I’m frequently sent information on upcoming television, DVD/Blu-ray and movie news. I’ll be compiling and sharing the best and most interesting news with you here each week.
THE LONE RANGER – Trailer Debut
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THE LONE RANGER rides into theaters on July 3rd!
DISNEY•PIXAR’S “MONSTERS UNIVERSITY” ENROLLS TOP TALENT
Helen Mirren, Alfred Molina, Dave Foley, Sean P. Hayes and More Join Billy Crystal, John Goodman and Steve Buscemi in a Remarkable Roster of Monster Voices
BURBANK, Calif. (April 17, 2013) — Disney•Pixar’s “Monsters University” welcomes some of Hollywood’s top stars to its roster of voice talent for this summer’s frighteningly funny comedy adventure, opening in U.S. theaters on June 21, 2013. Joining Billy Crystal and John Goodman are Steve Buscemi, Helen Mirren, Alfred Molina, Dave Foley, Sean P. Hayes, Joel Murray, Peter Sohn, Charlie Day, Nathan Fillion, Bobby Moynihan, Julia Sweeney, Aubrey Plaza, Tyler Labine, John Krasinski, Bonnie Hunt, Beth Behrs and John Ratzenberger. Also revealed this week were the story and screenplay credits. Directed by Dan Scanlon, “Monsters University” features a story and screenplay by Daniel Gerson & Robert L. Baird (“Monsters, Inc.”) and Scanlon.
Scanlon says the cast was able to bring the story to life with great ingenuity and enthusiasm. “Working with this group of actors was an extraordinary experience. They each brought a unique level of humor, emotion and creativity to their work that not only complemented their individual performances, but made the overall story come together in a really wonderful way.”
The voice cast includes the following:
· Billy Crystal (“Parental Guidance,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “City Slickers”) reprises his role as Mike Wazowski, now a college-age monster who follows his dream of becoming a Scarer at Monsters University.
· John Goodman (“Argo,” “Flight,” “Trouble With the Curve”) returns as James P. Sullivan (Sulley), an overly confident, young hotshot Scaring student at Monsters University.
· Steve Buscemi (“Boardwalk Empire”) rejoins the monster world as Randy Boggs, a Monsters University freshman who is ready to experience all that college has to offer (if only he can curb his habit of disappearing).
· Helen Mirren (“Hitchcock,” “The Queen”) gives voice to Dean Hardscrabble, legendary Scarer and hard-to-please head of Monsters University’s prestigious School of Scaring.
· Alfred Molina (TNT’s “Monday Mornings,” “The Da Vinci Code,” “Frida”) is the voice of Professor Knight, an esteemed professor in Monsters University’s School of Scaring.
· Dave Foley (TV’s “NewsRadio,” “The Kids in the Hall”) as Terry Perry, the skeptical half of a bickering two-headed monster and dedicated Oozma Kappa (OK) brother.
· Sean P. Hayes (“The Three Stooges,” TV’s “Up All Night”) gives voice to Terri Perry, the more sensitive side of a two-headed Oozma Kappa (OK) fraternity brother with Scaring aspirations.
· Joel Murray (TV’s “Mad Men,” “Two and a Half Men”) voices Don Carlton, a “mature” student at Monsters University and a founding member of the Oozma Kappa (OK) fraternity.
· Pixar’s Peter Sohn (“Ratatouille,” “Small Fry”) provides the voice of Scott “Squishy” Squibbles, an undeclared sophomore at Monsters University and Oozma Kappa (OK) fraternity member who still lives with his doting mother.
· Charlie Day (“Horrible Bosses,” “Pacific Rim,” TV’s “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”) provides the voice of the incomparable Art, an Oozma Kappa (OK) fraternity brother with a questionable past.
· Nathan Fillion (“Much Ado About Nothing,” “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters,” TV’s “Castle”) portrays Johnny Worthington, the confident president of Roar Omega Roar (ROR), a Monsters University fraternity that prides itself on its notable Scarers.
· Bobby Moynihan (NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” HBO’s “Girls,” DreamWorks Studios’ “Delivery Man”) helps bring to life Chet Alexander, a yes-monster member of the Roar Omega Roar (ROR) fraternity.
