Yesterday evening, the beginning of the end marked HBO's flagship series, global mega hit Game of Thrones. HBO was in a similar position 12 years ago when another blockbuster drama series, The Sopranos came to an end. As was the case, it is a question of HBO's future and how the network will survive the loss of its largest series. In an interview with Deadline, Bob Greenblatt, the recently appointed chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-to-Consumer, who oversees HBO, as well as the upcoming WarnerMedia digital platform and Turner, and HBO's programming manager Casey Bloys, address these issues. Greenblatt also discusses the possibility of more Game of Thrones universe series beyond the prequel with Naomi Watts, who was commissioned for pilot.
& # 39; American Idol & # 39; Up As Viewers Initial Voting
] There have been mixed signals about how much the programming volume on HBO will grow after expanding 50% to 150 hours in 2019. While HBO brass has indicated that the portfolio will probably not increase significantly longer than that , managers of the new owner AT&T have talked about a "bigger and wider" HBO, which is suggested by a large slate ramp-up to rival current streaming leader Netflix. Bloys and Greenblatt last split the volume growth plans and face Cinemax's future, which has a new programming manager, Len Amato, who takes over to resign Kary Antholis.
Greenblatt also provides an update of the ongoing redundancies in the wake of WarnerMedia's acquisition of AT & T and how he will navigate any competition for premium projects between HBO and the streaming platform. Bloys discusses possible new deductions from Nic Pizzolattos True Detective and Marti Noxon's Sharp Objects and provides an update on Silicon Valley may come to an end. In addition, Greenblatt as executive produced HBO's Six Feet Under talks about the chances of restarting.
DEADLINE : Game of Thrones comes to an end. now what ? What does HBO's future look like without its signature series?
BLOYS : If you are considering what has flown between the last season of Game of Thrones and the current season, we have Westworld, Succession, Sharp Objects, The Deuce, My Brilliant Friend, Night, Remainder, Barry, Veep, High Maintenance John Oliver, Bill Maher, not to mention the documents, Hard Knocks , The Shop and it will continue forward. I'm not going to sit here and say, oh, it's not that much. Thrones game is a very big show for us, but we are not just the network of Thrones games. There is really really high quality, really good shows that we do, and it will continue. Looking at the schedule of Euphoria and Watchmen and The Nevers, and His Dark Materials . We have more than ever had the work. I will personally be sorry to see the Thrones game go. As a fan, I love it, but as usual, HBO will survive and we will continue.
GREENBLATT : I will also add that networks often go through these periods when signature shows go and people wonder what the future is. And there is always something that comes with what you didn't expect. I do not think anyone would say they believed The Soprano would turn into it, or that Thrones game would be what it did. So I think you just have to focus on being in business with the best people you can, putting all the effort into making those shows good and the next big phenomenon comes when you least expect it. Meanwhile, there is the whole list that Casey just went through things that are all extraordinary in themselves.
DEADLINE : HBO has the sermon pilot Game of Thrones with several other prequels in development. Bob, after reviewing the programming strategy with Casey, are you considering putting at least one other Game of Thrones series on the track earlier and possibly getting more GOT shows in the air?
GREENBLATT : It is a double-edged sword. The answer is yes, we have conversations about how we continue smart Game of Thrones universe but we have to be very thoughtful about not killing the golden goose and not putting on shows that are not up to that quality level and how many are too many. We all have these calls. I do not yet know what comes from all this material, but I think they have developed smart things that were really good ideas in this universe, and George Martin is involved. There is a prequel in production, but only a pilot so we can see if it has all the goods and it is worth going further. We just try to be very thoughtful about how we can expand this universe if it makes sense, and not as I said, killing the golden goose.
DEADLINE : Many have said about increasing the volume of HBO programming. Now that Bob has had time to settle down and there have been more calls, have you got an expansion plan over the next few years?
BLOYS: We are 150 hours. I think it could stay in 2019, it could go up. Part of it is determined by the fact that the show must be good. We try to do good shows, not necessarily dial a number and I think a little bit of deciding that the number will show that we think are worthy and can we deliver to a creator the experience that people have come to expect to work on HBO? We don't want to lose it. We do not want the volume to be too high so that people feel that they get lost in the mix. So far I think 2019 is doing well, so little for us will be trial.
GREENBLATT : I think we should stay at this level, where the plan is and see how things come in. It can be a little more, but again we want to be very thoughtful and not just download series right and left only because that is what our business now requires.
DEADLINE : Have the two of you had creative conversations yet? Bob, you come from a development background, have you put any ideas to Casey?
BLOYS : Bob has had a lot of experience and just taken him through schedules has been very helpful in terms. He has worked with almost everyone and knows who is really good and. It is always good to talk to someone who has done this and understands programming. So, we talk through schedules for the next three years.
GREENBLATT : There are a few specific things that I wanted to include in the company, and we are working on some things that can be exciting, which I do not mean to be coy about, but there are a few things I like have talked about early. I went to Casey and said, hello, here is something I think can be potentially good for us, think about it. The last thing I want to do is force things in the system, but there have been a few things we thought are really exciting ideas, and maybe we can get them at home, so we work with those things, and that's what is exciting about I come here.
