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The latest news on TV from Business Insider

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    big little liars hbo nicole kidman reese whitherspoon

    After Sunday's delicious finale of "Big Little Lies," it's hard for many fans to cope with the idea that that could be it. Well, does it have to be the end? It depends on who you ask.

    In an interview with Vulture posted on Monday, the show's director and one of the executive producers, Jean-Marc Vallée, talked about the potential for another season, and it wasn't promising.

    "No, no, this is the perfect ending. There is no way; there’s no reason to make a season two," he said. "That was meant to be a one-time deal, and it’s finishing in a way where it’s for the audience to imagine what can happen. If we do a season two, we’ll break that beautiful thing and spoil it."

    The show wrapped its two big mysteries in the finale: who was violently bullying Renata's (Laura Dern) daughter and who was murdered during a fancy school fundraising event that involved all of the main characters. But the show left the door open for more developments by implying that the women were still being watched after the investigation was closed.

    While it's clear where Vallée stands on a second season, the show's two biggest stars offered a different take that makes it seem like more episodes are possible and even likely.

    Reese Witherspoon (who's also an executive producer) and Dern did a live talk on Facebook and Instagram on Sunday. During it, Witherspoon said there have been discussions about another installment of the show.

    "One of the main questions everyone keeps asking us is is there going to be a season two," Witherspoon said. "We've been talking with the writer [of the novel the show is based on], and you guys should Facebook Liane Moriarty and tell her how much you want to see 'Big Little Lies 2.' That would be good. She's thinking about ideas, and so we would love to hear ideas."

    And Nicole Kidman also registered her desire to continue delving into the characters' stories.

    “The backstory of Bonnie is complicated, and not fully explored, which is probably why we need to do a season two,” she told Entertainment Weekly about Zoë Kravitz’s character. “It indicates that every woman is holding some sort of secret or damage or something and that’s not fully explored. We don’t have any plans for a season two, but the beauty of this is there are so many deep stories here that are ripe for mining. There are so many different ways to go with all of these women."

    HBO hasn't publicly said whether a second season is under consideration. But if you've got big ratings, as "Big Little Lies" did, and the writer and A-list stars willing to return, then we have a hard time imagining HBO saying no.

    SEE ALSO: Everything you need to know about the 'Twin Peaks' revival

    DON'T MISS: Here are the surprising salaries for jobs in TV

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: HBO's 'The Young Pope' is inspiring lots of hilarious memes — here are the best ones


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    girlboss netflix

    Netflix just released the first trailer for its new series, "Girlboss."

    It's based on the best-selling 2014 book of the same name by Sophia Amoruso, the founder of the fashion brand Nasty Gal.

    Britt Robertson ("Under the Dome,""The Secret Circle") plays Amoruso in the 13-episode series debuting April 21. It follows the foul-mouthed mogul's climb from selling vintage clothes on eBay to building a multimillion-dollar fashion empire by 27 years old.

    It has some pretty big executive producers behind the show, including Amoruso, actress Charlize Theron, and Emmy-nominated "30 Rock" writer/producer and "Pitch Perfect" screenwriter Kay Cannon as the showrunner.

    Watch the "Girlboss" trailer below:

    SEE ALSO: People are quickly losing interest in 'Iron Fist,' Netflix's panned Marvel show

    DON'T MISS: Some lucky Netflix members have a cool new 'skip intro' button to make binge-watching better

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Watch the trailer for Netflix's new $90 million fantasy-thriller starring Will Smith


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    big little lies reese witherspoon Madeline Mackenzie hbo ratings

    "Big Little Lies" ended its critically acclaimed run with huge ratings.

    Sunday's finale episode was watched by 1.9 million people, according to Deadline. That's a 34% rise in viewership over the previous week's episode. But what's even more astounding about the finale ratings is that the episode tops a three-week streak of ratings highs for the show. In fact, Sunday's ratings were 64% higher than the show's premiere episode in February.

    What that typically means is that positive word of mouth contributed to a huge increase in people tuning in to "Big Little Lies" about halfway through the seven-episode season.

    As we argued earlier, while the show was intended for just one season, the willingness of its stars to return and its high ratings performance mean that HBO will almost certainly explore how to extend the story.

    If "Big Little Lies" were to be renewed for another season, it would follow a similar decision by HBO for "True Detective," which was intended for a limited run but is currently being eyed for a third season. "The Night Of," which aired as a one-season series originally, is also reportedly being considered for a second season.

    SEE ALSO: Here's why there's probably going to be a 'Big Little Lies' season 2

    DON'T MISS: Everything you need to know about the 'Twin Peaks' revival

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This 90-year-old producer found the magic formula for making money in Hollywood


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    Vin Diesel Jimmy Fallon NBC final

    If you follow Vin Diesel on social media, you know that he's a fan of doing karaoke. He's sung everything from Rihanna's "Stay" to an "Oliver Twist" song to "audition" for James Corden's "Carpool Karaoke."

