HBO made the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT today that Game of Thrones, its much buzzed-about fantasy series, has been renewed for a fourth season. A shocker, I know! It was touch-and-go there for a while, people had their "Save this series!" campaigns ready to launch, but finally, at the eleventh hour — meaning two days after the season three premiere — HBO nodded its head and pointed its thumb up. (Or down. Or sideways. Really, it's unclear what the Romans did to spare a gladiator.) So we can all breathe a sigh of relief. And then of course turn our attention to wait anxiously to see if ABC renews Modern Family. Who knows what will happen! It's a real nail-biter. Keep those Kickstarters ready in case it gets shut down. [Entertainment Weekly]
Sean Hayes's weird game show Celebrity Game Night has found some of its celebrities. Basically the premise of the show (we think) is that it's a "cocktail party atmosphere" in which celebrities and normies (the contestants) just, y'know, chill and play games together. In a highly controlled television environment of course. Well, celebrities seem eager to prove themselves down to hang and totally regular, as Hayes has already assembled quite a list: "Amy Poehler, Matthew Perry, Jason Bateman, Kristin Bell and fiance Dax Shephard, Maya Rudolph, Fred Armisen, Minnie Driver, Kal Penn, Martin Short, Ellie Kemper, Kristen Chenoweth, Cheryl Hines, Molly Shannon and Max Greenfield." That is quite a group! Imagine Amy Poehler being all fun and relatable, Matthew Perry and Jason Bateman competing to be the most self-deprecating, Maya Rudolph singing funny songs, and Martin Short desperately insisting that everyone in the room pays attention to him. (Martin Short is a genius, for Jimminy Glick alone, but he tends to pull focus.) There are apparently more celebrity announcements to come, so keep sitting by that phone, Belushi. They'll call. They'll definitely call. [Deadline]
Now that The Voice is back, NBC is enjoying winning Monday nights again. The singing competition show had a strong 4.6 last night, which is barely down from last week's season premiere, meaning interest isn't really waning. That's very good news for NBC, especially considering its series Revolution was down from last week, to a 2.3, its lowest-ever rating. So even with the strong Voice lead-in, the show is slipping. Meaning maybe that long, fourth-month midseason break wasn't such a good idea. People forgot about the show, and those who didn't apparently just aren't as into it anymore. That longggg break can work for something with a sizable and rabidly devoted fanbase, like The Walking Dead, but for a freshman show that was really only a hit because of its popular lead-in? No, you have to keep people on that smack pretty steadily until summer. I basically forgot the show existed until they started running promos again a couple weeks ago. Or maybe it was my DVR that reminded me? Either way, I wasn't eagerly anticipating it, and I watched every episode this fall with some excitement. (The premise was never that well-executed, but it has promise. Provided they get rid of the sword fighting. I don't know, figure out another way to have violence.) But now... Eh. They were gone too long. We've moved on to other things, other loves. NBC shouldn't have expected us to stand by the fizzled-out lighthouse forever, scanning the horizon for Revolution to return. By the time Christmas rolled around, the passion was gone. [The Hollywood Reporter]
FX continues on its development blitz. They've got a new project in the works called Conquistadors, based on the nonfiction book The Last Days of the Incas. It would be a "limited series," meaning miniseries I guess, a format that FX is majorly investing in. (They're commissioning most of them for FXM, or the Fox Movie Channel, but some will go to FX and others to FXX, the new young-skewing channel. Lots of Fs and Xs happening here.) Conquistadors will of course cover the invasion of Pizarro and how he and his some 168 guys defeated about ten million Incas. Deadline uses the phrase "above all odds" which sounds a bit... triumphant. The series will also feature Manco Inca and his teenage sister/wife Cura Ocllo, who staged a rebellion against the Conquistadors, during which Ocllo was captured, horrifically raped and tortured, and eventually run through with spears by the Spaniards. So this is going to be a cheery little something, isn't it? Sigh. [Deadline]
A new report confirms that Shain Gandee, the star of the MTV reality show Buckwild who was recently found dead in his truck with two others in West Virginia, died of carbon monoxide poisoning. The truck was found partially submerged in mud, the tailpipe being one of the parts covered. So the thinking is that they let the car running while stuck in mud and then, I dunno, that was that. Or mud got stuck in the tailpipe and they were unaware or something. Whatever happened exactly, the three died while going mudding, a fun thing turned terrible. It's a bad story. Production is currently shut down on the show, and hopefully it will stay that way. Just pull the plug on this thing, MTV. It's over. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Here's a trailer for The Conjuring, the new horror movie from the director of Saw and Insidious. It stars Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, who I guess know their way around a horror movie at this point, as early-'70s mediums (real-life ones, it seems?) who, of course, encounter spooky/sad Lili Taylor and her house of terrors and things go haywire. Ron Livingston is also in this. So, wait. Is the scariest aspect of these ghost movies supposed to be that all these good actors are agreeing to be in low-rent horror movies? I mean, what is their take-home on this? I'm sure it's more than most of us make in a year, but still. Vera Farmiga is an Oscar-nominee! And the other ones are, y'know, who they are. I thought horror movies were supposed to be for former Hollister models who want to try acting, not Virginia Madsen and Ethan Hawke. Oh well. The movies do tend to do really well, so maybe these people get a cut of the profits or something. That could be it. Hopefully. For their sake.
And here is a teaser for Disney's Planes. The logline is "From the world above Cars." A terrific line. "From the world above Cars comes Planes." How long did that one take to come up with? Ages, I'm sure! Another thing about this trailer: Dane Cook, voicing the main cocky prop plane who is somehow flying faster than two fighter jets, says "Hello ladies," in a sarcastic jokey way. Which... 1) Are we still using that tired old sh-t, that calling a guy a lady is an insult somehow because women are weak/dumb/whatever? I know it's widely accepted as a harmless thing, but it's bullsh-t and should stop. And 2) Wait, planes have genders? It's strange that airplanes would have a concept of gender. I mean, he could have said, "Hello, fighties," and maybe that's a pejorative in plane culture, because they're just dumb warplanes or something? I'm not actually advocating that he say "Hello fighties," that's a terrible line that I just burbled out right now, but they have time to write this stuff, so they could come up with something clever. "Hello, missileheads" or something stupid. Because I'm not sure that if they could talk, airplanes would have the same concepts of gender as we do, or any concept at all for that matter! So "Hello, ladies" is awful and dumb on many fronts. And that's all I have to say about the Planes teaser.
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