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HBO Programming Chief Addresses ‘Game of Thrones’ Fan Petition

Speaking at HBO’s TCA summer press tour event, the pay cabler’s programming chief Casey Bloys was asked about the controversial final season of “Game of Thrones” and the fan petition which demanded that the eighth season be re-shot.

“There are very, very few downsides to having a hugely popular show, but one I can think of is when you try to end it, many people have big opinions on how it should end,” Bloys began. “The petition shows a lot of enthusiasm and passion for the show, but it wasn’t something that we seriously considered.”

In terms of HBO’s input into the final season, Bloys said that contact between the network and showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss was “minimal.”

“When a show is in its sixth, seventh or eighth season, by that point there’s usually a rhythm between showrunners and the network as to what they expect,” Bloys said.

Later on, Bloys commented on the status of the “Thrones” prequel series, which is set to star Naomi Watts.

“Shooting has wrapped, it looks really good. The cast was amazing, Jane (Goldman) and SJ (Clarkson) are busy in the edit bay,” he revealed.

Bloys added that the backlash against the original series did not affect HBO’s thinking or process on the sequel.

The final season of “Game of Thrones” amassed a record 32 Emmy nominations, among which were three actors in Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy), Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth), and Carice Van Houten (Melisandre) who submitted themselves. Bloys addressed why HBO didn’t submit the actors, explaining that it was mainly down to the concern that the “Thrones” actors could cancel each other out in the vote.

Bloys said that the network’s awards expert worked with showrunners from all HBO’s series to work out who was going to be submitted, and that when the actors decided to submit themselves HBO “helped them and their representatives do it.”

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