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‘Game of Thrones’ Episode 2 Posts Huge Rating, Dips from Season 8 Premiere

  • Variety
‘Game of Thrones’ Episode 2 Posts Huge Rating, Dips from Season 8 Premiere
With 10.29 million viewers, the second episode of the final season of “Game of Thrones,” titled “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” is the fourth-largest episode in the history of the show in terms of linear audience, according to Nielsen’s preliminary figures.

This represents a dip of 12.5 percent from the premiere which drew 11.76 million in the same category. HBO has yet to release the multi-platform figures for the episode.

Only the final season premiere, the season seven finale (which garnered 12.07 million viewers), and the seventh episode of season seven (10.72 million) had more viewers that Sunday’s offering.

Across all platforms, the season 8 premiere drew 17.4 million viewers. Last Sunday also accounted for largest night of streaming activity ever for HBO, and the premiere was also the most-tweeted episode in “Thrones” history with more than 5 million tweets on the day it aired.
See full article at Variety »

‘Avengers: Endgame’ Expected to Shatter Box Office Records

  • Variety
‘Avengers: Endgame’ Expected to Shatter Box Office Records
Avengers: Endgame” has its sights set on world domination.

Disney and Marvel’s upcoming superhero epic should light the box office on fire when it launches this weekend, with the hopes of setting domestic, international, and global records. In North America alone, “Avengers: Endgame” is expected to earn between $250 million and $268 million in its first three days of release. If it hits the higher part of that range it would qualify as the biggest domestic debut of all time, a distinction currently held by 2018’s “Avengers: Infinity War,” the precursor to “Endgame,” which launched with $257.7 million.

Advance ticket sales have been sky high for “Endgame,” so box office watchers are confident the grand conclusion to the current phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be one for the record books. At the very least, the opening weekend of “Endgame” will position itself as one of the best launches ever. Disney
See full article at Variety »

'Avengers: Endgame' — First Reactions From the Premiere

'Avengers: Endgame' — First Reactions From the Premiere
Avengers: Endgame has finally been unveiled.

Monday night's premiere in downtown Los Angeles was the first time members of the public saw the Marvel Studios film, and the first reactions are coming in on Twitter.

The Hollywood Reporter has captured a snapshot of early responses to Avengers: Endgame, which is directed by the Russo Bros. and stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Paul Rudd, Danai Gurira and Karen Gillan.

Endgame follows last year's Infinity War, which earned $2 billion at the global box office and saw the villain Thanos (Josh Brolin) destroy half ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

Cannes: Directors’ Fortnight Unveils Lineup

  • Variety
Cannes: Directors’ Fortnight Unveils Lineup
Robert Eggers’ anticipated “The Lighthouse” with Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe, Luca Guadagnino’s medium-length film “The Staggering Girl” and Japanese helmer Takashi Miike’s “First Love” are set to unspool at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight under the new leadership of Paolo Moretti.

Described by Moretti as a “hypnotic two-hander” powered by Pattinson and Dafoe, “The Lighthouse” is a fantasy horror film set in a mysterious island in New England at the end of the 19th century. Eggers previously directed “The Witch.”

As with Cannes’ official selection, Directors’ Fortnight will showcase a wide range of genre movies. Besides “The Lighthouse,” the other anticipated genre films set for Directors’ Fortnight include Bertrand Bonello’s “Zombi Child,” about the Haitian Clairvius Narcisse, victim of a voodoo; Miike’s “First Love”; Babak Anvari’s “Wounds,” with Armie Hammer and Dakota Johnson; and Tunisian helmer Ala Eddine Slim’s “Tlamess.”

Moretti, who took over from
See full article at Variety »

Writers Guild Says Over 7,000 Members Have Fired Agents

Writers Guild Says Over 7,000 Members Have Fired Agents
Over 7,000 members of the Writers Guild of America have fired their talent agents, the Hollywood union said on Monday.

As promised, the guild delivered a first round of termination letters to agents in a show of support for the WGA’s full-on war with the Association of Talent Agents.

“Today the Guild delivered a first batch of over 7,000 termination letters from WGA members to the non-franchised agencies,” a memo to members obtained by Variety said.

