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Comic-Con: ‘Game Of Thrones’ Reveals New Cast Members For Season 5

By | Friday July 25, 2014 @ 2:07pm PDT

Comic-Con: ‘Game Of Thrones’ Reveals New Cast Members For Season 5HBO’s blockbuster Game Of Thrones made its annual pilgrimage to Comic-Con‘s massive Hall H today, unveiling among other things a whooping 9 new cast members for the upcoming Season 5 including a geekfest double-shot: Keisha Castle-Hughes, who co-starred in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith, for the Force’s sake.

Jonathan Pryce Keisha Castle-HughesThe Whale Rider Oscar nominee will play Obara Sand, a fearsome warrior and the eldest bastard daughter of the late Prince Oberyn Martell. Her mother was a Dornish peasant girl who caught the eye of the late Prince. Jonathan Pryce also has come aboard the fantasy drama playing the High Sparrow, a pious man whose fellow believers have swarmed King’s Landing, ministering to the lowest and decrying the corruption of the highest. Fellow new castmembers include Alexander Siddig as Doran Martell, Toby Sebastian as Trystane Martell, Nell Tiger Free as Myrcella Baratheon, DeObia Oparei as Areo Hotah, Enzo Cilenti as Yezzan, Jessica Henwick as Nymeria (“Nym”) Sand, and Rosabell Laurenti Sellers as Tyene Sand. Pryce’s appearance on the big screen got a huge roar from the thousands in Hall H as he said he was really excited to join the show.

Related: ‘Game Of Thrones’ Showrunners On “Terrifying” Finale, Next Season’s Direction & Why ‘The Sopranos’ Rules

While Peter DinklageGame of Thrones 1 and Lena Headey weren’t there for the Craig Ferguson-hosted panel, GoT was certainly out in force today for its Comic-Con fans. In one of the largest … Read More »

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Mick Jagger Tweets From Set Of HBO’s Untitled Rock ‘N’ Roll Drama

By | Friday July 25, 2014 @ 8:22am PDT

Mick Jagger Tweets From Set Of HBO’s Untitled Rock ‘N’ Roll DramaLooks like Mick Jagger has checked in from the set of HBO’s Untitled Rock ‘N’ Roll project. Martin Scorsese is directing and Jagger, Scorsese and Terence Winter are exec producing the drama set in 1970s New York. It explores the drug- and sex-fueled music business as punk and disco were breaking out, all through the eyes of record executive Richie Finestra (Bobby Cannavale), who is trying to resurrect his label and find the next new sound. Ray Romano also stars as Richie’s close confidant and right-hand man, Zak Yankovich. Jagger tweeted this earlier this morning:

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Andy Samberg & Kit Harington Lead All-Star Cast Of HBO Sports Mocumentary ’7 Days In Hell’

By | Thursday July 24, 2014 @ 9:31am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Andy Samberg & Kit Harington Lead All-Star Cast Of HBO Sports Mocumentary ’7 Days In Hell’HBO is assembling a star-studded cast for 7 Days In Hell, an original comedy movie toplined by Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Andy Samberg and Game of ThronesKit Harington.  Written by Murray Miller (Girls) based on an original concept by him and Samberg, the sports mockumentary stars Samberg and Harington as fierce tennis rivals in an epic, seven-day match at 2004 Wimbledon. The location is hardly random — the longest tennis match on record was held on Court 18 at Wimbledon during the 2010 championships when John Isner and Nicolas Mahut battled it out for 11 hours over three days, with the American ultimately clinching a victory, 70-68 in the fifth set.

