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Game of Thrones season 8 episode count not set, HBO “exploring” spinoff possibilities
This summer Game of Thrones will return for its seventh and penultimate season – consisting of just seven episodes – before showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff wrap things up with an eighth season of six episodes.
However, as yet, HBO is yet to officially renew the epic fantasy series for season eight – a decision that the cable network’s programming president Casey Bloys says is down to the fact that the actual episode count is yet to be determined.
“The only thing we’re working out is how many episodes they want to do,” Bloys tells TV Line. “They’re still figuring it out because I think they’re trying to get a shape of the season. They always do what they think [will yield] the best version of the show. It’s all about how many they’re comfortable [with]. But I’ll always take more. If you’re afraid we’re not »
- Gary Collinson
‘Sherlock’ Finale Leak: BBC Investigating Possible Connection to Russia’s Channel One
The fourth season of “Sherlock” officially aired its finale last night, but many saw a leaked version of the episode a day earlier — and some believe Russia’s state-run broadcaster could be involved. As the pirated version of the 90-minute episode apparently includes a brief advertisement for Channel One — the Russian channel in question, which airs “Sherlock” in the Motherland — the BBC has launched an investigation into the matter. Sounds like a case for, well, you know.
Read More: ‘Sherlock’ Review: ‘The Final Problem’ Proves to Be A Problematic Season Finale
Sue Vertue, a producer on the series, confirmed the leak on Twitter: “Russian version of #Sherlock Tfp has been illegally uploaded,” she wrote. “Please don’t share it. You’ve done so well keeping it spoiler free.” Benedict Cumberbatch stars as the eponymous detective in the show, with Martin Freeman as his sidekick Watson. “BBC Worldwide takes breaches of »
- Michael Nordine
Hashtags to Cash: Twitter Buzz Can Boost Box Office, Study Finds (Exclusive)
Twitter itself may not make much money, but a trending hashtag on the social network can help movies reel it in. A new Emerson College study “found a strong correlation between sentiments expressed on Twitter and movie revenue,” according to a statement accompanying the findings, which were provided exclusively to TheWrap. The latest study, by Owen Eagan, an executive in residence in the Department of Communication Studies, builds on a previous study by Eagen that showed positive or negative word of mouth — using Oscar or Golden Raspberry nominations as a proxy — could have a material effect on a film’s revenue. »
- Matt Pressberg
CNN Defends Jim Acosta After Trump’s Spokesman Calls for Apology
CNN issued a statement on Monday defending Jim Acosta, the reporter who got in a verbal tussle with President-elect Donald Trump at last week’s press conference as Trump refused to take his question by arguing that the network was “fake news.”
Trump’s spokesman, Sean Spicer, on Sunday called for Acosta to apologize, and said that it was “highly unacceptable and inappropriate” that Acosta “took no responsibility for his behavior.”
But a CNN spokesman said, “As we have learned many times, just because Sean Spicer says something doesn’t make it true. Jim Acosta is a veteran reporter with the utmost integrity and extensive experience in covering both the White House and the President-elect. Being persistent and asking tough questions is his job, and he has our complete support.”
Trump has frequently bashed CNN before and after the election. On Wednesday, Acosta pressed Trump to answer his question. Trump was apparently upset over a CNN report »
- Ted Johnson
Florence Henderson’s Friends, Co-Stars Gather for ‘Beautiful’ Memorial at TV Academy
“Brady Bunch” icon Florence Henderson was remembered by friends, family and colleagues at a memorial held at the Television Academy in North Hollywood, California on Sunday. Speakers included Judge Judy Sheindlin, Carol Burnett, Maureen McCormick, Tom Bergeron and Katie Couric, according to an individual who attended the memorial, who described it as “beautiful.” Burnett shared with the gathered crowd a story of how Henderson used hypnotherapy to help Burnett’s daughter Carrie Hamilton — who died of lung cancer in 2002 — manage her pain. Also Read: Florence Henderson, Star of 'The Brady Bunch,' Dies at 82 Henderson’s children also spoke at the event, »
- Reid Nakamura
Rob Schneider Ripped for Lecturing John Lewis About Mlk
Rob Schneider had a dream about spreading a message of unity. Unfortunately it turned into a nightmare once that message hit social media. “Saturday Night Live” alum Schneider was eviscerated on Twitter on Monday after he used Martin Luther King Jr. Day as an opportunity to lecture Georgia Rep. John Lewis. “Rep. Lewis. You are a great person. But Dr. King didn’t give in to his anger or his hurt. That is how he accomplished & won Civil Rights,” Schneider tweeted on Monday, in an apparent reference to Lewis boycotting president-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration and calling the legitimacy of Trump’s election. »
- Tim Kenneally
Viceland to Launch In Africa on Kwesé Network
Rome — Viceland will launch across Sub-Saharan Africa through an exclusive partnership with Kwesé, the multi-platform network operated by African telecom and pay-tv operator Econet.