The mass firing comes a week after the WGA sued the big four agencies — CAA, UTA, WME and ICM — for allegedly violating state and federal
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Armando Iannucci Space Comedy ‘Avenue 5’ Ordered to Series at HBO

  • Variety
Armando Iannucci Space Comedy ‘Avenue 5’ Ordered to Series at HBO
HBO has given a series order to the comedy “Avenue 5” from creator Armando Iannucci.

The series is described as a space tourism comedy set forty years in the future when the solar system is everyone’s oyster. Hugh Laurie stars as Ryan Clark, the captain of the space cruise ship Avenue 5. The series also stars Josh Gad, Zach Woods, Nikki Amuka, Rebecca Front, Lenora Crichlow, Suzy Nakamura, and Ethan Phillips.

Iannucci created the series and will serve as executive producer. Kevin Loader, Simon Blackwell, Tony Roche, and Will Smith will also executive produce. Iannucci also directed the show’s pilot episode.

News of the series order comes as HBO is currently airing the seventh and final season of “Veep,” the political comedy series that Iannucci created. He served as showrunner on “Veep” up until the end of its fourth season, after which he departed to work on other projects.
See full article at Variety »

Jake Lacy Joins Zoe Kravitz on Hulu’s ‘High Fidelity’ Series

  • The Wrap
Jake Lacy Joins Zoe Kravitz on Hulu’s ‘High Fidelity’ Series
Jake Lacy is joining Hulu’s “High Fidelity” series adaptation, a Hulu spokesperson and a representative for Lacy told TheWrap on Monday. Lacy will be a series regular alongside previously announced lead Zoë Kravitz.

The series recently moved to Hulu from Disney+, following Disney’s acquisition of Fox assets, which included a 60% stake in Hulu. The project comes from writers Veronica West and Sarah Kucserka, as well as Midnight Radio and ABC Signature.

A retelling of the 1995 novel by Nick Hornby and the 2000 feature film starring John Cusack, the new iteration will flip the script by telling the story from a female point of view through Kravitz’s character.

Lacy will play Clyde, who is described as effortlessly cute, if not the coolest guy in the room. A recent N.Y. transplant from L.A., he’s still trying to figure out how to navigate the city. Despite his lack of interest in music,
See full article at The Wrap »

Both 'NCIS' Spinoffs Renewed at CBS

Both 'NCIS' Spinoffs Renewed at CBS
The more things change, the more things stay the same.

After NCIS star and exec producer Mark Harmon inked a new deal to return for a 17th season of the flagship drama, CBS has handed out 11th and sixth season renewals for spinoffs NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS: New Orleans.

That all three series are returning could mark a sign of how little things may change for the network following the ouster of CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves, with the veteran executive always typically having a say in both new and returning series.

"Both shows have been key pillars ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

Jennifer Lopez Reteams With STXfilms on Romantic-Comedy Co-Starring Owen Wilson

  • Variety
Jennifer Lopez Reteams With STXfilms on Romantic-Comedy Co-Starring Owen Wilson
Jennifer Lopez is reteaming with STXfilms on the upcoming romantic-comedy “Marry Me.”

Kat Coiro is directing the film and Owen Wilson is in final negotiations to join the pic, which will likely shoot this fall. The script was written by John Rogers and Tami Sagher, with a rewrite by Harper Dill.

Lopez and Wilson both appeared in 1997’s actioner “Anaconda.”

The movie will mark the third collaboration between STX, Lopez and producers Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and Benny Medina following 2018’s “Second Act” and the upcoming “Hustlers,” which is currently in production. The film was originally set up at Universal.

The movie is based on a graphic novel by Bobby Crosby and centers on a pop star (Lopez), who, moments before marrying her rockstar fiance at Madison Square Garden, finds out that he cheated on her with her assistant. She breaks down on stage and picks a random man (Wilson) out of the crowd to marry instead.
See full article at Variety »

Joss Whedon’s HBO Series ‘The Nevers’ Casts Laura Donnelly in Lead Role

Joss Whedon’s HBO Series ‘The Nevers’ Casts Laura Donnelly in Lead Role
Laura Donnelly has been cast in the lead role of Joss Whedon’s upcoming HBO series “The Nevers,” Variety has confirmed.

