Disney Begins Production on “The Lion Guard,” an Animated Disney Junior TV Movie and Series Inspired by “The Lion King”

Disney

Disney Television Animation has begun production on “The Lion Guard,” an animated television movie and series that continues the story introduced 20 years ago in the acclaimed Disney animated film “The Lion King.” Geared towards kids age 2-7 and their families, “The Lion Guard” television movie will premiere in Fall 2015, and the subsequent series will debut in early 2016 on Disney Junior and Disney Channel.

The wildlife education experts at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park will serve as consultants on “The Lion Guard” stories, which will incorporate themes of conservation, family and community while also highlighting problem-solving, creative thinking and diversity. Author and Swahili expert Sarah Mirza is the language and cultural advisor.

Nancy Kanter, Executive Vice President, Original Programming and General Manager, Disney Junior Worldwide, said, “The story of ‘The Lion King’ has deeply touched families around the world since its original theatrical release 20 years ago. We look forward to introducing a whole new generation of kids to both the Disney legacy characters and to new friends and heroes.”

“The Lion Guard” begins as Kion, the second-born cub of Simba and Nala, assumes the role of leader of the Lion Guard, a group of the bravest and brightest tasked with preserving the Pride Lands. Instead of assembling a team of young lions to serve with him, Kion challenges tradition by calling upon friends he believes are the best choices – Bunga, a fearless honey badger; Fuli, a confident cheetah; Beshte, a happy-go-lucky hippo; and Ono, an intellectual egret. Stories will include special appearances by Mufasa, Timon, Pumbaa, Rafiki, Zazu and Kion’s older sister, Kiara, the future Queen of the Pride Lands.

Disney

“The Lion Guard” movie and series were developed by Ford Riley (“Special Agent Oso”), who also serves as executive producer. Howy Parkins (“Jake and the Never Land Pirates”) is director. Christopher Willis (“Mickey Mouse”) is the composer.

Originally released in June 1994, the Academy Award-winning animated film “The Lion King” is a Disney story with long-lasting appeal and creative interpretations across multiple Disney businesses.

The lifetime global box office total for “The Lion King” is $987.4 million; its 2011 3D re-release was #1 for its first two weeks; its Grammy Award-winning soundtrack sold over 14 million units; a Tony Award-winning musical, now in its 17th year on Broadway and with 10 productions in eight languages currently running worldwide, has been seen by over 70 million people around the globe and is the highest-grossing Broadway production in history. The North American tour and the Broadway show each surpassed $1 billion in ticket sales while global ticket sales surpassed $5 billion worldwide (from 22 productions). The Lion King is one of the biggest home entertainment titles of all time, and the direct-to-video release of “Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride” is one of the best-selling direct-to-video releases of all time. “The Lion King” franchise also includes 85 episodes of the Emmy Award-winning animated television series “The Lion King’s Timon and Pumbaa” andpopular attractions at Disney Parks and Resorts. Twenty years since the film’s release, “The Lion King” also continues to resonate with millions of fans who connect with the enduring story and timeless characters through a wide range of products, including nursery décor, bedding and junior fashion.

Marking the animated film’s 20th anniversary, a special edition of the soundtrack exploring the stories behind the songs will be released June 24 as part of Walt Disney Records’ Legacy Collection. An electronic dance music version of “Circle of Life,” by music producer/composer/DJ Mat Zo, is on the recently released DCONSTRUCTED, a collection of EDM remixes of classic Disney songs.

Find out when your favorite ABC shows are headed to DVD this Fall


Your favorite ABC shows are headed to DVD this fall. Here’s what’s coming down the pipe:

Grey’s Anatomy: The Complete Tenth Season on DVD September 2nd
Castle: The Complete Sixth Season on DVD September 16th
Nashville: The Complete Second Season on DVD September 23rd
Once Upon a Time: The Complete Third Season on Blu-ray and DVD August 19th
Scandal: The Complete Third Season on DVD September 23rd
Revenge: The Complete Third Season on DVD September 26th


The Stakes Are Higher Than Ever Before in the Brilliant Sixth Season of TV’s Favorite Crime Drama* 

CASTLE: THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON

Own Every Case and Relive All of Your Favorite Moments on DVD September 16, 2014

Get Even More Castle with Exclusive Never-Before-Seen Bonus Features

Synopsis: After Castle’s stunning romantic proposal to Beckett, what happens next? TV’s magnetic crime-fighting couple faces a whole new set of challenges as they juggle wedding plans and their most intriguing cases yet in ABC’s Castle: The Complete Sixth Season.

Beckett’s new job with the Justice Department takes her away from the wisecracking love of her life. But Castle’s devotion to his new fiancée – and her fascinating line of work – jeopardizes her career and creates a chain of events that might separate them forever. Back on the home front, Castle is none too pleased to discover his daughter has seemingly been captivated by, and now living with, her new, free-spirited boyfriend. It’s a season of surprises you won’t want to miss!

Experience every engaging moment of Castle’s brilliant sixth season, complete with all 23 unforgettable episodes, plus never-before-seen bonus features only available on DVD.

Talent/Cast: Castle stars Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle, Stana Katic as Kate Beckett,
Seamus Dever as Kevin Ryan, Jon Huertas as Javier Esposito, Tamala Jones as Laurie Parish, Molly Quinn as Alexis Castle and Susan Sullivan as Martha Rodgers.

Creator: Andrew W. Marlowe (Air Force One, End of Days)

Bonus Features:
Disc 1
Character Commentary (Need To Know episode) with Detectives Javier Esposito and Kevin Ryan
Deleted Scenes

Disc 2
Audio Commentary (The Good, The Bad & The Baby episode) with Director John Terlesky, Consulting Producer/Writer Terri Edda Miller, Nathan Fillion and Seamus Dever

Disc 3
Audio Commentary (Deep Cover episode) with Supervising Producer/Writer Terrence Paul Winter, Nathan Fillion, Susan Sullivan and James Brolin
Deleted Scenes

Disc 4
Audio Commentary (In The Belly of the Beast episode) with Creator/Executive Producer/Writer Andrew W. Marlowe, Executive Producer/Writer David Amann and Executive Producer/Director Rob Bowman
Deleted Scenes
Castle Karaoke (TBD) – An extended performance of Seamus Dever singing “What I Like About You” in 618 The Way of the Ninja.

Disc 5
Castle in a Day with Stana Katic – Get an inside look at a day in the life of Castle with actress Stana Katic. Directed by filmmaker Mark Polish, this is a stylistic and intimate diary of a day during the cliff hanger scene of the season 6 finale.
A Few of Our Favorite Things – Nathan Fillion, Susan Sullivan and Molly Quinn, along with the rest of the cast and crew share some of their favorite things about Castle which we’ll compare to fan favorites collected via social media polls. Creator/Executive Producer Andrew W. Marlowe and Producer/Writer Terri Edda Miller reveal their favorite part of the show, the Castle and Beckett relationship and debut an unaired Castle and Kate moment from the season 4 finale.
Bloopers
Deleted  Scenes


Live For The Moments.

GREY’S ANATOMY: THE COMPLETE TENTH SEASON

 All 24 Heart-Stopping Episodes Plus Exclusive Bonus Features On DVD September 2, 2014

Synopsis:  The storm may have passed, but now the relationships and romance of Grey-Sloan Memorial must survive in its wake.  Bonds are tested, love is lost and the hospital bids farewell to Dr. Cristina Yang.  Experience every heart-stopping moment in the “can’t miss” tenth season of ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Following a massive mudslide, the hospital becomes a madhouse, and the lives of two doctors hang in the balance. The drama escalates as Arizona tries desperately to mend her broken marriage, while Derek and Meredith juggle their roles as surgeons and new parents. Meanwhile, a stunning betrayal pits Cristina against Meredith and, as April prepares for her big day, a familiar face returns to town. Big secrets lead to big problems and turn best friends into rivals.

