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Monday, 01 August 2011 01:19

HBO's Creative Philosophy from co-president Richard Plepler

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   It's always interesting to get an idea of how successful productions are developed. So I had the opportunity to ask the top guys at HBO, Richard Plepler, co-president, and Michael Lombardo, president HBO programming, who know a lot about how to get high-quality successful productions on the air, such as their "Game of Thrones." The medieval fantasy, which has been picked up for a second season already, has been nominated for 13 Emmys.
   What is HBO's philosophy in developing programs, and could the broadcast networks take a cue from them? Plepler notes that HBO is doing something different than the networks, and he says, "The great benefit that we have is that when a creative voice comes in, and we feel that we have a shared vision about what they're trying to do. And they are breathing that idea, and we can see it, and we think it fits with our brand and the direction that we're going. We're betting on that talent."
   Plepler says the first meeting he and Lombardo had with producers/creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss for "Game of Thrones," was encouraging for everyone.  "You knew that they breathed that show. You knew they understood it. You knew that they felt it, and that made us very comfortable."
   He says HBO is not determining success on the basis of numbers. "We're determining success on the basis of quality. And we believe that the numbers will follow. And if on a show like 'Treme,' which we think is of the highest quality, and a show that we're very, very proud of, does a smaller number, that's okay as part of the canvas that we're drawing on. It's just a very different business model."
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