Game Of Thrones” is, by some distance, the biggest hit that HBO have ever had. “The Sopranos” and “Sex And The City” were phenomena before it, but ‘Thrones’ is a pop-culture obsession around the world on a level of a “Star Wars,” just with more nudity and violence. They probably want it to run and run, but to their credit, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have insisted that they want to end the show when they’re ready, and will wrap it up with Season 8 next year.

But the network are clearly keen for the cash cow to keep going, and have long been hinting that they’d like a spin-off of some kind. And now, word has firmly emerged that they don’t just want one, but multiples, with Variety revealing that FOUR different spin-offs are being developed at the network.

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Plot details are, of course, firmly under wraps, but the writers heading up each project are “Godzilla” and “Kong: Skull Island” scribe Max BorensteinJane Goldman of “Kick-Ass” and “Kingsman” fame; “L.A. Confidential” Oscar-winner Brian Helgeland; and TV veteran Carly Wray, who has credits on “Mad Men” and “The Leftovers,” as well as the upcoming second season of “Westworld.” Goldman and Wray are working directly with George R. R. Martin, presumably because lady-writers need a chaperone or something, while Benioff and Weiss will executive-produce any shows, but won’t be involved with the writing.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that all four shows will make it to air: the network tell the trade, “We’ll take as much or as little time as the writers need and, as with all our development, we will evaluate what we have when the scripts are in.” It’s potentially a similar approach that HBO’s parent company Warner Bros. have taken with their DC movies, often developing scripts parallel to each other. And look how well that’s worked out!!!!!

Anyway, for all the talk of not rushing, we’d be very surprised if HBO didn’t try and get at least one of these shows (“Game Of Thrones: Hot Pie Origins,” anyone?) ready to fill the “Game Of Thrones” gap in 2019. Is this a sign that Peak TV is coming to an end, and that the small-screen is going to become just as franchise-driven as the big? Yeah, probably. “Game Of Thrones” original recipe returns July 16th.

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