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Olivia Wilde cast in Scorsese's HBO rock 'n' roll pilot

Olivia Wilde will co-star in HBO’s untitled rock ‘n’ roll pilot from Martin Scorsese, Terence Winter, and Mick Jagger, EW has confirmed.

According to HBO, the pilot, set in 1970s New York, explores the drug- and sex-fueled music business as punk and disco were breaking out, all through the eyes of a record executive trying to resurrect his label and find the next new sound.

Wilde joins co-star Bobby Cannavale, who plays Richie Finestra, the founder and president of a top-tier record label (American Century Records) who undergoes a crisis of character when confronted with a life-altering decision. She will play his wife, Devon Finestra, a former actress/model who lived a Bohemian life in 1960s New York. Richie’s crisis causes strain on their family and propels her to go back to her former lifestyle.

Production is expected to start early this summer.

This marks a return to television for Wilde, who previously starred in Fox’s medical drama House from 2007 to 2012. Winter and Scorsese previously worked together on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, which is ending after the upcoming fifth season.

Teaser trailer for 'The Normal Heart' arrives -- VIDEO

“To win a war you have to start one,” declares the first teaser trailer for HBO’s highly anticipated adaptation of Larry Kramer’s award-winning play The Normal Heart. The TV movie will focus on the rise of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City between 1981 and 1984, as seen through the eyes of fictional writer/activist Ned Weeks — the founder of a prominent HIV advocacy group. The character is based on writer/activist Kramer himself.

Viewers can see the rumblings of outrage beginning in the first thirty-second tease, which offers fans their first glimpses of the cast, including Julia Roberts, Mark Ruffalo (as Weeks), Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons, and Jonathan Groff, in action.

The Normal Heart, directed by Ryan Murphy, will premiere on HBO Sunday, May 25. Watch below: READ FULL STORY

New 'Game of Thrones' trailer: 'Do you know what they did to my brother? And my mother?' -- VIDEO

Still steaming about the HBO Go outage that killed your plans to watch True Detective‘s finale? This might help: On Sunday, the cabler premiered another new trailer for the fourth season of Game of Thrones, which premieres in a few short weeks. (They’d better get their server issues sorted out by then, or we will take what is ours, with fire and blood!)

Though the clip doesn’t feature many new revelations, it does include several shots of interest, especially for those who have read George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire saga: Sansa (Sophie Turner) mourning her slain family; new character Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal) noting that if you can’t protect the ones you love, you must avenge them; Dany (Emilia Clarke) overseeing a catapult attack and swearing to “answer injustice… with justice;” Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) bitterly saying “we mustn’t disappoint Father” over a shot of Tywin (Charles Dance) lounging on the Iron Throne. Also, the dragons (actual dragons) have gotten a lot bigger.

READ FULL STORY

HBO GO problems hit 'True Detective' finale

Have trouble watching the hotly anticipated True Detective finale tonight? You weren’t the only one. Fans of the series took to Twitter to protest technical issues that struck the HBO GO streaming platform. HBO GO’s official Twitter stream acknowledged the troubles, blaming the show’s literally overwhelming popularity: “Due to overwhelmingly popular demand for #TrueDetective, we’ve been made aware of an issue affecting some users. Please try again soon.” READ FULL STORY

First look at HBO's Bruce Springsteen documentary 'High Hopes' -- VIDEO

HBO has just released the first look at High Hopes, the documentary chronicling the making of Bruce Springsteen’s 18th studio album.

In the clip, The Boss talks about the emotional impetus behind the album, also titled High Hopes, and how collaborator Tom Morello, guitarist for Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave, served as “the glue” of the project.

The film reunites Springsteen with filmmaker Thom Zimny, who previously directed The Promise: The Making of ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town’ in 2010. It will feature interviews, behind-the-scenes studio and rehearsal segments, and exclusive E Street Band tour footage.

High Hopes premieres April 4 at 9:30 p.m. ET on HBO.

'Last Week Tonight With John Oliver': Watch HBO's first promo -- VIDEO

HBO has released a preview for the new satirical news program Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, from the most trusted relied-upon name in news, former Daily Show correspondent John Oliver.

The show will bring Oliver’s fresh take on the biggest news stories of the day — or week, for that matter. In the preview, Oliver explains how the weekly show will work around constantly changing trends and stories. The voice-over doesn’t seem to understand, but you can watch for yourself below: READ FULL STORY

'True Detective' ratings climb to best yet: Will HBO announce season 2?

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This is so not surprising to anybody who’s watching HBO’s True Detective: The freshman drama’s ratings have climbed to a series high.

Sunday’s episode of Detective had a best-yet 2.6 million viewers for its first airing at 9 p.m., up 13 percent from its previous high, which was the crime  anthology’s Jan. 13 season premiere. Across three plays for the night, Detective racked up 3.6 million, also a new best. During the season to date, Detective has an average audience of 10.9 million viewers across all HBO plays and platforms.

While dramas on broadcast network often launch to high ratings, given their big platform and heavy publicity, and then ebb steadily downward, dramas that debut on cable networks like HBO often launch to modest numbers and then slowly gain viewers. At least, that’s what the successful ones do. READ FULL STORY

Lena Dunham will host 'Saturday Night Live'

Will Blerta return?

