UPDATED: Stephen Colbert To Visit David Letterman’s Show Next Week (Video)

UPDATED THROUGHOUT: CBS just announced that Stephen Colbert will pay a visit to the guy he’s replacing on Late Show With David Letterman a week from today, Tuesday, April 22. No stephen_colbert-350x262word in re whether the two men will address the “covert assault on traditional American values” that CBS’ succession plans for its late-night franchise represents. That’s how Rush Limbaugh described it when CBS announced last week. Today, however, Limbaugh homed in on the “symbolic symbolism cover” that is Colbert’s Catholicism. “All these leftists, they fall back on their devout Catholicism, but it doesn’t mean anything,” he said, referencing House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Dick Durbin – and Comedy Central comic Colbert. Limbaugh said he wanted to address the situation “before this gets out of hand — and maybe it already is.”

Related: CBS’ Stephen Colbert Hire Shakes Up Late Night — And Far Right

“If Colbert’s a devout Catholic and has five kids, I suppose that he must believe in traditional marriage, right?” Limbaugh said. “And if he does, then he’s a hateful bigot, according to the current definitions of the left.” (Colbert has three children, at last report.) Read More »

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‘Glee’s Final Season To Have New Location, Final Scene About Rachel & Will Schuester

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 12:54pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

131128143545-glee-group-season-5-story-topAfter departing McKinley High to move to New York fulltime for the latter part of this season, the musical dramedy looked destined to end its run in the Big Apple. That won’t be the case, Glee co-creator/executive producer Ryan Murphy said in a press call yesterday. “The final season is its own story in its own location; it is not New York-centric at all,” Murphy said, as reported by TVLine. “It really is a lovely, fitting season that dwells on the original people on the show and what happens to them and how they give back. … We’ll revisit some of the new kids that came and went, there’s a return of [Jane Lynch's Sue Sylvester] and [Matthew Morrison's Will Schuester] in a big way.”

Related: Ryan Murphy Confirms How ‘Glee’ Was Supposed To End

The sixth and final season of Fox‘s Glee will consist of 24 episodes, two of them carried over from this season, cut short by the sudden death of star Cory Monteith. The actor’s passing also changed Glee creators’ plans how to end the series, as their original ending featured Lea Michele’s Rachel returning to McKinley High and Monteith’s Finn. The new final scene idea “is about Rachel and Mr. Schue, and it returns them to their origins, their roots, how they felt about each other when they were much younger and everything … Read More »

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Alcon Partners With Sleeping Giant Media To Form Movie & TV Music Services Company

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 12:18pm PDT

LOS ANGELES, CA., APRIL 15, 2014—Alcon Entertainment and Sleeping Giant Media, LLC have formed ASG Music Group, a joint venture designed to integrate the combined companies’ music enterprises into a new music model for the modern business of film, television and commercial media production, it was announced by Alcon co-CEO’s and co-founders Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson, and Sleeping Giant’s co-founders Ken Caillat, Michael Hodges and Kayla Morrison.

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FilmLA: Feature Production Surges In Q1 2014 While TV Sitcoms Fall

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 12:07pm PDT

Celebrity Sightings In Los Angeles - April 01, 2014It isn’t the golden days of the 1990s, but FilmLA. reports today that feature film production is on the rise in Los Angeles while TV production slipped from last year. A Q1 2014 report released today by the nonprofit permitting group said on-location feature production in LA County jumped 24.2% over Q1 2013 and that the category had a big leap of 39.4% over its five-year quarterly average. Despite the small number of tentpole pics made in California and the lure of hefty incentives in other states like Louisiana and NY as well as Canada and the UK, the latest results build on similar advances in past quarters and shows increasing traction from the all-time lows of 2009.

Related: Bring Blockbusters Back to California With Increased Film Incentives, Says FilmLA

imgres-12__130108220458__130410052538It is no coincidence that 2009 was also the same year California’s current $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit program was first introduced. With overall production steady with Q1 2013 and  legislation presently moving ahead in Sacramento to expand and evolve the program, FilmLA today praised California’s incentives as helping to stem the tsunami of exiting production. “This quarter’s report hints at what would be possible if California were to truly step up and compete for new film projects and jobs,” said the organization’s President Paul Audley in a statement. “Just imagine where we could be five years from now if current efforts to expand the state’s incentive program are successful.”

