If you think you can get a sneak peak of the upcoming season of Game of Thrones, think again.
HBO announced today that they will stop sending out advance episodes to the media for the sixth season of the series. In other words, the episodes are on lockdown.
This goes against common practice in the industry, as most networks send out advanced screenings of episodes for the press. Michael Lombardo, the programming president of HBO had this to say:
We’re not sending out press copies this year, anywhere in the world. There will be no copies for review.
This could be a first for any major series, but insiders agree that it is unsurprising. This is the first season of the show that will surpass the story from George R.R. Martin’s books. So, in the entire history of the show, this is the first time that those who have read the books do not know what is to come. Another reason that HBO is likely holding back on sending out the episodes because last year the first half of the season was leaked to a torrent site before the show even premiered.
It should be noted that at the end of last season, though it appeared that fan favorite Jon Snow was killed, there is a lot of speculation and suspense about his storyline.
This is an extremely rare move for a major television series, and the decision is even more impactful since Game of Thrones has shattered Emmy records since it was released. It has become one of the most popular shows in the world, too, with an average of more than 20 million viewers tuning in, on average.
All of this being said, if there is any show that can get away with this move, it is certainly Game of Thrones. This tactic may only serve to heighten the attention that fans and the media are giving the show, which to the surprise of no one, is in a position to once again break its own premiere record.
Game of Thrones returns on April 24.