HBO's incredible new show Westworld premiered this week and smashed premiere viewer record numbers to little bitty pieces with an estimated 3.3 million people tuning in. The epic new drama takes place in a vacation resort that simulates the old Western frontier towns of the 1880s. Guests can live out their wildest dreams in this virtual experience as they're guided by hyper-sophisticated yet obedient androids.
Check out the insane trailer below:
The creators of the show, much like the creators of the virtual playground, have big plans for Westworld. We're going to take a look at how many seasons Westworld may last and how it fits into HBO's stable of big budget shows.
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What To Expect From Season 1
It was clear from the stunning cinematography, excellent cast and production quality that HBO was leading Westworld out of its stable as its prime stud while Season 7 of Game of Thrones was still in production. The pay-per-view network dropped over $100 million to bring Westworld to life and, despite an arduous production with some major delays, the investment has paid off. Season 1 kicked off to a fiery start and the story will be peeled back over 10 episodes. The writers wasted no time in turning the action up a notch and while the impressive opening hooked many viewers, can they maintain such a fierce pace for the rest of the season?
How Far Will Westworld Go?
The cast and writers have openly discussed the direction of the story with a reported 5 seasons planned with an overall conclusion already set in stone. James Marsden plays one of the android guides, Teddy, in Westworld and he recently spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the future of the show:
"It wasn't about getting the first 10 done, it was about mapping out what the next 5 or 6 years are going to be. [W]e knew how it was going to end the first season — that's the way Jonah and J.J. Abrams operate. They're making sure all the ducks are in the row."
Unlike Game of Thrones, which is based on a series of epic novels, Westworld is based on a 90-minute film and a Michael Crichton novella. The writers of the show must be using the source material as merely a springboard to launch the concept into new territories.
How Does Westworld Fit Into HBO's World?
HBO has brought us some of the greatest shows in TV history: The Sopranos, The Wire, Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones. These are big names to follow and with Game of Thrones coming to a close in two years, the network is looking for a worthy replacement to be the crown jewel of their empire.
Looking at HBO's greatest hits like The Wire and The Sopranos, most of their shows have lasted 5 or 6 seasons. So it seems Westworld will take over as HBO's front runner once Game of Thrones begins to fade from memory after Season 7. The premiere alone revealed so many intriguing characters and exposed so many layers of the story that many viewers are already hooked and eager to see how it will pan out.
In the premiere episode, Westworld executive Theresa (Sidse Babett Knudsen) reassures her colleague and lets him know that "management has a plan." The same can be said about HBO, and we're eager to see what they have in store for this epic new addition to their roster.