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Snapchat Adds CNN as Second Daily News Show

1 hour ago

CNN debuted a daily program Monday on Snapchat Shows, a growing roster of short-form video series on the social-media platform.

Airing every weekday at 6 p.m. Et, “The Update” will feature breaking news from the cable network’s reporters exclusive to Snapchat in its signature Shows format. CNN will also offer rolling updates on developing news as part of the program.

“Update” represents the second daily news series available on Snapchat Shows. Last month, NBC began providing a similar program, “Stay Tuned,” twice daily. The series has attracted 29 million unique viewers since launch, Snapchat disclosed last week.

The news series are part of a broader array of programs across many genres represented by Snapchat Shows, which boasts 25 different series.

“Since launching content on Snapchat, we have believed in the importance of giving our community access to accurate and authoritative news coverage, and CNN has played an important part in that from the beginning,” said »


- Andrew Wallenstein

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‘Game of Thrones’ Director Alan Taylor Breaks Down Timeline in ‘Beyond the Wall’

2 hours ago

Spoiler Alert: Do not keep reading if you have not seen Season 7 Episode 6 of “Game of Thrones,” titled “Beyond the Wall

While the “Game of Thrones” episode “Beyond the Wall” had many talking about the insane fight sequences between humans, zombies, and dragons, others were more concerned with gaps in the timeline of the storytelling.

After the episode aired, fans vented frustrations online that Gendry running back to Eastwatch, sending a raven to Daenerys, and Daenerys arriving to save the day with her dragons all happened far too quickly. Alan Taylor, who directed “Beyond the Wall,” explained how the production team approached the timeline during filming.

“We were aware that timing was getting a little hazy,” Taylor told Variety. “We’ve got Gendry running back, ravens flying a certain distance, dragons having to fly back a certain distance…In terms of the emotional experience, [Jon and company] sort of spent one dark night on the island in terms of storytelling »


- Joe Otterson

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Kanye West, Taylor Swift and the Biggest Beefs in MTV VMAs History

3 hours ago

As rumors circulate about a possible Katy Perry-Taylor Swift reconciliation at the MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 27, it’s worth noting how many beefs have been instigated or squashed at the annual event. From Eminem versus Moby in 2002, to Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus in 2015, who needs therapy when there’s the VMAs? Below is a rundown of the beefiest moments in MTV Vma history, which includes multiple appearances by Ms. Swift.

Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj (2015)

What began as a Twitter feud between Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj culminated with the rapper calling out Cyrus for comments she had made in reference to not being nominated for video of the year. “And now, back to this b— who had a lot to say about me in the press. Miley, what’s good?” Minaj prodded while accepting the award for best hip-hop video. Cyrus quickly defended herself saying, “Hey »


- Rebecca Rubin

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‘Friends From College’ Renewed for Season 2 at Netflix

3 hours ago

Netflix has renewed comedy series “Friends from College” for Season 2, Variety has confirmed.

The series follows a group of friends from Harvard played by Keegan-Michael Key, Cobie Smulders, Annie Parisse, Nat Faxon, Fred Savage, and Jae Suh Park. The series is described as “a comedic exploration of old friendships, former romantic entanglements and balancing adult life with nostalgia for the past.” The series was co-created by Nicholas Stoller and Francesca Delbanco, who also serve as executive producers. Stoller also directs the series and Delbanco serves as a writer. Season 2 will consist of eight episodes just as Season 1 did.

The renewal comes despite the fact the show was not well received by critics, with Season 1 currently holding a 24% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Variety‘s Maureen Ryan wrote of the series in her review:

“Once in a while, members of the cast are able to lend a poignant or bittersweet note to the proceedings. But »


- Joe Otterson

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Will Ferrell, Adam McKay’s Gary Sanchez Productions Developing Two New Comedy Series With CBS, CBS TV Studios

4 hours ago

Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s Gary Sanchez Productions is developing new TV comedy projects with CBS and CBS Television Studios, Variety has confirmed.

