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‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7: HBO Confirms Shorter Episode Count, Summer Premiere

HBO has confirmed that “Game of Thrones” Season 7 will consist of seven episodes, set to shoot later this summer. As Variety first reported, executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are eyeing two shortened seasons to end the hit fantasy show, with Season 8 expected to be somewhere between 6 or 8 episodes. Production will be based in Northern Ireland, with additional portions filmed in Spain and Iceland. Season 7 is slated to premiere in summer 2017, later than its usual April start date.

“Now that winter has arrived on ‘Game of Thrones,’ executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss felt that the storylines of the next season would be better served by starting production a little later than usual, when the weather is changing,” said Casey Bloys, president, HBO programming. “Instead of the show’s traditional spring debut, we’re moving the debut to summer to accommodate the shooting schedule.”

The later airdate means that Season 7 will likely miss the eligibility window for the 2017 Emmys and the show might have to wait until 2018 for glory, since the rules state that the bulk of a season’s episodes are required to have aired by May 31 to be considered.

“Game of Thrones” scored 23 Emmy nominations last week, leading the race with nods for stars Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey and first-time nominees Kit Harington and Maisie Williams, along with nominations for directing, writing and drama series, among others.

The show is executive produced by David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Carolyn Strauss, Frank Doelger and Bernadette Caulfield; co-executive producers are Guymon Casady, Vince Gerardis, George R.R. Martin and Bryan Cogman, with Chris Newman, Greg Spence and Lisa McAtackney producing. Season 7 directors will include Mark Mylod, Jeremy Podeswa, Matt Shakman and Alan Taylor.

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