House of the Dragon is a hit. It has already been renewed for a second season after only two episodes aired. It’s viewership actually increased from episode 1 to episode 2. This is practically unheard of in television terms.
HBO announced that the Game of Thrones prequel gave HBO its largest series launch of all time, with nearly 10 million viewers watching it linear fashion.
By the time the streams and the records had been factored in, it had more than 25 million viewers for that episode. When episode 2 aired, it went even higher than the 10 million linear. This seems to indicate word of mouth is spreading. People who turned away from Game Of Thrones because they didn’t like the ending are coming back, and it is maybe become appointment television again to be spoken about around the watercooler in the office the next day.
So it is understandable that one of the Execs on the show may decide:
“My work here is done!”
Co-showrunner and director Miguel Sapochnik has decided that, and is departing. No shenanigans or “creative differences”, according to The Hollywood Reporter, he has just been involved with Game Of Thrones for many, many years and now that House Of The Dragon has launched so successfully he feels it is the right time to move on.
Co-creator Ryan Condal will now serve as the sole showrunner for the series. Author and co-creator George R.R. Martin remains involved. Series old hand, director Alan Taylor, has been hired to serve as director for multiple episodes of the show’s second season and to fill an executive producer slot.
Sapochnik will remain around HBO, as he has entered into a first-look deal to develop new projects, and he will remain an executive producer on House of the Dragon. He had this to say:
“Working within the Thrones universe for the past few years has been an honor and a privilege, especially spending the last two with the amazing cast and crew of House of the Dragon.
“I am so proud of what we accomplished with season 1 and overjoyed by the enthusiastic reaction of our viewers. It was incredibly tough to decide to move on, but I know that it is the right choice for me, personally and professionally. As I do so, though, I am deeply comforted to know that Alan will be joining the series.
He’s someone I’ve known and respected for a long time, and I believe this precious series could not be in safer hands. I am so glad to remain a part of the HBO and House of the Dragon family and, of course, I wish Ryan and his team success and all the best with season 2 and beyond.”
Looks like we may have another few seasons on our hands here, and yet another thing stopping George RR Martin from finishing the books.