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Recent Entertainment articles from Daily Dot

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    On the heels of news that Cary Fukunaga is directing a reboot of It come reports that Netflix just picked up his drama Beasts of No Nation, starring Idris Elba.

    Deadline reported that Netflix was “near a deal” yesterday to pick up worldwide rights to the film, which is based on Uzodinma Iweala’s 2005 debut novel. Elba plays an African guerrilla forces commander who finds Agu, a young African boy, and trains him to become a child soldier. 

    The film is already getting Oscar buzz, and this isn’t the first time Netflix has snatched up a film thought to be award-worthy. The deal is rumored to be around $12 million, and it would include both streaming rights and theatrical release.

    This only adds to Netflix’s new Jenga-like movie slate: Another war drama, Jadotville, was acquired last month, and the company announced Pee-wee’s Big Holiday last week. A Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragonsequel and four-movie deal with Adam Sandler is also in the works.

    H/T Deadline | Photo via Focus Features 


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    For YouTube obsessives, it's the longest five seconds in the world.

    Videos with pre-roll advertising enabled force viewers to wait out the first five seconds before they can click the skip ad button and move on to the content. Because people usually click, most ads, which are often recycled TV spots instead of digital-only version, have little chance of getting to the meat of the promotion or imparting any important information.

    Geico has figured out how to beat the system.

    In the unskippable ad series, the insurance company frontloads the ad with the typical ending tagline, then triumphs, "You can't skip this ad, because it's already over," with the Geico branding displayed prominently. They've produced several version of the ad for use across YouTube.

    If you choose to keep watching, the ads continue after their five seconds with absurdist scenarios. In the dinner scene, the family stays frozen while a dog climbs on the table and eats all the spaghetti. High-fiving friends stay aloft while their BBQ burns, and a coworker jumps in the elevator and no one will hit "2" for her.

    When, according to research,  94 percent of preroll ads gets skipped immediately after the first five seconds, these Geico spots could usher in a new genre of digital advertising that learns to play within the boundaries of viewer patience.

    H/T AdWeek | Screengrab via Geico Insurance/YouTube


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    Yahoo just dropped the first trailer for the sixth season of Community, and it’s evident that Greendale is as weird as ever.

    Using Avengers: Age of Ultron as the backdrop—it’s even got a similar font to the blockbuster—it easily sets up newcomers Paget Brewster and Keith David, playing consultant Frankie Dart and retired scientist Elroy Patashnik, respectively. The trailer also has Dean Pelton’s most convoluted plan yet: letting prisoners attend Greendale via tablet screens. It's just another strange day for everyone.

    It’s raining frisbees in this new dean-mension, and at some point a dog got a degree? That’s not really all that surprising.

    Classes start again on Mar. 17.

    Screengrab via Yahoo! Screen


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    If there’s one thing that stands the test of time, it’s fandom. Though age might cause you to outgrow your favorite cosplay outfit, you’ll never outgrow your love for your favorite pop-culture franchise. 

    Take Neil Patrick Harris, for example. While it may seem like this song-and-dance man only cares about the bright lights of Broadway, his true passion lies in nerding out about Thomas & Friends.

    But don't mistake Harris for a fairweather locomotive fan. This man's a die-hard "tankie," and he's not afraid to crush the spirits of a few children to prove it. 

    Let NPH's steamy meltdown serve as a cautionary tale, not just to any "tankies" out there, but to all those who lords their knowledge and passion over others online. At the fandom table, there's plenty of room for everyone. 

    H/T Hypable | Screengrab via Neil Patrick Harris/Funny Or Die
     


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    BY JESSICA KLEIN

    Turner Sports and NCAA Digital have launched a dedicated March Madness YouTube channel.

    Featuring game highlights and recaps, the channel will post videos from all of the 67 games from the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship this year. Additional content, including live press conferences, game previews, analysis, and daily news coverage from tournament broadcasters CBS, TBS, TNT, and TruTV, will also be available via the channel.