Related: New Film & TV Tax Credit Bill Unanimously Passes First Hurdle In Sacramento

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‘True Detective’ Now Most Watched HBO Freshman Series Ever

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 11:58am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

true-detectiveWith delayed viewers factored in, the gross audience for HBO‘s buzzy new drama series True Detective starring Matthew McConaughy and Woody Harrelson has risen to 11.9 million viewers per episode, making it the most-watched first-year series in HBO’s history. True Detective edged the previous record for first-year gross viewership held by Six Feet Under, which averaged 11.4 million. The murder mystery also was ahead of the Season 1 cume viewership for Game Of Thrones, which holds the record for HBO’s most-watched series overall, averaging 14.4 million viewers for its most recent third season.

Related: Emmys: ‘True Detective’ To Compete As Drama Series

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NBCUniversal Unveils Initiative To Feature Original Programming On Hulu, VOD & More

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 11:57am PDT

NBCUniversal__120928224730-200x133__140404232610The original video programming initiative will debut first on NBCUniversal’s various digital platforms, including channel websites, Hulu and VOD, NBCU said today in a statement. Promos for the digital series will appear during various programs on NBCU TV networks. In some cases, development of the digital series will be in collaboration with advertising partners. “This original, digital-first programming, scaled with the unmatched resources of our company and our production partners, underscores the unparalleled opportunities we can create,” said Linda Yaccarino, President, Advertising Sales, NBCUniversal. “The combination of digital video alongside television content is extremely powerful and becoming an increasingly important part of the connection advertisers make with consumers. We want to offer our partners the unique ability to harness the power of our creative assets along with our distribution capabilities including the video-on-demand platform like no other company can do.”’

Among the digital projects slated to come from Universal Cable Prods include new series Tesla And Twain and Last Single Girl. UCP is also developing additional original series in collaboration with 72 and Sunny Productions. Tesla And Twain is a comedic series loosely based on the real friendship between the great author and the great inventor… if they were suddenly transported to modern day Los Angeles. Last Single Girl tells the story of a single, over-educated and under-employed young woman who is coming to terms with being a grown-up while all of her best friends are getting married. Read More »

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Cannes: Official Selection Buzz Sharpens (& Sprawls) Ahead Of Thursday’s Reveal

22x30_Cannes2014On Thursday, Thierry Frémaux will unveil the lineup for the 67th running of the Cannes Film Festival. Speculation, comme d’habitude, has been rife for at least the past month as to which titles may make the trip to the Croisette. While one exec with movies in contention says, “It’s going to the wire this year,” some contenders are coming into sharper focus. Although nothing is confirmed until Frémaux says so, among the titles I hear consistently cited as near faits-accomplis are DreamWorks Animation‘s How To Train Your Dragon 2; the Dardenne brothers’ Two Days, One Night with Marion Cotillard; Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher; Mike Leigh‘s Mr Turner; Tommy Lee JonesThe Homesman; and David Cronenberg‘s Maps To The Stars. There are many, many more required to fill the Competition, Out-of-Competition, Un Certain Regard, Special Screenings and other sections. Here’s a primer for what’s looking likely, and what isn’t, to make the cut in an official category on Thursday:

Related: Cannes: 67th Fest Poster Celebrates Marcello Mastroianni In Fellini’s ‘8 1/2’

We know that Nicole Kidman-starrer Grace Of Monaco is the opening-night film. French distributor grace of monacoGaumont is planning a classic Cannes soirée which will follow the official screening and dinner on May 14. In other certainties, French debut feature Party Girl is opening the Un Certain Regard sidebar; a less showy title than 2013’s Bling Ring, but one that fits with UCR jury president Pablo Trapero’s take on the section this year. Jane Campion, the only woman ever to win a Palme d’Or (for The Piano in 1993), is president of the Competition jury whose other members will be revealed shortly.

how-to-train-your-dragonAmong the high-profile Hollywood titles expected is DreamWorks Animation’s How To Train Your Dragon sequel, which I hear is getting a special screening. The studio isn’t commenting, but DWA and Cannes have a long history – going back to when Frémaux took over the selection in 2001 and caused a stir by putting Shrek in the Competition. We’ve heard that Frémaux has put a full-court press on Paul Thomas Anderson to get Inherent Vice (Warner Bros) to the festival. But with a release date at the end of 2014, this could be a long shot, and some I’ve spoken with believe it won’t be ready for next month. Some wonder if Clint Eastwood’s Jersey Boys jersey boyscould make the trip. Eastwood has been to Cannes several times before and is esteemed by Frémaux who gave him the inaugural Lumière Prize in 2009 at the October festival he oversees in Lyon with Bertrand Tavernier. Although I’m told Jersey Boys isn’t a typical Cannes film, I wouldn’t fully rule it out — it’s also got a timely June release. Read More »

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‘Magic Mike’ Sequel Gets July 2015 Release Date

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 10:44am PDT

MagicMikeWarner Bros has set Magic Mike 2 for July 3, 2015. The sequel to the 2012 film directed by Steven Soderbergh that was informed by Channing Tatum‘s early days as a male stripper. This is the latest extension of the pic that Soderbergh and Tatum hatched and financed themselves. It was a risk that turned into a major score when the original movie starring Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Alex Pettyfer, Matt Bomer and other made $113.7M at the domestic box office — one of Soderbergh’s most lucrative movies ever — and has since spawned a Broadway musical now in the works.

