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TCA: ‘Downton Abbey’ Returning January 4, PBS Chief Paula Kerger Says

By | Tuesday July 22, 2014 @ 12:08pm PDT

TCA: ‘Downton Abbey’ Returning January 4, PBS Chief Paula Kerger SaysDownton Abbey’s fifth season will debut on January 4, PBS chief Paula Kerger said this morning. She boasted the fourth season was up 16% year over year — among the reasons PBS will not consider an airdate that more closely coincides with the British play-pattern — and that the Masterpiece franchise within which Downton Abbey airs is up 24%. “We’re extremely proud of this growth and continue to focus on Sunday night drama,” she told TV critics at TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2014.

As for Sherlock, Kerger said PBS did not yet have word as to when it would be ready for air. “Because it’s coming from our partners in the UK, we have to wait to know when it will be finished,” Kerger said. “But, whenever it comes we’ll put it in a wonderful place and we know the next season is going to be terrific,” she added.

Likewise, Kerger said she had no airdate for the return of Mr. Selfridge, starring Jeremy Piven. That franchise’s renewal for a third season was announced by its British producer in February, saying only that it would air in 2015. Read More »

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Prophecy: Joseph Fiennes To Star As Vengeful ‘Nostradamus’ In Carnival, Anonymous Content Drama Series

Prophecy: Joseph Fiennes To Star As Vengeful ‘Nostradamus’ In Carnival, Anonymous Content Drama SeriesEXCLUSIVE: NBCUniversal-owned Downton Abbey producer Carnival Films is teaming with True Detective maker Anonymous Content on what they predict will be a provocative new series, Nostradamus. Joseph Fiennes will produce and play the titular clairvoyant in the hour-long drama. Charlotte Markham And The House Of Darkling author Michael Boccacino wrote the project that was developed in partnership with executive producer Andrew Cosby. The story follows the legendary seer as he seeks deadly vengeance for the murder of his family. A complex, brooding character with immense appetites, Nostradamus is a charismatic and self-destructive man who is plagued with dangerous and disturbing visions.

nostradamusThe period series is set against the backdrop of the volatile, high-stakes world of the French Royal Court where the Provençal apothecary’s pleasure-seeking impulses and passionate thirst for revenge run headlong into the treacherous epicenter of social and political life of Renaissance era Europe. The project is in early development and episode totals and broadcasters have yet to be set. But it looks likely this will be one of those that seeks out the high-end UK TV tax credit.

Carnival and Anonymous Content are both riding high these days, each receiving 12 Emmy nominations for Downton Abbey and True Detective, respectively. Fiennes, who is repped by Anonymous Content, The Artists Partnership and WME, last appeared on television in the 2nd season of American Horror Story. … Read More »

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Liberty Global Buys 6.4% Stake In ITV; Pays $824M For BSkyB’s Holding

By | Thursday July 17, 2014 @ 12:42am PDT

Liberty Global Buys 6.4% Stake In ITV; Pays $824M For BSkyB’s HoldingJohn Malone’s Liberty Global has been on an acquisitions spree in Europe over the past year, and while the company says it does not intend to make a takeover bid for the whole, it has purchased a 6.4% stake in the UK’s leading commercial broadcaster ITV. Liberty has acquired 259.8 million shares in ITV from BSkyB for approximately £481M ($824M), the company said in a statement early Thursday morning.
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TCA: Shonda Rhimes Resists Larger Role For ‘How To Get Away With Murder’

TCA: Shonda Rhimes Resists Larger Role For ‘How To Get Away With Murder’TV critics want to heap a lot of responsibility on Shonda Rhimes. Rhimes already has her fill, thank you very much, what with overseeing ABC’s entire Thursday lineup in the fall, including Grey’s Anatomy at 8 PM, followed by Scandal at 9 PM,  and new How To Get Away With Murder at 10 PM. At TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2014 this morning, she resisted their efforts to get Money Quotes for their TV Diversity Navel-Lint Gazing pieces.