    At launch, the NCAA March Madness YouTube channel has videos of some of the biggest moments from last year’s tournament.

    There are also several sponsored series, focusing on different aspects of the tournament, from brands like Oreo, AT&T, UPS, and Reese’s. Oreo’s, for instance, is a collection of daily dunk clips, whereas AT&T’s playlist is focusing on top highlights from the 2015 Naismith College Player of the Year and Reese’s is offering a daily update on the “five things fans need to know” about the day’s action.

    While YouTube is the new hub for this content, tournament highlights and coverage will also be available on NCAA.com.

    The NCAA Final Four semifinals will take place on April 4 (airing on TBS), while the national championship game will air on CBS on April 6.

    Photo via Kevin Durant/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)


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    Mike Lars White’s short film about a man having difficulty with urinating in public, Steve’s Problem, won Best Narrative Short at the Albany FilmFest, Best Short Film at the Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema, and was an official selection in seven other festivals. Now, it’s available to watch (and for free!) on Vimeo.

    I expected a short film about a man with urinal stage fright to cover fairly straightforward, well-trodden territory. But this short had garnered international acclaim, so I had to give it a go. And I’m glad I did.

    Yes, it’s about peeing, and the first few minutes are the exact humor you’d expect—as the titular Steve stands at a public urinal, he can’t seem to muster up a stream, and he’s all sorts of awkward over it. From there, though, things blast off into wonderfully (and world-traversing) surrealistic realms and never look back, with an ending so great that it’s taking great restraint to not soil, er, spoil it.

    In the end, Steve’s Problem is about a lot more than just peeing in public—it’s about growing up, letting go (on multiple levels), and it’s maybe even a little Randian. I’m half-joking about that last part, but the truth is—if you really wanted to—you could extrapolate all sorts of philosophical ramifications from White’s film about peeing while other folks are around.

    Screengrab via Mike Lars White/Vimeo 


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    For cord cutters, consuming The Tonight Show and Saturday Night Live episodes has become a morning-after endeavor. Many of the clips, especially The Tonight Show’s, are crafted specifically to go viral, offering those without cable a more piecemeal experience.

    According to the Wall Street Journal, NBCUniversal is debuting a new service aimed at cord cutters, which will reportedly bundle full episodes of the two shows and other comedies on NBC's slate for a fairly reasonable price of $2.50 to $3.50 a month.

    SNL and Tonight Show clips and episodes are available the morning after airing via Hulu and YouTube, but this new service will likely elbow those platforms out of the way in favor of subscribers getting first dibs. It will be interesting to see how YouTube especially handles this potential diversion of clicks. Last week, NBCUniversal’s Chief Executive Steve Burke said 70 percent of Tonight Show views happen online but aren’t figuring into TV ratings, according to the Wall Street Journal.

    The service will also reportedly include original content of the sketch variety, scripted and unscripted. Evan Shapiro, formerly of Pivot, will head the launch, and the success of Pivot shows like the social media-focused HitREcord might translate nicely to the service's original comedy content.

    The service is set to roll out later this year.

    H/T Wall Street Journal | Screengrab via The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/YouTube


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    Despite the shrieking protests of Nancy Grace2 Chainz hasn't shown any signs of stopping his cannabis consumption anytime soon. Instead, he's decided to take his recreational weed usage to the next level by taking hits from the world's biggest bowl and smoking 24K gold joints. 

    The extravagant endeavor is all part of GQ Magazine's webseries "Most Expensivest Shit," in which 2 Chainz exposes viewers to "the most outrageous luxury goods on the planet." In the latest episode, the rapper with the flare for the finer things in life sets out on a mission to smoke the world's most expensive joint.

    Accompanied by celebrity cannabis expert Dr. Dina, the "I'm Different" artist took to Los Angeles' Stogz Tobacco to roll "the caviar of joints." Thanks to 24K gold rolling papers and bud that costs approximately $800 an ounce, the duo manages to create one hell of a dapper doobie. Oh, did we mention they break from smoking the world's most expensive joint to take a hit off a pipe with a bowl that requires a blowtorch to light

    While you might not condone the man's drug use, you have to give it to the guy—at least he knows how to smoke in style.

