Sunday TV Ratings: GAME OF THRONES Premiere Scores Highest HBO Ratings Since THE SOPRANOS Finale

by     Posted 10 days ago

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TV ratings for Sunday evening are in, and unsurprisingly HBO has a stellar night.  Here’s a brief look at the highlights:

  • The season four premiere of HBO’s Game of Thrones scored a record 6.6 million viewers, which is up a whopping 2.2 million from last year’s 4.4 million premiere.  Adding in the encore’s 1.6 million viewers, the show totaled 8.2 million viewers on Sunday night.  The opener topped the previous Game of Thrones record of 5.5 million, which it hit in the third episode of season three, and last night’s episode was the most-watched HBO telecast since the series finale of The Sopranos.
  • Additionally, the series premiere of the excellent new comedy series Silicon Valley brought in 2 million viewers, scoring the network’s biggest half-hour launch since 2009’s Hung.  The season three premiere of Veep (also fantastic) averaged 1 million viewers, which is even with its season two finale.

Hit the jump for the rest of the ratings report for Sunday, April 6th, including Once Upon a Time, Believe, Crisis, Family Guy, and more.

New to Blu-ray: THE WOLF OF WALL STREET, KEY & PEELE, THE GREAT BEAUTY Criterion, and More

by     Posted 23 days ago

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This week’s new Blu-ray releases include Martin Scorsese’s latest, the 2014 Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film, a long-delayed Dean Koontz adaptation, some very popular TV comedies, a few new additions to the Criterion library, and more.  Briefly:

New Trailers for VEEP Season 3 and Mike Judge’s New HBO Comedy Series SILICON VALLEY

by     Posted 38 days ago

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Before the excellent True Detective finale last night, HBO debuted a number of trailers for its upcoming series and specials. We’ve already shared the new Game of Thrones trailer and the first teaser for the HBO movie The Normal Heart, so now it’s time to get to something a bit lighter: Veep and Silicon Valley.  The comedy series Veep really hit its stride in season two as one of the best comedies on TV, and this brief new trailer for season three promises it hasn’t lost its step.  As for Silicon Valley, we’ve already seen a few short trailers for creator Mike Judge’s new series, but this one delves a bit deeper into the plot, which revolves around a tech start-up company in Silicon Valley.

Hit the jump to watch the trailers.  Silicon Valley premieres on HBO April 6th at 10pm ET while Veep season three premieres April 6th at 10:30pm.

Awards Roundup: HER and CAPTAIN PHILLIPS Take WGA Awards, GRAVITY Wins Cinematography Honors, and FROZEN Lands Annie Trophy

by     Posted 74 days ago

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A trio of award organizations handed out prizes last night: the Writers Guild of America, the American Society of Cinematographers, and the International Animated Film Association’s Annie Awards.  In a bit of an upset at the WGA Awards, Spike Jones took home Best Original Screenplay for Her over American Hustle, and Billy Ray nabbed Best Adapted Screenplay honors for Captain Philips over The Wolf of Wall Street and Before Midnight.  It should be noted, though, that due to eligibility rules, Adapted Screenplay Oscar nominee 12 Years a Slave was ineligible for the WGA trophy.

Hit the jump for more, including the full list of winners from the organizations and some Oscar analysis from yours truly.

GAME OF THRONES Season 4 to Premiere April 6th; BOARDWALK EMPIRE to Conclude after Season 5

by     Posted 98 days ago

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The Television Critics Association panels are currently underway, and today was HBO’s turn to drop some news nuggets.  Chief among the cable network’s announcements is an official premiere date for the upcoming fourth season of Game of Thrones, which will kick off on Sunday, April 6th at 9pm.  The insanely popular fantasy series will be joined on Sunday nights by the third season of Veep and the debut of Mike Judge’s (Beavis and Butthead, King of the Hill) new live-action comedy series Silicon Valley, both of which will also premiere on April 6th.  Additionally, Ryan Murphy‘s feature film The Normal Heart will premiere in May, and Damon Lindelof‘s new series The Leftovers will debut this summer.

The fourth season of Game of Thrones will largely cover the second half of George R.R. Martin’s third book in his A Song of Ice and Fire series, A Storm of Swords.  We’ll see our first trailer for season four this Sunday, in front of the premiere of True Detective.  Good luck watching the opening credits without this song stuck in your head.  Hit the jump for news on the final season of Boardwalk Empire.

