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Frances McDormand goes quiet in a trailer for HBO's 'Olive Kitteridge'

The teaser for HBO’s upcoming miniseries Olive Kitteridge only allows for a glimpse of Frances McDormand’s take on the title character in the adaptation of Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. But it’s certainly a tantalizing one, giving audiences a sense of how director Lisa Cholodenko interpreted Strout’s fictional setting of Crosby, Maine. And it’s all set to a haunting cover of Olivia Newton-John’s “Magic” by Martha Wainwright, who is in the series.

Strout’s novel consists of 13 interconnected short stories. However, the miniseries consists of just four parts. But that’s actually not a huge drawback, given the critical response so far. Though the series will not run on HBO until November, it premiered recently at the Venice Film Festival to acclaim, especially for McDormand in a role that The Hollywood Reporter‘s review claimed was one of the “most complex and memorable of her career.” HitFix’s review called the miniseries a “a perfect storm of talent, fine storytelling and beautiful direction, executed with consummate professionalism by a top notch craft and tech team.”

The movie also stars Richard Jenkins as Olive’s husband Henry, Zoe Kazan, John Gallagher Jr., and Bill Murray.

Showtime hints that online-only subscriptions may be on the way

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Ever since HBO Go launched in 2010, bringing streamable premium programming to its cable subscribers, the network has been hounded by one question in particular: Will they ever uncouple HBO Go from a cable subscription? While the network has long held out against making this beautiful ideal a reality, one of its competitors might beat it to the punch.

According to Forbes, CBS COO Joseph Ianniello teased the possibility of an online-only subscription to the network’s premium channel Showtime. While the executive wouldn’t say any such plan was being developed or tested, he took a moment during his talk at New York’s Nomura Digital Media Conference to note that nothing about its contracts with cable/satellite providers preclude such a service.

While cord-cutters might be elated to know that executives are thinking of them, it still might be some time before the platonic ideal of streaming TV becomes a reality. As Forbes notes, while demand for such services are there, they don’t benefit cable providers—a group of companies that’s likely to act swiftly to defend its interests.

HBO is re-mastering 'The Wire'

The Wire, David Simon’s critically acclaimed series, will be re-mastered in HD, HBO confirmed to EW. But as exciting as that news is, the network added that it does “not have further information regarding the timeline.” A promo claiming that a “replay marathon” of the series would start September 4 on HBO Signature ran prematurely, HBO said, and the series will not be airing this month.

That’s not to say that one couldn’t watch The Wire now: it is currently available on HBO GoAmazon Prime, and iTunes. The show, which ran for five seasons starting in 2002 and chronicled life in Baltimore, was under-appreciated by viewers when it was on the air, but has now been deemed by many the best television show ever.  Surely, someone has told you that you have to watch The WireEW has.

 

'Looking' lands 'Mean Girls' star Daniel Franzese

This is so fetch: Mean Girls star Daniel Franzese has booked a multi-episode arc on HBO’s Looking.

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That terrible 'True Blood' finale: What went wrong?

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Maybe it’s fitting that a show about immortality just couldn’t find the right way to die.

True Blood‘s last episode was the most disappointing series finale I’ve seen in a long time. And I say “disappointing” because I’ve seen worse; the final hour of Dexter comes to mind. But something about the blandness of True Blood‘s finale felt almost offensive. Jessica and Hoyt got hitched, because it was Bill’s greatest wish to see his progeny married off? Bill just had to lecture Sookie about how having children makes life worth living? Sookie needed to chat with the Reverend about God’s plan? For a show that once skewered Ted Cruz and other self-proclaimed defenders of “family values,” this was pretty conservative stuff. READ FULL STORY

Will McAvoy threatens to quit in latest 'Newsroom' teaser

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The central question of The Newsroom‘s final season, it seems, is about a whistleblower. At least, that’s the primary focus of the latest teaser for the season, which shows a photocopier printing out what seems to be the final scripts for the series.

In the scripts, Will is concerned about the whistleblower when Reese declares, “He’s gonna be sent to jail.” On the page, Will utters the words, “Well … I think it’s time for me to quit.”

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Valerie Cherish wants another take in new 'The Comeback' teaser

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After nine years off the air, The Comeback is coming back to town.

HBO released a brief teaser lauding the series return of the 2005 comedy about aging Hollywood D-lister Valerie Cherish (Lisa Kudrow) and her aim for a return to glory.

While it seems that Cherish gained a modicum of reality-television-derived fame in the first season, the teaser implies that Cherish is still pushing for resonance in a swarm of paparazzi to the chants of “Give her another take!” It is yet another piece of meta commentary on the fact that HBO decided to give the critically acclaimed show another “take” nearly a decade after its cancellation.

The Comeback is set to return in November with a six-episode limited series.

Watch the teaser below:

What I'm Watching Now: HBO's 'Captivated' reveals why we love vilifying pretty girls

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If you’ve already binge-watched every critically acclaimed show out there and are wondering what to do next, TV critic Melissa Maerz has a few suggestions. Her column, “What I’m Watching Now,” is devoted to the best underhyped series on television (or Amazon, or Netflix, or whatever iDevice you’re using), whether they’re just premiering or have been lingering on your friends’ season pass queues for years.

