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HBO Renews <i>Game Of Thrones</i>

HBO has renewed Game of Thrones after airing just one episode of its ambitious adaptation of George R.R. Martin's bestselling fantasy series.

"We are delighted by the way David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have brought George R.R. Martin's amazing book series to the screen, and thrilled by the support of the media and our viewers," Michael Lombardo, HBO's president of programming, said in a statement. "This is the continuation of an exciting creative partnership."

The announcement came this morning, just an hour after the ratings were released for Sunday night's heavily promoted premiere. The episode drew a so-so 2.2 million viewers in its first airing -- less than half that of Boardwalk Empire's premiere, but considerably more than True Blood's -- but added another 2 million during Sunday rebroadcasts. The cable network aired the premiere six times across all of its channels Monday night, but those figures haven't been released yet.

Although those ratings aren't great -- Entertainment Weekly says HBO would've loved the first airing to have reached the 3 million mark -- renewal was all but inevitable, primarily because of the estimated $50 million to $70 million the company invested in the production.

The second season, expected to debut next spring, will be based on A Clash of Kings, the second novel in Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series.

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