Plaque_on_Wimbledon_Court_No._18_to_commemorate_the_longest_match_in_tennis_history_between_John_Isner_and_Nicolas_Mahut_on_22-24_June_2010Confirmed to co-star in the film so far are Fred Armisen, Lena Dunham, Will Forte, Karen Gillan, Howie Mandel, Soledad O’Brien (playing herself), Michael Sheen, Mary Steenburgen and June Squibb. Based on breakdowns I’ve seen, Samberg’s Aaronmillermurray Williams is tennis’ superstar bad boy, while Brit Harington’s Charles Poole is channeling Andy Murray, a tennis prodigy and certified truck driver. Adding to their rivalry is Gillan’s supermodel Lily, Charles’ childhood friend who made a sex tape with Aaron. Steenburgen plays Charles’ psychotic and controlling mother, while Forte plays a tennis historian. Jake Szymanski (SNL) is directing. Read More »

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HBO Films Nabs Adaptation Of LBJ Play ‘All The Way’ With Bryan Cranston Starring & Steven Spielberg Producing

By | Wednesday July 16, 2014 @ 2:30pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

HBO Films Nabs Adaptation Of LBJ Play ‘All The Way’ With Bryan Cranston Starring & Steven Spielberg ProducingHBO Films has landed the rights to Robert Schenkkan’s play All The Way, which last month won the Tony for best play and best leading actor in Bryan Cranston. Emmy winner Cranston will reprise his role as President Lyndon Johnson, with Pulitzer Prize-winner Schenkkan writing the adaptation. The film will be produced by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television as well as Tale Told Prods. and Moon Shot Entertainment, with Spielberg, Darryl Frank & Justin Falvey, Schenkkan and Cranston executive producing and James Degus co-executive producing.

hbo FilmsAs Deadline reported last month, Spielberg recently optioned the play with the intention of adapting it for TV with Cranston as the star. Him teaming with HBO is not a surprise given their long history with the Emmy-winning epic miniseries Band Of Brothers and The Pacific, the latter of which Schenkkan worked on as a writer and co-producer. Read More »

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Comic-Con: Craig Ferguson To Join ‘Game Of Thrones’ In San Diego

By | Monday July 14, 2014 @ 11:35am PDT

Comic-Con: Craig Ferguson To Join ‘Game Of Thrones’ In San DiegoScottish-born late night host Craig Ferguson is set to moderate HBO’s Game of Thrones panel Friday at Comic-Con as the cabler brings the fantasy-drama to San Diego along with its vampire series True Blood. Game Of Thrones, which led the Emmy field last week with 19 nominations, will take over Hall H on Friday at 1:40PM with showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, author and co-EP George R.R. Martin, and stars John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Rose Leslie (Ygritte), Rory McCann (Sandor “The Hound” Clegane), Pedro Pascal (Oberyn Martell), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) and Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) in attendance. Read More »

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Mike Nichols: It Took Me 50 Years To Figure Out That ‘The Graduate’ Is ‘Phedre’

By | Friday July 11, 2014 @ 7:42pm PDT

Mike Nichols: It Took Me 50 Years To Figure Out That ‘The Graduate’ Is ‘Phedre’Broadway‘s John Golden Theatre was SRO Friday evening with invited guests and fans who’d scored tickets through a lottery to hear directors Mike Nichols and Jack O’Brien talk movies — specifically Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? (1966) and The Graduate (1967), Nichols’ freshman and sophomore efforts following an extraordinary run of Broadway hits that included Neil Simon’s Barefoot In The Park and The Odd Couple. The first film earned him an Oscar nomination for best director; with the second film, he took home the statuette.

Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 10.23.49 PMThe conversation, which was being filmed for HBO, began a day earlier, in private, and covered his years as half of the comedy team of Nichols and May (whose 306-performance Broadway run beginning in October 1960 had taken place in this same theater) and his collaborations with Simon and others. And it will pick up again in private on Monday, dealing with his years working both sides of the continent. But Friday night, the subject was filmmaking, a career Nichols practically fell into by accident.

Related: `Master Class’ Helmer Mike Nichols Talks Shop for HBO

“Who the hell are you, and how did you know you could do a film?” O’Brien asked, only half-kiddingly after a brief introduction. O’Brien — himself one of the theater’s most intelligent and crystalline directors (with Nichols he shares a special affinity for the work of Tom Stoppard) — explained that after recently publishing his autobiography, he’d encouraged Nichols to do the same. Out of Nichols’ demurral came the idea of filming the conversations; the timing is fortuitous, coming just a day after the announcement that Nichols will film an adaptation of Terrence McNally’s Master Class, starring Meryl Streep as a diva in the mold of Maria Callas, beginning after the turn of the year.

