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HBO: Game of Thrones


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From The Hollywood Reporter

HBO's fantasy pilot "Game of Thrones" is marching toward a series order.

Following HBO's portion of TV Critics Assn.'s winter press tour Thursday, the HBO programming chief Michael Lombardo said the dailies for the pilot look "fantastic" and that the project looks very strong for a series pickup.

"I would be surprised if it doesn't (get a green light)," Lombardo said. "It has everything going for it."

If all goes well, "Thrones" will be on HBO in March or April 2011.

The topic du jour, the late-night turmoil at NBC, found its way to the HBO panels.

Rosie O'Donnell, on hand to present her documentary "A Family Is a Family Is a Family," about the diversity of modern partnerships, was asked if she would be interested in a spot in NBC's late-night lineup.

"That question today is like asking if I'd like to vacation in Haiti -- I hear it's nice but not right now," she deadpanned.

O'Donnell also directly addressed NBC's plan to reinstate Jay Leno at 11:35 p.m. by pushing "The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien" to 12:05 a.m.

"If you're privileged enough to be asked enough to drive the bus you should say, 'Thank you,' " she said. "And when you're done, you say, 'thank you,' and you should pass the keys to the new guy -- with red hair -- and not try to flatten the tires."

HBO's upcoming miniseries "The Pacific" caused some creative friction between the network and producers, executive producer Tom Hanks said.

Asked why "Pacific" -- unlike HBO's 2001 mini "Band of Brothers" -- opens each episode with a brief documentary-style history lesson, he answered with what he said was "a sarcastic complaint."

"There was a thought that it was hard to get people excited about a battle in a place like Guadalcanal without context," Hanks said. "There were those of us on the producing team that thought context was a waste of time once we got involved in the characters and story."

HBO showed a lengthy trailer for "Wire" creator David Simon's new series, "Treme," which is set in a post-Katrina New Orleans. The clip suggested that the show is a collection of intertwined character studies more than a narrative-driven series.

" 'The Wire' implied what was at stake in the American city," Simon said. "But 'Treme' shows it."

HBO also screened a compelling trailer for "Temple Grandin," a film starring Claire Danes about an autistic woman who creates a behavioral tool that revolutionizes the cattle industry. While the subject might sound like a tough slog, the film's bright palette and inventive direction had critics buzzing.

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This taken from IMDB. The show reads like a soap:

Seven noble families fight for control of the mythical land of Westeros. Political and sexual intrigue abound. The primary families are the Stark, Lannister, and Baratheon families. Robert Baratheon, King of Westeros, asks his old friend Eddard Stark to serve as his chief advisor. Eddard, suspecting that his predecessor had been murdered, accepts so that he can investigate further. It turns out more than one family is plotting to take the throne. The Queen's family, the Lannisters, may be hatching an incestuous plot to take control. Across the sea, the last surviving members of the previously deposed ruling family, the Targaryens, are also plotting a return to power. The conflict between these families and others, including the Greyjoys, the Tullys, the Arryns, and the Tyrells, leads to war. Meanwhile, in the north, an ancient evil awakens. Amidst war and the political confusion, a brotherhood of misfits, The Night's Watch, is all that stands between the realms of men and the horrors beyond.

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HBO has greenlighted highly anticipated fantasy series "Game of Thrones."

The premium network has picked up the project for a first-season debut next spring. Nine episodes plus the pilot have been ordered. Production will begin in Belfast this June.

The pickup comes on the heels of another HBO big ticket series order, for Terence Winter and Martin Scorsese's drama "Boardwalk Empire."

From the moment "Thrones" was first announced in development, the series based on the George R.R. Martin novels has generated enormous, perhaps unprecedented, online interest for a series at such an early stage.

The sprawling tale set in the mythical land of Westeros tells the story of the noble Stark family who become caught up in high court intrigue when patriarch Eddard (played by Sean Bean) becomes the king's new right-hand man. The four-and-counting books in the series would each be used as one season of the series.

Unlike many fantasy novels, the "Thrones" series largely avoids relying on magical elements and instead goes for brutal realism -- think "Sopranos" with swords. Martin, a former TV writer ("Beauty and the Beast"), writes each chapter as a cliffhanger, which should lend itself well to series translation. David Benioff and Dan Weiss are the series creators.


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Unlike many fantasy novels, the "Thrones" series largely avoids relying on magical elements and instead goes for brutal realism -- think "Sopranos" with swords. Martin, a former TV writer ("Beauty and the Beast"), writes each chapter as a cliffhanger, which should lend itself well to series translation. David Benioff and Dan Weiss are the series creators.

Clearly written by someone who hasn't read the books. There's tons of magic in them.

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I'm excited about it, HBO has a pretty good track record. I think people who see the show before they read the books will probably be happier with it than those who read the books first. But even if the show doesn't quite live up to the books (and I'm not sure it could without a Rome like budget) We'll, see.

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