HBO Programming Head Talks About 'Game of Thrones' Finale and 'BLL' Season 2 Controversies
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In addition to talking about the controversial ending of the hit medieval series, Casey Bloys addresses the report that 'Big Little Lies' season 2 director Andrea Arnold isn't given creative control.

AceShowbiz - HBO Programming Head Casey Bloys had a lot to address at the Wednesday, July 24 conference at the network's Television Critics Association summer press day. Among topics that he talked with the press was the controversial finale of hit series "Game of Thrones".

The final season of the fantasy series earned much attention from fans and eventually helped network receive a record-setting number of Emmy nominations, though many had expressed their disappointment regarding the ending. Of the poor review, Bloys said, "There are very few downsides to having a hugely popular show and one I can think of is that many people have big opinions on how it should end and how they should see any characters' stories come through."

Following the finale of "Game of Thrones" season 8 which aired on May 19, fans launched a petition for the network to re-shoot the episode. However, Bloys noted that HBO had no plans to do so, adding that he "can't imagine any other network would" either.

During the conference, Bloys also shut down speculations that network executives had meddled with the series through copious notes to creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. "When a show is sixth, seventh season of a highly successful run by that point, there's usually a rhythm with the showrunners and network ... so there's no more back and forth," he explained.

Bloys also addressed the report that "Big Little Lies" season 2 director Andrea Arnold wasn't given creative control. "Let me clarify. There wouldn’t be a second season without Andrea. We’re indebted to her," he said. "As anybody who works in television knows, a director typically does not have final creative control."

Prior to this, it was said that instead of Arnold, the creative control was given to season 1 director and series executive producer Jean-Marc Vallee. Bloys shared that Arnold had never been promised final cut and that she turned in her director's cuts as expected. "The entire producing team all asked Jean-Marc to come in and hone the episodes," he said. "I would be hard pressed to point to any show that airs the director's cut of any episodes."

Adding that some episodes of the show’s second season had nearly a dozen credited editors, Bloys said, "[Jean-Marc] is an editor and he has a team of editors that he works with he is very particular about who he works with and how he works with them. Jean-Marc was not given carte blanche [in Season 1]. He and [David E. Kelley] and the producers had an aligned vision on that they wanted to do."

When asked if there would be a season 3, he revealed that he took a "never say never" approach for it, though he added that there were no plans for another season at present. "To me, there’s no obvious place to go, no obvious story," he explained. "I would certainly be open to it because I love working with all of them."

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