Related: TCA: HBO Reveals Details Of Mike Nichols/Meryl Streep ‘Master Class’

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Colin Farrell In Talks For HBO’s ‘True Detective 2′

By | Friday July 11, 2014 @ 10:24am PDT
Mike Fleming

Colin Farrell In Talks For HBO’s ‘True Detective 2′EXCLUSIVE: Since the staggering success of HBO’s limited series True Detective with Emmy nominees Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson,  speculation has been rampant about who might take part in the show’s second season. I can tell you that Colin Farrell is deep in negotiations to play one of what is expected to be three main roles in Season 2. HBO has been mum about cast so far, as rumors have swirled that Jessica Chastain and some others will be one of the other leads. HBO would not confirm any of the potential castings, but I am confident that Farrell will be in the cast.

truedeLike McConaughey and Harrelson, he seems the ideal movie star to take a leap and immerse himself in writer Nic Pizzolatto’s follow-up to a game-changing first season. Pizzolatto has set a high bar for himself, but the idea of taking movie stars and allowing them to play in this sandbox with such rich character development that isn’t possible with two-hour time constraints, and then go back to their movie careers, is something that will continue to draw big names if the payweb can keep the storytelling bar high. Read More »

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TCA: ‘Olive Kitteridge’ Star Frances McDormand Says HBO Was Brave To Make The 4-Part ‘Traumedy’

By | Thursday July 10, 2014 @ 6:14pm PDT

TCA: ‘Olive Kitteridge’ Star Frances McDormand Says HBO Was Brave To Make The 4-Part ‘Traumedy’Miniseries, limited series, whatever you want to call the currently popular genre — Frances McDormand thinks the form is great for women. “A 90-minute time frame is not long enough to tell a good female story,” she said at HBO’s TCA panel today for her 4-part series Olive Kitteridge, which will premiere in November. “That’s why longform storytelling has become so great” for female actors, writers and filmmakers.

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

olive_kitteridgeMcDormand — joined on the panel by director Lisa Cholodenko, co-star Richard Jenkins and writer/EP Jane Anderson, who wrote the script based on Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel — was explaining how she came to bring the project to HBO. She said a friend gave her the novel about six years ago and “I loved it, [but] I don’t read novels looking for things to be made into movies.” The friend said, “But you want to play that part.” McDormand argued that the story was too long and complex for a feature-length movie. “Yeah, but you want to play that part,” the friend insisted. Eventually, the actress optioned the book and took it to HBO.

Related: EMMYS: Overall Nominations By Network

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TCA: HBO Does Its Best To Manage Expectations On ‘The Comeback’s Future

By | Thursday July 10, 2014 @ 6:06pm PDT

TCA: HBO Does Its Best To Manage Expectations On ‘The Comeback’s FutureVarious parties have different versions of why HBO is bringing back its one-season comedy series The Comeback, whose last season in original episodes was 2005. Co-creator Michael Patrick King said he and co-creator/star Lisa Kudrow used to talk about lead character Valerie over the years and wondered what she was up to, but they never mentioned the idea of revisiting the show. “It was too much of an emotional risk,” Kudrow told TV critics attending TCA Summer TV Press Tour. “Even to say it,” King chimed in. “Then we got a call from HBO to talk about it.”

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

HBO EVP Casey Bloys explained he’d been a fan of the show but, when some member of the media attending the Press Tour suggested there had been a “groundswell” of viewer support for the idea of bringing back the comedy, he responded, “I wouldn’t say ‘groundswell.’” Instead, he explained, “HBO is in a different place than it was nine years ago, and we have the room to bring it back, and the future of the network does not depend on the show.” Where we come from, this is known as “damning with faint praise.”

