There is no end in sight for Game of Thrones and True Blood, HBO’s top programming exec maintained to reporters Thursday at the Television Critics Assoc. summer press tour in Beverly Hills.
“It can go on as long as there are stories to tell,” network president Michael Lombardo said of Thrones‘ future. Regarding True Blood, which was just renewed for a seventh season, Lombardo pointed to a new energy under new showrunner Brian Buckner, adding, “No decisions have been made.”
Other highlights from HBO’s exec session:
* The shortened final season of Treme bows Dec. 1.
* The fourth and final season of Eastbound & Down will find Kenny “struggling with marriage, suburbia and his continue demons,” teased Lombardo.
* Julia Louis Dreyfuss’ Veep alter ego Selina Meyer will be running for POTUS in Season 3. “Next season we’ll see her on a bus a lot,” confirmed Lombardo. “She’ll be out on the campaign trail.”
* “We’re having conversations on how to proceed” with Criminal Justice in the wake of James Gandolfini’s passing, said Lombardo. “I can’t imagine us airing the pilot with James in it. Jim’s passing took the wind out of our sails at HBO.” The most likely scenario has HBO “reshooting” the pilot with a new actor in Gadolfini’s role.
* Enlightened‘s miniscule viewership was a factor in the show’s cancellation after two seasons, but it wasn’t the only factor. “We felt creatively that Amy’s story had come to a natural resting place,” said Lombardo. “We felt it was best to end it where we did.”
* A new project, potentially a spin-off series, featuring Melissa George’s Hunted alter ego Sam Hunter is in development at Cinemax.
* The Clive Owen-fronted medical drama The Knick has been given a 10-episode order at Cinemax. Steven Soderbergh, an exec producer on the circa 1900 project, will direct all 10 episodes.
* A third season pickup for The Newsroom is a foregone conclusion, Lombardo confirmed.
It’s game over for Kenny Powers.
HBO has announced that Eastbound & Down‘s eight-episode fourth season, premiering Sept. 29, will be the show’s last.
The comedy stars Danny McBride as an ex-major league pitcher who is forced to take his train wreck of a personality back to his hometown in North Carolina, where he gets a job as a phys-ed teacher.
Season 3 ended with Kenny finally making it back to the majors, only to fake his own death and run back home to his beloved April, the mother of his child. Per HBO, “The upcoming fourth season picks up the action several years later and finds Kenny living the American Dream with his family in North Carolina.”
Eastbound & Down is sticking around for at least one more inning.
Although the show was set to wrap after three seasons, HBO has ordered a fourth season of the baseball comedy, Variety reports.
Eastbound & Down, starring Danny McBride as crude former Major League Baseball pitcher Kenny Powers, will produce eight new episodes. The most recent season of the show, which wrapped in April, saw Powers trying to handle raising a baby by himself while also trying to break back into baseball.
Last year, executive producers McBride and Jody Hill told fans at a Paley Center screening that they didn’t see the show going beyond a third season. “We never really had an interest in turning the show into anything traditional,” McBride said at the time. “We approach each season like it’s one long movie.”
Over the years, Eastbound & Down‘s has attracted some big-name guest stars like Jason Sudeikis, Matthew McConaughey and executive producer Will Ferrell. The Season 3 finale grabbed 1.1 million viewers.
The news comes hours after HBO renewed vampire series True Blood and freshman drama The Newsroom for sixth and second seasons, respectively.
Are you excited for more Eastbound & Down? Or is it time for Kenny Powers to retire from the mound?