Lots of news came straight out of HBO’s panel for the Television Critics Association concerning current and upcoming series for the successful cable network. First up, THR says HBO’s official word has potentially bad news for fans of Vincent Chase and his Entourage with the series (HBO’s longest running series) looking to end once and for all in 2011. Once this season is finished the network is planning on one more short-order season ending with six final episodes next summer. However, HBO programming president Michael Lombardo says that may not be the absolute end for Entourage and definitely won’t be the end of their working relationship with creator Doug Ellin. More details after the jump including news on Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire.
Lombardo commented on the end of Entourage, “[Creator Doug Ellin] is appropriately reserving — he wants to write a film, but wants to do it when the story will make sense. He’s pitched other shows to us. I will expect that within the next couple years [he'll have another show on HBO]. But Entourage next summer will definitely be the final season.” It’s probably best for the series to end since it seems to be getting a bit repetitive, but maybe a movie can spice things up a bit down the line. I’m not exactly what the film would have to do in order to justify an existence after the series finale, but if Sex and the City can pull it off, I don’t see why Vincent Chase can’t really hit the big screen.
While HBO’s longest running series has an end in sight, a new one has just found its beginning. THR said an executive revealed that Game of Thrones, the epic series set in the mythical land of Westeros, would premiere on March 3rd. However, another exec corrected him only saying that it would premiere in the spring sometime. If you don’t recall, the story will follow the noble Stark family who become caught up in high court intrigue when patriarch Eddard (Sean Bean) becomes the king’s new right-hand man.
Finally, as excitement builds for the premiere of HBO’s new series Boardwalk Empire (see the trailer here), THR says the pilot’s helmer, the incomparable Martin Scorsese, hasn’t ruled out a return to direct more episodes down the road. Scorsese said he “would like very much” to sit in the director’s chair for Boardwalk Empire again but his schedule may not allow it in the immediate future. Even if he does return sometime later, it likely won’t be within the series’ first season with six episodes already in the can (all of which are said to be “very, very good”) and Scorsese working on his next film The Invention of Hugo Cabret.
Scorsese even went as far as to commend HBO and television in general for allowing filmmakers to create new worlds with more time to develop characters and stories. The director said, “What’s happening the past nine, ten years was what we had hoped for in the mid-60s when films were being made for TV. We hoped there would be this kind of freedom and ability to create another world and develop long-form characters and story. That didn’t happen in the 70s, 80s and 90s.” Well I’m certainly glad it’s happening now. This is an exciting time for TV and these years may be referred to as a point in history for a new golden age for the flickering box. If that doesn’t sound right, then maybe you can at least agree that it’s a damn good time to order HBO.