Media Mikes’ Music Wrap-Up for 2014

Another year in music has come and gone here at Media Mikes and that can really only mean one thing. It’s time for our annual year end wrap up where the writers here at the site get together to present our top 5 album releases of the year. We also like to take this time to thank all of our dedicated readers, press outlets and artists who make this site possible. Without all of your continued support we would not be able to do what we do. Here is to a safe and happy 2015. Now without further a due we present to you Media Mikes top 2014 music releases.

Mike Gencarelli: Site Owner
1.) The Amity Affliction- “Let the Ocean Take Me”
2.) Kontrust- “Explositive”
3.) Marketa Irglova- “Muna”
4.) Pink Floyd- “The Endless River”
5.) You+Me- “Rose Ave”

Adam Lawton: Music Editor
1.) Against Me!- “Transgender Dysphoria Blues”
2.) The Gaslight Anthem- “Get Hurt”
3.) Judas Priest- “Redeemer of Souls”
4.) Foo Fighters- “Sonic Highways”
5.) CJ Ramone- “Last Chance to Dance”

Jeremy Werner: Staff Writer
1.) Dog Fashion Disco- “Sweet Nothings”
2.) Mastadon- “Once More Round the Sun”
3.) Skindred- “Kill the Power”
4.) Weird Al Yankovic- “Mandatory Fun”
5.) Slipknot- “.5: The Gray Chapter”


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Event Wrap-Up: New York Comic Con 2012

New York Comic Con 2012
Date: Thursday, October 11th – Sunday, October 14th
Venue: Jacob K. Javitz Center, New York, New York

The largest comic convention on the East Coast kicked off on Thursday, October 11th in New York City as thousands of rabid comic/pop culture fans made their way through the streets and subways to converge on the Jacob K. Javitz Center. The sprawling 4 level convention center has been the site of the event since its inception and seems to be a fitting home. With 2011 Convention attendance being reported as over 105,000 attendees for the three days this year’s events would be sure to top that number.

This year’s con featured several highly anticipated events and booths which were hot beds of action during all three days of the convention. Square Enix was on hand to promote their highly anticipated video game reboot of the popular “Tomb Raider” game. Lines stretched for what seemed like days as costume clad fans waited to get a glimpse of the new game. The new version of the game features an archery element and to capitalize on that feature fans were given the opportunity to test their archery skills on a real life archery range. This booth along with the mega sized “Just Dance 4” display featuring the newly moved Brooklyn Nets NBA cheerleaders were major highlights for gamers. Another notable mention was the crew from “Assassin’s Creed III”. The new game will be released in November and though their booth wasn’t as impressive as others the game looks amazing and really spoke for its self.

Artist Alley was a non-stop sea of comic fans waiting to meet their favorite artists and have their books signed. Several new titles were being showcased one of which titled “Gekido” written by Greg Weich and Brandon Wilson features celebrities Coco Austin and Adrianne Curry as you guessed it, super heroes! Also on hand to meet fans was the legendary Stan Lee, Claudio Sanchez owner of Evil Ink Comics and lead singer/guitarist for the music group Coheed and Cambria as well as Slipknot/Stone Sour vocalist Cory Taylor who was on hand promoting his 4 book mini series titled “House of Gold & Bones. The series being released via Dark Horse comics will coincide with Stone Sour’s next two albums “House of Gold & Bones Part 1 and 2”.

As we made our way down to the Autographing area which seemed worlds away from the constant bustle and activity happening on the main floor it was nice to get a breath of fresh air and be able to spread out a little bit as this floor of the show seemed a bit less crowed even though there were several big name stars going through sharpies like crazy. Carrie Fisher of “Star Wars” fame had impressive lines throughout the event despite the $60.00 charge which seemed to be the highest of the convention. Also signing throughout the weekend was “Harry Potter” star Tom Felton, Christopher Lloyd and Adam West. However the most impressive lines were for those of writer Anne Rice and Kirk Hammett guitarist of Metallica who was on hand promoting his new horror collection book titled “Too Much Horror Business”.

After returning from the subterranean depths of the autograph area I braved the main floor of the convention which at all points in time was shoulder to shoulder people many clad in their favorite comic/film character costumes. With this many people, exhibits and vendors crammed in to one space trying to look at the masses of comics and merchandise on hand was a bit difficult. Once here you could find everything from Lego’s and replica weaponry to the latest Marvel edition Vans sneakers. There really was something for everyone in this section of the hall. In fact there was just so much stuff to see it made my head spin and almost hurt from sensory overload.

