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HBO

Soledad O’Brien Joins HBO’s ‘Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel’

Former CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien is joining the team at HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,” HBO Sports says.

In addition, HBO has signed a “first look” deal with O’Brien’s production company Starfish Media Group, giving it the first crack at scripted projects and “long form programming concepts” that they develop.

O’Brien has a similar first look deal with CNN for doc series, such as the “In America” series. The deal with HBO actually keeps O’Brien in the Turner Broadcasting family, as HBO and CNN are sister networks under the Turner Broadcasting umbrella, which is owned by Time Warner. HBO docs and series are occasionally replayed on CNN.

“Soledad is a perfect fit for ‘Real Sports,’” said HBO Sports president Ken Hershman in a statement. “She’s an extraordinary interviewer and storyteller, and we’re thrilled to be able to add her to a franchise where the emphasis is on finding and presenting thought-provoking stories in the diverse and ever-fascinating world of sports.”

More information after the jump.
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VICE in North Korea: ‘I Know Who You Are, I Don’t Like You, and I Don’t Like Your Company’

Rodman, Duffy, Globetrotters

When VICE correspondent Ryan Duffy landed in Pyongyang, North Korea in March, he and his crew were not greeted particularly warmly.

“We were on the bus from the airport to the hotel, and one of the minders sat down next to [VICE producer] Jason and I and said ‘I know who you are, I don’t like you, and I don’t like your company,’” Duffy recalled, at a screening of the season finale of “VICE” on HBO.

The VICE crew were engaged in a game of gonzo journalism with the North Korean regime, conceived when VICE co-founder Shane Smith and a colleague were on a train traveling through Siberia, looking to shoot footage on North Korean labor camps. Smith was banned from returning to North Korea after the documentaries he shot were viewed by the government.

“The reality of it was that I saw what everybody else saw,” Smith said. “We wanted to see something that wasn’t shot, that wasn’t out there, that wasn’t the same tour over and over again.”

They decided that the key to getting into the country, and seeing a side of it that hadn’t been seen, was through basketball diplomacy, knowing that Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un was a huge Chicago Bulls fans.

“We reached out to a few Chicago Bulls, and [Dennis] Rodman said yes,” Smith recalled. “Michael Jordan’s camp was not interested, I believe.”

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Here Comes Season Two of ‘The Newsroom’

Season two of HBO’s “The Newsroom” is only a few weeks away, and to whet the appetites of those die-hard news fans, HBO has released a video preview of what to expect in season two. While news items will still play a part in the show, there are some underlying storylines that play out throughout the season.

WATCH:

Season Two Of HBO’s ‘The Newsroom’ Debuts Sunday July 14

The second season of HBO’s “The Newsroom,” which follows the fictional goings-on at “News Night” and Atlantis Cable News, will debut Sunday, July 14 at 10 PM.

According to HBO, “in the new season, the staff of ‘News Night’ chases a mysterious tip, which leads to a story that ultimately spins out of control.”

Some of the “real-life” stories featured on the show will be the Trayvon Martin shooting, and the GOP primaries and November election. We also know that Patton Oswalt will join the show as ACN’s VP of human resources, while Rosemarie DeWitt joins as a litigator defending the company in a wrongful-termination suit.

“The Newsroom” debuted on HBO last June to mixed reviews. Nevertheless, it was very quickly renewed for a season two. Aaron Sorkin created the show, which stars Jeff Daniels as anchor Will McAvoy.

ABC News Profiles ‘VICE’

HBO debuted a newsmagazine from the folks at VICE last night, the magazine known for its gonzo reportage, and the team behind Dennis Rodman‘s now-infamous trip to North Korea.

“Nightline’s” Bill Weir profiles the upstart media company, which says it wants to be “the next CNN.”
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Piers Morgan, Aaron Sorkin And The Cast Of ‘The Newsroom’ Walk Into The Paley Center…

CNN host Piers Morgan moderated the panel for the HBO series “The Newsroom” at the Paley Center For Media late Sunday. The Paley Center is in the midst of PaleyFest, which features panels and presentations of new and returning TV shows.

Morgan, Aaron Sorkin and the cast sparred a bit (in a friendly way, of course).

“I prefer to see Piers Morgan and Diane Sawyer on the news and not on a red carpet,” said Olivia Munn, a former G4 host who plays Sloan Sabbith on the program. “You turn on CNN, and people are putting themselves in the story … Journalism is about other people’s stories.”

WATCH:

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A Look At HBO’s New Newsmagazine ‘Vice’

In April, HBO will debut its new TV newsmagazine, “Vice,” based on the magazine and website of the same name.

The show, which features both original reportage and repackaged content from Vice.com, takes a very different tone from the newsmagzines that proliferate the broadcast networks. Violence, sex and taboo subjects seem to be par for the course.

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HBO Orders Bill Clinton Documentary, Martin Scorsese To Direct

HBO has ordered a documentary chronicling the life and career of former President Bill Clinton, with Martin Scorsese serving as the film’s director.

The film is being “made with Clinton’s full cooperation,” the network says, and “will explore his perspectives on history, politics, culture and the world.”

HBO did not provide a timetable for when the documentary would debut. The pay-cable network remains one of the most prolific producers of TV documentary films in the U.S. Earlier this year it aired a documentary examining the life of Clinton’s predecessor, President George H.W. Bush. It also ordered a documentary about the difficult life of war photographers.

“I am pleased that legendary director Martin Scorsese and HBO have agreed to do this film,” said Clinton in a statement. “I look forward to sharing my perspective on my years as President, and my work in the years since, with HBO’s audience.”

“A towering figure who remains a major voice in world issues, President Clinton continues to shape the political dialogue both here and around the world,” said Scorsese in a statement. “Through intimate conversations, I hope to provide greater insight into this transcendent figure.”

More below.
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‘The Newsroom,’ ‘Game Change’ Lock Up Golden Globe Nominations

The reviews for HBO’s cable news drama “The Newsroom” may not have been glowing, but they apparently didn’t matter. The program was quickly renewed for a second season by HBO and now it has picked up two Golden Globe nominations from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

“The Newsroom” is nominated for “Best Television Series-Drama,” while star Jeff Daniels is nominated for his performance as cantankerous cable news anchor Will McAvoy.

Elsewhere, the HBO movie “Game Change” picked up five nominations, including “Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made For Television” and a nomination for Julianne Moore‘s portrayal of Fox News contributor and former VP nominee Sarah Palin. Woody Harrelson, Sarah Paulson and Ed Harris also received nominations for their roles.

HBO has already optioned the follow-up to Game Change as a movie, The book will be released late next year.

You can read the full list of nominees here.

HBO Options ‘Game Change’ Sequel

The authors of the book Game Change are working on a follow-up to their 2010 best-seller called Double Down: Game Change 2012. HBO, which aired a made-for-TV movie based on the first book, has already optioned the sequel for a movie.

John Heileman and Mark Halperin will release Double Down: Game Change 2012 in Fall 2013. It will, not surprisingly, focus on the 2012 Presidential campaign between President Obama and Mitt Romney.

The original Game Change debuted on bookshelves in January, 2010, and debuted on HBO in March of this year. The movie became famous for Julianne Moore‘s portrayal of Sarah Palin as much as anything else, and garnered a more-than respectable 2.1 million live viewers.

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