4:49pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Game of Thrones' Considering Shorter Final Seasons
The end may be in sight for HBO's Game of Thrones.
Sources confirm to The Hollywood Reporter that showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are mulling two short-order final seasons for the fantasy drama based on the best-selling book series by George R.R. Martin. Among the plans being considered are seven episodes for the not-yet-announced seventh season and six for a likely eighth and final season.
"Any conversations about the end of Game of Thrones and the number of episodes of future seasons is purely speculative," an HBO spokesperson said Thursday in a statement. "As is customary, HBO will sit with Dan and David to discuss the details once a decision has been made to go forward with season seven."
While nothing is set in stone, the 13-episode pickup being split in two would follow a similar trajectory to AMC's Mad Men, when the cabler split its final season in half. While no decisions have been made, producers are said to be mulling multiple options.
The news comes as HBO's newly minted Emmy-winning drama series approaches new ground as season six, which bows April 24, will mark the first time the show has bypassed Martin's books.
Insiders told THR in January that the premium cable network was near a two-season renewal that would take Game of Thrones through season eight. A formal renewal is expected to come soon as HBO typically picks up the show around its return date. It's unclear if the series will score a two-season renewal or if HBO will wait to hammer out a formal end plan for its highest-rated original.
EW first reported the news.