Relive “Grey’s Anatomy: The Complete Tenth Season” like never before with DVD exclusive bonus features that take you behind the scenes and draw you closer into the lives of the unforgettable men and women of “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Talent/Cast:  “Grey’s Anatomy” stars Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey, Patrick Dempsey as Derek Shepherd, Sandra Oh as Cristina Yang, Justin Chambers as Alex Karev, Chandra Wilson as Miranda Bailey, James Pickens, Jr. as Richard Webber, Sara Ramirez as Callie Torres, Kevin McKidd as Owen Hunt, Jessica Capshaw as Arizona Robbins, Jesse Williams as Jackson Avery, Sarah Drew as April Kepner, Camilla Luddington as Jo Wilson, Gaius Charles as Shane Ross, Jerrika Hinton as Stephanie Edwards and Tessa Ferrer as Leah Murphy.

Executive Producers:     Grey’s Anatomy” was created and is executive produced by Shonda Rhimes (“Scandal”, “Private Practice”, “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge”). Betsy Beers (“Scandal”, “Private Practice”, “Casanova”), Mark Gordon (“Saving Private Ryan”), Rob Corn (“Chicago Hope”), Tony Phelan and Joan Rater (“Law& Order: Trial by Jury”), Zoanne Clack and Stacy McKee are executive producers. “Grey’s Anatomy” is an ABC Studios production.

Bonus Features:
Extended Episode “Do You Know?”
Spotlight on Sandra Oh – Dr. Cristina Yang is one of the most beloved characters on Grey’s Anatomy. Get to know the actress who plays her as we sit with Sandra and reminisce about her favorite moments and memories, as she winds up her 10-year run.
Medical, Medical – The medical procedures on Grey’s Anatomy have intensified the hospital drama since day one. In this featurette, watch selected cast members get a tutorial from medical producer Linda Klein. From sewing stitches to starting a central line, we’ll see what it takes for the actors to pull off their TV surgical skills.
Bloopers
Deleted Scenes


TV’s Breakout Hit Returns

NASHVILLE: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON

Own All 22 Tantalizing Episodes Plus Never-Before-Seen Bonus Content Available Only on DVD September 23, 2014

 

Synopsis: Indulge your passion for drama, music, intrigue and seduction in ABC’s much buzzed about second season of “Nashville.”

Rayna Jaymes (Connie Britton) and Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) are at the top of their game, but in Nashville, the higher you rise, the farther you fall. In the aftermath of her mother’s death, Juliette is poised to shine brighter than ever – until a sordid scandal threatens to destroy her. Meanwhile, after Rayna nearly loses her life (and her voice) in a horrific accident, she bounces back with her own record label and a new man. But can she still fire up audiences without Deacon by her side…and in her bed?

Meanwhile, Deacon must strike a balance with Teddy when the truth about Maddie’s paternity is revealed, Rayna’s breakout label star Scarlett must find a way to cope with life in the proverbial fast lane, and Lamar Wyatt’s sudden release from prison exposes the truth behind a shocking murder mystery!

Relive all 22 compelling episodes, plus access never-before-seen bonus features only available on DVD. Savor every moment of sin and song in a city where everyone has something to prove and everything to lose in “Nashville: The Complete Second Season.”

Talent/Cast: “Nashville” stars Connie Britton as Rayna Jaymes, Hayden Panettiere as Juliette Barnes, Charles Esten as Deacon Claybourne, Eric Close as Teddy Conrad, Clare Bowen as Scarlett O’Connor, Jonathan Jackson as Avery Barkley, Sam Palladio as Gunnar Scott, Chris Carmack as Will Lexington, Lennon Stella as Maddie Conrad and Maisy Stella as Daphne Conrad.

Executive Producers: Dee Johnson (“Boss,” “The Good Wife”), R.J. Cutler (“The September Issue,” “The War Room,” “A Perfect Candidate”), Callie Khouri (“Thelma & Louise”) and Steve Buchanan are executive producers of “Nashville.” The series is produced by Lionsgate, ABC Studios and Opry Entertainment.

Bonus Features:
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Deleted Scenes


The Time for New Adventures Has Come.

ONCE UPON A TIME:THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON

Own All 22 Bewitching Episodes and Never-Before-Seen Bonus Content Only on Blu-ray & DVD August 19, 2014

Synopsis:     Can five heroic characters set aside their personal grudges and private demons to rescue Henry – and themselves – from the ultimate evil? Experience the heart-pounding action and tantalizing suspense of Once Upon a Time: The Complete Third Season.

The stakes are higher than ever in a Neverland that’s the stuff of nightmares. At the dark heart of its mystery is Peter Pan, an ageless entity with a diabolical agenda and a chilling secret. For Emma, Henry, Hook, Rumple, Regina, Charming, and Snow, Pan’s actions have far-reaching consequences that will change their lives forever, create new alliances and introduce both Storybrooke and the Enchanted Forest to a powerful new villain of legendary wickedness – the Wicked Witch.

Add Season 3 to your Once Upon a Time collectionand relive all 22 bewitching episodes, plus access never-before-seen bonus features. Each time you watch, you’ll fall deeper under the spell of this irresistible series!

Talent/Cast:  Once Upon a Time stars Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White/Mary Margaret Blanchard, Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan, Josh Dallas as Prince Charming/David Nolan, Emilie De Ravin as Belle/Lacey, Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook/Killian Jones, Lana Parilla as Evil Queen/Regina Mills, Jared Gilmore as Peter Pan/Henry Miles, Michael Raymond-James as Baelfire/Neal Cassidy and Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold.

Executive Producers:   Once Upon a Time was created by Adam Horowitz (Lost, Tron: Legacy) and Edward Kitsis (Lost, Tron: Legacy), who serve as executive producers. Steve Pearlman and
David H. Goodman are executive producers.  Once Upon a Time is produced by ABC Studios.

Bonus Features:   Wicked Villains – What makes the villains of “Once Upon A Time” tick?  These complicated characters are not only wicked, evil and dastardly but sometimes heroic, charming and brave.  The actors who embody these bad guys and the writers who create them take an in depth look at the show’s interpretation of everyone’s favorite foes. 
The Tale of Ariel – Follow the tale of everyone’s favorite mermaid, Ariel, played by Joanna Garcia, as we track the character’s development and story throughout the season. We will see the development of her look, track her story and watch her introduction to the other characters of Storybrooke/Fairytale Land.
 Inside the Writer’s Room: The Next Big Character – Get an inside look into the secret chambers of the writers of “Once Upon a Time.”
The Fairest Bloopers of Them All
Deleted Scenes
Audio Commentaries


Revenge Has No Limits.

REVENGE: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON

All 22 Devilishly Entertaining Episodes + Revealing Bonus Content Available Only on DVD August 26, 2014

Synopsis: Get ready for a sizzling hot summer in the Hamptons. Emily Thorne’s brilliant plan for vengeance takes a wicked turn in ABC’s “Revenge: The Complete Third Season.”  Relive the mystery, the fire, and the intrigue of TV’s most delightfully devilish series.

Season Three starts with a bang as Emily Thorne is shot and left for dead on her wedding day. But who pulled the trigger? Back at Grayson Manor, Conrad finds himself in the line of fire, and a flame from Daniel’s past may be the perfect new pawn for Victoria to play with – as she moves to defeat Emily for good. To top it all off, a surprise appearance of an old rival makes sparks fly as the wedding of the century approaches.

Experience the drama of all 22 smoldering episodes, complete with exclusive bonus features that reveal even more juicy secrets. Let the fireworks begin!

Talent/Cast: “Revenge” stars Emily VanCamp as Emily Thorne/Amanda Clarke, Madeleine Stowe as Victoria Grayson, Josh Bowman as Daniel Grayson, Nick Wechsler as Jack Porter, Gabriel Mann as Nolan Ross, Henry Czerny as Conrad Grayson, Christa B. Allen as Charlotte Grayson, and Barry Sloane as Aiden Mathis.

Executive Producers:     “Revenge” isexecutive produced by Sunil Nayar (Body of Proof, Oz), Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey (The Twilight Saga), as well as Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts (GCB).  The series, created by Mike Kelley (The O.C., One Tree Hill), is produced by ABC Studios.

Bonus Features:              Table For Five – Josh Bowman, Nick Weschler, Barry Sloane, Gabriel Mann and Henry Czerny enjoy some downtime at the Stowaway. Rivals on screen and buddies behind the scenes, the men dole out equal parts respect and ribbings  as they share details about their beginnings and ending, bromances, and on-set pranks.
Audio Commentary
Bloopers
Deleted Scenes


The Secret is Out!

