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Here's why season 7 production for 'Game of Thrones' has been delayed

The creators say production on the next season of the show will begin later than it usually does. 'Thrones' has become a big hit for network HBO.

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'Game of Thrones' stars Emilia Clarke (l.) and Peter Dinklage (r.).

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Production on the HBO smash hit series “Game of Thrones” will reportedly be delayed as the show heads into what its creators say will be shortened seasons to conclude its run, a model that echoes that of other award-winning TV shows like AMC’s “Mad Men.” 

“Thrones” co-creator David Benioff recently stated that the show will begin filming new episodes later than usual because of a simple factor: weather. 

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As fans of the show know, the most recent season of “Thrones,” which concluded last month, finished with the long-heralded season of winter finally arriving.

Mr. Benioff said during an appearance on the UFC Unfiltered podcast, “We are starting a bit later because at the end of this season, winter is here. So we pushed everything down the line to get some grim, gray weather, even in the sunnier places that we shoot.” 

As for what else fans of the show can expect in future seasons, Benioff and “Thrones” co-creator D.B. Weiss recently stated that they expect seasons seven and eight of the show will each run for a shorter amount of time than previous seasons. “Thrones” usually features 10 episodes in each season. 

Mr. Weiss and Benioff told Entertainment Weekly they were thinking of dividing season seven into seven episodes and season eight into six episodes. In a later interview with Deadline, they stated they were planning on a total of 73 episodes, which would match up with this plan. 

Dividing the end of the show into two shortened seasons is similar to what AMC did when it finished its acclaimed drama “Mad Men.” After airing 13 episodes per season, AMC aired a seven-episode season of the show in 2014 and a seven-episode season of the program in 2015. 

These critically well-received dramas show the possibilities of greater flexibility in scheduling. In the past, television series were more rigid about sticking to the once-normal plan of more than 20 episodes a season, a model still often seen on network television.