Michael Lombardo, the president of programming at HBO for more than three decades, will be stepping down from his position, according to the New York Times. Lombardo is responsible for giving the greenlight to some of the network’s biggest hits, including Game of Thrones, Veep, and True Detective.
He’ll be helping a new creative leadership team transition into their role and is currently working out a production deal with the network. “The thing that I love the most about what I have been doing is working with talent, and the truth about my job is that is only a fraction of it,” Lombardo said. “So this just felt like the next step. I would so much rather do it at my home HBO than elsewhere.”
HBO has had its share of stumbles lately, with the Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger series Vinyl not hitting all its marks. Other series recently got the axe, including the sci-fi spectacle Westworld, David Fincher’s Utopia, Steve McQueen’s drama Codes of Conduct, and the Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, and Tom Hanks Lewis & Clark project. And what happened to that third season of True Detective? (If you hung in there for season two, then you know it doesn’t seem optimistic.)
HBO is the oldest and longest continuously operating pay television service (basic or premium) in the United States, but with serious competition from Netflix, Amazon, Showtime, and others, Lombardo’s exit leaves many questions about the future.