In the past, all HBO needed was a few episodes to get a feel of how an original series was doing before deciding its fate. But that’s not how Casey Bloys, the new president of HBO programming, works.
And it’s why we haven’t heard if Westworld has earned a renewal yet. As he told Variety over the weekend, it will depend on how well the back half of the first season does, and what kind of stories showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy want to tell in a second season.
“I want to get a very complete picture of the ratings, which seem to be doing very well, so we’re happy with that. (The executive producers) are going to talk to us about what they envision a second season being. But right now, I would say it’s looking really good. We’re very pleased with how it’s doing.”
Some fans have speculated HBO is slowly walking into a renewal decision primarily because of recent news AT&T would acquire the premium cable channel’s parent company, Time Warner. While a new owner obviously could have some effect on what’s happening in all its divisions, including HBO, Bloys expects high-performers like his cable channel will be virtually left alone.
In fact, HBO was one of three major properties that attracted AT&T in the first place, along with Warner Bros. and Turner. Bloys added that as far as he knew, there were no plans by AT&T to “micromanage” their new acquisition, and were “intent on having the three divisions stick to the kind of content creation” that has defined them to this point.
But seriously, if HBO doesn’t order a second season of their $100 million Westworld series, we’ll fans be stuck with a number of unanswered questions?
“All I would say is, it’s a very satisfying end. I think questions will be answered.
“I love reading the fan theories online. I think it’s great the way people have engaged. I’m just pleased to see the reception from an engagement point of view, and that is has started al of these conversations.
“I think people will get the answers they’re looking for by the end of Season 1. A lot of the ones that people are buzzing about.”
Well, not answers, Bloys clarified. More like “satisfaction,” including whatever relationship William Ford and the Man in Black have.
Westworld airs Sundays on HBO.
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