    "The Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon brought up Diesel's singing talents on the show Monday night.

    "Where is this going?" Diesel asked.

    And before the action star knew it, Fallon brought a microphone from under his desk.

    "But the little twist, I thought it’d be kinda fun if, since it’s 'The Tonight Show,' we wanna do something different. This microphone has a chipmunk filter,” Fallon said.

    Diesel took the mic and sang a moving rendition of Bill Withers' classic "Lean on Me," in a high-pitched chipmunk voice.

    Check it out for yourself below:

     

    SEE ALSO: RANKED: The 28 best car chases in movie history

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The first full 'Justice League' trailer is here and it looks incredible


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    FX Legion

    After a lot of success in translating its comic superheroes to the big screen, Marvel has made an unprecedented push to do the same thing in television.

    While there are currently six Marvel TV series, there are at least 11 more shows based on Marvel comics that are in production or being developed right now.

    The path to TV hasn't been a smooth one. Last year, ABC canceled the low-rated "Agent Carter" series. And "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." is one of ABC's lowest-rated shows. Plus, after a string of critical successes for Marvel shows at Netflix, "Iron Fist" was hammered with negative reviews.

    In light of the bruising critics gave "Iron Fist," we took a look at review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, which assigns a fresh percentage score based on reviews, to see how it ranked against other Marvel shows.

    Here's how the Marvel TV shows rank, according to critics:

    SEE ALSO: Here are the surprising salaries for jobs in TV

    DON'T MISS: The 18 worst new TV shows of the year so far, according to critics

    6. "Iron Fist" (Netflix)

    Finn Jones stars as the orphaned hero with the killer punch and multimillion-dollar fortune  on "Iron Fist."

    Rotten Tomatoes score: 17% fresh

     



    5. "Daredevil" (Netflix)

    Charlie Cox plays the blind superhero with a hankering for vigilante justice on "Daredevil."

    Rotten Tomatoes score: 87% fresh



    4. "Legion" (FX)

    Dan Stevens plays the longtime psychiatric patient who finds out his visions and mental powers actually don't mean he's crazy, and he could be the most important player in an ongoing mutant war, on FX's "Legion."

    Rotten Tomatoes score: 90% fresh



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    seth meyers donald trump michael flynn russia investigation late night nbc

    Seth Meyers focused on yet another twist the in the investigation into ties between Russia and President Donald Trump's campaign on Monday's "Late Night."

    "As of right now, there is still no conclusive evidence connecting the dots that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to help them win the election," the host said. "But there are so many dots. We are covered in dots. The Trump presidency is basically a 6-year-old with chicken pox. And the rest of us are so f---ing itchy."

    One dot Meyers explored was the request for immunity from prosecution from Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, in exchange for his testimony to congressional intelligence committees and the FBI.

    Flynn stepped down in February, after 24 days in his post, amid reports that he had misled administration officials about his discussions with the Russian ambassador before Trump was inaugurated. Flynn also famously led "lock her up" chants about Hillary Clinton during the Republican National Convention.

    "These days, Flynn is apparently trying to make sure he doesn't get locked up," Meyers said. "There's been a lot of speculation and uncertainty about what exactly a request for immunity means. Does it mean Flynn is worried about criminal prosecution? Or is he just afraid he can't get a fair hearing?"

    To help answer those questions, Meyers looked to statements Flynn and Trump had made in which they referred to immunity requests as signs that a crime was committed.

    But it seems Trump has changed his mind. He tweeted his approval of Flynn's request, calling the investigation a "witch hunt."

    "OK, but I don't know if I would take legal advice from Donald Trump," Meyers said. "Remember, he's been involved in more than 3,500 lawsuits. And just to give you a sense of what 3,500 looks like, here's a photo of 3,500 people," Meyers said as a photo of the crowd at Trump's inauguration popped on the screen.

    Watch the latest edition of "A Closer Look":

    SEE ALSO: A Trump impersonator just got his own late-night show on Comedy Central

    DON'T MISS: John Oliver slams 'Devin f---in' Nunes' for his role in Trump's 'stupid Watergate'

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Michael Flynn's comments about immunity last year are coming back to bite him


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    defenders teaser netflix marvel

    Netflix and Marvel just released a new teaser for their upcoming "Defenders" series without an official announcement, and it reveals an August debut date.

    In the black-and-white, 17-second teaser, Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter), and Danny Rand (Finn Jones), aka Iron Fist, are in an elevator together. At one point, Jessica takes out the elevator's security camera with a headbutt. At that moment, the camera's timestamp reads 08:18:20:17. That refers to August 18, 2017, or when "Defenders" will come out on Netflix.

    Netflix didn't immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

    Watch the "Defenders" teaser below:

    SEE ALSO: Every Marvel TV show ranked from worst to best, according to critics

    DON'T MISS: People are quickly losing interest in 'Iron Fist,' Netflix's panned Marvel show

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Netflix and Marvel just dropped the first 'Iron Fist' trailer — and it looks incredible


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    jordan klepper daily show comedy central

    Comedy Central has chosen "Daily Show" correspondent Jordan Klepper to host a new show in the coveted time slot after Trevor Noah.

