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The latest news on TV from Business Insider

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    Amazon Echo

    Amazon has a new Fire TV in the works that will double as an Echo smart speaker.

    A new version of the Fire TV, which will look like a small cube, will have many of the same features of Amazon's Echo smart speaker built in, according to report by AFTVnews.com. It will have microphones (so you can speak with Alexa), a speaker (for music and responses), and even an LED light that mimics the top of the Echo, according to the report.

    Like other Fire TVs, the new device will let you stream videos from Amazon and Netflix. Unlike previous models, though, it reportedly will allow you to interact with Amazon's Alexa smart assistant even when your TV isn't on.

    The company will also be releasing a smaller version of the original Fire TV that will attach to your TV like a dongle, according to the report. For the first time for the Fire TV line, both new models reportedly will support high-dynamic-range videos. HDR offers a greater contrast between light and dark areas than standard videos, allowing them to see previously hidden details in scenes.

    Both new boxes will also support ultra-high-definition 4K video, the next step up after high-definition, according to the report.

    Here's a look at the new gadgets:

    It's not clear when Amazon would begin selling the new devices or how much they would cost. Amazon representatives declined to comment.

    The previous Fire TV box is unavailable through Amazon, which could indicate it has discontinued the device. According to the AFTVnews report, it plans to continue selling its Fire TV Stick, which is about the size of a piece of gum and plugs directly into a TV. But that model does not support 4K or HDR video.

    Owners of the older Fire TV and the Fire TV Stick could interact with Alexa — but only by pressing a button on their remote controls, and only when those devices were connected to an external speaker that was turned on.

    The new Fire TV devices' support for 4K and HDR and their Alexa capabilities could help them better compete with the new Apple TV.

    SEE ALSO: The Apple TV will reportedly get a 4K revamp soon to take on Roku and Google in the living room

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Everything we know about the Apple 'iPhone X' — which should be announced today


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    Cheddar

    Cheddar, the business news network that's been called CNBC for millennials, just made a key hire and plans to open its first broadcast studio in the UK next year, CEO Jon Steinberg told Business Insider.

    Anjali Kumar, a former Warby Parker exec and top Google lawyer, will be Cheddar's first general counsel and chief people officer. She'll be in charge of expanding Cheddar's rapidly growing list of distribution deals and overseeing its more than 85 employees.

    "The company is a deal machine, and I worked with Jon before at Google, so look for us to move even faster in contracting distribution," Kumar said in a press release.

    Launched in February 2016 with live business news coverage from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Cheddar has since opened multiple satellite studios in locations like Los Angeles, The Hamptons, and the Flatiron building in Manhattan.

    Led by Jon Steinberg, the former president of BuzzFeed and CEO of Daily Mail US, Cheddar has raised $32 million in venture capital funding to date. The self-described "post cable network" expects to make $10 million in revenue this year from sponsorships with advertisers like Fidelity and its nearly two dozen deals with distributors like Twitter, Sling, and Amazon.

    So far, the many deals are paying off: Cheddar saw 148 million views in August across all of its platforms, according to Steinberg. While initially focused on getting on digital platforms, Cheddar has recently expanded to more traditional cable deals by partnering with local TV stations in New York and California to distribute taped business news stories from Cheddar anchors.

    "I never expected us to be this big or have this strong of a brand. It's a testimony to focusing on the content and the big interview gets," Steinberg told BI. "Delivering to all these places and producing 8 hours a day is a task only for the relentless and tireless."

    SEE ALSO: This chart should send a shiver of fear through the cable TV industry

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: RICHARD GREENFIELD: Voice technology will kill traditional cable networks


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    marvels luke cage hoodie

    Netflix made a deal with Marvel Comics back in 2013 to produce four Marvel-universe shows and a mini-series.

    The resulting five original programs have varied greatly in quality, at least in the eyes of critics. 

    To find out which of the shows have fared the best, we turned to review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes for the composite critical receptions of Marvel's "Daredevil,""Luke Cage, "Jessica Jones,""Iron Fist" and "The Defenders."

    Here are Netflix's five original Marvel shows, ranked from worst to best, according to critics: 

    SEE ALSO: RANKED: Netflix's 25 original comedy shows, from worst to best

    5. "Iron Fist"— 17%

    Critic score: 17%

    Audience score: 77%

    Netflix description: "Danny Rand resurfaces 15 years after being presumed dead. Now, with the power of the Iron Fist, he seeks to reclaim his past and fulfill his destiny."



