Rumors are swirling around Rings Of Power, Amazon’s huge budget The Lord of the Rings spin-off show. The multi-year, $1 billion effort got off to a rocky start as Tolkien enthusiasts turned away from the show, followed by more casual fans and viewers criticising the show.

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Then HBOs Game Of Thrones spin-off The House Of The Dragon premiered directly against it and pulled in better reviews and, some say, better numbers. Back in November the rumors hit fever pitch and it was claimed by “insiders” that the showrunners were to be fired. Film critic Chris Gore said reception was bad enough for Amazon to demand a course correction ahead of season 2:

“I heard from someone who has a connect at Amazon that – if you wanna know – that effectively, they’re going to be retooling, and [Payne and McKay] are more than likely…they’re not gonna be publicly fired, but their role will be reduced.”

It was rumored that to avoid the negative buzz, they would simply be shunted to the writers room.

Now it looks like damage limitation is in progress against these rumors, and Amazon are coming out fighting. Speaking with Deadline, Amazon Studios’ Head of Global TV Vernon Sanders has had nothing but good things to say about the show:

“Its been a tremendous success for us, it performed incredibly well around the globe. It is by far our biggest scripted series, it is the most acquisitive show that we’ve put out.

After we finished releasing episodes, we saw a new surge of people come to the service to start the show. We’ve already released the fact that we’re over 100 million, and the number has gone up since then, it’s millions and millions beyond that.

We are really proud that the show drove renewed interest in the books, we saw spikes in book sales. It’s just been a company-wide success and as significant as our investment has been, it has more than paid off for us.”

He also spoke about Season 3 and beyond:

“We are absolutely committed. We have every reason to be excited. They’ve done a tremendous job. It’s a great question about Season 3, we’re probably two to three months in on Season 3, but I think there could be news certainly in the new year.

There’s so much planning and prep that’s necessary for us to get this mounted that the only reason we probably haven’t gotten there quite yet is we’ve just been so heads down in Season 2, but I would expect there to be news in the new year.”

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power remains available on Prime Video.

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