Before making my way back home I checked out several of the impressively assembled panels which are always a highlight of these conventions. Right off the bat was the headliner of all headliners “The Walking Dead” panel. With a good number of the cast on hand to answer questions lines in to the IGN Theater stretched on for what seemed like eternity. Prior to the Q/A session fans were treated to a sneak peak of season 3’s first episode which premiered on 10/14 and only excited me and other fans even further for the shows return. Other notable panels throughout the weekend including those put on by Adult Swim, the Stephen King “Carrie” reboot featuring Chloe Grace Moretz which looks to be an interested revision and “The Following” a thriller featuring Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy.

After a long and tiring weekend I can now say that I survived the 2012 New York Comic Con. Though at times the lines were long and I needed to dodge several would be attacks from costume clad attendants a good time was had by all. The organizers of the event handled everyone like pro’s and were always courteous when you had a question. If you can only attend one convention on the east coast make sure it’s the New York Comic Con.


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“Star Wars Celebration VI” Wrap-Up Report

 Star Wars Celebration VI
August 23-26, 2012
Orange County Convention Center
Orlando, Florida

When I was asked to cover “Star Wars Celebration VI”, I was nervous but also very excited.  I have been a “Star Wars” fan from before I could walk.  Now with a daughter of my own, I am able to introduce her to these same films.  When I arrived at the event early Friday morning, we were instantly surrounded by many fans dressed as Storm Troopers and Slave Leia’s (not all were women…yikes!).  Since we missed the events of Thursday, we immediately ran to the Celebration merchandise booth.  We were very disappointed to find that most of the official Celebration shirts were sold out before Friday even started.  I think that was very poor planning since at $30 a pop and three more days to day they could have made A LOT more money.  We all know that “Star Wars” fans have very deep pockets.  After getting some merchandise it was off to the main hall to check for cool vendors and hit up some panels.

The main hall was jam packed with great vendors, including Hallmark, LEGO and Disney…just to name a few.  These had the longest lines just to even get near due to selling exclusive merchandise.   There were also various  “Star Wars” sets and photo ops available to fans…and for FREE!!  I have attended many horror conventions and nothing is free.  This was a real treat for us “Star Wars” fans. The highlight for me was the life-size Rancor named Roxi, thanks to the 501st Legion.  There was also live tattooing going on, which was very tempting for me to finally get my Imperial logo tattoo (but I couldn’t get the nerve).  Next up, we went over to the autograph hall to catch a glimpse of our favorite talent from the films.  Signing at the event was  Mark Hamill, Carrie Fischer, Anthony Daniels, Ian McDiarmid and Warwick Davis.  Personally, I immediately sought out the line for Tim Rose or better known as Admiral Akbar.  Let me tell you this guy had a constant steady line ALL weekend non-stop.  I guess people didn’t know that it was a trap (HAHA, sorry).

Throughout the weekend, we attended some really interesting and fun panels.  One of my favorites was the “Super Secret Star Wars Panel!” with Todd Grimes, Seth Green and Matt Senreich.  They gave us an exclusive first look at their top secret animated “Star Wars” project, now we know is called “Detours”.  This is a new computer animated television series, which is going to take “Star Wars” into a whole new world of possibilities.  It is mashin up the “Star Wars” universe and bringing back all of our favorite characters and putting them in a social setting when their is no war going on.  It is a super cool idea and going to be airing in 2013, which is definitely not soon enough.  Check out the trailer here:

We also had the really cool opportunity to attend an invitation only press conference for “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”.  The talent attending were Ashley Eckstein, Dave Filoni, Dee Bradley Baker, Joel Aron, Matt Lanter and Sam Witwer.  It was a very informative panel and the cast was just having a blast chatting about what we can expect from season 5.  Besides the press conference, we had the chance to interview Matt Lanter, voice of Anakin Skywalker on “Star Wars: Clone Wars” one-on-one.  He is one of the nicest guys and just so humble.  We were lucky enough to chat with Anthony Daniels, who played C3PO in the series.  Mr. Daniels was nice enough to chat with us one-on-one about his role in the series.  Both these interviews will be posted the first week of September…so check back!