    The cable channel described the yet untitled new talk show as a companion show to "The Daily Show." It will air Monday through Thursday at 11:30 p.m. beginning this fall.

    "Jordan's talent has become so increasingly obvious it would take a real fool to not offer him this opportunity," Comedy Central President Kent Alterman said in a statement on Tuesday.

    Klepper started on "The Daily Show" in 2014 under Jon Stewart and became the senior correspondent under Trevor Noah. Viewers will recognize him from his popular field pieces from the Trump campaign and post-election rallies.

    The announcement arrives about a year after Comedy Central announced it was canceling Larry Wilmore's "The Nightly Show." The spot after "The Daily Show" was also previously held by Stephen Colbert's "Colbert Report."

    SEE ALSO: 'The Daily Show' went to a Trump rally, and it's like the bitter election never ended

    DON'T MISS: VH1 is in the middle of a ratings resurgence and beating its cable competitors — here's why

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 'That hypocrisy is also real' — Jon Stewart takes liberals to task for calling all Trump supporters racist


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    big little lies women running

    This post includes spoilers for the HBO show "Big Little Lies."

    HBO's "Big Little Lies"ended with a series of twists that tied the entire show together. And while it all works out neatly in the show, there are some differences from the Liane Moriarty book it adapts.

    The changes are mostly small, but they fill out some important details and character motivations. Why, for example, was it Bonnie who killed Perry and not someone else? And why is Madeline so obsessed with "Avenue Q"?

    Here are 10 major differences between the "Big Little Lies" book and HBO adaptation, and what they tell us about the story:

    1. The whole story takes place in Australia, not California.

    The book version of "Big Little Lies" takes place in a made-up town called Pirriwee, in Australia. It makes sense, since Liane Moriarty is Australian. The HBO adaptation, though, is set in the seaside town of Monterey, California. Like Monterey, Pirriwee is a wealthy town with good schools, which is what makes it attractive for Jane and Ziggy.

    2. Bonnie had a better reason to kill Perry.

    In the show, Bonnie pushing Perry down the stairs and killing him comes as a surprise. She's an important character, to be sure, but a secondary one, so it's hard to guess that she'd even meet Perry, much less kill him.

    Moriarty's novel fills out more of Bonnie's backstory. As a child, Bonnie hid under the bed while her father beat her mother. Furthermore, in the book, there's a verbal exchange between Perry and Bonnie, where Perry denies hitting Celeste. Bonnie, enraged at the lie, pushes him.

    big little lies bonnie elvis fundraiser party

    3. Bonnie confesses.

    Also in the television show, Celeste, Madeline, Jane, and Bonnie all conspire to cover up how Perry died, saying it was an accident rather than the result of a deliberate push.

    In the book, the characters try to cover it up, but Bonnie ends up telling the truth to the police. She's found guilty of "involuntary manslaughter by an unlawful and dangerous act" and sentenced to 200 hours of community service, but no prison time.

    4. Celeste knows Perry is "Saxon Banks."

    Jane knows her rapist only as a fake name he gave her: Saxon Banks. In the television show, the name is a mystery. But when Celeste hears about Jane's story, she recognizes the name as one of Perry's aliases. "Saxon Banks" is the name of Perry's cousin, and also a name Perry used himself to get out of trouble when he was a kid. Madeline makes the same realization on her own, as well, when she finds out Banks is Perry's cousin.

    In Moriarty's book, the two women hide that information from Jane. But in the television show, there's no indication Celeste or anyone else knew that Perry was "Saxon Banks" until Jane spotted him beating Celeste outside of the school fundraiser.

    big little lies perry

    5. Perry never goes to therapy.

    In the HBO adaptation, Celeste and Perry go to therapy together at first before Celeste secretly continues it on her own. It's a valuable moment in the show, which makes it seem like Perry, at least at first, had misgivings about his violent tendencies and wanted to become better.

    In the book, it's only Celeste who attends therapy sessions.

    6. There's no "Avenue Q" subplot.

    That whole miniseries subplot where Madeline tries to get "Avenue Q" in the community theater and cheats on Ed with the theater director? That doesn't happen in the book. Madeline is faithful to Ed.

    7. In the book, Abigail launched a website to auction off her virginity.

    As in the television show, Abigail, Madeline's eldest daughter, has a project to sell her virginity to the highest bidder in order to raise awareness for Amnesty International. In the book, her project successfully goes online, and it's implied that Celeste secretly makes the highest bid so Abigail doesn't have to actually lose her virginity to anyone. In the series, Madeleine talks her out of it.

    big little lies abigail

    8. Madeline has a son.

    In addition to Abigail and Chloe, Madeline has a son named Fred who was taken out of the mix for the HBO adaptation of the book.

    9. Madeline starts an erotic book club.

    It takes a little pressure off a high-drama town like Pirriwee, but there's no such subplot in the HBO adaptation.

