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Review: 'Boardwalk Empire' episode 3, 'What Jesus Said'

Steve Buscemi in "Boardwalk Empire" season 5, episode

(Credit: HBO / Macall B. Polay)

Just eight episodes long and two episodes in, “Boardwalk Empire” has already made a compelling case for another Best Drama nod for this, its fifth and final season. Sunday's third episode — “What Jesus Said” — continues to make the case, only less slightly. All in all, this remains a particularly fine season so far. 

Quickly, an overview without spoilers: Chalky (Michael K. Williams)...

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David Chase finally gets cranking on 'A Ribbon of Dreams'

David Chase at an HBO premiere at the

(Credit: Getty Images / Stephen Lovekin)

Well, it does appear we have something else to thank "True Detective" for -- it's gotten HBO and David Chase to put a little mustard in their efforts to get that long-aborning project, "A Ribbon of Dreams," back in the production pipeline. He just confirmed that he is actively writing a treatment for a series.

In a good interview just posted on the Daily Beast (and brought to my and maybe...

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'True Blood' series finale: A muted farewell

Sunday night's muted farewell of "True Blood" was

(Credit: YouTube / trueblood )

Obviously there was a time when "True Blood" was HBO's most important series - a genre-busting exploration of vampires, racism, sex, sin, social taboos and a handful of other topics that weren't specifically vampirical in nature but in some not hard-to-define way, human. Obviously, "True Blood" -- which ended Sunday night -- has not approached any where near that stature in recent seasons.


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'Girls' Season 4 teased in shortest trailer ever

Comedic triple threat Lena Dunham is the creator,

(Credit: AP, Invision / Dan Steinberg)

"Girls" will be back one of these days, but not soon enough to explain the baffling teaser released Friday morning. Take a look and be baffled/teased.

A few things deduced from this: It was shot May 1, Lena Dunham needs to take bike riding lessons, and bike helmets are a very good idea.  



Short-form Beyoncé series to launch on HBO

Singer Beyonce performs on her "Mrs. Carter Show

(Credit: AP)

Beyoncé -- who has a relationship with HBO going back to at least last year's much viewed "Life Is But a Dream" special -- will return to the network in a 10-part mini program series that draws from her performances in "Mrs. Carter Show World Tour."

How short? Four minutes... and here's the interesting part: Each of these mini-performance episodes will lead into "True Blood" beginning June 29. Each will start at 8:55 p.m.

Ask yourself the obvious question -- what Beyoncé or the tour have to do with "True Blood" -- and you will be forced to come up with the obvious answer: Nothing! But at least they'll benefit from the huge audience that will arrive each Sunday for the final season wrap of "True Blood."

The "Carter" tour, which ended in March, comprised 132 concerts in 27 countries. It was of course a huge event, and now, HBO/ "True Blood" fans will get a sanctioned (as opposed to a pirated YouTube) look at the highlights.  


'Game of Thrones' fourth season finale, 'The Children,' recap: Valar morghulis

Charles Dance in season 4 of "Game of

(Credit: HBO / Macall B. Polay)

With the rip-roaring fourth season of "Game of Thrones" now history, best to begin at the end of last night's finale, "The Children":

"Valar morghulis," Arya says to the initially reluctant captain, and with this High Valeryian phrase secures passage to Braavos - the "free city" on the edge of Essos, the vast unknown land across the seas where Arya's story moves next season.

He responds:...

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D-Day programming: NBC, the History Channel

From left, World War II veterans of the

(Credit: AP)

The 70th anniversary of D-Day today will be marked by at least two major programs -- on NBC ("Brian Williams Reporting: Journey to Normandy" at 8) and the History Channel. Meanwhile, if you are near a set, live coverage of D-Day ceremonies are being covered on CNN and MSNBC.

This is, of course, an enormously important anniversary, for how many veterans of that historical day will be around...

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HBO: 'Game of Thrones' has surpassed 'The Sopranos'

A deal between Amazon Prime and HBO will

(Credit: HBO)

"Game of Thrones" has officially become HBO's most popular series of all time, according to a source that should know: HBO. The network just announced, saying "Game" has an average gross audience of 18.4 million, which surpassed "The Sopranos," which set its high-water mark in 2002, at 18.2 million. An apples to oranges comparison, you say? Well...maybe. Millions certainly watch on HBO GO, and via DVR. "GO," of course, did not exist in the Jurassic age of TV, circa 2002. 

 Nevertheless, a remarkable stat. Here's the full announcement: 

With two episodes remaining in the fourth season of GAME OF THRONES, the show has now become the most popular series in HBO’s history. Episodes of the show, which debut Sunday nights (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT), have an average gross audience of 18.4 million viewers, surpassing the previous record set by the 2002 season of “The Sopranos,” which had an average gross audience of 18.2 million viewers per episode. Season three of GAME OF THRONES had an average gross audience of 14.4 million viewers per episode. The next episode of GAME OF THRONES debuts Sunday, June 8, followed by the season finale Sunday, June 15. Based on the bestselling fantasy book series by George R.R. Martin, GAME OF THRONES is an epic story of treachery and nobility set on the continent of Westeros, where summers and winters can last years, and only the lust for power is eternal. The Emmy®- and Golden Globe-winning series was recently renewed for a fifth and sixth season.

McConaughey signals interest in another 'True Detective'

Matthew McConaughey, left, and Woody Harrelson in "True

(Credit: HBO / Lacey Terrell)

He's in! Maybe! Matthew McConaughey - a lead-pipe cinch, as they say, to win the best drama/actor Emmy statue for "True Detective" in August - told Deadline's Mike Fleming that he's open to the idea of a "Detective" reprisal. Here's the pull quote: 

If you’d wanted sequels, you could have stayed doing movies? MCCONAUGHEY: I liked True Detective, the whole series and the experience of making it, so much that I’d be open to doing another one now. At the time, I was looking at six months and not beyond that. I don’t know of a feature film I’d sign for where I’m going to say, “If this works, you’ve got me whenever you want me for the next three years.

The will-he-or-won't-he question has tended to consume fans of "Detective," much as their many bucket lists of whom they'd like to see cast in the next edition. The last one was a huge hit for HBO - culturally and otherwise. The network is coyly holding its cards close, but McConaughey's interest would appear to be a game-changer, no? 

HBO to air 'Band of Brothers' on Friday, 70th anniversary of D-Day

"Band of Brothers" is a perfect binge project:

(Credit: Archive)

Here's a real treat for someone who has all day to sit in front of a TV set on Friday -- and seriously, this would not be a waste of time: HBO is airing the entire 10-part 2001 classic, "Band of Brothers," from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.  And of course, if you'd rather not, just check it out at HBO Go -- it's all there in all its glory, too. This really is however a wonderful series, and a great binge project, too.

Per HBO program notes, "B of B" is the story of "Easy Company, 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, U.S. Army. Starting with their rigorous training in Georgia in 1942, it recounts the achievements of the elite rifle company, which parachuted into France early on D-Day morning, fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and captured Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest at Berchtesgaden. Based on Stephen E. Ambrose’s acclaimed book of the same name, 'Band of Brothers'' chronicles a unit that took 150 percent casualties and became true American heroes."

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