The highlight of the show had to be “The Clone Wars: Season Five Premiere”. The energy in the room was just so extraordinary and the show has never looked better. It is easily going to be the best season yet. Speaking of “Clone Wars”, if you were able to catch the panel on Saturday then you had the chance to see and hear the creator of “Star Wars” George Lucas stop in for a chat.  This had to be the total dream for all fans of the series.  I had the chance to catch a glimpse of Mr. Lucas walking around the main hall before opening on Saturday morning and it was such a thrill.  Another very cool panel was The Future of “Star Wars 3D”, which gave a sneak peak into what we can expect from “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones”.  This panel also provided us with super cool exclusive collectible 3D glasses.  If you attended the closing ceremony, they announced there that they are bringing both “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones” and “Star Wars: Episode III -Revenge of the Sith” to theaters back-to-back in the Fall of 2013. What an announcement!

Overall the event was a blast and I hope to attend this event again in the near future.  Though it is doubtful to be next year since Celebration will be returning to Europe comes 2013, but I say share the “Star Wars” love.  I would like to thank everyone at Lucas Film & ReedPop for allowing us a chance to cover this amazing event.  “Star Wars” fans are very devoted people and the people behind “Star Wars Celebration VI” really appreciate that and delivered a very impressive event.


The 2012 Grammy Award Winners & Wrap-up

The 2012 Grammys were held on Sunday, February 12th 2012 at the Staple center in Los Angeles California. Though the night may have been overshadowed by the death of Whitney Houston the show continued on. Performances by Bruce Springsteen, the reformed Beach Boys, The Foo Fighters, and a touching rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” performed by Jennifer Hudson were definite highlights of the night. A heavily religious themed performance by Niky Minaj left people either scratching their heads or highly disturbed. LL Cool J did an ok job as the host for the event however his segues were kept very brief. Chris Brown made several appearances over the course of the evening as he has seemed to have earned his way back into the good graces of the music community. The big winners of the night were Adele who brought home 5 Grammy’s including one for Record of the Year and Album of the Year. The Foo Fighters also took home 5 Grammy’s which included Best Rock performance and Best Rock Album. Other noted winners were Bon Iver who beat out the likes of Skrillex and The Band Perry for Best new Artist while Lady Antebellum took home the award for Best Country Album beating out the likes of Jason Aldean and country staple George Strait. As with any awards show there will be high points and low points. Sadly I think the 2012 Grammy’s had more lows than highs but to end on a positive there are some really big releases slated for this year that will hopefully catch the attention of the right people.

2012 Grammy Award Winners

Record of the Year- “Rolling In the Deep” – Adele

Album of the Year- “21” – Adele

Song of the Year- “Rolling in the Deep” – Adele Adkins & Paul Epworth, songwriters (Adele)

Best New Artist- Bon Iver

Best Pop Solo Performance- “Someone Like You” – Adele

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance- “Body And Soul” – Tony Bennett & Amy Winehouse

Best Pop Instrumental Album- “The Road From Memphis” – Booker T. Jones

Best Pop Vocal Album- “21” – Adele

Best Dance Recording- “Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites” – Skrillex

Best Dance/Electronica Album- “Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites” – Skrillex

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album- “Duets II” – Tony Bennett & Various Artists

Best Rock Performance- “Walk” – Foo Fighters

Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance- “White Limo” – Foo Fighters

Best Rock Song- “Walk” – Foo Fighters, songwriters (Foo Fighters)

Best Rock Album- “Wasting Light” – Foo Fighters

Best Alternative Music Album- “Bon Iver” – Bon Iver

Best R&B Performance- “Is This Love” – Corinne Bailey Rae

Best Traditional R&B Performance- “Fool For You” – Cee Lo Green & Melanie Fiona

Best R&B Song- “Fool For You” – Cee Lo Green & Jack Splash, songwriters (Cee Lo Green & Melanie Fiona)

Best R&B Album- “F.A.M.E.” – Chris Brown

Best Rap Performance- “Otis” – Jay-Z & Kanye West

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration- “All Of The Lights” – Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi & Fergie

Best Rap Song- “All Of The Lights” – Jeff Bhasker, Malik Jones, Warren Trotter & Kanye West, songwriters (Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi & Fergie)

Best Rap Album- “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” – Kanye West

Best Country Solo Performance- “Mean” – Taylor Swift

Best Country Duo/Group Performance- “Barton Hollow” – The Civil Wars

Best Country Song- “Mean” – Taylor Swift, songwriter (Taylor Swift)

