News Nuggets: ‘True Blood’ opens final season with a major death

The seventh and final season of “True Blood” premieres Sunday on HBO with a major death. SPOILERS AHEAD. The episode opened with a big bloodbath as Hep-V-infected vampires came to Bon Temps and slaughtered dozens. One of those killed off was Tara Thornton (Rutina Wesley), the “consummate survivor” and best friend-turned vampire of Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin). She was last seen “as a pile of blood in the lap of Tara’s mother Lettie Mae” (Adina Porter). A new exit interview with Wesley asks why she had to die in the first five minutes of this season. She also confirms that she is truly dead and will not be returning to the show. TV Guide.

Even with the World Cup taking a bite out of the box office, only one new release is considered a winner. Comedy sequel “Think Like a Man Too” with Kevin Hart opens with $30 million for first place. Last week’s top choice, “22 Jump Street,” was just behind with $29 million for second place. Yet another sequel, “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” finished in third with $25 million. Clint Eastwood‘s new Broadway adaptation “Jersey Boys” debuts with a disappointing $13.5 million. Thompson on Hollywood.

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After several years of change, “American Idol” will bring back all of their on-air talent for 2015. Host Ryan Seacrest and judges Harry Connick, Jr., Jennifer Lopez, and Keith Urban will return for the 14th season on Fox. Talent auditions are ongoing this summer in New Orleans, Long Island, and Nashville. TV by the Numbers.

 

With the calendar year at the halfway mark, critics are offering their picks as the best films so far. Peter DeBruge, Scott Foundas, and Justin Chang all proclaim Wes Anderson‘s latest “The Grand Budapest Hotel” as their favorite. Others on their lists include “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” “Ida,” “The Immigrant,” “Locke,” “Noah,” “Stranger by the Lake,” and “Under the Skin.” Variety.

Cable network TBS will celebrate 25 years of “Seinfeld” with a week-long marathon of 25 favorite episodes. The Emmy winner for Best Comedy Series starred Jerry Seinfeld and Jason Alexander plus claimed acting trophies for supporting stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Michael Richards. Episodes airing June 30 through July 5 include “The Pen,” “The Sponge,” “The Chinese Restaurant,” “The Bubble Boy,” “The Pez Dispenser,” “The Soup Nazi,” “The Marine Biologist,” “The Contest,” “The Puffy Shirt,” and “The Yada Yada.” The Wrap.

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Chef Gordon Ramsay is putting an end to his popular series “Kitchen Nightmares.” The TV host and producer announced Monday that he will stop production on the show which began in 2004. After a successful three years in the United Kingdom, he brought the program to America on Fox in 2007. He said, “I’ve had a phenomenal 10 years making 123 episodes, 12 seasons, shot across two continents, watched by tens of millions of people and sold to over 150 countries. It’s been a blast but it’s time to call it a day.” TV Line.

Broadway play “All the Way” sets a new record for box office returns. For the week of June 22, the Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner brought in $1.425 million. That is the highest ever generated for a straight play in an eight-performance week. It stars Tony champ Bryan Cranston as President Lyndon Johnson. Playbill.

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