matter that the second season could get 12 episodes, but that’s not to be.

So, fingers crossed for a smash success next season and a quick order of 12 episodes next season! And keep an eye out at the Stay Tuned column for the rest of Ryan’s interview in early August.

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