    4. "The Defenders"— 75%

    Critic score: 75%

    Audience score: 78%

    Netflix description: "Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist join forces to take on common enemies as a sinister conspiracy threatens New York City."



    3. "Daredevil"— 86%

    Critic score: 86%

    Audience score: 95%

    Netflix description: "Blinded as a young boy, Matt Murdock fights injustice by day as a lawyer and by night as the Super Hero Daredevil in Hell's Kitchen, New York City."



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    dolores westworld

    The INSIDER Summary:

    • "Westworld" is currently in production for its second season.
    • HBO said new episodes will air in spring 2018.
    • That might mean an April premiere date, though nothing is set in stone.


    "Westworld" fans are eagerly awaiting news of the series' second season, currently set to premiere nearly a year and a half after the mind-bending season one finale.

    "The Emmy-nominated series is currently in production for its second season, debuting in spring 2018," HBO announced in July.

    The precise spring 2018 air date is still a mystery, but we believe HBO might use "Westworld" for their Sunday night schedule beginning in April. This was historically when "Game of Thrones" used to premiere. But with "Game of Thrones" not returning until possibly 2019, it's possible HBO uses that spring slot for "Westworld."

    The first trailer for season two of "Westworld" premiered at San Diego Comic-Con. The new footage teased an all-out robot rebellion inside the park with Dolores and Teddy gunning down guests.

    Dolores on horse westworld season two trailer

     

    Other events we can expect on season two include the return of Jimmi Simpson's portrayal of William (aka the Man in Black) and a larger role for Talulah Riley's host-character Angela

    The new trailer also teased the possibility of a new park, "S-World," being introduced to the narrative. But for now, many mysteries remain — including the exact air date for season two. 

    Read our full breakdown of the season two trailer for more insights, and watch the teaser video below:

    SEE ALSO: Even the cinematographer filming 'Westworld' didn't know the secrets of the show

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here's what happens when two hurricanes collide


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    game of thrones

    AT&T announced on Tuesday that it will bundle a free HBO subscription for all of its wireless customers on "unlimited" plans. 

    In April, the company bundled free HBO service with its "Unlimited Plus" coverage, its most expensive data plan. The free HBO offer will now extend to current and existing customers on the company's "Unlimited Choice" plan, beginning on Friday, September 15. 

    For current AT&T video service customers paying for an HBO subscription through one of their services, HBO will now be included free of charge. Those AT&T wireless customers who are not subscribed to an AT&T video service can also access HBO through the DirecTV Now or HBO Go apps, the company said in a blog post

    AT&T is in the process of acquiring HBO's parent company Time Warner, pending a merger review by the U.S. Department of Justice. 

    While AT&T is looking to bring in more wireless customers to their service through the HBO bundle, Randall Stephenson, AT&T's chairman and CEO, said on Tuesday that the company will also continue to pursue sales of HBO as a cable add-on. 

    Similar bundle deals are becoming common among telecommunication companies. T-Mobile, for instance, announced earlier this month that it would include free Netflix service in its family plans. 

    SEE ALSO: AT&T may be plotting to revolutionize TV advertising

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 6 details you might have missed on season 7 episode 5 of 'Game of Thrones'


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    Marshawn Lynch

    Facebook Inc (FB.N) is paying Time Warner Inc's (TWX.N) Bleacher Report millions of dollars for a reality show on NFL player Marshawn Lynch, the sports site told Reuters — a sign that the social media firm is willing to pay top dollar to lure viewers and ads to its Watch video service.

    The reality show about the Oakland Raiders running back, called "No Script," launches at a time when Facebook and other web giants including Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) are spending billions on original content in a pitched battle for viewers. Facebook is planning to spend up to $1 billion on original shows, the Wall Street Journal reported.

    Facebook did not respond to requests for comment on its spending.

    Facebook's Watch was rolled out to U.S. users last month. The company has initially been paying for a handful of shows to attract viewers to the platform.

    It has paid $10,000 to $35,000 for shorter-form shows and up to $250,000 for some longer-scripted shows, sources told Reuters in May.