Related: EMMYS: Overall Nominations By Network

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TCA: HBO’s ‘Getting On’ Makes Do Without

By | Thursday July 10, 2014 @ 4:50pm PDT

TCA: HBO’s ‘Getting On’ Makes Do WithoutHBO ran the first season of its dark comedy series Getting On in November. It’s about nurses working in the women’s extended-care facility of a Long Beach hospital and stars Laurie Metcalf, Alex Borstein and Niecy Nash. You may have missed it; the premium network only aired six episodes, with no big promotional push – not even a Q&A session at a TCA Press Tour. The cast and creators finally got that Q&A time today – and immediately got asked if they were miffed at the way HBO has handled, or not handled, their series.

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

Exec producer Mark V. Olsen responded diplomatically that they felt they’d delivered a great product and ended the first season “with a sense of satisfaction.” He and EP Will Scheffer — they created HBO’s polygamy drama Big Love together — acknowledged that the scheduling and lack of promotional push “created a narrative we were being dumped there.” But they insisted the show never was planned to get a big promotional push. “We’re a … tiny show, unlike any other show on HBO,” Olsen said. “We’re a guerrilla show. We were always going to come in under the radar.”

Related: EMMYS: Overall Nominations By Network

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TCA: Dave Grohl Talks ‘Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways’ HBO Docuseries

By | Thursday July 10, 2014 @ 4:21pm PDT

TCA: Dave Grohl Talks ‘Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways’ HBO DocuseriesDave Grohl was TCA’s only one-person panel today as he took the stage to talk about his eight-part documentary series following himself and his band Foo Fighters as they record their eighth album in eight different American cities. Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways debuts on HBO in October and the as-yet-untitled album will be released in November.

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

Grohl — who also directed theImage (2) Foo-Fighters__140515193642-275x161.jpg for post 731087 2013 feature docu Sound City — said the idea for the series (coming on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the band) came to him when the previous Foo Fighters record was being made in his garage. “I thought maybe we should do a documentary about the band, about the last 14, 15 years, that would explain why we were making a record in my garage,” he said.

Related: EMMYS: Overall Nominations By Network
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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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TCA: HBO Execs Try Unknotting Knickers Of ‘Game Of Thrones’ Fan/Critics And Dodge ‘True Detective’ Questions

By | Thursday July 10, 2014 @ 3:15pm PDT

TCA: HBO Execs Try Unknotting Knickers Of ‘Game Of Thrones’ Fan/Critics And Dodge ‘True Detective’ Questions“George hasn’t finished the next book – any concerns about that?” a TV critic asked HBO execs this afternoon at TCA, referring to Game Of Thrones author George R.R. Martin. Bleary-eyed TV critics, who gotten up pre-dawn to cover this morning’s Primetime Emmy nominations unveiling, HBOunderstandably had the series very much on their minds, what with the show clocking a pack-leading 19 noms. “His book’s not finished at this point, but we’re not concerned about it,” HBO Programming President Michael Lombardo said of the writer’s progress on his most recent book in the series. “We’re not losing sleep,” chimed in HBO CEO Richard Plepler, dismissing the critics’ suggestion that Martin was leaving the premium network hanging.

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

Another critic tried baiting the execs to confirm speculation that next season of anthology series True Detective would star two men and one woman — seriously, just the gender, no names. “We’re going to do the next season with puppets,” Lombardo snarked. “They’re being built right now.” Look for the tweets.

Related: EMMYS: Overall Nominations By Network

Not that the two guys onstage sent critics away empty-handed. They did reveal that the first two scripts of the second season of True Detective are “more exciting than the first season.” They also announced the show’s casting — is likely to be announced in the coming week. “Is it two lead actors and one actress?” the intrepid journalist with no name persevered. “We’ll let you know,” Plepler joshed. Read More »

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HBO To Premiere Beyonce & Jay Z’s ‘On The Run Tour’ Concert Event In September

By | Thursday July 10, 2014 @ 2:22pm PDT

HBO To Premiere Beyonce & Jay Z’s ‘On The Run Tour’ Concert Event In SeptemberHBO will present Beyonce and Jay Z in their first collaborative tour and their first HBO concert event in September, HBO programming president Michael Lombardo announced today at TCA. Taping September 12 and 13 at Stade de France in Paris on the only international leg of their current tour, the special will feature the superstars performing more than 40 songs. “This is a major musical event that belongs on HBO,” said Lombardo in a statement. “It’s going to be a night to remember.” said of the ongoing tour: The coordination is not just remarkable, it’s the absolute best way that two of the world’s best performers can deliver a show that proves why they are on top together.”
Although the music stars have recorded together, this is the first time the married couple has toured together on the same bill. The tour began June 26 in Miami.

