“I don’t want to build a programming lineup that is dependent on the next Game of Thrones franchise coming,” Casey Bloys declared today as HBO held it multi-show TCA presentation. GoT‘s final season debuts April 14.
“That said, it’s an incredibly rich world that George has created,” the exec noted of the George RR Martin books on which the multiple Emmy-winning blockbuster series from EPs David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are based. “So, I think we’d be crazy not to take a shot, but it’s not going to be the sole focus of our programming efforts.”
“We’re going to continue that franchise only if it’s good,” Bloys said.
As for the already announced Naomi Watts-led prequel to GoT, Bloys had some blunt news and some wait-and-see words for fans. Promising there would be no crossovers of any sort with the mothershow, the exec also wouldn’t give a launch date for the spinoff if the SJ Clarkson-helmed pilot were picked up to series.
It is anticipated that HBO wants to give some breathing room between the final season of Game of Thrones and any spinoffs hitting the small screen. Late 2020 has been bandied about as a possible launch date but never nailed down – and it won’t be today.
“All I’m telling you now is that we are shooting the pilot in early summer, so I would not even hazard a guess as to when it would end up on air,” Bloys said of the pilot co-scripted by Martin and Jane Goldman, set thousands of years before the cutthroat events and scheming of the Westeros and Essos of GoT.
Bloys also offered up that some of the untitled pilot would be filmed in Northern Ireland like GoT but there were others lands in play too. “SJ just came on at the top of the New Year so they are going through locations and they are working that out,” he said. “They’re will be some based in Belfast but beyond that, they are still scouting.”
Hyped as “not the story we think we know,” the prequel pilot will see Goldman serve as showrunner and executive produce alongside Martin. Fellow GoT co-executive producer Vince Gerardis is on board too with Damages and Bloodline co-creator/exec producer Daniel Zelman, Clarkson, James Farrell and Jim Danger Gray. Chris Symes is also co-executive producing.