SCANDAL: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON

Get Even More of the Show You Love with Exclusive “Too Hot For TV” Bonus Features, Including a Never-Before-Seen Extended Episode!  Available on DVD September 23, 2014

Synopsis: Forget everything you thought you knew about who to trust…and who to fear. The suspense ratchets up as secrets are revealed, loyalties are tested, and dark truths come to light in ABC’s “Scandal: The Complete Third Season.”

Now, seemingly invincible “fixer” Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) must confront the ultimate challenge: fixing herself. After sifting through her mysterious father’s labyrinth of lies, Olivia’s search for answers about her mother threatens not just national security, but the entire world. Meanwhile, the lives of her “gladiators” – as well as those of the president, his wife and key White House staffers – take sinister, unexpected turns. And when the major power brokers are themselves broken, who will be left to clean up the mess?

Watch the intensity unfold in all 18 episodes of “Scandal’s” riveting third season. Then, delve deeper behind the intrigue with exclusive, never-before-seen bonus features only available on DVD.

Talent/Cast:   “Scandal” stars Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, Columbus Short as Harrison Wright, Guillermo Diaz as Huck, Darby Stanchfield as Abby Whelen, Katie Lowes as Quinn Perkins, Tony Goldwyn as President Fitzgerald Grant, Jeff Perry as Cyrus Beane, Josh Malina as David Rosen, Bellamy Young as Mellie Grant and Scott Foley as Jake Ballard.

Creator: Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice)

Bonus Features:  Extended Finale Episode “The Price of Free and Fair Elections”
 L.A. For D.C. – The White House, The Capitol and the National Mall – these are just a few of the places that viewers see as they watch the show.  Check out the magic as we discover how Hollywood, CA transforms into our nation’s capital.  See the locations which Scandal shoots, learn how they accurately build sets, and see the digital magic  that goes into plate shots.
Jeff Perry Spotlight – Get to know actor Jeff Perry who portrays Cyrus Beene, the President’s Chief of Staff, and close friend of Olivia Pope.  Jeff has a long history with Shondaland, and we will hear from Shonda and his costars as Jeff shares with us his personal acting history.
Deleted Scenes
Bloopers

Jim Henson’s “Fraggle Rock” Spin-off “Doozers” Premieres on Hulu

Any fans of “Fraggle Rock” out there…I know there are! Well, this might be something for you(r kids) if you are looking for a return to Fraggle Rock. It has been more than 30 years since “Fraggle Rock” premiered and now we get a brand new spin-off called “Jim Henson’s Doozers”, which just premiered Hulu Plus with the first few episodes, which run 11-minutes long.

They show is aimed for preschoolers, which is perfect for me because I have a 2 year old and cause use her an excuse to watch. There are 52 episodes planned for this series already, which is a big commitment especially since this new series is Hulu’s first original project for kids.

Trading puppets for computer animation, this Fraggle Rock” spin-off introduces us to the “Pod Squad”, which consits of four new 3-inch-tall kid Doozers: Spike, Molly Bolt, Flex and Daisy Wheel. Check out the clip below, grab your kids and log on to Hulu ASAP!

Meet the New Characters from Disney XD’s “Star Wars Rebels”

In the last few weeks, we have been getting a chance to meet the new characters from Disney XD’s “Star Wars Rebels” including Chopper, the Grumpy Astromech Droid; Kanan, the Cowboy Jedi; Ezra, the Street-Smart Hero; Zeb, the Muscle; Sabine, the Explosive Artist; and Hera, the Pilot. This is really shaping up to be a really cool cast of new characters.

“Star Wars Rebels” is scheduled to premiere in fall 2014 as a one-hour special telecast on Disney Channel and will be followed by a series on Disney XD channels around the world.


Meet Chopper, Grumpy Astromech Droid

In “Star Wars,” droids are always eager to help out their human masters, drop whatever it is they’re doing when called upon, and sometimes even sacrifice themselves to save others. Right?

Not quite. Introducing Chopper, a lazy, cranky (if ultimately goodhearted) astromech droid, and the latest character revealed from the highly anticipated “Star Wars Rebels” animated series.

“If Artoo is the family dog,” said Dave Filoni, executive producer of the show, “Chopper is the cat.” Chopper is an essential crew member of the Ghost, tasked with keeping the starship running and operable for its band of heroes. In reality, thanks to his many “unique” upgrades and customizations, no other alien, human, or droid could handle the job.

The design of Chopper, a.k.a. C1-10P, takes cues from early Ralph McQuarrie concept art for R2-D2, especially the expressive arms that fold out of his head. As “Star Wars Rebels” takes place four years prior to the events of “Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope,” Chopper’s retro look creates an aesthetic continuity with droids of the original trilogy.


Meet Kanan, the Cowboy Jedi

Not every guardian of peace and justice was lost to the tragedy of Order 66. Introducing Kanan, a survivor of the Emperor’s Jedi purge and one of the main characters of Star Wars Rebels.

Kanan, voiced by Freddie Prinze, Jr., is a less traditional Force-wielder than fans are used to seeing. He carries a blaster, is a little sarcastic, and keeps his past a secret. “I like to call Kanan ‘the cowboy Jedi,’” says executive producer Dave Filoni. As shown in this video, his Jedi robes are long gone, replaced with armor and a holster, though a samurai-like ponytail hints at his Jedi Knight origins.

In Star Wars Rebels, set between Episode III and IV, Kanan has been underground for years, evading the Empire. If the Imperials become aware of his existence “he’s going to get killed,” says art director Kilian Plunkett. He still has his lightsaber, but no longer uses it for fear of revealing his true identity — and has ultimately forsaken the ways of the Jedi Order.

Star Wars Rebels will show Kanan’s journey as he rediscovers himself, just as a rebellion begins to form against the Empire. According to Filoni, “He’s a gunslinger that needs to put the gun away and pick up the sword again, and fight for noble causes and selfless causes.” But what will happen when he chooses to reignite his Jedi weapon, fighting once again for a greater purpose?

The video closes with a tease of what’s to come: an encounter with the nightmarish Inquisitor, the Empire’s Jedi hunter.


Meet Ezra, the Street-Smart Hero

In Star Wars Rebels, fans will see the rise of the Rebellion through Ezra: a 14-year-old con artist who learns to fight for a greater good. The seemingly-reluctant hero is revealed

Growing up on his own in the age of the Empire, Ezra has had to rely on his wit and cunning to get by. As voice actor Taylor Gray explains, “He’s very street-smart, he’s a pickpocket, he’s a little thief. But he’s doing it all because he needs to survive.”
Executive producer Dave Filoni adds that Ezra is not a bad kid. Although he may enjoy stealing from the Empire, his behavior has been influenced by the world around him – a world that is under Imperial control.

But his hard life has also made his world smaller. “He doesn’t really trust anyone,” says Rayne Roberts, creative executive of Star Wars Rebels. “That’s kind of his motto in life. He has that hard edge at times.” When audiences first meet Ezra, he is not yet a Rebel and is not yet interested in restoring freedom to the galaxy – but that will soon change when Ezra is introduced to his new surrogate family: the crew of the Ghost.

Greg Weisman, executive producer, says, “His eyes get opened to the fact that there are people who care, who are trying to fight the good fight. And he becomes one of them.” Still, there is more to Ezra than even he knows.

Ezra is Force-sensitive, Filoni reveals, though he is unaware that he is tapping into this mystical energy field. Ezra knows he has some strange abilities, but they’re “instinctive and reactionary.” It is only through his relationship with Kanan, a Jedi Survivor and crew member of the Ghost, that Ezra will learn the true nature of his power. Together, they will forge new paths and destinies – and a rebellion will rise.


Meet Zeb, the Muscle

Every team needs a tough guy. Introducing Zeb, the (smart) muscle of the Ghost crew from Lucasfilm’s upcoming animated series Star Wars Rebels. He is revealed for the first time in this video, featuring concept art, clay sculpts, and final renderings of the character, in addition to creator interviews.

