“Let me clarify. There wouldn’t be a second season without Andrea. We’re indebted to her,” Bloys said at the Television Critics Association summer press tour on Wednesday. “As anybody who works in television knows, a director typically does not have final creative control.”
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According to the earlier report, Arnold was under the impression that she would have creative control over Season 2, which she directed in its entirety. But the report stated that control was taken from her and given to Season 1 director and series executive producer Jean-Marc Vallee.
According to Bloys, Arnold had never been promised final cut and that she turned in her director’s cuts as expected. Upon receiving them, the show’s producing team then took their own pass at editing the series.
“The entire producing team all asked Jean-Marc to come in and hone the episodes,” he said. “I would be hard pressed to point to any show that airs the director’s cut of any episodes.”
Bloys also touched on the fact that some episodes of the show’s second season had nearly a dozen credited editors.
“[Jean-Marc] is an editor and he has a team of editors that he works with he is very particular about who he works with and how he works with them,” he said. “Jean-Marc was not given carte blanche [in Season 1]. He and [David E. Kelley] and the producers had an aligned vision on that they wanted to do.”
Speaking of a potential third season, Bloys said he has taken a “never say never” approach but at present there are no plans.
“To me, there’s no obvious place to go, no obvious story,” he said. “I would certainly be open to it because I love working with all of them.”
Questions were also raised about how HBO is going to change now that WarnerMedia is poised to launch the streaming service HBO Max. Bloys said he found it “flattering” that the new service had been dubbed HBO Max. He went on to say that WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey and chairman Bob Greenblatt have made it clear that “HBO will be the core of any offering” and that the new service will be “broader and complimentary” to HBO’s programming.
Bloys also touched on the marked increase in HBO’s amount of programming. While the premium cabler aired approximately 100-105 hours of scripted programming in past years, there will be around 150 hours in 2019.
“The big challenge for me and our team that by doing that much more we’re not just filling hours to fill hours,” he said. “We have a lot more programming and there is not one show I would not have aired two years ago or five years ago.” He specifically pointed to the success of shows like “Chernobyl” and “Gentleman Jack,” the first HBO originals to air on Monday nights, as evidence that the increased programming strategy is working. HBO plans to have 160-165 hours in 2020.