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Game of Thrones’ reign nears end

Game of Thrones' sixth season aired earlier this year

Game of Thrones’ sixth season aired earlier this year

US premium cablenet HBO has confirmed that the eighth season of fantasy adventure drama Game of Thrones (GoT) will be its last.

Casey Bloys, the channel’s new programming chief, said there would only be two more seasons of the show, which was nominated for 23 Primetime Emmys this year.

“Believe me, as the new guy, if I could get [the team behind the show] do to more, I would take 10 more seasons,” Bloys said at the Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour in LA. “But we take their lead on what they think they can do to make the best version of the show.”

The seventh season of GoT, which will comprise seven episodes instead of the usual 10, will begin shooting in Northern Ireland in the coming weeks to air in mid-2017. It is not yet known how many episodes will make up season eight.

However, Bloys did not rule out a spin-off, adding that “we’re open to it, the producers aren’t opposed to it, but there are no concrete plans right now.”

Based on the books by George R R Martin, GoT began its sixth outing in April. The show was created by David Benioff and DB Weiss.

In related news, HBO has ordered a family drama from Six Feet Under creator Alan Ball.

The untitled drama is the first project to hail from Ball’s new two-year deal with the cable network.

The series will centre on a multiracial family: a philosophy professor, his lawyer wife, their three adopted children from Somalia, Vietnam and Colombia, and their biological child.

Ball created the drama and will executive produce alongside Peter Macdissi. It marks the fifth collaboration for Ball with HBO and its sibling cablenet, Cinemax. He is also behind HBO Films’ Oprah Winfrey TV movie The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, to be released next year.

HBO began its time in front of the TCA last week by announcing that it had renewed Bill Maher’s talkshow through 2018.

Season 15 of Real Time With Bill Maher will air next year, while season 16 will broadcast in 2018. The series airs on HBO Canada, day-and-date with HBO in the US.

Meanwhile, the channel’s series reboot of 1973 film Westworld has been given a premiere date of October 2 following numerous production issues and delays.

The show, based on Michael Crichton’s film of the same name, explores how artificial intelligence is affecting mankind. Warner Bros Televsion, JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions, Jerry Weintaub Productions and Kilter Films are producing.

The premiere date comes follows rumours that Westworld was being postponed until 2017 due to production delays. At the TCA event, Bloys was also forced to respond to criticism of the show’s on-screen treatment of women.

HBO has also set premiere dates for freshman comedies Divorce and Insecure, which will both air a week later than Westworld on October 9.

Divorce stars Sarah Jessica Parker, who also executive produces, as a woman who suddenly reassesses her life and her relationship with her husband. The series was created by Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe), with Paul Simms as a showrunner.

Meanwhile, Insecure was created by Issa Rae and Larry Wilmore and explores the black female experience.


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