    H/T BroBible | Photo via demxx/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


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    At age 73, Bob Dylan still has the power to surprise and delight.

    In addition to being featured on the cover of the most recent AARP magazine, Dylan continues to move in new directions—or, add some polish to ones from bygone years. Saying the legendary singer-songwriter is always reinventing himself is damning with faint praise; we’re talking about one of the most powerful musical icons of the ‘60s whose songs defined a generation ill at ease, and dissatisfied with politics, power, and (most notably) war. Hey millennials—does that sound familiar?

    For his most recent album, Shadows In the Night, Dylan selected 10 Frank Sinatra classics which he covered in his own inimitable style. Dylan may not sound like the young ballader who sang "Blowin’ in the Wind," but his most recent vocals are rich with emotion and poignant in their phrasing and meaning. Yes, Bob Dylan still has it.

    As part of his never-ending interaction with fans, Dylan has released a music video, "The Night We Called It a Day," produced by Australian director Nash Edgerton based on Sinatra’s 1957 recording. An homage to the vintage Raymond Chandlerish film noir genre, the three-minute black and white microdrama depicts a love triangle gone wrong with a stoic Dylan, a speakeasy owner (Robert Davi), and a sultry blonde love interest (Tracy Phillips). In the spirit of the such period classics, pretty much everyone dies in the end.

    Whether intentional or not, the film is a stark contrast to the 2003 film, The Night We Called It a Day which tells the story of a Sinatra tour of Australia in which he got into a squabble with a local reporter that almost shut down his shows.

    While often depicted as a recluse, Dylan has acted in a vast number of films and TV projects, even lending his voice to an episode of The Simpsons. Fans and critics agree that Dylan’s brief performance as a roustabout in the 1973 western, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, was his finest. And, by the way, the film ends with one of Dylan’s greatest songs—"Knockin’ on Heavens Door."

    Screengrab via Bob Dylan TV/YouTube


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    The Daily Dot is celebrating Woman Crush Wednesday, better known as #WCW on Twitter and Instagram, by highlighting female creators on YouTube whose work we admire.

    There’s something quite tiresome about the picture-perfect creators on YouTube—filming in their perfect makeup, donning the perfect outfit, on the perfect holiday with their model beau. Where are the moments when they spill tea on their dress while trying to catch the subway? What about the time they tucked their shirt into their underwear on a blind date?

    So when the YouTube stars align and I find a creator who is perfectly imperfect—a tea-loving, lovable 20-something mess just like me—it’s crucial to pay special homage. Trust me, if you haven’t heard of filmmaker and vlogger Lucy Moon, let me warn you, you’re about to fall in love.

    Since starting MeowItsLucy in January 2010, Moon has filled her channel with an array of creative videos: advice on boys, university, and body image; original poetry; and stop-motion shorts recounting her travels, passions, and creative processes. Her videos are original, creative, and above all completely genuine. In her video “Attractiveness, Confidence, and First Impressions,” Moon candidly talks about the struggles of maintaining a healthy body image, and in a later video, she divulges her personal struggles with anorexia. These videos are incredibly powerful—and crucial in creating a positive, open space for women to form a community and talk about these issues.

    On the other hand, Moon is hilarious, creating dating metaphors around avocados, and sharing her struggles of battling procrastination. Though her content focuses on things we’ve all experienced, through her lens, everything is new. Suddenly, ordinary moments turn into extraordinary adventures, and you’re just along for the ride. In the past year, Moon has expanded her channel to include series like Story Sunday, in which she sits down and tells a story; How to Create, a series to inspire anyone in the creative field; and VEDJ, a month’s worth of vlogs uploaded to her second channel Tea With Three Sugars.

    When she’s not filming collaborations with famous friends or writing odes to princesses, Moon is a student at the University of London and a production manager at Digital Native Studios.

