'TV's Top 5' Podcast: 'Game of Thrones' Early Reaction, Plus the State of Premium Cable

This week, hosts Daniel Fienberg and Lesley Goldberg also look at the long delays between seasons of TV's biggest hits and the red-hot overall deals market.
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Welcome back to TV's Top 5, The Hollywood Reporter's TV podcast.

In every episode, the weekly podcast — hosted by The Hollywood Reporter's West Coast TV editor, Lesley Goldberg (that's me!), and chief TV critic, Daniel Fienberg — will feature five topics that are top of mind in the TV industry and go inside the latest headlines, as well as provide a critical guide of what to watch (or skip, as the case may be).

This week's five topics are:

1. Inside HBO's Game of Thrones final season premiere. Fienberg returns from a whirlwind trip to New York for the glitzy event and shares his early reaction thoughts on the final season premiere. The discussion evolves into a deep dive into the state of HBO amid new corporate parent WarnerMedia and if the latter will be as patient in developing the next Game of Thrones prequel as former CEO Richard Plepler was with the flagship. The conversation starts at the 2:01 mark.

2. The long wait between seasons. Game of Thrones returns for its first new episode in 20 months. This week, Netflix renewed Ricky Gervais comedy After Life for a second season — which won't air until 2020. And other high-profile originals — Stranger Things, Atlanta, Veep, Better Call Saul, Mr. Robot, True Detective, Master of None and more — have experienced similar lengthy delays between seasons. So, why the wait? The breakdown begins at the 13:49 mark.

3. The red-hot overall deals market. J.J. Abrams could be worth $500 million. Pitch could be revived to keep This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman at Disney's 20th Century Fox. So why are showrunners of all pedigrees getting eight- and nine-figure paydays? Goldberg explains the two central types of these deals and why top content creators are cashing in, starting at the 22:19 mark.

4. The state of premium cable networks Showtime, Starz and Epix. In question from the Mailbag (thanks, listener Cameron!) where do the trio of pay cable networks stand as the streaming wars continue to escalate? Fienberg offers a state of each cabler from a critical point of view, while Goldberg explains how the ownership structure of each will keep them in business for the long haul. The segment starts at the 35:31 mark.

5. Critic's Corner. As always, every episode ends with Fienberg offering his critical thoughts about what to watch (or skip). This week, he weighs in on BBC America's Killing Eve, FX's Fosse/Verdon and Cinemax's Warrior. Tune in starting at the 46:08 mark. 

Hear it all now on TV's Top 5. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast to never miss an episode. (Reviews welcome!) You can also email Goldberg and Fienberg with any topics or questions you'd like to be addressed in future episodes at TVsTop5@THR.com.

TV's Top 5 is part of THR's roster of podcasts, including Awards Chatter, Scott Feinberg's weekly in-depth (and award-winning) interview show focusing on the most interesting talents of the Oscar and Emmy seasons; genre reporter Josh Wigler's newly launched Series Regular (which will cover Game of Thrones weekly to start); crafts expert Carolyn Giardina's weekly series, Behind the Screen, which explores the top artists and technologies creating film and TV magic; and Seth Abramovitch's monthly series, It Happened in Hollywood, which revisits indelible moments from 90 years of THR's entertainment history. Other podcasts are in the works.