Game of Thrones season 2 goes live on April 1

HBO has confirmed that season 2 of its wildly popular Game of Thrones series will kick off on April 1, 2012.

Game of Thrones is easily the best show on television right now. Even if you don’t like it for some reason, you simply must consider the incredible production value, the phenomenal cast, and the pure huge popularity.

I still speak to those who occasionally worry over HBO’s track record with cancelling series after only a couple seasons, leaving them unresolved despite significant fan interest. Often their methods are unclear, since they don’t rely on advertising dollars, and thus don’t care about the ‘ratings’ for a particular show. They are only concerned with making their channels ones that people want to subscribe to. This, of course, also provides them with more freedom to keep shows, while other networks are basically forced to cancel any series which does not keep its ratings up.

This is obviously the case with Game of Thrones. The network is committed to producing the entire story, ratings or not, and made that decision long before the first season was even over. That’s not to say that they can’t change their minds later, of course, it’s a business after all, but the comments by co-president of HBO, Richard Pleper at the Television Critics Association press tour last July still fill me with confidence.

“The truth is when you see how thrilled he is with the production, we know we’ve succeeded partially by his satisfaction,” said Plepler, referring to George R.R. Martin, author of The Song of Ice and Fire series upon which Game of Thrones is based. “We told George we’d go as long as he kept writing.”

There was no further discussion, so we don’t know if Plepler is referencing a contractual obligation between HBO and Martin, or simply stating a basic intent of the premium network not to abandon the show, knowing that they have the reputation.

Some viewers – and I think the number is increasing – even refuse to watch a show until several seasons in, when they can be sure that they won’t be left hanging after the series has barely gotten off the ground. This is why, I think, HBO renewed so early. It’s also why they are unafraid to come right out and tell the audience that they are not planning on dropping this show until the material runs out.

Game of Thrones season 2 begins on April 1, 2012, and will air each Sunday for ten episodes.