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Leonardo DiCaprio, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu Commit To September Start For New Regency’s ‘The Revenant’

Mike Fleming

leodEXCLUSIVE: Leonardo DiCaprio has committed to star this September in The Revenant, a gritty thriller that Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu will direct for New Regency, for fall 2015 release through Fox. Gonzalez Inarritu and Mark L. Smith co-wrote the script. DiCaprio had been attached to team with Gonzalez Inarritu, but he is attached to many projects; getting the star to commit off his Oscar-nominated The Wolf Of Wall Street performance is a big development for Arnon Milchan and Brad Weston’s game plan to make tasteful, star- and director-driven fare.

revenantAnonymous Content’s Steve Golin, Keith Redmon and David Kanter will produce with Gonzalez Iñárritu, Milchan and James Skotchdopole. Brett Ratner and Paul Green are exec producers. The film will be co-financed by RatPac and Worldview Entertainment, latter of which just partnered with Regency and Fox Searchlight in the Inarritu-directed Birdman, which was just set for release on October 17.

An adaptation of the Michael Punke novel The Revenant: A Novel Of Revenge, Inarritu Gonzalez’s next film will star DiCaprio as Hugh Glass, a 19th century fur trapper who gets mauled by a grizzly bear, and then is left for dead by cohorts who rob him. When he survives, he is as pissed as a bee-stung bear and sets out on a treacherous journey to exact revenge on those who betrayed him. Sean Penn had been circling as one of those bad guys, but he won’t be in the film. Read More »

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Sharon Stone Joins Jesse Eisenberg-Kristen Stewart Action Comedy ‘American Ultra’

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 10:35am PDT

Sharon Stone is the latest to snag a rolesharonstone in the Jesse Eisenberg-Kristen Stewart starrer American Ultra. Production began yesterday in New Orleans. The action comedy that Lionsgate ponied up $7M for in March focuses on Mike (Eisenberg), a stoner whose small-town life with his live-in girlfriend (Stewart) is upended when his past catches up with him, putting him in the crosshairs of a government operation bent on wiping him out. Stone joins recently cast Bill Pullman Tony Hale, along with Topher Grace, John Leguizamo, and Walton Goggins in the pic directed by Project X‘s Nima Nourizadeh and penned by Chronicle writer Max Landis. Stone, repped by Gersh and manager Chuck Binder, will play Victoria Lasseter. The PalmStar, Likely Story, and Circle of Confusion co-production is produced by Anthony Bregman, Kevin Frakes, Raj Brinder Singh, David Alpert, and Britton Rizzio. Ray Angelic is exec producing with Lionsgate’s Jason Constantine and Eda Kowan overseeing. FilmNation is repping international sales. Stone recently wrapped the TNT pilot Agent X and can currently be seen in Fading Gigolo with Woody Allen and Jon Turturro.

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ABC President Paul Lee Signs New Contract

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 9:31am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

paulleeABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee has finalized a new multi-year deal to remain at the helm of the broadcast network and its sibling ABC Studios. With ABC News president Ben Sherwood recently tapped to succeed Anne Sweeney as co-Chairman of Disney Media Networks and President of Disney/ABC Television Group, ABC is heading into next month’s upfronts with a top executive team in place for the next several years.

Related: Incoming Disney/ABC TV Group President Ben Sherwood On Getting The Big Job, His Learning Curve & ABC Topper Paul Lee

ABC_logo_2007Lee has faced a number of challenges during his first term, with several high-profile new series not able to take hold. His successes include Shonda Rhimes’ hot D.C. drama Scandal, fairytale drama Once Upon A Time and promising midseason entry Resurrection. Despite some inroads, ABC is expected to finish No. 4 among adults 18-49 again this season. I hear Lee’s decision to re-sign stems at least in part from his desire to see through his plan for the network’s turnaround. There are encouraging early signs about ABC’s current development, which has been getting thumbs-up within Disney. Lee is well liked by top Disney brass as well as within the Hollywood community and had been … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘2 Broke Girls’ Steady In Transition To 8 PM With Lindsay Lohan, ‘Friends With Better Lives’ & ‘Mom’ Down