Best Country Album- “Own The Night” – Lady Antebellum

Best New Age Album- “What’s It All About” – Pat Metheny “Instrumental Oasis, Vol. 6” – Zamora

Best Improvised Jazz Solo- “500 Miles High” – Chick Corea, soloist

Best Jazz Vocal Album- “The Mosaic Project” – Terry Lyne Carrington & Various Artists

Best Jazz Instrumental Album- “Forever” – Corea, Clarke & White

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album- “The Good Feeling” – Christian McBride Big Band

Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance- “Jesus” – Le’Andria Johnson

Best Gospel Song- “Hello Fear” – Kirk Franklin, songwriter (Kirk Franklin)

Best Contemporary Christian Music Song- “Blessings” – Laura Story, songwriter (Laura Story)

Best Gospel Album- “Hello Fear” – Kirk Franklin

Best Contemporary Christian Music Album- “And If Our God Is For Us…” – Chris Tomlin

Best Latin Pop, Rock or Urban Album- “Drama Y Luz” – Maná

Best Regional Mexican or Tejano Album- “Bicentenario” – Pepe Aguilar

Best Banda or Norteño Album- “Los Tigres Del Norte And Friends” – Los Tigres Del Norte

Best Tropical Latin Album- “The Last Mambo” – Cachao

Best Americana Album- “Ramble At The Ryman” – Levon Helm

Best Bluegrass Album- “Paper Airplane” – Alison Krauss & Union Station

Best Blues Album- “Revelator” – Tedeschi Trucks Band

Best Folk Album- “Barton Hollow” – The Civil Wars

Best Regional Roots Music Album- “Rebirth Of New Orleans” – Rebirth Brass Band

Best Reggae Album- “Revelation Pt 1: The Root Of Life” – Stephen Marley

Best World Music Album- “Tassili” – Tinariwen

Best Children’s Album- “All About Bullies… Big And Small” – (Various Artists) James Cravero, Gloria Domina, Kevin Mackie, Steve Pullara & Patrick Robinson, producers

Best Spoken Word Album- “If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t)” – Betty White

Best Comedy Album- “Hilarious” – Louis C.K.

Best Musical Theater Album- “The Book Of Mormon” Josh Gad & Andrew Rannells, principal soloists; Anne Garefino, Robert Lopez, Stephen Oremus, Trey Parker, Scott Rudin & Matt Stone, producers; Robert Lopez, Trey Parker & Matt Stone, composers/lyricists (Original Broadway Cast)

Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media “Boardwalk Empire: Volume 1” – (Various Artists)

Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media- “The King’s Speech” – Alexandre Desplat, composer

Best Song Written For Visual Media- “I See The Light” (From “Tangled”) – Alan Menken & Glenn Slater, songwriters (Mandy Moore & Zachary Levi)

Best Instrumental Composition- “Life In Eleven” – Béla Fleck & Howard Levy, composers (Béla Fleck & The Flecktones)

Best Instrumental Arrangement- “Rhapsody In Blue” – Gordon Goodwin, arranger (Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band

Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist (s)- “Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)” – Jorge Calandrelli, arranger (Tony Bennett & Queen Latifah)

Best Recording Packaging- “The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story” – Dave Bett & Michelle Holme, art directors (Bruce Springsteen) “25th Anniversary Music Box” – Matt Taylor & Ellen Wakayama, art directors (Danny Elfman & Tim Burton)

Best Album Notes- “Hear Me Howling!: Blues, Ballads & Beyond As Recorded By The San Francisco Bay By Chris Strachwitz In The 1960s” – Adam Machado, album notes writer (Various Artists)

Best Historical Album- “Band On The Run (Paul McCartney Archive Collection – Deluxe Edition)” – Paul McCartney, compilation producer; Sam Okell & Steve Rooke, mastering engineers (Paul McCartney & Wings)

Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical- “Paper Airplane” – Mike Shipley, engineer; Brad Blackwood, mastering engineer (Alison Krauss & Union Station)

Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical- Paul Epworth – “Call It What You Want” (Foster The People) (T); “I Would Do Anything For You” (Foster The People) (T); “I’ll Be Waiting” (Adele) (T); “Life On The Nickel” (Foster The People) (T); “No One’s Gonna Love You” (Cee-Lo Green) (S); “Rolling In The Deep” (Adele)(T)

Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical- “Cinema” (Skrillex Remix) – Sonny Moore, remixer (Benny Benassi)

