HBO in known for its tendency to create close relationships with certain actors, and then choose to work with them in their several original productions. So it is no surprise that the television company is bringing Deadwood‘s Ian McShane into Westeros.
Game of Thrones is HBO’s most successful TV series and therefore, the network it is extremely focused on making sure that the development of its upcoming season is performed perfectly up to the smallest details, because there are millions and millions of fans out there who are already counting down the days until the release of the TV show’s sixth season.
And so, HBO has decided to bring in the heavy artillery and has cast Ian McShane, who has masterfully portrayed the viciously delightful Al Swearengen, the iconic character from one of the best HBO TV series ever made, 2004’s Deadwood.
The network is insisting on keeping Ian McShane’s role in Game of Thrones a secret until the spring of 2016, when the brand new season is set to be released. The only thing that is known so far is that his character will be very important for the development of the Westeros adventures, but that he will not be having a lot of screen time.
However, this is not at all unusual for Game of Thrones, since many of its key characters have had short but extremely intense scenes on the show, given the multitude of story lines presented in the series. And considering the authority that Ian McShane managed to provide for Al Swearengen on Deadwood, he is definitely going to be perfect for Game of Thrones.
HBO has recently announced that the show will run for at least 8 seasons, which is an entire season more than the initial plans included. The show is getting massive attention from the fans and it seems to be able to gather a bigger viewer base with every season. This is a great advantage for both the network and for the Game of Thrones fans out there who can rest assured that their favorite show will be kept on as long as possible.
HBO has released quite a few tremendous original series along the time, that did not quite manage to raise enough viewers so that the expenses involved in the production could be worth sustaining. But despite the low or average view rates, these series gathered overwhelming praise from the critics.
Furthermore, the relatively low viewer bases was actually a very solid and loyal fan bases, that were heartbroken to have their favorite programs cancelled and who did their best to persuade HBO to bring them back. But despite numerous online petitions and propaganda, none of these series was ever brought back.
For instance, the 2002 TV series The Wire was actually called “the greatest TV series that nobody watched” because despite being one of the best cop drama series ever made, worthy of being called a reverse version of AMC’s Breaking Bad, it never really reached all that many people.
Deadwood itself is in this particular category, because the show had immense potential, but it was canceled after only three seasons. However, the strongest example is Carnivale, a 2003 TV series that was a true visual masterpiece. Despite the fact that the critics were in awe of the complexity if story line and of its tremendous visual achievements, the show got cancelled after only two seasons.
It left fans completely brokenhearted, as the show ended with a cliffhanger and they never actually got an answer as to how the shocking plot twist was supposed to turn out. The show was initially set to have six seasons, similar to Game of Thrones, but production had to stop since the expenses demanded by the show turned out to be too high considering the relatively low viewer base.
So Game of Thrones fans should breathe easily, because HBO has every intention of keeping the show going. And since George R.R. Martin’s books include massive amounts of material for the show to be based on, we might be seeing quite a bit more of it. Michael Lombardo, HBO programming executive has even mentioned that they would be interested in creating a prequel to Game of Thrones, which has already gotten the fans dreaming about prior Starks and Targaryens.