    10. The book complicates Jane's trauma.

    The way the television show portrays it, Jane was raped by a random abusive stranger who left, never to be heard from again and leaving her pregnant with Ziggy.

    The book goes into more detail about Jane's rape, revealing that Perry was more explicitly abusive, and showing what she went through in the aftermath of her attack.

    11. Celeste speaks publicly about her abuse.

    Like the miniseries, the book focuses on the value of female solidarity in abusive situations. Moriarty's novel makes that explicit. In an epilogue, a year after Perry was killed, Celeste speaks publicly about domestic abuse, stressing that, "This can happen to anyone." She also offers financial support for Jane and Ziggy after finding out that Ziggy is Perry's son.

    SEE ALSO: RANKED: The 28 best car chases in movie history

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This animation shows how terrifyingly powerful nuclear weapons have become


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    louis ck stephen colbert donald trump late show cbs

    Louis C.K. made headlines last year after he sent an email disparaging then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and calling him "Hitler."

    On Tuesday's "Late Show," the comedian said he regrets sending it, but doesn't take back his words.

    "I don't take it back, I regret it. There's a difference," C.K. told host Stephen Colbert. "I regret saying it. It doesn't mean it's not true. It's a messy thing. It's how I was feeling at the time. And I said it... If you went back and fixed all the mistakes you've made, you erase yourself. There's no point to that."

    C.K. further explained that he didn't realize how many people would receive the email and was shocked at the media coverage of the email, concluding, "That's not what I do for a living. That's not what I'm trying to accomplish."

    The comedian then told Colbert how he thinks differently about Trump since that email last year.

    "Right now, I guess he's not as profound as I thought he was," C.K. said. "I thought he was some new kind of evil, but he's just a lying sack of s---. It's just simple. It's simpler than I thought."

    C.K. broke down the type of "liar" he thinks Trump is.

    "Like there's liars. Sometimes people lie. That guy lied. They found out that he lied. Then, there's someone who lies once in a while, can't quite stay in the boundaries of truth, somebody who lies sometimes. Then you have a liar, who somebody who's almost like it's a problem. They can't help it. They lie a lot. Then you have just a lying sack of s---. And that's just somebody who's just ughhhh... They just lie. They like it. He likes it. He goes, 'It wasn't even true. And then I said they were liars,'" the comedian said.

    "It's just gross. He's just a gross, crook, dirty, rotten, lying sack of s---," he added, to thunderous applause from Colbert's audience.

    Watch the interview below:

    SEE ALSO: Seth Meyers connects the 'dots' in the investigation into Trump's alleged ties to Russia

    DON'T MISS: John Oliver slams 'Devin f---in' Nunes' for his role in Trump's 'stupid Watergate'

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Trump's approval rating plunged to 35% in just 69 days — here's how that compares to other presidents


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    master of none season 2 poster

    Netflix just released the first trailer for the highly anticipated second season of its Emmy-winning show "Master of None," which will return Friday, May 12.

    The trailer is clearly infused with an international style and music, which reflects Dev's (Aziz Ansari) travels abroad on the upcoming season.

    According to Netflix, he'll return to New York City with fresh points of view from his trip. He'll also be recharged and ready to tackle the challenges of his personal and family life, a new career opportunity, and a burgeoning relationship with someone who could be the one.

    Ansari and the show's cocreator and executive producer Allan Yang won an Emmy for writing on the show last year. It was also nominated for lead actor, directing, and outstanding comedy series.

    Watch the trailer below:

    SEE ALSO: 3 reasons Aziz Ansari took his critically acclaimed new show, 'Master of None,' to Netflix

    DON'T MISS: Netflix just released a stealthy new teaser for its giant superhero show 'Defenders'

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This is our best look yet at Bill Nye's new Netflix show


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    The Red Wedding

    When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. It's violent, vicious, and not for the faint of heart.

    Over the past six seasons, a lot of people on "Game of Thrones" have died. It's a game of survival, and you're lucky if you've made it this far. 

    Some of these characters came back from the dead. We barely knew some of them, and we knew a lot of them so well that we shed a tear or two (or two-hundred) when we watched them die on our TV screens. And some? We couldn't wait for them to die, and when they did, we were cheering.

    On a scale of 1 to 10 (with some exceptions), we ranked 90 notable deaths (and semi-deaths) from the series — basically, the deaths of characters who had names, had more than a few lines, and/or had some kind of impact on a major plot point or a major character. Hopefully it gives fans closure while they wait longer for the next season to arrive.

    Here are 90 "Game of Thrones" deaths ranked from the least sad to the most sad:

    Note: The Hound is exempt from this list. He was presumed dead and that was very sad for all of us, but turns out he never actually died. Direwolves are also exempt.