Scandal’s debut in the spring of 2012 marked the first time in 30 years American TV featured a primetime series with a black female star. Now, just three years later “We have two shows,” marveled one TV critic, who asked Rhimes to speak to the “lesson” to TV in this, also asking for her thoughts on “the impact of having two shows on network TV that star black women.”
“Do I think there are any lessons? No, I don’t. The shows speak for themselves,” Shonda responded curtly.

In re the impact of having two shows starring black women on American primetime TV, Rhimes brushed it off with, “It remains to be seen. It hasn’t happened yet.” Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Alibaba, Lionsgate In China Streaming Deal; Discovery Western Europe Hires BBC Veteran; More

Global Showbiz Briefs: Alibaba, Lionsgate In China Streaming Deal; Discovery Western Europe Hires BBC Veteran; MoreIn a further push into China’s entertainment sphere, e-commerce giant Alibaba has pacted with Lionsgate to launch Lionsgate Entertainment World, a subscription streaming service for the mainland. The service will be available exclusively through Alibaba’s set-top boxes and will give users access to high-profile Lionsgate titles including Divergent (which has not had a theatrical release in China), pics from the Twilight and Hunger Games franchises, and TV series The Royals, Nashville and Mad Men. The deal gives Lionsgate bigger exposure in the fast-growing Chinese market where many consumers watch content online — which has traditionally flown lower under the radar of the Middle Kingdom’s famous censors. Alibaba filed for a U.S. IPO earlier this year and recently took a majority stake in ChinaVision Media Group, now Alibaba Pictures Group, as part of its bid to expand. The Wall Street Journal reports that the company has also recently approached Chinese film studios about creating or acquiring content for its online service, and that it is eyeing further investment in local studios. Launch of Lionsgate Entertainment World is expected next month. David U. Lee, founder and president of Leeding Media, helped orchestrate the agreement. Read More »

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TCA: TV Academy May Look At Primetime Emmy Categories Because Industry Has Evolved, CEO Bruce Rosenblum Says

TCA: TV Academy May Look At Primetime Emmy Categories Because Industry Has Evolved, CEO Bruce Rosenblum SaysThe TV Academy probably should take another look at the categories for its Primetime Emmy Awards, academy chairman/CEO Bruce Rosenblum told TV critics this morning at the TCAs summer press tour after TV critics began to flog him and the academy for not doing a better job “policing” which categories series and actors are competing.

Image (2) SHAMELESS-EMMY-BUS-AD__140521190126-575x119.jpg for post 734049TV critics nicked him for a number of this year’s nominees — one TV critic, for instance, noted,  “it’s nice Treme got nominated, but it’s in the miniseries category and it’s been on the air about five years.” Another expressed disbelief the academy would let Shameless submit itself for consideration as a comedy series for a season that included a storyline “in which a baby overdoses on cocaine.”  And harsh words were said about  “certain” actors who’d  submitted themselves as guest stars “even though they have regular series contracts.” Plenty more where that came from.

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EMMYS: Reactions – Lizzy Caplan, Ryan Murphy, ‘True Detective’s Nic Pizzolatto & More

EMMYS: Reactions – Lizzy Caplan, Ryan Murphy, ‘True Detective’s Nic Pizzolatto & MoreRefresh for latest ….

Drama Series
Nic
Pizzolatto, executive producer and creator, True Detective
Like a filmmaker, hellbent on making the best independent film ever, before Pizzolatto pitched the project to five TV networks, he went about finding the right director for his doppelganger detective series, selecting Cary Fukunaga. Then they hooked up with Matthew McConaughey, who was so passionate about the project, he called Woody Harrelson to come aboard.  ”Everything a writer writes is from a true place, but I didn’t take any inspiration from any real people per se, rather the job and the culture at the time (during the ’90s and early aughts),” said the Louisiana native about his influences. As far as season 2, Pizzolatto asserts, “we aren’t keeping secrets, there’s just empty rumors out there.”  Switching True Detective from miniseries to drama, “was HBO’s decision and it underscored their passion and enthusiasm for the show,” he adds.  While an episode zig zags between time frames with the greatest ease, Pizzolatto revealed that such parameters were clearly defined in the script. Nothing was discovered in the editing room. “The time jumps were probably more of a challenge for the actors” who had to play the opposite of who they were in 2012.
“(Woody’s) Marty is actually a changed man while (Matthew’s) Cohle has devolved into his worst obsessive quality.” Read More »

