Fall TV Preview 2017: What to Watch This Season

Alias Grace Netflix; Nov. 3 premiere It’s a golden era for Margaret Atwood adaptations. “Alias Grace,” written and produced by Sarah Polley, is Netflix’s answer to Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” — though not so dystopic. Atwood’s style is distinctive, but this is quite a different story from “Handmaid’s”: For one, it’s a period piece; for… Read more »

‘Game of Thrones’: How HBO Beat Its Hackers

When hackers unlocked troves of plot secrets about “Game of Thrones” and other HBO shows, they may have thought HBO would pay a king’s ransom to keep them from leaking everything. But HBO refused, and and that gamble appears to have paid off.

At least so far.

The hacking group calling itself Mr. Smith demanded over $6 million in bitcoin from HBO to prevent leaks of files, the most prized of which contained “Game of Thrones” Season 7 scripts and information for unaired episodes.

But HBO appears to have held its ground by offering a mere pittance that hackers did not accept, leading to weekly data dumps over the ensuing two months — including a detailed outline of Sunday’s Season 7 finale.

Also Read: ‘Game of Thrones’: Key Events in the Series So Far (Photos)

Only one actual episode of “Thrones” leaked this season, but HBO has said that was unrelated to the hack. HBO declined to comment for this story.


The leaks didn’t stop “Thrones” from hitting numerous viewership highs in recent weeks, including for Sunday’s finale. The repercussions from the hackers’ leaks appear to have been insignificant.

Did viewers deliberately avoid spoilers?

“Leaks, spoilers and indeed illegal downloading do not affect the desire to view live among fans who are committed to seeing episodes as soon as they air, whether it is a popular series such as ‘GoT’ or a cult favorite such as ‘Supernatural,’” Rhiannon Bury, an associate professor at Athabasca University, told TheWrap.

Bury, co-author of “Television 2.0: Viewer and Fan Engagement with Digital TV,” said fans appreciate “feeling like one is a part of something communal on a national and even global scale.” Tweeting along adds to that sense of community.

“Viewing ‘GoT’ on Sunday nights needs to also be understood as a leisure activity that is part of one’s personal routine for X number of weeks,” Bury added.

Also Read: HBO Hackers Leak ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7 Finale Secrets

Brian Ott, professor and department chair of communication studies at Texas Tech University, doesn’t believe that a sense of a community is enough to explain why fans wait. The jaw-dropping spectacles of “Thrones” encourage fans to watch the show as it is meant to be seen.

Also Read: What Should HBO Do About the Hacker Ultimatum?

“Most ‘GoT’ viewers are not casual viewers — they’re fans,” said the co-author of “It’s Not TV: Watching HBO in the Post-Television Era.” “So they don’t want to be exposed to anything that would spoil the viewing experience for them. When I miss an episode of ‘GoT,’ I just plain avoid social media so as not to be exposed to spoilers until I can watch the episode.”

Shawn McIntosh, assistant professor of English and communications at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and co-author of “Converging Media,” said hackers may have underestimated how much “fantasy and sci-fi fans tend to be very devoted to their series and characters in ways that more realistic series don’t engender to the same degree.”

“I do think there is something to be said about a sense of loyalty among ‘GoT’ fans or a sense of not wanting to spoil their viewing experience, that other series — such as ‘Orange Is the New Black’ — I don’t think had,” McIntosh continued.

That Netflix show was also the victim of hackers.

Related stories from TheWrap:

When Does ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8 Start?

Why Did ‘Rick and Morty’ End With Savage ‘Game of Thrones’ Burn?

‘Game of Thrones’ 101: A Timeline of Cersei and Jaime’s Complicated Relationship (Photos)

‘Game of Thrones’: Everyone Arya Stark Has Killed So Far (Photos)

Emmy Parties 2017: Hollywood’s Hottest Invites (Updating)

Last updated: Monday, Aug.28

Emmy voting wraps up Monday night at 10 p.m. PT.

With that deadline, the campaigns that began days after the Oscars are finally over. Now the fun part — 12 hours of Emmy awards shows split over three nights. There are also about 35 official and unofficial parties stretching from now until the afternoon after the big show.

Also Read: Emmys 2017: Nominees From ‘Veep,’ ‘This Is Us’ and ‘Black-ish’ Do Drinks Together (Photos)

Here’s the Party Report’s guide to where Donald Glover, the grand dames of “Feud: Bette and Joan,” “Westworld” cyborgs, and “This Is Us” breakouts will celebrate the year in TV.

Thursday, Sept. 14, 8 p.m .
The Highlight Room

(Courtesy of Instagram.com/TheHighlightRoom)

Boozy, packed, and going late, the symbiotic talent, publicity and media cliques loves this annual jaunt.

Many may be missing out this year as Audi moves to a more intimate space — the Highlight Room atop the Dream Hollywood in Hollywood. (Last year, this party served as opening night for last year’s sparkly West Hollywood venue debut, Catch.)

