As the semi-annual Television Critics Association (TCA) summer session begins to kick into gear, HBO started things off today with news about all of their top series including recent Emmy nominee “Game of Thrones” and summer staple “True Blood.”
Following a strong showing with Emmy voters last week and of course the now infamous “Red Wedding” episode, producers of the hit series may now be planning to be around longer than the seven season strategy originally mapped out before “Game of Thrones” first exploded onto the scene. In today’s panel HBO CEO Richard Plepler said of both “Thrones” and “True Blood,” that they “can go as long as there is story.”
“Thrones,” based on the books by George R.R. Martin has already managed to extend its shelf life by splitting the series’ third installment into two seasons. Given how lengthy the novels are (and that Martin still hasn’t finished writing them all yet), that could easily be a strategy repeated in future years.
With “True Blood,” audiences have been on a roller coaster journey as many feel the show hasn’t been as strong as in past seasons. While this current crop of episodes is slowly turning viewers around, it may take some more time. Granted that was expected following the departure of creator Alan Ball, however new showrunner Brian Buckner seems to be on the right path judging by fan reaction to news of the show’s recent renewal.
Among HBO’s other big ticket series, the news on a third season renewal for Aaron Sorkin’s “The Newsroom,” seems to be good, but not fully locked in just yet according the network’s head of original programming Michael Lombardo.
“The odds are excellent – we’re enormously happy with the show. Conversations with Aaron Sorkin are all about scheduling as he he has other commitments. If we can figure the scheduling, I will be shocked if you would not be hearing about a renewal soon.”
Lombardo also touched on the show’s numbers which are up season to season and said he was creatively thrilled with the drama’s direction. Many critics also seem to echo Lombardo’s views as after being raked over the coal’s last year; a number of “Newsroom’s” harshest critics are having more fun with this season’s well devised over-arching plot.
Other news of note from today’s sessions included:
-The final (truncated) season of the critically loved “Treme,” will begin in December.
-The future of buzzed about drama “Criminal Justice” is still up in the air following the untimely (and just completely tragic) passing of fan favorite James Gandolfini. The “Sopranos” star was a driving force behind the project and executives said news of his passing “took the wind out of our sails.”
-“Deadwood” creator David Milch is close to reuniting with HBO again with a new drama entitled “The Money.” The series would center on what was called a “dynastic New York media family.”
-In typical Larry David fashion, when asked about another of season of his popular “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” the well-respected comedian replied “I haven’t decided. I couldn’t say…Ask me in six months.”
The summer session of TCA runs for the next two weeks in Los Angeles.