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EMMY Noms Analysis: ‘True Detective’, ‘Orange’ & ‘Shameless’ Fare Well Amid Category Brouhaha As Free-TV Slips To New Low

Nellie Andreeva

EMMY Noms Analysis: ‘True Detective’, ‘Orange’ & ‘Shameless’ Fare Well Amid Category Brouhaha As Free-TV Slips To New LowIn the months leading to this year’s Primetime Emmy nominations, a lot of attention was focused on HBO’s decision to enter the eight-episode True Detective as a drama series, Showtime switching Shameless from drama to comedy series after three seasons, and Netflix entering Orange Is the New Black as a comedy after calling it a drama for the Golden Globes.

The moves worked fine for all three. True Detective and Orange Is The New Black each netted 12 noms – a very strong showing for freshman series — to tie veteran Downton Abbey and Seth MacFarlane’s documentary Cosmos as the fourth-most-nominated primetime series. Both landed noms in all major categories they were eligible for, including best drama (True Detective) and comedy series (Orange), best lead actor/actress, best writing, directing and casting.

Meanwhile, after a single Emmy nom for each of its first three seasons competing as a drama series — all for recurring guest actress Joan Cusack — Shameless more than doubled its Emmy tally with three noms this year. That includes a break into the lead actor category for star William H. Macy, joined by Cusack, nominated for a fourth consecutive time, and a mention for stunt coordination. Read More »

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EMMYS: British Continue To Invade Acting Categories

EMMYS: British Continue To Invade Acting CategoriesCor blimey, the British aren’t coming — they’re here to stay. Including Ricky Gervais’ surprise Emmy nomination as Lead Actor in a Comedy series for Derek this morning, there are 15 nods for Brits in the acting races this year. If we add voice-overs, Jeremy Irons and Daniel Craig would make it 17 performance nods. Last year, there were 14 total.

British actors have been plying their trade in U.S. series for ages, but this crop boasts a lot of British-based (or instigated) productions and co-productions rather than U.S. shows à la Homeland. The UK TV tax credit has encouraged British broadcasters to strive for increasingly ambitious productions.

dancing on the edgeAlong with Gervais, whose Derek was originally commissioned for Channel 4 before being picked up by Netflix, there’s a big group from perennial Downton Abbey, a co-pro of Carnival Films and Masterpiece; a first Emmy nod for Golden Globe nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor in BBC miniseries Dancing On The Edge, which Starz airs Stateside; Idris Elba in Luther, another BBC show that goes out on BBC America; and Helena Bonham Carter playing the British-American Elizabeth Taylor in BBC and BBC America co-pro Burton & Taylor. And, of course, Sherlock is back this year. Benedict Cumberbatch scored a Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie spot … Read More »

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EMMYS: Online Voting Raises Turnout, Possibly Altering Race – And What Do Matthew McConaughey And George C. Scott Have In Common?

By | Thursday July 10, 2014 @ 8:22am PDT
Pete Hammond

EMMYS: Online Voting Raises Turnout, Possibly Altering Race – And What Do Matthew McConaughey And George C. Scott Have In Common?History has a chance to repeat itself at the Emmy Awards on August 25th if Matthew McConaughey wins Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. He would become the first – and only other male — to pull off an Oscar win and Emmy win in the same year since George C. Scott did it 43 years ago in 1971. Scott, who famously didn’t attend either ceremony, won the Best Actor Oscar for Patton on April 15th of that year and then less than a month later on May 9th pulled off the Emmy for Single Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for the “The Price” episode of ITV Saturday Night Theatre. Of course, McConaughey won the Oscar in March for Best Actor in Dallas Buyers Club. Both also won Golden Globes in their respective years too.