Lena Dunham will host Saturday Night Live March 8, NBC announced today. This will be the Girls creator/writer/star’s first time hosting the program. She’ll be joined by musical guest The National, also making their SNL debut.

After the news broke, Dunham tweeted, “Thank you for the SNL love. Dream come true. Can’t wait to debut my character “girl who googled serial killers all night & has lots to say”!”

SNL returns March 1 with host Jim Parsons and musical guest Beck.

HBO premieres first 'Silicon Valley' trailer -- VIDEO

You may know Mike Judge as the creator of classics like King of the Hill, Beavis and Butt-head, and Office Space – and now the successful showrunner is bringing a Silicon Valley-based comedy to our TVs.

Along with John Altschuler and Davis Krinsky, Judge created a sitcom — which, appropriately enough, is called Silicon Valley — about on six predictably nerdy programmers trying to figure out how to navigate success. The first trailer for the show features the main programmer (Thomas Middleditch) stressing over whether to keep his company or take a hefty offer.

While he’s trying to decide, a doctor casually tells him about a patient who faced a similar dilemma — and ended up shooting himself (non-fatally, it appears) because he couldn’t handle the decision. Since Middleditch also gets slapped by a kid half his size, so looks like his character might just have a comically hard time with life in general. T.J. Miller, Zach Woods, Kumail Nanjiani, Martin Starr, and Josh Brener play the rest of Silicon Valley‘s programming crew.

READ FULL STORY

Could HBO's 'Rome' rise again?

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Rome was Game of Thrones before Game of Thrones.

Like HBO’s fantasy hit, the 2005 series was a sprawling non-contemporary swords-and-shields drama with a large ensemble cast and plenty of violence and sex. It was extremely well written and acted, launching its cast into stardom. Rome was also quite expensive and shot overseas, just like Thrones.

Except Rome was canceled, with HBO making the tough decision to ax the show before its second season even aired in order to save money on maintaining production resources in Italy. It’s rare that networks ever admit that ending a show was a mistake, but HBO executives later did, at least privately. Actors such as Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson, and James Purefoy went onto other ventures, and creator Bruno Heller launched a more more traditional drama — The Mentalist — to big CBS ratings.

After Thrones debuted to acclaim and popularity in 2011, one Rome star couldn’t help but feel a little sore about the way things turned out, with Purefoy declaring Thrones “stole our f–king show.”

Today, Heller doesn’t agree with that sentiment, but does note Rome helped pave the way for Thrones. READ FULL STORY

Michael Patrick King talks the future of 'The Comeback' -- EXCLUSIVE

If you blinked between June 5 and September 4, 2005, you might have missed one of the funniest TV shows to ever grace premium cable. Though it aired in a primo time slot right after Entourage, HBO’s meta-reality series The Comeback never garnered the numbers to save itself from cancellation doom, and so after 13 riotous episodes, the first season of the Lisa Kudrow comedy also became its last.

“In the beginning, my joke was that The Comeback fans were like the early Christians — they were small groups hidden in caves who knew there was a message but they were afraid to get it out,” says Michael Patrick King (of Sex and the City fame), who co-created the series with the show’s star Kudrow, in her first major TV role since Friends ended in 2004.

Kudrow starred as Valerie Cherish, a washed-up actress who allowed her quest for fame to be filmed for a reality show called The Comeback. Valerie’s reluctant acceptance of the invasive cameras in her home spelled out her sheer desperation to be back in the spotlight again (her network show I’m It! was a three-year hit before it, too, was canceled). Throughout the season, viewers began to see the horribly depressing but somehow hilarious struggle of a woman who faced Hollywood through a gritted smile as she desperately tried to stave off the inevitability that she was becoming a joke (she earns pseudo-redemption when she’s cast on a sitcom about four sexy singles… as frumpy supporting cast member Aunt Sassy). READ FULL STORY

John Oliver's new show gets title, premiere date

This April, John Oliver will begin delivering last week’s news.

HBO announced Wednesday that its new topical comedy series — starring the former Daily Show correspondent  — has a name: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. (What, The Weekly Show felt too on the nose?) The show, which will present “a satirical look at the week in news, politics, and current events,” is set to debut Sunday, April 27 on HBO.

Oliver joined The Daily Show in 2006 and had what amounted to a two-month-long audition for his own program this past summer, when he filled in for regular host Jon Stewart. He has received three Emmys for his work on Stewart’s writing staff. Oliver is also the host of Comedy Central’s John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show, which showcases both up-and-coming and established comedians.

'Game of Thrones' trailer: The full season 4 preview -- VIDEO

Skip these mere words and hit play on the awesomeness below then come back up and read this text if you’re still seeking an introduction to the epic Game of Thrones season 4 trailer.

Done? Great. What you just saw was nearly two minutes of Game of Thrones‘ upcoming season. Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss tell us that fans should expect this season to have plenty of action, and the trailer certainly suggests the Seven Kingdoms and beyond will see plenty of drama and unrest despite Tywin Lannister’s tragic crushing of the Northern rebellion last year. In case you’re wondering who is that spear-wielding balletic young warrior in the arena, that would be the Red Viper, a new character who plays a major role this season (more on him here). Thrones returns April 6 on HBO. READ FULL STORY

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