HBO has renewed a drama series for two seasons. The Los Angeles Times reports that the pay-cable network announced the renewal of its hit fantasy "Game of Thrones" for seasons five and six.
"The Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning show, based on George R. R. Martin’s bestselling 'A Song of Ice and Fire' book series, kicked off its fourth season Sunday evening to record-breaking ratings. About 6.6 million viewers tuned in to watch the episode, giving HBO its best numbers since 2007′s series finale of 'The Sopranos' and crashing HBO Go, the network’s online streaming service," the story reports.
The report adds: "Michael Lombardo, president of HBO programming, called the series 'a phenomenon like no other' in the renewal announcement Tuesday, praising series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss for 'their dazzling storytelling.'”
The story notes that seasons five and six of the show could get ahead of the stories being written by Martin.
"The current season is based on the events of the latter half of Martin’s third book in the series, 'A Storm of Swords,' as well as some events in the fourth and fifth tomes, 'A Feast for Crows' and 'A Dance With Dragons,' which largely take place concurrently," the Times reports. "The fifth and sixth seasons could surpass Martin’s books chronologically; his forthcoming sixth and seventh book installments — 'The Winds of Winter' and 'A Dream of Spring' – in the planned seven-part series are still being written, with no publication date as yet announced."
In a recent interview, series creator Benioff said the show will not slow its pace to await whatever Martin has planned.
Said Benioff: “I think that would be what kills the show, if we succumbed to that kind of pressure and tried to stretch it out to make it last for longer than it should last."
Scripts for the show's fifth season are currently being written, the piece notes, adding that producers have been meeting with Martin to talk about his plans for each character.