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TCA: HBO Reveals Details Of Mike Nichols/Meryl Streep ‘Master Class’, Queen Latifah ‘Bessie’ Project, Launch Date For ‘Boardwalk Empire’ Final Season

By | Thursday July 10, 2014 @ 3:31pm PDT

TCA: HBO Reveals Details Of Mike Nichols/Meryl Streep ‘Master Class’, Queen Latifah ‘Bessie’ Project, Launch Date For ‘Boardwalk Empire’ Final SeasonHBO parsed out some details on Mike Nichols directing of Meryl Streep in the network’s adaptation of Master Class, Terrence McNally’s Tony Award-winning play about Maria Callas. The project is a reteaming of Nichols and Streep, who worked together on the premium channel’s Angels In America nearly a decade ago. Master Class begins production in early ’15, depicting the master classes the operatic great gave to hand-picked students at the Juilliard School in the early 1970s.

Related: DeadlineNow: Emmy Noms – HBO Scores, Other Hits And Misses (Video)

During its day at the TCA Summer Press Tour, the network also reiterated that Queen Latifah will star in and exec produce HBO Films’ Bessie, about blues singer Bessie Smith, written and directed by Dee Rees, with shooting in Atlanta, debuting next year; Michael K, Williams, Khandi Alexander, Mike Epps, Tika Sumpter, Tory Kittles, Oliver Platt, Bryan Greenberg, Charles Dutton and Mo’Nique co-star. The project focuses on Smith’s growth from struggling young singer into “Empress of the Blues” and one of the most successful recording artists of the 1920s.

Related: EMMYS: Overall Nominations By Network

Boardwalk Empire’s eight-episode fifth and final season launches September 7, HBO said today.  While the first four seasons of the series from Terence Winter and director Martin Scorsese were set during Prohibition in the ’20s, when Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) was the undisputed leader of Atlantic City, the fifth season is set in the depths of the Depression in 1931, with Nucky plotting a post-Prohibition future. Read More »

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Marin Ireland Joins HBO Comedy ‘Girls’

By | Tuesday May 13, 2014 @ 1:22pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

irelandmarinMarin Ireland (Homeland) has been added to the fourth season of HBO comedy Girls as recurring. I hear she will play the rich, sexual, beautiful but cold Logan, a classmate of Hannah’s (Lena Dunham) at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Ireland joins Desiree Akhavan and Peter Mark Kendall, who also will recur as students in the writing program. Ireland, repped by ICM Partners and Brookside Artist Management, is the female lead of WE TV’s first scripted drama The Divide from Richard Lagravanese and Tony Goldwyn, which premieres in July.

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‘Girls’ Ebon Moss-Bachrach Signs With UTA

By | Monday April 28, 2014 @ 5:08pm PDT

ebonmossbachrachEXCLUSIVE: Actor Ebon Moss-Bachrach (The Lake House, Mona Lisa Smile, Stealth) has signed with UTA. He stars on the current season of HBO’s Girls as Desi Harperin and starred in Simon Helberg’s SXSW directorial debut We’ll Never Have Paris. His recent screen credits include Vera Farmiga’s Higher Ground, Lola Versus with Greta Gerwig, the horror pic Come Out And Play, FX’s Damages, and HBO’s John Adams. Moss-Bachrach is also repped by Sue Leibman and Peikoff Mahan Law Office.

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Desiree Akhavan & Peter Mark Kendall Join HBO’s ‘Girls’

By | Friday April 25, 2014 @ 8:13am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

akhavankendall Young filmmaker Desiree Akhavan and newcomer Peter Mark Kendall have been added to the fourth season of HBO comedy Girls as recurring. I hear they will play fellow students in the writing program Hannah (Lena Dunham) attends. Iranian American Akhavan shares the same filmmaker-actress pedigree as Girls creator and star Dunham. She directed and stars in her debut feature Appropriate Behavior, which premiered at Sundance, with an acquisition deal pending. Akhavan also is the co-creator and star of web comedy series The Slope and is in production on The Origin Of Shame, an animated series for Judy McGrath’s site Astronauts Wanted. She recently signed with UTA. Since graduating last year, Kendall, repped by Abrams Artists & AC Management, has landed a guest-starring role on another HBO series, the upcoming The Leftovers, a potentially recurring role in the TNT pilot Public Morals and a featured role in the film Time Out Of Mind.