    "We think we have a big hit on our hands," said Rory Brown, president of Bleacher Report, declining to comment on how many millions Facebook is paying Bleacher Report for the show. "People are going to spend more time on Facebook because of it."

    "No Script" will start streaming this month and consists of eight 10- to 15-minute episodes featuring various antics by Lynch, who is returning to football as a running back for the Raiders.

    Lynch, known as "Beast Mode" for his running prowess, has returned to the league this season after retiring in 2015 from the Seattle Seahawks, where he helped win Super Bowl XLVIII against the Denver Broncos in 2014.

    The first episode features Lynch taking racecar driving lessons until he ruins the tires of the car.

    In a deal similar to others, Facebook retains exclusive rights to the show for a period of time, Brown said, declining to elaborate on the exclusivity window. After that period Bleacher Report owns the content and can use it.

    It was a big priority for Bleacher Report to keep the show authentic, given Lynch's raw style, Brown said.

    For the most part Facebook gave Bleacher Report full creative control, however the social media network does have concerns about offensive language, Brown said.

    "I wouldn't be shocked if that ends up being censored," he said.

    SEE ALSO: Most of Facebook's new 'Watch' shows are stuck in a boring purgatory between premium TV and the charm of YouTube

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Hurricane Irma is hammering Florida and headed to Georgia — here are the latest updates on the massive storm


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    stephen colbert trump

    Stephen Colbert's "Late Show" has consistently earned the largest audience in late-night TV this year, in large part due to Colbert's incisive takedowns of the Trump administration in his nightly monologues. 

    But in a new profile with Varietythe "Late Show" host put his impact as an anti-Trump voice into perspective. 

    "Comedy will not stop him," Colbert said, referring to Trump. "The democratic process — that's it. The democratic process will stop this guy. It's the only way. That's it."

    From Seth Meyers to Trevor Noah to "Saturday Night Live,"  late-night TV hosts and programs have made skewering of the Trump administration and its supporters a routine, but none have done it with the tenacity and headline-grabbing skill of Colbert's "Late Show." According to the profile, Colbert and the "Late Show" staff will often rewrite monologues at the last minute to address Trump's latest policy moves and antics.

    Still, Colbert recognizes that even the most cutting satire can have no tangible effect on the political sphere. 

    He told Variety that he is waiting "for the Republican Party to grow a pair," or for a potential shift of Congressional seats in the 2018 mid-term elections.

    "Just drop a 'nad, and do what you know is right," Colbert said of the GOP. "And that won't happen until they lose the House or the Senate. And then, 'Katie bar the door.'"

    Read his Variety profile here. 

    SEE ALSO: John Oliver says Trump uses one phrase when he has 'nothing' planned: 'People will be happy'

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 6 details you might have missed on season 7 episode 5 of 'Game of Thrones'


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    celine tam america's got talent

    The INSIDER Summary:


     

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    stranger things

    Streaming services are growing fast. As Netflix and Hulu make more original shows, their recognition come awards season grows, too. And it's growing at a rapid rate. 

    Netflix nearly doubled its Emmy nominations in 2017, with 91 compared to 2016's 54. Big competitors for Netflix in 2017 include "The Crown,""Master of None," and "Stranger Things."

    Netflix's Emmy success this year is surely partly linked to its gargantuan budget: $6 billion for content in 2017, for reference. That compares to Amazon's estimated 2017 budget of $4.5 billion (according to JPMorgan), and HBO's budget of a "couple billion"— likely just above $2 billion.

    But Netflix isn't the only streaming service on the rise.

    Hulu, which had just 2 Emmy nominations last year, had a much better turnout with 18 nominations this year thanks to the critical darling "The Handmaid's Tale."

    Even without "Game of Thrones" in the running this year, HBO got more nominations than last year from hits like "Westworld,""Big Little Lies," and "The Night Of." With streaming and cable shows coming up, the basic networks which once dominated are getting less shows nominated at the Emmys. But in 2017, NBC got a major boost from the critical and fan hit "This Is Us," with 11 nominations. 

    Check out this graph to see how all the networks compare when it comes to Emmy nominations:

    emmy nominations by network

    SEE ALSO: Here are the biggest Emmy snubs of 2017 — from Justin Theroux to Winona Ryder

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A popular 'Game of Thrones' fan theory says Bran is the Night King — here's why


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    30 Rock

    There are always shows that dominate the Emmys. This year, some favorites include "Westworld,""SNL,""Big Little Lies,""This Is Us," and "The Handmaid's Tale."