Audi is an official TV Academy partner. That means they’ll be shuttling hundreds of nominees and presenters to the two Creative Arts Emmys, the main show, and this bash. Because Audi is studio and program agnostic, they draw well from across the spectrum of nominated actors, directors, and producers.

No need to worry about falling in the pool while sauntering out of one of the cabanas — it will be covered.

Also Read: Emmys 2017: Insider Details on 23 Parties Toasting This Year’s Nominees

Entertainment Weekly’s Pre-Emmy Party
Friday, Sept. 15, 8 p.m.
Sunset Tower Hotel

Laverne Cox poses with  Zac Posen at EW’s 2016 Emmy bash. (Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly)

When Donald Glover supervises the dance circle and Cuba Gooding Jr. gets down with stars of “Orange is the New Black” like he did at last year’s event,  it’s a real party.

The Party Report once called this the Vanity Fair Oscar Party of the Emmys. This rings more true as Jess Cagle and Henry Goldblatt move in to the Sunset Tower, VF’s former Oscar night HQ. Last year’s EW ringmaster, DJ Michelle Pesce, is back to get many many stars of TV off the walls.

We have no idea how they are going to fit everyone in to this intimate space without a major build out.

The TV Industry Advocacy Awards
Friday, Sept. 15, 5 p.m.

Keegan-Michael Key, Chrissy Metz, and a star from “Stranger Things” will be honored for their charitable work in an intimate, quieter event on the Emmy weekend calendar. Full details here:

Also Read: Why Chrissy Metz Is Guaranteed to Win at Least One Trophy on Emmy Weekend

Performers’ Nominee Reception
Friday, Sept. 15, 7 p.m.
Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Beverly Hills

There are lots of good reasons to go to the Academy’s official pre-party for the most celebrated of all nominees, the actors.

The most overlooked incentive is the free year-long subscription to People magazine (print or digital – your choice) handed out in the goodie bags. Rarely is a Hollywood sponsorship this on-the-nose and organic. Good job, everyone.

The highlight: All the nominees take a class picture, like the one above from last year.

Saturday, Sept. 16, 2 p.m.
The Garden at the Beverly Hilton

Confusing awards weekends, the Brits’ premiere arts advocacy and networking group brings their popular Emmys weekend party to the home of the Golden Globes for the first time. BBC America sponsors the afternoon soirée.

Also Read: Why the Oscars’ Envelope Snafu Didn’t Hurt Its Chances With Emmy Voters

FX and Vanity Fair
Saturday, Sept. 16, 5 p.m.

FX has 55 nominations.

With that many faces from “Atlanta,” “FEUD: Bette and Joan,” “Fargo,” and “Better Things,” John Landgraf and company deserve the two parties they are having. After this one, they will do it again the next night with their corporate cousins from Fox TV and the Fox Studios. George Clooney and Rande Gerber’s Casamigos Tequila will be poured at this one in Century City.

MPTF’s 11th Annual “Evening Before” Fundraiser
Saturday, Sept. 16, 8 p.m.
The Lawn at Century Park

Kevin Tsujihara, Peter Roth, and Jeffrey Katzenberg at the “Evening Before” in 2015.(MPTF)

The Jon and Vinny’s guys are cooking. That’s reason alone to seek out this precious invite, if your cold, dark, uncharitable heart would not otherwise have made a big enough donation to support aging film and TV veterans in their time of need. Corporate partners include Delta Air Lines, Ford, Netflix, People TV, and Target, so if you know someone at one of those companies, maybe they will take you. Otherwise, call Jeffrey Katzenberg back when you’re an A-lister.

Also Read: ‘Black-ish’ Creator Kenya Barris on Preparing for Yara Shahidi to Leave the Show for College (Video)

Sunday, Sept. 17, After the Telecast

Governors’ Ball
LA Convention Center

Eleven years before gold medals will be handed out in the convention center for table tennis and basketball at the 2028 LA Olympics, the theme of this year’s Governors’ Ball is “Golden Grandeur.” Why does this party need a theme at all? There have been some embarrassing ones over the years, like waiters masked with face paint.

Since there is no booze inside the show itself, the theme should be “thank the lord that long boring show is over.” With hundreds of glasses of champagne cued up by the entrance, it already kind of is.

Fox, FX, 20th Century Fox TV and Nat Geo


FOX Chief Gary Newman, Sarah Paulson, Ryan Murphy, and Fox Chief Dana Walden on Emmy night last year. (Getty Images)

This is the second of FX’s two weekend bashes, with corporate cousins from FOX broadcasting, the studio, and Nat Geo. That means you’ll see “This Is Us” stars roaming here as well. With all of FX’s prestige talent like Donald Glover, Susan Sarandon, Jessica Lange and Ewan McGregor mixed in with the hilarious and criminally under-appreciated Pamela Adlon, this is a hot ticket.