· Julia Sweeney (TV’s “The Goode Family,” “Saturday Night Live”) lends her voice to Ms. Squibbles, indulgent mother to Monsters University sophomore Scott “Squishy” Squibbles.
· Aubrey Plaza (“To Do List,” TV’s “Parks and Recreation”) gives voice to Claire Wheeler, the somber president of Monsters University’s Greek Council and emcee for the annual Scare Games.
· Tyler Labine (“Tucker & Dale vs. Evil,” “Mad Love”) was tapped to voice Brock Pearson, vice president of the Greek Council and enthusiastic emcee of the Scare Games.
· John Krasinski (“Promised Land,” TV’s “The Office”) provides the voice of “Frightening” Frank McCay, a Scaring super star at Monsters, Inc.
· Bonnie Hunt (TV’s “The Bonnie Hunt Show,” “Cheaper By the Dozen”) was called on to provide the voice of young Mike Wazowski’s grade school teacher Karen Graves.
· Beth Behrs (TV’s “2 Broke Girls”) serves as the voice of Carrie Williams, fearless leader of the Python Nu Kappa (PNK) sorority.
· John Ratzenberger (“Cheers,” Disney•Pixar’s feature films) returns to the Pixar recording studio as the voice of a Monsters, Inc. employee.
Screaming with laughter and oozing with heart, Disney•Pixar’s “Monsters University” is directed by Dan Scanlon (“Cars,” “Mater and the Ghostlight,” “Tracy”), produced by Kori Rae (“Up,” “The Incredibles,” “Monsters, Inc.”) and features music from future Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Randy Newman (“Monsters, Inc.,” “Toy Story 3”).
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Visit the website: http://www.Disney.com/MonstersU
MONSTERS UNIVERSITY releases in theaters on June 21st!
Cartoon Network Continues Conversation to Speak Up Against Bullying with THE BULLY EFFECT
CNN Original Documentary Abridged with Additional Content for Family Co-Viewing to Premiere Commercial-Free on Sunday, April 28 at 5:30 & 8 p.m. (ET/PT)
Presentation to Feature Exclusive, Live Online Q&A with Author/Bullying Prevention Expert Rosalind Wiseman at StopBullyingSpeakUp.com
Cartoon Network Engages Cable in the Classroom to Help Promote Telecast & Online Chat to Education Community
Cartoon Network continues its vital conversation with kids and families about speaking up against bullying with a special presentation of THE BULLY EFFECT on Sunday, April 28 at 5:30 and 8 p.m. (ET/PT). Produced in partnership with Cartoon Network as part of its award-winning Stop Bullying: Speak Up initiative and presented commercial-free, THE BULLY EFFECT is a half-hour CNN original documentary abridged for family audiences and features additional original content, including a special introduction by Cartoon Network President/COO Stuart Snyder as well as a candid conversation with CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, who hosts the documentary and is a recognized advocate for bullying prevention. Concurrent with and immediately following both telecasts of THE BULLY EFFECT, author and renowned bullying prevention expert Rosalind Wiseman will host an exclusive, live online chat at StopBullyingSpeakUp.com to answer questions from youth, parents and educators.
THE BULLY EFFECT chronicles the journey of 14-year-old Alex Libby, whose emotional life is both restored and wonderfully activated because someone spoke up in his defense against bullying. In 2011, filmmaker Lee Hirsch embedded himself in schools across America and captured footage so raw and eye-opening, it sounded alarm bells and helped create a tipping point about how critical the issue of bullying has become. Hirsch documented a then 12-year-old Alex, who was confronted with slurs, threats and beatings on the school bus nearly every day. Following supportive intervention from an adult on his behalf, today he has become an anti-bullying rock star with appearances on national television and a visit to the White House.
“For three years now through Stop Bullying: Speak Up, Cartoon Network has served to provide valuable resources and materials to help educate and empower kids to speak up whenever bullying occurs,” said Snyder, president and COO for Turner Broadcasting’s Animation, Young Adults & Kids Media division. “Our first documentary, Speak Up, illustrated what kids could do practically to help other kids who’ve experienced bullying. THE BULLY EFFECT takes that message one step further, demonstrating how powerful empathy and understanding can be in helping to turn someone’s life around. I hope this program will encourage sensitive, open dialogue between kids, their parents and teachers and continue to show the impact when one speaks up against bullying.”