    But while some Emmy darlings are expected and obvious, you might be surprised that some of your favorite shows of all time don't have as many Emmys as you think think — or any at all.

    "Friends" only won six Emmys during its run and "Seinfeld" only won ten. How about HBO's critically-acclaimed series "The Wire?" Zero wins, two nominations. 

    But some audience and critic favorites do make the list for the most Emmy wins ever. Although it's not nominated this year, "Game of Thrones" is incredibly close to breaking "SNL's" record. "Breaking Bad,""Mad Men," and "Frasier" were also consistent favorites during awards season, and it shows in their double-digit wins and for some, three-digit nominations. 

    The 69th annual Emmy Awards begin at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Sunday night, and will air live coast-to-coast on CBS. 

    Here are the 19 shows with the most Emmy wins:

    SEE ALSO: Here are all the 2017 Emmy nominees — Netflix, HBO, and 'SNL' lead the way

    "Breaking Bad"— 16 wins and 58 nominations

    "Breaking Bad" won outstanding drama series twice for the fifth and final season, since it was split in two. Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul won three Emmys for their roles. 



    "30 Rock"— 16 wins and 103 nominations

    "30 Rock" was once an Emmys darling. Its first season got ten Emmy nominations, and it got 17 in its second season. The show won outstanding comedy series three years in a row. 



    "Mad Men"— 16 wins and 116 nominations

    Jon Hamm had a lot of competition in the lead actor in a drama category, so after seven nominations, he didn't get his first win until his final shot in 2015. In its first four seasons, "Mad Men" won outstanding drama. The show also won several awards for writing, directing, and hairstyling.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    woody allen

    Amazon spent $80 million to lure filmmaker Woody Allen into creating his first TV series for their TV studio, sources told The Hollywood Reporter.

    Sources told the outlet that Amazon Studios head Roy Price and lieutenant Joe Lewis "doled out" that staggering figure to convince Allen to create his six-part, 2016 show "Crisis in Six Scenes."

    Set in 1960s suburbia, the comedy series starred Miley Cyrus and Allen, and was critically panned. It received an 18% "Rotten" rating from Rotten Tomatoes. 

    At the Cannes Film Festival in 2015, as he was still producing the show, Allen called the series "a catastrophic mistake."

    Amazon also reportedly spent around $20 million for the rights and production costs of Allen's 2016 film "Café Society," which starred Steve Carrell, Jesse Eisenberg, and Kristen Stewart. 

    Amazon Studios has been known to shell out large figures for original TV programming. The company reportedly paid $250 million for the Jeremy Clarkson travel series "The Grand Tour" in 2016 (though that figure may be for multiple seasons). And for context, Netflix's most expensive series, "The Crown," reportedly cost over $130 million to make. 

    Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos currently has the studio in the midst of a strategy overhaul.

    With its video spending for 2017 clocking in at an estimated $4.5 billion (per JPMorgan), Amazon Studios has now shifted its focus to pursuing a "Game of Thrones"-like drama hit, according to Variety. The company has also recently canceled shows like "Z: The Beginning of Everything" and "The Last Tycoon" as a result of this shift. 

    "We've been looking at the data for some time, and as a team we're increasingly focused on the impact of the biggest shows," Amazon Studios head Roy Price told Variety. "It’s pretty evident that it takes big shows to move the needle."

    Woody Allen's show was surely not that.

    SEE ALSO: RANKED: Netflix's 25 original comedy shows, from worst to best

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A popular 'Game of Thrones' fan theory says Bran is the Night King — here's why


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    Dolores shooting gun Westworld

    This year's Emmy nominees have spent a wide range of years working in Hollywood. 

    Some of the stars have been in the business for decades, like 79-year-old Jane Fonda, and others are fairly new, like 13-year-old Millie Bobby Brown.

    Before the Emmys take place on Sunday, September 17, here is a look at where some of this year's nominees got their start.

    Watch the Emmys September 17 at 8 p.m. on CBS.

    Elisabeth Moss got her start on TV movies and shows, including "Midnight's Child." She's nominated this year for "The Handmaid's Tale."



