According to Programming President Casey Bloys, the plans of the new parent company AT & T for HBO will not dilute the range of pay-cable programs.
"There are no plans to dilute the HBO brand in favor of program volume," Bloys said Wednesday at the Television Critics Association's summer press conference. "Nobody came to us and asked us not to do what we do, and that's curate excellence."
Bloys & # 39; comments came nearly three weeks after the New York Times published a story about an internal HBO council meeting John Stankey, a longtime AT & T manager, following the acquisition of the former Time Warner by the company now monitored the newly acquired media portfolio including HBO. Speaking at the meeting with HBO boss Richard Plepler, Stankey suggested that the network needed to quickly grow in volume on original programs to compete better with Netflix.
"John and AT & T were very happy," said Bloys. "Since I started, Richard has been talking a lot, both internally and publicly, about the need for more investment. What I heard in the meeting with John is that someone is talking about investing in programming, what music is in our ears.
Bloys referred to Stanke's commentary on the second quarter AT & T earnings report, which promises to boost HBO's program budget soon.
"One of the challenges we've been facing in recent years has been working with Time Warner, we've been with a company that was preparing to sell rather than invest in programming," Bloys said. "It's the first time anyone has talked about investing in programming, which I find very exciting."
Bloys also talked about this month's Emmy nominations. Netflix announced 112 nominations for HBO 108 this year – the first time in 18 years that HBO did not lead all nets in the number of nominations.
"The Emmy nominations were no surprise to us given the volume of all programming" that Netflix mounted on his platform, Boys said. He claimed that the rivalry between HBO and Netflix is not nearly as bitter as it's often seen, and nodded to Ted Taylor and Cindy Holland. "Let me say here, I want to congratulate Netflix and Ted and Cindy," he said. "You should be proud."
Bloys also turned to a number of current and future projects:
• He defended the science-fiction drama "Westworld" and countered a question that caused widespread criticism of the show. "I would not agree that the backlash was widespread," he said, adding, "What I love about 'Westworld' is that people love it" and those who still do not feel compelled to talk about it. About the gun violence of the show, Bloys said it was not "a primary concern," but added, "depending on where Season 3 is set, it can dispel it."
• The decision to follow a second season of "The Deuce" following allegations of misconduct against star James Franco, who is not involved with the show, said Bloys, came after internal discussions and discussions with producers and performers. "We all felt good about getting on with a second season," he said.
• Urged on for a premiere date for the upcoming final season of "Game of Thrones," Bloys said he hoped it would premiere in the first half of 2019. The third season of "True Detective," he added, would probably premiere in early 2019.
• Work on the next season of Larry David's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" has begun, Bloys said. "He's working on a season, he'll come back when he says he's ready, but I think he'll be back soon, I think Larry David is a classic, an evergreen."
• About the decision To cancel Alan Ball's "Here and Now" after one season, Bloys said, "I hate to reduce it, sometimes a show comes together, it does not, that's all." When someone asked me, "Would you like one Alan Ball's family show with supernatural elements? "I'd say so."
• Bloys said that the pilot for Damon Lindelof's "Watchmen" will be complete and available to executives in a few weeks, and that the series "as soon as possible "could go into production
• A" Deadwood "film was put in the green light.
• Bloys said that the auteur space for the last season of "Veep" came together recently. He predicted that the season would begin in the fall and the premiere in the spring of next year.