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October 20, 2014

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Fred Willard Books 'The Closer' 100th Episode, 'Game of Thrones' Grows and More Casting News

by Chris Harnick, posted Aug 29th 2011 3:00PM
Fred WillardFred Willard is stopping by 'The Closer' just in time to celebrate the TNT drama's 100th episode.

According to EW, Willard will play Santa. Sort of.

Willard's character is the owner of a Christmas village and he has delusions he's the real Santa Claus. Look for a serious casualty to happen -- via a zip line -- at the character's village.

The veteran actor was last seen on TV making a cameo on 'Franklin & Bash.'

In other casting news ...

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'Glee' Star Moves to 'The Middle,' 'SVU' Actress Joins 'Days of Our Lives' & More Casting News

by Chris Harnick, posted Aug 24th 2011 4:30PM
Chord OverstreetChord Overstreet is going from high school student to fourth grade teacher. The 'Glee' actor has booked a guest role on ABC's 'The Middle.'

According to EW, Overstreet will play Ralph Wilkerson, a new fourth grade teacher to Brick (Atticus Shaffer).

Look for the character's teaching methods to conflict with the Heck family's relaxed parenting style.

Overstreet, who was offered a new recurring contract on 'Glee' but turned it down, will appear on the Sept. 28 episode of the ABC sitcom.

The series kicks off Season 3 on Sept. 21 at 8PM.

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'Game of Thrones' Expands Its Roster of European Locations

by Maureen Ryan, posted Aug 22nd 2011 1:30PM
As is the case in the book series on which it is based, the world of 'Game of Thrones' is continuing to expand.

HBO has confirmed that parts of the upcoming season will be filmed in Croatia and Iceland.

Croatia will supply locations for some of the southern parts of Westeros, the fictional kingdom in which the drama takes place. Not surprisingly, the well-informed fan site Winter is Coming has extensive intel on the locations we can expect to see on the show.

The 700-foot Wall, the far northern Westeros location that is home to the men of the Night's Watch, was the setting of many of my favorite season 1 moments. As you'll recall, Jon Snow and the men who serve in the Night's Watch help protect Westeros from the fearsome creatures beyond the Wall's icy bulk. Some of the season 2 scenes set beyond the Wall will be shot in Iceland, HBO said Monday.

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Jason Momoa Says 'Game of Thrones' Helped Land Him 'Conan' Title Role (VIDEO)

by Nick Zaino, posted Aug 16th 2011 3:00PM
Jason Momoa, aka Khal Drogo on 'Game of Thrones' and 'Conan the Barbarian,' on 'Access Hollywood Live'Playing a muscle-bound TV warrior gave Jason Momoa the opportunity to play a muscle-bound warrior on the big-screen. The actor told Kit Hoover Tuesday on 'Access Hollywood Live' (weekdays, syndicate on NBC) that his intimidating performance as Khal Drogo on HBO's 'Game of Thrones' landed him the starring role in the movie reboot of 'Conan the Barbarian,' which opens Friday.

On 'Thrones,' Drogo is a chieftan who leads his hordes into battle. Momoa said his performance impressed the 'Conan' people. "I did the haka," said Momoa, "which is like this Maori war dance, war chant, and it's very intimidating and scary, and obviously the same casting director was there for Conan.

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Interview with 'Game of Thrones' Author/Producer George R.R. Martin: Part 2

by Maureen Ryan, posted Aug 12th 2011 1:00PM
When my initial review of 'Game of Thrones,' which was decidedly mixed, appeared online, one of the responses I saw on the Internet amused and mildly irritated me. Some of the grumbling amounted to, "But what does she know -- she liked 'Spartacus'!"

It amused me because, as most critics do, I judge each show independently and on its own merits; if, by law, I am required to review expensive HBO series favorably and basic-cable shows unfavorably, well, I didn't get that memo. And I'm fully willing to admit (as are most of people who make 'Spartacus') that the first couple of episodes of that show aren't good. But if you watched the Starz show until at least the midpoint of the first season, it became a gripping saga that worked as an action-adventure story, a soapy melodrama and a well-constructed, emotionally compelling drama.

And hey, guess what? George R.R. Martin, the man who created the books on which HBO's 'Game of Thrones' is based, is also a fan of 'Spartacus'! I would say "Nyah nyah" or "Oh snap!" at this point, but I'm far too mature and evolved to do something like that. Much.

In any event, Martin and I talked about much more that our mutual affinity for the gladiator drama in Part 2 of our interview (Part 1 is here, by the way). We discussed magic, "comfort fiction" and his approach to the next book in his 'Song of Ice and Fire' series, among other things.

