Many producers and networks are jealously aware of the wild success enjoyed by Game of Thrones. As ratings for the show continue to rise, and nearly 7 million people tuning in for the last episode, the entertainment industry is struggling to discover another hit.
But what does it take to be the most pirated show in the history of ever? Only a story with many different, and memorable characters. A story with the same intense plot twists and cliff hangers. Audiences want action, they want drama, and they want that glimpse into the dark side of humanity. Here are three shows (both already airing and in production) that might greet these qualifications.
House of Cards
This show, produced by Netflix, has created its own internet splash. Without ever airing on television, the show has enjoyed enormous success online, though Netflix won’t release the numbers, even to the show’s creator. House of Cards follows Frank Underwood, a corrupt politician who is chasing the United States presidency. Though we are jumping to an entirely different genre, there are many elements of House of Cards that would appeal to Game of Thrones fans. Both shows are political dramas about a struggle for power, though the power and the struggle are pursued in vastly different ways. The pieces played by Frank, his cold and cunning wife, Claire, and their adversaries are significantly less violent than those in Game of Thrones, but the tension, heroes, and antiheroes, are there.
The Dark Tower
Another series that has the dramatic potential to appeal to the Game of Thrones fans is The Dark Tower, to be based off the series by Stephen King. The protagonist, Roland, travel through the wasteland of the world, searching for the dark tower, which is said to be the nexus of all universes. He encounters many allies and enemies from the world’s mythologies and history. This series incorporates fantasy, science fiction, horror and western into a long and twisted quest. King has a vision including multiple movies and a television for the series. Unfortunately, the production has suffered through the past several years, being greenlighted and rejected several times by big names such as J. J. Abrams (Star Trek: Into Darkness, Star Wars Episode VII), Warner Brothers, and their sister company, HBO. Many potential screen adaptions failed before Game of Thrones made it to HBO, thus there still may be hope for The Dark Tower.
This last story is also only in the “potential series” stage. American Gods is a novel (that has one companion book) by Neil Gaiman. It follows the story of Shadow, an ex-con grieving for his wife, who encounters gods from nearly every mythology, who have migrated to America and are battling the new gods to survive. For a while rumors were circling the web that Game of Thrones’ own network, HBO, had greenlighted the series, but Gaiman announced on reddit that these rumors were untrue. The rights for a fantasy series were purchased in February by the European company FremantleMedia.