Michael Lombardo, head of programming at HBO, gave some comments concerning their pilot for George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones after HBO’s panels closed at the TCA press tour and the news was looking very good indeed! Matt Roush of TV Guide was the first to report via Twitter that the executives will see a rough cut in two weeks, and that the dailies looked good. He also confirmed what we’ve previously reported, that more scripts had been written by the Benioff and Weiss writing team.
Then James Hibberd followed up with a detailed account of the remarks from Lombardo. Some salient quotes follow:
“Everything looks fantastic,” said Lombardo, who’s become a fan of the George R.R. Martin books upon which the project is based. “The director got great performances. Unlike a lot of projects like this, everything was shot on location. It has such a rich texture that it looks more expensive than it actually was.”
The network spent $5 million-$10 million on the pilot to bring castle Winterfell to life. Lombardo says executives are “sitting on pins and needles” waiting for a rough cut in two weeks.”
“If all goes well, Lombardo said, “Game of Thrones” will be on HBO in spring 2011—“March or April.”
“I would be surprised if it doesn’t [get greenlit],” Lombardo said. “It has everything going for it.”
When the head of programming is a fan and talks up the dramatic value of a show that feels very adult, with the fantasy aspects playing second-fiddle to the drama, this really seems like virtual confirmation that the show will get the go ahead. Short of something very unexpected happening, it’s time to start considering making sure you’ll be ready to watch the show on HBO when it premieres in Spring 2011.