HBO Bosses on Game of Thrones' Future, James Gandolfini's Pilot and Newsroom's Renewal Chances

President of HBO programming Michael Lombardo says no decision has been made about True Blood

By Jenna Mullins Jul 25, 2013 10:03 PMTags
Game of Thrones, Peter Dinklage Helen Sloan/HBO

We imagine once the Game of Thrones series catches up with the books written by George R.R. Martin, the riot of fans will be on par with the brutal Red Wedding episode.

But Michael Lombardo, president of HBO programming, isn't sweating the fate of one of the network's biggest series ever. To an extent.

"As far as I'm concerned it can go on as long as there are stories to tell," he said during today's HBO TCA presentation. "I know there are concerns about catching up with the books."

CEO Richard Plepler: added: "Our line to George was, 'You keep writing!'"

As for Criminal Justice, the pilot HBO produced starring the late James Gandolfini, that project is currently on hold while the creators figure out how to move forward without their star.

"Jim's passing took the wind out of our sails at HBO. I can't imagine us airing the pilot with James in it, but we're having conversations with [producer] Steve Zaillian about how to proceed," Lombardo said of the show's future. "It's hard to think about replacing him. The conversation would be about re-shooting the scenes that Jim had already performed in and recasting going forward."

For more highlights from the HBO executive session, read on:

John P. Johnson/HBO

True Blood's Future: No decision has been made about True Blood's renewal, but Lombardo is happy about the "new energy" this season.

Treme's Premiere Date: The final season of Treme will premiere on Dec. 1 on HBO. Mark it down.

Newsroom Renewal: Prepare for a season-three pickup announcement! "I think the [renewal] odds are excellent," said Lombardo. "We're very happy with the show. Obviously the conversation with Aaron [Sorkin] is about scheduling. I would be shocked if you weren't hearing an announcement soon."

Enlightened's Cancellation: The HBO bosses says the decision was made mostly in part because the show didn't grow in its second season, and because it had come to a "natural resting place." "It was really about choices and a creative decision," Lombardo insisted.

Veep Hits the Trail: Lombardo hinted that Selina (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) will be running for president next season.

Luck's Demise: The HBO execs admitted that the animal controversy on Luck has made them very hesitant to pursue any animal-themed projects. "I'm not particularly interested in a pitch where animals are critical to the storytelling," Lombardo admitted.