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2011 Comic-Con: HBO ‘True Blood’ Panel

By | Friday July 22, 2011 @ 10:19pm PDT

Deadline Comic-Con TV correspondent Gary Hodges files:

Some people had been in line for hours just to get in to HBO’s True Blood panel, then sat through panels they weren’t the least bit interested in, just to save their spot. For this last TV panel of Friday, the moderator was an unapologetically enthusiastic fan of the show masquerading as a media type and started things off with a trailer that offered tantalizing glimpses of events in shows to come: waitress-faerie Sookie (Anna Paquin) using glowing light to push back an attacker, another scene of her apparently shot in the stomach, and then lots and lots of fangs, blood, and sex. Because it is True Blood, after all.

Stack then introduced the castmembers Kristin Bauer van Straten (Pam), Alexander Skarsgård (Eric), Kevin Alejandro (Jesus), Nelsan Ellis (Lafayette), Deborah Ann Woll (Jessica), Ryan Kwanten (Jason), Rutina Wesley (Tara), Stephen Moyer (Bill) and, of course, Anna Paquin. The were also joined by executive producer Alan Ball, who ultimately doled out the most concrete info about upcoming shows, but most of it very vague. When pressed he did tease that Eric and Sookie will end up in a shower together (an encounter from the books) though he warned it would be different: “weirder and dirtier.” He suggested much of the vampire infighting would be set aside because of a “common enemy” (then joking it was Rep. Michelle Bachmann, the GOP presidential candidate) and that sometime in season 5 viewers … Read More »

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HBO Series ‘True Blood’ And ‘Luck’ Add Recurring Players

Nellie Andreeva

Daniel Buran (Level 26: Dark Origins) has joined the cast of Alan Ball’s vampire drama True Blood for a meaty seven-episode arc on the upcoming fourth season. The actor, repped by Rebel and Leverage, will play Raoul, the werewolf packmaster of Shreveport.

Iranian-born character actor Shaun Toub (Iron Man, The Last Airbender) has been added to the cast of another HBO drama series, the upcoming Luck, as a recurring. Luck, a David Milch/Michael Mann collaboration starring Dustin Hoffman, takes a provocative look at horse racing the owners, gamblers, jockeys and industry players. Abrams Artists-repped Toub will play Doctor Khan, a local emergency room doctor with a surprisingly complicated backstory.

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Broadcast Nets Are Going For Genre And Period Dramas This Development Season, But Can Such Series Work On The Big 4?

Nellie Andreeva

Genre series are all the rage in cable with the success of AMC’s The Walking Dead and HBO’s True Blood, which have been breaking series records to rank as their network’s top-rated series and become pop culture staples. A genre series, The Vampire Diaries, also is the highest-rated series on the CW, which has had continuous success in the sci-fi arena with veterans Smallville and Supernatural. But, with the exception of ABC’s Lost, sci-fi, vampire, zombie, fantasy and comic book-based series have struggled to attract sizable audiences on the major broadcast networks. That has not deterred the nets to heavily pursue such projects this development season. The 2 drama pilots ordered so far by Fox are both in the genre category: Locke & Key is based on Joe Hill’s comic, and Alcatraz features missing Alcatraz prisoners who reappear in present day. Genre projects have also attracted some of the biggest writer-producers in town: Lost‘s J.J. Abrams is behind Fox’s series Fringe and Alcatraz, David E. Kelley, who dabbled in sci-fi with Life on Mars, is developing a series adaptation of comic book icon Wonder Woman, Greg Berlanti co-created and is executive producing ABC’s freshman superhero family drama No Ordinary Family, Fringe co-creators Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are executive producing Locke & Key, and Battlestar Galactica‘s David Eick is involved in a series adaptation of The Hulk for ABC and … Read More »

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HBO To Release ‘True Blood’ Graphic Novel

By | Friday November 12, 2010 @ 8:03am PST
Nellie Andreeva

More lucrative extensions for HBO’s flagship series True Blood. HBO will release a True Blood graphic novel, True Blood, Vol.1: All Together Now. on February 8, 2011. It is a compilation of the six issues from the first True Blood comic book series plus bonus content. Since debuting in July, the True Blood comic series has become the best selling title for IDW Publishing in their history.

