A 'Game of Thrones' Spinoff Wouldn't Air Until "At Least a Year" After Final Season

HBO programming president Casey Bloys also confirms that the final six episodes will likely have extended running times.
Courtesy of HBO
'Game of Thrones'

HBO programming president Casey Bloys reaffirmed that he will not steal any thunder from the final season of Game of Thrones.

"The No. 1 priority in all of this is the final season of Game of Thrones. I don't want to do anything with a spinoff or anything that detracts or distracts from that," Bloys told reporters including The Hollywood Reporter after his time in front of the press Wednesday at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour. "That season will happen, and my guess is it would be at least a year before you saw anything else. What I don't want is the attention to be drawn from the final season, which I think is going to be epic and amazing, and somehow have the distraction of a new Game of Thrones airing right after that. It's best to separate it and that's what we'll do."

Bloys' comments follow a July 12 interview with THR when the executive said he'd like to see at least one of the prequel series move forward. That's still the plan. "We'll be lucky to get one that hits and we're hopeful and we'll see," he said.

The eighth and final season — which will consist of six episodes — will not premiere until after showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss feel as if they are out of the woods in the production process. Bloys said Wednesday that the scripts for the final season "are written" and the showrunners are currently "boarding it all out" as they attempt to "get a sense for when they're going to shoot" the globe-trotting series.  

Bloys reiterated that the final season would air on HBO — not in Imax theaters before subscribers see it — and that the running time for each of the six episodes is something he has spoken about with the producers. "I imagine they'll be longer but … I'm not sure [how long]," he said. "We haven't had that discussion yet because I don't know how long the episodes are going to be. Two hours per episode seems like it would be excessive, but it's a great show, so who knows?"

Given the success of the franchise — Game of Thrones is HBO's most-watched series ever — Bloys jump-started the development process by hiring writers to create four prequel series. None of them will feature current characters from the beloved fantasy drama. Thrones creator George R.R. Martin is involved in all four (potentially five) of what he calls "successor shows," while showrunners Weiss and Benioff will walk away from the franchise to focus on straight-to-series HBO drama Confederate.

Should one of the prequels move forward, it would mark the first time HBO has launched a spinoff from one of its preexisting programs. As it stands now, all four prequels are in their infancy, and Bloys has yet to see so much of an outline, let alone a script. As he told THR, he is in no rush to get one on the air and is committed to giving subscribers the eighth and final season and not using it as a platform to launch a new series.