    SEE ALSO: Every HBO show ranked from worst to best, according to critics

    90. Ramsay Bolton

    Ramsay Bolton was Roose Bolton's bastard son who had a penchant for extreme violence against innocent human beings. He was briefly married to Sansa Stark, and tortured Theon Greyjoy for several seasons. He also killed his dad, his stepmom, and his baby brother. And Rickon Stark. And Osha. And a lot of other people.

    Time of death:  Season 6, episode 9, "Battle of the Bastards"

    Cause of death: Sansa leaves him to be eaten by his own hounds.

    Sadness ranking: -25. Ramsay's death is probably the most satisfying one on this whole show. His violence was gratuitous and he had zero redeeming qualities. Nobody loved him, not even his dad. 



    89. Joffrey Baratheon

    Starting with the execution of Ned Stark, Joffrey proved that he was completely out of control and wouldn't listen to anybody. He was a terrible king, and also a terrible person. 

    Time of death: Season 4, episode 2, "The Lion and the Rose"

    Cause of death: Poisoned by Petyr Baelish and Olenna Tyrell at his wedding to Margery Tyrell. 

    Sadness ranking: -10. The only sad thing about Joffrey's death is that we don't get to hate him anymore. Joffrey was responsible for the untimely deaths of a lot of people who didn't deserve it.



    88. Walder Frey

    Walder Frey was the Lord of the Crossing at the Twins, and for a brief period, the Lord of Riverrun. He had over 100 descendants, and so many daughters that he didn't even know some of their names. He never had a good reputation in Westeros, and was often called the "Late Walder Frey" after delaying his assistance in Robert's Rebellion until it was already won. 

    Time of death: Season 6, episode 10, "The Winds of Winter"

    Cause of death: Arya Stark slits his throat after feeding him a pie made out of his own sons.

    Sadness ranking: -8. He's responsible for the Red Wedding, plus he's really gross. Not sad, not even a little bit. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    This Game of Thrones wedding was so accurate it even had its own direwolf. It turned out much better than the typical Westerosi wedding. 

    Photography: Katherine Elena Photography

    Videography: Dorn-Long Films

    Venue: Smithmore Castle | Planners: Something Perfect and Events by Elizabeth Ashley | Dress designer: RCB Fashion | Hairstylist: Mirror Bomb Studio | Makeup Artist: Lauren Nicole Cirillo | Invitation suite: Writing On Hearts |  Flowers: Fuschia Moss Floral Design  | Wolf dog: Full Moon Farm Wolfdog Sanctuary | Models: Austen Taylor Mauney, Courtney Edelman, Max DiNatale | Cake: Celestial Cakery

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    Amber Nash Pam Poovey Archer Dreamland

    There are a couple of big changes this season for the long-running animated series "Archer." But one of its stars is sure that the show will be just fine.

    First off, the show will make the move to FX's sister channel for comedy, FXX, with its season premiere on Wednesday.

    Fans will remember that the shift was to occur a few years back, but didn't actually happen.

    "We’re always a little fearful that the audience isn’t going to follow," Amber Nash, who plays Pam Poovey on "Archer," told Business Insider when we sat with her in New York City this week.

    On Wednesday, FXX announced it had canceled its dating comedy, "Man Seeking Woman,"after three seasons on the channel. So, it's not like FXX shows are immune from the harsh realities of TV competition. But Nash sees the move for "Archer" as a vote of confidence from the company.

    "I think the cool thing is that the reason that they’re sending us there is because we’re a strong show and they want us to anchor their animation that they are getting into," Nash said. "And the other thing is that since the last time we were going to move there and we ended up not moving there, there’s so many strong comedies on that network."

    Currently, FXX's slate includes the comedies "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and "You're the Worst"– both FX transplants as well.

    archer dreamlandIn addition to moving to FXX, the next installment of "Archer" will be another standalone season titled "Archer: Dreamland."

    The season takes place in Archer's mind (after being almost killed on season seven) and in 1947. He will be a private investigator who's looking into the murder of his partner, Woodhouse (who fans will recognize as an homage to Archer's deceased former butler). All the other characters will play new roles in the past period, as well.

    "This is such a great time period, 1947. It looks so gorgeous," Nash said. "The crazy thing that people wouldn’t know, unless they work in animation, was they had to go back and re-do all the backgrounds. They had to do all new costuming for the characters. Everything is so different and new. Over the years, the technology has changed so much. It’s an incredibly beautiful show. That’s super-exciting too."

    Previously, "Archer" also strayed from its central story on its fifth season, titled "Archer: Vice." So Nash knows that some fans won't be happy with "Archer: Dreamland," but the actress feels that the show needs to try new things.

    "When we did season five, ‘Archer: Vice,’ we were super-excited, because it was different. Some people loved it and some people hated it," she told us. "I think if you’re a comedy [show] and you’re going to stay relevant and fresh, you’ve got to take risks. And when you take risks, not everyone is happy. So I think it’s going to happen again this season. People are going to be super onboard and people will want things to be the same."

