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With hit fan­tasy show Game Of Thrones (2011-cur­rent) ex­pected to end in sea­son 8, HBO is putting big money be­hind some ma­jor cast mem­bers. Peter Din­klage (Tyrion Lan­nis­ter), Kit Har­ing­ton (Jon Snow), Lena Headey (Cer­sei Lan­nis­ter), Emilia Clarke (Daen­erys Tar­garyen) and Niko­laj CosterWal­dau (Jaime Lan­nis­ter) have all signed deals up­grad­ing their salaries from around $300 000 per episode to well above $500 000 (R7.5 mil­lion). Not that the pay hike guar­an­tees any­one’s sur­vival all the way to the fi­nal episode… Stars like Lena Headey are get­ting a Game Of Thrones payrise.

Seems that no one’s been will­ing to talk about the fire that de­stroyed a piv­otal set on Black Sails (2014cur­rent) in May – un­til now! An anony­mous source on the Cape Town-based pro­duc­tion has re­vealed that the set, one of the ships, was due to be burnt down any­way as part of the pi­rateth­emed show’s sea­son 4 sto­ry­line. “The blaze hap­pened the night be­fore we were due to wrap film­ing any­way,” says our source, “so we con­verted an­other ship set to look like the one that burnt.” The source also gave a heads up that sea­son 4 is likely to be the last of the se­ries as “they wanted to do Trea­sure Is­land [Black Sails is a pre­quel to the 1883 book by Robert Louis Stevenson] but there are copy­right is­sues”.

The fu­ture of motoring show Top Gear (2002-cur­rent) is in jeop­ardy af­ter mas­sively un­pop­u­lar new host Chris Evans quit af­ter six episodes. It’s ru­moured that Chris wasn’t get­ting along with co-pre­sen­ter Matt Le­Blanc, who’s ex­pected to take over as host if the BBC gives the go-ahead for a 24th sea­son. Mean­while, spin-off se­ries Top Gear USA (20102016) has been can­celled by the His­tory Chan­nel, forc­ing the pro­duc­ers to look for a new broad­caster.

The Flash (2014cur­rent – read more on p31) is get­ting a mag­i­cal new cast mem­ber now that former Harry Pot­ter (2001-2011) bad­die Tom Fel­ton (he played Draco Mal­foy) has joined the up­com­ing third sea­son as a foren­sic tech­ni­cian at the Central City Po­lice Depart­ment who doesn’t trust Barry (aka The Flash). Tay­lor Lautner is go­ing to Scream Queens.

The cast­ing over­haul at med­i­cal drama Code Black (2015-cur­rent) con­tin­ues with Rob Lowe – re­cently seen in now-can­celled sit­com The Grinder (2015-2016) – join­ing as the new co-lead op­po­site Mar­cia Gay Har­den’s Dr Leanne Ror­ish. And speak­ing of new TV docs, Twi­light (2008-2012) hunk Tay­lor Lautner has joined sea­son 2 of horror com­edy Scream Queens (2015-cur­rent) as a doc with an un­usual and creepy med­i­cal con­di­tion.

Nashville (2012-cur­rent) was can­celled but it’s get­ting a sea­son 5 on a new net­work next year. We know who’s stay­ing – lead stars Connie Brit­ton and Hay­den Panet­tiere are re­turn­ing as Rayna and Juli­ette, as are the char­ac­ters of Dea­con, Gun­nar, Avery, Scar­lett, Mad­die, Daphne and Will. How­ever, the char­ac­ters of Luke and Layla won’t be re­turn­ing for the new 22-episode sea­son. Tom Fel­ton is join­ing The Flash.

Soapie Days Of Our Lives (1965-cur­rent) has been forced to write su­per-pop­u­lar Drake Ho­gestyn (John Black) out. Thanks to a freak ac­ci­dent (he re­port­edly had in­ter­nal bleed­ing af­ter fall­ing from

When award-win­ning sit­com Mom (2013-cur­rent) re­turns later this year, we’ll be see­ing a lot more of Bon­nie’s (Al­li­son Jan­ney) wheel­chair-bound boyfriend Adam now that Wil­liam Ficht­ner’s been made a se­ries reg­u­lar for sea­son 4.

The Good Wife’s (2009-2016) loss is ac­tion show Blindspot’s (2015-cur­rent) gain now that Archie Pan­jabi (who played Kalinda) has joined in a ma­jor re­cur­ring role as the head of a shady agency who’ve se­cretly been track­ing the Jane Doe case. Archie Pan­jabi has signed on for the new sea­son of Blindspot.

Re­al­ity dat­ing show The Bach­e­lor (2002-cur­rent) is get­ting an­other spin-off, this time fol­low­ing the lives of its most fa­mous suc­cess story: former Bach­e­lor Ben Hig­gins and his fiancée Lau­ren Bush­nell. Ben and Lau­ren: Hap­pily Ever Af­ter will fol­low the cou­ple as they pre­pare to tie the knot and is sched­uled to start in the US later this year in Oc­to­ber.

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