The tie-up with Econet, which operates on the “TV Everywhere” model in which subscribers access content through multiple devices, marks a key step in the expansion of Vice Media’s global lifestyle and culture channel.
It will bring Viceland’s flagship shows, including “Huang’s World,” Noisey,” and “States of Undress” and “Black Market,” to African audiences on Kwesé’s multi-platform offering, most significantly via Africa’s burgeoning mobile market, which has huge potential.
Viceland content will be accessible across Sub-Saharan Africa on pay TV and Catch Up, as well as Kwesé’s official app available on Android and iOS.
“The launch of Viceland in Africa marks the start of what’s undoubtedly »
- Nick Vivarelli
'Force Awakens': Graphic Deleted Scene Shows Chewie Ripping Someone's Arm Off
And that, kids, is why you let the Wookiee win.
A recently unearthed clip that was cut from a version of Star Wars: The Force Awakens shows Chewbacca ripping off the arm of Unkar Plutt after the Jakku junk dealer threatens Rey in Maz Kanata’s castle.
In the final cut of the movie, the entire interaction never takes place.
The clip, which has more than two million YouTube views already, was posted online recently. It may have been included in the Force Awakens 3D Collector's Edition. Wherever it came from — damn, it's pretty intense. And it is no surprise Disney hit the »
- Ryan Parker
'Jewel's Catch One': Film Review | Palm Springs 2017
Catch One, a primarily gay nightclub in Los Angeles, was dubbed by one observer “the unofficial Studio 54 of the West Coast.” For 40 years, the club brought together a distinctive group of people far from the trendier scenes of West Hollywood. Now a documentary about the club and its owner, Jewel’s Catch One, is making the festival circuit. It probably isn’t quite accomplished enough to have much theatrical life, but it is an eye-opening and often entertaining look at a cultural landmark.
In 1973, Jewel Thais-Williams bought a building on Pico and Crenshaw, in a predominantly black neighborhood, and »
- Stephen Farber
Watch Lin-Manuel Miranda Rap About ‘The West Wing’ (Video)
Lin-Manuel Miranda has moved from rapping about the Washington Administration to rapping about the Bartlett Administration. The Tony-winning “Hamilton” creator and “Moana” songwriter has released a new rap set for “The West Wing Weekly,” a podcast that provides in-depth analysis on every single episode of Aaron Sorkin’s famed Bush-era political drama. The show features guest appearances from former political staffers and is co-hosted by “West Wing” cast member Joshua Malina, who provides an insider’s perspective. For this episode, Miranda collaborated with the podcast creator, Hrishikesh Hirway, to create “What’s Next?”, a song named after Martin Sheen’s oft-repeated catchphrase during his run. »
- Jeremy Fuster
‘Fifty Shades Darker’ Dominates Social Media Buzz
Universal’s “Fifty Shades Darker” topped social media buzz last week with an impressive 152,000 new conversations, according to media-measurement firm comScore and its PreAct service.
The studio released the soundtrack listing on Jan. 12, three days after Taylor Swift also posted a “first look” of her soundtrack music video with Zayn Malik. PreAct estimates that a total of 1.12 million new conversations have been generated for the sequel, which opens on Feb. 10.
The sequel depicts an escalating romance between the characters played by Dakota Johnson (Anastasia Steele) and Jamie Dornan (Christian Grey) with plenty of steamy scenes and shadowy figures from Christian’s past emerging. “Fifty Shades Darker” also led the “most talked-about movies” chart during the previous week in the wake of releasing an extended trailer during the season premiere of “The Bachelor.”
‘Fifty Shades Darker’ Trailer Heats Up Social Media Buzz
Disney-Pixar’s “Cars 3” generated 59,000 conversations, thanks to »
- Dave McNary
Tom Hardy’s ‘Taboo’ Premiere TV Ratings Soar 101 Percent With Delayed Viewing
Lots of people played pretty quick catch-up with Tom Hardy’s “Taboo” debut. The FX series premiere episode jumped 101 percent among adults 18-49, per Nielsen’s Live + 3 Day TV ratings, totaling 1.63 million. That’s a new record for a series opener on the cable channel, and the sum total ranks it fourth among new cable dramas over the past year. FX can make the same growth claim in terms of total viewers, though the number is slightly less dramatic. The 72-hour catch-up viewing on Episode 101 of “Taboo” soared 86 percent among overall audience members. That sum is now 3.43 »
- Tony Maglio
Lee Greenwood Says Performers May Regret Passing on Chance to Perform at Inauguration
Lee Greenwood, who will perform at inaugural events this week for President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence, suggested that those who turn down the chance will later regret missing the opportunity.
He said that he had not heard that Jennifer Holliday, announced as a performer at the opening concert at the Lincoln Memorial on Thursday, backed out of the appearance on Saturday, citing the negative reaction she got on social media.
“She is going to regret not going in the future,” Greenwood said. “You don’t get this invitation very often.”
He added, “To say no — I can’t imagine the embarrassment she might have later on” for passing it up.