During and immediately following the Sunday telecasts, bullying prevention expert Rosalind Wiseman will provide further explanation of key bullying issues for kids and families, answering viewer questions via an online chat at www.StopBullyingSpeakUp.com. To participate, youth and adults will need to either access or create a new user account at CartoonNetwork.com, providing an active email address and the user’s age. There is no need to download any software. Screen names will be anonymous and all comments or questions will be monitored for appropriate content.
“I am impressed that Cartoon Network has demonstrated a prolonged commitment to offer a diversity of programs specifically designed to help many different groups affected by bullying issues, from students and parents to educators and even legislators,” said Wiseman. “It is a privilege for me to work alongside an organization that recognizes the significance bullying plays in the emotional and social welfare of kids everywhere. I look forward to offering further help to those who have questions based on what they experience from watching this special presentation of THE BULLY EFFECT.”
Following the live chat, THE BULLY EFFECT documentary will be posted in its entirety on the website starting Monday, April 29 at 10 a.m. for free, ongoing viewing by students, parents, educators and community leaders. Further viewing of THE BULLY EFFECT across multiple digital platforms will be available on YouTube.com and to cable and satellite customers through VOD for two weeks following the premiere telecast.
Cartoon Network also has enlisted Cable in the Classroom (CIC) to help promote both the special telecast of THE BULLY EFFECT and the concurrent online chat for families with Rosalind Wiseman to the education community and to schools across the country. Following its mandate of supporting visionary, sensible and effective use of media in homes, schools, and communities, CIC will encourage educators, students and their families to watch the commercial-free documentary presentation and to participate in educator-led discussions the following week.
Promotional support for THE BULLY EFFECT will include a heavy on-air rotation of Cartoon Network’s original PSAs created for its Stop Bullying: Speak Up initiative two weeks leading up to the April 28 telecast. Messages targeted for both boys and girls will be feature the cast of Cartoon Network’s live-action comedy series Level Up. Additional celebrity call-outs encouraging kids to speak up against bullying include comedy actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family), Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Ne-Yo, plus sports icons Venus Williams (World Tennis Champion) and Hope Solo (Soccer Star).
Charlie Moore is the executive producer of THE BULLY EFFECT, with Kerry Rubin as senior producer and Chuck Hadad as producer. Original music for THE BULLY EFFECT was created and performed by Justin Rice.
Cartoon Network (CartoonNetwork.com) is consistently the #1 U.S. television network among boys 6-11. Currently seen in 99 million U.S. homes and 194 countries around the world, Cartoon Network is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.’s ad-supported cable service now available in HD offering the best in original, acquired and classic entertainment for kids and families. In addition to Emmy-winning original programming and industry-leading digital apps and online games, Cartoon Network embraces key social issues affecting families with solution-oriented initiatives such as Stop Bullying: Speak Up and the Move It Movement.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.
About Stop Bullying: Speak Up
Cartoon Network’s Stop Bullying: Speak Up is an award-winning, multi-platform pro-social campaign, created with experts in the field to raise awareness, build partnerships and empower young people to speak up against bullying safely and effectively. Campaign resources include video, print and online content—including the award-winning documentary Speak Up introduced by President Barack Obama—available at StopBullyingSpeakUp.com, available at no charge to schools, community groups and parents to motivate bullying prevention activities or discussions.
About Cable in the Classroom (CIC)
Cable in the Classroom (CIC) is the national education foundation of the U.S. cable industry. Working in partnership with, and on behalf of, its cable industry partners, CIC advocates digital citizenship and the visionary, sensible and effective use of media in homes, schools, and communities. Since 1989, through CIC, local cable companies have been providing complimentary connections to schools, and cable programmers have offered quality educational programming. CIC enables educators to access the best of cable’s video and web content.
Tree Fu Tom Swings Onto Sprout On Earth Day
Animated Adventure Series, which Promotes Physical Activity, Debuts on Monday, April 22
PHILADELPHIA, April 15, 2013 – Tree Fu Tom, the animated preschool series that’s taken Britain by storm, will make its U.S. debut on Sprout®, the 24-hour preschool channel, on April 22 at 11:00 a.m. EST. The show, which is a co-production between FremantleMedia Kids & Family Entertainment and CBeebies, joins Sprout’s lineup of quality children’s entertainment that includes both acquired and original programming including the network’s newest hit, “The Chica Show.”
