The first show to emerge from Bill Simmons’ partnership with HBO is After the Thrones, a weekly Game of Thrones recap show that’s going to premiere on HBO Now alongside Thrones‘ sixth season later this month. It’s not clear when After the Thrones will air on HBO proper — a HBO press release claims air dates will be announced “as they are confirmed” — but it’ll debut on HBO Now and HBO Go on Monday, April 25th, one day after Game of Thrones returns on April 24th. Chris Ryan (executive editor of The Ringer, Simmons’ forthcoming website) and former Grantland TV critic Andy Greenwald are set to host, and Simmons and Eric Wasserman are serving as co-executive producers.
After the Thrones is building on the success Ryan and Greenwald achieved with Watch the Thrones, the Game of Thrones-themed podcast they began recording while working for Grantland. (Greenwald confirmed in a tweet that the show would continue to exist in podcast form.) They also record a more general pop culture podcast, The Watch, for Simmons’ Channel 33 podcast network.
Simmons is still working on his own HBO show
Given the number of ventures he’s bringing forward — a website, a podcast network, consultation with HBO Sports, spinoffs like After the Thrones — it’s easy to forget that the centerpiece of Simmons’ deal with HBO is a show of his own, which is still being developed. (It’s supposed to premiere sometime this year.) When Simmons’ partnership with the network was announced, it was described as a “multi-year, multi-platform agreement.” After the Thrones feels like a partial realization of that description: it’s a TV show-podcast hybrid that’s living somewhere outside of HBO the TV channel, and it’s mostly devoid of Simmons’ name and face.