Rest assured, "Game of Thrones" fans - and judging by the ratings, there are a few of you out there -- the HBO fantasy series isn't going away anytime in the near future.
HBO's co-president Richard Plepler and president of programming Michael Lombardo were on hand for the cable outlet's panel at the Television Critics Assn.'s summer press tour at the Beverly Hilton on Thursday. Among the topics that piqued an anxious audience's interest -- would "Game of Thrones" be a victim of the "Deadwood" syndrome and meet an early demise?
Not a chance, the pair assured.
"I can promise you that we won't stop it until its ready to stop," Lombardo assured.
Added Plepler, "We told George [R. R. Martin, author of the "A Song of Ice and Fire" book series that the show is based on] that we'd keep going as long as he was writing."
It's hardly surprising that HBO would want to keep the swords swinging on the graphically violent series: "Game of Thrones" has been a reliable ratings winner, and a second season of the series, which will premiere next year, was greenlit shortly after the series premiere. And Martin's continued participation in the show -- he serves as the series' co-executive producer -- seems to be a lock, given his reaction to HBO's adaptation of his baby so far.
"George is so excited about the way that we've handled it and the way that the producers are handling it," Plepler noted. "We know we've succeeded partially from his satisfaction."
In fact, Lombardo noted, the series has been the source of such satisfaction all around, that it might inspire HBO to delve into the fantasy realm more often.
"I'm still not a fan of the genre but I love the show," Lombardo admitted. "I'm certainly open to another one, because this show constantly surprises and dazzles me."