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HBO looks beyond ’Game of Thrones,’ maybe back to a prequel

LOS ANGELES — The final season of “Game of Thrones” just started, but HBO has its eye on what’s next.

The TV channel’s most successful series is ending its eight-season run in a drastically changed media landscape. HBO must compete with streaming services like Netflix offering more and more choices.

HBO programming chief Casey Bloys says the channel is ready, with an increase in the number of hours of original programming produced this year.

He points to popular shows including “Big Little Lies” and newcomers that may include a “Game of Thrones” prequel.

The prequel will shoot a pilot in June with Naomi Watts. Bloys has high hopes for it, but says if it’s greenlighted as a series it’s not a given the “Game of Thrones” audience will automatically tune in.