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George R.R. Martin Says ‘Winds of Winter’ Could Hit Shelves in 2018

29 minutes ago

George R.R. Martin gave fans another update on his long-awaited next installment in the “Song of Ice and Fire” novel series.

“I’ve seen some truly weird reports about [‘Winds of Winter’] on the internet of late, by ‘journalists’ who make their stories up out of whole cloth,” Martin wrote on his Livejournal. “I don’t know which story is more absurd, the one that says the book is finished and I’ve been sitting on it for some nefarious reason, or the one that says I have no pages. Both ‘reports’ are equally false and equally moronic. I am still working on it, I am still months away (how many? good question), I still have good days and bad days, and that’s all I care to say.”

Martin also said that he is working on a two-volume history of Westeros’ history under the Targaryen dynasty, which is currently titled “Fire and Blood,” with »


- Joe Otterson

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Building Brands by Relating to Fans (Guest Column)

49 minutes ago

In an April 2, 2016 guest column, Susan Kresnicka described Troika’s plans to embark on a year-long, comprehensive study of fans and fandom. In this follow-up, Susan, President of Kresnicka Research & Insights, and Dan Pappalardo, President of Troika, share some key insights from this work.

From March 2016 through February 2017, the Research and Insights team at Los Angeles-based brand experience agency, Troika, devoted itself to figuring out the basics of fandom. With a set of six research methods, 50 weeks of continuous fieldwork, and over 12,000 research participants, our team of eight social scientists tackled core questions: Why do some people become fans, but not others? What role does fandom play in people’s lives? How does fandom start? How does it change over time? What is fandom? And, most importantly, how can the entertainment industry use the answers to these questions to build stronger businesses?

We knew from the outset that the entertainment industry was beginning to see the potential »


- Susan Kresnicka and Dan Pappalardo

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TV Ratings: ‘Candy Crush’ Sinks for Second Straight Week

57 minutes ago

CBS’ live game show version of “Candy Crush” suffered another large drop in the Sunday overnight ratings in its third week, according to Nielsen data.

Airing at 9 p.m., the show averaged a 0.5 rating in adults 18-49 and 2.4 million viewers, down approximately 38% in the key demo and 17% in total viewers compared to last week (0.8, 2.9 million). It also shed the vast majority of its lead in from “Big Brother” (1.8, 6.1 million) at 8.

CBS aired only repeats for the rest of primetime.

On ABC, “Celebrity Family Feud” (1.1, 6.1 million) was even, as was “Steve Harvey’s Funderdome” (0.8, 4.3 million) and “The $100,000 Pyramid” (0.8, 4.3 million).

Fox aired mostly repeats except for “American Grit” (0.4, 1.1 million), which was up in total viewers.

NBC’s overnight numbers are currently not totally accurate, given the extended overrun of the Nascar Brickyard 400. Due to the overrun of the race, “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly” did not air until 9, but is currently averaging a 0.5 and 2.7 million viewers. “Spartan: »


- Joe Otterson

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Princess Diana TV Film From PBS, Channel 4 Promises Never-Seen-Before Footage

1 hour ago

A new documentary on Princess Diana from PBS and Britain’s Channel 4 will feature never-before-seen footage of the royal and style icon captured by her speech coach in the early 1990s.

“Diana: In Her Own Words” will go out on Channel 4 and PBS in their respective countries in August, ahead of the 20th anniversary of her death. It will center on videotapes of the princess recorded at Kensington Palace by her speech coach, Peter Settelen, as he helped her prepare to publicly present her account of her life and marriage to Prince Charles.

In the recordings, Diana reflects on her early life, her relationship with the Prince of Wales, and life in the public eye. The filmmakers say the tapes are the only known unmediated video ever recorded with Diana.

There is also footage of Diana rehearsing as she sought to reinvent her public persona and prepared to make the recordings for Andrew Morton’s »


- Stewart Clarke

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Chelsea Handler to Host HFPA Grants Banquet

1 hour ago

Chelsea Handler will serve as host for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s annual grants banquet, set for August 2 at the Beverly Wilshire hotel.

Presenters for the evening, which awards more than $2.6 million in funds to a range of non-profits, will include Ava DuVernay, Bob Odenkirk, Kumail Nanjiani, Mark Hamill, Patrick Stewart, Elizabeth Moss, Chrissy Metz, Robert Pattinson and Stan Lee.

Tony Award nominee Keala Settle will perform at the dinner.

For 25 years, the HFPA has been making charitable contributions to entertainment-related organizations with the proceeds from television rights to the Golden Globes. The organization has provided more than 1,500 scholarships and helped restore more than 90 historic films.

Grants have gone to universities including UCLA and Nyu, organizations such as AFI and Sundance, film preservationists  such as the Film Foundation, and projects including the Latin American Cinemateca of Los Angeles, the Echo Park Film Center and the Last Remaining Seats.

“We are delighted to welcome Chelsea Handler as »


- Variety Staff

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Chris Noth to Receive Inaugural Canopy Award at North Fork TV Festival

2 hours ago

Chris Noth will be honored with the inaugural canopy award at this year’s North Fork TV Festival. The actor will accept the award on Friday, Sept. 8 at the Greenport Theatre in Greenport, NY.

The North Fork Canopy Award honors a member of the New York creative community whose work embodies the independent spirit of persistence, integrity and collaboration. The influence of this individual generates opportunities and inspires the ambitions of anyone with a story to tell and the diverse collection of people who help tell it.

“I’m so honored to be presented with the Canopy Award at this year’s North Fork TV Festival,” Noth commented. “I’ve lived and worked in New York for years, and I’ve shot all over New York State and Long Island, so being a part of this particular festival really means a lot to me. I can’t wait to see everyone out east this September.”

Noth »


- Dixie Limbachia

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BBC Boss Responds to Female Stars Over Pay: ‘We Need to Do More’

6 hours ago

The director general of the BBC, Tony Hall, has responded to a letter from the public broadcaster’s female stars over its gender pay gap, acknowledging that the organization must do more to fix the problem and adding that the salary figures for next year will “look very different.”

Last week, the BBC was forced to publish the earnings and names of the stars whom it pays more than £150,000 ($195,600), revealing a startling pay gap between men and women.

Two thirds of the top earners were men, prompting a group of the BBC’s female stars to sign an open letter to Hall in which they wrote: “You have said that you will ‘sort’ the gender pay gap by 2020, but the BBC has known about the pay disparity for years. We all want to go on the record to call upon you to act now.”

Hall responded with his own letter, saying »


- Stewart Clarke

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‘Game of Thrones’ Recap: New Alliances Begin to Form as War Approaches

14 hours ago

Spoiler Alert: Do not keep reading if you have not seen Season 7 Episode 2 of “Game of Thrones

This week’s episode of “Game of Thrones” opened at Dragonstone, the new island home base of Daenerys Targaryen. The island is beset by a storm, which Tyrion remarks is not dissimilar from the storm on the night Daenerys was born. She and her advisers plot the best way to take over Westeros with the smallest number of lives lost. But Daenerys is weary of Varys, due to his repeated changes of loyalty throughout his life. But Varys delivers an impassioned speech in his defense, saying he lives to serve poor people, like he once was, and that he has only ever worked for the good of the realm. Daenerys accepts his answer, but promises that if he betrays her, she will burn him alive.

Grey Worm then informs her that Melisandre has arrived to speak with her. Melisandre »


- Joe Otterson

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