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Steven Soderbergh's brilliant idea: Show the series finale of Breaking Bad in movie theaters

May. 30, 2013by: Alex Maidy

BREAKING BAD will premiere the final 8 episodes of the fifth season beginning on August 11th and then one of the best shows of all time will be off the air forever. The finale will surely be the highest rated episode in the series entire run, but director Steven Soderbergh has an idea on how to make it even more special.

In an interview with Empire, Soderbergh suggested showing the two final episodes of BREAKING BAD theatrically instead of on television. That would mean the final six episodes would air from August through September and then the finale would hit theaters shortly thereafter. Why would Soderbergh suggest this?

“I thought it would be really cool to have the final two episodes of the show as a movie that aired the Friday after the penultimate episode. You'd sell that during the season – ‘See the season finale in theatres!’ – and just run it for a week, but I feel like you’d clean up. It’s never been done before.
"It’s [in cinemas for] one week, then you can download it” he said, elaborating on his pitch, “but for the fans to have a communal viewing experience that week, that’d be super-cool.”

While countless television series grapple with taking their stories from the small to big screen, this would be a very unique way of handling it. BREAKING BAD doesn't feel like television due to the high production values and cast so I don't think it would be difficult to justify the move artistically. But, BREAKING BAD also does not draw huge ratings either. Bigger audiences than MAD MEN, yes, but nowhere near THE WALKING DEAD's weekly viewership. I doubt at this point in the game that AMC would try something like this, but would they really have much to lose? The question is, would you pay full price admission to see the finale of BREAKING BAD in a movie theater?

The BREAKING BAD series finale is currently set to air September 29th.

Source: IndieWire

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6:44AM on 06/02/2013

It gets a green coz it'd be cool to see it on the big screen but.

I feel I and a lot of fans that LOVE BB will be blubbering messes when it ends. It'll be like losing a best friend..... Ok two best friends (forgot Jesse) .
I feel I and a lot of fans that LOVE BB will be blubbering messes when it ends. It'll be like losing a best friend..... Ok two best friends (forgot Jesse) .
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4:22PM on 06/01/2013
...and, for his next idiotic idea, Soderbergh went on to suggest that the next Hollywood blockbuster should abruptly end three quarters of the way through, with a gigantic "TO BE CONCLUDED ON AMC NEXT WEEKEND!" banner so that people could spend a little more on seeing something they'd already paid for.

Fucking imbecile.
...and, for his next idiotic idea, Soderbergh went on to suggest that the next Hollywood blockbuster should abruptly end three quarters of the way through, with a gigantic "TO BE CONCLUDED ON AMC NEXT WEEKEND!" banner so that people could spend a little more on seeing something they'd already paid for.

Fucking imbecile.
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6:01AM on 06/01/2013

As far a movie, I don't give a shit either way.

I just hope Walt gets whats coming to him: dead or in prison. Out of the two of them, Jesse deserves the happy ending. Fuck Walt.
I just hope Walt gets whats coming to him: dead or in prison. Out of the two of them, Jesse deserves the happy ending. Fuck Walt.
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2:23PM on 05/31/2013
This is a horrible idea! Fans have invested so much time into seeing how this story unfolds, only to be told at the end that they need to spend $15 to see how it all ends? Bullshit! It would be a total money grab by AMC if they did that. Furthermore, if they use the above plan, no one would go see it in theatres. They'd wait the extra week to just download it on their own.

And also, why would viewing it in a theatre make for a better experience? People in general have big screen TVs
This is a horrible idea! Fans have invested so much time into seeing how this story unfolds, only to be told at the end that they need to spend $15 to see how it all ends? Bullshit! It would be a total money grab by AMC if they did that. Furthermore, if they use the above plan, no one would go see it in theatres. They'd wait the extra week to just download it on their own.

And also, why would viewing it in a theatre make for a better experience? People in general have big screen TVs and can enjoy the same quality as a theatre from the comfort of home. There's just no benefit to seeing it in a theatre. And the whole communcal viewing idea is dumb, because people are generally annoyed by other people at the movie theatre. Soderbergh, not one of your best ideas.
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+0
1:12PM on 05/31/2013
I didn't know there was such a general dislike for communal film/TV fan experiences... on a movie fan website.
I didn't know there was such a general dislike for communal film/TV fan experiences... on a movie fan website.
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12:39PM on 05/31/2013
I haven't watched Breaking Bad so maybe I don't have any right to say but I am on the fence about this. It's a crazy idea and that makes it cool, him wordingit as "communal" for fans makes it sound cool too, but I say money grab. Plus I think this would alienate to many fans. Not everybody is going to be able to make it to atheater to see it. Some towns are too small and some theaters are too small to take a risk like this. However that is almost remediated by the idea of letting fans download
I haven't watched Breaking Bad so maybe I don't have any right to say but I am on the fence about this. It's a crazy idea and that makes it cool, him wordingit as "communal" for fans makes it sound cool too, but I say money grab. Plus I think this would alienate to many fans. Not everybody is going to be able to make it to atheater to see it. Some towns are too small and some theaters are too small to take a risk like this. However that is almost remediated by the idea of letting fans download it, for free of course, a week later.
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11:17AM on 05/31/2013

Pass.

