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Record 17.4 million watch ‘Game of Thrones’ kickoff for final season

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Record 17.4 million watch 'Game of Thrones' kickoff for final season

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Some 17.4 million Americans watched the first episode of the final season of television’s “Game of Thrones” – a record audience for the medieval fantasy series, cable channel HBO said on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: Kit Harington arrives for the premiere of the final season of “Game of Thrones” at Radio City Music Hall in New York, U.S., April 3, 2019. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs/File Photo

HBO said Sunday’s live U.S. television audience and viewers on its HBO GO and HBO NOW apps exceeded the previous series high of 16.9 million viewers for the Season 7 finale two years ago.

On social media, Sunday’s premiere was also the most-tweeted-about episode of the show ever, with more than 5 million Tweets, and 11 million mentions throughout the course of the weekend, HBO said in a statement.

All of the top 10 global Twitter trends late Sunday evening were about the episode.

The series set among warring families in the fictional kingdom of Westeros, which began in 2007, has become HBO’s biggest hit.

Season 7 averaged 32.8 million U.S. viewers per episode when delayed viewing was counted and HBO said it expected the Season 8 average to “grow considerably”.

“Game of Thrones” is available in over 150 countries worldwide, but HBO said viewing data is not easily retrieved in many of those markets, making a global figure impossible to calculate.

Details of the final season have been kept a closely guarded secret, boosting anticipation.

The most-tweeted moment from Sunday’s show came when popular “Thrones” character Jon Snow (played by Kit Harington) learned the truth about his parents, and the fact that his love interest, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), is in fact his aunt.

Despite its avid fan base, “Game of Thrones” is far from the biggest television event in the United States. The annual NFL Super Bowl attracts about 100 million viewers and the 2019 Oscars ceremony in February was watched on television by 29.6 million Americans.

The final episode of “Game of Thrones” will air on May 19.

Additional reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Leslie Adler and Tom Brown

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CNN’s April Ryan calls for Sarah Sanders to be fired

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Fox News Flash top headlines for April 18

CNN political analyst April Ryan called for the firing of White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders on Thursday, claiming Sanders “lied” to the media following the release of the Mueller report.

In May 2017, following the turbulent firing of FBI Director James Comey, Sanders told reporters that “countless” FBI agents had lost confidence in Comey despite one reporter’s assertion that the “vast majority” of them supported his leadership. According to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office, Sanders told investigators her claim was a “slip of the tongue” and was “in the heat of the moment,” admitting that it was not founded on anything.

Ryan, who is also a White House reporter for the American Urban Radio Networks, blasted the press secretary on Thursday night for “lying” to the American people.

“Not only does she not have any credibility left, she lied,” Ryan told CNN anchor Erin Burnett. “She outright lied and the people, the American people can’t trust her. They can’t trust what’s said from the president’s mouthpiece, spokesperson, from the people’s house. Therefore, she should be let go. She should be fired. End of story. When there is a lack of credibility there, you have to start and start lopping the heads off. It’s ‘Fire Me Thursday’ or ‘Fire Me Good Friday,’ she needs to go.”

The CNN pundit suggested that since President Trump “won’t take the fall” that Sanders might instead.

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“Sarah plays a dangerous game in that room… The game is dangerous because she is lying to the American public,” Ryan continued. “Then, on top of all that, she says the press is fake when she’s faking reports from the people’s house. She’s calling us fake? We’ve had colleagues who’ve had to move from their houses because of threats. I have to have security because of being called ‘fake’ and a ‘loser’ and all sorts of things from that White House. It’s time for her to go.”

The White House did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

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‘Modern Family’ star Sarah Hyland shares racy bikini photo for self-motivation

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'Modern Family' star Sarah Hyland shares racy bikini photo for self-motivation

“Modern Family” actress Sarah Hyland posted a flashback photo on Instagram Thursday in an effort to use it as inspiration to work on her fitness.

Hyland shared a “throwback Thursday” snapshot of herself rocking a bikini and explained that she wanted “to remind myself that I can make it to the gym.”

SARAH HYLAND SAYS SHE WAS ‘VERY CLOSE’ TO TAKING HER OWN LIFE AMID HEALTH BATTLE

She went on to boast of the power of the female body, saying its abilities were limitless.

“Lately I’ve been making excuses because of the constant pain from health issues. But no more. A woman’s body is a miraculous thing and we can do anything we set our minds to,” she wrote. “#summer #bodygoals here I come.”

“Modern Family” actress Sarah Hyland posted a flashback photo on Instagram Thursday in an effort to use it as inspiration to work on her fitness.

“Modern Family” actress Sarah Hyland posted a flashback photo on Instagram Thursday in an effort to use it as inspiration to work on her fitness.
(Getty)

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The star didn’t elaborate on her health issues but she has previously undergone two kidney transplants and has suffered from kidney dysplasia since birth.

Fox News’ Tyler McCarthy and Julius Young contributed to this report.

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Lili Reinhart shows off her pole dancing skills while filming ‘Hustlers’

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Lili Reinhart shows off her pole dancing skills while filming 'Hustlers'

Lili Reinhart is making sure she’s ready for her upcoming role in “Hustlers.”

On Thursday, the 22-year-old actress shared a behind-the-scenes photo of herself prepping for the movie, which follows a group of strip club employees who join together to turn the tables on their Wall Street clients.

Lili Reinhart is set to star in the upcoming film "Hustlers" alongside Jennifer Lopez and Cardi B.

Lili Reinhart is set to star in the upcoming film “Hustlers” alongside Jennifer Lopez and Cardi B.
(Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

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“Really nailing this whole pole thing,” Reinhart captioned a picture on her Instagram Story which shows the “Riverdale” star — wearing a black top and matching shorts paired with heels — hanging upside down on a pole.

The movie — written and directed by Lorene Scafaria — is inspired by a 2016 New York Magazine story, according to Deadline.

JENNIFER LOPEZ GAVE UP CARBS TO LOOK GOOD FOR UPCOMING STRIPPER MOVIE ROLE 

The star-studded cast also includes Jennifer Lopez, Cardi B, Constance Wu, Keke Palmer, Julia Stiles and Mercedes Ruehl.

The drama began shooting in New York City last month and is set to be released in September.

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