HBO de­vel­op­ing four Game of Thrones spinoffs

The Hamilton Spectator - - A&E - JOHN KOBLIN New York Times News Ser­vice

“Game of Thrones” is clos­ing in on its fi­nal two sea­sons, but HBO is not go­ing to give up on Wes­teros.

The pre­mium cable chan­nel an­nounced in a state­ment Thurs­day that it was de­vel­op­ing scripts to spin off the se­ries that will “ex­plore dif­fer­ent time pe­ri­ods of Ge­orge R.R. Martin’s vast and rich uni­verse.”

There are only 13 episodes left in HBO’s hit se­ries, which the net­work is break­ing up into two sea­sons — seven this year, and six next year.

For months, HBO has been in talks with Martin, the author of the “Game of Thrones” nov­els, about spinning off the story once the drama wraps up. There is a play­book for this: AMC rolled out a pre­quel, “Bet­ter Call Saul,” after its suc­cess­ful drama “Break­ing Bad” went off the air in 2013.

It also qual­i­fies as a no-brainer: “Game of Thrones” has won best drama Emmy each of the last two years, and it is, by far, the net­work’s most pop­u­lar show. HBO draws rev­enue from sub­scrip­tions — both on cable and its dig­i­tal-only of­fer­ings — and fu­ture sea­sons of “Thrones” will be cat­nip to sub­scribers who have signed up for the se­ries.

Cur­rently HBO has locked up deals with four writ­ers who are each plumb­ing Martin’s books for scripts: Max Boren­stein, Jane Gold­man, Brian Hel­ge­land and Carly Wray. Martin is work­ing on scripts with Gold­man and Wray. Other than Martin, none of the writ­ers have writ­ten on “Thrones” be­fore.

The show’s long­time ex­ec­u­tive pro­duc­ers, Dan Weiss and David Be­nioff, will be ex­ec­u­tive pro­duc­ers for any fu­ture spinoff shows but they will not be ac­tively in­volved. “We will sup­port them as they take a much de­served break from writ­ing about Wes­teros once the fi­nal sea­son is com­plete,” the net­work said in a state­ment.

HBO did not elab­o­rate what pe­riod the four scripts would be ex­plor­ing. It is also no guar­an­tee that the scripts will pan out. The ear­li­est a new sea­son of “Thrones” could come would likely be 2019.

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