    SEE ALSO: The new season of 'Archer' takes place in 1947 — watch the trailer

    SEE ALSO: The stars of 'Archer' reveal their favorite running jokes on TV's best spy comedy

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: An actor from 'The League' has been telling this bogus 9/11 story for the past 14 years


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    rating netflix

    In just a decade, Netflix has grown from a video service with seven million U.S. subscribers to one that reaches 93 million people worldwide.

    Its growth and ability to break into well-established industries – first video rental, now television and film – is a rare accomplishment. In my book “Portals: A Treatise on Internet-Distributed Television,” I explore how Netflix and other internet-distributed video services forced the existing television industry to radically change its practices.

    At the same time, many have struggled to understand Netflix’s strategy. With other services entering the video on-demand market, how has Netflix continued to evolve and build its subscriber base?

    The seeds of niche TV

    When Netflix first launched in the late 1990s, it distributed DVDs – mainly films – by mail. The convenience of the service disrupted the existing film rental industry and eventually led to its demise.

    Television, meanwhile, was experiencing a renaissance. Cable channels began running series with complex storylines– such as “The Sopranos” and “The Shield” – that were targeted at niche audiences. Because many of these channels earned revenue from both subscribers and advertisers, they could be successful even if these programs didn’t reach a mass audience.

    blockbuster store closing

    Then, during the early 2000s, advances in compression technology– coupled with more homes gaining access to high-speed internet services – allowed large video files to be easily streamed over the internet.

    These developments set the technological stage for Netflix to evolve its business from DVDs by mail to a national video streaming service, which it launched in 2007.

    Soon, television series became an integral part of its business model. By the summer of 2016, television accounted for 70 percent of the service’s streaming.

    Different model, different strategy

    For years, television was distributed by broadcast wave– a revolutionary technology that sends a wireless signal over huge swaths of the country. But broadcasting technology can send only one message at a time to everyone in its range.

    Because video streaming services such as Netflix (what I call “portals”) deliver programming “on demand” via the internet, viewers can choose what and when to watch instead of watching “what’s on.” So where a traditional channel’s task is to develop a schedule, the key task of a portal is cultivating a library of programs.

    This leads to different business strategies that, in turn, lead to different programs.

    HBO westworld episode 2 announcementBroadcast networks and cable channels make money by selling audiences to advertisers. Netflix (and many other portals, including Amazon Video and SeeSo) are subscriber-funded: Viewers pay a monthly fee for access to the library of content.

    Of course, HBO has also long relied on subscribers, which explains the distinctiveness of many HBO programs, despite its distribution by cable. (HBO launched the portal HBO Now in 2015 to better match its subscriber-funded revenue model with a technology that makes its library of programs available on demand.)

    To succeed, subscriber-funded services must offer enough programming that viewers find the service worthy of their monthly fee. Each show doesn’t need a mass audience – which is the measure of success for advertiser-funded television – but the service does need to provide enough value that subscribers continue to pay.

    Many portals provide this value by offering a very specific type of programming. For example, to justify its monthly fee, WWE Network offers subscribers more access to wrestling matches and wrestling-related content than fans can watch anywhere else. Similarly, Noggin, a portal with programs for preschoolers, makes ad-free programming available for young children.

    Netflix's nooks and crannies

    Yet Netflix doesn’t try to offer content geared to a single audience with a specific interest. Nor does it aim for a mass audience. So how does Netflix – with its 93 million subscribers – pull it off?

    Netflix has adopted what I call a “conglomerated niche” strategy: It develops programs for a handful of – maybe a dozen – different audience interests. These include complicated serial dramas (“House of Cards”), action series (“Daredevil”), horror series (“Hemlock Grove”) and exclusive films starring a popular actor (Adam Sandler).

    This is possible only because internet distribution allows Netflix to serve those different audiences simultaneously and separately. Most Netflix subscribers might not even realize how many programs Netflix offers, since its subscribers usually aren’t exposed to programs that they probably won’t be interested in.

    Netflix can also do this because internet distribution enables it to gather extensive data about its subscribers’ behavior, which it then uses to cultivate its library and provide users with likely desired content. Netflix is notoriously tight-lipped about what data it collects, but its ability to gather viewing data from a global audience has enabled the service to recognize micro-genres and then patterns of viewer interest.

    If you were to ask different Netflix subscribers about the service’s brand, you’d likely get different responses. There is no one Netflix; rather, think of it as an expansive library with many small nooks and rooms. Most subscribers never wander floor to floor. Instead, they stay in the corner that matches their tastes.

    Some other portals, such as Amazon Video, follow a similar strategy. But television and film streaming are a small part of the company’s overall enterprise. Hulu is both similar and different. Since Hulu is a joint venture of the companies that own Disney, NBC and Fox, its library is mostly filled with shows owned by these companies.

    A quest for global domination

    Some in the U.S. have doubted whether Netflix can maintain its market dominance based on a seeming lack of innovation and erosion of its U.S. library in recent years.

