'Game of Thrones' and 'True Blood' will keep going and going
That was the message from HBO Wednesday (Aug. 1) at the Television Critics Association press tour. "Game of Thrones" has just two seasons under its belt, but "True Blood" is in the midst of its fifth year -- which makes it the second-oldest series HBO has at the moment, after "Curb Your Enthusiasm."
Still, HBO Programming president Michael Lombardo doesn't see an end for "True Blood" in the near future.
"The show is obviously doing well," Lombardo says. "This coming year will be the first year [creator] Alan Ball is taking a little bit of a step back." (Ball has a new show, "Banshee," set to premiere on Cinemax next year.) "I think creatively, they're still engaged, still excited by the storytelling, and as long as it continues to perform with the consumer, but more importantly, exciting the storytellers, I think we're there."
The same goes, more or less, for "Game of Thrones," based on George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels. The first two seasons have covered the first two books in the series, which currently stands at five books of a planned seven.
"We've said to George, and he's said back to us, that as long as he keeps writing, we'll keep producing," HBO co-president Richard Plepler says. "He seems very excited at that proposition. So as long as he sees fit to keep creating, so will we."
Martin has yet to publish the final two books in the series, but both HBO and executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have said in the past they're not afraid of the show getting ahead of Martin's novels. The later books in the series have more than enough story in them to be spread over multiple TV seasons, they note.