The first project, set up at CBS, is based on the book “Things You Should Already Know About Dating, You F—ing Idiot,” which was written by Ben Schwartz and Laura Moses, due out later this year. The network is looking to develop the book as a single-camera comedy series that explores how millennials date. Schwartz and Moses will also write the series. Schwartz will executive produce along with Ferrell, McKay, and Kevin Messick. CBS Television Studios will produce.

The second project hails from Gloria Sanchez, the female-centric production arm of Gary Sanchez. It is a comedy series starring Isla Fisher, with the plot currently being kept under wraps. CBS Television Studios is about to go to market with the project. Erica Rivinoja will write with Jake Szymanski directing.

Both »


- Joe Otterson

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‘Game of Thrones’ Actor Talks Fighting With a Flaming Sword: ‘That’s Real Flames Every Single Time’

5 hours ago

Spoiler Alert: Do not keep reading if you have not seen Season 7 Episode 6 of “Game of Thrones,” titled “Beyond the Wall

Game of Thrones” kept the epic battle scenes rolling this week, with Jon Snow and his “Magnificent Seven”-esque team fighting off a horde of undead soldiers north of The Wall.

Richard Dormer, who plays Beric Dondarrion, got into the action for the first time since his Season 3 fight with The Hound, wielding a flaming sword and standing back-to-back with his burn-faced former foe as the wights descended on the team.

“It was like running a marathon in about 40 kilos of armor and seal skin, with only one eye and a flaming sword that kind of blinded my one good eye,” Dormer told Variety. “It was hellish, but it was worth it. Hard work. It took us five weeks to film that battle sequence.”

Complicating matters even further was the fact that Dormer’s flaming sword »


- Joe Otterson

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Our Staff Picks: TV Shows to Watch the Week of August 21, 2017

6 hours ago

Welcome back to Tune In: our weekly newsletter offering a guide to the best of the week’s TV.

Each week, Variety’s TV team combs through the week’s schedule, selecting our picks of what to watch and when/how to watch them. This week, “Game of Thrones” concludes its epic seventh season, while “The Tick” and “Disjointed” will both launch on Amazon and Netflix respectively.

Elián,” CNN, Thursday, 9 p.m.

This new documentary tells the story of Elián Gonzalez, a five-year-old Cuban boy rescued from the Florida Straits on Thanksgiving Day 1999, and how the fight over his future ignited simmering post-Cold War tensions between the U.S. and Cuba. Narrated by Tony Award-nominee Raúl Esparza, the film features personal testimony, including Elián’s story in his own words, interviews from people at the center of the events, and archival footage. The film is produced by Trevor Birney of Fine Point Films, and »


- Joe Otterson

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‘American Horror Story’: Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton Featured in ‘Cult’ Opening Credits (Watch)

6 hours ago

The opening credits for “American Horror Story,” which – in keeping with the anthology format of the show – change every season, always lay clues to the overall theme and mystery of that installment’s plot. For “American Horror Story: Cult,” the biggest hints to glean deal with how the recent political climate with come into play in the eagerly anticipated seventh season.

Continuing with the “hive” theme implied by much of the teaser imagery, the credits feature dark close-ups of bees swarming over a surface and crawling out of someone’s skin, as well as characters dressed up in the aforementioned Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton masks. Ghastly clowns are visible riding a carousel, there is a magician pulling a bloody object out of a hat, and an American flag dripping blood is featured. As series executive producer Alexis Martin Woodall announced during the FX Television Critics Assn. panel for the show, the »


- Erin Nyren

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VH1 Orders ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars’ Season 3 and More ‘Untucked’ (Exclusive)

7 hours ago

RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” will officially be back for a third season, Variety has learned exclusively. Additionally, VH1 has greenlit another season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked,” the behind-the-scenes after-show for the reality competition.

“The world is calling out to see more of these beautiful queens and I am going to give them every bit of it they can handle,” executive producer and host RuPaul says. “‘All Stars’ represent the best of the breasts, legs, and thighs. They are giving everything and you’re not going to want to miss it!”