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

By | Thursday July 10, 2014 @ 8:03am PDT
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HBO's 'Game Of Thrones' Leads With 19 Noms

This morning's Emmy nominations made clear that cable is still a clear favorite with voters. HBO led the pack with 99 noms overall and its hit drama 'Game Of Thrones' scored 19. Deadline's Dominic Patten looks at the other nominees and those who didn't make the cut.

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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



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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‘Last Week Tonight’ Host John Oliver Covers July 4th Celebrations: Video

By | Monday July 7, 2014 @ 5:47am PDT

‘Last Week Tonight’ Host John Oliver Covers July 4th Celebrations: VideoWhen his show is on hiatus, HBO”s Last Week Tonight host John Oliver nonetheless files reports on the week’s news, to the Web. “The most important story from the past seven days was, of course, fireworks,” he said late Sunday, explaining, “We in America love fireworks. Why? Because they’re like sparkly guns you can fire in the sky,”  Watch Oliver’s comprehensive coverage of every July 4th fireworks display:

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HBO Inks Multi-Year Deal With Howie Deutch

By | Tuesday July 1, 2014 @ 10:24am PDT

HBO Inks Multi-Year Deal With Howie DeutchHBO has inked a two-year deal with director-producer Howie Deutch to direct and produce drama and comedy projects. This extends Deutch’s relationship with the network, where he is currently  co-executive producer of  True Blood,  and has directed episodes of Getting On, Big Love, and Hung. Deutch recently set up at HBO the one-hour drama Stillwater, which he will direct and exec produce;  Colin Farrell is attached as executive producer, with Mark Steven Johnson writing/executive producing. Stillwater follows a New York City cop as his life spirals out of control when he relocates his family to a small town in Minnesota.

“I’m so grateful and excited to continue my relationship with HBO who I consider to be the most creative and supportive company in the business,” Deutch said. Deutch’s directing highlights include the pilot to Fox’s Melrose Place,  episodes of American Horror Story, and CSI: NY, the films Pretty in Pink, Some Kind of Wonderful, The Replacements and the CBS movie Gleason,  for which he received a DGA nomination. A stage director and teacher, Deutch has had a long association with the Beverly Hills Playhouse.  Deutch is represented by Verve, Echo Lake Entertainment and Thrive Entertainment.

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HBO’s ‘The Leftovers’ Debuts With 1.8M Viewers

By | Monday June 30, 2014 @ 1:20pm PDT

HBO’s ‘The Leftovers’ Debuts With 1.8M ViewersDamon Lindelof‘s 10-episode HBO series The Leftovers  originally had been set to debut June 15, following the Season 4 finale of Game of Thrones. But when the high-concept post-Rapture drama took an unexpected hiatus after Episode 6 (HBO called it “a short hiatus to prep our final episodes”), it lost that cushy launch platform, instead getting slotted after an episode of True Blood. The premiere of The Leftovers pulled in 1.8 million viewers in its 10PM on Sunday. Last night, at 9 PM True Blood clocked 3.1 million viewers — compared with the 7.1 million who’d caught that Game of Thrones season wrapper at 9 PM airing back on June 15 — up 32% from Season 3′s finale crowd of 5.4 mil.

Over all its Sunday plays, The Leftovers drew 2.1 million viewers. Co-written by Lindelof and Tom Perrotta, based on Perrotta’s book and toplined by Justin Theroux, The Leftovers is the story of people who didn’t make the cut during the Rapture, which itself did not go as people had been taught to expect.

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