news ‘House of the Dragon’ Co-Showrunner Miguel Sapochnik Exits Series

House of the Dragon” is already playing a game of thrones when it comes to showrunners.

Co-showrunner and director Miguel Sapochnik is stepping away from HBO’s record-breaking “Thrones” prequel series. Sapochnik entered a first-look deal with HBO to develop new projects after spending three years on “House of the Dragon.” He will remain on as an executive producer for the series, but co-creator Ryan Condal will be sole showrunner, with original series veteran Alan Taylor joining the team as director. The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.

“Working within the ‘Thrones’ universe for the past few years has been an honor and a privilege, especially spending the last two with the amazing cast and crew of ‘House of the Dragon’,” Sapochnik said in a statement. “I am so proud of what we accomplished with season 1 and overjoyed by the enthusiastic reaction of our viewers. It was incredibly tough to decide to move on, but I know that it is the right choice for me, personally and professionally.”

Sapochnik said of Season 2 director and executive producer Taylor, “I am deeply comforted to know that Alan will be joining the series. He’s someone I’ve known and respected for a long time, and I believe this precious series could not be in safer hands. I am so glad to remain a part of the HBO and ‘House of the Dragon’ family and, of course, I wish Ryan and his team success and all the best with Season 2 and beyond.”

As sole showrunner, Condal will will continue to closely work with co-creator George R.R. Martin.

Season 2 of “House of the Dragon” will be directed and executive produced by Taylor, who previously helmed seven “GoT” episodes, in addition to “The Sopranos,” “Mad Men,” and “Rome.” Emmy winner Taylor most recently directed “Sopranos” prequel film “The Many Saints of Newark” and is in production on AMC’s “Interview with the Vampire” series.

“It’s a pleasure and an honor to be back at HBO, immersing myself in the world of the Targaryens, I look forward to working closely with Ryan as ‘House of the Dragon’ grows into its second season,” Taylor stated. “Ryan, Miguel, and George have launched an extraordinary story, in a rich and fascinating world. Returning to Westeros will be a huge undertaking and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

HBO issued a statement addressing Sapochnik’s exit, saying, “Miguel Sapochnik has done amazing work on the first season of ‘House of the Dragon,’ establishing its signature look and feel. This series simply could not have come together the way it did without him. While we would have loved to have Miguel continue in the same role, we are thrilled to have his ongoing collaboration in this new creative capacity. Looking forward, we’ve had a decades-long relationship with Alan Taylor, and we are delighted to have him join Ryan and rest the talented team.”

“House of the Dragon” showrunner Condal previously told The Hollywood Reporter that Sapochnik was reluctant to formally join the series. “Miguel said, ‘I’m never doing Thrones again,'” Condal remembered, as Sapochnik admitted he went through a lot of “vacillating.”

“House of the Dragon” has already been making history with the highest premiere ratings ever, and viewership for Episode 2 of “House of the Dragon” even increased by two percent for the next episode, tallying 10.2 million viewers domestically across HBO Max and linear telecasts, based on a combination of Nielsen and first party data.

Francesca Orsi, executive vice president of HBO Programming, added, “We are beyond proud of what the entire ‘House of the Dragon’ team has accomplished with Season 1. Our phenomenal cast and crew undertook a massive challenge and exceeded all expectations, delivering a show that has already established itself as must-see-TV.”

“House of the Dragon” was renewed for a second season after its massive series premiere.
 
Reading this, I can't help but picture this guy giving this press release while looking at photographs of his kidnapped family on a cell phone.

"after 3 years working on the highest profile tv show released this year, I have decided, of my own accord, that my time would be better spent quitting immediately after one episode aired to rave reviews. I just couldn't be more happy to hand over everything I've done to a brave genius like my former best friend and showrunner. It goes without saying that he will do a better job running the show without me, and I'm exited to roll the dice with the people that just hung me out to dry. There's probably another, even bigger show I can work on, like storage wars, or the great british bake off"
 
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