66th Primetime Emmy Awards NominationsAs everyone knows, Scott actually refused the Oscar and called the ceremony a “meat parade.” Goldie Hawn announced him as the winner by saying “Oh my God, it’s George C. Scott!” As I recall, when presenter Suzanne Pleshette opened the Emmy envelope that year she parodied that moment by saying, “Oh my God, it’s George C. Scott!” It should be noted that, unlike his unwanted Academy Award,  Scott never turned down the Emmy. He just didn’t show up for it and it was accepted instead on his behalf by Jack Cassidy.

This promises to be one of the most exciting categories at the Emmys this year, with the list of nominees announced this morning not producing a ton of surprises but offering a rich group of nominees featuring the TRIED (Downton Abbey, Mad Men, etc)the TRUE (Detective) along with the NEW (Orange Is The New Black, Silicon Valley, etc)The most astounding thing to me was to see Netflix really break through big-time with 31 nominations and within shouting distance of the traditional three networks (ABC, NBC, CBS) and ahead of Fox. Read More »

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EMMYS: Overall Nominations By Network

By | Thursday July 10, 2014 @ 7:08am PDT

EMMYS: Overall Nominations By NetworkOnce again, HBO led all networks in Emmy nominations this year, and it wasn’t even close. Here’s a look at HBO’s noms haul in the past decade, followed by a breakdown in who got what this year.

Emmy Nominations HBO Chart 2004 to 2014

 

NOMINATIONS BY NETWORK

HBO – 99
CBS – 47
NBC – 46
FX Networks – 45
ABC – 37
PBS – 34
Netflix – 31
FOX– 30
AMC – 26
Showtime – 24
Comedy Central – 21
FOX– 30
Lifetime – 17
National Geographic Channel – 15
Starz – 11
Discovery Channel – 10 Read More »

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EMMYS: Overall Nominations By Show

By | Thursday July 10, 2014 @ 7:07am PDT

EMMYS: Overall Nominations By ShowGame of Thrones led the Emmy nominations race, but not by much, ahead of Fargo, American Horror Story‘s latest, Breaking Bad and The Normal Heart. Below we have charts with all the shows, organized by most nominations and by name. We also have a show-by-show index of what each show was nominated for. Read More »

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Primetime Emmys: Full List Of Nominees

By | Thursday July 10, 2014 @ 5:53am PDT

Primetime Emmys: Full List Of NomineesThe 66th annual Primetime Emmy Awards nominations were announced this morning at the TV Academy in North Hollywood. Netflix fared well with Best Series nominations in both comedy and drama categories, with Orange Is The New Black in the former and House Of Cards in the latter. HBO fared well with noms for rookie Silicon Valley and Veep on the comedy side and Game Of Thrones and True Detective on the drama side. Both of that series’ stars, Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrleson, received nods in the actor category, as did Mad Men‘s Jon Hamm. The AMC show is back in the drama race with Breaking Bad and Downton Abbey rounding out the category. On the comedy side, the top category includes reigning champ Modern Family, CBS’ The Big Bang Theory and FX’s Louie.

