The future of "Big Little Lies" is as uncertain as the legal fate of the Monterey Five.
HBO programming chief Casey Bloys says he's taking a cautious approach to pursuing another season.
"You have to approach these things skeptically, to make sure that something doesn't get done just to get done. You should have a high bar for it, and I think everybody involved does," he said in an interview Wednesday.
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Earlier, he told a TV critics' meeting that he doesn't see an obvious story to pursue for a third season.
But he called the show's cast and creators "extraordinary," and said if they're enthusiastic about an approach to a new story line he'd be open to considering it.
When the series ended last Sunday, the five women who harbored a dark secret were seen heading into their California seaside town's police station. Based on their skyrocketing stress levels, it looked like a confession was ahead — and maybe another season for the hit drama starring and produced by Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon.
Bloys said the ending didn't reflect a decision to leave the door ajar for the possibility of more "Big Little Lies," based on the novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty.
"There were no story decisions based on keeping it open or not," he said.
During a Q&A with critics, Bloys was peppered with queries about a report that season two director Andrea Arnold lost control of the final product to executive producer and season one director Jean-Marc Vallee and showrunner and creator David E. Kelley. The men reportedly sought to match the show's tone and visual style more closely to the first season.
Bloys, who praised Arnold's work on the show, said there has been "a lot of misinformation" about what occurred. Directors working in television typically don't get final creative control, Bloys said, calling the idea that it can be taken from a director a "false premise."
"Andrea was never promised that she would have free rein ... we were clear, and she understood that we were not looking to reinvent the show," he said.
There was no immediate reply Wednesday to a message left for an attorney representing British filmmaker Arnold, whose credits include "American Honey."
Bloys also said Wednesday there was no serious consideration to remaking the 'Game of Thrones" finale that some viewers and critics called disappointing.
There are few downsides to having a hugely popular show like "Game of Thrones," Bloys said, but one is that fans have strong opinions on what would be a satisfying conclusion.
Bloys said that it comes with the territory, adding that he appreciates fans' passion for the saga based on George R.R. Martin's novels.
Emmy voters proved unswayed by petitioners demanding a remake: They gave "Game of Thrones" a record-breaking 32 nominations earlier this month. The series also hit record highs for HBO.
HBO will want to keep the fan fervor alive for the prequel to "Game of Thrones" that's in the works. The first episode completed taping in Ireland and the dailies look "really good," Bloys said. The planned series stars Naomi Watts and is set thousands of years before the original.
Asked whether negative reaction to the "Game of Thrones" conclusion will shape the prequel, Bloys replied, "Not at all."