HBO and Max chief Casey Bloys is taking a well-earned victory lap.
After a grueling 2023 that was disrupted by months-long strikes by actors and writers, the executive was over the moon to return to celebrating television — including the final season of Succession.
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Bloys was especially cheery on Tuesday, the day after HBO collected 31 Emmys across 11 programs, including a drama series win for the final season of Succession.
Bloys shared a chuckle at what has become a tradition of sorts in the press after an Emmy darling like Succession wraps its run as the narrative then becomes a familiar one: “What will HBO do without _____?” Bloys, though, isn’t worried that HBO hits The White Lotus, The Last of Us and Euphoria won’t return until 2025 as he looks at a stacked 2024 that includes Jodie Foster fronting the new season of True Detective and upcoming launches of The Regime with Kate Winslet and Robert Downey Jr. vehicle The Sympathizer joining the final season of Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Read on for more from Bloys about the Emmys and, yes, what’s next for HBO (and its streaming counterpart, Max).
Congrats on the big night. What surprised you most about the winners?
I don’t know if it counts as a surprise, but it doesn’t feel like anybody was totally surprised! Beef, The Bear and Succession went in and came out as favorites. Usually there’s always some left turn but if you’re following the races, this all was expected.
The Succession sweep was a good thing for HBO, but from a big-picture point of view, what do you think of this trend of three or four shows winning almost everything in their categories the way those three shows did last night?
It’s too soon to say that it’s a trend. It happened this year but there have been years where it has been spread out more. Let’s see what happens next year and the year after.
Creator Jesse Armstrong recently signed a new deal with HBO, and the Succession cast has been asked endlessly this awards season about spinoffs. What’s the likelihood that there will be a Succession spinoff or prequel?
Very low. As with all these things, I leave it to Jesse and the creatives to think about that. It’s not something I see happening. If Jesse woke up and had a great idea, of course [we’d want it]. I want to do what Jesse wants to do, but it’s not something I’m pushing for or something Jesse has any interest in doing. The odds are pretty low.
So what is Jesse planning next?
He’s going to take a well-deserved break! As with all creators, he has to take a step back from what he just went through. I find it best to wait on the creators and when they have an idea they’re excited about, they’ll come to us. Like with Craig Mazin — after Chernobyl, he came to us with Last of Us. I’ll give Jesse the time he needs to think and read and live life for his process.
Kieran Culkin has said he’s eyeing a TV comedy series as his next act. Is that for HBO?
I don’t know what he’s doing next. I haven’t read anything. It may be a package, I don’t know.
Each time a big HBO show ends — Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, etc. — there’s a narrative that emerges about the future of the cable network. With Succession and Barry, the latter of which went home without any major wins Monday, both having concluded, care to address the narrative of what HBO will do next?
Given the fact that we came out of [Monday] night with Last of Us with eight wins and White Lotus, which has been casting for season three, and Euphoria and House of the Dragon, I think we are going to be in very good shape. In however many years’ time when Craig decides he’s told The Last of Us, the question then is what does HBO do after Last of Us? (Laughing.)
Yes, but most of those shows aren’t back until 2025. What about the interim?
There’s True Detective with Jodie Foster, we have an amazing show [The Regime] with Kate Winslet and The Sympathizer with Robert Downey Jr., Hacks will be back and we have the final season of Curb. And I was excited to see The Gilded Age broke through with the SAG Awards. We’ve got shows that will do very well.
The Last of Us was a big winner at the Creative Arts ceremonies, taking home eight wins, but was shutout in the primetime categories. How will you keep the conversation going among Emmy voters when season two isn’t back until 2025?
One thing I’m not worried about with The Last of Us is keeping the conversation going. That show has a huge fan base and ended with 30 million viewers an episode. A two-year turnaround time is standard for big genre shows. That’s not something I’m worried about.
Last of Us game players know what happens to Joel in the second game. What can you tease about if season two will mirror the game as it pertains to Pedro Pascal’s Joel?
I’ll leave the teasing to Craig if he wants to tease anything there.
White Lotus begins production on season three next month. Is Woody Harrelson attached?
Woody isn’t attached. [Creator] Mike White has had conversations with a lot of people and Woody was one of them. One of the issues when you’re shooting overseas is people’s schedules. You have most of the casting, though there are a couple more roles. But Woody is not one of them.
What hopes do you have for season three of White Lotus to compete in the drama category, likely against Last of Us and Euphoria?
Let’s get through 2024 first! The right mindset for these questions is doing the best show possible and if we end up with multiple nominees, that’s a high-class problem. What I’m more concerned about is making the best shows as possible versus garnering as many Emmy nominations.
Has there been any decision about if season three of Euphoria will be its last? By the time it returns in 2025, the show will have been off the air for more than three years.
The cast has become very popular. Zendaya is a movie star as well as Sydney Sweeney and Jacob Elordi. They’re all getting great parts and doing wonderful things. But that will be up to [creator] Sam Levinson.
How do you get more Max originals — like the recently canceled Julia, for example — into the Emmys mix? Or is the mandate at Max to focus on broad appeal fare and not awards bait?
Peacemaker, the Penguin series and the It prequel are good examples. Sarah Aubrey and her team are trying to focus more on using the Warner Bros. IP to do big tentpole shows.
Yes, but you’re also doing big tentpole shows with multiple Game of Thrones spinoffs, etc.
If I end up with a larger number of tentpole shows, I won’t complain! (Laughing.)
Off topic here, but Our Flag Means Death was recently canceled after two seasons. A petition to revive the show that has more than 50,000 signatures and the fan campaign has raised north of $20,000 to buy ads to save the show. Why was it canceled and what would it take to bring it back?
Nobody likes to cancel a show. But the fact of the matter is the numbers weren’t there for a renewal. But I will say, whenever we cancel a show, if a creator can set it up elsewhere, we support them. That is an option for Our Flag; it didn’t make sense for us but it might be for someone else. We let the producers know if they can find a home, we’ll be supportive of that.
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