The drama was ordered straight-to-series back in July. The series is described as a sci-fi epic about a gang of Victorian women who find themselves with unusual abilities, relentless enemies, and a mission that might change the world.

Donnelly will star as Amalia True, described as the most reckless, impulsive, emotionally damaged hero of her time. A menace to stuffy Victorian society, she would die for the cause and kill for a drink.

More to come…
See full article at Variety - TV News »

‘Nailed It!’ Season 3 Sets May Premiere Date at Netflix

Netflix has renewed the reality baking competition series “Nailed It!” for a third season, set to premiere globally on May 17.

The show is a twist on traditional cooking shows, by bringing together home bakers who make up for their lack of skill with their enthusiastic attitudes. Comedian Nicole Byer and renowned pastry chef Jacques Torres host and judge the chaos in the kitchen, from half-baked doll cakes to delightfully creepy edible clowns. The baker who makes the best (or least terrible) recreation can take home a $10,000 prize.

On the upcoming six-episode season, viewers will be treated to challenges like the Marvel showdown,
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Nicole Byer’s ‘Nailed It!’ Renewed for Season 3 at Netflix

  • The Wrap
‘Nailed It!’ is coming back for a third season at Netflix, with hosts Nicole Byer and pastry chef Jacques Torres once again at the helm of this hot mess of a baking competition. Six new episodes will launch on Netflix May 17.

As usual, the series follows contestants with terrible baking track records trying to recreate culinary masterpieces for the chance to win a $10,00 prize. Among the crazy creations bakers will be tasked with this season are a “Black Panther” cake, a cotton-candy flavored clown cake, a cake-replica of Michelangelo’s “David”, a T. rex cake, a fondant-covered doll cake, and a layered bust of Napoleon Bonaparte.

In each episode, contestants compete in two challenges. In the first, called “Baker’s Choice,” they choose a cake to recreate — the winner gets to wear a golden chef’s hat. In the second challenge, “Nail It or Fail It,” have two hours to
See full article at The Wrap »

How ‘Family Guy’ has Evolved Over Two Decades While Staying True to Raucous Comedy Roots

How ‘Family Guy’ has Evolved Over Two Decades While Staying True to Raucous Comedy Roots
Twenty years after “Family Guy” first had audiences laughing at risky, edgy and taboo-busting gags, creator Seth MacFarlane says he’s proud the animated comedy remains “an oasis for people who aren’t really onboard with being told what to laugh at and what not to laugh at.”

Over the years, the show’s deliberate line-crossing and sacred cow-slaying provoked all manner of umbrage, from formal protests to celebrity lawsuits to online outrage. But it’s weathered it all, even as American culture has grown hair-trigger sensitive to perceived offensive, off-color humor. After handing over the day-to-day creative reins in
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Ratings: ‘American Idol’ Tumbles With ‘Meet Your Finalists’ Episode

Ratings: ‘American Idol’ Tumbles With ‘Meet Your Finalists’ Episode
The Neighborhood” aired its Season 1 finale last night, but the rest of CBS’ primetime lineup let it down. ABC settled for third in demo ratings with a not-very-special special “American Idol,” while NBC and Fox tied for first among adults 18-49.

The two-hour special “Idol” took a deep dive into each finalist’s journey thus far, highlighting new, never-before-seen songs, stories, performances and footage, per ABC. Its 0.9 rating and 5.4 million total viewers were both new series lows, including the Fox days, but a glorified recap show is not expected to compete with a regular singing episode.

NBC and Fox tied for first in ratings, both with a 1.0 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic. NBC was first in total viewers with an average of 6.3 million, according to preliminary numbers, Fox was second with 5.4 million viewers.

Also Read: Ratings: ABC Waltzes to an Easy Easter Sunday Win With Disney Night on 'American Idol'

For NBC,
See full article at The Wrap »

How Allegorical Stories and Social Issues Aid in ‘The Orville’s’ Success

How Allegorical Stories and Social Issues Aid in ‘The Orville’s’ Success
Seth MacFarlane already knew how to make audiences laugh from years of animated comedies such as “Family Guy,” so when it came to “The Orville,” what he really wanted to do was make them think.

“I had done the ‘Family Guy’ ‘Star Wars’ parody — I didn’t really want to do that again,” he says. “What I really wanted to do [was] some serious world-building, and develop characters that you really cared about, and create some real stakes.”

