HBO programming president, Casey Bloys, took the stage at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills on Wednesday, telling a room full of reporters that the network is unfazed by the critical backlash to Game of Thrones' final season.
"There are very, very few downsides to having a hugely popular show, but one I can think of is when you try to end it, many people have big opinions on how it should end and how they should see these characters' stories come to an end," Bloys shared.
"I think it just comes with the territory. The petition shows a lot of enthusiasm and passion for the show, but it wasn't something we seriously considered," he added.
When ET pressed Bloys to reveal how the GoT backlash will be affecting the network's upcoming prequel series, the executive was quick to clarify that "[the backlash] has not" changed anything in their approach.
Currently, there are three Game of Thrones prequel projects in the works at HBO, two in development and one pilot starring Naomi Watts, which just wrapped filming this summer in Belfast, Ireland.
"It looks really good," Bloys updated the room. "The cast is amazing. [Screenwriter] Jane [Goldman] and [director] SJ [Clarkson] are busy in the edit bay, so I haven't seen anything yet, but I'm looking forward to it."
Plans for the three potential prequel series will be focusing on characters from other areas of author George R.R. Martin's enormous literary universe.
Bloys was quick to shut down those hopes in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published in May, however.
"Nope, nope, nope," he said when asked about a potential spin-off or sequel series. "No. Part of it is, I do want this show -- this Game of Thrones, Dan and David's show -- to be its own thing. I don't want to take characters from this world that they did beautifully and put them off into another world with someone else creating it. I want to let it be the artistic piece they've got."
"That's one of reasons why I'm not trying to do the same show over," Bloys added. "George has a massive, massive world; there are so many ways in. That's why we're trying to do things that feel distinct -- and to not try and re-do the same show. That's probably one of the reasons why, right now, a sequel or picking up any of the other characters doesn't make sense for us."