2014 PaleyFest Lineup Includes LOST 10th Anniversary Reunion, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER Farewell, ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, VEEP, and More

by     Posted 99 days ago

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The Paley Center has announced the initial lineup for the 31st Annual Paley Television Festival, which honors the best in television with enlightening and entertaining panels for various TV shows.  The headliner this year seems to be a 10th anniversary reunion panel for Lost, which is sure to be a fascinating watch.  Also part of the lineup is a farewell panel for How I Met Your Mother, a reunion for the cast of Veronica Mars, and panels for current series Orange Is the New Black, Mad Men, Parks and Recreation, Veep, Masters of Sex, Community, and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Hit the jump to check out the full lineup for PaleyFest 2014, which will be held in Los Angeles March 13-28th.  For ticketing information, click here.

Year in Review: Allison’s Top 10 Returning TV Series of 2013

by     Posted 116 days ago

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In addition to a bevy of new and fantastic shows debuting in 2013, there were also plenty of trusted favorites to keep up with as well.  While BBC America and Sundance provided most of the best new content of the year, stalwart HBO dominates the list of returning programming.  Unlike the list of new series, the returning shows category features a few comedies, an acknowledgement that often it takes comedy series a little longer to get off the ground.  Bottom line, a good show is a good show regardless of format or genre.  Hit the jump for, in no particular order, the list of Top 10 Returning Series of 2013.

HBO’s 2014 Promo Contains First Footage from GAME OF THRONES: Season 4, THE LEFTOVERS, and More

by     Posted 122 days ago

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HBO has released a self-congratulatory promo for its 2013 programming a look ahead for what viewers can expect in 2014.  Once we reach 2014, we’ll get more in-depth promos for the network’s spring programming, but for now we’ll have to settle for stuff like a few brief seconds of the fourth season of Game of Thrones.  This footage confirms that there are at least eight seconds of season four where no one dies.  There are also glimpses at other returning shows such as Girls and Veep and newcomers The Leftovers, Looking, True Detective, and Silicon Valley not to mention original movies, miniseries, and documentaries.

Hit the jump to check out the promo.

Screen Actors Guild Nominations Announced; 12 YEARS A SLAVE Leads with 4 Nominations

by     Posted 127 days ago

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The Screen Actors Guild nominations were announced this morning, and unsurprisingly, 12 Years a Slave led the pack with four nods including Best Ensemble, Best Actor (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Best Supporting Actor (Michael Fassbender), and Best Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong’o).  The surprises came with the snubs.  The Wolf of Wall Street, Her, and Inside Llewyn Davis missed the cut, and it’s clear that The Weinstein Company was a heavy hitter by getting multiple nominations for Lee Daniels’ The Butler and August: Osage County.  Arguably, the biggest snub was Robert Redford for All Is Lost.  Not only is it an acclaimed performance, but also part of his momentum is supposed to be based on the respect he’s accumulated for his long career.  Keep an eye for Oscar Beat as Adam breaks down what the nominations and snubs mean in the long run. [Correction: Adam tells me Wolf of Wall Street was ineligible because it missed the SAG voting deadline, so it's not really a snub]

Hit the jump for the full list of nominations including the ones for television shows.  The winners will be announced on January 18th.

AFI Announces Top 10 Films and TV Shows of 2013; List Includes GRAVITY, 12 YEARS A SLAVE, and WOLF OF WALL STREET

by     Posted 129 days ago

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This weekend we saw three more critics groups announce awards for the 2013 movie season, and now it’s the American Film Institute’s turn.  Today, AFI unveiled its Top 10 films and TV shows of the year, and the film list includes Oscar frontrunners Gravity and 12 Years a Slave as well as burgeoning contenders like American Hustle, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Her.  Over on the TV side of things, usual suspects like Mad Men and Breaking Bad made the cut, but so did Netflix’s original series House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black as well as Showtime’s Masters of Sex and ABC’s smash hit Scandal.  The sole comedy on the list of HBO’s excellent Veep.

Hit the jump to check out the full Top 10 lists for movies and television.

