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Val Kilmer says he's canceling his Tampa Bay Comic Con appearance

Val Kilmer has canceled his appearance at Tampa Bay Comic Con.

Associated Press

Val Kilmer has canceled his appearance at Tampa Bay Comic Con.

Val Kilmer and the Tampa Bay Comic Con announced today that the Batman, Tombstone and Willow star has canceled his appearance at the convention in Tampa this weekend. 

Kilmer was arguably the best-known celebrity guest in the lineup for this year's convention happening Friday through Sunday at the Tampa Convention Center. This morning Kilmer tweeted he was canceling the appearance due to "family stuff."

Unfortunately I've had to cancel visiting all my friends at Tampa Comicon this weekend. I've got family stuff that's got to be my priority.

Tampa Bay Comic Con later confirmed the news on its Facebook page, writing that "we recently received some bad news from Val Kilmer. Certainly very last minute for a cancellation. We're very sorry for everyone that was looking forward to meeting Val. We featured Val Kilmer at our Indiana Comic Con back in April, and his appearance went smoothly, so we were hoping for another smooth appearance this weekend."

The Facebook post also said that the convention is working to find a "suitable replacement." Spokesperson Jaimie Kautzmann said that replacement guest will be announced via Facebook once they're booked. …

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Could Floo Powder or a Triwizard maze be in Universal's future?

Universal Orlando announced Monday that it will close Dragon Challenge on Sept. 5 for a new "highly themed" Harry Potter ride to open in 2019.

Universal Orlando

Universal Orlando announced Monday that it will close Dragon Challenge on Sept. 5 for a new "highly themed" Harry Potter ride to open in 2019.

As we reported here, Universal Orlando announced Monday that it will close the coaster Dragon Challenge for a new “highly themed” Harry Potter ride to open in 2019. Accio educated guesses!! 

The news sent Potter fans into a tizzy with hopes for a Floo Powder Network or the maze from the Triwizard Tournament. And they have pretty good reasons for their guesses.

If you pair this announcement with the news reported last March in the Orlando Business Journal that the park obtained  patents for a “vehicle transportation room system and method” and a “system and method for a moving puzzle theatre,” you might be thinking that a Floo Network or Triwizard Tournament attraction are headed to the park.

 


The Floo Powder Network in the Harry Potter series is used to magically transport wizards from one fireplace to another, and the Triwizard Tournament’s final task involved a maze populated by various obstacles and dangers.

The only clue from Universal: “This all-new thrill ride will take you deeper into J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, where you will encounter some of your favorite characters and creatures. It’ll be unlike anything we’ve ever done before and it will be fun for the entire family.” …

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What to watch this week: 'Midnight, Texas,' Shark Week specials

Midnight, Texas, a new supernatural series on NBC, premieres at 10 p.m. Monday.

NBC

Midnight, Texas, a new supernatural series on NBC, premieres at 10 p.m. Monday.

It's that time of year again. No, not back-to-school month or geek convention season - it's Shark Week.

For almost 30 years, Discovery Channel has brought fascinating and educational stories about those sharp-toothed fish that make us afraid to go in the water. Television's longest-running event continues today through Sunday .

This year, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps races against a shark (because, why not?) and gets schooled at the Bimini Shark Lab in the Bahamas.

It's also the first year that Shark Week airs during the same week around the world in more than 220 countries.

There's also going to plenty of shark cage-diving, slow-motion videos of leaping great whites and getting up close and personal with the most distinctive shark species in the world.
And, of course, it's not a great week to be a seal.

Tune in for these Jaws-dropping episodes: Must-see specials for Shark Week 2017

MONDAY

SERIES PREMIERE: Somewhere Between, 10 p.m., ABC: A news producer goes back in time in an attempt to stop a serial killer.

SERIES PREMIERE: Midnight, Texas, 10 p.m., NBC: A powerful psychic moves to a mysterious Texas town inhabited by a host of supernatural creatures who don't fit in anywhere else. …

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People online are calling Snooty the 'new Harambe'

A Reddit user named Rachelguy72 posted this image to Reddit on Monday. It shows Snooty, David Bowie and Harambe in heaven together.

Rachelguy72 via Reddit

A Reddit user named Rachelguy72 posted this image to Reddit on Monday. It shows Snooty, David Bowie and Harambe in heaven together.

The accidental death of Snooty the manatee, days after thousands attended his 69th birthday celebration, was incredibly sad, and there has been a genuine outpouring of grief, including a memorial at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton.

There also might be another thing happening. Call it the Harambe effect. Think all the way back to last year, when the genuine anger over the death of the Cincinnatti Zoo's gorilla Harambe began to subside, and his afterlife as a viral internet meme began to pick up steam.