Zeb is a well-trained honor guard and is highly educated, according to executive producer Dave Filoni, which juxtaposes his brutish, alien appearance. He’s voiced by Steve Blum, who says, “He’s got a bit of a chip on his shoulder, hates Chopper and is starting to build a relationship with Ezra, begrudgingly.”

Zeb’s favorite pastime: beating up Stormtroopers, or bucket heads, as he’s heard calling them. He’s an agile fighter, using his hands, feet, and acrobatics. But there is more to Zeb than pounding Imperials. “It’s just going to be exciting to develop him and his bizarre new species,” says Filoni, “and to explain to the audience where he came from.”


Meet Sabine, the Explosive Artist

Sabine is a key member of the Ghost crew in Star Wars Rebels. As seen in this special video, featuring early design concepts, animation tests, and final art, Sabine is unlike any Star Wars character – especially in her love for blowing things up and tagging her work with graffiti.

Dave Filoni, executive producer of the animated series, discloses that Sabine is a Mandalorian. She has a great understanding of weapons and combat like few others, and has turned against the Empire. “She is spunky, she’s feisty, she’s got a little bit of attitude,” says actress Tiya Sircar, who is voicing the character. Additionally, Sabine is an artist, which is reflected in her hair, personalized armor, and graffiti calling cards. After the Ghost crew hits the Empire, Sabine makes sure the Empire knows who did it. Concept artist Amy Beth Christenson says that the Star Wars Rebels animation team has created a library of graffiti tags for Sabine, and is constantly adding to it.

In the end, Sabine is a strong, no-nonsense heroine. As Sircar says, “I think she’s kind of an inspiration.”


Meet Hera, the Pilot

Hera is the heart of the Ghost crew from Star Wars Rebels. The Twi’lek is an ace pilot, able fighter, and is revealed to fans in this behind-the-scenes video featuring creator interviews, character sketches, and animation previews.

Hera is voiced by Vanessa Marshall, and is an especially gifted pilot. “I think she really makes flying the Ghost look easy,” says Joel Aron, CG supervisor. And while she’s strong-willed, Hera also keeps the group together, and can be warm and nurturing. “She knows how to talk to them to get the best out of themselves and to be part of that team,” Aron says. “That to me is the commander of a ship.”

Hera wears “utilitarian flight gear,” orange in color, with her Twi’lek head-tails hanging down her back. She’s not particularly glamorous, and is just focused on getting the job done. Like every member of the Ghost team, she has her reasons for rebelling against the Empire. Uncovering those reasons will be part of the Star Wars Rebels story, says executive producer Dave Filoni.

“Every time we get a script,” says Marshall, “I am breathless with anticipation. I cannot wait to read what’s next because I want to see where we’re going, too.”


Meet the Inquisitor, the New Face of Evil

The next great villain from a galaxy far, far away is here. Fans attending Lucasfilm’s Star Wars Rebels panel today at New York Comic Con got the world’s first look at the Inquisitor, a black-clad, intimidating figure who will play a prominent role in the upcoming animated series.

In a new video screened at the end of the panel, Star Wars Rebels executive producer Dave Filoni officially revealed the character, showing design sketches, a sculpted maquette, and disclosing that the Inquisitor is “tasked by Darth Vader to hunt down the remaining Jedi Knights.”

The panel, hosted by Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo, focused on the Empire and how it is central to the story of Star Wars Rebels. Hidalgo revealed that the series takes place about 14 years after the events of Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, a time in which the Emperor’s rule is secure and the Empire is seeking to expand its power to Outer Rim territories. Further details about the panel can be found on www.starwars.com.

If anything was made clear at today’s panel, it’s that the Empire is back — thanks to Star Wars Rebels.


Here are some other really cool behind-the-scene look videos from “Star Wars Rebels”


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Teaser video released for FX’s new series “The Strain”

Here is a teaser video for FX’s highly anticipated new series, “THE STRAIN”, which premieres July 2014 only on FX. The series is based on the book of the same name by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan.

It stars Corey Stoll, David Bradley, Kevin Durand, Mía Maestro, Jonathan Hyde, Richard Sammel, Javier Botet, Miguel Gomez, Natalie Brown, Jack Kesy, Sean Astin, Robert Maillet, Francis Capra and Melanie Merkosky

How I Met Your Mother’s most loved supporting characters: What are they up to?

Nobody needs to tell us what TVs How I Met Your Mother has done for its core cast – Jason Segel, Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson Hannigan, Cobie Smulders and Josh Radnor – but what about the supporting cast of TV’s most popular half-hour? Well, they’re doing crazy good too!

LYNDSY FONSECA (‘Ted’s Daughter’)
Though her part on the show is a fairly thankless part, Fonseca’s seemingly done quite well out of having the series on her resume. In recent years, the 26-year-old has starred in such movies as Kick-Ass 2 and Hot Tub Time Machine, and also played a lead role on the series Nikita.

CHARLIE AMOIA (‘Wendy the Waitress’)
Amoia, whose comic timing on the series is amazing, displays her versatility in the dramatic short She, playing a depressed young woman who finds an unlikely friend in a rescued dog. The film played at festivals, and has also been featured in several major magazines. Amoia will also be seen in several diverse feature films, including Fat.

JOE MANGANIELLO (‘Brad Morris’)
Though he only did a few episodes (the first in 2006), Manganiello’s appearance on How I Met Your Mother was enough to get him on the radar of near every TV network in town. The actor has played Bon Temps’ resident werewolf on HBO hit True Blood for the past few years, and next appears opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in a big-time flick called Sabotage.

JAMES VAN DER BEEK (‘Simon’)
Though he was already well-known at that stage (for Dawson’s Creek), former TV heartthrob Van Der Beek wasn’t known for his comedy work. His 2006 appearance on the sitcom changed all that, and before too long he was headlining his own half-hour sitcom – well, a starring role on one anyway (Don’t Trust the B*itch in Apartment 23). Van Der Beek recently returned to the show to reprise the character.

CRISITN MILOTI (‘The Mother’)
Ok, so Cristin only recently made her first appearance on the show but all of a sudden she’s gone from ‘who is that?’ to ‘the How I Met Your Mother actress that’s now appearing opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street’. Can only imagine the ‘Mother’ gig helped the 28-year-old actress get the gig.

Meet the Inquisitor, the New Face of Evil in “Star Wars Rebels”!


The next great villain from a galaxy far, far away is here. Fans attending Lucasfilm’s Star Wars Rebels panel today at New York Comic Con got the world’s first look at the Inquisitor, a black-clad, intimidating figure who will play a prominent role in the upcoming animated series.

In a new video screened at the end of the panel, Star Wars Rebels executive producer Dave Filoni officially revealed the character, showing design sketches, a sculpted maquette, and disclosing that the Inquisitor is “tasked by Darth Vader to hunt down the remaining Jedi Knights.”

The panel, hosted by Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo, focused on the Empire and how it is central to the story of Star Wars Rebels. Hidalgo revealed that the series takes place about 14 years after the events of Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, a time in which the Emperor’s rule is secure and the Empire is seeking to expand its power to Outer Rim territories. Further details about the panel can be found on www.starwars.com.

If anything was made clear at today’s panel, it’s that the Empire is back — thanks to Star Wars Rebels.

Star Wars Rebels is scheduled to premiere in fall 2014 as a one-hour special telecast on Disney Channel, it will be followed by a series on Disney XD channels around the world.

Not Even Dry Land Is Safe When “Sharknado” Hits Syfy July 11th

NEW YORK – June 20, 2013 – Up in the sky. It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No, it’s a…shark! A supersized storm sucks sharks from the ocean and hurls them onto land in the new Syfy Original Movie Sharknado, premiering Thursday, July 11 at 9PM (ET/PT).

In the movie, regulars of a beachside bar including owner Fin (Ian Ziering/Beverly Hills 90210), bartender Nova (Casie Scerbo/Make It Or Break It) and local drunk George (John Heard/Home Alone) team up with Fin’s ex-wife April (Tara Reid/Scrubs) to investigate the ecological nightmare that has sharks swimming through the streets of Los Angeles and falling from the skies. Sharknado is a production of The Asylum.