    To me, Moon is an incredibly refreshing presence within the YouTube world, and a creator I find vital in helping this platform grow into a space of creativity, empowerment, and community. Plus, she seems like one of the most down-to-earth human beings you’d love to lose an afternoon in conversation with.

    Screengrab via MeowItsLucy/YouTube


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    It's hard to separate the man from the myth that is Prince. Lest there was any doubt about the R&B icon's basketball skills following Charlie Murphy's infamous skit on Chapelle's Show, these newspaper clips from Minnesota's Star Tribune should set the record straight. 

    In newly resurfaced clips, his coach for JV coach Bryant Junior High School recalls him being an “excellent ball handler” and the “sixth or seventh man” on “probably the best ball team that ever came along at Central.” 

    More importantly, there's this photo of Prince: young, impressionable, tight afro and vintage short shorts. It's exactly how I want to always remember him:

    Is anyone else suddenly hungry for pancakes? 

    Here's the classic Chapelle's Show skit just for good measure. 

    Photo via StribJany/Twitter


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    The ever-evolving personal life of Chris Brown has a new chapter. Last night, TMZ reported that Chris Brown fathered a 9-month-old baby girl with a "former model named Nia."

    Fans and blogs were quick to try and verify the new information with amateur genealogy skills:

    And of course, Twitter exploded at the mere possibility that Brown was indeed a dad. Most oddly, Vevo chimed in with supportive thoughts:

    But wait! After a very public breakup last December, which involved threesomes, Drake, and a lot of back-and-forth on Instagram—Chris Brown and his on-again, off-again girlfriend Karrueche Tran were back together. 

    Tran held her public stance on their relationship by seemingly announcing on Twitter that she was leaving Brown and sort of confirming that TMZ's report was true. 

    We are now living in a world in which Chris Brown might just be a father to a beautiful baby girl. Welp. After all of the jail time and violent incidents, maybe fatherhood is exactly what he needs.

    Screengrab via YouTube/Chris Brown


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    Many people use YouTube to find inspiration, but the Google-owned video service wants you to know that the best advice comes from yourself. That's why the company launched the #DearMe campaign, in which the women of YouTube share words of encouragement for their younger selves in an attempt to inspire the next generation.

    The campaign, which celebrates International Women's Day, tapped YouTube stars like Grace Helbig, Michelle Phan, Felicia Day, Hannah Hart, Lindsey Stirling, IISuperWomanII, and Bunny Meyers. Each woman shared a personal message to her younger self and called on young women to listen to themselves instead of the negativity around them.

    The campaign asks other women to upload their own #DearMe letter to YouTube. The hashtag already trended on Twitter on the first day it launched, with people sharing advice to themselves in 140 characters or less.

    In addition to posting videos, YouTube is encouraging people to respond in any way they wish—including by uploading GIFs to the site's official Tumblr.

    Screengrabs via YouTube | Collage by Fernando Alfonso III


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    Simpsons did it.”

    The Simpsons has been on TV for so long that there’s a phrase signifying when a show or a person was about to do something that had already played out in Springfield weeks or years before; South Park even devoted an entire episode to mocking the phenomenon. And it turns out, in an episode that aired nearly 17 years ago, The Simpsons got to one of the biggest scientific discoveries in recent memory before the world’s top physicists did.

    In the 1998 episode “The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace,” which aired during The Simpsons’ 10th season, Homer Simpson decides to follow in Thomas Edison’s footsteps and become an inventor during a midlife crisis. At one point, Homer is seen working through a complicated equation, which, along with the math, features a number of donut drawings—Homer’s favorite. Even when the “Every Simpsons Ever” marathon took place late last year, the episode likely played without much fanfare.

    But according to Simon Singh, who wrote The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets—which looks at all of the math hidden in the longtime cartoon—the equation on Homer’s chalkboard predicts the mass of the Higgs boson, or the God Particle, which was discovered in 2012 (and confirmed again in 2014).

    “That equation predicts the mass of the Higgs boson,” Singh told the Independent. “If you work it out, you get a mass of a Higgs boson that’s only a bit larger than the nano-mass of a Higgs boson actually is. It’s kind of amazing as Homer makes this prediction 14 years before it was discovered.”

    According to the Daily Mail, the appearance of the equation in The Simpsons was no accident. David X. Cohen, one of the writers of “The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace,” had contacted David Schiminovich, a high school friend and astronomer who was researching the Higgs boson, about it. The equation on the board is based on his work.

    That equation doesn’t just figure out the Higgs boson. Numberphile’s Brady Haran points out in a 2013 video that part of the equation defies Fermat’s Last Theorem and comes close to adding up. We now know why.

    If a throwaway equation ended up predating the Higgs boson, we can only imagine how many more discoveries are hiding in the background of Simpsons episodes.

    H/T Huffington Post | Screengrab via Numberphile/YouTube | Remix by Max Fleishman


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    Christopher Warner, a 10-year-old with Down syndrome, is Adam Levine's biggest fan. And the Maryland kid got the surprise of his life when he was invited as a VIP to the band's recent show in Washington, D.C.

    Warner's teacher posted a video of him on YouTube expressing his love for Levine and his band's music. 


    The video, which has been viewed 465,000 times, fell into the hands of local radio station Hot 99.5. The people there arranged for Warner, his mom, and four teachers from his school to be given the royal Maroon 5 treatment.

    When Warner finally came face-to-face with his idol backstage at the Verizon Center, he reportedly got a little shy and crouched on the floor. This inspired just about the sweetest photo of all time.

    Adam Levine is a divisive pop culture figure. Some think he's a bit of a douchebag, a pop music poseur with a penchant for super models. But he's undeniably talented, and after watching him as a judge on The Voice for what feels like 27 seasons at this point, he seems like a pretty okay guy. 

    Maybe this was a PR stunt. Or maybe Adam Levine is just a Nice Jewish Boy at heart.

    H/T Hollywood Reporter | Photo via lea reviron/Flickr (CC 2.0)


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    The year 2013 is famous on the Internet as the year when two long-standing mysteries—Pronunciation Book and horse_ebooksdovetailed into a video game reveal that left the Web less than impressed.

    Now, a new channel is following the Pronunciation Book formula, and it has us wondering: Is another game afoot, or is someone just capitalizing on the hype for easy clicks?

    The Pronunciation Guide channel has only 40 subscribers, bears a user icon of a blonde young woman, and has only been active on YouTube since Feb 22, 2015. Its most popular video, a guide to pronouncing the word "Bodyswap," only has 79 views, but thanks to its relentless uploading of new words, the overall channel has around 18,000 views. 

    New videos stopped appearing on the feed about five hours ago. At press time, the last upload was for the word "Electroshocked." 

    There's no indication yet of a larger storyline on par with the Pronunciation Book mystery, which devolved into a countdown after three years of uploads. However, a lot of the channel's recent words do seem creepy; they're focused on domination and electricity.

    The new pronunciation channel uses computer pronunciations instead of human voices, and it hasn't yet started including sentences in its uploads. To be fair, Pronunciation Book didn't either, at least at the start

    We have on our hands either a new internet mystery or a YouTube channel dedicated to telling us how to pronounce every word with the prefix "electro."

    Photo via Jeff Belmonte/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) 


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    If you haven’t been keeping tabs on Vince Vaughn’s film career lately, don’t worry, you haven’t missed out on any laughs. But all that might be changing if the promotional material for his latest film is any indication.

    To celebrate the release of his new comedy, Unfinished Business, Vaughn and co-stars Dave Franco and Tom Wilkinson decided to go full troll by posing for a series of cliche stock photos. Twentieth Century Fox choose to take a unique promotional approach for the comedy about a business trip gone bad by teaming up with iStock by Getty. What resulted is a set of photos so hilariously bland they should be inserted into every PowerPoint about synergy.

