It took a few years, but HBO is finally following AMC’s lead and crafting an after-show special for its own buzzworthy series Game of Thrones. In the vein of Talking Dead, HBO announced today that as part of his new deal with the network, Bill Simmons will produce a weekly recap show called After the Thrones, hosted by podcast and Grantland veterans Chris Ryan and Andy Greenwald. In a bit of a twist, however, After the Thrones won’t actually air on HBO, but will instead be made available every Monday on the network’s online-only service HBO Now as well as on HBO Go and HBO On Demand.
Ryan and Greenwald recently joined Simmons’ new online venture The Ringer and host the podcast The Watch, as well as others, so they’re no stranger to the Grantland faithful. Moreover, with their Watch the Thrones podcast, they’re also incredibly familiar with recapping Game of Thrones on a weekly basis. Their charismatic rapport and fascinating insight into the world of pop culture—specifically television—bode well for the quality of After the Thrones. Each episode will see the duo breaking down the previous episode with the help of superfan guests and experts.
I’m curious (and hopeful) to see whether this venture is a bit more candid with its recapping or will simply be another way to promote HBO’s flagship series. Chris Hardwick is a fantastic host of Talking Dead, but the show rarely (if ever) criticizes The Walking Dead. With shows as popular and at times controversial as these, there’s a huge missed opportunity for genuine conversation and a back-and-forth, and given Ryan and Greenwald’s track record, I hope they won’t shy away from criticisms of their own even if After the Thrones is the “official” recap show of Game of Thrones.
For more, visit the show’s website here. The first episode of After the Thrones will arrive on April 25th following the Season 6 premiere on April 24th.