The reason I love TV shows is because they're on TV ie I can watch them from the comfort of my couch with all the privacy, peace, and quiet that entails. I love watching movies in theaters, but things that are made for the small screen should be viewed with the coziness and sort-of intimacy that comes with it. I never, ever want to cap any of my favorite shows off in the cinema, surrounded by people who can't shut up, won't turn off their smartphones, and have no idea how to sit the f*ck down
The reason I love TV shows is because they're on TV ie I can watch them from the comfort of my couch with all the privacy, peace, and quiet that entails. I love watching movies in theaters, but things that are made for the small screen should be viewed with the coziness and sort-of intimacy that comes with it. I never, ever want to cap any of my favorite shows off in the cinema, surrounded by people who can't shut up, won't turn off their smartphones, and have no idea how to sit the f*ck down before the show starts.
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2:19PM on 05/31/2013
Whole heartedly agree with you sir. TV shows are created with the intent of being able to watch from your home, for viewers to invest their time into seeing a story unfold. Aside from the reasons you stated above, I think it would be a slap in all fans' face to show the finale in theatres. People have invested their time into seeing this story only to find out "if you want to see how it ends, gotta pony up $15". No thanks!
Whole heartedly agree with you sir. TV shows are created with the intent of being able to watch from your home, for viewers to invest their time into seeing a story unfold. Aside from the reasons you stated above, I think it would be a slap in all fans' face to show the finale in theatres. People have invested their time into seeing this story only to find out "if you want to see how it ends, gotta pony up $15". No thanks!
+3
11:06AM on 05/31/2013
I love the idea of seeing the final two shown together in a theater. I am not, however, even vaguely interested in seeing it with a bunch of loud people. I don't need a "communal experience" for something like this. I avoid midnight shows for movies I actually care about for a reason. No talking, screaming, anything.
I love the idea of seeing the final two shown together in a theater. I am not, however, even vaguely interested in seeing it with a bunch of loud people. I don't need a "communal experience" for something like this. I avoid midnight shows for movies I actually care about for a reason. No talking, screaming, anything.
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3:35AM on 05/31/2013

uk

I don't think this even gets shown on th un Scotland. The first two seasons did, but none after them.

Cant wait for the final tho.
I don't think this even gets shown on th un Scotland. The first two seasons did, but none after them.

Cant wait for the final tho.
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3:12AM on 05/31/2013

Terrible idea.

Also, once again, a case of Mr Alex Maidy making up a news story out of nothing. This guy might be generating large feedback scores (no doubt due to his inherent love of rampant speculation and controversy) but he's bringing down the journalistic quality of what was once a great movie news website.
Also, once again, a case of Mr Alex Maidy making up a news story out of nothing. This guy might be generating large feedback scores (no doubt due to his inherent love of rampant speculation and controversy) but he's bringing down the journalistic quality of what was once a great movie news website.
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9:32AM on 05/31/2013
At what point in his story does he say Breaking Bad's finale might even be rumored to be shown in theaters?. He's writing about an idea Mr. Soderbergh tossed out in an interview, with the purpose of generating discussion about whether or not fans of the show would like it. Alex isn't spreading rumors or making up a story about Breaking Bad being released in theaters.

This site has tons of posts that aren't news, but are about creating and entertaining discussion.
At what point in his story does he say Breaking Bad's finale might even be rumored to be shown in theaters?. He's writing about an idea Mr. Soderbergh tossed out in an interview, with the purpose of generating discussion about whether or not fans of the show would like it. Alex isn't spreading rumors or making up a story about Breaking Bad being released in theaters.

