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‘Game of Thrones’ Spinoff in the Works at HBO

Variety logo Variety 5/4/2017 Daniel Holloway
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HBO has closed deals with four different writers to explore multiple possible spinoffs of “Game of Thrones.”

The premium cable channel says that there is no timeline for development of the projects. “We’ll take as much or as little time as the writers need and, as with all our development, we will evaluate what we have when the scripts are in,” a spokesperson said.

The four writers are Max Borenstein (“Kong: Skull Island”),  Jane Goldman (“Kingsman: The Golden Circle”), Brian Helgeland (“Legend”), and Carly Wray (“Mad Men,” “The Leftovers”). Goldman and Wray will each be working individually with novelist and “Game of Thrones” creator George R. R. Martin.

“Game of Thrones” executive producers and showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benioff  will be attached to the four projects, as will Martin, but will not write on any of them.

A spinoff to “Game of Thrones” — the most watched series in HBO history — has been a source of speculation for years. In recent months, HBO executive began to privately acknowledge that the network was searching for writers to develop ideas based on the series and Martin’s best-selling fantasy novels from which it is adapted.

Asked about a possible spinoff last year at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, HBO programming president Casey Bloys said, “We’ve talked about it. It’s something I’m not opposed to. But, of course, it has to make sense creatively. I am not sure that the guys [Weiss and Benioff] can really wrap their heads around it when they’re just about to start production. It’s a pretty intense production. They’re about to start production soon, but I’m open to it. The guys weren’t opposed to it, but there is no concrete plans, or anything like that at this point.”

Season seven of “Game of Thrones” is set to premiere July 16. Production on the show pushed the premiere of the new season past its usual April start date, in order to capture the weather the producers wanted. The new season will consist of seven episodes. The eighth and final season, which Weiss and Benioff have already begun writing, will be between six and eight episodes.

The season six finale of “Game of Thrones” drew a series-high 8.9 million viewers in overnight numbers —an expecially high number given premium HBO’s much smaller viewer base than broadcast and basic-cable nets. Season six averaged 23.3 million multiplatform viewers, according to the service.

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