At the HBO TCA executive session, programming chief Casey Bloys confirmed that the network’s flagship drama Game of Thrones will end its run after 8 seasons, noting that it was creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’ decision.

“I think David Benioff and D.B. have a very specific plan about the number of seasons they want to do,” Bloys said. “If I could get them to do more, I would take 10 seasons, but we want to take their lead with what they can do and what the best version of the show is.”

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Bloys once again confirmed that Season 7 will consist of 7 episodes, while the Season 8 episode count is still TBD (the rumor had been six).

Will the franchise be extended by a spinoff?

“We’ve talked about it,” Bloys said. “It’s something I’m not opposed to, but it has to make sense creatively. I’m open to it. The guys aren’t opposed to it, but there’s no concrete plans.”

Bloys also confirmed that because of a later production start for the upcoming seventh season (due to creative reasons: the creators need colder weather for the Season 7 storyline), GOT will not be eligible for the 2017 Primetime Emmys for the first time in its run.

The network recently announced that Season 7 of the fantasy megahit will not return until summer 2017 – later than the shows’ usual April launch.

The next season will be shot in Northern Ireland, Spain, and Iceland as the creators will be seeking the colder climate.

Bloys says HBO is not that worried about GOT skipping an Emmy cycle. “Even if you took away Game of Thrones’ Emmy nominations this year, we’d still have more than anybody else,” he said, adding that the network has high awards hopes next year for The Leftovers and Girls’ final season and new drama The Night Of.