'Game of Thrones' last season set for 2019

The news was largely welcomed by the entertainment press, with critics satisfied that the lay-off would mean a higher-quality final season.

An announcement from U.S. premium cable channel HBO has confirmed long suspected rumours that the show would not return in 2018.

HBO announced Thursday that the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones will not air until 2019.

HBO said on Thursday that Benioff and Weiss will also direct the final season. Fans have to wait nearly two years before any new episodes are released.

The executive producers of the series are David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Carolyn Strauss, Frank Doelger and Bernadette Caulfield.

HBO has confirmed that the show will return in 2019 for a six-episode final season, but the cable broadcaster has not specified the exact date or month. The others have all had roles creating the mythical world of author George RR Martin.

The budget for the final episodes of the hit series is much bigger than the standard for expensive TV episodes, with each episode costing $15 million apiece.

The news comes on the same day it emerged Game of Thrones writer George R.R. Martin has seen another of his books, Nightflyers, given the greenlight by Syfy in the United States and Netflix internationally. Cogman, Guymon Casady, Vince Gerardis and George R.R. Martin as co-executive producers. But given that the network opted to air GoT in the spring every year until a longer-than-usual production schedule pushed season 7 to last summer, a return to a spring launch seems logical.

Production of the final season started in October and filming is expected to last until mid-2018.

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