The aftershow trend continues with HBO rookie Bill Simmons producing a post-Game of Thrones program. The premium channel said today that After the Thrones, hosted by Andy Greenwald and Chris Ryan from The Ringer, Simmons’ new content site, will follow the Games of Thrones premiere April 24 and continue throughout the upcoming sixth season. It’s the first TV project in HBO’s partnership with the former Grantland chief and ESPN personality.
After the Thrones will recap the latest episode, explaining the who, what, when and where; exploring the complicated politics and history of Thrones; and “offering absurd and not-so-absurd theories about future episodes.” Greenwald and Ryan hosted Grantland’s Watch the Thrones podcast and currently host The Watch on Channel 33’s podcast feed for The Ringer.
The popularity of the aftershow has blossomed since AMC launched The Walking Dead postmortem Talking Dead in 2011. Programs followed by the companion series have included FX’s Sons of Anarchy, Discovery’s Shark Week and, announced last week, BBC America’s Orphan Black.
HBO signed Simmons to an exclusive multi-year, multiplatform deal in July, two months after ESPN announced it would not renew his contract. The sports net had suspended Simmons — a popular writer, commentator and podcaster and founder of its multimedia brand Grantland — in September 2014 over comments he made about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. It pulled the plug on Grantland last fall, five months after replacing Simmons as editor-in-chief with MTV News veteran Chris Connelly.
Simmons’ first on-air gig for HBO will be a weekly talk show set to premiere later this year. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart alums Stuart Miller and Jason Ross will serve as executive producer and head writer, respectively.
Simmons and BSMG President Eric Weinberger, with Ryan and Greenwald serving as co-executive producers of After the Thrones, which will be available on Mondays on HBO Now, HBO Go, HBO On Demand and other affiliate portals.