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.
Amy Jellicoe’s path to enlightenment may continue, but not on your TV screen.
HBO has cancelled Mike White and Laura Dern’s critically adored-yet-ratings challenged dramedy Enlightened, TVLine has confirmed.
“It was a very difficult decision,” the pay cabler said in a statement. “We’re proud of the show and we look forward to working with Mike White and Laura Dern in the future.
For his part, White — who co-created (and appeared in) the series with Dern — was prepared for such a sad outcome.
Knowing the last episode of Season 2 might also be Enlightened‘s series finale, White previously told TVLine he made sure that Dern’s character emerged triumphant from her showdown with disgraced Abaddon CEO Charles Szidon. “It was important to me that when she finally has this ultimate confrontation with power, that she manages to be eloquent,” he said. “Otherwise, the whole thing feels like it’s a fool’s errand. It’s important that in the end, Amy’s not a fool. She certainly lets her emotional reaction to things override her intellectual side, or the ability to have a more nuanced reading of situations, but in the end there’s something pure and important in her mission.”