Today’s TV Bits happens to be a bit heavy on Game of Thrones, but there’s plenty of other good stuff in here too, I promise. After the jump:

  • Rumor has it HBO plans to renew Game of Thrones for Seasons 3 and 4, and shoot them back-to-back
  • Also, we’ve got shots of Kit Harrington on the GoT set in Iceland
  • Plus, Maisie Williams explains Arya Stark’s new look for Season 2 of GoT
  • TNT drops an extended sneak peek of its upcoming drama Dallas — yes, as in that Dallas
  • Fox announces its midseason schedule, including premiere dates for Napoleon Dynamite, Alcatraz, and Touch

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After months of casting news and hilariously unrevealing teasers for Game of Thrones, we finally have a real look at some footage from Season 2. HBO has released a behind-the-scenes featurette about the making of the upcoming season, and though we still don’t get to see a whole lot, we do get some good glimpses of returning characters like Arya (Maisie Williams) and Catelyn (Michelle Fairley), as well as new ones including Margaery (Natalie Dormer), Melisandre (Carice van Houten), and Stannis (Stephen Dillane).

Plus, series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are on hand to talk in pretty general terms about the challenges and rewards of filming the show’s second season. Watch the mostly spoiler-free video after the jump.

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HBO’s epic fantasy series Game of Thrones was such a big hit when it premiered this past spring that the network renewed it for a second season just days after the first episode aired. But it’s been a long three months since the first season ended, and with the advent of the fall TV season, even the most diehard fans probably haven’t thought about the series in quite some time.

In an effort to remind you of just how much you’re looking forward to Season 2, HBO has released a very short new teaser. The video reveals pretty much nothing, aside from what seems to be the marketing slogan for the new season, but I welcome the reminder all the same. Watch it after the jump.

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Band of Brothers writer Bruce McKenna and Nikita producer/director Danny Cannon are developing a new Western series for TNT titled Gateway. The 1880s-set action/adventure series will follow the three sons of a murdered sheriff in the titular town of Gateway, Colorado, who band together in order to save their town from a corrupt cattle baron. (Is there any other kind?) TNT’s currently given the show a “cast-contingent pilot order,” so we can probably expect casting rumors to start flying around soon.

Westerns are having something of a moment right now on the small screen. Also coming up is AMC’s post-Civil War series Hell on Wheels, as well as a possible remake of Wild Wild West from CBS; NBC was also working on a Western show, but scrapped the project after the pilot stage. The premise for Gateway sounds like classic Western, and with McKenna and Cannon behind it, I think there’s great potential here for a serious, well-done take on the genre. [Entertainment Weekly]

After the jump, Game of Thrones picks up yet another new cast member, and two Buffy alums dabble once more in the supernatural.

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Sean Bean Plays A Game of Thrones

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A Song of Ice and Fire, George R.R. Martin‘s fantasy series that begins with the novel A Game of Thrones, is being adapted into a series by HBO, and Sean Bean has just nabbed the lead role, according to THR. (This news was actually reported last week by the George R.R. Martin fansite Winter is Coming and I let it pass as too unsubstantiated. Oh, well.) Bean will play the honorable and upright Lord Eddard ‘Ned’ Stark, Warden of the North, who acts as advisor to King Robert I Baratheon, a role for which Mark Addy is in final talks. Read More »

HBO has given the greenlight to film a pilot based on George R.R. Martin‘s bestselling fantasy novel series A Song of Fire and Ice. The show will be titled A Game of Thrones, named after the first novel in the series. Martin has planned seven books in the series, and the plan is to turn each book into a full season of television.

David Benioff (25th Hour, Troy), who is executive producing the series with D.B. Weiss (I Am Legend Prequel), says that “High fantasy has never been done on TV before and if anybody can do it, it’s HBO. They’ve taken tired genres and reinvented them — mobsters in The Sopranos and Westerns with Deadwood.” While supernatural and sci-fi have boomed in recent years, it does seem extremely odd that the fantasy genre hasn’t been tried in primetime, especially considering the huge box office and critical success of the Lord of the Rings films. The only fantasy television series that comes to mind is Xena: Princess Warrior, and that was syndicated and… uh, bad.

Sure, dragons, magic, and even swords cost money (Thrones has all three), but in the last decade sci-fi television shows have pushed the boundaries in the visual effects department. The producers claim that Thrones is more character centric, and most of the action takes place off screen – a formula that has worked well for Battlestar Galactica.

A Game of Thrones was published in 1996, nominated for 1998 Nebula Award and the 1997 World Fantasy Award, and won the 1997 Locus Award. The official plot description follows:

Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens. Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.

source: Variety

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