The third installment of “All Stars” will mark the return of “Drag Race” to VH1 after moving there from sister Viacom network Logo. This will be the first time “All Stars” will run exclusively on VH1, which executive producer Tom Campbell tells Variety will give the competing queens a new and larger platform. “I think there’s going to be queens that the »


- Danielle Turchiano

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TV Ratings: ‘Big Brother’ Tops Quiet Sunday

8 hours ago

Sunday’s episode of “Big Brother” helped carry CBS to a win in the overnight ratings on a quiet night of mostly repeats.

Airing at 8 p.m., “Big Brother” averaged a 1.8 rating in adults 18-49 and 6.4 million viewers, making it easily the most-watched and highest-rated show of the night.

Afterwards, a new episode of “Candy Crush” (0.5, 2.4 million) was even at 9.

For ABC, “Steve Harvey’s Funderdome” (0.8, 4.2 million) was even, as was “The $100,000 Pyramid” (0.7,  4 million).

NBC aired the U.S. Gymnastics Championships (0.6, 2.9 million) and a repeat of “American Ninja Warrior.”

Fox aired the Usga Amateur Championships (0.3, 990,000) followed by repeats.

CBS won the night with a 0.9 and 4.9 million viewers. ABC was second with a 0.8 and 4.5 million. NBC was third with a 0.6 and 2.7 million. Fox was fourth with a 0.5 and 1.5 million. »


- Joe Otterson

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Universal Music Group Partners With ‘Beat Bugs’ Producers for Three New Music-Based Series (Exclusive)

8 hours ago

Universal Music Group (Umg) has partnered with production company Grace/Beyond (Gb) to develop three new music-based television series, Variety has learned exclusively.

Grace/Beyond’s principal partners — Josh Wakely (pictured above), Mikael Borglund and Trevor Roy — all serve as executive producers on the Netflix animated series “Beat Bugs,” which features re-imagined versions of Beatles’ classics by music superstars including P!nk, Sia, Eddie Vedder, Rod Stewart, and many others. Wakely also created the series.

“I think there’s an extraordinary hunger with these iconic artists and emerging artists for music-based content,” Wakely told Variety. “I think people are eager to experience music in all manner of ways and I got to experience and execute that with ‘Beat Bugs.’ To have access to Universal Music’s catalog is like being a kid in a toy store. Every day I wake up with a new idea for another artist.”

The first of the three new series is currently »


- Joe Otterson

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BBC to Air Harry Styles Special in November

13 hours ago

Harry Styles is to be the subject of the latest one-off entertainment special from the BBC, following in the footsteps of singers Adele and Michael Buble.

Harry Styles at the BBC” will see the former One Direction star perform tracks before a live studio audience from his bestselling self-titled debut solo album, as well as discuss his life and career with BBC Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw, it was announced Monday by BBC Music. The program will be recorded Aug. 30 in Manchester and will air on BBC One in November.

The one-hour program from BBC Studios will include Styles’ first television performances of several songs from his solo album. He will also chat about becoming a solo artist and his move into acting with Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk.”

“These shows are all about creating a world in which superstars like Harry feel incredibly comfortable and, alongside their brilliant, live performances, can simply have fun and enjoy revealing more »


- Robert Mitchell

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‘Game of Thrones’ Delivers an Astonishing Episode of Ice and Fire

20 hours ago

Spoiler Alert: Do not read if you have not watched “Beyond the Wall” the Aug. 20 episode of “Game of Thrones.”

It’s not always easy to tell what’s happening in any given episode of “Game of Thrones,” but Sunday night’s episode “Beyond the Wall” was an exception. During the extra-long episode’s climactic finale, the Night King killed a dragon! And then hauled it out of the water, with the apparent goal of turning it into… a zombie dragon. The episode’s final moment shows us Viserion’s eye opening — to reveal creepy peepers that are the same icy blue as the White Walkers’ eyes.

Never a dull moment in Season 7!

Beyond the Wall” is an involving episode, centering on Jon’s expedition north of the Wall to bring back a wight for the warring queens of Westeros. And yet it’s a confusing one, too. So much has happened so quickly that it’s »


- Sonia Saraiya

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