This site has tons of posts that aren't news, but are about creating and entertaining discussion.
11:26AM on 05/31/2013
Journalistic quality? What is this, CNBC? I love this site because it DOESN'T just focus on the strict news. It tosses opinions around, gets feedback, asks questions. It's a lighthearted, fun, friendly place made by and for people who love movies. If they reported only news, I wouldn't give two f*cks about this place. It's stuff like this that has made me come here for my film-fix almost daily for the last 7 - 8 years.
Journalistic quality? What is this, CNBC? I love this site because it DOESN'T just focus on the strict news. It tosses opinions around, gets feedback, asks questions. It's a lighthearted, fun, friendly place made by and for people who love movies. If they reported only news, I wouldn't give two f*cks about this place. It's stuff like this that has made me come here for my film-fix almost daily for the last 7 - 8 years.
1:24AM on 05/31/2013

I'm high to this news

Well in all honesty i say go for it because there's a lot of people who download the show via torrent, or just watch it on tv, or stream it, but will never buy the DVD, i dont know if the show has episodes on the networks site with advertising put in.... but unless you buy the seasons it's the only way a lot of people would ever spend money or have contributed on something they have enjoyed and never paid for.
Well in all honesty i say go for it because there's a lot of people who download the show via torrent, or just watch it on tv, or stream it, but will never buy the DVD, i dont know if the show has episodes on the networks site with advertising put in.... but unless you buy the seasons it's the only way a lot of people would ever spend money or have contributed on something they have enjoyed and never paid for.
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+1
12:00AM on 05/31/2013
I think some people might be missing the point. First of all, Soderbergh is suggesting a very limited run, one week to be exact. This would probably mean a limited release to only major markets (though he doesn't explicitly say that). Either way, being such a limited theatrical release, why would random people show up to see this? He clearly means this is for the fans. If AMC went through with this it would be marketed to the show's fanbase.

As a huge fan of the show I wouldn't mind seeing
I think some people might be missing the point. First of all, Soderbergh is suggesting a very limited run, one week to be exact. This would probably mean a limited release to only major markets (though he doesn't explicitly say that). Either way, being such a limited theatrical release, why would random people show up to see this? He clearly means this is for the fans. If AMC went through with this it would be marketed to the show's fanbase.

As a huge fan of the show I wouldn't mind seeing the final 2 hours in a theater with hardcore fans of the show. It would be a fun way to see the series go. The show's in the can already, it's not like they're going to change anything to make it like a movie. The show is already shot like a movie. I watch this show on a 46in TV and looks fantastic.
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10:59PM on 05/30/2013
To see a TV series finale in theatres, you'd have to have followed the series the whole way through. It doesn't make a lot of business sense to release something that a sizeable chunk of movie audiences have already decided not to see on the grounds that they don't watch the TV show. Whenever movies based on TV shows are released, you always hear the filmmakers trying to reassure the public that "oh, this is a standalone movie and you don't have to have watched the show to appreciate it, but
To see a TV series finale in theatres, you'd have to have followed the series the whole way through. It doesn't make a lot of business sense to release something that a sizeable chunk of movie audiences have already decided not to see on the grounds that they don't watch the TV show. Whenever movies based on TV shows are released, you always hear the filmmakers trying to reassure the public that "oh, this is a standalone movie and you don't have to have watched the show to appreciate it, but fans of the show will pick up some extra tidbits". With a series finale, you absolutely will need to have watched the show to follow it.
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9:06PM on 05/30/2013
Gee thanks soderbergh, what else that I currently get for "free" would you like me to pay for?
Gee thanks soderbergh, what else that I currently get for "free" would you like me to pay for?
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11:03PM on 05/30/2013
You don't pay for cable? I envy you.
You don't pay for cable? I envy you.
11:38PM on 05/30/2013
put free in quotes for a reason
put free in quotes for a reason
8:17PM on 05/30/2013
I think it would be kind of dumb for us fans to pay the extra money to go see the last two episodes of the series in a theater. I'd rather just watch it at the comfort at my own couch for free.
I think it would be kind of dumb for us fans to pay the extra money to go see the last two episodes of the series in a theater. I'd rather just watch it at the comfort at my own couch for free.
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7:57PM on 05/30/2013
wow, everybody here are complete shut-ins, annoyed by the notion of going outside and mingling with people?

I find that the later the showing is, the more mature the audience is. If i were to see a show in theaters, it would usually be a midnight showing. Its filled with an older crowd of fans of the material. I havent had problems with people taking out there cell phones or talking or babies. I think once in a while there is one guy who comments too loudly and he always gets shunned by the
wow, everybody here are complete shut-ins, annoyed by the notion of going outside and mingling with people?

