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WIRE Buzz: First 11 minutes of Hunger Games prequel; SpongeBob table read; Fraggle Rock

By Josh Weiss
Donald Sutherland The Hunger Games

Thanks to Entertainment Weekly, you can now listen to the first 11 minutes of the audiobook for Suzanne Collins' hotly-anticipated Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

“You think you know someone but there are a lot of surprises. You're going to understand a lot more of why he is the way he is," Santino Fontana (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), who serves as the audiobook's narrator, told EW about the novel's protagonist, Coriolanus Snow.

That's right, the villainous President Snow, the man who made Katniss Everdeen's life a living hell for three entire books, is the hero of the prequel. Set 64 years before the first Hunger Games story, Songbirds and Snakes follows an 18-year-old Snow as he mentors a female tribute from District 12 (Katniss' eventual hometown) ahead of the 10th Annual Hunger Games.

As you'll learn in the audio excerpt below, Snow came from a highly impoverished upbringing before rising to his ultimate position as the dictatorial leader of Panem.

Listen now:

While it's not even out yet, the prequel novel is already among Amazon's list of  top-selling books.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes goes on sale next Tuesday, May 19. A Lionsgate film adaptation is already in the works with Francis Lawrence (Catching Fire, Mockingjay) returning to direct.

We're ready! We're ready!

The denizens of Bikini Bottom are coming together for a virtual table read special of SpongeBob SquarePants on Nickelodeon, the network announced today.

Tom Kenny (SpongeBob), Bill Fagerbakke (Patrick), Rodger Bumpass (Squidward), Carolyn Lawrence (Sandy), Clancy Brown (Mr. Krabs) and Mr. Lawrence (Plankton) are all participating.

During the event — titled The Stars of SpongeBob: Fan Favorite Special — the show's voice cast will recreate iconic moments from the long-running kids' show. Fans can head over to and vote for "classic moments, including 'Band Rehearsal,' 'Alaskan Bull Worm,' 'I’m Dirty Dan,' and more," promises the release. "The special will also include the best one-liners, iconic quotes and a performance of a brand-new rendition of the 'F.U.N. Song.'"

We'll see which scenes get chosen when the water-logged, half-hour special airs Friday, June 5.

SpongeBob table read special logo

Boost your spirits with a clip from Fraggle Rock: Rock On!, where rapper/actor/writer Common freestyles alongside the show's cave-dwelling puppets. Rock On! — which is completely produced, shot, and edited during the coronavirus pandemic — is currently free to watch on Apple TV+.

The snippet also comes to us via Entertainment Weekly.

"It's like magic!" Common told EW. "I was on a Zoom call with the producers and creatives talking about what we were going to do and at one point, the gentleman who plays Gobo brought the puppet out and we all couldn't stop smiling. At that moment I knew this is why I decided to do this. They bring this good energy when the Fraggles discuss topics like friendships and connections, it makes me so happy."