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TV Talk: Game of Thrones Passes The Sopranos As HBO's Biggest Show Ever

Plus News for Homeland, Drunk History, and Penny Dreadful

by | June 5, 2014 | Comments

This week, HBO reported that Game of Thrones surpassed The Sopranos‘ highest ratings. Also, Showtime renewed Penny Dreadful for a second season, Homeland and Drunk History unveiled casting news, and generations of TV viewers said goodbye to Ann B. Davis.

Game of Thrones Passes The Sopranos as HBO’s Biggest Show Ever

HBO reported that Game of Thrones has dethroned The Sopranos as their most-watched show — or any other show in HBO history. According to Neilsen, weekly episodes of Thrones’ season four reach an average gross audience of 18.4 million viewers, beating out the 2002 season of The Sopranos, which was HBO’s previous high with an average gross audience of 14.4 million viewers per episode. Also, this year’s Thrones season premiere (which crashed HBO Go) drew as many viewers as The Sopranos series finale in 2007. HBO renewed Thrones for seasons five and six almost immediately after the season four premiere in April.

Showtime Renews Penny Dreadful for Season Two

Four episodes into the first season of Showtime’s Penny Dreadful, the network announced that it is renewing the series for a second season. According to, James Bond writer John Logan, who wrote all eight episodes of season one, is already deep into penning the ten episodes ordered for season two, shooting in Ireland later this year and airing in 2015. Penny Dreadful, which was available online and on-demand ahead of the show’s debut, was the most-watched sneak peek in Showtime history with 900,000 viewers.

‘Life of Pi’ Star Suraj Sharma Joins Cast of Homeland

Suraj Sharma (Life of Pi, Million Dollar Arm) is the newest actor to be announced in season four of Showtime’s Homeland. Earlier this week, Entertainment Weekly reported that Corey Stoll from House of Cards will have a guest-star role and Laila Robins from Bored to Death will play a regular role in the upcoming season. According to EW, Sharma will play Aayan Ibrahim, “a Pakistani medical student who crosses paths with Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes). The role is described as heavily recurring.”

Brady Bunch Actress Ann B. Davis Dies

Actress Ann B. Davis, who played the beloved live-in housekeeper Alice Nelson on all five seasons of The Brady Bunch passed away June 1 at the age of 88. Known best for her kooky one-liners and level-headed advice to the Brady kids, Alice was Davis’s most famous TV character, although her role as Charmaine ‘Schultzy’ Schultzon on The Bob Cummings Show earned her two Emmy Awards. After Davis’s death, Brady Bunch co-star Florence Henderson tweeted: “I’m so shocked & saddened to learn my dear friend & colleague Ann B Davis died today.I spoke with her a few months ago & she was doing great.”

Dozens of Celebrities Will Have Cameos in Season Two of Drunk History

This week, reported casting news for season two of Comedy Central’s Drunk History. Among the dozens of celebrity names to appear on the roster are Patton Oswalt, David Cross, Charlie Day, Stephen Merchant, John Lithgow, and Laura Dern. “Casting season two, I had one thing in mind — to keep clear eyes and a full heart so I wouldn’t lose,” Drunk History host/co-creator Derek Waters told EW in reference to casting Friday Night Lights alums Adrianne Palicki, Zach Gilford, and Jesse Plemons. Terry Crews and Joe Lo Truglio from Brooklyn Nine-Nine will also have cameos. Season two premieres July 1.

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