Best Surround Sound Album- “Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs (Super Deluxe Edition)” – Elliot Scheiner, surround mix engineer; Bob Ludwig, surround mastering engineer; Bill Levenson & Elliot Scheiner, surround producers (Derek & The Dominos)

Best Engineered Album, Classical- “Aldridge: Elmer Gantry” – Byeong-Joon Hwang & John Newton, engineers; Jesse Lewis, mastering engineer (William Boggs, Keith Phares, Patricia Risley, Vale Rideout, Frank Kelley, Heather Buck, Florentine Opera Chorus & Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra)

Producer Of The Year, Classical- Judith Sherman – “Adams: Son Of Chamber Symphony; String Quartet” (John Adams, St. Lawrence String Quartet & International Contemporary Ensemble); “Capricho Latino” (Rachel Barton Pine); “85th Birthday Celebration” (Claude Frank); “Insects & Paper Airplanes – Chamber Music Of Lawrence Dillon” (Daedalus Quartet & Benjamin Hochman); “Midnight Frolic – The Broadway Theater Music Of Louis A.

Best Orchestral Performance- “Brahms: Symphony No. 4” – Gustavo Dudamel, conductor (Los Angeles Philharmonic)

Best Opera Recording- “Adams: Doctor Atomic” – Alan Gilbert, conductor; Meredith Arwady, Sasha Cooke, Richard Paul Fink, Gerald Finley, Thomas Glenn & Eric Owens; Jay David Saks, producer (Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; Metropolitan Opera Chorus)

Best Choral Performance-“Light & Gold” – Eric Whitacre, conductor (Christopher Glynn & Hila Plitmann; The King’s Singers, Laudibus, Pavão Quartet & The Eric Whitacre Singers)

Best Small Ensemble Performance- “Mackey: Lonely Motel – Music From Slide” – Rinde Eckert & Steven Mackey; Eighth Blackbird

Best Classical Instrumental Solo- “Schwantner: Concerto For Percussion & Orchestra” – Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor; Christopher Lamb (Nashville Symphony); Track from:

Best Classical Vocal Solo- “Diva Divo” – Joyce DiDonato (Kazushi Ono; Orchestre De L’Opéra National De Lyon; Choeur De L’Opéra National De Lyon)

Best Contemporary Classical Composition- “Aldridge, Robert: Elmer Gantry” – Robert Aldridge & Herschel Garfein “Crumb, George: The Ghosts Of Alhambra” – George Crumb; Track from:

Best Short Form Music Video- “Rolling In The Deep” – Adele; Sam Brown, video director; Hannah Chandler, video producer

Best Long Form Music Video- “Foo Fighters: Back And Forth” – Foo Fighters; James Moll, video director; James Moll & Nigel Sinclair, video producers

Syfy Digital Press Tour 2011 Wrap-Up Coverage

Location: Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando®
Dates: October 9-10, 2011

The event kicked off on Sunday night at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort’s Wantilan Luau. This wasn’t just your normal luau since Syfy put their spin on it and called it “Destination Luau”. It was hosted by “Destination Truth” star Josh Gates and was attended by most, if not all attending Syfy talent. Following the luau, the event was moved over to Universal Studios for a guided VIP tour of Halloween Horror Nights.  What was really great about this press tour was that it was very intimate and personal, that does not happen often (if ever).  Don’t let the size deceive you though, since it was packed with great content and scheduled events.  I would say that it was a great start to a very informative and unforgettable event. The following day contained the panels and that is where the real magic happened.

On Monday, the event started with a great speech from David Howe, President of Syfy and was handed off to the day’s moderator, Mark Stern, President of Syfy Original Programming.  The first panel was “Being Human” and it was attended by Sam Witwer, Sam Huntington and Meaghan Rath.  As usual with this cast, the panel was fun, energetic and unpredictable.  We were told that season two premieres on January 16th, 2012.  We were given a small sneak peak about the new season that showed each character going off on their own path. The new season promises to be a lot darker and will feature a lot of new characters.  This is easily one of my favorite shows on Syfy and on television in general right now.

