UPDATED with post-panel statement from HBO’s Francesca Orsi
JERUSALEM — The final season of “Game of Thrones” will not disappoint, promise HBO executives who recounted being at the table read for the last few episodes.
“It was a really powerful moment in our lives and our careers,” said Francesca Orsi, HBO SVP of drama, who took part in a panel titled “The Best of HBO” at the INTV Conference in Israel. “None of the cast had received the scripts prior, and one by one they started falling down to their deaths.”
Orsi was joined on the panel by programming president Casey Bloys with drama chiefs David Levine, moderated by WME’s Marc Korman. Orsi spoke candidly about the challenge of working in the current environment with such competition for high-end programming. Orsi said that in planning for the second installment of “Big Little Lies,” the starry limited series from Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, HBO was “sort of raped” when it came on striking new deals with the key players after the success of the first series.
Orsi issued a statement following an uproar on social media over her likening business dealings to sexual assault — a surprising comment from an executive about such high-profile talent.
“Obviously, I am embarrassed by my poor choice of words,” Orsi said. “We are extremely proud of ‘Big Little Lies’ and excited for the second season.”
In discussing “Game of Thrones” during the session, Orsi said that at the table read of the final six scripts (“a dream…
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