Why do we love to watch pretty girls suffer?

I thought about that question a lot while watching Captivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart, a fascinating documentary that airs August 18 on HBO. Now, upon hearing the name “Pamela Smart,” your brain probably sorted through its file cabinet and plucked out this photo, recalling the 24-year-old blonde and her 1991 murder trial. I thought I knew all the details myself. Smart was a high school teacher who slept with her teenage student, Billy Flynn, right? She seduced Flynn with bikini- and lingerie-clad photos of herself, then told him she’d never sleep with him again unless he killed her husband, right? And Flynn and his friends did kill the husband, but Smart was the one who became infamous: Helen Hunt played her in a TV movie called Murder in New Hampshire, and then Nicole Kidman played her in Gus Van Sant’s 1995 film, To Die For. And now everyone knows the story by heart. Right?

Not so much. After watching Captivated, the only thing I knew for certain was that I didn’t know anything. And I’m not the only one: Even people involved in the case sometimes get the details wrong. As the first trial ever broadcast on television, Smart’s case sparked a media frenzy, making it difficult to separate the facts from the more salacious spin offered by the tabloid-driven talk shows whose popularity was peaking at the time. (Geraldo Rivera once asked, “Isn’t this trial by television?”) It turns out that Smart wasn’t Flynn’s teacher. He was a student at the same high school where she worked as an administrator. Those photos? They weren’t taken for Flynn’s benefit. Smart’s girlfriends snapped them, hoping to create a modeling portfolio for her. And the murder? Twenty-three years later, Smart still insists that Flynn acted on his own.

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Carla Gugino joins HBO's 'The Brink'

Carla Gugino will play a high-powered D.C. lawyer and wife to Tim Robbins’ Secretary of State character in a multi-episode arc on HBO’s The Brink. EW confirmed the news, as first reported by Deadline.

The dark half-hour comedy from Ocean’s Eleven producer Jerry Weintraub focuses on three men in the midst of a geopolitical crisis: the Secretary of State (Robbins), a Foreign Service officer (Jack Black) and a Navy fighter pilot (Pablo Schreiber). They must team up to try to prevent World War III. Thor‘s Jamie Alexander also stars.

The Brink does not have a scheduled premiere date yet, but Gugino can also be seen on Fox’s Wayward Pines, from M. Night Shyamalan, which will air in 2015 as a mid-season replacement.

'Girls' enlists 'Obvious Child' star Jake Lacy

Jake Lacy has landed a recurring role on Girls’ upcoming fourth season, EW has learned exclusively.

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Martin Scorsese's doc 'The 50 Year Argument' gets premiere date on HBO

Martin Scorsese’s latest documentary, The 50 Year Argument, is set to premiere on HBO Sept. 29 at 9 p.m. ET.

The documentary, directed by Scorsese and David Tedeschi, looks at The New York Review of Books and its founding editor Robert Silvers. “I have learned so much over the years from The New York Review of Books—it’s given me so much that I jumped at the chance to make this film,” Scorsese said in a press release. “And [Tedeschi] and I both welcomed the challenge of making a film that reflected what is so unique about the Review, really, a film about the adventure of thought, and, as Colm Toibin puts it, the sensuality of ideas.”

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Here's why Arya is the best character on 'Game of Thrones'

Okay, okay, we get it: You love Tyrion.

And with good reason. We love Tyrion, too! And Brienne, and Jaime, and Sansa, and everybody else who has a continuing story on Game of Thrones. Any one of them conceivably could have appeared on our list of the 25 Best Characters on TV Right Now. (Fine, that’s an overstatement; nobody’s voting for Ramsay Bolton, right?)

So naturally, when it came time for EW‘s TV staff to decide which of these fascinating creations is currently the show’s best, things got a little contentious. (See more about the list’s criteria here, where you can also vote for your favorite TV character.) In a tiebreaker vote, though, the choice became clear: Arya beat Tyrion, and by a fairly wide margin. READ FULL STORY

Netflix passes HBO in subscriber revenue

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Which team are you on: Netflix or HBO? No, it’s not so much a direct competition—but that doesn’t make it any less impressive that Netflix, which was founded in 1997, just passed HBO, founded in 1972, in subscriber revenue in the last quarter.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings took to Facebook to share what he called the “minor milestone.” According to Hastings, Netflix earned $1.146 billion in subscriber revenue in the last quarter, where HBO only took in $1.141 billion. As Hastings put it, “They still kick our ass in profits and Emmys, but we are making progress. HBO rocks, and we are honored to be in the same league.”

Netflix, of course, is home to hit original shows Orange Is the New Black and House of Cards, while HBO houses more shows, including Game of Thrones, Girls, True Detective, and Silicon Valley, which even Hastings admits to loving. But with more original programming in the works, including Daredevil, it seems safe to say that Netflix won’t go away anytime soon.

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