    Donald Glover was in a number of short internet videos and was a writer for "30 Rock" in 2006, where he also made some cameos. He has four nominations for "Atlanta" for directing, writing, acting, and producing.



    One of Milo Ventimiglia's first TV stints was a small part on "Sabrina the Teenage Witch." He earned his first Emmy nomination this year for "This is Us."



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Game of Thrones season seven Daenerys Targaryen Jon Snow Helen Sloan   HBO (Photo 5) (1)

    The INSIDER Summary:

    • "Game of Thrones" is about to start production on its eighth and final season.
    • HBO programming president Casey Bloys said they will film multiple endings.
    • This is an effort to throw off would-be leakers who might spoil the series finale. 


    HBO has a big plan in place for throwing off would-be leakers intent on revealing the anticipated ending of "Game of Thrones." As the series heads into production for its eighth and final season, HBO programming president Casey Bloys has now said they plan on filming more than one ending.

    "I know 'Game of Thrones,' the ending, they're going to shoot multiple versions so that nobody really know what happens," Bloys said at Moravian College in Pennsylvania, as reported by The Morning Call. "You have to do that on a long show. Because when you're shooting something, people know. So they're going to shoot multiple versions so that there's no real definitive answer until the end."

    This news, which INSIDER first spotted on IndieWire, should come as a relief to fans worried about the prospect of major leaks spoiling the sure-to-be epic ending of "Game of Thrones." 

    Daenerys Targaryen worried Game of Thrones season 7

    For season seven, nearly all of the major plot points were posted online for fans to see. Naturally some were concerned that a similar volume of leaks are inevitable for the final installment of "Game of Thrones."

    Bloys sounds confident that the multiple fake-outs will throw people off the trail, but it's still very likely that leaks will seep through the cracks. Just for season seven, two full episodes made their way online ahead of the scheduled air dates — one was posted early accidentally by HBO Spain, and another stolen from HBO's India distributor.

    And that's not even counting the multiple production leaks and on-set videos and photos that were coming out. 

    Other series' have employed similar tactics when it comes to major moments. AMC's "The Walking Dead"filmed several fake death scenes when a major character's fate was left in the balance between seasons. 

    While we're in this blissful leak-free period, you can safely read INSIDER's predictions for what will happen on the final season of "Game of Thrones." But stay vigilant. The internet is always dark and full of spoilers. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: An Alabama high school 'resegregated' after years of being a model of integration — here's what happened after


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    veronica riverdale wedding

    The INSIDER Summary:

    • The CW has been releasing teaser trailers for the second season of "Riverdale."
    • The latest trailer show's Archie at gunpoint and covered in blood trying to figure out who shot his father in the season one finale.
    • But amid all of the blood — and there's a lot of it — we also get a lot of steamy shots of Bughead and Varchie.
    • And if you've been dying to meet Veronica's dad, there's a quick glimpse of him too.
    • There's even a wedding with Veronica teased at the very end that has us asking a lot of questions. (Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?)
    • We'll have to wait until the show returns October 11 to the CW to find out. For now, watch the trailer below.

     

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Why you won't find a garbage can near the 9/11 memorial


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    movies streaming

    Cord-cutting cannot be denied.

    The overall traditional pay-television universe keeps getting smaller. The entire industry, which includes cable and satellite providers, dropped 795,000 subscribers in 2016, more than twice what it lost the previous year, according to data from Leichtman Research Group (LRG). Those numbers have heated up in 2017 with slightly more than 1 million homes cutting the cord with cable.

    Those numbers are troubling on their own, but they seem worse when you look at recent data from Nielsen. In its most recent Comparable Metrics Report, the research firm showed that people ages 18-34 -- the age group known as millennials -- simply watch less television than older generations. That suggests cord-cutting could get worse as more digital-native generations grow up, but that's only one way to read the data.

    What does the report say?

    People ages 18-34 (millennials) only watch 19 hours and 18 minutes of TV each week. That's less than the nearly 31 hours watched by the 35-49 age group, and less than half the 46 hours and 32 minuted of TV watched each week by people ages 50 and over.

    Millennials do spend more time each month using TV-connected devices (DVD, Game Console, Multimedia Device, VCR, etc.), but at about three hours more than 35-49-year-olds, and just over five hours more than those aged 50 or older, it does not eliminate the overall deficit. In addition, while 18-34-year-olds use their smartphones about five hours more each week than people over 50, they actually use them a little more than an hour less than 35-49-year-olds.

