You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

HBO Chief Talks Violence Against Women, ‘Game of Thrones,’ Jon Stewart and ‘Vinyl’

New HBO programming president Casey Bloys’ first Television Critics Association press tour executive session saw him field several questions about violence against women in his network’s shows — including “Game of Thrones,” “The Night Of” and the upcoming “Westworld.”

“I’d like to not think so,” Bloys said when asked whether HBO and other premium-cable networks in general relied too often on violence against women as a narrative crutch. “I can tell you violence, it’s not just specific to women. It’s indiscriminate,” he said of the series on HBO. “Plenty of men are killed as well,” he added.

Critics have in the past singled out “Game of Thrones” for its frequent depiction of the rape of female characters, and the first episode of “Westworld” features the implied rape of a main female character. One reporter asked Bloys about the complaints that such depictions “normalize” sexual violence against women. “I think the criticism is valid,” said Bloys. “I think it’s something we take into account. It’s not something we want to highlight or are trying to highlight.”

One reporter asked about “The Night Of” and a specific shot that featured the body of the female victim covered in blood. Bloys was asked whether the network would ever show a male victim displayed in the same way. “One of the executive producers is a woman, so they’re not unrepresented,” he said of “The Night Of.” He added that because the series is based on the U.K.’s “Criminal Justice,” such a plot point would not have been changed.

Bloys also talked about “Vinyl,” the expensive Martin Scorsese-produced drama series that was canceled after being initially renewed. Canceling the show was one of Bloys’ first major decisions after being promoted to programming president in May.

“The tough decision is are we going to get this from good to great?” Bloys said of the show. “I didn’t know, quite frankly, and I’ve got limited resources. I’ve got other things I want to do.”

Regarding the network’s forthcoming multi-platform project with former “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart, Bloys dropped hints about the nature of the project, which he described as “an animated parody of a cable news network with an Onion-like portal.” He said that he hopes that the project “will be up and running by September, October.” It is being designed for Stewart to be able to release multiple pieces of shortform content throughout the day, with a half-hour program element appearing on the linear television channel.

Among the other points Bloys addressed:

• The future of “Game of Thrones”: Bloys confirmed that the eighth season will be last. “I would take 10 seasons,” he said, “but we want to take their lead with what they can do and what the best version of the show is.”

• A “Deadwood” film is still a possibility, but creator David Milch has still not yet turned in a script. “I’m sure it will be very good.”

• The network has not ruled out a third season of anthology season “True Detective,” but no story is in the works. If a third season were to happen, it would not necessarily be written by creator Nic Pizzolatto. “We’re open to someone else writing it and Nick supervising it,” Bloys said.

• Bloys predicted that a new season of Larry David’s comedy “Curb Your Enthusiasm” could begin shooting this fall and premiere in 2017.

• The network is open to adding a female host to a talk-show stable that includes Bill Maher, John Oliver and Bill Simmons. “I think it would be nice to have someone other than white men in late night,” Bloys said

• Bloys denied the idea that HBO had any influence in the decision to fire three longtime cast members from “Sesame Street.” “I will tell you our deal with Sesame Workshop, we don’t have any creative involvement with the show,” he said.

More TV

  • A still from LANCE by Marina

    'Lance': Film Review

    Late in the film “Lance,” a documentary that depicts the ascent and the crash of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, the subject recalls the disappearance of his lucrative sponsorships. These deals — with a massive market value and a perhaps more important intangible value of keeping him in the public eye as a figure of rectitude [...]

  • THE BACHELOR - "2404" - Peter

    'The Bachelor' Recap: Alayah Benavidez Returns Amid Chase Rice Appearance

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched the fourth episode of Season 24 of “The Bachelor.” After weeks of being cooped up in the Bachelor mansion, Peter Weber’s contestants were finally released to their first travel destination: Cleveland, Ohio. The first week’s one-on-one went to Victoria Fuller, and she and Weber [...]

  • Kobe Bryant Dead

    Kobe Bryant Was a TV Star With a Complex Media Legacy

    Mark Lazarus was an executive at Turner Broadcasting in the 1990s when the company was the NBA’s sole national cable-TV partner. As such, he had a front-row seat for the hand wringing that occurred when Michael Jordan abruptly left pro basketball in 1993. “There was a ratings hit,” says Lazarus, who became president of Turner [...]

  • Queen Latifah speaks at the Lifetime's

    ‘Equalizer’ Reboot Starring Queen Latifah Ordered to Pilot at CBS

    The “Equalizer” reboot in the works at CBS is taking the next big step. CBS has officially ordered the project, which has Queen Latifah attached to star, to pilot. The prospective show is described as a reimagining of the classic series in which Queen Latifah portrays an enigmatic figure who uses her extensive skills to [...]

  • Kobe Bryant's Death Mourned From Italy

    'Can This Really Be Your Last Post?': Kobe Bryant's Death Mourned From Italy to China

    NBA legend Kobe Bryant’s untimely death has had reverberations around the world, where fans from Italy to the Philippines have united in expressing their grief and honoring the late basketball player, who was one of the most global-facing athletes the league has ever produced. The coronavirus sweeping China momentarily relinquished its grasp on the nation [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content