Frankie Muniz (Malcolm in the Middle) and Barry Bostwick (Rocky Horror Picture Show) star in the Original Movie Blast Vegas, premiering Thursday, July 18 at 9PM. A group of wild frat bros and their nerdy tag-along Nelson (Muniz) head to Las Vegas for the spring break of a lifetime. When one of them steals an Egyptian relic from a casino, an ancient curse is unleashed on the fabled strip. Blast Vegas is a production of Brainstorm Media.

Syfy is a media destination for imagination-based entertainment. With year round acclaimed original series, events, blockbuster movies, classic science fiction and fantasy programming, a dynamic Web site (www.Syfy.com), and a portfolio of adjacent business (Syfy Ventures), Syfy is a passport to limitless possibilities. Originally launched in 1992 as SCI FI Channel, and currently in more than 98 million homes, Syfy is a network of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies. NBCUniversal is owned by Comcast Corporation.(Syfy. Imagine greater.)

Larry Hagman, television legend, dies at 81

Larry Hagman, who will forever be remember for his portrayal of one of television’s best loved (and hated) characters, died earlier today (November 23) after a bout with throat cancer. He was 81.
Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Hagman’s parents were Benjamin Hagman, a local district attorney, and his wife Mary (nee Martin). The two had met in high school and Benjamin convinced Martin’s parents to allow them to marry when she was seventeen. His parents divorced when Hagman was five and he and his mother moved to California, where they stayed with his grandmother. It was while in California that Mary was signed to a contract with Paramount. In later years she would become a star on Broadway, originating lead roles in musicals like “The Sound of Music” and “South Pacific.”
Hagman attended several schools as a young man, including the Black-Foxe Military Institute. While his mother went off to New York he remained with his grandmother until her passing, then was sent to boarding school. It was at these schools that he developed a liking for drama classes. He graduated from high school in 1949 and, on the advice of his mother, decided to give acting a try professionally.
While attending Bard College he took some time off to appear in a New York City production of “The Taming of the Shrew,” then spent the summer traveling the country in a variety of musical road shows. In 1951 he joined his mother in the London production of “South Pacific,” remaining with the show for over a year. In late 1952 he was drafted by the United States Air Force and spent four years in London entertaining troops stationed there. After his discharge he returned to New York City where he appeared in several plays, both on and off-Broadway, and the occasional television program. In 1961 he joined the cast of daytime soap opera “The Edge of Night,” playing Ed Gibson for two years. He made his film debut in 1964 in the comedy “Ensign Pulver” and later appeared opposite Henry Fonda in “Fail Safe” that same year.
In 1965 he was cast as Captain Anthony Nelson in the hit television series “I Dream of Jeannie.” The show featured Hagman as the “master” of Jeannie, a beautiful blonde he discovers when he finds an old bottle on the beach. The two eventually married and the show ran until 1970. For years after the show was canceled Hagman refused to associate with anything connected to it, refusing to appear in the two subsequent made for television movies. Although Eden did make an appearance on “Dallas” it wasn’t until 1999 that he agreed to appear with Eden and fellow co-star Bill Daily for a reunion on “The Donny and Marie Show.”
In 1977 Hagman was cast as J.R. Ewing in the nighttime soap opera “Dallas.” As the oldest son of Jock Ewing, J.R. was the bad guy you loved to hate. His scheming and conniving ways came to a head at the end of the second season when J.R. was shot. That summer the phrase “Who Shot J.R.?” became a business in itself, with T-shirts and bumper stickers popping up all over America. That summer also saw Hagman asking for a large raise. The story I was told goes like this:
The producers called Hagman’s agent and asked him and Hagman to come to their office on Monday morning. When they arrive they are taken to a screening room where they are shown the last scenes of the last episode. They see a body being put into an ambulance and the ambulance speeding away. Suddenly another vehicle hits the ambulance, which bursts into flames. The screen goes black and the words SIX MONTHS LATER flash across it. Fade in on a face heavily bandaged. Off screen a voice says, “Because of the extensive plastic surgery we had to do you may not look the same Mr. Ewing.” The bandages are removed and there in the hospital bed is Robert Culp.
A deal was finally made and on November 21, 1980 (ironically 32 years ago this week) the world discovered who had shot J.R. The show ran until 1991, earning Hagman multiple Emmy and Golden Globe nominations as Best Dramatic Actor. In 1995 Hagman underwent a liver transplant. He had acquired a drinking problem as far back as high school and was reported to drink up to four bottles of champagne a day on the set of “Dallas.” He also quit smoking that year, becoming a spokesman for the American Cancer Society in later years.
After “Dallas” he continued to work, appearing in such films as “Nixon” and “Primary Colors” as well as recurring roles in such television shows as “Orleans” and “Nip/Tuck.” In the summer of 2011 Hagman made two major announcements about his life and his career: “As J.R. I could get away with anything — bribery, blackmail and adultery. But I got caught by cancer. I do want everyone to know that it is a very common and treatable form of cancer. I will be receiving treatment while working on the new Dallas series. I could not think of a better place to be than working on a show I love, with people I love.” He revealed to the world that he had stage one throat cancer while also announcing his return to the role he loved in the updated version of “Dallas.” The show debuted earlier this year to great success, brought about, no doubt, by the presence of the irascible Larry Hagman. A true television legend who will be sorely missed

Discovery Channel adds Shark Savers as conservation partner for Shark Week’’s 25th Anniversary

Discovery Channel and Shark Savers, a shark conservation non-profit organization, are teaming up for the 25th Anniversary of the highly popular Shark Week, the network’s annual weeklong programming event devoted entirely to the ocean’s apex predators.

Shark Week, kicking off this year on August 12th at 9PM E/P, attracts millions of viewers each summer. And once they learn that a growing number of shark species are threatened with extinction, and that tens of millions are killed annually for the shark fin trade, many will feel compelled to both learn more and take action.

Through Discovery’s conservation page discovery.com/savethesharks and Shark Savers’ website www.sharksavers.org, people can join the fight for sharks by learning more about why they are so important to our planet, educating their community and taking a pledge against shark fin soup.

“Shark Week is how millions of people learn about sharks, and we will bring additional knowledge and action to that conversation”, said Michael Skoletsky, Executive Director of Shark Savers. “Sharks are critically important to our ocean ecosystem and yet are being killed by the tens of millions a year, mostly for their fins. Sharks are in trouble and they need all our help.”

One of this year’s new Shark Week programs features Shark Savers’ Board Chair, Wendy Benchley. How Jaws Changed the World examines the effect that the Jaws book and film, written by the late Peter Benchley, had on the world. Initially, the unexpected effect was to shape a highly negative public perception of Great White Sharks. Paradoxically, over time, Jaws also contributed to a new generation of shark scientists and conservationists and even some key individuals to devote their lives to shark conservation.

Brooke Runnette, Executive Producer of Shark Week, said, “While Shark Week’s primary purpose is to entertain, we also know that our audience loves sharks as much as we do, and that means making a commitment to protecting sharks. Shark Savers was chosen as one of our new shark conservation partners because they have the programs and campaigns to enable our audience to actively participate in the important task of shark conservation.”

Discovery Channel’s SHARK WEEK is cable’s longest-running programming event and will celebrate its 25th anniversary with all-new specials beginning Sunday, August 12 at 9pm ET/PT.
About Discovery Channel: Discovery Channel is dedicated to creating the highest quality non-fiction content that informs and entertains its consumers about the world in all its wonder, diversity and amazement. The network, which is distributed to 100.8 million U.S. homes, can be seen in 210 countries and territories, offering a signature mix of compelling, high-end production values and vivid cinematography across genres including, science and technology, exploration, adventure, history and in-depth, behind-the-scenes glimpses at the people, places and organizations that shape and share our world. For more information, please visit www.discovery.com.

About Shark Savers: Shark Savers is dedicated to saving sharks and mantas through building awareness, education, and action. Founded in 2007 by six long-time divers with a shared passion, our mission is to save the world’s dwindling shark and manta populations. Today, more than 25,000 members from 99 nations share that passion. Focusing on action and results, Shark Savers’ programs result in more protections for sharks and mantas, locally and globally. By leveraging broad professional experience and ocean expertise, Shark Savers brings this important issue to the public in many compelling forms, motivating people to stop consuming sharks and shark fin soup, working for the creation of shark sanctuaries, and empowering divers as advocates and citizen scientists for sharks. For more information: www.sharksavers.org

Her Universe and BBC Worldwide Launching “Doctor Who” Fangirl Fashion Collection

Her Universe and BBC Worldwide Launching

Doctor Who Fangirl Fashion Collection

Los Angeles, CA, June 26, 2012 – Her Universe™, a leader in female genre merchandise, announced today a license with BBC Worldwide, to create a collection ofDoctor Who apparel for the ever-growing female fan base for the television show.

