Just two episodes into Newsroom's second season, HBO's President of Programming Michael Lombardo and CEO Richard Plepler are confident that the Aaron Sorkin drama will soon be renewed for a third season.
"The odds are excellent," Lombardo said at Thursday's Television Critics Association's fall TV previews. "We're very happy with the show. Honestly the conversations with Aaron this point are all about schedule. I would be shocked if you weren't hearing an announcement soon... We're enormously happy with Newsroom."
The Newsroom's future wasn't the only one up for discussion during the panel. Check out the highlights:
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The fates of True Blood and Game of Thrones: Both shows are based on book series — True Blood just finished, while Thrones author George R.R. Martin is hard at work on Book 6 — but Lombardo said both series could continue on for as long as the network sees fit. "It can go on as long as there are stories to tell," Lombardo said of Game of Thrones. "On True Blood, we're excited about it. It feels like a new energy this season. No decisions have been made at this point."
James Gandolfini's final work: The Sopranos actor was set to star in the Criminal Justice pilot. "I can't imagine us airing the pilot with James in it," Lombardo said. "Jim's passing took the wind out of sails quite a bit at HBO, so it's taken some time to even have conversations with Steve [Zaillian]. It's hard to think about replacing him." Moving forward, Lombardo said, "the conversation would be about reshooting the portion that Jim had already performed in and recasting."
Enlightened's cancellation: Laura Dern scored an Emmy nomination for her role after the network had axed the series. "Every decision we make is about displacing something out," Lombardo said of Enlightened's cancellation. "We felt creatively that the story... had come to a creative resting place. It felt we should end where we ended it."
Family Tree's future: Even though the Christopher Guest project hasn't made much of a splash, Lombardo said there's still a chance for a second season. "It's a show that didn't find as robust of an audience as we had hoped," he said. "The BBC is interested in doing another season. We're taking a look at it."
Eastbound & Down coming to an end: Lombardo said Danny McBride and Jody Hill are interested in creating something new for the network, which is ultimately why they're ending the series. "They're going to take a look at high school life," he said. "It's a really great, funny, quintessentially Danny and Jody idea." As for the final season of Eastbound, "You'll find Kenny struggling with marriage, suburbia and his continued demons," Lombardo said.
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Veep's path to the White House: Lombardo expects Selena Meyer to be on a bus for the bulk of next season. "She'll be out on the campaign trail," he said of Julia Louis-Dreyfus' character running for president.
The end: Treme's final five episodes will kick off on Dec. 1.
Jonathan Groff's move to HBO: Lombardo hopes the drama, which stars Glee's Groff, will find an audience. "It felt really fresh and powerful, and less so because there happened to be three gay men living in San Francisco," Lombardo said. "I think it's really special. Will the fact that the protagonists are three gay men turn people off? I don't know. It's a special show, it's really well done."
Larry David returns: Original film Clear History, which stars David as a marketing executive who leaves his company only for it to go on and make billions, will premiere Saturday, Aug. 10 at 9/8c.
Funny lady: Sarah Silverman will star in her first HBO comedy special, Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles, which is slated to debut Saturday, Nov. 23.
Upcoming documentaries: Among the network's lineup of documentaries are Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley (Nov. 18) about the pioneering comedienne, Valentine Road (Oct. 7), which probes the murder of a young teen, Seduced and Abandoned (Oct. 28), a cinematic romp with Alec Baldwin and James Toback, and Six By Sondheim (Dec. 19), which profiles legendary composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim.