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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

HBO renews 'Game Of Thrones' for two more seasons

Posted: 08 Apr 2014 08:40 PM PDT

The popular TV show premiered its fourth season earlier this week.

The HBO fantasy epic Game Of Thrones has been renewed for two more seasons, the premium cable network said on Tuesday, two days after the show's season four premiere drew the network's biggest audience in seven years.

The series about civil war, nobility, mythical creatures and treachery was seen by an average of 6.6 million viewers on Sunday in the US, topping its all-time high audience of 5.5 million.

It was the biggest audience for Time Warner Inc-owned HBO since the 2007 finale of mafia drama, The Sopranos, which drew 11.9 million viewers.

Emmy-winning Game Of Thrones is adapted from author George R.R. Martin's A Song Of Ice And Fire novels. It stars Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage and 16-year-old Maisie Williams.

The series averages a gross audience of 14.4 million per episode, which includes viewers who record the show to watch later, a popular option for the network's viewers.

The season four premiere saw the Stark family coming to terms with the slaughter of main family members in the epic Red Wedding episode of the previous season. Audiences saw the young Arya Stark, played by Williams, take a dark, cruel turn as she exacts revenge for her family. — Reuters

Benedict Cumberbatch to play King Richard III

Posted: 08 Apr 2014 11:05 PM PDT

The actor will play the British monarch in a TV movie produced by Sam Mendes for BBC Two.

Benedict Cumberbatch, best known for playing the title role in Sherlock, will play Machiavellian tyrant King Richard III in a made-for-TV production adapted from William Shakespeare's Richard III.

The project will be the latest addition to the BBC Two's The Hollow Crown series, which features TV adaptations of the famous playwright's works on British monarchs. Since June 2012, the channel has aired adaptations of Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V in which the historic kings were played respectively by Ben Wishaw, Jeremy Irons and Tom Hiddleston.

Cumberbatch, who has appeared with increasing frequency on the silver screen lately (12 Years A Slave, The Fifth Estate, The Hobbit), will take a break from film in summer 2015 to topline the Barbican Theatre's production of Shakespeare's Hamlet. Coincidentally, his Sherlock co-star Martin Freeman is also heading to the stage to play a monarch. In a play at Trafalgar Studios from this July to September, the actor will portray none other than Richard III. — AFP Relaxnews

Can Will Graham make it out of the darkness?

Posted: 07 Apr 2014 09:00 AM PDT

Tremendous pressure and excitement going into second season for show creator.

IN a strange twist of events, the first season of Hannibal ends with FBI criminal profiler extraordinaire Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) sent to a dungeon cell at the Baltimore Psychiatric Hospital on murder charges, while Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) remains a free man.

This cell looks very much like the one occupied by Dr Hannibal Lecter in The Silence Of The Lambs, a film based on the book written by Thomas Harris.

This TV show, which is a reinterpretation of Harris' series of suspense novels featuring Hannibal Lecter, has given nods to the award-winning movie starring Anthony Hopkins. Still, it is a surprise when one of the promotional pictures for the series' second season has Will in a restraining mask not unlike the one worn by Hopkins in that film.

In a transcript with creator Bryan Fuller, courtesy of AXN, he acknowledged that there is tremendous pressure and excitement going into the second season because of how the series ended its first.

"We subverted the Hannibal Lecter legacy by putting Will Graham where Hannibal Lecter should be ... so that gives us a whole new playing field where we get to play with the iconography of Hannibal Lecter in the institution but it is actually Will Graham and he is an innocent man whom no one believes and he's out to get justice and also a little bit of revenge," Fuller said.

In the guise of being Will's psychiatrist and friend in the first season, Hannibal engaged the troubled FBI profiler in a number of mind games which concluded with Will getting framed for all the murders Hannibal has committed.

"At the end of the first season, Will Graham has a moment of clarity for the first time over the entire arc of the show. Up until that point, he is a very confused, tortured, tormented man and then we give him this moment of clarity – that Hannibal Lecter did this to me – so Season Two is really about him coming out swinging. What is his strategy? How is he going to get justice? How is he going to bring Hannibal down and it's going to take the entire course of the season to find out.

"Will was the hunted in the first season and now he is a bit of a hunter trying to figure out how he can trap Hannibal Lecter from the confines of a mental institution, which is no small task. So he has to have a plan and carry it through very meticulously in order to pull it off because no one in the world believes him."

The second season explores how Will is going to do just that when he is trapped within the four walls of the institution. Also, Hannibal is not a man who is easily rattled – he has always managed to turn any obstacles to his advantage.

"The challenge for the second season was how to keep Will Graham active, how to keep him integrated into the story in a way that has him driving it from a place of seclusion and also containment," said Fuller.

"So that was a challenge that I think we rose to the task of seeing how Will Graham is going to be able to manipulate not just Hannibal Lecter but all the characters in the piece to get to the ultimate goal of proving that Hannibal Lecter did this to him."

Catch new episodes of Hannibal every Tuesday at 10pm on AXN (Astro Ch 701). From May 8 onwards, Hannibal will air every Thursday at 10pm.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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