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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

TV/STREAMING . . .

Why It's Best the Game of Thrones Prequel Keeps Its Distance From the Original. Don't expect Kit Harington (or likely any other stars of the original show) to pop up in the Game of Thrones prequel spinoff. And that's best for him, the show and viewers. In an interview with the BBC promoting his role in a new play, Harington was predictably asked about the end of Game of Thrones, as well as the untitled spinoff currently taking shape at HBO. "It was emotional to leave the job definitely," he said. "But I wouldn't say I was sad: if like me you go all the way back to the pilot of Game of Thrones that's almost 10 years of your life -- that's really unusual in an actor's career. It was a huge emotional upheaval leaving that family. But would I want to go back and do more? Not on your life." This goes along with what he's said about the spinoff in the past. In an interview with GQ Italia, Harington said he wasn't going to be involved, and that the prequel could be set "300 years earlier and save a lot of money" because the cast has become "very expensive." In fact, the HBO prequel is set years in the past. Thousands of years in the past. The official logline from HBO reads, "Taking place thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones, the series chronicles the world's descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour. And only one thing is for sure: from the horrifying secrets of Westeros's history to the true origin of the white walkers, the mysteries of the East to the Starks of legend... it's not the story we think we know." This is the best thing producers could do for the prequel. Another show will be hard pressed to capture the international attention the way Game of Thrones has. Tethering the shows together? Makes sense. Tying the shows closely together with one or two similar characters? That not only opens up a chance to tarnish the legacy of Game of Thrones' eight seasons, but it also could cheapen the work the new cast will do in the prequel from Jane Goldman and George R.R. Martin. For every successful spinoff, like The Good Wife and The Good Fight, there's one best left forgotten, like Friends and Joey. Naomi Watts is leading the cast of the untitled prequel as "a charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret." The cast also includes Josh Whitehouse. Goldman and book scribe Martin created the series, with Goldman serving as showrunner. The duo came up with the story and Goldman wrote the teleplay for the pilot. (Eonline)

Ellen DeGeneres' New Netflix Special Tackles Everything From Her Mega Fame to Emotional Support Animals. Ellen DeGeneres is back. What do we mean "back"? She's back on stage, doing stand-up for the first time in 15 years and she's got a Netflix special to prove it. "The woman we love most returns to what started it all," the trailer says. DeGeneres filmed Relatable, her new Netflix special at Seattle's Benaorya Hall. "A few years ago, I started ending my show by saying, 'Be kind to one another,'" she says in the trailer. "But here's the downside: I could never do anything unkind ever. I should never have a horn in my car. Like, if somebody cuts me off in a dangerous way, if I honk, they're like, 'Ellen?!'" The special will also touch on DeGeneres' coming out story, losing her sitcom after coming out, emotional support animals and just how relatable she is (or isn't) since amassing so much fame with her talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show. DeGeneres started touring her stand-up comedy act nationally in the 1980s. In 2000, her first HBO special, Ellen DeGeneres: The Beginning, aired. Her second one came in 2003, the same year she started hosting her own talk show. Relatable drops on Tuesday, Dec. 18 only on Netflix. (Eonline)

Tricia Helfer to host new Battlestar Galactica 15th anniversary podcast. The critically acclaimed sci-fi series Battlestar Galactica is celebrating its 15th anniversary with a new deep-dive podcast featuring an original cast member. Star Tricia Helfer, who played the android Number Six, and journalist/EW alum/Castle Rock writer Marc Bernardin will co-host SYFY WIRE's new podcast Battlestar Galaticast, which launches two days before the drama's anniversary on Dec. 11. On the podcast, Helfer and Bernardin will rewatch the entire miniseries that launched the reboot, and then each future installment will focus on one specific episode from the first season. Along the way, the two will discuss the show's themes, and Helfer will reveal some behind-the-scenes knowledge from her time on the series. Fans can also expect members of the cast and crew to drop by and share their memories of the show, too. "I'm excited to delve back into the BSG universe after so many years," said Helfer in a statement. "To watch each episode and break it down like the viewers experienced it is a totally new experience for me as I never sat down and watched it simply from start to finish. Watching it now with Marc, who covered the series at the time for Entertainment Weekly, is giving me a whole new appreciation." "I'm excited to delve back into the BSG universe after so many years," said Helfer in a statement. "To watch each episode and break it down like the viewers experienced it is a totally new experience for me as I never sat down and watched it simply from start to finish. Watching it now with Marc, who covered the series at the time for Entertainment Weekly, is giving me a whole new appreciation." Executive produced by Outlander's Ronald D. Moore, Battlestar Galactica took place in the distant future where the Cylons, a race of androids, launched a devastating attack on a colonial civilization, and the last remaining human survivors took to outer space in a fleet of ships led by the Galactica, a military vessel. The four-season-long series was a reboot of the 1978 ABC show of the same name and took the events of 9/11 as one of its inspirations. It also starred Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Katee Sackhoff, Grace Park, and more. Battlestar Galacticast launches Dec. 11. You can subscribe now on Apple Podcasts. (Entertainment Weekly)

