News Briefs: Game of Thrones Is the Most Pirated Show of the Season

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ARRRRRRRRRRRR NEWS

... Congratulations, Game of Thrones! A lot of people are so addicted to you that they are willing to break the law to watch every one of your episodes. The HBO fantasy series was the most pirated show of the spring by a wide margin, averaging approximately 5.2 million illegal downloads per episode. That's almost the same number of people who watch the show legally—an estimated 5.5 million viewers—and well above the number of people who stand in my yard and watch it through my living room window when I'm tuning in. Rounding out the top 10 pirated shows of the season are The Big Bang Theory (2.9 million), How I Met Your Mother (2.85 million), The Walking Dead (2.7 million), Hannibal (2.1 million), Vikings (1.9 million), Arrow (1.85 million), The Vampire Diaries (1.8 million), Modern Family (1.75 million), and Revenge (1.7 million). [TorrentFreak]

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BUSINESS TIME

... Apparently AMC's Mad Men had an up-and-down season creatively, but when it comes to ratings, it was pretty much the same old, same old. Last night's Season 6 finale pulled in an audience of 2.7 million viewers, about the same as last season's (give or take a hundred thousand people), but it was just big enough for AMC to tout it as the highest-rated Mad Men finale ever. Did you know that we here at TV.com review some of these television episodes? It's true! Proof: MaryAnn wrote about Mad Men's season finale. [Variety]

... Lifetime debuted Devious Maids, a.k.a. Los Housewives Desperados, this past weekend and it did rather pedestrian in the ratings. Just 2 million people tuned in to watch the latest from Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry. Lifetime's top shows hover around the 3 million mark. [EW]

... Discovery Channel continued to look like a shell of its former self last night with a live broadcast of daredevil tightrope artist Nick Wallenda walking across the Grand Canyon on a two-inch wide high-wire with no harness and only Jesus to guide him along. And lots of people tuned in to watch him fall to his death (he made it safely to the other side)! The broadcast averaged 8.5 million viewers, but at its peak, 13 million viewers took a peak at the program, crushing everything on network television. Now if only Discovery could get a mermaid to walk across a tightrope, it would be ratings super-gold! [Deadline Hollywood]

CASTING NEWS

... Expect a very cranky American person to arrive at Downton Abbey. Legitimately great actor Paul Giamatti will drop by the fourth season of the PBS import as Harold Levinson, brother of Cora and uncle to Mary and Edith. His character is described as a maverick playboy, and will appear in the Season 4 finale next year. (The image above is from the movie Win Win because that movie is awesome.) [TV Line]

... Hunky twins Charlie and Max Carver have been cast in the HBO pilot The Leftovers, the Rapture-themed drama from Lost's Damon Lindelof. The facsimiles, best known for playing the Scavo twins on Desperate Housewives, will play—you guessed it—twins who befriend the main character's daughter. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Boardwalk Empire's Julianne Nicholson has landed the lead role on Sundance Channel's original drama The Descendants. A straight-to-series order for six episodes, The Descendants follows a sheriff who's struggling to prevent a small town and a Native American tribe from tearing each other apart. Nicholson, whose other credits include Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Ally McBeal, will play the sheriff's boozing wife. [Deadline Hollywood]


SAD NEWS

... Gary David Goldberg, the creator of Family Ties and Spin City, passed away on Sunday at the age of 68. The multiple-Emmy winner helped launch the careers of Michael J. Fox and Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence (Lawrence co-created Spin City with Goldberg). Goldberg's other credits in varying capacities included The Bob Newhart Show, Alice, Brooklyn Bridge, and The Tony Randall Show. You'll remember the title card for his production company, Ubu Productions, which I've embedded below. [Zap2It]

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