He called it a “thrill” to witness the peaceful transition of power, at an event that he said was unique in the world. “You need to support him and all the things he plans to do for America, »
- Ted Johnson
Nova’s Flint Water Crisis Special Explores Impact of ‘Environmental Criminals’
A new Nova special about the Flint water crisis, “Troubled Waters,” deals with impact that “environmental criminals” had in worsening the crisis, a panelist at the Television Critics Association press tour said on Monday. “At it’s core, this is a story of science and ethics,” civil engineering professor Marc Edwards said. “It’s about how the environmental policemen that we pay to protect us — civil servants, scientists and engineers — turned into environmental criminals.” He continued: “If you look at the emails we obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request, the officials did the right thing and reached out to the. »
- Joe Otterson
‘Hidden Figures’ Tops 4-Day Holiday Weekend With Stellar $26 Million
Fox and Chernin Entertainment’s “Hidden Figures” rounded out the four-day Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday weekend with an estimated $26 million, an extraordinary weekend hold that brings its cumulative gross to $60.4 million. Over the three-day weekend, the film starring Janelle Monae, Octavia Spencer and Taraji P. Henson earned $20.8 million. That’s a modest 9 percent drop from last weekend, when it earned $22.8 million to claim No. 1. According to Huffington Post, “Hidden Figures” is also the first movie with multiple female leads to top the box office for two straight weekends since 2011’s “The Help.” That movie stayed »
- Beatrice Verhoeven
Ben Affleck on Batman Questions: ‘It’s Such a Pain in the Ass’
Ben Affleck is growing tired of a constant barrage of Batman questions — ones that have overshadow his latest directorial and acting effort in “Live by Night.” In the following Entertainment Tonight, Canada clip posted on Twitter, Affleck shared how he feels about the seemingly never-ending stream of Batman inquiries. We feel for you, @BenAffleck- and that sounds absolutely perfect. Take all the time in the world you need to get the #Batman movie right! pic.twitter.com/2X33gEDi64 — Dceu Facts (@dceufacts) January 15, 2017 “Oh my God, it’s such a pain in the ass,” said Affleck. “It’s, like, every »
- Umberto Gonzalez
Fox News Alum Monica Crowley Backs Out of Trump Administration Amid Plagiarism Accusations
“After much reflection I have decided to remain in New York to pursue other opportunities and will not be taking a position in the incoming administration,” she said in a statement to the Washington Post. “I greatly appreciate being asked to be part of President-elect Trump’s team and I will continue to enthusiastically support him and his agenda for American renewal.”
Crowley was Trump’s pick for senior director of strategic communications for the White House’s National Security Council. She would have reported to Michael T. Flynn, who will be Trump’s national security adviser and also released a statement on the news on Monday.
“The Nsc will miss the opportunity to have Monica Crowley as part of our team,” said Flynn in the statement.
- Alex Stedman
Chefs Alice Waters, Jacques Pepin Say ‘Top Chef’ Does ‘Disservice’ to Cooking
Renowned chefs Alice Waters and Jacques Pepin say reality competition cooking shows such as “Top Chef” and “Chopped” are doing a “disservice” to the art of cooking. The famous chefs, who are the subjects of the PBS documentary series “Chefs Flight,” said at the Television Critics Association press tour on Monday that the shows are promoting the “fast food culture” of American cuisine. “It’s a disservice very often because this is not what’s cooking is all about,” Pepin said. “That kind of confrontation that you have there is not really how you learn to cook. Or how you understand food. »
- Reid Nakamura
French-Moroccan Actor Assaad Bouab Broadens His Canvas
Paris– Having playing a Muslim Azerbiijani boy in Asif Kapadia’s “Ali and Nino,” a Syrien camp commander in “Homeland” (season 5) “Homeland,” the handsome French-Moroccan actor Assaad Bouab might well be on track to follow the footsteps of Reda Kateb, another French actor of North African origins who appeared in dozens of French films and TV series and a few high-profile U.S. titles before accessing meatier roles at home.
Represented by Emmanuelle Ramade and Florence Charmasson at Adequat in Paris, Bouab has seen his career heat up in the last couple years. Since getting his first leading role in Mary Jimenez and Bénédicte Liénard’s politically-engaged “Le chant des hommes” and starring in the popular Canal Plus show “Braquo,” Bouab clinched a key role in the second season of “10 Pour Cent” (“Call My Agent”), the French comedy hit series centering on a Parisian talent agency. Bouab plays an arrogant, »
- Elsa Keslassy
[Watch] ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ producer David Permut chats 16-year journey of Mel Gibson war film
“I was floored,” recalls producer David Permut during our recent webcam chat (watch above) when asked about hearing the story of “Hacksaw Ridge” for the first time. “I didn’t believe it, essentially, and I said, ‘that’s impossible.’ And of course, it was true.” Directed by Mel Gibson, this Lionsgate release centers on Desmond T. Doss (Andrew Garfield), a […] »
- Zach Laws
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