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HBO’s ‘Girls’ Steady In Season 3 Finale

By | Monday March 24, 2014 @ 1:19pm PDT

girls season 3 finaleThere was some Broadway, some midwestern acceptance and, not unexpectedly, a whole lot of unhappy people on the Season 3 finale of Girls on HBO last night. Following an airing of The Hangover Part III, the 10 PM “Two Plane Rides” episode drew 670,000 viewers.  That’s up 6% from the 632,000 viewers who tuned in for the Girls Season 2 finale at 9PM on March 17, 2013. It’s also down from the show’s series high of 1.1 million viewers from Girls’ Season 3 debut on January 12, which had the premiere of True Detective as its lead-in. Girls’ Season 1 finale pulled in 1 million viewers for its June 17, 2012 airing. Over three showings last night’s episode, which was directed and written by creator/star Lena Dunham, was seen by 1 million viewers. The Emmy winning and Golden Globe nominated and frequently skin showing show was renewed by HBO for a fourth season on January 9 even before its Season 3 began. On average, Season 3 was even with Season 2 with gross viewership of 4.6 million.

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‘True Detective’ Unearths Record HBO Ratings In Finale

By | Monday March 10, 2014 @ 12:15pm PDT

true-detective-hboHBO‘s True Detective finale bagged a series high of 3.5 million viewers Sunday at 9 PM — a 50% spike from the crime anthology’s premiere of 2.3 million. With an average gross audience of 11 million viewers season to date, True Detective becomes HBO’s most-watched freshman series since Six Feet Under’s 11.4 million viewers in 2001. Across the night’s three telecasts, the series also hit a high — 4.9 million viewers. Last night, demand for tonight’s season finale of  True Detective was so great online, the network’s streaming service HBO GO temporarily crashed, which may have helped drive viewers to the TV viewing.  The disruption played into True Detective‘s pop culture phenom image over its eight episodes. Two weeks earlier, an average of 2.6 million viewers watched the drama anthology at 9 PM, besting the premiere’s previous high of 2.3 million on January 12. It drew a then-series-best 3.6 million viewers across its three plays. While the first season of True Detective was conceived as a closed-ended arc with Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, creator Nic Pizzolatto is already working on a premise for a second season with new characters and a new storyline in a new locale.

Also Sunday, HBO’s Girls, averaged just over 1 million viewers in its slot Sunday (and for the night tallied 1.5 million).  After that, Looking logged 425,000 viewers.

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‘SNL’: Lena Dunham Makes Fun Of Nudity On ‘Girls’ (Video)

By | Sunday March 9, 2014 @ 5:16am PDT

Saturday Night Live has its best luck with routines in which guest hosts make fun of themselves. That was the case last night when Lena Dunham, the creator and star of HBO’s Girls, acknowledged the vigorous debate over her show’s frequent nudity. She did it in the monologue (watch below) with a familiar set-up: She says SNL‘s a place “where people respect boundaries,” and then cast members predictably don’t. She also filmed a fake trailer (also below) for a movie about the biblical story of Adam and Eve where she plays her overanxious character from Girls and Taran Killam does an overwrought parody of Adam Driver, who portrays her boyfriend on the show. Check out the clips:

Read More »

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Lena Dunham Latest Instrument In NBC’s Symphony

Late Night with Seth Meyers - Season 1 “Symphony” is NBC parent Comcast-speak for “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” It involves various properties of the company promoting each other. In the case of the star of HBO’s Girls Lena Dunham‘s, the music started when the network booked the creator-writer-star to guest host Saturday Night Live for the first time, this weekend. This week, Dunham showed up on NBC’s Late Night, now hosted by former SNL head writer and Weekend Update anchor Seth Meyers, to help keep up his second-week ratings, during which she plugged this weekend’s SNL . Today, NBC News sent out info about a Dunham interview, taped for tomorrow morning, on Today – from the set of Saturday Night Live — during which she talks to Savannah Guthrie about the fact that she is hosting SNL for the first time, and her love of SNL. In the course of that conversation, which will be broadcast tomorrow, she also plugged Late Night, while answering a question as to whether she came to SNL with any sketch ideas of her own. In that conversation, which will be broadcast tomorrow, Dunham said she asked new-host Meyers for advice about pitching the SNL writers, because she “didn’t want to be the person who shows up for the first day of school with, like, all their pencils sharpened, already knowing all the answers.” Read More »

