HBO president of programming Casey Bloys says the network continues developing four Game of Thrones spinoff series, but stresses that season 8 of the show is still the #1 priority. Game of Thrones is currently in the middle of season 7, which will run for just seven episodes, with the final two episodes reportedly both extending beyond the normal one-hour running time. Season 8 is set to run some time in 2018 or 2019 and will wrap up the series which began in 2011 based on the sprawling Song of Ice and Fire series by fantasy novelist George R.R. Martin.
In May, it was first reported that HBO was developing four spinoff series with four different writers working up their own ideas. In July, Bloys stated that though the network had four series in development, that didn't necessarily mean all four would end up making it to the screen. He also stressed that showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will not be involved in the new spinoffs. Benioff and Weiss have since announced a new project at HBO called Confederate, a controversial historical drama imagining an America in which slavery was never abolished.
In his latest update about the status of the spinoffs, Bloys said things are still moving forward, but also said that the remaining episodes of the mother show are where his and the network's attention is focused for the time being (via Deadline):
“The No. 1 priority in all of this is the final season of Game of Thrones. I don’t want to do anything with a spinoff or anything that detracts or distracts from that."
Bloys said a Game of Thrones spinoff series would not air until at least a year after the final season, and also said no characters from the current show would appear. He also reiterated that, in spite of George Martin's prior claim that a fifth spinoff show was in development, there are in fact only four. The executive stressed that though four shows are in development, HBO will be "lucky" if even one of them is good enough to make it to air. The shows are expected to be set before the events of Game of Thrones.
In other comments made at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour, Bloys said the scripts are completed for the final season of Game of Thrones, which will run for six episodes (though again the runtime for at least some of the episodes will be longer than the normal one hour). He also said that owing to the logistics of shooting the larger-than-usual final six episodes, the network is not yet ready to fix a premiere date for season 8.
Speculation about what a Game of Thrones spinoff series might entail has been coming in from many places, including the cast of the original series. Martin has established such a rich universe through his novels, and given hints about so many different historical events that took place before the central happenings of the books, that HBO's team of writers should have no trouble dreaming up fruitful concepts. One thing you can be sure of about any Game of Thrones spinoff is that it will have dragons in there somewhere.
- Game of Thrones release date: Oct 17, 2018