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 9:29am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

lohangirlsCBS Monday kicked off the post-How I Met Your Mother era last night with Lindsay Lohan, who started things at 8 PM with a guest appearance on 2 Broke Girls. The new 8 PM anchor drew a 2.2 in adults 18-49 last night, down a tenth from its last original, which followed the penultimate episode of HIMYM. But that tied as a season low. In its first regular airing, new comedy Friends With Better Lives (1.8) was down 31% from its preview behind the HIMYM finale. Mike & Molly (2.1) was up a tenth from its most recent original while the first-season finale of Mom (1.9) was down 14% from its last original on the night of the HIMYM finale. A Person Of Interest rerun aired at 10 PM. Elsewhere, NBC’s The Voice (3.3) was down 6% from last week to a Monday season low. ABC’s Dancing With The Stars (2.3) was up a tenth. The Blacklist and Castle were repeats. The CW’s Star-Crossed (0.3) was flat, The Tomorrow People (0.4) was down a tenth.

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Patric Verrone’s Campaign E-Mailers To WGA Members Raise Questions

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 8:31am PDT

verroneEXCLUSIVE: Thousands of emails sent to Writers Guild members from former WGA President Patric Verrone soliciting donations for his run for a seat in the California state senate are raising questions about how he got those email addresses and about the ethics of using his years of service to the guild to acquire them. Verrone, who led the guild in a contentious 14-week strike six years ago, is in a tight primary race to represent California’s 26th senatorial district. Numerous guild members report that they have received emails from Verrone soliciting donations and giving updates on his campaign. The WGA says it didn’t supply Verrone with a mailing list.

Related: Patric Verrone Eyeing California State Senate Seat With ‘I Won The Strike’ Boast

wgaw“We have had some members ask about this and we have made it clear that we have not provided him with a mailing list,” said WGA spokesman Neal Sacharow. “Outside of official guild business, we allow use of our list in two instances. As required by federal law, guild members may use the list in connection with internal union election campaigns. We also make the list available during awards season to studios, networks and certain publications for the purpose of mailing screeners or other awards-related communications. In both of those situations, we do not provide the list itself but rather, arrange for the mailing through a guild-approved mail house.”

Verrone told Deadline that he sent his campaign emails to “a couple of thousand” WGA members. Asked if a “couple of thousand” is two or three thousand, he said, “between two and three thousand.” He also acknowledged that he came by those email addresses in the course of his service to the guild. pv“I was president and secretary-treasurer and a board member for all those years,” he said. “I communicated with hundreds of members and they communicated with me. I have their email addresses. I didn’t get anything from the Writers Guild.” Read More »

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ABC’s ‘World News Tonight’ Beats ‘NBC Nightly News’ In News Demo, With ‘Mad Men’ Pitching In

dianesawyerabcABC World News With Diane Sawyer ranked as the No. 1 evening newscast in the news demo for the week of April 7 — its first weekly demo win this season. Sawyer beat NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams by 12,000 Adults 25-54 (1.882 million vs. 1.870 million).  It was ABC evening newscasts first demo win since the week of July 22, 2013. Last July — one year after ABC’s Good Morning America snapped NBC’s Today show weekly winning streak, ABC’s evening newscast outstripped NBC’s in the news demo by 38,000 demo viewers, ending NBC’s  newscast’s ratings winning streak of nearly five years. During the week of April 7, Sawyer’s newscast covered breaking news –  high school stabbings in Pennsylvania, California bus crash, Terry Moran in Central African Republic with UN Ambassador Samantha Power covering refugees and violence — but the newscast also featured a broadcast exclusive with Mad Men stars and creator as they debuted the AMC series’ final season.  The week of April 7 also marked the newscast hitting 1 million likes on Facebook, which some have correlated to the weekly demo win. ABC’s was the only broadcast up in the demo from one year ago during the comparable week (1%) – NBC’s newscast tumbled by 18% and CBS’s Scott Pelley-anchored newscast dropped 10% in the demo.
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Hot Trailer: David Cronenberg’s ‘Maps To The Stars’

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 7:30am PDT

EOne has dropped the first trailer for David Cronenberg’s thriller Maps To The Stars. Mia Wasikowska, Julianne Moore, John Cusack, Robert Pattinson and Sarah Gadan star in the ghost story that’s described as a scathing attack on celebrity-obsessed LA. Wild Palms‘ Bruce Wagner penned the script. Check it out:

