TV Critics Won't Get Game Of Thrones Screeners This Season

Photo: HBO.
Hollywood hacks and overcautious producers are making it hard for anyone to get a leg up on the upcoming season of Game of Thrones. Mashable reports that TV critics won't be getting a preview of the show before its season premiere, a new change that could affect how different websites and outlets report on the show.
Mashable notes that HBO did offer up screeners of The Leftovers (which had a series finale this season) before its ending, so it's not a company-wide policy coming into play. However, the site adds that GoT's fifth season did fall victim to a leak, with the first few episodes hitting the internet before they actually aired. That may be the catalyst for the new change, though nobody can be sure it's the real reason.
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Seeing as how Game of Thrones holds the honor of being the worlds' most pirated show for five years running, it makes sense that as it comes to a close, producers want to be more careful. But other super-popular shows, like Fox's Empire, NBC's This is Us, and even Netflix series like Luke Cage and Orange is the New Black, offer up screeners or previews for critics, who use them for recaps and morning-after posts.
After Orange Is the New Black episodes were basically held hostage, HBO's higher-ups could be wary of something similar happening to its tentpole show. By keeping everything under wraps, the network could be covering all of its bases and making sure that nobody, hackers included, has access to the new episodes. And now that the show is deviating from George R. R. Martin's books, nobody has any sort of advantage when it comes to sussing out plot points.
Mashable notes that this isn't the first time that critics have been left in the dark. In the past, Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner stopped sending screeners after the show's fourth season.
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