The next panel, one of my most anticipated, was for Syfy’s upcoming two day mini-series event “Neverland”.  It is a prequel to the classic story of Peter Pan and stars Rhys Ifans, Anna Friel and Charlie Rowe.  I had the chance to watch this mini-series before this event and it is fantastic and right in line with Syfy’s “Tin Men”.  The panel was very interesting and fun.  The series is set to premiere on Syfy on December 4th & 5th, 2011.  We found out that the film was shot in 54 days with shooting taking place in Genoa, Italy and Dublin, Ireland.  Also a fun fact we learned was that the location for the Neverland scenes were shot in an unused toilet paper plant.  The cast is so charismatic and fun.  Make sure you tune-in to this mini-series this December for sure.

Heading into the world of reality TV, “Face-Off” was the next panel with its host McKenzie Westmore and judge Ve Neil.  Ve Neil began the panel by explaining about what has happened with last season’s winner, Connor. She hired Connor to work with her on “The Hunger Games”.  She also reported that she worked on “The Amazing Spider-Man” with two past contestants Tate and Anthony.  McKenzie has such an amazing personality and is a joy to listen to.  Both of them gave a sneak preview of what to expect from season two and how the ante has been kicked up.  Also revealed was that season two will kick off with challenges relating to “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” and season two will consist of 7 men and 7 women.

Next up was a mash-up of “Eureka” / “Haven” / “Warehouse 13” as they approach their upcoming  Christmas specials.  Colin Ferguson, Emily Rose and Eddie McClintock were in attendance and were all very animated and enthusiastic about their shows.  The “Eureka” special is going to be an animated episode with various styles of animation throughout the special and will feature many guest stars such as Jim Parsons and Chris Parnel.  The “Warehouse 13” special is a little darker than “Eureka” and will be themed like “It’s A Wonderful Life” and what if Pete Lattimer was not around.  The “Haven” special takes place in the month of July where the people of Haven all believe that it is Christmas which may be caused by a “troubled” town member.  Having viewed all three episodes already, I can say that they are really great additions to the already great season for each show respectively.  They are also said to fit within each current season but are to be considered stand-alone. Tune in December 6th to catch them when they air. BTW “Haven” was not greenlit for season three as of the press tour…but today 10/12/11, two days later, it was announced.  So expect more “Haven” in summer 2012. Hooray!!

The next two panels are for two shows that are airing in 2012 on Syfy.  The first is called “Lost Girl”, which has already aired two seasons in Canada and was recently picked up by Syfy.  The panel featured Anna Silk and Zoie Palmer from the show.  The show will premiere January 16th right after “Being Human” as part of Syfy’s Powerful Monday lineup.  The second series is a reality show called “Monster Man”, which will take you inside the FX shop of Cleve Hall and his family.  Attending the panel was Cleve Hall, his daughter/co-worker Constance Hall and his partner/friend Roy Knyrim.  The show airs in March 2012 and carries the tagline “Sometimes making monsters, can be a beast”.

The last announced panel before the “surprise panel” was a WWE Smackdown panel.  At this panel, we were told that Smackdown has been on Syfy for 1 year now and on October 14th it will out replace “Gunsmoke” as the longest running episodic TV show with over 650 episodes.  Attending the panel was WWE Diva Alicia Fox and WWE Superstar Wade Barrett, who also did most of, if not all of the talking.

The last panel was the surprise panel and it was QUITE a surprise.  Syfy announced that Jaleel White (aka Steve Urkel from “Family Mathers” and Syfy Original Movie “Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus”) will host a new reality TV show called “Total Blackout”.  The show is created by Henrik Nielsen, who has already adapted this show in 13 other countries.  The show features contestants who will compete in complete and total darkness.  It focuses on fear vs. danger and will take you as far as your imagination will go.  The show starts production 10/18/11 in California and will be airing in early 2012.  We were lucky enough to get a test run of what the show will be like with 4 lucky press members and Eureka’s Colin Ferguson.  The test run had them walk in a room with three tanks with an object in each one and the goal was to figure out what it was by feeling it in the complete dark.  The first item were two giant live snakes, the next was a teddy bear and the last was a human foot (live…body was under the table).  It was a laugh riot and we were able to record Colin Ferguson’s try and you can view it below.

Overall the Syfy Digital Press Tour 2011 was very fun, quick moving and entertaining.  If the panels weren’t good enough, afterwards Syfy shipped all the press, talent and staff over to Islands of Adventure to get a VIP tour of the closed off “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter”.  This was a memorable and exciting experience and is something that I will never forget in my entire life.  Thank you Syfy for allowing us to cover this event and I will look forward to many more years of covering this event.

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Click here to watch clips from the various panels: