While HBO executives teased the demise of multiple main characters in the final season of "Game of Thrones," and reports emerged of cast members tearing up while reading the scripts, the eighth season won't actually be hitting the small screen until April 2019. Here are some shows to check out this spring to bridge the gap before Jon Snow and his Westeros chums return for one more season.
The wait no doubt feels interminable for "Game of Thrones" fans who won't be getting their usual fix this April. Keen to ensure the show's final season doesn't disappoint, the showrunners are taking their time to carefully craft six exceptional 90-minute episodes to conclude the saga. As a result, season eight won't be on screens until April 2019, an eternity for fans of the fantasy series.
HBO will be keeping viewers entertained this spring with season two of "Westworld," which premieres April 22. The shows is another costume drama from the prestigious US premium network, which won widespread acclaim from the press and audiences when it launched in fall 2016. Part Western, part science fiction, the series from Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy -- and produced by J.J Abrams -- could become a worthy successor.
The Western -- back in vogue at the movies in recent years -- will also be the theme of "Yellowstone," a series starting June 20 on Paramount Network (formerly Spike TV), starring Kevin Costner. The actor will play a ranch owner at war with land developers and politicians as he tries to keep hold of his land. Taylor Sheridan will write and direct. The screenwriter -- who penned "Sicario" and its sequel, landing in June -- made the news at last year's Cannes Film Festival, where his movie "Wind River" won Best Director in the "Un Certain Regard" section of the festival.
For viewers who prefer a dystopia to a Western, season two of "The Handmaid's Tale" comes to Hulu from April 25. This hit show cleaned up at the last Emmy Awards and Golden Globes. Based on the book of the same name by Margaret Atwood, the drama is set in a near-future where an oppressive sectarian regime has taken power and is enforcing its totalitarian and archaic views. Women, called "Handmaids" -- including June, played by Elisabeth Moss -- are forced into sexual and child-bearing servitude.
AMC, home of "The Walking Dead," has a choice alternative in store with "The Terror," a show combining historical reality with elements of fantasy, produced by Ridley Scott. Starting March 26, viewers will follow the story of a mid-19th-century British expedition to explore the Arctic. Trapped by ice and hazardous weather conditions, the crew becomes the target of a mysterious and dangerous creature. Former "Game of Thrones" stars Ciaran Hinds (Mance Rayder) and Tobias Menzies (Edmure Tully) are on the cast.