I am proud to enter a place where it does not need to be reinvented. NBC was another experience for me. It was a complete reconstruction of that company on so many levels; The cabinets were bare, and we started over. This is like entering a place that is unfaithful. So I'll just not just enjoy it, but it's like, oh, it's a good idea, I've heard about this, let's talk about this and it's great fun to be with all those incredible people who I have respected for a number of years.
DEADLINE : Bob, you are monitoring both HBO and WarnerMedia's upcoming streaming platform. Will there be any overlap between the two when it comes to programming? Do you have to serve as a traffic police that provides the highest content to the two outlets? How do you decide who is an HBO project and which one must go to the streaming platform?
GREENBLATT : That's a good question. I think what we're trying to do, and I don't think it's just traffic police that would describe it, because I'm really happy to have Casey and (Chief Creative Officer Turner and WarnerMedia Direct to Consumer) Kevin Reilly also speaks a lot about this matter and have a meeting of mind.
The HBO stuff will stay what it is and what you know it is and to some extent it is in a certain type of demo, and we know what it is. The streaming platform will hopefully expand and expand beyond what HBO does. So there will certainly be some series that can look, oh, it can be a HBO show but I think it will be separate and have its own identity. But there are other genres that HBO really does not cover much when it comes to children's programming and family programming and animation, and reality programming and things that we will complement what HBO does. I think we are in the early stages to figure out how to do it and with everyone's input, and I don't just want a whole lot of new series on the platform that look like they can be HBO programs. It would be duplicates and there is much more that we can and should do to round out a platform that only reaches the entire demo from children to adult and young YA things, lots of things that will not ever be HBO's main focus.
DEADLINE : A few programming questions. True Detective comes from a well-received third department starring Mahershala Ali. Anyone talking about a fourth deduction?
BLOYS : No. Nic thinks if he has an idea, and we are waiting to see. With the third season, he showed us scripts that were great, and that is why we decided to do so.
DEADLINE : But he has not yet stated that he has an idea?
BLOYS: No, I haven't seen anything.
DEADLINE : Casey, you said last summer that there are no plans for Sharp Objects to get hold of ideas, but he has not come to us with anything. a second part but Marti Noxon recently made comments that she and the author Gillian Flynn have an idea for a second season. Do you have conversations for more episodes?
BLOYS : They have not come to us with anything, and my suspicion is that a season was right for that performance. I can't imagine getting everyone back. The difficult thing about these things that is a season is trying to get everyone back together, but it also feels like a season was the right one for that show. The next sixth season is the latest . An update on Silicon Valley
BLOYS : They are in the authors' room now. We usually leave it to them to talk to the authors and see if they come to us and say, oh my god, we have two seasons. We're talking about it. They have not returned. They still talk, and we'll see.
DEADLINE : Are you planning any changes for Cinemax's programming strategy.
GREENBLATT : I think I haven't become everything to everything, but I think Cinemax will remain what it has been. It is a service that is very well-distributed, and I believe that some of the exhibitions that have come out from there have been really good and have a distinct personality from HBO. I think it will only continue as it has been; Casey, I don't know if you want to add something.
BLOYS : No major changes. We have programming through the next year or two, and I think it is too early to say if there will be any major changes in their direction, but for now we will continue to do the international co-productions, the pulsating action of programming as has done so well for the network.
DEADLINE : Any update of layoffs? Bob, you noted after taking the job that they will probably be in hundreds of companies overall.
GREENBLATT : I'm happy to talk to it because I know people are still curious about it and someone has said, oh, it's dead with a thousand cuts, which I just laugh at, for I don't think there are a thousand things going out the door. Disney and Fox are a completely different animal from what we do, and I understand why the massive layoffs happen over there.
We collect these companies to some extent and mostly in shared administrative functions in terms of efficiency. I don't want to mix the brands or dilute any of them. No. In addition, we add the streaming service, which to some extent the companies will work together when we build it. So there will be some consolidations behind the scenes, not in the brands or the programming, but I believe to some extent that will be compensated by people we add to the streaming service.
You won't wake up one day and see hundreds of pink ties in any department. It will be a thought-provoking process, it will take several months, if not the rest of the year, and I don't think there will be any dramatic headlines.
DEADLINE : Any plans for a Six Feet During reboot or at least one movie like Deadwood ? Bob?
GREENBLATT : By the way, I would love it. I have just set up two of the key art posters in my office in the Santa Monica HBO office building, and I'm so proud of that show. I don't think it's a show that probably comes back because many people have gone on other things, but I love to work at this company and have had the wonderful experience. It cemented me as a younger manager, how a company should run and how a talent relationship should happen. It was the most satisfying experience I have ever had in this business, really as a producer. I tried to emulate it on Showtime, I keep trying to emulate it in every place I've been, and I'm happy to be back here at this place.
DEADLINE : And finally the biggest question, which will sit on the iron throne?
BLOYS : Oh, let me tell you …
GREENBLATT : I think Casey Bloys is sitting on the throne.