    Basically, when you look across TV, radio, TV-connected devices, PC, smartphone, and tablet usage, millennials actually have the lowest total use of the three age groups. The 18-34-year-old group spends 64 hours and one minute each week on their devices while 35-49-year-olds clock in at 82 hours and 43 minutes and the over-50 set spends 82 hours and 54 minutes.

    What does this mean?

    This research proves that millennials may not fit some of the stereotypes associated with them. The fact that they actually use their phones less than 35-49-year-olds is surprising, as is their overall lower use of all devices compared to all age groups.

    The data does suggest that millennials have less interest in traditional television than other age groups, which suggests cord cutting will increase as more 18-34-year-olds start living on their own. That's possible, but it's worth noting that this trend isn't new. Going back to Nielsen data from Q4 2008, 18-24-year-olds and 25-34-year-olds (as it was broken down in the report) watched less TV than older age groups. In fact, from ages 18-24 through each group tracked, TV consumption increased as people got older.

    Is TV doomed?

    Viewing patterns are changing and millennials appear to be more willing than other age groups to consume entertainment on TV-connected devices rather than through cable or satellite connections. That seems likely to continue since streaming services cost less than traditional pay-TV packages. That probably means cord cutting continues its steady growth, but it's a shift in how TV gets consumers not the death of television.

    Content providers and cable companies would be smart to continue to develop alternative delivery methods to serve millennial needs. But, as that age group gets older, its members are likely to see their overall TV and TV-equivalent content consumption increase. Cable and satellite services may not be dying, but they're going to shrink as a delivery method. Watching television-style content and consuming screen-based entertainment, however, seems as healthy as it has ever been.

    SEE ALSO: How millennials are changing the housing market

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here’s how to tell if the solar eclipse ruined your vision


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    george rr martin emmy

    The INSIDER Summary:

    • George R.R. Martin is best known for the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series, which HBO adpated into its hit drama, "Game of Thrones."
    • He also wrote a sci-fi thriller novella called "Nightflyers."
    • Now Syfy is nearing a series order to for a "Nightflyers" TV show.
    • Martin is not involved with the show's adaptation.


    George R.R. Martin's "Nightflyers"” is nearing a series order at Syfy, Variety has confirmed with sources.

    Based on Martin’s novella of the same name, the story follows eight maverick scientists and a powerful telepath who embark on an expedition to the edge of our solar system in the hopes of contacting alien life. They travel aboard The Nightflyer – a ship with a small tight knit crew and a reclusive captain.

    But when terrifying and violent events begin to take place they start to question each other, and surviving the journey proves harder than anyone thought. The network revealed they were developing the novella as a series back in May. It was previously adapted into the 1987 film of the same name.

    Syfy declined to comment.

    From Universal Cable Productions, "Nightflyers" will be executive produced by Gene Klein, David Bartis, and Doug Liman of Hypnotic. Jeff Buhler will write the script and also executive produce along with Alison Rosenzweig and Michael Gaeta of Gaeta Rosenzweig Films. Lloyd Ivan Miller and Alice P. Neuhauser of Lloyd Ivan Miller Productions will also executive produce with Robert Jaffe producing.

    Martin will not be involved with the series, as he is working on finishing "The Winds of Winter," the sixth installment in his "Song of Ice and Fire" book series, which serve as the basis for HBO's "Game of Thrones."

    SEE ALSO: HBO's 'Game of Thrones' will show storylines ahead of the books because George RR Martin missed a crucial deadline

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here's the best way to watch the solar eclipse if you don't have special glasses


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    south park kendrick lamar

    The 21st season premiere of "South Park" on Wednesday night found the animated comedy parodying the Charlottesville white supremacist rally, digital home assistants, and, surprisingly, Kendrick Lamar's No. 1 Billboard hit "Humble."

    In the episode, titled "White People Renovating Houses," courts have ordered out-of-work laborers to replace digital home assistants like Alexa and Google Home, as Stereogum notes.

    At one point, Cartman's guitar-carrying home assistant Jim Bob performs a country-style, acoustic rendition of "Humble," when asked to "play Kendrick Lamar." 