Her Universe recognized the burgeoning force of female Doctor Who fans and the need to create unique apparel and merchandise just for them. The international iconic brand and television hit Doctor Who is the longest-running sci-fi series in the world and continues to earn critical acclaim as BBC AMERICA’s highest rated series as well as the #1 downloaded series for iTunes in 2011. The new Doctor Who collection by Her Universe will premiere in July with fashion tops featuring images, characters and phrases from the Doctor Who universe all with fashion-forward designs for girls to look “Geek Chic.” To recognize their female Doctor Who fans, BBC Worldwide has created a special Doctor Who logo which will only appear on merchandise from the Her Universe collection.

Ashley Eckstein, founder of Her Universe and known to sci-fi fans as the voice of Ahsoka Tano on the hit animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars also designed and created the Her Universe merchandise. “Her Universe is a line for the fans,” said Eckstein. “Many of our design choices and decisions are influenced by our fans and Doctor Who was the #1 requested license by fangirls for us to pursue next. It was truly a dream come true when BBC Worldwide asked us to do their female merchandise and I am beyond excited to share this extraordinary announcement with our girls today! In the words of the Doctor, I feel like screaming Geronimo!”

Doctor Who apparel and accessories from the Her Universe collection will be available in the U.S. and Canada at both www.heruniverseshop.com and BBCAmericashop.com and through national retail outlets such as Hot Topic. Throughout 2012, the Doctor Who merchandise will also be available at select conventions including San Diego Comic Con.

About Her Universe
Her Universe was launched in 2009 by actress and entrepreneur Ashley Eckstein, and her partner, The Araca Group, known as one of the most innovative theatrical production and merchandise companies in the world. Her Universe was created to directly address the expanding market of female fans by entering into its first agreement with Lucas Licensing to develop and produce a line of female-centered Star Wars apparel and accessories. The success of that line was followed up with a collection for the Syfy network including such shows as Battlestar Galactica and with BBC America for its Doctor Who franchise. You can learn more about Her Universe and purchase the current line of fangirl apparel and accessories by going to www.heruniverse.com and by following Eckstein on Twitter and visiting the Her Universe Facebook page.

About BBC Worldwide Ltd.
BBC Worldwide Limited is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The company exists to maximise the value of the BBC’s assets for the benefit of the licence fee payer and invest in public service programming in return for rights. The company has five core businesses: Channels, Content & Production, Sales & Distribution, Consumer Products and Brands, Consumers & New Ventures, with digital ventures incorporated into each business area. In 2010/11, BBC Worldwide generated profits of £160 million on sales of £1158 million and returned £182m to the BBC. For more detailed performance information please see our Annual Review website: www.bbcworldwide.com/annualreview

Photo credit: – Kelsey Edwards Photography

New Her Universe Syfy Apparel debuts July 11, 2012

NEW FANGIRL APPAREL FOR BATTLESTAR GALACTICA AND WAREHOUSE 13 

HER UNIVERSE ANNOUNCES NEW SYFY SUMMER LINE FOR WOMEN

NEW YORK, NY – June 22nd, 2012 – Her Universe, a leader in female genre merchandise, announced today the latest releases in its Syfy branded collection of apparel and accessories for Geek Girls. Featured in the summer line are designs from the hit series, Battlestar Galactica and Warehouse 13.

The new line of Syfy fashion tops will premiere at San Diego Comic Con and online July 11th at www.heruniverse.com. Fans will be able to purchase new BSG designs at the Her Universe Comic-Con booth (2913-F in the Lucasfilm Pavilion) including a new design from well-known artist, Cat Staggs. Cat’s design will feature the fan favorite character Kara “Starbuck” Thrace and will feature original art designed specifically for this new v-neck top. Additional designs for BSG and WH-13 will be available at Syfy’s Comic-Con headquarters in the Rock Shop at The Hard Rock Hotel, across the street from the San Diego Convention Center.

“As a big Battlestar Galactica and Warehouse 13 fan, I am so excited to introduce new designs,” said Her Universe founder Ashley Eckstein. “It’s also been a pleasure to work with Cat Staggs again. Cat is a fan favorite artist and I feel that she truly captured the essence of Starbuck with this new design.”

“I was very excited when Ashley asked me to design this shirt,” said artist Cat Staggs. “What I was trying to capture with this design was a balance of Starbuck’s strength and fragility, which is something that drew me to her character and I hope others will enjoy that as well.”

Her Universe was launched in 2009 by actress and entrepreneur Ashley Eckstein, and her partner, The Araca Group, known as one of the most innovative theatrical production and merchandise companies in the world. Her Universe was created to directly address the expanding market of female fans by entering into its first agreement with Lucas Licensing to develop and produce a line of female-centered Star Wars apparel and accessories. The success of that line was followed up with a collection for the Syfy network including such shows as Battlestar Galactica. Her Universe will be announcing two new major sci-fi licenses this summer. You can learn more about Her Universe and purchase the current line of fangirl apparel and accessories by going to www.heruniverse.com and by following Eckstein on Twitter at Twitter and visiting the Her Universe Facebook page.

Syfy is a media destination for imagination-based entertainment. With year round acclaimed original series, events, blockbuster movies, classic science fiction and fantasy programming, a dynamic Web site (www.Syfy.com), and a portfolio of adjacent business (Syfy Ventures), Syfy is a passport to limitless possibilities. Originally launched in 1992 as SCI FI Channel, and currently in more than 98 million homes, Syfy is a network of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies. (Syfy. Imagine greater.)

Photo credit: – Kelsey Edwards Photography

Melissa Joan Hart talks Season Two of ABC Family’s “Melissa & Joey”

Melissa Joan Hart has been working on television since she was a kid with “Clarissa Explains It All” and “Sabrina the Teenage Witch”. She is currently starring with Joey Lawrence on ABC Family’s “Melissa & Joey”. Entering it’s second season, Melissa Joan Hart took some time to chat with Media Mikes about what we can expect from the show and about her career.

Mike Smith: In addition to being the star of the show, your Heartbreak Films also produces Melissa & Joey. Could you tell us about your creative vision for this season?
Melissa Joan Hart: That’s up to the writers. We have a writing team, the executive producers/show runners, which is Bob and David, David Kendall and Bob Young, and they are, along with a team of really great writers, they sort of plot out the season along with the network. This second season, I think we started off really strong. I think our first season, which consisted of 30 episodes, but I think our first few even just out of the gate were great. I think that we had a really great crew. We had really great writing staff. We had a great cast. It was able to all gel really well together, and I think that’s kind of rare. If you watch a lot of shows, it takes a while to get the ball rolling. But that being said, I think we came out of the gate pretty strong. But at the same time the second season just gets better, and I think that happens with every show. As the oil in the machine starts to really warm up, you just get the ball rolling and you get these stronger episodes. So in the second season we just have funnier, more solid episodes.

MS: Is there anything you can tell us about any surprises we can look forward to this summer?
MJH: There are some surprises. I don’t know how far I’m allowed to say. Last season, season one, ended with a bathtub falling through the roof. So the beginning of the show starts off with a few episodes about the construction and the family living on top of each other. Mel has a little fling with the cabinetmaker, played by Bren Foster, but then there is some stuff that happens at the end where Joey falls in love with a Russian colleague and there’s quite a little romance that goes on there, and that’s an arc. We have that for a few episodes. So Mel has to put up with this Russian chick in her house. But in between that, there are really just a lot of fun, standalone story lines that happen and some great guest stars. This season it was really about keeping it light. Not having that very special episode. We don’t like to do those. We just want to make people laugh.

