HBO, which this week announced that Casey Bloys would be taking over as president of programming for Michael Lombardo, is ready to change the narrative.
The premium cable network on Thursday announced that its high-profile and long-delayed take on sci-fi drama Westworld would debut in the fall alongside freshman comedies Divorce, Insecure and High Maintenance.
While HBO has yet to announce formal premiere dates for any of the four series, the release helps the cabler change the narrative about its future post-Game of Thrones.
HBO has not launched a breakout hit drama since Game of Thrones in 2011 and has been criticized for lavishing huge budgets on A-list name talent while developing hundreds of projects that have little chance of making it on the air.
Westworld was originally eyed for a 2015 debut and, following a production shutdown, eyed for the first half of 2016. The series, which features an all-star cast — many of whom can play completely different characters, thanks to the show’s robot-filled amusement-park concept — remains a big priority for HBO. Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the show’s androids, played by castmembers including James Marsden, Evan Rachel Wood and Thandie Newton, can be killed off and return with completely different personas, allowing actors to play many characters.
HBO in the past year was forced to delay or outright kill a collection of other high-profile projects, including two shows from David Fincher, a limited series from Steve McQueen and a Lewis & Clark mini. Since his January promotion, Bloys is said to have taken a hard look at former head of drama Michael Ellenberg’s bloated pipeline and begun passing on projects that the network had no intention or ability to make.