    The best part about the images? The they're available free of charge to anyone who might need a photo of a chipper Dave Franco pointing to a nonsensical graph while wearing a suit that looks like it came from Men's Wearhouse.

    Sadly, not everyone was in on the joke and only a day after they were released, The Globe and Mail decided to slap a photo of Dave Fanco's sarcastic smile across an article that sounds like it was created by  some sort of LinkedIn robot. 

    Who can even focus long enough to learn about "how millennials want to be managed," when you're too busy laughing at Franco's smartass pose? Shame on you Canada for not recognizing the younger Franco brother! This is why people make fun of your country.

    H/T Adweek | Photo via  UnfinishedBusiness_StarStock/iStock


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    Seth Rogen told Andy Cohen last year that he's smoked pot with Paul Rudd, Sarah Silverman, and Snoop Dogg. One person he has not copped to sparking up with? Former Sony chairperson Amy Pascal, who handled the mess of Sony's hacking scandal and the controversial release of Rogen's movie The Interview

    And if the Hollywood Reporter is to be believed, it will not be happening anytime soon. Pascal is moving into an office that Rogen and his writing partner Evan Goldberg had formerly occupied. THR reports that Pascal's new office is being repainted to try and mask the lingering smell of Rogen and Goldberg's smoke sessions. 

    On Wednesday, Rogen posted a screenshot of the article and denied the story, saying, "#myshitsmellsgood."

    "I don't know what's more irresponsible: that they would print a story that is completely untrue, or that they would refer to how pot smells as a 'stench.'"

    For those who think this could be fixed simply by a little spritz of Febreeze, the THR says that "the problem will require an industrial-strength solution." 

    An old Rogen tweet illustrates the same point:

    Screengrab via YouTube


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    Heaven forbid that I am seen to endorse the murder of our species' newest members but babies can be pretty annoying. Expensive, crying all the time, keeping crackhead hours, and obeying a loose philosophy regarding waste management—if it weren't for the familial bond there's a good chance they'd just be left where they dropped.

    So Kill the Baby—a new comedy webseries from Alex & Ariel—might make a little bit of sense to those sleep-rationed parents forking out over $1,000 for a new Bugaboo Cameleon 3. Lying awake at night, a father, Isaac (played by David Geis), is driven to murderous thoughts and finds the accelerating menace of his inner monologue fed by the constant wailing of his newborn.

    It's that monologue—voiced separately and confidently by Demorge Brown—which is the tinderbox of the series' humor; bumping and chafing against reality and the father's hopeless persona. It acts as a strong motivator, cajoling Isaac to go ahead with the act and it is only unwitting self-sabotage that comes between success and failure. 

    But there's plenty to laugh about and for that Kill the Baby deserves credit; it's tough to trade in such dark material and then play it for laughs without succumbing to melodrama. Even more to its benefit is how the humor is derived not from the intended act itself, but rather by Isaac's inability to execute his intentions—not just a result of the father's incompetence but also, comfortingly, a product of the show's slight but overhanging thread of humanity. 

    Screengrab via Alex and Ariel/YouTube


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    Cord-cutting fans of The Walking Dead no longer have to wait for aftermarket viewing of the series on Netflix or Hulu.

    Sling TV, a live and on-demand streaming service alternative to satellite and cable, has added AMC and IFC to its core $20 per month service. In addition to The Walking Dead, fans of such series as Mad Men and Better Call Saul can enjoy those shows when they air. If you are among the many that enjoy television’s satirical poke at Oregon's Rose City, IFC is the home of Portlandia as well as Comedy Crib, a weekly collection of short-form comedy films.

    At a future date, Sling will also be adding on-demand programs from AMC, IFC, and The Sundance Channel. With that functionality, the floodgates will open for binge watching of Breaking Bad.

    Sling also is adding a new package of films from the four EPIX movie channels and Sundance called Hollywood Extra for $5 per month.

    Screengrab via AMC


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