At first, viewers were a bit flummoxed. “Seth more than anyone was kind of playing with that tone at first. It was very
See full article at Variety - TV News »

‘Game of Thrones’ Dips From Season 8 Premiere, Reaches Nearly 16 Million Multiplatform Viewers

  • The Wrap
‘Game of Thrones’ Dips From Season 8 Premiere, Reaches Nearly 16 Million Multiplatform Viewers
The second episode of the eighth and final season of “Game of Thrones” scored 15.9 million multiplatform viewers on Sunday, according HBO. And while the overall-audience figure posted by Episode 802, titled “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” rivals the (former) size of The Wall, it is down 9% from the one scored by the Season 8 premiere.

On April 14, the Season 8 premiere of “Game of Thrones” pulled in 17.4 million multiplatform viewers, setting a new series record and accounting for “the largest night of streaming activity ever for HBO,” per the pay-tv channel. The eighth season’s start, titled “Winterfell,” claimed that viewer tally when combining linear data, as well as that from HBO Go and HBO Now platforms.

We should note this number includes only two airings of the episode, compared to last week’s three airings, as the third airing this Sunday was too late to be counted, per HBO. Also, it was Easter Sunday,
See full article at The Wrap »

Writers vs. Agents: A Standoff Without a Script

Dealmaking in the creative community is in a state of limbo as the traditionally close alliance among writers, agents, managers and lawyers has ruptured amid a highly volatile climate.

Since the Writers Guild of America filed suit against Hollywood’s four largest agencies — Wme, CAA, UTA and ICM Partners — on April 17 in Los Angeles Superior Court, the steady stream of termination letters flowing from writers to their agents has cast a dark cloud over the industry. Writers are essential to job creation in the TV and film businesses. Nothing gets done in scripted entertainment without a script.

Meanwhile, lawyers and
See full article at Variety - TV News »

How Seth MacFarlane Made an Empire Spanning TV, Film, Music

How Seth MacFarlane Made an Empire Spanning TV, Film, Music
“The empire is accidental,” says Seth MacFarlane as he sits atop the sort of rarefied showbiz kingdom — television shows, movies, acting roles, musical albums, merchandise — that only a handful of entertainment industry titans such as George Lucas and Walt Disney have known.

MacFarlane, who is set to receive a star April 23 on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, says there was never a plan to build such a legacy, only to work on things that make him happy.

“I think you’ll be surprised by some of the ideas and the things that he’s excited about,” says Erica Huggins, the
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Sf Studios Scoops International Sales to ‘Grandpas,’ ‘A War Within’ (Exclusive)

Sf Studios has scooped international sales rights to Santiago Requejo’s heartfelt comedy drama “Grandpas” and Kasper Torsting’s Wwi-set Danish love drama “A War Within” in the run up to Cannes. Both films are third-party pickups.

“Grandpas” is a high-profile Spanish movie starring Carlos Iglesias (“Crossing Borders”), Roberto Álvarez (“Talk to her”) and Ramón Barea (“Everybody knows”). Produced by Carlos Sanz and Santiago Requejo at 02:59 Films, “Grandpas” is planned for an October release in Spain.

“Grandpas” tells the story of three old friends having hard times adapting to the ever-changing job market, which seems uninterested in anyone above 50 years old – no matter the experience or knowledge. Reluctant to the thought of stepping down and retire, they decide to set up a daycare center against all odds.

“This marks an important step for us in our strategy of becoming even more attractive to our distributors around the globe,” said Anita Simovic,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Best Merch For ‘Stranger Things’ Fans

Best Merch For ‘Stranger Things’ Fans
We’re just a few months from the third season premiere of “Stranger Things,” and Netflix’s pop culture phenomenon shows no signs of slowing down. Since its release last month, the trailer for season three has already been viewed more than 25 million times, while the upcoming season has inspired everything from a new video game, to clothing and accessories collections at Hot Topic and Target.

The show has also become a hit in the collectibles arena, with “Stranger Things” merchandise attracting a ton of eyeballs and fetching big money on sites like eBay, with thousands of people trying to cash in on the craze.
See full article at Variety - TV News »
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