Race is on to fill huge fantasy void left by ‘Game of Thrones’
The post-“Game of Thrones” TV boom is here.
The sun has hardly set on the fantasy behemoth — which ended in May with a record-breaking 19.3 million viewers and 32 Emmy nods — but other networks are already jockeying to replace HBO’s huge hit with their own big-budget epics.
Whether or not the public wants more fantasy is beside the point, since networks now look at the genre with dollar signs in their eyes — even if these series are only half as successful as “GoT.”
Many of these impending shows — including “Lord of the Rings” (Amazon), “Chronicles of Narnia” (Netflix) and “Kingkiller Chronicles” (Showtime) — have yet to reveal details.
Here’s a look at those series we do know something about.
“Carnival Row” (Amazon)
Premiering Aug. 30, this is one of the only “Game of Thrones” successors not based on a popular novel. It’s an original work from the writer of “Pacific Rim,” set in a steampunk London filled with magical creatures and murder — with stars Orlando Bloom, supermodel Cara Delevingne and Jared Harris (“Chernobyl”).
Chances of a hit: Unlikely, but Amazon gave the series a vote of confidence in the form of a second-season order ahead of the first’s debut.
“His Dark Materials” (HBO/BBC)
Coming this fall (date to be determined), “Materials” is based on author Philip Pullman’s 1990s eponymous trilogy and has an all star cast: James McAvoy in a rare TV role, “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ruth Wilson (“The Affair”). It’s a coming-of-age adventure set in an alternate Victorian-era Oxford where other worlds exist and zeppelins are the main transportation. The books are aimed at kids and teens, but adults read them too.
Chances of a hit: High, since it will appeal to all ages.
“The Witcher” (Netflix)
Premiering later this fall, it’s based on a franchise of novels and video games of the same name and is similar to “GoT” in that it’s set in a “Lord of The Rings”-type world brimming with more sex and violence than the original. It also marks star Henry Cavill’s (“The Tudors”) return to TV after playing Superman on the big screen.
Chances of a hit: Mixed. It has popular source material and a big star, but could be hurt by the Netflix model of releasing every episode simultaneously, stifling watercooler buzz.
“The Stand” (CBS All Access)
There’s no premiere date yet, but Stephen King’s 1978 novel is getting a miniseries starring James Marsden (“Westworld”), Whoopi Goldberg, Greg Kinnear (“House of Cards”) and Amber Heard in a story about a society falling apart after a pandemic. It’s the second adaptation after a 1994 miniseries starring Rob Lowe.
Chances of a hit: High. King’s work has seen a recent renaissance (“Castle Rock,” “It”) and “Stranger Things,” with which he’s not involved but wouldn’t exist without his influence.
“See” (Apple TV)
Premiering this fall, “See” is similar to “Carnival Row” — it’s an original story with no source material. It’s set in a future where humans have lost their sense of sight and is written by “Peaky Blinders” creator Steven Knight with star Jason Momoa.
Chances of a hit: Hard to say, since Apple TV has yet to unveil any of its programming. Momoa is a bankable movie star (“Aquaman”) and supporting player but hasn’t proven he can carry a hit show.
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