During the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour, new HBO programming president Casey Bloys confirmed that the network’s hitmaker Game of Thrones will end after season eight.
“Yes, I think [the showrunners, D.B. Weiss and David Benioff] have a very specific plan about the number of seasons they want to do,” Bloys told the crowd. “If I could get them to do more, I would take 10 seasons but we want to take their lead with what they could do and what the best version of the show is.”
The George R.R. Martin fantasy series was recently renewed for its seventh season (shortened to seven episodes), after an emotional turn in season six, revealing the backstory of beloved characters like Kristian Nairn’s Hodor. Bloys also stated that the episode count for season eight is still up in the air, but that conversations are ongoing about a spinoff.
“We’ve talked about it,” Bloys said. “It’s not something I’m opposed to but it has to make sense creatively. I’m not sure the guys can wrap their heads around it when they are about to start production. We’re open to it; the guys aren’t opposed to it but there’s no concrete plans right now.”
And what about the fate of other fan favorites like True Detective? After season one’s rave reviews and a disappointing turnout for last year’s season two, the likeliness of a third run seemed shaky at best. But Bloys says there’s still hope.
“It is not dead,” Bloys told press. “I talked to [creator Nic Pizzolatto] about it and both Nic and HBO are open to another season. I don’t think Nic has a take and he’s working on some other projects. We’re open to somebody else writing it and Nic supervising it. It’s a valuable franchise, it’s not dead, we just don’t have a take for a third season yet.”
News about Game of Thrones’ end comes just after Michael Lombardo, the president of programming at HBO for more than three decades, stepped down from his position, leaving questions about HBO’s future in a competitive streaming age — soon without its most lucrative and longest-running series.