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TCA 2019: Casey Bloys: Record Emmy Nominations for ‘Game of Thrones’ Validates Final Season Despite Criticism

A record 32 Emmy nominations for HBO’s Game of Thrones helped validate what was an often criticized final season of the drama series, HBO president Casey Bloys said during the network’s Television Critics Association press tour executive session Wednesday.

Bloys said the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones was successful despite criticism from both TV critics and fans regarding how the series ended. “There are very few downsides about having a show that was a hugely popular show, but one I can think about is when you try to end it,” Bloys said. “That just comes with the territory .. it just shows a lot of enthusiasm for the show.”

He added the network has finished shooting the Game of Thrones prequel and is currently editing the show.

Bloys also called WarnerMedia’s decision to name its new streaming service HBO Max "flattering," adding that the HBO name “represents a brand promise and excellence in programming.”

He also said the pay service will continue to increase the number of original programming hours, which jumped to 150 this year from 105 a year prior, although the network will not sacrifice quality for quantity.

One show that will most likely not return is Big Little Lies, which Bloys said there’s “no obvious story” for a third season.