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Bill Simmons to launch Game of Thrones after-show on HBO

The Guardian logo The Guardian 04/04/2016 Nigel M Smith
Bill Simmons has a ‘multi-year, multi-platform agreement’ with HBO. © Bloomberg via Getty Images Bill Simmons has a ‘multi-year, multi-platform agreement’ with HBO.

After five seasons on HBO, Game of Thrones is finally getting its own official after-show on the premium cable network.

The show is the first to emerge from a deal HBO struck up with Bill Simmons, the former editor-in-chief of Grantland, who departed the ESPN-funded site last May after a 14-year relationship.

After the Thrones will debut on 25 April, one day after the season six premiere of Game of Thrones. Former Grantland contributors Andy Greenwald and Chris Ryan will serve as hosts. The pair previously hosted Grantland’s Watch the Thrones podcast, which also focused on the show. They currently host The Watch, a celebrated podcast about pop culture, for Bill Simmons’ Podcast Network.

After the Thrones will recap the latest episodes, while offering “absurd and not-so-absurd theories” about future ones. The show also aims to explore “the complicated politics and history” of the hit fantasy show. 

Simmons’ production deal with HBO, described as a “multi-year, multi-platform agreement”, dates back to last July following his departure from ESPN. The partnership includes plans for Simmons to host a weekly sports talkshow that would launch some time this year, as well as video podcasts for the network and digital platforms.

Since partnering with HBO, Simmons has also developed a new site, the Ringer, with the network. The digital venture is slated to launch later this year. Simmons has recruited more than a half-dozen ex-Grantland staffers for the Ringer, including After the Thrones hosts Greenwald and Ryan. Like Grantland, it’s expected to cover a wide range of topics.

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