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Interview with 'Game of Thrones' Author/Producer George R.R. Martin: Part 1

by Maureen Ryan, posted Aug 11th 2011 1:00PM
I'm on vacation this week and next, but thanks to the magic of technology, I've pre-posted a two-part interview with George R.R. Martin, the man behind the books that are being adapted into HBO's 'Game of Thrones' series. Martin and I conversed at Comic-Con, and I've edited and slightly condensed that chat into two main parts.

Martin not only created the 'Song of Ice and Fire' book series on which the HBO drama is based ('A Game of Thrones' is the first book of that series, and the fifth tome, 'A Dance with Dragons,' is the most recent), he was also a co-executive producer on the first season of the show, all of which gives him a special perspective on all things 'GoT,' which just won Best New Drama at the Television Critics Awards.

In Part 1 of the interview, Martin talks about the various subsections of his fandom, responses to the TV adaptation by HBO and "sexposition," a word that was invented by critic Myles McNutt during the first season of 'GoT.'

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Linus Roache Dusts off 'Law & Order' Character for 'SVU,' 'Smallville' Actor Flies to 'Chuck' & More Casting News

by Chris Harnick, posted Aug 9th 2011 3:00PM
Linus RoacheLinus Roache is bringing back Michael Cutter, his 'Law & Order' character, for a spin on 'SVU.'

According to TVLine, Roache will appear in the Season 13 premiere of 'Law & Order: SVU.' The character now oversees the Special Victims Unit as bureau chief of the district attorney's office.

"I am very happy to be bringing Michael Cutter back to life and exploring how he has evolved into his new position of being a bureau chief and possibly even a mentor," Roache said in a statement. "I think Special Victims is going to be an area where Cutter's passion for justice can really come forth."

'Law & Order: SVU' premieres on Wed., Sept. 21 at 10PM.

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John Corbett Returns to 'Parenthood,' 'Alphas' Books Major Nerd Bait & More Casting News

by Jean Bentley, posted Aug 2nd 2011 7:00PM
John CorbettJohn Corbett is reprising his role as Lauren Graham's ex on 'Parenthood' this season. The former 'Sex and the City' stud will drop into town for several episodes as Seth, the alcoholic father of Sarah's character.

"Just when everything seems to be going well between Sarah and Mark [Jason Ritter], Seth shows up and he's kind of in a darker place than he's been," creator Jason Katims told TVLine. "And so you see Sarah really having to struggle with wanting to help him and be there for him, but also at the same time [be fully present] in this relationship with Mark that's really good and healthy."

Also going on in the Braverman world: Brittany Belt will play Haddie's BFF who disapproves of her relationship with Alex, TVLine reports.

In other TV casting news ...

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George R.R. Martin and HBO Executives Talk About the Future of 'Game of Thrones'

by Maureen Ryan, posted Jul 29th 2011 1:15PM
Nothing is certain except death and taxes, as the old saying goes. So there is a chance that 'Game of Thrones' won't run for years on HBO. But based on what the network's executives said Thursday to the media at the Television Critics Association press tour, 'GoT' fans shouldn't be too worried about the show having a short life span.

HBO executive Richard Plepler put it plainly: "We told George we would go as long as he kept writing."

George is George R.R. Martin, the author of the books on which the TV show is based. After the remarks from Plepler and fellow HBO executive Michael Lombardo below, I've got a long excerpt from an interview I did with Martin at Comic-Con last week. But first, there's more on what the executives said about 'Game of Thrones' future at TCA press tour.

The executives' positive statements are good news for fans of 'Game of Thrones,' but at the Thursday HBO session, critic Ellen Gray raised the specter of 'Deadwood,' a period piece with a fervent following that ended in a sudden and mystifying way well before fans (and possibly even creator David Milch) were ready to let it go.

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All in the Family: Incest on TV

by Stephanie Earp, posted Jul 26th 2011 4:00PM

I suppose it says something about where we're at with incest that I barely blinked when 'Game of Thrones' introduced us to Queen Cersei and her brother Jamie Lannister, only to show them in flagrante during the first 50 minutes of the show's premiere. If confronted with this sort of behavior from real people, I'm pretty sure I'd say more than, "But isn't that her twin brother? Ohhhhhh." But when it comes to fictional people, lately it seems like a little inter-genetic action is par for the course.

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Comic-Con 2011: Extensive Highlights of the 'Game of Thrones' Panel

by Maureen Ryan, posted Jul 22nd 2011 2:00AM
Snagging a seat at 'Game of Thrones' first panel at Comic-Con. Is there anything that could make a nerd's heart gladder? Not really.

A few extremely random impressions from the packed 'Game of Thrones' panel at San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday: 'GoT' fans love Kit Harington, Jason Momoa and Peter Dinklage; George R. R. Martin, who wrote the books on which the HBO series is based, did a brisk job of keeping things moving (I'm thinking he'll be asked back next year); and there's no word yet on when the show's season 1 DVDs will come out.

