LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- HBO closed the final day of the TCA Summer Press Tour with the news that veteran comedy "Entourage" will end its run with season eight while short-lived drama "No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" may return with a pair of telefilms.
Said announcements came during the network's executive session featuring President of Programming Michael Lombardo and Co-President Richard Plepler.
"The plan right now is to finish up this season and we're not clear exactly how many [episodes], we'll do a shorter order next season to finish up. We had talked about six," Plepler said about "Entourage." He would add that creator Doug Ellin "clearly wants to write [an 'Entourage' film] but he also wants to do it so the storytelling makes sense. Clearly he's thinking about how the show will end, he's already pitched other shows to us, we're in a long-term relationship with Doug Ellin. I would expect that in the next couple years you'll see him up here with another show."
As for "Detective Agency," Lombardo said "we're talking to our friends at the Weinstein Company about the possibility of, and actually developing two scripts, possibly to do two movies. And if we can get the cast together and if everything can come together we've love to do it. So it's alive." Plepler added that should they be greenlit, they'll be shot back to back.
Among the other topics brought up for discussion:
-- "We get probably two-thirds of our viewing on a non-premiere night," Lombardo said about the decision to schedule "Boardwalk Empire" during the fall. "There's a huge percentage of our audience that's finding [our shows] purposely either on demand or DVRing it or they're watching it on different multiplex feeds at different times. We're not wedded to a premiere night schedule the way that [broadcast] networks are... I think it will resonate and do just fine."
-- "It's a genre that we've approached somewhat cautiously," Plepler admitted about its upcoming fantasy drama "Game of Thrones." "It's been done I would say somewhat successfully in the feature film world but we have two writers with David Benioff and Daniel Weiss who are so smart and so talented and what struck both of us who are not necessarily, neither of us are particular fans of the genre and it was such an enormously compelling read that it was an easy answer. It wasn't the genre we responded to, it was the storytelling."
-- As for a premiere date for "Game of Thrones," after some confusion by the executives (Lombardo said third quarter 2011, Plepler said March 3), HBO Entertainment President Sue Naegle clarified it's being targeted for the spring of 2011.
-- "Whatever Larry David wants to keep doing, we're happy to keep doing with Larry David," Lombardo said about the future of "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Season eight is currently in production in New York for an air date sometime in 2011.
-- And finally, HBO offered up an "HBO in 2011" trailer featuring the first clips of upcoming originals "Enlightened," "Mildred Pierce" and "Luck" as well as the previously released teaser for "Game of Thrones."