    Watch the clip below:

    And watch the music video for "Humble" here:

    SEE ALSO: The 50 best-selling music artists of all time

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 6 details you might have missed on the season 7 finale of 'Game of Thrones'


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    Sean Spicer Kimmel

    It was only a matter of time before Sean Spicer, the former White House press secretary, agreed to an interview — and Jimmy Kimmel got it.

    On Thursday, Spicer headed to "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" to chat it up with the late-night host, who didn't pull any punches.

    From asking whether Spicer had ever seen President Donald Trump naked (he hadn't) and about his first day on the job when he had to tell the country that the crowd at Trump's inauguration was the largest in history, Kimmel touched on all the memorable moments of Spicer's time in the White House.

    But Spicer kept his cool throughout the interview and was respectful of the president, and he explained what his role entailed at the White House, despite at times having to back up questionable acts by the Trump administration.

    "Your job as press secretary is to represent the president's voice and to make sure you're articulating what he believes his vision is on policy, on issues, and other areas that he wants to articulate," Spicer told Kimmel. "Whether or not you agree or not isn't your job — your job is to give him advice, which is what we would do on a variety of issues all the time.

    "He would always listen to that advice, but ultimately, he's the president, and he would say 'I agree with you' sometimes, or 'That's a good point, incorporate it,' or sometimes he would say, depending on the issue, 'Look, I know what I believe, and this is what I think the right thing to do is.'"

    And Spicer acknowledged that he did have an alert set up for whenever Trump tweeted.

    melissa mccarthy sean spicer snlSpicer laughed off being spoofed on "Saturday Night Live" by Melissa McCarthy for most of his time in the White House. After Kimmel played a clip, Spicer said, "That was kind of funny."

    Kimmel also brought up Spicer's replacement, Anthony Scaramucci. Spicer said he was on good terms with "the Mooch," but at the end of the day, he felt he couldn't work alongside him.

    "It wasn't personal," Spicer said. "I just didn't feel as though he had the qualifications or the background to work in the communications office, and my view was that if I'm going to have to partner with somebody that I don't believe had the skill set to execute the job, then it was incumbent upon me to either step aside or make my voice known.

    "I did," he continued. "I told the president if he wanted a clean slate, that he wanted a change, that I respect that."

    When Kimmel brought up the New Yorker piece in which Scaramucci went on a profanity-laced tirade that ultimately led to his firing, Spicer said, "I think it proved my point that to do this job is one in which you have the proper background and training."

    At the end of the interview, Kimmel showed a picture of Spicer at his going-away party and noted how happy he looked.

    "The president said to me right before I left, he said, 'My gosh, you look 10 years younger,'" Spicer said.

    Watch the entire Kimmel interview with Spicer:

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    The 21st season premiere of "South Park" on Wednesday night parodied white supremacists, Kendrick Lamar, and digital home assistants like Amazon's Alexa and Google Home.

    Turns out, the latter topic produced some hilarious results with fans' real-life, in-home devices. 

    In the episode, Cartman and friends mess around with Alexa and Google Home, and their often obscene phrases activated devices in many viewers' homes, as The Wrap notes. 

    A slew of Twitter users posted videos of the show's characters interacting with their Alexas and Google Homes, setting off alarms and making the AI devices repeat lines like "Alexa, Simon says, suck my big balls in your hairy b---hole":

    You can watch the new "South Park" episode here

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    NOW WATCH: 6 details you might have missed on the season 7 finale of 'Game of Thrones'


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    Jon Snow Game of Thrones season seven outside

    The INSIDER Summary:

    • "Game of Thrones" productions leaks have become rampant in the last two years.
    • For its final season, HBO will reportedly "shoot multiple versions" of the ending.
    • This doesn't mean fully produced finale episodes will be created.
    • Instead, HBO is likely trying to trick people who might leak set videos or photos.
    • By putting this news out, HBO casts doubt on future spoilers.


    HBO programming president Casey Bloys made waves after reportedly saying "Game of Thrones" was planning thwarting would-be leakers by filming more than one ending.

    "I know 'Game of Thrones,' the ending, they're going to shoot multiple versions so that nobody really knows what happens," Bloys said at Moravian College in Pennsylvania, local paper The Morning Call reported.

    This vague reported statement is leaving a lot open to interpretation, but based on previous run-ins HBO had with leaks we're pretty sure we know what this means.

