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TCA: HBO Execs Address Future of Series, Netflix Comparisons

Lombardo, Plepler address fate of Gandolfini-starrer 'Criminal Justice'; new pilot from David Milch

Netflix has drawn extensive comparisons to pay TV network HBO in recent months, as the streaming platform’s subscriber base continues to blossom and its shows, including “House of Cards,” have entered the Emmy fray.

HBO CEO Richard Plepler emphasized that the network is used to competition, so the Netflix comparisons made by countless journos and analysts are nothing new.

“First, it was broadcast,” said the topper, who has been at HBO for over two decades. “Then premium, then basic, and digital, and Amazon. We live very comfortably among competition and we think there is plenty of room for other people to do good work. We concentrate…on being the best version of ourselves as we can be.”

The execs also shot down any possibility that a Netflix show like “House of Cards” could find itself on HBO’s lineup in the future.

Lombardo and Plepler also addressed questions regarding the future of “Criminal Justice,” a miniseries set at the network that the late James Gandolfini was slated to star in.

“Jim’s passing took the wind out of our sails quite a bit at HBO,” Lombardo said. “We’re talking about the future of [‘Criminal Justice’] now…It’s hard to think about replacing him, but we’re having those conversations.”

HBO also announced that “Treme” will return for its final run on Dec. 1, and that a season three renewal of “The Newsroom” is highly likely within the coming weeks.

The future of frosh series “Family Tree,” however, remains uncertain — HBO said “no decision has been made.”

Meanwhile, David Milch’s return to HBO is nearing, as his project — titled “The Money” — closes in on a pilot order. The HBO heads stated that casting is underway for the project. “Eastbound & Down” co-creators Jody Hill and Danny McBride are also eying a comedy at HBO that takes place in high school.

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