The final season of “Game of Thrones” isn’t airing until 2019, but the race is already underway to find the next king of television.
Streaming services, such as Netflix and Amazon, and more traditional networks like CBS, are spending millions of dollars to find the next series that will fill the giant hole “Game of Thrones” will leave behind. But they all may be chasing something increasingly elusive: a universal hit. When “Game of Thrones” premiered on HBO in 2011, it had far less competition — streaming services weren’t as popular as they are today.
“Game of Thrones'” engaging storytelling, immersive world and enormous production budget has led to 47 Emmys and big ratings (16.1 million watched last season’s finale). Viewers can now pick from hundreds of programs on cable and streaming services, so “Game of Thrones'” success is worth all the gold in Casterly Rock. HBO’s competitors have taken notice.
Amazon is bringing “Lord of the Rings” to the small screen for a reported price tag that could reach $500 million. One of Disney’s big bets for its new streaming service is a “Star Wars” series, which has a reported budget of roughly $100 million for 10 episodes. Both of those franchises have made billions at the box office, but the jury is still out on whether they can find that level of success on TV.
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