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Rory McCann Interview

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The Daily Express has a brief interview with Rory McCann, cast in the role of Sandor Clegane. Rather amazing tale there, and it sounds like this role came to him at the best possible time. The one note about the article? Some of the facts and figures are inaccurate—it’s a bit more expensive than £25 million, and it is not an HBO-BBC co-production.

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I'm not sure how you mean.

When the show was in development, George said that there had been a tentative agreement that the BBC would co-produce if it went to series. This was later confirmed by BBC records showing that there had been development meetings with HBO.

But it never happened. For whatever reason, the BBC chose not to be involved. We had no clear public confirmation of this, however, until it was announced that Sky would be airing the show in the U.K.

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  Wow, I had no idea things were that hard for him. Hopefully this will be the end of it.   

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I hope the series does well. If it does he'll for sure have work for three seasons (possibly a bit in season 4 if theories of him being alive with the monks are correct). I bet he'll channel a lot of his real life frustrations and disillusionment into his performances especially in the scenes with Sansa.

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I'm not sure how you mean.

When the show was in development, George said that there had been a tentative agreement that the BBC would co-produce if it went to series. This was later confirmed by BBC records showing that there had been development meetings with HBO.

But it never happened. For whatever reason, the BBC chose not to be involved. We had no clear public confirmation of this, however, until it was announced that Sky would be airing the show in the U.K.

Expect a few more people to be signing up to Sky UK around the time of this series, then. A shame it won't be on a free to air channel, it means a lot of people who would probably like the series not getting exposed to it.

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Expect a few more people to be signing up to Sky UK around the time of this series, then. A shame it won't be on a free to air channel, it means a lot of people who would probably like the series not getting exposed to it.

We've been through this before, and I partially agree, but I think there are benefits to the Sky situation. If it had been on the BBC, or even Channel 4, it would have gotten millions of viewers, it would have been talked up a lot, it would have a fair amount of mainstream coverage and could have broken through as the Next Big Thing (or it could have been totally ignored after some hoo-har around the first episode, like Rome was). It's a shame it won't have a shot at that kind of coverage and will maybe get around half a million viewers (if very successful) on Sky.

OTOH, Sky are faithful and supportive of their shows, even if the ratings are weak (them continuing to show BSG and Caprica in a prime slot despite atrocious ratings is laudable). More importantly, they gave a metric ton of cash to HBO, who can pour that back into their programmes (including Thrones). They are also substantially more likely to show the series close to US transmission, rather than six months later. If the BBC had been involved as co-producers, they may also have stiffed the show by pulling out financially halfway through, like they did with Rome. That threat is now removed.

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We've been through this before, and I partially agree, but I think there are benefits to the Sky situation. If it had been on the BBC, or even Channel 4, it would have gotten millions of viewers, it would have been talked up a lot, it would have a fair amount of mainstream coverage and could have broken through as the Next Big Thing (or it could have been totally ignored after some hoo-har around the first episode, like Rome was). It's a shame it won't have a shot at that kind of coverage and will maybe get around half a million viewers (if very successful) on Sky.

OTOH, Sky are faithful and supportive of their shows, even if the ratings are weak (them continuing to show BSG and Caprica in a prime slot despite atrocious ratings is laudable). More importantly, they gave a metric ton of cash to HBO, who can pour that back into their programmes (including Thrones). They are also substantially more likely to show the series close to US transmission, rather than six months later. If the BBC had been involved as co-producers, they may also have stiffed the show by pulling out financially halfway through, like they did with Rome. That threat is now removed.

Yep, it's about risk-reward assessment. I think the perception is that the show will only have niche appeal: knowledge of the source material is quite limited, and appreciation of the source material is a subset of that. Whereas with Rome (for instance), who doesn't know about the source material? And the number of people who appreciate the source material is vast.

If the niche perception is the starting point for risk assessment, then the conclusion that pay TV is the best way to maximise foreign income is almost an inevitability. And the BBC probably used the same perception base leading to the conclusion that it would not get involved.

However I would observe that, with a motivated fanbase, and a good screen adaptation the potential viewership is much bigger than the niche fanbase generated through the books. I personally know quite a few people who've never read the books who will be watching the series because I've read the books.

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Plus, there's nothing stopping the BBC getting the rights to show the show in future, right? They wouldn't have to spend any money on making, but just show it. Not sure how long it would be before they would be allowed to show it though.

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The transition from subscription channel (Sky or FX) to a mainstream free to air channel (like BBC or Channel 4) is usually about one year. Although in the case of True Blood that airs on Channel 4 about 9 months after it appears on FX. But then that itself is about 8 months behind HBO USA. That's right we are still waiting for season 3 of True Blood over here, a situation I very much hope does not occur with GoT otherwise I will be forced to break my own rules about using illegal downloads.

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Plus, there's nothing stopping the BBC getting the rights to show the show in future, right? They wouldn't have to spend any money on making, but just show it. Not sure how long it would be before they would be allowed to show it though.

AFAIK Sky has exclusive rights for quite a few years into the future. So I wouldn't bet on it. Also, given that the overwhelming majority of satellite and cable-shown TV shows are never shown on standard TV now (even after seven years, BSG has never been aired on terrarestial TV), I wouldn't hold my breath.

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AFAIK Sky has exclusive rights for quite a few years into the future. So I wouldn't bet on it. Also, given that the overwhelming majority of satellite and cable-shown TV shows are never shown on standard TV now (even after seven years, BSG has never been aired on terrarestial TV), I wouldn't hold my breath.

S'funny really because most HBO and other US cable series get aired on free to air here. Which means I'm hoping for free to air for AGoT too.

Terrarestrial? Is that a special sci-fi broadcasting system?

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