A certain type of mostly-young, mostly-male person began making signs and t-shirts, posting on Twitter and shouting in the background of newscasts. "Justice for Harambe!" was their cry, and, as the Washington Post correctly explained, the idea was "the more intense and more sincere-seeming the expression of mourning is, the funnier the joke."

This hasn't happened with Snooty on any comparable scale, at least not yet, but plenty of people are making a Snooty-Harambe connection on social media, and a group of "protesters" (below) did appear outside the Bradenton museum where Snooty lived on Sunday, and they had a very Harambe-esque vibe.

 …

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Throwback Tampa Bay station 102.9 goes from R&B jams to WFLA-AM's conservative talk

Tampa's 102.9 is going from Throwback Tampa Bay to WFLA-AM's news radio.

[iheartmedia]

Tampa's 102.9 is going from Throwback Tampa Bay to WFLA-AM's news radio.

Talk radio station WFLA-AM (970) began simulcasting on 102.9 FM in the Tampa area this morning. 

The local 102.9 frequency had previously been Throwback Tampa Bay, which played "throwback hip-hop and R&B" that was mostly 90s hits from artists like Mary J. Blige, Snoop Dogg and Jay-Z. 

The 102.9 frequency, which covers the South Tampa area, will now broadcast WFLA-AM's lineup of local and syndicated shows that includes AM Tampa Bay with longtime local hosts Jack Harris and Tedd Webb, as well as Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Todd Schnitt.

Throwback Tampa Bay fans can still hear that station in the Tampa Bay area on 105.9 FM, which covers most of Hillsborough County, and 94.5 FM, which originates in Gulfport and covers St. Petersburg. Having it also broadcast on 102.9 was "redundant," which brought on the switch, an iHeartMedia spokesman said.

WFLA-AM's talk radio content can also be heard on 96.7 FM in Pasco County and northern Pinellas County.

MORE RADIO

Romano: Radio personality 'Big Dog' Steve Duemig battling cancer

NPR: Snap Judgment live show coming to Tampa Theatre

Glenn Beck: Host wants to heal the America he divided …

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Five important meetings we saw on 'Game of Thrones' Season 7 episode 2, 'Stormborn'

In the second episode of Season 7, Daenerys (left) assembles her powerful group of allies on Dragonstone.

HBO

In the second episode of Season 7, Daenerys (left) assembles her powerful group of allies on Dragonstone.

This week's episode of Game of Thrones was one of its best yet.

Plot-defining meetings and dark reunions occurred and the two icy blonde queens staked their claims to the Iron Throne by negotiating alliances.

Oh, and Euron Greyjoy proved what he could do with a thousand ships and two good hands.

Here are some of the important meetings we saw during Game of Thrones Season 7, episode 2: "Stormborn".

RECAP: Five things we learned from Game of Thrones Season 7 premiere

RECAP: Game of Thrones Season 6 finale: Long may she reign

Everything you need to know for Game of Thrones Season 7

Last week Cersei brought Euron Greyjoy and his army to Kings Landing to pledge loyalty and, well, because she needs more allies to fight for her.

This week, her goal was to recruit the southern House Tarly by turning them against the Tyrells, namely Lady Olenna. She blames the Tyrells for bringing Daenerys Dothraki and Unsullied army to Westeros.

"But," Samwell Tarly's dad said. "What about the dragons?"

Good question, mean Samwell Tarly's dad.

Later, Maester Qyburn gives Cersei a little lesson in dragons by showing her the massive skulls of the three dragons who helped originally conquer Westeros. …

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'Stranger Things' is coming back; here's the first trailer

A scene from the Stranger Things Season 2 trailer.

Netflix

A scene from the Stranger Things Season 2 trailer.

The nostalgia-heavy, small-screen blockbuster Stranger Things returns to Netflix with a new season on Oct. 27 - just in time for a pre-Halloween weekend binge session.

Netflix unveiled the trailer for the upcoming season of the breakout hit at Comic-Con, and it's chock-full of 1980s pop cultural references. The kids are dressed as the Ghostbusters for Halloween. They're playing Dragon's Lair at the arcade. There's a Reagan/Bush '84 campaign yard sign. Vincent Price's voice-over on Michael Jackson's "Thriller" narrates the whole thing.

But the big takeaway is that Eleven is back. The mysterious girl with mysterious powers shows up at the end of the teaser, and it looks as if she's found a way to get out of the Upside Down.

