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Game of Thrones prequel series in talks, HBO says

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Helen Sloan/HBO

HBO has never made a prequel or spinoff series from one of its scripted hits. But Game of Thrones could change that.

The network’s programming president Casey Bloys confirms HBO is still talking to author George R.R. Martin about ideas for a follow-up to the international Emmy-winning hit series, which is seen by more than 20 million viewers.

“I would say it’s still kind of preliminary ongoing talks,” Bloys replied when asked if he’s zeroed in on a specific idea from Martin’s thousands of years of Westeros history to potentially develop into a new show. “There are areas we are exploring, but I wouldn’t point to any one and say, ‘This is what we’re going to do.'”

We also asked Bloys if Thrones‘ season 8 episode count has been determined (EW and others have previously reported that producers David Benioff and Dan Weiss aim to keep the final season to six episodes). “I’ll take as much as we can get,” the executive says.

Another question about the last season is whether the final couple episodes could be released in theaters as a movie — something that Martin and others have lobbied for, given the show’s epic scope and cinematic production values. HBO insiders have long suggested this wasn’t going to happen, as the network prefers focus on serving its subscribers. “I want everything I can get for HBO, I’ll just leave it at that,” Bloys confirmed.

The interview was pegged to Bloys announcing that he’s renewed HBO’s new fall showsWestworld, Insecure, and Divorce — for second seasons. Thrones returns next summer for its seventh season, which will have seven episodes.