The premiere of Tree Fu Tom kicks-off a week-long celebration called “Dig Into Earth Day,” which promotes conservation and the importance of caring for the environment. Sprout marks Earth Week by being a part of NBCUniversal’s Green is Universal environmental initiative, and will be turning its on-air and online logos green for the entire week.
Tree Fu Tom follows the adventures of Tom a boy who straps on a power belt and through the power of movement magic called ‘Tree Fu’, can transform into a tiny, mighty magical superhero and travel to a wondrous enchanted kingdom called Treetopolis that exists inside a tree in his back garden. Tree Fu Tom encourages viewers to be active by jumping, making physical moves and saying specific words to “send the magic” to Tom.
“Tree Fu Tom is a tremendous addition to Sprout’s line-up of gold-standard programming,” said Andrew Beecham, senior vice president of programming for Sprout. “Tom and his friends take viewers on exciting adventures in his action-packed magical world while encouraging movement and the exploration of nature in a fun and interactive way.”
Tree Fu Tom combines its innovative elements of heroic action, fantasy and magic, coupled with unique interactive physical activity. All of the Tree Fu movements are developed from therapeutic techniques used to help children with movement disorders, and they are also designed to enhance the development of all children at a crucial time in their growth.
While Tree Fu Tom is being adapted for American audiences, British actor David Tennant, most widely known as Dr. Who in the recent incarnation of the popular BBC television series, reprises his role as the voice of Twigs in the U.S. version. Tom and Twigs are inseparable as they become embroiled in amazing, action-packed adventures, which always lead to trouble, impending disaster and near catastrophe.
With animation by Blue Zoo Animation, Tree Fu Tom is a co-production between FremantleMedia Kids & Family Entertainment and CBeebies. Tree Fu Tom was created and produced by Daniel Bays. FremantleMedia Kids & Family Entertainment manages international distribution for the series outside of the UK and manages other ancillary rights globally.
Sprout is one of the leading children’s networks and has a current growth streak of 16 consecutive months of year-over-year double-digit percentage gains in total day household delivery. The network’s consistent and impressive ratings growth is due in large part to the network’s unique programming strategy and original series like The Chica Show, which was Sprout’s highest-rated original series premiere to-date when it launched on November 24, 2012, and Pajanimals, a Sprout original co-production with The Jim Henson Company. Sprout also ranks #1 among all kids cable networks in composition of women 18-49 and has increased 54 percent in delivery of that demographic versus a year ago.
Sprout is the first 24-hour preschool destination available on TV, on demand and online for children ages 2-5 and their parents and caregivers. Available in over 50 million homes, the 24-hour digital channel is the only network that follows the day of a preschooler from breakfast to bedtime with its distinctive, interactive programming and original hosted daypart blocks that parents and kids share together. Viewers are encouraged to submit artwork, birthday wishes, videos and more through SproutOnline.com, which has received over five million viewer interactions to-date. Sprout’s VOD offering is the #1 on demand service for younger children with over one billion views. Sprout is a top-rated kids’ network with 17 consecutive months of year-over-year percentage household delivery growth.
The network’s program lineup of gold-standard, curriculum-based preschool series includes originals like The Chica Show, Noodle and Doodle, and Pajanimals (co-produced with The Jim Henson Company), as well as Sesame Street®, Barney & Friends™, The Wiggles®, Caillou®, Thomas & Friends™, LazyTown™, and more. Sprout is a partnership among NBCUniversal, PBS and Apax Funds.
ARTHUR Stands Up to Bullying in All-New Episodes
–Arthur and Friends Promote Kid-Friendly Dialogue About Bullying in Two New Episodes Airing May 6 & 10 on PBS KIDS (check local listings),
Part of ARTHUR Spring Premiere Week–
(Boston, MA, Wednesday April 17, 2013) – ARTHUR, television’s longest-running children’s animated series, kicks off its spring season with a week of all-new episodes, including two devoted to the issue of bullying.
The week begins with “The Last Tough Customer” on Monday, May 6. In this episode, the Tough Customers realize it’s time to quit bullying and set out to find a new hobby – but can Molly ever truly change her ways? Watch a sneak preview!