    The history of leaked "Game of Thrones" set photos and videos

    "Game of Thrones" set leaks have been increasing over the last few years as more people stalk the various sets in Spain, Iceland, and Northern Ireland. The thirst for on set photos was at an all-time high between seasons five and six, when Jon Snow's fate was in the balance. 

    jon snow

    Though many were already convinced Jon Snow would be brought back to life, set leaks confirmed the theories. Someone used large telephoto lenses to snap pictures of Kit Harington (Jon Snow) on set — in costume and sporting a new man bun. 

    When season six aired, his return was confirmed and fans realized that set photo was from the instantly iconic "Battle of the Bastards" episode.

    Similar scenarios played out between the sixth and seventh seasons of "Game of Thrones." When an anonymous Redditor leaked the general plot for season seven online in October 2016, fans began piecing together the truth using more grainy set photos and videos.

    For example, Gendry's return to the series was confirmed when a full video of actor Joe Dempsie filming new scenes leaked online

    INSIDER spoke with Robert McLachlan, the director of photography who worked on that particular episode. 

    "Then the big leak that we saw, which we were really surprised at, was the one when Tyrion and Davos pull up on the beach with the boat and have that scene with Gendry and the Gold Cloaks," McLachlan said. "That's actually an incredibly isolated beach [but] two miles across the water, there were some guys with telephoto lenses and a boat. I couldn't believe how good the photographs were of what we were doing on that beach."

    McLachlan's anecdote about the paparazzi-level set stalkers reveals the point of HBO's reported plan of filming multiple endings.

    HBO could be trying to play a mind game with fans

    When Bloys said "Game of Thrones" will "shoot multiple versions" of the series' ending, this was likely implying that a few key, outdoor scenes could be faked. We doubt it means HBO plans on fully shooting and doing post-production work on an entire alternate ending. 

    Daenerys Targaryen on beach Game of Thrones eastwatch

    Instead, it would make sense for HBO to try and throw off the spoiler-hounds with a few carefully staged scenes that are sure to be picked up by the paparazzi.

    With this new statement out from Bloys, it means any news we get of production leaks has to be taken with a grain of salt. For example, if a leaked video or photo of Jon Snow dying on a battlefield surfaces, people will ask themselves if that is just one of many possible versions for the finale. 

    But the one fake season seven leak didn't truly fool anyone

    In July 2017, Kit Harington (Jon Snow) told Jimmy Kimmel ahead of the season seven premiere that he had filmed about 15 hours of fake scenes.

    "We had a lot of paparazzi following us around, especially when we were in Spain," Harington said. "But we did fake some scenes [...] What you might have seen on the internet might not be true."

    "But it also might be true and you might be just saying that to throw us off the case," Kimmel replied.

    "Yep," Harington said.

    But was that really true?

    "Game of Thrones" news site Watchers on the Wall has an incredible number of sources for set photos and videos, and only one small fake scene slipped through the cracks last year. In October 2016, Watchers on the Wall published set photos from the "Game of Thrones" set on the beaches of Spain.  

    One of the photos showed both Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) holding or petting dragon head props. Even then, Watchers on the Wall reporter Luka Nieto was skeptical.

    "We should consider this might just be one of the producers' ways of messing with the paparazzi," Nieto wrote.

    Jon Snow Drogon dragon Game of Thrones season 7

    Sure enough, on season five the only dragon scene shared between Jon and Daenerys took place on a grassy cliff side — not the beach. 

    But that small dragon prop stunt didn't take up fifteen hours. It's possible Kimmel was correct in accusing Harington of trying to throw them off the scent. 

    Why photo and video leaks should be the least of our worries

    Even if the "Game of Thrones" producers manage to sneak enough fake set leaks into the inevitable real ones, the bigger danger is script outlines making their way online. 

    As noted earlier, an entire text outline of season seven was written anonymously on Reddit in October 2016— nearly a full year before the new season was set to air. Though the precise source of that outline is unknown, a likely culprit is someone involved with production who had access to early drafts of scripts. 

    If there are similar script outlines published online for the eighth and final season, filming fake scenes can't cover up a leak of that magnitude.

    For the time being, no major news has sprouted from the pre-production period of "Game of Thrones." The final season may air as late as 2019, though nothing is set in stone yet.  In the meantime, you can safely read INSIDER's leak-free predictions for what will happen on the final season.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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