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More National Geographic Shakeup: David Lyle Exits, Courteney Monroe Upped To CEO, David Hill Named Chairman

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 7:06am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

hillmonroeGary E. Knell, President and CEO of the National Geographic Society, and Peter Rice, Chairman and CEO of Fox Networks Group, today completed the sweeping changes at the top of the National Geographic Channels that started yesterday with the announcement that the channels’ president Howard Owens will be leaving in June. “Today, the worst kept secret is over — I am taking my leave as CEO of National Geographic Channels,” David Lyle, who had served as National Geographic Channels CEO since 2011, wrote in an internal memo (read it in full below the post.). “I am exhilarated but somewhat saddened also.” Lyle will be replaced by a marketing executive, Courteney Monroe, who has served as Chief Marketing Officer for National Geographic Channels’ domestic networks since 2012 and is now beingnatgeo upped to CEO. She will report to the Board of Directors of the National Geographic Channels. Additionally, David Hill, Senior EVP of 21st Century Fox and a member of the National Geographic Channels Board of Directors, will now add the title of Chairman of National Geographic Channels U.S. His role is described as “providing counsel to the executive and programming leadership team.” Coming from marketing, Monroe has no production experience. Hill, who had an oversight of NGC prior to Lyle’s 2011 hire, will remain a member of the NGC Board and also continue to oversee production of American Idol.

The moves continue to expand the domain of Hill, who is one of Rupert Murdoch’s trusted lieutenants. In 2012, the long-time chairman and CEO of Fox Sports was elevated to senior EVP for News Corp. Then last summer, following the departure of Fox alternative chief Mike Darnell, he was put in charge of the network’s The X Factor and American Idol. Since then, X Factor has been cancelled while American Idol is finishing up its lowest-rated season. Meanwhile, the National Geographic Channels have done very well under Lyle and Owens. “I’m exhilarated that NGC and NG WILD are in rude health with EBITDAs (profits) at all-time highs, and with programming featuring the most watched specials, series and year in the channels’ history,” Lyle wrote in his memo. That makes the executive housecleaning puzzling. It follows speculation about a discord between Hill and NGC’s leadership team of Lyle and Owens who turned the network around in the past three years. When Hill gave up direct oversight of NGC in 2011, the move was explained with a clash of cultures between him and the team at National Geographic.
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Director Michael Fresco Re-Ups Deal With ABC Studios

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 7:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

ABC Studios and ABC have inked a third consecutive deal with director-producer Michael Fresco for him to direct and executive produce a pilot next year. Fresco just completed ABC/ABC Studios’ Jeff Lowell pilot and previously has helmed the pilots for Fox’s Raising Hope and ABC’s Better Off Ted and Suburgatory. He is repped by Paul Alan Smith at ESA.

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Michael Strahan Debuts On ‘Good Morning America’: Video

Live With Kelly And Michael co-host Michael Strahan stopped by Good Morning America this morning to talk about his gig with the show, making sure to say “couple days a week” several times to calm Live! fans’ fears. Expect to see Strahan mostly in GMA’s  first hour, so he can continue to co-host Live!, at 9 AM in many markets. In addition to the NFL Hall of Famer, GMA recently added ESPN’s Tony Reali to its Social Square; both hires were made in the wake of the departure of GMA’s Josh Elliott, who moved to NBC Sports. Watch here:


ABC US News | ABC Business News

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UK Management & Production Outfit 42 Pacts With ITV Studios Global

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 3:47am PDT

ITV-Studios-Global-Entertainment_2013logo-copyProduction and management shingle 42 was founded last year by Welcome To The Punch producers Rory Aitken and Ben Pugh, and agents Josh Varney and Kate Buckley. The UK-based company reps talent and develops film projects, now with a deeper move into television. An exclusive, multi-year development and distribution partnership with ITV Studios Global Entertainment will focus on scripted drama, an increasingly lucrative area for UK producers. When they created 42, Varney and Buckley exited UK agency Independent Talent Group, but continued to share certain clients. 42′s client roster now includes Michael Caine, Rhys Ifans, Rupert Friend, Nicholas Hoult, Emily Mortimer, Tom Hollander, Jonny Lee Miller, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Charlotte Gainsbourg, William Monahan, Lynne Ramsay, Peter Cattaneo, Eran Creevy, Terry George, and Daniel Wolfe. The company is currently in post-production on feature Monsters: The Dark Continent, the sequel to Gareth Edwards’ Monsters. Pre-production has started on both Creevy’s Autobahn, starring Hoult, and The Autopsy Of Jane Doe, starring Martin Sheen and directed by Andre Ovredal (Trollhunter).

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