Updated: Jan 20
We shared back in January that the first season of The Nevers would film from June 2019 to February 2020. But why the long shooting schedule? We have some thoughts.
Is HBO increasing It's Series Episode count?
Three quarters of a year is quite some time to film an HBO series. In recent years, the premium network hasn't been known for exceeding ten episodes for their series. Less episodes equals less time needed to film a full season. Not even the network's crown jewel Game of Thrones filmed for so many months (6 months.) So what gives?
When AT&T acquired Time Warner (which they renamed WarnerMedia), the company decided that they wanted to produce more content for their new streaming service which is set to launch this year. HBO is a huge asset for WarnerMedia. Providing HBO content through its streaming service will give them a leg up on the competition.
So one possibility is that HBO is be upping the number of episodes for some (if not all) of it's series so as to provide enough content to give WarnerMedia's new streaming service a winning chance at being successful in that arena.
Two of HBO’s recent long-running dramas, True Blood and Boardwalk Empire, each began with 12-episode seasons; Empire’s 2014 finale lasted just eight episodes, while True Blood’s final two seasons in 2013 and 2014 were 10 episodes each. Previously, Six Feet Under and The Sopranos used to be 13, but 12-episodes seasons had become the norm in the last decade before falling down to ten and under.
So has the network asked Joss & co. to write more than the traditional ten episode season for The Nevers? That's a possibility.
Another possibility is that Joss simply needs more than 10 episodes to tell the first season of The Nevers.
"An epic science fiction drama."
“It’s no secret any more! The show I’m working on is Joss Whedon’s The Nevers for HBO and you guys...It’s going to be epic.” -Laurie Penny
"I am so excited to see the show with everyone else when it comes out. It’s going to be EVERYTHING I love (Victorian aesthetics, women fighters, sci-fi magic, charismatic villains, daring heroes, delicious couples to ship)..." -Madhuri Shekar
Despite appearances, there was never a 10-episode edict in place according to former chief of programming Michael Lombardo. “The number of episodes for any of our series is determined by the story," he told Quartz. “From conversations with showrunners, writers and/or producers, we find the appropriate amount of episodes necessary to tell that particular story. You never want to rush or drag out a story, so this is a very important step in the production process."
Every press release and person associated with the show has made one thing very clear: The Nevers Is-Going-To-Be-EPIC. As you've read, staff writers Laurie Penny and Madhuri Shekar are can hardly contain their excitement for the series, and the HBO press release stressed that this is a mammoth science fiction drama. And we all know how epic an HBO series can be.
So the "epic" in the "epic sci-fi drama" description could be quite literal. The show could be spanning multiple countries (or dimensions even!) and require more time than usual to bring this magical world with it's visual fx, sprawling set pieces and large cast to life. Only time will tell. Until then, it's fun to speculate.
Let's hear from you. Leave your thoughts below and join in on the discussion.