I find that the later the showing is, the more mature the audience is. If i were to see a show in theaters, it would usually be a midnight showing. Its filled with an older crowd of fans of the material. I havent had problems with people taking out there cell phones or talking or babies. I think once in a while there is one guy who comments too loudly and he always gets shunned by the rest. Of course i usually go to the theater in my suburbs home but its never been bad when i venture into the city to watch movies either.

movie theaters are dying, and turning them into social events are the only way they are going to survive. Dressing up as characters and seeing a big movie on a big screen with your friends is a really fun experience. Seeing Avengers for the first time, half the audience was dressed up. Yeah people laughed and cheers, but it was as a group and it was fun. If i had the chance i'd be glad to pay full admission for an experience like that again.

Im not saying that Breaking Bad in theaters will be like that, but its a step in the right direction.
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8:22PM on 05/30/2013
Okay but you have to understand that AVENGERS and BREAKING BAD are two completely different entities. Watching BREAKING BAD in a theater would have to be like watching NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. Quiet, calm, no interruptions whatsoever. Movie theaters are not dying, this just isn't the kind of show to put in a theater setting.
Okay but you have to understand that AVENGERS and BREAKING BAD are two completely different entities. Watching BREAKING BAD in a theater would have to be like watching NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. Quiet, calm, no interruptions whatsoever. Movie theaters are not dying, this just isn't the kind of show to put in a theater setting.
3:15AM on 05/31/2013
Fuck that. I want to watch the entire TV series on DVD in one or two sittings, at home on my couch. Breaking Bad is not an event movie like Avengers.
Fuck that. I want to watch the entire TV series on DVD in one or two sittings, at home on my couch. Breaking Bad is not an event movie like Avengers.
+1
7:53PM on 05/30/2013
That would be a complete money making scam, that even I admit I'd submit to and go see.
That would be a complete money making scam, that even I admit I'd submit to and go see.
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-2
7:29PM on 05/30/2013
Or, you know, just show it on TV so I don't have to deal with the public. God, the public sucks.
Or, you know, just show it on TV so I don't have to deal with the public. God, the public sucks.
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6:25PM on 05/30/2013
I'm glad you asked that question: "...would you pay full price admission to see the finale of BREAKING BAD in a movie theater?"

When I read the title of the post, I thought, 'Yes. Brilliant. Squeeze more money out of everyone.'
I'm glad you asked that question: "...would you pay full price admission to see the finale of BREAKING BAD in a movie theater?"

When I read the title of the post, I thought, 'Yes. Brilliant. Squeeze more money out of everyone.'
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6:23PM on 05/30/2013
I disagree, this show should be just for you and your friends to sit together at home. All it would take is some asshole to cheer or scream during a bit and I'd lose it.
I disagree, this show should be just for you and your friends to sit together at home. All it would take is some asshole to cheer or scream during a bit and I'd lose it.
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+1
6:05PM on 05/30/2013
Just do what they did with the Lost finale and have it as an option in select theaters
Just do what they did with the Lost finale and have it as an option in select theaters
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5:47PM on 05/30/2013
It would be a cool experience but I dont want to pay for it.
It would be a cool experience but I dont want to pay for it.
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5:38PM on 05/30/2013
Ehhhh...Torn on this idea. It's definitely theater worthy w/ all the suspense & action, but DAMN, I picture tons of over talkative fans, whispering, talking, cheering too loud, laughing too loud . . .
Ehhhh...Torn on this idea. It's definitely theater worthy w/ all the suspense & action, but DAMN, I picture tons of over talkative fans, whispering, talking, cheering too loud, laughing too loud . . .
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5:31PM on 05/30/2013

AMC never would.

Loss of ad revenue + cost of marketing it and sticking it in theaters. Not to mention the nightmare of running it past the MPAA, which would almost assuredly slap either a box office shrinking 'R' rating on it or a credibility destroying 'PG-13' rating.

I get where Sodebergh's coming from and its a neat idea for future projects...but don't fuck with Breaking Bad. Let each episode stand on its own as a pivotal chapter.
Loss of ad revenue + cost of marketing it and sticking it in theaters. Not to mention the nightmare of running it past the MPAA, which would almost assuredly slap either a box office shrinking 'R' rating on it or a credibility destroying 'PG-13' rating.

