There’s nothing like earning 99 Emmy nominations to put a bounce in your step, and HBO was indeed in high spirits at TCA summer press tour. As I wrote at Quartz,
But the network is more concerned about keeping its subscribers happy, not Emmy voters. Speaking to reporters today at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour, chairman and CEO Richard Plepler and HBO programming president Michael Lombardo unveiled their strategy to keep the premium network’s most popular shows rolling along—and their subscribers (114 million worldwide, which generated $4.9 billion in revenue last year, plus countless others who watch HBO Go via shared passwords)—eagerly coming back for more.
At the top of their list: making a plan for Game of Thrones, plotting Season 2 of True Detective, hoping out hope for more Curb Your Enthusiasm and giving closure to True Blood, Boardwalk Empire and The Newsroom.
I made my debut at The A.V. Club for my latest story, a look at how long-running shows lean on their supporting characters for a fresh burst of comedic energy that they can no longer get from their leads. I focused on Modern Family, which has turned Lily Tucker-Pritchett (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons) into the show’s MVP. As I wrote,
This is the latest example of a sitcom reaching way down its supporting bench, plucking out an underused actor, and relying on their unique, refreshing comic flavor to ride out a rough patch. It’s an essential asset, especially for sitcoms, which thrive on repetition.