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Warner Bros. CEO praises team ahead of ‘cultural moment’ ‘House of the Dragon’

CEO David Zaslav is predicting HOTD will be as big a touchstone as 'Game of Thrones'

Paddy Considine as King Viserys I Targaryen House of the Dragon Season 1 Episode 1
Image via HBO Max

Controversial Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav congratulated the HBO team on the impending release of Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon, which looks to be a return to form for the network’s former 600-pound gorilla flagship series. Zaslav lavished praise on the team and anticipated that the upcoming premiere will prove to be yet another zeitgeist moment for the much-lauded fantasy property.

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“The entire HBO team have shepherded what looks to be the next big cultural moment,” Zaslav proclaimed in a company-wide email obtained by Deadline. The company missive comes on the heels of HBO’s biggest promotional campaigns ever, which sought out and reached 130 million people in pursuit of viewership. As reported by Deadline, the campaign was bigger than the final season of its predecessor, Game of Thrones, and even outpaced the network’s current cultural touchstone, Euphoria.

Zaslav also used the opportunity to spread oil on the waters following many post-merger decisions, such as the highly criticized cancellation of the finished Batgirl movie, saying that the campaign was exemplary of a new studio “committed to building one team with one mission.”

“It has also been exciting to see teams across the company work collaboratively with the HBO team in what has been an unprecedented cross-promotional campaign,” said Zaslav, “And we’ve done all of this in just a few short months, clearly showing what we can accomplish when our networks, streaming platforms, digital and social channels, all work collectively in support of one shared priority.”

The studio no doubt hopes for even greater numbers that the 19 million that tuned in for the Euphoria season two premiere and has spared no expense, with House of the Dragon spots airing across Discovery properties including TBS, CNN, TNT, Food Network, HGTX, and Discovery itself. It’s a gamble that may pay off. Initial reviews of the spinoff have been largely positive with many critics saying it reignites the passion for the world of Westeros that many fans felt diminished in the last seasons of the original series.

House of the Dragon will premiere on HBO Max on August 21.