MS: Could you tease us some of the other guest stars we’ll be seeing this season?
MJH: Yes. Bren Foster, I think he’s Australian and he’s in one of the episodes; one of the first few episodes, one of the one’s that will air next week. Who else do we have? All the 45 episodes we’ve done kind of run together. So I’m having trouble remembering what people have seen and what they haven’t. Who else do we have? Christine Lakin comes back for a really funny episode. She played my friend in one of the episodes last season. This season she is looking for a sperm donor and happens to want some of Joey’s stuff. That’s one of my favorite episodes; that is my favorite episode of this season coming up, the sperm donor episode. But yes, that’s all I can think of right now. But Debi Mazar plays a great character. She’s like my—I’m thinking about reelection and she is my coach, my reelection campaign manager. So she is—it’s an episode called “The Knockout” and it’s pretty funny. There’s a guy in a movie theater who starts picking a fight with Ryder, my nephew, and I stand up to him after telling Joey not to. I knock him out and it gets on video and it goes viral. And then the whole campaign is around whether or not I should be promoting the fact that I knock him out kind of thing, whether or not that’s a good example for the kids. It’s a really fun episode, and Debi Mazar does a great job in it. And she and I met on the set of Dancing with the Stars. I really like bringing in a lot of these people that I’ve worked with before. That’s one of the fun parts about being Executive Producer is finding talented people all over the place and being able to work with them.

MS: What is it about being a part of Twitter that really helps you with the promotion and connecting with people who are fans of the show?
MJH: Well within two seconds I can correspond with 200,000 people, which is pretty incredible; across the world. And what I really like about it is just seeing the immediate response of things. Like the other night, “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” the first movie, the Showtime movie was on. I don’t know what it was one, but it aired and my timeline was filled with people just talking about it. Being shocked that Ryan Reynolds was in that movie. It was just funny to see how many people were watching it. I think it was actually maybe airing in the U.K. or the U.K. just got Netflix. So they can now watch Melissa & Joey in the U.K., which they’re all very excited about because it’s not airing yet there on a network and they’re all mad at me about that. But it’s fun. It’s like that instant response to of like, you know, just driving people to try products that I like or to know a little something about my family or something that I find funny. I try to be careful not to over use it too much, but to also give everyone like a flavor of everything. Like what it’s like for me being a mom. What it’s like for me being an actress. What it’s like for me being a wife, you know. So like little tidbits of what my inside life is like. But of course it’s an amazing tool to use. To be able to reach fans and get the audience to move, whether it’s for a certain charity reason or to watch the show, that kind of thing. It’s really amazing too to see how many shows this season got picked up because there was a buzz even though the ratings weren’t there. So you know that it can be used to help push different projects through.

MS: Both you and Joey Lawrence are directing this season. How does that affect the way you prepare for the episode?
MJH: It’s just a lot more work. It’s a lot of work. I’m trying to remember what my episode was even about. I’m having such a hard time with this season; getting it so confused with the other season. It’s just so much prep because you’re involved in every step of it along the way, even more so than just being an executive producer. You have the production meeting with the entire crew where you decide what prop will get used for this scene and what effect might be used for this scene or what camera might be used for this scene. And then you’re working with the camera coordinator or DP on lightening and this and that staging. And then you’ve got to get the actors to listen to you, which in this case is really difficult. We all help each other out all the time anyways. It’s a very collaborative effort always, but when you’re the director you get so nervous. It’s like, “What if Joey doesn’t want to listen to me? What if Taylor won’t go where I tell her to? What if they don’t like my ideas? What if they think I’m terrible? What if I annoy them? What if I don’t say enough?” So it’s always hard being an actor and talking to other actors, but I think that other actors kind of respect an actor’s director more so than a camera director because you’ll get help with your acting. You’ll get attention paid to your actual performance as opposed to just, “Go here. Go there. Stay in your light. Get on camera,” because you have different kinds of directors. You have ones that just care about the camera and the lighting and then you have ones that also care about the performance. As an actor I’ve seen that, and it’s difficult sometimes to not have someone paying attention to your performance when you really want that guidance. So luckily we all take great notes and we adjust and we’re very collaborative. So it’s a really fun process, but you just get nervous like, “What if they don’t like my ideas.” So it’s a lot of work. And then you’ve got to do the editing once that episode is done. When you’re acting, it’s Monday to Friday. When you’re directing it’s like a three to four week process.

MS: Have you guys ever shot a scene where you couldn’t stop laughing? Like you just kept doing bloopers?
MJH: Yes. We’ve had a few of those. There have been a few. We use iPhones on the set and sometimes we snap pictures with the iPhones. And then other times we have to be pretending we’re looking at the phone and kind of turning it to each other and saying, “See look. See the message,” or whatever, but there’ll be a stupid picture on the phone and it just makes us giggle and it’s always hard to pull it back. I think there was an episode coming up where Nick had to eat a lot of junk food, junk food from the vending machines at school as a school project for Taylor to write about in her blog. There were snowballs and all this stuff on the set. He was trying to eat but he was just so disgusted by all the food he had to eat. There was a lot spit takes in that one.

MS: What challenges will Mel be facing with the kids this season?
MJH: Well they’re getting older. There’s an episode where Taylor tries to befriend the new girl that she sees at school because she was the new girl last year. So she’s trying to be the good person by bringing this girl into her circle and trying to befriend her, but realizes that not everybody wants to be popular or liked or taken under someone’s wing. There are a few episodes about relationships. Nick has a little girlfriend who we adore on the show. She’s been back and forth a little bit, Holly. She pretty much tortures him. So there are a few episodes with her involved. And Taylor has a few episodes where she’s got a romantic guy with her. The one I directed with her and—what was the actor’s name? Anyway we’ve got these great little teen actors on the show and one of them plays her boyfriend for—for a few episodes—and there’s a nice little story line that happens with her and that relationship and us giving her relationship advice and stuff like that. So the typical teen stuff, but they are getting older and they’re starting to teach us a few things as well.

MS: What do you admire most about Mel?
MJH: She’s really determined. She sets her heart to something. She thinks she’s got the—when she thinks she’s on the right path or she thinks there’s a mission to accomplish she will get to it. She will finish that mission. She is one of those women that is determined and has her convictions and sees things through, but she does it in a really silly, funny way.

MS: How much of those particular episodes or how many of those moments do you actually get input on? Is any of that based on true to life experiences of Melissa or Joey?
MJH: The structure of it’s always there from the writers, but then we like to tweak it within itself, like the episode with climbing out the window and stuff like that. I like to constantly remind the writers, not that they need a lot of reminding, that I don’t know what I’m doing here, that I don’t want to know what I’m doing. I want to make mistakes, as a parent. That’s where a lot of the humor comes from, and that’s true to life, I think, too. We’ve been thrown these teenagers. It’s not like we raised them from scratch. There’s a lot of room for error. What I really like to do is go look at my natural parenting instincts and do the opposite. So a lot of the time if I feel like there’s something that can be the opposite or there’s an episode where we’re kind of lecturing the kids too much we’ll go sit down with the writers and say, “We think it’d be really funny if the kids actually lectured us on this,” or if Lennox and I are both sneaking into the house late at night and have to shush each other because we don’t want to wake up Joey. Both of us don’t want to get in trouble, inappropriate behavior as adults really.

MS: It seems like there are a lot of chances for improvisational on set with your cast.
MJH: We do. That’s what’s great about doing the live show too. We shoot live on Friday nights, which I’ve never really done before, but it does really help because you get to try out different jokes in front of the audience. You do three or four takes and you try out a few different jokes and see which one gets the biggest laugh and then hopefully the editor will use that one. It’s fun to be able to sort of improve that stuff. And sometimes one thing will happen that’s totally authentic and natural and they’ll use it in the episode, which is wonderful.