One tasty set of extras that will be on that DVD set: The actors' audition videos. The "haka" war dance that Jason Momoa did to win the role of Khal Drogo is something to see, executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss told the crowd of 4,200 'GoT' fans.

What follows is a summary of the hourlong panel, which kicked off with a clip reel of the main events of the show's first season. [Be aware that what follows contains plot information about season 1. It does not contain spoilers for season 2.]

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'Game of Thrones' Casts Key Season 2 Roles of Stannis and Melisandre

by Maureen Ryan, posted Jul 19th 2011 2:30PM
Update: EW reported one more bit of 'Game of Thrones' casting news late Tuesday: 'Camelot' veteran Liam Cunningham will play Davos Seaworth. Now all three of the major season 2 roles have been cast.

And I'll be interested to see what the Irish actor makes of the role, considering I've always thought of Davos as a mostly functional character who more or les exists so that readers of Martin's books could get updates on what was happening in Stannis' part of the world. But Cunningham is quietly excellent in 'Outcasts,' a UK series that is is airing on BBC America this summer.

EW has broken news that 'Game of Thrones' fans have been anxiously waiting for. We finally know who will play Stannis Baratheon, one of the contenders for the Iron Throne, and the show has also cast the role of the powerful priestess Melisandre.

Though I'd personally been hoping that Gina Torres would be cast as the sorceress Melisandre, who acts as an advisor to Stannis, the role went to Dutch actress Carice van Houten. EW says her credits include 'Repo Men' and 'Valkyrie.'

British actor Stephen Dillane, who played Thomas Jefferson in HBO's 'John Adams' and Leonard Woolf in 'The Hours,' among other roles, will play Stannis, who was frequently spoken about near the end of the show's first season.

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Summertime Is Ask Mo Time: Talking 'Game of Thrones,' 'Psych,' 'True Blood' and More

by Maureen Ryan, posted Jul 19th 2011 2:00PM
Thanks to everyone who posted or emailed TV questions! Let's get right to them:

Matthew: I have a little dilemma. I know you weren't the biggest fan of the first couple episodes of 'Game of Thrones,' but from the minute the pilot began, I have been in love with every second of the epic series. Anyway, my love for all things 'GoT' has made me insanely hungry for next season.

My question is, as someone who has never read the books, should I dive into the novels to satisfy my craving, even though I will effectively be spoiled for the rest of the run? Or should I stay with just the series until it ends? A friend already spoiled [an event] at the end of episode 9, and I couldn't help but feel cheated. What do you think?


Mo says: Hey Matthew, I was iffy on the first few episodes of 'GoT,' but I had become a big fan by the time the first season drew to a close. From about the middle of the season onward, I think the show generally went from strength to strength and the last few episodes of season 1 were absolutely terrific (you can find my weekly 'GoT' recaps here). Like you, I'm very eager for 'GoT' to return, but alas, we have almost a year to wait before that happens.

My gut-instinct response regarding the book question is...

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Emmys 2011: Watch Clips of the Best Drama Series Nominees Here (VIDEO)

by AOL TV Staff, posted Jul 14th 2011 11:00AM
The 2011 Emmy nominations were announced today, and that's all anyone in the TV world can talk about.

Of course our readers know how much we love to analyze everything TV (see our Best Comedy Nominees video playlist and critic Mo Ryan's take), but sometimes clips speak louder than words. So we've rounded up the best moments of each of the nominated shows to give you a better idea of the competition's playing field.


Here, a TV Replay clip from each of the 2011 Emmy Best Drama Series nominees.

There's 'Mad Men,' 'Dexter,' 'Boardwalk' Empire,' 'Game of Thrones,' 'Friday Night Lights,' and 'The Good Wife.' Watch the highlights of the shows right here, then tell us who you think will take home that golden statue come Emmy night.

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'Game of Thrones' Casts Role of Brienne, George R.R. Martin Delivers 'Blackwater' Script

by Catherine Lawson, posted Jul 8th 2011 6:05AM
Gwendoline Christie and Polly BorlandAll the pieces are falling into place for 'Game of Thrones' Season 2 ... More exciting news for fans as author George R.R. Martin makes two big announcements.

The fan favorite role of Brienne, Maid of Tarth has been cast. And, he's delivered the first draft of his 'Blackwater' episode to producers.

British actress Gwendoline Christie snagged the coveted role of Brienne after nailing her audition.

Martin had earlier given fans a teaser as to the identity of the actress, writing in his online journal that: "The she-wolf of France has stormed the barbican. The Aussie turned her into a bunny."

Martin said "This was another one of those cases where there was hardly any debate. The day the first batch of auditions went up for the role, we looked at a dozen actresses who were reading for Brienne and one actress who WAS Brienne."

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