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HBO’s ‘True Detective’ Uncovers Series High On Sunday

By | Tuesday February 25, 2014 @ 8:50am PST

An average of 2.6 million viewers watched the drama anthology, which this season stars Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, at 9 PM, besting ttrue-detective-hbohe premiere’s previous high of 2.3 mil on January 12. Across its three plays for the night, True Detective was watched by 3.6 million viewers –  also a series high. Season-to-date, the series cops an average gross audience of 10.9 million viewers. Girls, which followed at 10 PM, averaged 916,000 viewers in its slot, and, for the night tallied 1.3 million viewers. The Lena Dunham starrer has an average gross audience of 4.3 million viewers season-to-date. NBC announced this morning Dunham will make her guest-hosting debut on Saturday Night Live on March 8.

For the third week in a row, HBO’s Looking found another series high at 10:30 PM with 519,000 viewers, up 54% from the series premiere. Across all Sunday night plays, Looking attracted 749,000 viewers. Season-to-date, Looking has an average gross audience of 2 million viewers .

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Premium Cable Super Bowl Plans: Showtime Switches To Originals, HBO Shifts Comedies

By | Friday January 24, 2014 @ 12:20pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Episode 212Showtime and HBO have made opposite programming decisions for Super Bowl Sunday. Showtime, which originally planned to air repeats on February 2, has now decided to air originals of its series Shameless, House Of Lies and Episodes against the big game. I hear the call was made after Showtime brass were encouraged by the shows’ performances last Sunday when, against the strongest primetime NFC Championship Game in 19 years, they managed to post a 17% year-to-year audience growth for the night. With over 70% of Showtime subscribers watching series on a time-shifted basis, the network decided not to interrupt its weekly delivery of originals. Read More »

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HBO’s ‘Looking’ Debuts Soft, ‘True Detective’ & ‘Girls’ Down

By | Wednesday January 22, 2014 @ 12:51pm PST

hbo45__130924185923-275x112__140114010318There just weren’t a lot of people watching the debut of Looking on Sunday. The 10:30 PM premiere of the half-hour dramedy following the life, loves and friendship of a trio of gay men living in San Francisco drew just 338,000 viewers. While the show picked up another 268,000 viewers in its second play, that initial broadcast was a free fall from the 779,000 viewers that its lead-in Girls had. It also is down from the 881,000 viewers the second episode of Girls’ third season had in the 10:30 slot the week before.

Related: TCA: HBO’s ‘Looking’ Not “Just A Show For Gay People,” Says EP

To give the Looking debut some greater context, the Girls series premiere on April 15, 2012, pulled in 872,000 viewers — and like Looking that was an ensemble with no big stars. Of course, this past Sunday’s Girls was down at 10 PM from the series high of 1.1 million it hit on January 12. Part of that no doubt was the decline of its lead-in True Detective. The Southern gothic Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson serial killer drama averaged 1.7 million viewers at 9 PM. That’s down from the 2.3 million that TD’s debut had. Having said that, True Detective, which had 2.4 million viewers total over three plays Sunday, was sacked like everything else on TV that evening up by some pretty tough competition: the NFL‘s NFC Championship Game between the Seattle Seahawks … Read More »

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HBO’s ‘Girls’ Hits Series High With Season 3 Debut, True Detective’ Snags 2.3M Viewers