    But Netflix hasn’t grown complacent. With 49 million American subscribers– which makes it available in 43 percent of U.S. households – the U.S. market has less opportunity for growth. For this reason, Netflix has aggressively pivoted to stake claim as the first global television network.

    This doesn’t mean Netflix is the same everywhere. Right now its library varies considerably because the norms of international television trade – built before internet distribution – required that distributors license shows to individual countries or regions. Netflix increasingly seeks global rights to the series it develops, which will make future additions to its library available to subscribers around the world.

    Here, too, Netflix isn’t simply distributing shows produced for U.S. audiences. It also develops original series for subscribers in non-U.S. markets that are also available to U.S. subscribers – for example, “Marseille,” a French political drama; or “Hibana,” a Japanese drama about the country’s competitive comedy scene. As the number of subscribers from other countries has grown, so, too, has Netflix’s library of original content.

    No television distributor has ever been able to reach a truly global audience. Netflix’s experiment as a global, subscriber-funded television portal may be the next chapter of television history.

    SEE ALSO: Here's everything coming to Netflix in April that you need to watch

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    jeff bezos amazon ceo blue origin rocket

    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., April 5 (Reuters) - Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos said on Wednesday he is selling about $1 billion worth of the internet retailer's stock annually to fund his Blue Origin rocket company, which aims to launch paying passengers on 11-minute space rides starting next year.

    Blue Origin had hoped to begin test flights with company pilots and engineers in 2017, but that probably will not happen until next year, Bezos told reporters at the annual U.S. Space Symposium in Colorado Springs.

    “My business model right now … for Blue Origin is I sell about $1 billion of Amazon stock a year and I use it to invest in Blue Origin," said Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon.com and also the owner of The Washington Post newspaper.

    Ultimately, the plan is for Blue Origin to become a profitable, self-sustaining enterprise, with a long-term goal to cut the cost of space flight so that millions of people can live and work off Earth, Bezos said.

    Bezos is Amazon's largest shareholder, with 80.9 million shares, according to Thomson Reuters data. At Wednesday's closing share price of $909.28, Bezos would have to sell 1,099,771 shares to meet his pledge of selling $1 billion worth of Amazon stock. Bezos' total Amazon holdings, representing a 16.95 percent stake in the company, are worth $73.54 billion at Wednesday's closing price.

    For now, Kent, Washington-based Blue Origin is working toward far shorter hops - 11 minute space rides that are not fast enough to put a spaceship into orbit around Earth.

    Blue Origin has not started selling tickets or set prices to ride aboard its six-passenger, gumdrop-shaped capsule, known as New Shepard.

    The reusable rocket and capsule is designed to carry passengers to an altitude of more than 100 miles (62 km) above the planet so they can experience a few minutes of weightlessness and see the curvature of Earth set against the blackness of space. Unmanned test flights have been underway since 2015.

    blue origin new shepardAt the symposium, Bezos showed off a mockup of the passenger capsule, which sports six reclined seats, each with its own large window. Also on display was a scorched New Shepard booster rocket that was retired in October after five flights.

    Like fellow tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, founder and chief executive of SpaceX, Bezos says that reusability is the key to cutting the cost of space flight. Last week, SpaceX re-launched a rocket for an unprecedented second mission to put a spacecraft into orbit.

    “The engineering approach is a little different, but we’re very like-minded,” Bezos said of Musk.

    Blue Origin is developing a second launch system to carry satellites, and eventually people, into orbit, similar to SpaceX's Falcon 9 and Dragon capsule.

    Development costs for that system, known as New Glenn, will be about $2.5 billion.

    There is no estimate yet for how much Bezos will invest overall on Blue Origin. But Bezos has indicated he will spend what it takes.

    “It’s a long road to get there and I’m happy to invest in it,” Bezos said.

    According to Forbes magazine, Bezos has a net worth of $78 billion.

    (Reporting by Irene Klotz; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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    Stephen Colbert Jenner CBS final

    Though it sought to unite, a new Pepsi ad featuring Kendall Jenner divided many. It sparked a flood of negative reactions on social media, leading to Pepsi pulling the ad and apologizing on Wednesday.

    "The Late Show" host Stephen Colbert had a field day with the ad on Wednesday night, closing his monologue by skewering the commercial, in which Jenner, a model and the daughter of Caitlyn Jenner and Kris Jenner, presses pause on her luxurious life to join a group of attractive multiracial protesters. The ad ends with her handing a Pepsi to an equally attractive police officer watching the protesters.

    "So far, we don't know what has caused all of America's hot extras to take to the streets, but I'm guessing it's a protest for 'Attractive Lives Matter,'" Colbert said.

    Colbert also pointed out the signs that the protesters' signs, which said things like "peace" and the puzzling "join the conversation."

    Pepsi Ad"'Join the conversation' — that's the most corporate message of all time," the host said. "They might as well be holding signs that say 'We are all the core demographic.'

    "This commercial ends with a message even more profound than 'join the conversation,'" Colbert added, alluding to the final text in the ad, "live for now."