They are smart to keep this downtown.

Also Read: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Star Elisabeth Moss Talks Show’s Politics, Teases Season 2

HBO Emmy Night
Fountain Plaza at the Pacific Design Center

Inside a previous HB

HBO always packs an elaborate production design in to their Emmy night bash. This year, they are taking design inspiration from a British seaside royal residency built “in the style of India and China”.  A thirty foot wide chinoiserie pagoda and a garden of giant jade trees will be a central focal point.  Billy Butchkavitz returns to design the event for the 19th Emmy night in a row.  Wolfgang Puck will be cooking a massive buffet dinner.

AMC, BBC America, and IFC
Boa, West Hollywood

Calling all “Planet Earth II” fans!

While the iguana that outran death by a snake herd and the fighting dinosaurs will not be on the list, 600 other guests of the “smart” channels  will flock inside. “Planet Earth II” is the most nominated nonscripted/nonfiction show. Take that, drag queens, singing wannabes, castaways, Bachelorettes, dancing has-beens, and Snoop Dogg.

Together, these nets have 23 nominations. Myles Hendrik is on the decks.

But wait … there’s more …

An Emmy newcomer from Italy is keeping the party going sixteen hours after the telecast ends. Ferrari Trento, the Academy’s sparkling wine partner from northern Italy, is finishing off Emmy season by bringing its award-winning wines to an Italian luncheon downtown on Monday afternoon.

The Golden Globes are four months away … carb up, Hollywood.

All events are private and by invitation only.

Please send invitations, bookings, and updates to the party patrolling columnist at Mikey@thechimp.net.

Miss ‘Game of Thrones’? Here Are 8 Other Shows to Binge Until It Returns (Photos)

For the zombie lovers: The Walking Dead

For any of you Team Night King, you can get your zombie fix with “The Walking Dead,” which has walkers galore. And lucky for you, seven seasons on Netflix means you have plenty to binge all winter.

For the romantics: Outlander

This show is also based on a fantasy series, about Claire Randall, who is transported back and forth between two different time periods–and two different husbands. You can watch it with your Amazon Prime account.

For the political savvy: House of Cards

For those who love long, winding, storylines about complicated politics of ruling, meet Frank and Claire Underwood. The award-winning Netflix original will be sure to satisfy your need for fictional political drama.

For the fan theorists: “Westworld” 

If you predicted Jon Snow’s heritage in Season 1 and find yourself deep in Reddit threads after each episode, “Westworld” will fill the void for you. With flashbacks that don’t look like flashbacks and robots that might be human–and humans that might be robots–you’ll have plenty of rabbit holes to go down.

For the genre-TV obsessed: “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

The genre-TV show that started it all. Many credit “Buffy” as opening the door to all your favorite genre shows, proving it could be a smash hit, from “Game of Thrones” to “Doctor Who.”

For more strong female characters: “Orphan Black”

Tatiana Maslany has 11 different characters on the BBC America sci-fi drama to broad critical acclaim. The show follows a girl who discovers she has several clones after witnessing the death of a girl who looks just like her.


Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7 Finale Breaks Series Ratings Records

‘False Promises’: Did Anthony Scaramucci Just Compare Trump’s White House to ‘Game of Thrones’?

‘Game of Thrones’ 101: A Timeline of Cersei and Jaime’s Complicated Relationship (Photos)

‘Game of Thrones’: Everyone Arya Stark Has Killed So Far (Photos)

Apple Set to Unveil New iPhone on September 12

Apple is set to debut a host of new devices — including the next generation iPhone — at its annual product-announcement event on Sept. 12, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The world’s biggest tech company will unveil three versions of the iPhone 8, including a “showcase iPhone” that’ll be larger and feature an OLED screen covering the front of the entire device. Apple’s cornerstone product is expected to sell for as much as $999 on the high end.

With a more drastic update to the iPhone, Apple is aiming to galvanize sales. Apple sold a massive 41 million iPhones last quarter, but with customers waiting for its new model, it marked a stark from its previous two quarters. At the same time, Apple has seen its smartphone market share slip from 14 to about 9 percent in China — a trend investors would surely like to see reversed.

Also Read: Apple and Hollywood Pose New Threat to Sinking Movie Theaters With Digital Download Talks

CEO Tim Cook is expected to show off more than a new iPhone at the event, though. The company will likely release a new Apple Watch at the same time, able to directly connect to mobile networks. This would allow users to stream Apple Music or make calls directly from their Watch.

A long-awaited Apple TV update is anticipated to be revealed at the event, and “HomePod,” its Siri-powered home speaker, will likely be ready for purchase as well.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Apple’s TV Content Push: Who Will Get a Piece of That $1 Billion?

Apple CEO Tim Cook Blasts Trump’s Charlottesville Reaction: ‘Hate Is a Cancer’

Why Is Apple Investing $1 Billion in New Content?