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‘Game of Thrones’ Teases ‘The Sight’ Ahead of Season 5

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Winter is coming, and so is “Game of Thrones” season five. While one will get here much sooner than the other, HBO has devised a way to help us survive the dark days ahead with a mysterious new website: ThreeEyedRaven.com. The cabler teased the new viral scheme with a short video featuring Arya Stark (Maisie… Read more »

‘The Hobbit’ Battles Its Way to Top TV Ad Spend Position

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In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by iSpot.tv, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” debuted at No. 1 with an estimated spend of $7.6 million that bought 843 national airings across 47 networks, led by MTV and Esquire. Both “Exodus: Gods and Kings” and “Penguins of Madagascar” rose… Read more »

NBC Hopes ‘Peter Pan Live’ Can Fly to New Heights

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It’s a beautiful, busy afternoon in Neverland. The emerald-green fiberglass lagoon is glistening. The synthetic rosebush trees are in full bloom, and the scent of freshly cut lumber wafts through Stage 1 at Grumman Studios on Long Island. It’s only been a day since the company mounting NBC’s “Peter Pan Live” musical moved onto the… Read more »

Jay Leno Prize Sparks What-Ifs After the Latenight Wars

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Friends and admirers said all the right things in presenting Jay Leno the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize for comedy, an event commemorated with a 90-minute PBS special. Leno “did it clean. He did it with dignity,” said Robert Klein. “Thanks for making standup first,” said “The Daily Show’s” Al Madrigal. The former “The Tonight Show”… Read more »

Despite Detractors, Bro-Country May Be a Bellwether of Nashville’s Future

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No one can quite agree where “bro-country” started, and most of its primary practitioners are hesitant to embrace the label. Nonetheless, the sudsy, party-hearty, hip-hop inflected, Ft. Lauderdale-fetishizing style that has seen the likes of Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, Jake Owen and others notch chart-topping records over the past two years, is a subgenre that’s thriving. And despite the hand-wringing it may inspire in country purist circles, it may go a long way toward sketching out the future of Nashville pop.

Film Music Feels the Love of European Festivals

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Film music seems to get a lot more respect at film festivals in Europe than in the U.S. Take Belgium’s Film Festival Gent, which ran Oct. 14-25, including a concert of Nino Rota’s movie music performed by the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra, and culminating in the World Soundtrack Awards. Both affairs stood as testaments to the… Read more »

CMT’s Artists of the Year Special Encourages Musicians to Cut Loose

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By the time December rolls around, the last thing most music acts want is to trot out for another awards show, having already gotten dolled up for the Grammys, American Music Awards and countless other black tie events. So when Country Music Television needed to come up with a tentpole event for the end of the year, it knew it had to create a “low stress and high fun” evening, says John Hamlin, CMT’s senior VP of music events and talent. Thus, CMT’s Artists of the Year special, which celebrates its fifth edition Dec. 2, was born.

CMT Honors Merle Haggard as the Artist Continues to Roll On

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Merle Haggard’s nearly seven-decade career finds the California native still on the road and in the studio and with a legacy of matchless songwriting and recording highlights ranging from such signature tunes as “Okie From Muskogee” and “Swingin’ Doors” to the truly timeless, like “Today I Started Loving You Again” and “Mama Tried.” It’s easy to see why CMT’s poll of 100 country music figures chose to honor Haggard as Artist of a Lifetime. Along with such towering figures as Jimmie Rodgers, Hank Williams and Johnny Cash, Haggard’s creative output and impact on the art and the industry is immeasurable.

Gotham Fest Celebrates Fierce Independents

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The Gotham Independent Film Awards, an event that bills itself as the kickoff to the film awards season, is entering its 24th year. But it wasn’t until 2004 that the ceremony started to resemble similar kudofests — including its West Coast sibling, the more conspicuous Film Independent Spirit Awards — by introducing best feature and… Read more »