I get where Sodebergh's coming from and its a neat idea for future projects...but don't fuck with Breaking Bad. Let each episode stand on its own as a pivotal chapter.
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5:58PM on 05/30/2013
You don't need an MPAA rating to get a movie in a theater as long as you market it as "not rated" and get it shown in a theater that will show unrated movies. That's what happened to Bully. In it's uncut form the MPAA refused to give it less than an NC-17 even after they wanted some material cut, so it was released unrated because some theater chains had anti-NC-17 policies, but not anti-unrated policies (in this case it was AMC).
You don't need an MPAA rating to get a movie in a theater as long as you market it as "not rated" and get it shown in a theater that will show unrated movies. That's what happened to Bully. In it's uncut form the MPAA refused to give it less than an NC-17 even after they wanted some material cut, so it was released unrated because some theater chains had anti-NC-17 policies, but not anti-unrated policies (in this case it was AMC).
6:35PM on 05/30/2013
Bully was never going to be NC-17. That movie was given an R rating, which the Weinstein's didn't like because they felt it should be seen by teenagers and the R rating wouldn't permit that. The only threat of an NC-17 came from the theaters (NATO) themselves, who stated that they would treat an unrated release as an NC-17. And I don't think this movie would receive an R rating. The show never uses the F word (even blurring it on a note in one episode) and the violence may not be bad enough
Bully was never going to be NC-17. That movie was given an R rating, which the Weinstein's didn't like because they felt it should be seen by teenagers and the R rating wouldn't permit that. The only threat of an NC-17 came from the theaters (NATO) themselves, who stated that they would treat an unrated release as an NC-17. And I don't think this movie would receive an R rating. The show never uses the F word (even blurring it on a note in one episode) and the violence may not be bad enough to warrant an R. I don't even think the show has an MA rating.
7:49PM on 05/30/2013
they have to run it past the FCC when they air it on television, why is running it past the MPAA any different.

It'll probably just get a soft R rating for drug use and mild violence.

Also, special presentations are what's keeping theaters alive anymore
they have to run it past the FCC when they air it on television, why is running it past the MPAA any different.

It'll probably just get a soft R rating for drug use and mild violence.

Also, special presentations are what's keeping theaters alive anymore
5:27PM on 05/30/2013

No thanks

While it's an interesting idea, its one that would probably work better with a different type of show (perhaps Walking Dead or Game of Thrones). Like old fruity below me said it might change the pace of the show too much. Plus after watching all six episodes on tv for free and then having to go to the theater AND PAY to see the end would kinda be shitty to do to the fans. If they wanted to announce a movie after all the 8 episodes are done then that's a different story
While it's an interesting idea, its one that would probably work better with a different type of show (perhaps Walking Dead or Game of Thrones). Like old fruity below me said it might change the pace of the show too much. Plus after watching all six episodes on tv for free and then having to go to the theater AND PAY to see the end would kinda be shitty to do to the fans. If they wanted to announce a movie after all the 8 episodes are done then that's a different story
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5:25PM on 05/30/2013
I say it's a bad idea because they might change the style/tone of the show too much. But then you are right, Breaking Bad is beautifully shot.

I'd rather watch it on TV but would happily pay if it were being shown in the cinemas.
I say it's a bad idea because they might change the style/tone of the show too much. But then you are right, Breaking Bad is beautifully shot.

I'd rather watch it on TV but would happily pay if it were being shown in the cinemas.
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6:30PM on 05/30/2013
I don't think he's saying adapt the televsion show for the big screen; he's saying take the final two episodes, which I assume are already filmed, and just play them in theaters instead of AMC.
I don't think he's saying adapt the televsion show for the big screen; he's saying take the final two episodes, which I assume are already filmed, and just play them in theaters instead of AMC.
4:04AM on 05/31/2013
Good point!
Good point!
5:22PM on 05/30/2013
Nah. Don't want my fav show being ruined by babies, teenagers, and cellphones.
Nah. Don't want my fav show being ruined by babies, teenagers, and cellphones.
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6:28PM on 05/30/2013
I agree. At least at home when a baby is crying, I can just toss it outside with the dogs.
I agree. At least at home when a baby is crying, I can just toss it outside with the dogs.
6:33PM on 05/30/2013
Or shake it. Or not. I'm not the boss of you.
Or shake it. Or not. I'm not the boss of you.
5:20PM on 05/30/2013

i guess i would

i love the show and the finale is sure to be great. To have the chance to see it up on a big screen surrounded by like minded fans is one of the reasons i go to the movies anyway. The theater anymore is about social gatherings. Its the one aspect of movies that will keep the theater market alive. I would check this out, but just because i do it for this show doesnt mean i will for other shows like "Mad Men" or "Big Bang Theory" (i would for Game of Thrones though)
i love the show and the finale is sure to be great. To have the chance to see it up on a big screen surrounded by like minded fans is one of the reasons i go to the movies anyway. The theater anymore is about social gatherings. Its the one aspect of movies that will keep the theater market alive. I would check this out, but just because i do it for this show doesnt mean i will for other shows like "Mad Men" or "Big Bang Theory" (i would for Game of Thrones though)
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