HBO's co-president Richard Plepler and programming chief Mike Lombardo shrugged off questions that its Martin Scorsese-produced drama Boardwalk Empire might get lost in the network season premier noise when it debuts Sept. 19.
"We didn't want to hold it," said Lombardo. "There are good shows out all year round and we're in a different business. We think this will resonate well in the fall."
Plepler added that two-thirds of HBO's viewers consume episodes after the debut night of a fresh installments, choosing to catch them on their DVRs, on-demand platform or via encore airings.
The executives also were asked what Emmy voters have against writer-producer David Simon, whose series The Wire was all but ignored by voters, as has been the case with his new series Treme this season.
"There's nothing you can do about the Emmy gods," Plepler said, adding you can't watch each episode and say the show is not honor-worthy.
"With The Wire virtually ignored by the Emmys, I think David would be uncomfortable to be recognized now," Lombardo quipped.
On other issues:
*They confirmed that Alan Ball will be shooting a new pilot for the premium service, but stressed that his primary responsibility will remain with True Blood;
*Next season will be the last for Entourage, but its creator, Doug Ellin, has pitched other ideas to the network.
*The executives are high on a remake of Mildred Pierce in production now and starring Kate Winslet, Guy Pearce and Evan Rachel Wood;
*They also believe Dustin Hoffman's first TV series, Luck, created by David Milch and set in the horseracing world, will finish in the money. Given the different working styles of the creatives involved, Lombardo said going in the fear was it could be "mayhem or magic, and fortunately it was magic"; and
*A film on the creation of Bruce Springsteen's fourth album, Darkness on the Edge of Town, will be shown in October. The band filmed its creative process and the footage has been in a vault since the album was created in 1978.