Here’s the full list of noms:

Outstanding Comedy Series

The Big Bang Theory
CBS • Chuck Lorre Productions, Inc. in association with Warner Bros. Television

Louie
FX Networks • Pig Newton, Inc. and FX Productions

Modern Family
ABC • Picador Productions and Steven Levitan Productions in association with 20th Century Fox Television

Orange Is The New Black
Netflix • Lionsgate Television for Netflix

Silicon Valley
HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Judgemental Films, Alec Berg, Altschuler Krinsky works, and 3 Arts Entertainment

Veep
HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Dundee Productions

Outstanding Drama Series

Breaking Bad
AMC • Sony Pictures Television

Downton Abbey
PBS • A Carnival Films/Masterpiece Co-Production in association with NBC Universal

Game Of Thrones
HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; Television 360; Startling Television and Generator Productions

House Of Cards
Netflix • Donen/Fincher/Roth and Trigger Street Productions, Inc. in association with Media Rights Capital for Netflix

Mad Men
AMC • Lionsgate Television

True Detective
HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Neon Black, Anonymous Content, Parliament of Owls and Passenger Read More »

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Carnival Films, BBC America, BBC2 Chart Historical Drama ‘The Last Kingdom’

Carnival Films, BBC America, BBC2 Chart Historical Drama ‘The Last Kingdom’Downton Abbey producer Carnival Films will travel back much further in time for its latest period drama — a Game Of Thrones-esque epic. The NBC-owned company is teaming with BBC America to co-produce ninth century-set eight-part historical series The Last Kingdom for BBC Two. Based on Bernard Cornwell’s book series The Saxon Stories, The Last Kingdom will combine real historical figures and events with fictional characters during the reign of Alfred the Great, who as King of the-last-kingdomWessex fought off a Viking invasion. Replete with heroic deeds and epic battles, the series will also embrace politics, religion, warfare, courage, love, loyalty and the universal search for identity. Stephen Butchard (Good Cop, Five Daughters, House Of Saddam) is scripting. Production starts in the fall and casting has yet to be confirmed. Carnival’s Gareth Neame and Nigel Marchant will exec produce with Butchard. Nick Murphy (Prey, Occupation) is co-executive producing and directing multiple episodes. Chrissy Skinns (Mr Selfridge) will produce.

The series slots into BBC Two’s strong drama portfolio. On deck, it’s also got the ambitious Wolf Hall, the adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s historical novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies.

Set in the year 872, when many of the separate kingdoms of what is now known as England have fallen to the invading Vikings, the great kingdom of Wessex has been left standing alone and defiant under the command of King Alfred the Great. Against this turbulent backdrop lives Uhtred, the hero of the stories. When his noble Saxon parents are killed by the Vikings, the marauders kidnap him and raise him as one of their own. Forced to choose between the country of his birth and the people of his upbringing, his loyalties are continually tested. On a quest to claim his birthright, Uhtred must tread a dangerous path between both sides if he is to play his part in the birth of a new nation and, ultimately, seek to recapture his ancestral lands. Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Steve Coogan’s ‘Mid Morning Matters’ Returning To Sky; ITV Orders WWII Drama ‘Jambusters’; More

Global Showbiz Briefs: Steve Coogan’s ‘Mid Morning Matters’ Returning To Sky; ITV Orders WWII Drama ‘Jambusters’; MoreSky Atlantic Sets Steve Coogan For New Season Of ‘Mid Morning Matters’
After bringing his long-running Alan Partridge character to the big screen last year, Steve Coogan will return as the socially awkward North Norfolk digital radio DJ in a new season of Mid Morning Matters on the UK’s Sky Atlantic HD. Shooting has started on the six-part series that’s produced by Coogan’s Baby Cow. A 2015 airdate is planned. Along with the new episodes, Sky Atlantic has also ordered a one-hour documentary special hosted by Partridge. Before making his feature debut, Partridge, created in 1991 by Coogan and Armando Iannucci, returned to UK TV in June 2012 with two Sky Atlantic specials, Welcome To The Places Of My Life and Alan Partridge On Open Books With Martin Bryce. Coogan won a BAFTA as lead male in a comedy program for Places Of My Life, which was Sky Atlantic’s highest-rated comedy commission. Those programs were followed by a six-part special edition of the first season of Mid Morning Matters. The new series is written by Coogan, Neil Gibbons and Rob Gibbons and produced by Ted Dowd. Executive producers are Coogan and Henry Normal for Baby Cow Productions. Coogan last year was nominated with co-writer Jeff Pope for the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for Philomena. The pair won the BAFTA in the same category. Speaking as Partridge today, Coogan said: “I am both thrilled, humbled, gladdened and excited to be bringing Mid Morning Matters back to … Read More »