By | Monday January 13, 2014 @ 4:59pm PST

hbo45__130924185923-275x112It was a good night for Lena Dunham and Matthew McConaughey on Sunday. Not only were both up for Golden Globes but their respective turns on HBO scored very nicely as well. Premiering for a third season, Dunham’s Girls hit a series high of 1.1 million viewers. That’s a 28% rise from the show’s Season 2 debut last year. The second episode of the cultural touchstone’s third cycle had 881,000 viewers at 10:30 PM. HBO announced last week at the TCA that Girls would be back for a fourth season next year. Before Girls at 10PM on Sunday there was the series premiere of True Detectives, with McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as two Louisiana state police officers on the trail of a murderer. The new series pulled in 2.3 million viewers in it debut airing for the best HBO premiere since Boardwalk Empire launched in 2010 with 4.8 million viewers. True Detectives beat both the 2011 Game Of Thrones opener’s 2.2 million and the now-heading for its third and final season The Newsroom, which drew 2.1 million in its 2012 beginning.

TCA: ‘Girls’ Countenances No Questions About Lena Dunham Nudity
TCA: ‘True Detective Stars McConaughey & Harrelson Bromance It Up On Panel

The series premiere of HBO’s True Detective and the Season 3 premiere of Girls came amid the East Coast airing of Golden Globes telecast last night. That’s where both McConaughey and Dunham … Read More »

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TCA: ‘Rake’s EP Peter Tolan Wonders Why Lena Dunham Is Always Naked On ‘Girls’

By | Monday January 13, 2014 @ 12:29pm PST

LisaColumn__131015210634-275x198Peter Tolan came to the TCA Winter TV Press Tour to talk about Fox’s new Rake, based on the successful Australian series about a charming, self-destructive lawyer with no self-edit button, on which Tolan’s joining series creator Peter Duncan as executive producer. One critic reminded Tolan he’s best known at press tour for his profanity-laced screeds against broadcast TV, and wondered what he was doing at one now. “I’m glad you asked me that question “ he said, explaining he’s TCADeadline__140109155905so annoyed by a note he got from the Fox publicity department about coming to the tour today as to what he could, and could not, talk about in the presence of TV critics. “I was so upset I wrote about it in my journal.” Out came the journal:

Sept 16: First Day of Shooting, Greg showed up drunk and with hooker named Tammy on his arm, claiming she is part of his “process”… demanded we give Tammy producer credit, so now she’s a fucking co-EP. Read More »

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TCA: ‘Girls’ Countenances No Questions About Lena Dunham Nudity

By | Thursday January 9, 2014 @ 6:53pm PST

Lena Dunham“I don’t get the purpose of all the nudity – particularly by you,” some guy said to Lena Dunham at the start of the Q&A for her HBO comedy series Girls. It went downhill from there. The Random Guy Who Covers TV said he gets the point of all the nudity on HBO’s Game of Thrones, explaining it’s an attempt to “be salacious and titillate people.”

TCADeadline__140109155905__140109183154But Dunham’s nudity baffles him. “It’s a realistic expression of what it’s like to be alive,” she said. “I totally get it if you’re not into me. That’s your problem.”

TCA: HBO’s ‘Girls’ Renewed For Fourth Season

Exec producer Judd Apatow jumped in with a question addressed to Random Guy: “Do you have a girlfriend? Does she like you?” he sneered, as though it was a given nobody could. Apatow suggested the guy tell his girlfriend exactly how he’d asked the question at the Girls Q&A and “let me know how it goes tonight.” Apatow apparently lives in that alternate universe in which everyone loves Girls.

Related: John Oliver Touts Sarah Palin’s New Sportsman Channel Show

Another critic asked Dunham if she likes the characters she’s written on the show. We assumed he was talking about the characters Dunham has created for Jemima Kirke, Allison Williams, and Zosia Mamet. “Yeah, I love them. I love writing them,” she responded. Apatow, having apparently shot his wad with Random Nudity Question Guy, did not have any snappy comeback to add.

