This Week in TV:
Game of Thrones becomes the most watched show in HBO's history; Bates Motel producers tease when the show may end; Netflix's Narcos adds Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones) to its cast; and the makers of Free Enterprise plan to launch a Kickstarter campaign to fund a TV pilot called Geeks (based on their 1999 film).
In its four seasons on the air, Game of Thrones has achieved plenty of impressive ratings marks, but recently the series reached a truly unprecedented peak as it became the most watched show in HBO's history.
The series officially dethroned The Sopranos as the network's overall ratings king when it elevated its average gross viewership to 18.4 million per episode, a touch higher than the 18.2 million average The Sopranos drew at its popularity height in 2002 (season 4). Of course, this new milestone is even more remarkable considering GOT consistently ranks as television's most pirated series, meaning millions more haven't been calculated into the show's latest numbers feat.
Game of Thrones set the bar quite high for itself after completing season 3 with a 14.4 million viewer average, but after clearing that bar fairly effortlessly in season 4, the show demonstrated it may be able to scoop up even more new devotees as it hurtles toward seasons 5 and 6.
Tune in to the Game of Thrones season 4 finale on Sunday, June 15 @9pm.
When A&E's Psycho prequel series Bates Motel was first announced, many TV viewers wondered how long a show with such an inevitable and well-known conclusion could last. This week, the show's producers admitted that the series can't go as long as some other popular shows and that it could end "after a couple more seasons."
At the ATX Television Festival in Austin, Texas this week, producers Kerry Ehrin and Carlton Cuse discussed the future of their popular series, which recently received a season 3 renewal.
Said Cuse about where the story is headed and how long the show could potentially run:
“I feel like we don’t want to do a literal version of what is in the movie, because that would feel anticlimactic. The specifics of exactly what happens to them, we have some ideas that I think are good, but it’ll be part of the unique world of our story. This is not a show that should run for 10 years. We feel like this year, we’ll have a pretty good sense of when it’s gonna end … a couple more seasons after that, perhaps? I would hope that we could work that out with Universal and A&E and tell the audience exactly how much longer is left.”
With plenty of buzz still stirring following Bates Motel's season 2 finale, fans will certainly be anxious to see where Cuse and co. take Norman and Norma Bates, when the series returns to A&E in 2015.
With its Pablo Escobar (Wagner Moura) already cast, Narcos - Netflix's upcoming original series based on the true story of Escobar and Colombia's Medellin Cartel - found an actor to play one of Escobar's main adversaries this week, casting Game of Thrones star Pedro Pascal in a lead role.
Pascal will play Javier Pena, a Mexican DEA agent sent to Colombia on a U.S. mission to capture or kill Escobar. He joins Moura (Elite Squad) and Robocop (2014) director Jose Padilha, who will helm season 1.
Thanks to his role as Oberyn Martell on GOT, Pascal's star is undoubtedly rising, leading to a major part in what could be another immensely popular series - considering the infamy of the Medellin Cartel and Escobar's crimes. We'll just have to wait and see if Narcos can live up to the high quality standards shows like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards have set for the streaming service.
Narcos is expected to debut on Netflix in 2015.
Kickstarter has proven to be a prosperous starting ground for many movie and television projects in the past few years, so it should come as no surprise that the filmmakers behind the 1999 cult film Free Enterprise are launching their own Kickstarter project to raise money for a TV pilot based on the original film called Geeks.
Like Free Enterprise, Geeks will focus on nerd culture, but the new potential series will center on an all-new cast of characters and the current state of the entertainment industry as it relates to geeks and science fiction.
Said Geeks producer Mark Altman about the project:
“[Director/writer] Rob [Burnett] and I could not be more excited to be revisiting the 'Free Enterprise' universe 15 years after the release of the original movie. This is a chance for fans to see themselves as they really are and will be the only show depicting sci-fi fans with a life. It could probably best be described as 'The Big Bang Theory' meets 'Curb Your Enthusiasm.'”
In featuring William Shatner as its big cameo/guest appearance, Free Enterprise targeted most of its comedy and self-referential humor toward Trekkies, while it's likely that the new series would aim for a wider sci-fi/pop culture mark.
The Geeks Kickstarter campaign will officially launch on July 8 at 5:01 pm PT. We'll update you on how successful it is and if the project ends up getting funded by fans.