‘Game of Thrones’ Likely to End After Season 8, Says HBO Chief

TCA 2015: Network programming head Michael Lombardo is open to possible prequel series

The end of “Game of Thrones” is in sight.

HBO programming president Michael Lombardo predicted Thursday that the Emmy-winning fantasy series will likely end after its eighth season.

“Obviously we’re shooting season six now, hopefully discussing seven,” Lombardo said Thursday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. He indicated that the final word on when to end the series will rest with showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. “I think their feeling is we’re looking at two more seasons after six. I’m hoping they’ll change their minds, but that’s what we’re looking at right now.”

Season 5 of “Game of Thrones ended in June. The show is nominated for eight Primetime Emmy awards, including best drama series. Asked whether the network would be open to a prequel, Lombardo again deferred to Benioff and Weiss.

“I’m open to anything Dan and David would want to do [with Game of Thrones],” he said, adding, “but no conversations yet.”

Asked to chime in on whether fan-favorite character Jon Snow is dead, as he appeared to be at the end of last season, Lombardo echoed the show’s producers, saying, “Dead is dead is dead. He be dead. Yes. Everything I’ve seen, heard and read, he is dead.”

Lombardo defended Season 2 of “True Detective,” joking to critics that he had just returned from vacation to find “that some of you had tweeted, written some comments” that were critical of the show. But he contended that “the show works,” and that he has told creator Nic Pizzolatto that HBO is open to a possible third season of the anthology drama.

On the possibility of another season of Larry David’s comedy series “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” Lombardo said that he last spoke to David in New York at the premiere of David’s play “Fish in the Dark.”

“He pulled out his little notebook and said, ‘You know what this is?’” Lombardo said. “‘I said no, what is it?’ He said, ‘This is the next season.’” Lombardo added that the network has no immediate plans for a ninth season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” which last aired new episodes in 2011, “but I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the future TCAs we’re up here with Larry.

In the wake of the death of producer Jerry Weintraub, who passed away in early July, Lombardo said that the network has multiple Weintraub-produced projects in the pipeline, but declined to identify them.

“It was a personal and a company loss,” Lombardo said of Weintraub’s death. “I don’t think there will be another Jerry Weintraub.”