With HBO finding success with the fantasy series GAME OF THRONES based on the books by George R.R. Martin, the question is how long the series can continue since the source material spans so many novels.

At today’s TCA press tour for HBO, Co-President Richard Plepler and HBO Programming President Michael Lombardo spoke about their plans for THRONES.

One of the most important things Plepler and Lombardo are excited about is that executive producers David Benioff and Dan Weiss are getting noticed for their seamless vision in bringing Martin’s vision to the small screen – particularly with the recent writing Emmy nomination for the show.

“What’s exciting is there is so much storytelling,” says Lombardo. “I think they’re able to distill quantities of storytelling into their essence and I trust they’ll do that going forward. As long as they want to keep doing it, there’s a lot of storyteling to tell. It’s invigorating rather than daunting.”

As to whether the show could expand to more than 10 episodes a season to accomdate story, Lombardo explains that would be impossible.

“If we could do 12 episodes on GAME OF THRONES, we would,” says Lombardo. “To produce these shows, at the level of execution they need and not ask consumers to wait for a year, there is no way they could physically do more. We don’t want to dilute the quality of the execution. It’s not what we’re about. The only good news is, I hope it lasts for 20 years. I promise we won’t stop it before it’s ready to stop. It’s great storytelling.”

HBO is also not requiring Benioff and Weiss to finish up certain books by certain seasons either.

“We don’t say ‘you have to finish the second book in the second season,’” says Lombardo. “We’re not looking at the books and worrying, ‘we have to get to this point because of the books.’”

In terms of an end game, when pressed, Lombardo says he doesn’t know “where the show ends as opposed to the books [ending].”

“It would be fantastic to say it will go on for 10 years and cover all aspects of the books, but I don’t know if that’s the case,” says Lombardo. “There’s also [the issue] of how long do the creators want to stay on the show. We have never been a network that have embraced the idea of changing the creative vision. Dan and David have signed on for a couple of years and we’ll have that conversation [of continuing] with them every couple of years.”

That said, Plepler adds, “David has said there are not many things he could imagine spending seven or eight years of his life on, and this is one of them.”

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Article: HBO says they want GAME OF THRONES to last for “20 years”

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