TCA: HBO Sets Season 4 Premiere Date For ‘Game Of Thrones’
TCA: HBO’s ‘Boardwalk Empire’ To End Run After Season 5
TCA: ‘Lost’s Damon Lindelof Rips Network TV, Says Quality Is Higher On Cable

Read More »

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TCA: HBO’s ‘Girls’ Renewed For Fourth Season

By | Thursday January 9, 2014 @ 5:34pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

girlsseason3Ahead of Girls‘ third season premiere on Sunday, the HBO comedy series has been picked up for a fourth season. The announcement was made by HBO EVP Casey Bloys at the start of the Girls TCA panel. Season 4 will film in the summer to air in 2015. Created by Lena Dunham, Girls has been a modest ratings performer but has transcended television to become a pop culture phenomenon in a way few shows have done and made stars out of its four leads, Dunham, Allison Williams, Zosia Mamet and Jemima Kirke. Girls, exec produced by Dunham, Judd Apatow and Jenni Konner, also has been a critical darling, earning solid reviews and a slew of major nominations, including two Golden Globe Awards last year.

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HBO To Pre-Screen ‘Girls’ Debut In Nine Cities

By | Tuesday December 17, 2013 @ 8:21am PST

HBO will host “Girls Night Out” screening eventsGirls-Season-2-finale__130318204736 in eight cities around the country on the same evening as Girls‘ New York City third-season premiere, which takes place Monday, January 6 at Jazz at Lincoln Center. A live feed of the New York premiere also will include red carpet arrivals and personalized messages from series creator Lena Dunham.  Attendees in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas,  Philly, San Francisco (delayed) and Washington, D.C. will then see new episodes before the series’ return January 12 on HBO.

Girls third season will begin with a special presentation of two new episodes back-to-back Sunday, January 12 (10-11 PM), immediately after the debut of True Detective. HBO announced the third-season pickup in January — a few days after Dunham accidentally broke the news on Alec Baldwin’s podcast. Read More »

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Andrew Rannells Returning To HBO’s ‘Girls’, Poised To Become Regular In Season 4

By | Monday October 28, 2013 @ 5:11pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: There will be more of Andrew Rannells on Lena Dunham’s HBO comedy series Girls. The Tony-nominated actor is set to reprise his role as Elijah, Hannah’s (Dunham) gay ex-boyfriend on the series’ upcoming third season after appearing in eight episodes of the first two seasons.‎ He is slated to become a regular on the show if it is picked up for a fourth season. Rannells, a Tony nominee for his breakout role in The Book of Mormon, recently starred on the Ali Adler/Ryan Murphy comedy The New Normal on NBC. He is repped by UTA and Mosaic.‎‎

Related: HBO Sets Debut Date ‘Girls’ Season 3

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HBO Sets Debut Dates For ‘True Detective’, ‘Looking’ & ‘Girls’ Season 3

By | Wednesday October 16, 2013 @ 10:23am PDT

HBO made it official: Matthew McConaughey/Woody Harrelson‘s new HBO series True Detectives will premiere on Sunday, January 12 at 9 PM, after which Girls will return for its third season. And, the network’s new Looking debuts Sunday, January 19 at 10:30 PM. True Detectives stars McConaughey and Harrelson as Louisiana detectives Rust Cohle and Martin Hart, whose lives collide and entwine during a 17-year hunt for a killer, ranging from the original investigation of a bizarre murder in 1995 to the reopening of the case in 2012. Read More »

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Pilots ‘Horizon’ & ‘Tyrant’ Add Regulars, HBO’s ‘Girls’ Casts Recurring Player

By | Wednesday July 31, 2013 @ 10:29am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Josh Braaten (Married To The Kellys) has been cast in USA Network‘s drama pilot Horizon, executive produced by Gale Anne Hurd. Set during the height of World War II, Horizon centers on Lauren (Ruth Bradley), a secretary at the FBI who begins a secretive investigation into files that have been stamped with the codename “horizon.” The mysterious project provides links to the presumed death of her husband (Taylor Handley) and the disappearance of a young girl. Braaten, repped by APA, Trademark Talent and Jackoway-Tyerman, will play Joe McNeil, a newly single father who helplessly watches as his daughter mysteriously disappears — seemingly taken by an unseen force. The only person who believes his story at the FBI is Lauren.

Salim Daw been cast in the high-profile FX drama pilot Tyrant, from Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff and Craig Wright. Tyrant tells the story of an unassuming American family — Barry, Molly and their kids — drawn into the workings of a turbulent Middle Eastern nation. Daw will play Yussef, the cunning and savvy adviser and closest confident to dictator Khalid Al-Fahed. Read More »

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