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Hot Teaser Trailer: ‘The Guest’

By | Thursday June 26, 2014 @ 7:15am PDT

Hot Teaser Trailer: ‘The Guest’The Guest, a gory film to be shown at the Sundance NEXT festival in August, has released a teaser trailer. The movie stars Downton Abbey‘s Dan Stevens and is directed by Adam Wingard (You’re Next), who world premiered it last January at Sundance. The HanWay Films and Snoot Entertainment production will be released by Picturehouse in the US and Icon Pictures in the UK. Here it is: Read More »

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Canal Plus & Tandem’s London-Set Drama Series ‘Spotless’ Casts Up

Canal Plus & Tandem’s London-Set Drama Series ‘Spotless’ Casts UpEXCLUSIVE: Canal Plus and Tandem Communications‘ 10-episode one-hour crime drama Spotless starts principal photography July 2 in London. Co-created by Shameless UK producer and writer Ed McCardie, and Corinne Marrinan (CSI, Crossing Lines), the series was announced at Mip-TV in April and has now set its main cast. Canadian actor Marc-André Grondin (C.R.A.Z.Y) and France’s Denis Ménochet (Inglourious Basterds) lead the coyle-brendandrama with British actress Miranda Raison (24: Live Another Day) and Downton Abbey’s Mr Bates, Brendan Coyle, also in the mix. Billed as a darkly humorous and irreverent family drama, the London-set story follows a troubled man whose tidy life is turned upside down when his outlaw brother crash lands into his world, and gets both of them involved in the deadly dynamics of organized crime as their dysfunctional family struggles to gain control over life, business and shared destiny.
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Amazon Prime Nabs Exclusive ‘Wallace & Gromit’ Streaming Deal With Aardman

By | Thursday June 19, 2014 @ 8:05am PDT

Amazon Prime Nabs Exclusive ‘Wallace & Gromit’ Streaming Deal With AardmanAmazon today announced it had snagged a U.S. content licensing agreement with Aardman Animations that will make Prime Instant Video the exclusive subscription streaming home for the TV and short film series Wallace & Gromit, Shaun The Sheep, Timmy Time and classic animation Rex The Runt.  In addition, new shows from the Shaun The Sheep and Timmy Time series will be added to Prime Instant Video, including Seasons 3 and 4 of Shaun The Sheep, the Shaun The Sheep: Championsheeps special, and two new Timmy Time specials. Read More »

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EMMYS: Drama Contenders Race Shaken Up By ‘True Detective’

EMMYS: Drama Contenders Race Shaken Up By ‘True Detective’Image (2) Awardsline-logo_use-this-one__140529211810-275x38.jpg for post 738599With outstanding drama series being the Powerball/Mega Millions of the Primetime Emmy Awards, any change in this particular competition is bound to cause a certain amount of eyebrow raising in the TV industry.  And, sure enough, the Television Academy’s decision this year to let HBO enter True Detective as a drama series, which is how HBO says it always envisioned the program, is being viewed by some rivals as an introduction of a large grain of sand in their spiritual spinach. Non-fans of the decision complain that the program has an unfair advantage and belongs in the miniseries race. True Detective, which will reboot with a new cast and storyline each season, is able to attract Hollywood heavyweights such as Matthew McConaughey because it only asks of them a one-season, eight-episode commitment. Ironically, that also might be the best explanation yet as to why the TV Academy did not balk when HBO submitted it as a drama. The program also stands to benefit from the TV Academy’s loosening of the “2 percent” rule for the drama series competition, which could open up the race to allow for seven nominees. Read More »

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