This week HBO renewed its hit fantasy series Game of Thrones for fifth and sixth seasons. A two-season pickup is nice, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. First, logistically, the sprawling drama is based on George R.R. Martin’s books which will span across seven thick novels when all is said and done; so there is much story that needs to be adapted for the small screen. Second, of course, is the show’s monster ratings. Last Sunday’s season 4 premiere drew in a record-breaking 6.6 million viewers making it the pay cabler’s most watched program since The Sopranos‘ series finale in 2007.
“Game of Thrones is a phenomenon like no other,” said president of HBO Programming Michael Lombardo. “David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, along with their talented collaborators, continue to surpass themselves, and we look forward to more of their dazzling storytelling.”
Also renewed this week is A&E’s Psycho prequel series Bates Motel. The Freddy Highmore & Vera Farmiga show will return for a 10-episode third season in 2015. Season 2 is really starting to unravel Norman’s psychosis and another season of the thriller is going to bring viewers even closer to the serial killer we know he is destined to be.
“The incredible writing team and talented Bates Motel cast has made this series one of the most compelling original dramas on television,” said A&E EVP and GM David McKillop. “The brilliant twists and turns of the past two seasons keep its loyal fan base coming back for more. We are so proud of the show.”
Game of Thrones airs Sunday nights at 9PM on HBO and Bates Motel airs Mondays at 10PM on A&E.