The final season of Game of Thrones will air in the first half of 2019, HBO President of Programming Casey Bloys said during his executive session with the Television Critics Association on Wednesday. For those still itching for a more definitive answer, one thing to remember is that the Emmy eligibility period ends in May, which is likely to have an impact on the air date of the final, six-episode season.
Bloys also reaffirmed previously reported news that they have chosen a Game of Thrones prequel script and are putting it into production. (Read: “Everything We Know About HBO’s Game of Thrones Prequel.”)
“The update I will give, we are doing a pilot that Jane Goldman wrote,” Bloys said. “We’re just starting the search for a director [and] casting director. We hope to be shooting sometime in the year. Beyond that no plans.”
That still leaves more Game of Thrones prequel scripts out there that could just as well be produced and give fans more Westeros. Bloys was coy about whether the remaining prequel scripts were scrapped or could still be viable.
“A combination,” Bloys said. “Our thought going in, the reason we did multiple scripts, [was that] out of five, we’d be lucky to get one we’re very excited about. We did get that. That’s the update.”
Bloys offered some good news for Deadwood fans, too: HBO will begin production on a Deadwood movie to wrap up their Western series that ended in 2006. Since cast members Ian McShane, Timothy Olyphant, Molly Parker, Brad Dourif, John Hawkes, Paula Malcolmson, and others are all busy working on new shows and movies, it was not easy to get them all scheduled to film in October.
“Dan Minahan will direct.” Bloys said. “Gregg Feinberg, Carolyn Strauss, and David Milch worked very hard. It was a nightmare getting cast members schedules aligned, but they are there and it’s greenlit.”
Don’t ask him when it will air yet.
“I don’t wanna be too optimistic,” Bloys said. “I would hope Spring ’19, but let’s get cameras rolling before we worry about that. Let’s take the green light and celebrate that.”
During a panel on the HBO documentary Jane Fonda in Five Acts, Jane Fonda herself gave an update on the 9 to 5 reboot in development with Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dolly Parton set to reprise their roles from the original.
“Right now, Dolly, Lily, and I are intending to be in it,” Fonda said. “My involvement is as an executive producer, with Lily, working with the writers, talking to the writers.”
Those writers may include Rashida Jones who Deadline reported was sought to cowrite with original 9 to 5 writer Pat Resnick. The rumored premise is that a new trio of women plot revenge on their sexist boss, but this time they seek advice from the original three.
Fonda is pushing for the new movie to address changes in the modern workplace.
“I’m sorry to say the situation is worse today,” Fonda said, “and I’ll tell you why: Back in the day the company was called Consolidated, which it still is. You worked for the company, if you had problems you went to the company. Today a lot of the company is hired outside and subcontracted back to Consolidated. Who do you go to? Who do you complain to? Who do you fight with? Social media, the internet, computers, you can be spied on a lot more easily.”
She did, however, imply that sexual harassment may decline thanks to movements like #MeToo and Time’s Up.
“I do think probably sexual harassment will tend to drop because guys are scared,” Fonda said with a laugh.
HBO has already filmed a pilot for the Damon Lindelof–created Watchmen adaptation. Once Bloys sees the finished show, he will decide whether or not to order the series, but he expects to soon, and he is optimistic about it, saying that they can greenlight Watchmen “as soon as possible.”
“That’s our hope,” he said, “but we’ve got to see the pilot. I’ve got very, very high hopes. He wrote a phenomenal script, and Nicole Kassell did a phenomenal job shooting the show. We’ll see in a few weeks.”
Season 3 of True Detective hit a bit of a snag when director Jeremy Saulnier exited after two episodes. The season is still in production and Bloys is optimistic about when it might air.
“My hope is top of the year,” Bloys said.
Season 2 was a setback for the HBO phenom (it even ranked in our article about TV shows with the biggest sophomore slumps), but Bloys said season 3 measures up to the first.
“The scripts that [Nic Pizzolatto] wrote did all the talking for him,” Bloys said. “When I read the scripts, I was sure. It wasn’t based on conversations. It was on the page.”
Westworld ended its divisive second season with some fans unsure if they like where the series might go in the third season. Bloys assured fans that the show’s creators expected that reaction.
“I’m not sure that I would agree that the backlash was widespread,” Bloys said. “What I love about Westworld is the people who love it really love it. Even the people who dislike it feel the need to talk about it, discuss it and debate it. For a show to arouse that kind of feeling, that’s what we want. It is not for casual viewers. It requires your attention. I think Jonah [Nolan] and Lisa [Joy] like to challenge their viewers. Many feel they’re rewarded by that.”
On the comedy side, Bloys confirmed Larry David is writing another season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, though he has no estimate when it will be ready. The final season of Veep is being written and will film this fall, no air date plans yet.
Finally, HBO’s controversial upcoming series The Confederate is on hold indefinitely. Created by Game of Thrones’ David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the original series is about an alternate history in which the confederacy wins the Civil War, and modern day has evolved under a victorious slave owning South. The idea was controversial when announced, but the creators are busy with other projects and have not been able to focus on it. HBO is still committed to The Confederate though.
“David and Dan have got to finish the final season of Game of Thrones,” Bloys said. “[Writers] Malcolm [Spellman] and Nichelle [Tramble Spellman] have a show at Apple. Malcolm has multiple project. Dan and David have the Star Wars movies. When they figure out their schedule they will come back. No changes.”