'Game of Thrones': HBO says it's in for the long haul

game-of-thrones-finale.jpgHBO doesn't yet know how long "Game of Thrones" will be on the air, but whenever the end does come, the show's creators and the network want to do it justice.

HBO co-president Richard Plepler and programming president Michael Lombardo faced a series of questions Thursday (July 28) over the future of the show and its relationship to its source material, George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels.

The fifth book in Martin's series, "A Dance with Dragons," was released July 12, and he has two more planned to wrap up the saga. Depending on audience interest, production challenges and other factors, it's conceivable that the TV show would end somewhere short of Martin's last page of the novels.

Still, Lombardo wants fans to know that both HBO and "Thrones" executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are committed to doing right by the story. "I can promise you it won't stop before it's ready to stop," Lombardo says, responding to a question about whether fans might be left hanging as they were when "Deadwood" ended.

Which is not to say that Lombardo is committing to any extra seasons beyond the second, which is due to air next year.

"We don't know where the show for us ends as opposed to the books," Lombardo says. "It would be fantastic to be able to say this show will go on for 10 years and do every aspect of the books. I don't know if that will be the case. ... I think the challenge for us is always, How long do the creators want to stay on the show? We haven't really been a network that embraces the idea of changing creative vision. ... [Weiss and Benioff] have signed on for a couple years, and we're going to have that conversation with them every couple of years."

That's the business end of the conversation. On the creative side, Benioff and Weiss are all-in, and HBO is behind them.

"David said at the beginning of this that there aren't many things he could imagine spending seven or eight years of his life devoted to," Plepler says. "This is one of them."
Photo/Video credit: HBO