    "'Live for now,' especially if you're Pepsi's marketing department, because I don't think you guys are going to be there for long," he said.

    Watch Colbert talk about the ad:

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    seth meyers donald trump fox news channel late night nbc

    Seth Meyers dedicated Wednesday's "A Closer Look" on his "Late Night" to the cozy relationship between President Donald Trump and Fox News Channel.

    "Fox is basically the closest thing we have to state TV," the host said. "In fact, the relationship between Trump and Fox News has turned into something of a mutual appreciation society, where they heap praise on one another."

    Meyers pointed to Trump's many tweets citing Fox News reports and urging his followers to watch its programs, including a recent episode of "Justice with Judge Jeanine," in which the host blamed House Speaker Paul Ryan for the failure of the GOP healthcare bill and called for him to step down. Meyers also mentioned when Trump complimented "Fox & Friends" during a press conference, a clip the program later replayed to host Steve Doocy's shock.

    "The president literally just recommends TV shows now," Meyers said. "Instead of a Bible, Trump should have been sworn in on a TV Guide."

    Meyers allowed that there are a few Fox News hosts who have covered Trump "skeptically," mentioning Shepard Smith and Chris Wallace. But more often, according to Meyers, Fox News rewards Trump's support with favorable coverage and he then gives them preferential treatment.

    "They give him glowing, unquestionable coverage, and in return, he gives them unparalleled access," Meyers said. "They’ll go to absurd lengths to defend him. Like on Friday, Fox News host Eric Bolling tried to compare President Obama's first quarter in office, which was dominated by the financial crisis, to President Trump's first quarter — a comparison so dumb even his fellow panelists started laughing at him."

    But Meyers argues the close ties became even more problematic when Trump defended Bill O'Reilly against allegations of sexual harassment earlier this week, amid an exodus of more than 20 advertisers from Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor."

    "Soon the only advertisers left on his show are going to be Ivanka Trump's clothing line and Steve Bannon's skin worsener," Meyers joked.

    "So this is the network that the president relies on for information," Meyers added, "a network with an archaic culture of sexual harassment, fear, and intimidation that also serves, with a few exceptions, as a propaganda arm."

    Watch Seth Meyers latest "A Closer Look" below:

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    Sean Spicer

    If you've ever watched White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer conduct one of his daily press conferences, you know things can get a little rowdy.

    "The Daily Show" had the takeaway that Spicer treats the press like misbehaving kids. And so the show on Wednesday night decided to use a class of kindergartners to show that what Spicer says fits right in with the kids' classroom setting. 

    The bit, which is on the show's Facebook page, has Spicer taking questions and being interrupted constantly, which leads to him reprimanding the reporters — or in this case, children. And then there's one girl's dogged question about when the class will learn about Russia.

    Watch the video below:

     

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    samantha bee ivanka trump white house donald full frontal TBS

    Samantha Bee hoped to dispel the belief that Ivanka Trump is a moderating force in her father President Donald Trump's administration by highlighting Ivanka in "Full Frontal's" tongue-in-cheek segment "The Great Feminists in Feminism Herstory Hall of Fame."

    Ivanka joins other "feminist" luminaries honored in the segment, such as former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and conservative commentator Ann Coulter.

    "Tonight, we honor the only actual high-end project Trump ever completed," Bee said of Ivanka on Wednesday's episode.

    Ivanka has certainly generated headlines for her role in her father's administration and for recently sitting for an interview with CBS News, in which she claimed that she spoke up to her father when they disagreed on issues. She was given an office and later an official job at the White House. The job was described as serving as her father's "eyes and ears."

    "Yikes! If Ivanka is supposed to serve as her dad's eyes, she'll be spending a lot of time staring at her own boobies," Bee joked. 

    "Ivanka's official title is assistant to the president," Bee added. "Wishful thinkers are hoping that's code for 'your secret progressive buddy.'"

    But Bee pointed out that Ivanka, a former Democrat, seemingly hasn't been able to change her father's mind on environmental issues. After she famously set up a meeting between her father and former Vice President Al Gore to discuss climate change, the president appointed climate change denier Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

    "She's not going to convince her dad that climate change isn't a Chinese hoax," Bee said. "Anyone with a dad knows they have invincible old-man-opinion strength."

    Bee acknowledged that Ivanka was reportedly able to stop her father from signing an executive order that would have taken away President Barack Obama-era workplace protections for the LGBT community. But the host didn't cut her much more slack than that.

    "So at most, Ivanka has stopped one out of 24 appalling executive orders," Bee said. "That's only one more thing than Tiffany [Trump] has stopped. But that sorry track record hasn't stopped people from thinking of Ivanka as ['The Hobbit's'] Lady Galadriel of the very white council."

    "Look, I get it," Bee added. "People are comforted by the thought of a progressive feminist in the White House. To which I say if you wanted that, you should have voted for it."

    Watch Samantha Bee's segment below:

    SEE ALSO: Seth Meyers examines the relationship between Trump and Fox News, his 'propaganda arm'

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