From budget-busting period epics to reality TV about extreme couponing, the vast world of basic-and-pay cable took center stage this week at the Television Critics Association midseason Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif., when the networks trot out their upcoming slate of shows for a throng of TV journalists. Here are the highlights, including all of EW’s scoopage during the TV confab:
- HBO’s high anticipated Game of Thrones made a big impact, announcing its premiere date, teasing details of a fifth book in George R.R. Martin’s series, and screening 15 minutes of footage for eager TCA journos.
- Starz’s swords-and-sandals-and-blood-and-leather-codpieces epic series Spartacus will get a second season without title star Andy Whitfield, who had to withdraw from the show to resume treatment for cancer. (His replacement has yet to be cast.) The network also premiered a new trailer for the Spartacus prequel miniseries, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena. READ FULL STORY