HBO has officially renewed its big-budget fantasy series "Game of Thrones" for two more seasons .
HBO Programming President Michael Lombardo made the announcement today following Sunday night's fourth season premiere which pulled in the highest ratings for an HBO broadcast since "The Sopranos" finale in 2007.
Along with 6.6 million tuning in for the 9pm broadcast, a further 1.6 million tuned in for for the 11pm repeat and that doesn't include HBOGo streaming and on-demand figures.
Along with the ratings increase, the show's critical scores have also increased with time. On Metacritic, the scores have risen for the early episodes of each subsequent season - 79, 88, 90 and now 94/100 for the current fourth season.
The announcement isn't a major surprise, especially in the wake of showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff signing on for a fifth and sixth season a few weeks ago.
Production on the fifth season is slated to begin in the Summer and is expected to incorporate elements from both "A Feast for Crows" and "A Dance with Dragons," the fourth and fifth books in George R.R. Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" series.