Then on Friday, May 10, in “So Funny I Forgot to Laugh,” Arthur thinks his jokes about Sue Ellen’s new sweater are all in good fun, but Sue Ellen’s feelings are hurt. Has Arthur become…a bully?
“While we have seen a renewed focus on anti-bullying efforts over the last couple of years, most resources are targeted towards older children,” says Executive Producer Carol Greenwald. “ARTHUR provides us with a unique opportunity to reach children at a young age and positively impact future attitudes and behaviors. In these episodes, kids will see that everyone makes mistakes, even Arthur, but it’s how you learn and grow from those experiences that matters.”
Since it first premiered in 1996, ARTHUR has tackled a wide range of childhood issues-from asthma and bedwetting, to coping with the loss of a pet. These episodes on bullying further ARTHUR’s commitment to encouraging conversations around tough topics and fostering positive social skills in children.
The week continues with brand-new, fun, and heartfelt stories that ARTHUR fans have come to grow and love. Episode descriptions and airdates below:
Monday, May 6
“The Last Tough Customer”
The Tough Customers realize it’s time to quit bullying and set out to find a new hobby – but can Molly ever truly change her ways?
“Brain’s Chess Mess”
Brain starts a chess club at school to improve his game and beat Los Dedos, the local chess master. Who knew the best player in the club would be…Rattles?!?
Tuesday, May 7
It’s Grebelings season and George can’t wait to play! After all, no one knows more about baseball than George. But when he realizes knowledge of sinkers doesn’t guarantee success in the field, will he throw in the towel?
“Brain’s Biggest Blunder”
When Brain gets teamed with Buster and Binky in the annual Arithmattack competition, he immediately enrolls Buster in binomial boot camp. Can Brain transform Buster into a mathematic marvel? Or will he be forced to eat humble pi?
Wednesday, May 8
“Buster’s Book Battle”
Lakewood Elementary has just instituted IRP; a program where kids can earn points (and prizes!) for reading. Buster’s thrilled and gets to work straight away! But will he earn enough points for a skateboard?
“On the Buster Scale”
Buster and Brain never agree on movies. Buster rates every film a 10+, while Brain doesn’t seem to like anything…Only one of them can be right…or so they think.
Thursday, May 9
“Fern and the Case of the Stolen Story”
The unthinkable has happened! Fern has writer’s block! Fortunately, Ladonna’s full of stories. Faced with a tight deadline, Fern decides to “borrow” the tales and simply change the names. Has Fern confused write and wrong?
“Sue Ellen Vegges Out”
When Sue Ellen decides to stop eating meat, Muffy and Francine compete to be the best vegetarian. Can they successfully resist meat? Or was this a missed steak?
Friday, May 10
“So Funny I Forgot to Laugh”
Arthur thinks his jokes about Sue Ellen’s new sweater are all in good fun but Sue Ellen’s feelings are hurt. Has Arthur become…a bully?
“Best Day Ever”
It’s a beautiful afternoon and everyone is reminiscing about their “best days.” Everyone, that is, except Arthur. Is it possible he doesn’t have one?
Join ARTHUR online at pbskids.org/arthur
The ARTHUR website is home to a variety of educational materials, including resources, lesson plans, and activities, to help kids gain a better appreciation for the world around them. Parents are encouraged to use the new episodes, as well as related online resources, to begin a conversation with their children about bullying.
Stay tuned for the launch of a new Fashion Club, coming this May! Design an outfit for your favorite character, watch fashion-themed videos, and much more! Visit the ARTHUR website at pbskids.org/arthur and watch video clips and full episodes at pbskids.org/video.
ARTHUR, based on the best-selling books by Marc Brown, is television’s longest-running children’s animated series. Over the past 15 seasons, ARTHUR has remained one of the highest-rated weekday children’s series on PBS among children 4-8. ARTHUR has won numerous awards, including the George Foster Peabody Award, a BAFTA, and six Daytime Emmys®-four for Outstanding Children’s Animated Program. ARTHUR is produced by WGBH Boston and 9 Story Entertainment. Executive producers are Carol Greenwald (WGBH), Vince Commisso (9 Story), and Marc Brown (Marc Brown Studios). Directed by Greg Bailey. Funding for ARTHUR is provided by public television viewers. Corporate funding is provided by Chuck E. Cheese’s®.