Allison Predicts the 2013 Emmy Awards Winners

by     Posted 208 days ago

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The 2013 Emmy Awards have arrived and will air this Sunday, during which most of us will be watching / going into emotional duress from Breaking Bad.  But for those watching the awards and keeping up with the winners, losers, snubs and surprises (and potentially putting money on it), after the jump are my predictions for this year.  The exact alchemy, casting of runes, meditation and throwing of darts that make up my patented formula cannot be revealed, but I will share the results — without taking any responsibility for what actually happens.  Hit the jump for who everyone thinks will win, who should win, and a few upset picks to keep things interesting

The 2013 Emmy Nominations Anaylsis: Surprises, Snubs, and Snoozes

by     Posted 273 days ago

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The Emmy nominations have always produced a mixture of boredom and anger among TV fans, but save for a few surprises (like Netflix’s 14 nominations), the 2013 Emmy nominations are so lazy they are almost identical to 2012.  Yes, we are in the Second Golden Age of TV, yes there are tons of great shows that, without expanded categories, are not going to get nominated in the current system.  But what about taking a deeper look into the casts of the shows that are always nominated?  Might there be some diamonds in the rough behind the marquee names that might deserve recognition?  Hit the jump for a rundown of the major categories and a comment at the reality of the nominations, and then a list of snubs and a call for you to add your own to the list (because everyone will have a favorite who is forgotten). 

2013 Emmy Nominations Announced; HOUSE OF CARDS Makes History with 9 Nominations; AMERICAN HORROR STORY and GAME OF THRONES Lead

by     Posted 273 days ago

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The 65th Emmy Awards Nominations have been announced, and Netflix’s House of Cards has made history.  The original series marks the first TV show released exclusively online to land top honors, as the David Fincher-produced series nabbed 9 nominations including Best Drama Series, Best Actor (Kevin Spacey), Best Actress (Robin Wright), and Best Director for Fincher—actor Cory Stoll’s excellent work, though, was not recognized.  American Horror Story once again nabbed the most nominations with 17, though the only major nods were for Best Miniseries and Lead Actress in a Miniseries for Jessica Lange.  Game of Thrones followed with 16 nods overall.

House of Cards appears to have knocked Boardwalk Empire out of the Best Drama Series category, as the latter failed to secure a nod.  FX’s The Americans was surprisingly absent as well, and other surprises include New Girl being completely shut out, Mad Men failing to land any writing or directing nominations, Vera Farmiga getting a Best Actress nomination for Bates Motel, and Elizabeth Moss being double nominated for Mad Men and Top of the Lake.  Hit the jump for the list of major nominations.

GAME OF THRONES, THE AMERICANS, and NEW GIRL Score Critics Choice TV Awards Nominations; MAD MEN and MODERN FAMILY Shunned

by     Posted 330 days ago

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Nominations for the 2013 Critics’ Choice Television Awards have been announced, and along with plenty of welcome surprises there are a couple of snubs that are likely to have people talking.  Here’s a brief rundown of some of the highlights:

  • Best Drama Series nominees include Game of Thrones, Homeland, Breaking Bad, and FX’s excellent new series The Americans.  Conspicuously absent is Mad Men, which only scored one nomination overall for Elisabeth Moss as Lead Actress.
  • Best Comedy Series nominees include Louie, New Girl, Parks and Recreation, and Veep, with Emmy favorite Modern Family failing to land a nomination along with last year’s winner Community.  Instead, ABC sitcom The Middle made the cut.
  • Netflix’s House of Cards scored two nominations for Best Actor (Kevin Spacey) and a very deserved Best Supporting Actor nod for Corey Stoll.
  • David Lynch landed a Best Guest Performer in a Comedy Series nom for his excellent work in Louie, and Happy Endings alums Casey Wilson and Adam Pally were recognized in the supporting categories.
  • The love it/loathe it HBO comedy Girls didn’t get a Best Comedy Series nod, but received acting nominations for Lena Dunham, Alex Karpovsky, and Patrick Wilson.
  • FX’s American Horror Story and CBS’ The Big Bang Theory scored the most nominations with six each, topping all other programs.

Hit the jump to check out the full list of nominees, and sound off in the comments with your thoughts on the lineup.  The awards will be handed out on June 10th.

HBO Renews VEEP for a Third Season

by     Posted 351 days ago

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Good news Selina Meyer fans — HBO’s excellent, biting political satire Veep has been renewed for a third season.  The show has had steady ratings thanks to a big lead-in from Game of Thrones (last year it was paired in a programming bloc with Girls), and the premium network is showing its support three episodes into the series’ second season by going ahead and electing Selina for another term (maybe the President will call?)

Veep, created by Armando Iannucci (In The Loop), stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the hapless Vice-President, along with Anna ChlumskyTony HaleReid ScottMatt Walsh and Sufe Bradshaw as her staff. Veep airs Sunday nights at 10 p.m.

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