The Flash Cast Celebrates 100 Episodes With Rapid Fire Scoop. Get ready to go back to The Flash of the past. The 100th episode of the CW series, which airs Tuesday (Dec 4), takes Barry (Grant Gustin) and his daughter Nora (Jessica Parker Kennedy) on a trip through the history of the show, revisiting old baddies and big moments from over the course of the past five seasons. We're also about to finally get to see this year's big three-show crossover, which debuts with next week's episode of The Flash, and to celebrate, we hit up the cast before their 100th episode celebration to get some teases on what's to come. Specifically, we got the gang to guess what face people will be making after they see the 100th episode, and they almost nailed it. If you ask us, they could have looked a little more dumbfounded. We had to watch it multiple times and we still had to get the cast and EP Todd Helbing to clear up a couple things. We might just be dumb, but there's a whole lot going on. One of the best revelations to come out of this game is the fact that we're going to get to see what Iris is like in the future, when we know she's made some hard decisions in the wake of her husband's disappearance. While we don't yet know exactly when we'll meet future Iris or what future she'll even be from, it's good to know it's coming! Also, curious to note that no other cast member could promise we'd see them in the future. Unclear if that's good or bad, but it's definitely good to know! The cast also dished a bit on the Elseworlds crossover, which begins next week, and EP Todd Helbing promised some important Barry and Iris moments to come. The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on the CW. (Eonline)

'Peaky Blinders,' 'Catastrophe' Producers Team with Amazon for 'Dirty'. The "funny, filthy, brutally honest look at modern lives" comes from 'Shameless' writer Danny Brocklehurst. Caryn Mandabach Productions, producers of BBC/Netflix hit Peaky Blinders, and Sharon Horgan's Merman, behind Channel 4/Amazon comedy Catastrophe, are in development alongside Kapital Entertainment on Dirty, a new series for Amazon Studios written by Danny Brocklehurst (Shameless, Safe). A funny, filthy, brutally honest look at modern lives, Dirty is the story of a principled woman who takes her first steps into a world of moral complexity. She discovers that everyone has their secrets, and that everyone, to some extent, is dirty. "I love Danny's writing and I loved this idea from the minute I read it," said Horgan, who in January signed a two-year deal with Amazon "There's an atmosphere and grit to it that feels very new. We're delighted that we get to bring it to life." Added Brocklehurst: "I'm thrilled to be partnering with Caryn Mandabach Productions, Merman and Amazon to bring this unique show to life." Jamie Glazebrook for Caryn Mandabach Productions said: "In Dirty, Danny has created a truly surprising lead. I'm so happy to be working with Danny, Merman, Kapital and Amazon, which is the perfect home for a series that's going to be hugely entertaining and deeply resonant." Caryn Mandabach and Glazebrook will executive produce for Caryn Mandabach Productions along with Horgan and Clelia Mountford for Merman, Aaron Kaplan and Dana Honor of Kapital Entertainment and Brocklehurst. Caryn Mandabach Productions is repped by Shelley Reid, Merman is repped by WME and George Davis, Brocklehurst is repped by CAA, United Agents and Thruline. (Hollywood Reporter)

'Kill Your Friends' Author John Niven Adapting 'Straight White Male' for TV. Banijay's Yellow Bird U.K. banner has optioned the TV rights to Niven's 2013 book. Yellow Bird U.K., part of TV giant the Banijay Group, has optioned the rights to Straight White Male, the 2013 novel by Scottish writer John Niven. Niven author of Kill Your Friends, which was made into a film starring Nicholas Hoult and James Corden in 2015 will adapt his own book, which follows the personal and professional misadventures of unreconstructed Irish writer, Kennedy Marr. For fifteen years, Kennedy Marr has lived the high life in L.A., womanizing, writing movies, and spending every dollar he earns. He's got away with it because he's charming and talented and delivers when it matters; a literary wunderkind whose novels took him from humble roots in Cork, Ireland, to Hollywood success, via a doomed marriage. But now, time in the form of a huge unpaid tax bill has caught up with Kennedy. To keep the IRS at bay, he's forced to return to England, to accept a lucrative prize from the English department of a red brick university in deepest Warwickshire. The series will be executive produced by Yellow Bird UK's Berna Levin (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Hidden and upcoming The Girl in the Spider's Web) and Luke Franklin (The Man in the High Castle, Ransom, Parade's End). "I've long thought that Straight White Male had all the ingredients for a great TV series, and that Kennedy Marr's singular approach to life and love is more relevant than ever," said Niven. "Getting the chance to develop the show with Yellow Bird UK, who share my passion for this character, feels ridiculously fortunate." Added Berna Levin, creative director for Yellow Bird: "In his brilliant novel, John Niven not only skewers the crisis of contemporary masculinity in a compassionate, comic, and provocative way, but he's created one of the most memorable fictional anti-heroes of our time, Kennedy Marr. Kennedy often says what we all wish we could say, and his undeniable flaws mask a compelling, emotionally engaging character, who I'm thrilled we're bringing to life on screen." Straight White Male will be the second project from Yellow Bird U.K. following its recent announcement of Young Wallander, which has been commissioned by Netflix. (Hollywood Reporter)

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