MS: You have been a successful teen/child actor with Clarissa Explains It All and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. And you made the transition to being an adult actress, which a lot of teen stars find difficult. What has been the secret to your success with that?
MJH: I’m actually in the process of possibly writing a book about that because I don’t really know what that recipe is. I think that a lot of the balance and success in my life comes from my family. It comes from my mom and my dad and my siblings growing up, and now from my husband and my children and putting that always as a priority. Having that as my balance, as my sort of gage of where to go with my life. But as far as my career, I think it’s just been that at a young age growing up on the East Coast in this business I did a lot of auditioning. It was pretty cut throat. There was a lot of competition, and if you weren’t the best one for the job there was someone right behind you to do it. So you had to work really hard. You had to know your lines. You had to hit your mark. You had to have the biggest smile and think those Fruit Loops were the best thing ever. And I think that I learned that if I want longevity I’ve just got to stick it out. I’ve got to work hard, and that’s—I’ve never given up. No matter—this career, in this business you just go up and you go down. There’s no finding that soaring star to hitch onto and carry you off into the galaxy. It’s constant work to reinvent and figure out the next role and keep working upward. I’ve just learned that if I want to stick with it that’s what I’ve got to do. If I want a career in this business and I don’t want to transition and do something else, then I need to stick with it. Keep auditioning. Keep meeting people. Keep reinventing myself, finding great characters to play. And that’s where producing comes in as well. I started producing at the age of 17 because I wanted to have some control over the projects I was putting out there and the characters I was playing. So producing has definitely helped. And then also transitioning to directing because I got a little bit bored with the acting. I wanted to be more creative and found directing. So that’s been a great outlet for me as well just to keep me in the business. I just love being on a set. I don’t necessarily always need to act. I just love being on a set.

SyFy Kicks off Summer 2012 with Memorial Day Weekend Movie Festival

SYFY KICKS OFF SUMMER 2012 WITH MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND MOVIE FESTIVAL

PREMIERE OF SUPER SHARK ON SATURDAY, MAY 26 AT 9PM

NEW YORK – May 18, 2012 – Syfy will kick off Summer 2012 with a four-day, Memorial Day weekend movie extravaganza highlighted by the dyn-o-mite premiere of Super Shark, starring classic TV stars Jimmy Walker (“J.J.” on Good Times) and John Schneider (Smallville, Dukes of Hazzard) on Saturday, May 26 at 9PM (ET/PT).

Syfy launches the holiday festival on Friday, May 25 with a Nightmare on Elm Street marathon. Creature features devour the Saturday, May 26 schedule, including Sharktopus and Lake Placid 2, the highest rated Saturday Original Movie ever.

On Sunday, May 27, Syfy unleashes a theatrical movie bonanza ranging from Serenity and Stealth to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Closing out the long holiday weekend on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28, Syfy will present films such as Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace,starring Daniel Craig as 007.

Syfy is a media destination for imagination-based entertainment. With year round acclaimed original series, events, blockbuster movies, classic science fiction and fantasy programming, a dynamic Web site (www.Syfy.com), and a portfolio of adjacent business (Syfy Ventures), Syfy is a passport to limitless possibilities. Originally launched in 1992 as SCI FI Channel, and currently in more than 98 million homes, Syfy is a network of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies. (Syfy. Imagine greater.)

Disney XD Sets Premiere Date for “TRON: Uprising”

A VISUALLY STRIKING ANIMATED SERIES FEATURING

A NEW HERO BATTLING FOR FREEDOM ON THE GRID

Special Prelude “TRON: Uprising, Beck’s Beginning”

Premieres Friday, May 18 on Disney Channel;

Series Premieres Thursday, June 7 on Disney XD

Disney XD delves inside the computer world of The Grid and the people who live there with “TRON: Uprising,” a visually striking new animated television series that follows the heroic journey of a new character, a young program named Beck, who becomes the unlikely leader of a revolution. The series, produced in CG animation with a 2D aesthetic, is set in the era of “TRON” between the stories in the 1982 feature film and Walt Disney Studios’ “TRON: Legacy.” Disney Channel will present “TRON: Uprising, Beck’s Beginning,” a 30-minute uninterrupted prelude to the series on FRIDAY, MAY 18 (9:30– 10:00 p.m., ET/PT). The special will encore uninterrupted on Disney XD on MONDAY, MAY 21(7:00 p.m. ET/PT), followed by the series launch on THURSDAY, JUNE 7 (9:00 p.m.) on Disney XD.

“TRON: Uprising” stars Elijah Wood as Beck, Bruce Boxleitner as Tron, Mandy Moore as Mara, Emmanuelle Chriqui as Paige, Nate Corddry as Zed, Lance Henriksen as General Tesler, Reginald VelJohnson as Able, Paul Reubens as Pavel and Tricia Helfer as The Grid.

Produced by Disney Television Animation, the series is executive-produced and directed by Charlie Bean (“Robotboy,” “Samurai Jack” and “Powerpuff Girls”) with Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz (both screenwriters of “TRON: Legacy” / executive producers of ABC’s “Lost” and “Once Upon a Time”) and Justin Springer (co-producer of “TRON: Legacy”) as consulting producers. The music is composed by Joseph Trapanese (“TRON: Legacy”).

“TRON: Uprising, Beck’s Beginning” introduces Beck, a young mechanic living in Argon City, a growing metropolis in a far off corner of The Grid that has just been occupied by General Tesler, a henchman of the notorious Clu. After his best friend Bodhi is ruthlessly derezzed by Clu’s army, Beck seeks justice for his lost friend and launches a crusade against the regime. His rebellion captures the attention of Tron, the greatest warrior The Grid has ever known, who sees the potential in Beck and trains him to be his successor. Labeled with the moniker of The Renegade, Beck sparks a revolution to fight for the freedom of The Grid.

The multiplatform premiere schedule is as follows:

Monday, April 30

(9:00 p.m., ET/PT) – Disney XD will debut the official trailer for “TRON: Uprising” during the series premiere of “Motorcity” and online at DisneyXD.com.

Friday, May 11

“TRON: Uprising, Beck’s Beginning” will be released on Disney Channel and Disney XD On Demand.

Sunday, May 13

“TRON: Uprising, Beck’s Beginning” will be available on YouTube via Disney XD’s Facebook Page.

Monday, May 14

“TRON: Uprising, Beck’s Beginning” will be available on iTunes as a free download.

Tuesday, May 15

DisneyXD.com launches a new side-scrolling adventure-puzzle game, “Escape from Argon City,” in which players help Beck master his light disc throwing skills to defeat General Tesler’s army.

Friday, May 18

(9:30 p.m., ET/PT) – “TRON: Uprising, Beck’s Beginning” airs uninterrupted on Disney Channel.

Directly following the linear premiere, DisneyXD.com will launch a new interactive video and gaming activity that invites users to immerse themselves in the world of TRON; the special will be split down into 10 micro-episodes in which users take on the role of Beck and help him fight to become the next hero of The Grid.

Monday, May 21

(7:00 p.m., ET/PT) “TRON: Uprising, Beck’s Beginning” airs uninterrupted on Disney XD.

Thursday, June 7

(9:00 p.m., ET/PT) – “TRON: Uprising” Series Premiere on Disney XD

In the premiere episode, “The Renegade Part 1,” Beck’s training with Tron is interrupted when he’s captured by a Recognizer patrol and sent to the Coliseum to fight in the games. There Beck meets a fellow prisoner Cutler, a fierce warrior program who has been inspired by The Renegade’s actions. Recharged by their shared passion for freedom, Beck and Cutler fight their way out of the deadly disc games. Meanwhile, Zed and Mara head out for night on the town, but run into trouble when an enchanted Zed is lured away by Perl (voiced by Kate Mara), a program from the wrong side of the tracks.

Directly following the premiere on air, “The Renegade Part 2” will be available on DisneyXD.com, along with a new game, “Renegade Strike,” where users take on the identity of The Renegade and defend The Grid from Clu and General Tesler.

Friday, June 8

Following the premiere, “TRON: Uprising” will be showcased via Disney XD on Demand, DisneyXD.com, Disney XD Mobile, Sony Playstation, Xbox Live and iTunes.

Disney XD is a basic cable channel and multi-platform brand showcasing a compelling mix of live-action and animated programming for Kids age 6-14, hyper-targeting boys and their quest for discovery, accomplishment, sports, adventure and humor. Disney XD branded content spans television, online, mobile and VOD platforms. The programming includes series, movies and short-form, as well as sports-themed programming developed with ESPN. In the U.S., Disney XD is seen on a 24-hour, advertiser supported network that reaches over 78 million households via its basic cable and satellite affiliates. Disney XD channels are in the UK, France, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Poland, Greece, Turkey, Latin America, Japan, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and The Netherlands among other countries.