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‘True Blood’ Nabs ‘Dexter’ Showtime Alum

EXCLUSIVE: HBO’s smash has made its second major Season 4 hire: Dexter actress Courtney Ford is joining True Blood as a recurring. The actress — who ironically just completed a stint on  another vampire drama, The CW’s The Vampire Diaries — will play Portia Bellefleur, a classic Southern beauty who runs her own law practice. The character is the sister of Bon Temps’ bumbling detective Andy (Chris Bauer). The news comes just days after Irish actress Fiona Shaw was cast in the series regular role of Marnie, a self-loathing medium who becomes possessed by a witch. Michael Ausiello will be contributing to Deadline.com and Movieline.com as he  preps for the early 2011 launch of a new TV-centric website.

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GLAAD Study: Number of LGBT Characters Up For 2010-2011 Broadcast TV Season

Los Angeles, CA, September 29, 2010 – The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) today released the 15th annual “Where We Are On TV” study, a comprehensive review of scripted LGBT primetime characters in the 2010-2011 television season. After more than doubling last year, the overall number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) characters on broadcast networks continues a steady rise, though broadcast networks still report no transgender or black LGBT characters.

The report shows that 23 LGBT characters will account for 3.9% of scripted series regulars in the 2010-2011 broadcast television schedule, up from 1.1% in 2007, 2.6% in 2008, and 3% in 2009. The number of scripted LGBT series regulars found on mainstream cable networks has rebounded after a two year decline, from 40 in 2007, 32 in 2008, 25 in 2009, to 35 in the upcoming season.

HBO’s True Blood is the most inclusive program currently on television, featuring six regular and recurring LGBT characters.

From research and information provided by the five broadcast networks — ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and The CW — GLAAD’s “Where We Are On TV” study reviewed 84 scripted television programs scheduled to air this upcoming season, and counted a total of 587 series regular characters, 23 of which are LGBT.

“The increase in lesbian, gay, and bisexual characters on primetime television not only reflects the shift in American culture towards greater awareness and understanding of our community, but also a new industry standard that a growing number of creators and networks are adopting,” said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. “The recent critical and commercial success of shows like Modern Family and Glee clearly indicate that mainstream audiences embrace gay characters and want to see well-crafted stories about our lives.”

In the upcoming 2010-2011 season:
- ABC continues to lead the other broadcast networks in LGBT representation, with 11 LGBT characters out of 152 total series regular characters (7.2%), the highest number and percentage of LGBT characters of any network for the 2010-2011 season.
- FOX, which in 2007 featured zero series regular LGBT characters at the launch of the season, now offers five LGBT series regulars out of 100 (5%).
- The CW continues to improve with three LGBT series regular characters out of 67 (4.5%).
- NBC becomes the only network that saw a decline from last year. The network will feature three series regular LGBT characters (2.1%) out of a total of 143.
- CBS remains in last place. Out of 125 series regular characters, only one will be LGBT (0.8%), but the network will include several LGBT recurring characters.

On mainstream cable networks, the number of announced LGBT series regular characters has rebounded to 35 after a two-year decline.

- HBO features the greatest number of LGBT characters on cable with 10, six of which are series regulars.
- ABC Family has an edge in the number of series regular LGBT characters with seven.
- Also making a significant contribution to the count are Showtime (with seven characters), Syfy (with four), TNT, FX, Starz, and Teen Nick (with three each).

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Football Still Hot

Nellie Andreeva

Last night’s season premiere of Sunday Night Football logged the best ratings ever for the NBC sports franchise. The Cowboys/Redskins face-off posted a 16.6 overnight rating/26 share, the best overnight for any Week 1 primetime NFL game in 13 years. On Thursday, NBC’s coverage of the NFL’s kick-off game landed the best overnight ratings for an opener in 13 years and the largest audience for a kick-off game in 14 years. Airing against football, part two of the three-night Big Brother 12 finale (2.1/5 in 18-49) on CBS was down 13% from last Sunday and posted the show’s lowest rating on any night this summer. ABC’s The Gates (0.7/2) matched its lowest rating ever. There were two big events on cable last night, the season finale of HBO’s True Blood and the Video Music Awards on MTV. I will post ratings information on both as soon as it is available.

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