HBO Programming Head Casey Bloys Addresses ‘Big Little Lies’ Season 2 Controversy

HBO’s president of programming Casey Bloys addressed the report that “Big Little Lies” Season 2 director Andrea Arnold was locked out of the show’s editing process.

“Let me clarify. There wouldn’t be a second season without Andrea. We’re indebted to her,” Bloys said at the Television Critics Association summer press tour on Wednesday. “As anybody who works in television knows, a director typically does not have final creative control.”

According to the earlier report, Arnold was under the impression that she would have creative control over the episodes she directed during the critically-acclaimed show’s second season but control was taken from her and given to Season 1 director and series executive producer Jean-Marc Vallee.

According to Bloys, Arnold had never been promised final cut and that she turned in her director’s cuts as expected. Upon receiving them, the show’s producing team then took their own pass at editing the series.

“The entire producing team all asked Jean-Marc to come in and hone the episodes,” he said. “I would be hard pressed to point to any show that airs the director’s cut of any episodes.”

Bloys also touched on the fact that some episodes of the show’s second season had nearly a dozen credited editors.

“[Jean-Marc] is an editor and he as a team of editors that he works with he is very particular about who he works with and how he works with them,” he said. “Jean-Marc was not given carte blanche [in Season 1]. He and [David E. Kelley] and the producers had an aligned vision on that they wanted to do.”

Finally, Bloys said he has taken a “never say never” approach to a potential third season of the series, but at present there are no plans.

“To me, there’s no obvious place to go, no obvious story,” he said. “I would certainly be open to it because I love working with all of them.”

Questions were also raised about how HBO is going to change now that WarnerMedia is poised to launch the streaming service HBO Max. Bloys said he found it “flattering” that the new service had been dubbed HBO Max and that WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey and chairman Bob Greenblatt have made it clear that “HBO will be the core of any offering” and that the new service will be “broader and complimentary” to HBO’s programming.

More to come…

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