Game of Thrones is going into full lockdown for Season 6. In an unprecedented move, HBO has announced that no press outlets will receive advance screeners for review purposes during Game of Thrones’ sixth season.
“We’re not sending out press copies this year, anywhere in the world,” HBO programming president Michael Lombardo told EW. “There will be no copies for review.”
While film studios will often decide not to show advanced screenings of a film, particularly if they expect poor reviews from critics, this is the first such move for a major television series.
While unexpected, the move is understandable after the first four episodes of Game of Thrones Season 5 leaked onto torrent sites before the premiere last year. HBO has since switched to a more secure online screening service, but with so much speculation around Season 6, particularly the fate of Jon Snow, it’s no wonder that HBO isn’t taking any chances.
“It’s painful for Dan and David [when leaks happen],” Lombardo said. “When you have press copies, inevitably friends ask, ‘Can I see your copy?’ There are things that happen. We talked about the upsides and downsides. Some of the press are fans who might be disappointed, but they’ll understand.”
Game of Thrones Season 6 premiers on HBO on April 24.