The iconic character is played by Millie Bobby Brown, who is up for a best supporting actress Emmy for the role. Eleven will be a full-fledged character in the second season, the show's creators told USA Today. "Her role is substantial and really satisfying," executive producer Shawn Levy said. …

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What to watch this weekend: 'Ozark,' 'Insecure,' 'Midnight, Texas'

Yvonne Orji and Issa Rae in Insecure.

HBO

Yvonne Orji and Issa Rae in Insecure.

This side of Hell: Midnight, Texas

I don't know about you, but I've been itching for a good supernatural show (besides Supernatural) since The Vampire Diaries and True Blood ended. Enter Midnight, Texas on NBC. It's got all the great supernatural characters (vampires, angels, psychics, ghosts) and some new ones I don't have a name for yet (is it a were-tiger?). The series follows Manfred (Francois Arnaud), a powerful psychic who finds safety in Midnight, a remote Texas town where nothing is what it seems. He finds friends in Bobo (Dylan Bruce), the local pawn shop owner; Fiji (Parisa Fitz-Henley), a witch who owns a Wiccan shop; Olivia (Arielle Kebbel), a talented assassin with a store of weapons to match; Joe (Jason Lewis), a sweet angel who knows quite a lot of secrets; Lemuel (Peter Mensah), a wise vampire; Creek (Sarah Ramos), an aspiring writer; and the Rev. Emilio Sheehan (Yul Vazquez), who gets a little crazy during the full moon. Oh, and the town sits on a veil between the living and hell. Sounds like a great vacation destination. 10 p.m. Monday, NBC.

Review: Midnight, Texas overloads on supernatural, lacks luster

Smart and sharp: Ozark …

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Shark Week 2017: Michael Phelps races a shark and other must-see specials

For almost 30 years, Discovery Channel has brought a full week of special programs on the toothy underwater predators through Shark Week.

Discovery Channel

For almost 30 years, Discovery Channel has brought a full week of special programs on the toothy underwater predators through Shark Week.

It's that time of year again. No, not back to school month or geek convention season -- it's Shark Week.

For almost 30 years, Discovery Channel has brought fascinating and educational stories about those sharp-toothed fish that make us afraid to go in the water. Television's longest-running event returns Sunday at 7 p.m. and continues through July 30.

This year, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps races against a freaking shark (because, why not?) and gets schooled at the Bimini Shark Lab in the Bahamas.

It's also the first year that Shark Week airs during the same week around the world in more than 220 countries.

There's also going to plenty of shark cage-diving, slow motion videos of leaping great whites and getting up close and personal with the most unique shark species in the world.

And, of course, it's not a great week to be a seal.

Tune in for these JAWS-dropping specials.

Great White Shark Serial Killer Lives: Every two years in October, a quiet beach on the California coast has been known for great white shark attacks. Is it the same shark returning? Did the attacks continue in October 2016? 7 p.m. Sunday …

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This week in pop culture: Celeb marriages, baby news and arrests

Getty

Married: Fantastic news, everyone. Fantastic Four co-stars Kate Mara and Jamie Bell tied the knot during a top secret wedding ceremony over the weekend. Mara posted the news to Instagram with a photo of the couple kissing with the caption "Nuptials." Bell posted the same photo saying, "Me & Mrs B" on Monday.

Engaged: She has a gold medal, a Dancing With the Stars mirror ball trophy and now a fiance. Olympic figure skater Meryl Davis said yes to retired skater Fedor Andreev. Davis, 30, and Andreev, 35, met through his mother (Davis' coach). Davis shared the news like most celebs, on Instagram.

Baby news: Real Madrid player Cristiano Ronaldo is going to be a dad a fourth time. The 32-year-old star player confirmed to El Mundo that his girlfriend, Georgina Rodriguez, is pregnant. The news comes shortly after Ronaldo welcomed twins via a surrogate.

Baby News: Jessica Alba, 36, is expecting a third bundle with husband Cash Warren. Alba posted a photo of her baby bump on Instagram alongside her two kids, Honor, 9, and Haven, 5. "@cash_warren and I are officially going to be outnumbered #babyonboard #herewegoagain #blessed," she wrote. …

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Review: 'Midnight, Texas' overloads on supernatural, lacks luster

Parisa Fitz-Henley, center, and Francois Arnaud in Midnight, Texas.

NBC

Parisa Fitz-Henley, center, and Francois Arnaud in Midnight, Texas.

There is a cemetery full of great supernatural shows out there. Unfortunately, Midnight, Texas isn't one of them.

The new drama from NBC mixes a gaggle of creatures of the occult -- witches, vampires, psychics and even angels -- and crowds them into a small Texas town that just so happens to sit on the veil between the living and hell.

Midnight, Texas is based on the series of novels by True Blood author Charlaine Harris. Though any comparison to the sexy vampire series is lost in the seemingly bloodless Midnight, Texas.

The series follows Manfred (Francois Arnaud), a powerful psychic who flees to Midnight after a tip from his ghost grandma. He can not only speak to the dead, but also see them as smoky, ethereal corpses.

When Manfred arrives, he quickly finds out why Midnight is all but deserted. It's home to a ragtag group of people who just don't fit in anywhere else -- and would rather keep it that way. …

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William Shatner, 'Vampire Diaries' and 'Stranger Things' stars coming to Tampa for MegaCon

William Shatner is scheduled to appear at Megacon Tampa.

Times files

William Shatner is scheduled to appear at Megacon Tampa.

If you were disappointed when William Shatner canceled his appearance at last year's inaugural MegaCon Tampa, cheer up: Star Trek's original captain is scheduled to appear at this year's MegaCon Tampa, running Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 at the Tampa Convention Center, organizers announced this week.

Shatner is among a group of celebrity guests that now includes John Scott Barrowman (Arrow and Doctor Who), Ian Somerhalder (Vampire Diaries), plus Gaten Matarazzo and Caleb McLaughlin, who play Lucas and Dustin on Netflix's Stranger Things.

Previously announced guests include Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes, who will perform Jay and Silent Bob Get OldArrow star Katie Cassidy and Ruth Connell from Supernatural.

Tickets are on sale for $25 to $40 for adults, $10 for children age 6 to 12 at megacontampa.com.

COMPETITION? Tampa Bay Comic Con founder says MegaCon Tampa is 'cookie cutter'

COSPLAY: It's possible to do Tampa Bay Comic Con on a budget, here's how

PHOTOS: Tampa Bay Comic Con in 2016

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Emma Watson asks the Internet to find her lost rings

Getty

Help find Emma Watson's precious.

The Harry Potter star has lost three of her rings, one of which was a gift from her mother, and is asking social media to help track them down.

"Reward for information leading to the return of rings lost Sunday 16th July at Mandarin Oriental Spa, London," she wrote on Facebook. "On Sunday afternoon I went for a treatment at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Spa in Hyde Park, London. Before my appointment I removed 3 silver rings from my fingers and put them in the safe inside the locker. When I left, I forgot to take my rings from the safe."

Watson called the spa, but when security checked the safe, there was nothing in it.

"Were these just any rings I could accept this, but one of the them was a gift from my Mum," she wrote. "She bought it the day after I was born and wore it for 18 years, never taking it off, and then gave it to me for my 18th birthday. I wear this ring everyday, it is my most meaningful and special possession."

Taking a trip to London anytime soon? This might be a surefire way to become Watson's friend.

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Review: 'Ozark' is heavy on prestige, light on fresh concepts

Laura Linney and Jason Bateman in Ozark.

Netflix

Laura Linney and Jason Bateman in Ozark.

By the end of Ozark's first episode, Jason Bateman's Marty has witnessed multiple murders and is scrambling to placate the powerful drug lord he's been laundering money for.

Netflix's new crime drama isn't the next Breaking Bad or Bloodline. But in the era of Peak TV, it's hard not to draw comparisons to the prestige TV that came before. Especially one that features drugs, money laundering and a toxic family.

Ozark isn't anything we haven't seen before -- white dude hides criminal behavior from his family only to sink deeper and deeper into it -- but that doesn't mean it isn't solid. In fact, its star isn't the thing that's keeping this show above the lake water.

Bateman plays Marty Byrd, a suburban Chicago businessman who's been secretly laundering money for a Mexican drug cartel to keep his family in the lap of luxury.

When his cushy setup with the violent drug lord (Esai Morales) goes belly up, Marty quickly comes up with a plan to "clean" $8 million by moving his family to the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.

Every move Marty makes brings more misfortune for him and his family, yet he remains weirdly optimistic. …

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Actor John Boyega calls out 'Game of Thrones' for lack of diversity

Getty

There's a problem in Westeros. And it isn't Ed Sheeran.

John Boyega has called out Game of Thrones for its lack of diverse characters in his latest GQ interview.

"There are no black people on Game of Thrones. You don't see one black person in Lord of the Rings. I ain't paying money to always see one type of person on-screen," the Star Wars actor said. "You see different people from different backgrounds, different cultures, every day. Even if you're a racist, you have to live with that. We can ruffle up some feathers."

True. This world has dragons, nothing should be off limits. Right?

However, casting director Nina Gold doesn't believe Game of Thrones has an issue with diversity.

"I guess I don't know what to really say about it, because it's not like there's no diversity in the casting in Game of Thrones. We've turned Grey Worm and Missandei into really deep characters," Gold told Vanity Fair this month.

 …

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