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Quick Takes: Paul McCartney to play at Olympics opening ceremony

June 05, 2012

Paul McCartney has confirmed an Olympic-sized rumor, saying he'll be the closing act at the London 2012 opening ceremony.

Earlier this year the former Beatle disclosed that he was in talks to play a role in the celebrations. On Monday, he confirmed: "I've been booked."

The lineup for the ceremony, overseen by "Slumdog Millionaire" director Danny Boyle and themed "Isles of Wonder," is a closely guarded secret. The Olympic Games take place July 27 to Aug. 12.

—Associated Press

More subjects to the Iron Throne

A new record has come to Westeros with Sunday's ratings for "Game of Thrones."

The Season 2 finale of HBO's fantasy series revealed the show's growing popularity, with 4.2 million viewers tuning in to the 9 p.m. broadcast, according to Nielsen. That set a new high mark for the series and was up a strong 38% compared with last year's Season 1 finale.

HBO said an additional 910,000 viewers turned up for a repeat at 11:10 p.m.

Overall, "Game of Thrones" has averaged 10.4 million viewers this season including regular broadcasts, video-on-demand, the network's HBO Go online service and DVRs.

Meanwhile, HBO's political comedy "Veep," with Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a harried, frequently disrespected vice president, delivered 1.2 million viewers at 10:10 p.m., for that show's second-most-watched original episode so far.

—Scott Collins

Art museum might leave D.C.

Washington's Corcoran Gallery of Art is considering moving from its century-old home across from the White House.

The district's oldest private art museum says it is even considering moving outside Washington to suburban Maryland and Virginia. That's because it would cost an estimated $130 million to bring its current home up to modern standards. And there still wouldn't be enough space to display the gallery's collection. The museum currently can only display less than 3% of its collection.

The museum's board of trustees voted unanimously Monday to authorize putting the 1897 Beaux-Arts building on the market and seek an alternative location. In addition to the gallery, the building is home to the Corcoran College of Art & Design, which Corcoran officials also want to expand.

—Associated Press

A last adventure for 'Spartacus'

The flesh-to-loincloth ratio (not to mention the sex-to-violence ratio) is about to diminish significantly on Starz: The historical period drama "Spartacus" will come to an end next season.

The series that helped put the premium cable channel on people's radar will see the last of its fictional battles unfold in its third season, "Spartacus: War of the Damned."

Its most recent season, "Spartacus Vengeance," averaged more than 6 million viewers each week, according to the network.

The series, which airs in 150 countries, has had to face its own set of battles since its debut two years ago. Its star Andy Whitfield was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after the first season, putting a second season on pause. Instead, a prequel, "Spartacus: Gods of the Arena," aired sans Whitfield. The role of the Roman gladiator eventually was turned over to Liam McIntyre for the show's second season, following Whitfield's death last year.

"Spartacus: War of the Damned" is currently in production in New Zealand. The 10-episode season is scheduled to air in January.

—Yvonne Villarreal

Sheriff rounds up viewers for A&E

There's a new sheriff in town — and he tracked down some high ratings for A&E Sunday night.

"Longmire," starring Australian actor Robert Taylor as a charismatic Wyoming lawman, delivered 4.1 million viewers Sunday night, according to Nielsen. That makes it A&E's most-watched scripted series premiere ever as well as the top cable drama launch of 2012.

"Longmire's" lead-in, the Season 3 rollout of the detective drama "The Glades," gathered 3.1 million total viewers, up 19% compared with the Season 2 average.

—Scott Collins

Finally

Moving on: After a seven-season run, Andy Samberg has decided not to return to "Saturday Night Live" next season. The late-night comedy show also will be missing Kristen Wiig come fall.

Sidelined: Grammy-winning jazz musician Al Jarreau has canceled part of a French tour after being diagnosed with pneumonia. The 72-year-old performer hopes to resume his schedule in a few weeks.

Apology: Actor Jason Alexander has apologized for joking during an appearance on CBS' "Late Late Show" that he considers cricket to be a "gay" sport.

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