Friday, August 19, 2016

Around the Tubes: 8/19/16

I have gotten a plethora of cool press releases have been flooding my inbox recently that you may find interesting. This post will include blurbs on Neighborhood Sessions featuring Dave Matthews Band, Forces of Nature, All the Difference, The Circus, Wild Things Inside the National Zoo, Michael Chiklis, Victoria Justice, Bubba The Redneck Werewolf, Ouch! A Salute To Slapstick, Billions, Ray Donovan, Drop the Mic, and iHeartRadio Music Awards.

- One of the most influential bands in rock history is coming to Turner's TNT this September, when Dave Matthews Band takes the stage for a special 25th anniversary concert. Filmed earlier this year in the band's hometown of Charlottesville, Va., portions of the performance will be presented as part of Neighborhood Sessions, an ongoing series of music specials created by State Farm. The special, produced by Live Nation and directed by Danny Clinch, will feature powerful stories from the local community profiling some of the people who continue to impact the band members’ lives and music. Neighborhood Sessions featuring Dave Matthews Band marks the third special in the Neighborhood Sessions series, which gives the biggest names in music a chance to thank the neighbors who helped make them who they are today, and who continue to help life go right for members of their communities every day. The special is slated to premiere on TNT Sunday, Sept. 11, at 10:00, following the season finale of the epic drama The Last Ship.

- The forces that have kept the Earth on the move since it was formed billions of years ago are explored in Forces of Nature, a BBC co-production that premieres Wednesday, September 14, 2016, at 8:00 (check local listings). In each of the four episodes, the series illustrates how we experience Earth’s natural forces, including shape, elements, color and motion. Although we can’t immediately feel the motion of Earth’s fundamental forces, we witness the consequences, such as tidal bores surging through the Amazon rainforest or the intense and ruinous power of hurricanes.

- The largely invisible and often crushing struggles of young African-American men come vividly—and heroically—to life in All the Difference, which traces the paths of two teens from the South Side of Chicago who dared to dream a seemingly impossible dream: to graduate from college. As this intimate film shows, Robert Henderson and Krishaun Branch’s determination started them on the road to success, but it was the support from people in their lives—parents, grandparents, teachers and mentors— that brought them to their destination. Emmy®-winning producer/director Tod Lending’s film, inspired by Wes Moore’s bestselling autobiographical book, The Other Wes Moore, will have its national broadcast premiere on the POV (Point of View) documentary series on PBS on Monday, Sept. 12, 2016 at 10:00 (check local listings). Now in its 29th season, POV is American television’s longest-running independent documentary series and the recipient of a 2013 MacArthur Foundation Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.

- National Geographic Channel is set to premiere Facing, a docu-series that takes an immersive look at the real stories behind some of modern history’s most larger-than-life characters, on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016, at 9:00. From the producers of the award-winning and critically acclaimed documentary “Facing Ali,” each hourlong episode will tackle the myths, legends and truths behind powerful headline-makers, including Pablo Escobar, Saddam Hussein, Suge Knight, Vladimir Putin and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

- After revealing the pivotal behind-the-scenes presidential campaign moments that led to the Democratic and Republican nominations, The Circus returns Sunday, September 11 at 8:00 on Showtime. Following a brief hiatus, The Circus will return in time to track and cover the first presidential debate, continuing its unprecedented access to the players and key events leading up to the general election. Cameras will crisscross the country alongside nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to bring you every dramatic moment – from the intense head-to-head debates through election night – as America picks its next president.

- Following a successful first season that garnered over 10 million video views, Smithsonian Channel’s original digital series - Wild Things Inside the National Zoo returns on August 20. Season two, comprised of six episodes, will focus on the same engaging and surprising stories of animal life at Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C., from kiwi chicks and maned wolves to swamp monkeys and pandas. Tian Tian, the famous panda who went viral this past winter when his playful blizzard video became the second most shared Facebook video in first quarter of 2016 with 1.9 million shares, makes an appearance in the first episode. The second season can be viewed on all of Smithsonian Channel’s digital platforms including, mobile apps on iOS and Android, apps on Apple TV, Roku and Fire TV, and on Smithsonian Channel's YouTube channel. In addition, both seasons of Wild Things Inside the National Zoo will be available later this year on Smithsonian Earth™ – Smithsonian Networks’ subscription video streaming service that delivers spectacular original nature and wildlife content in 4K.

- Michael Chiklis reinvents himself once again with the release of his first solo album Influence. Best known as an award-winning television and film actor, Chiklis now steps into a new spotlight to showcase his talents as a rock singer and songwriter with a record whose prominent hooks and overdriven energy recall rock's golden age. The album's first single "In Front of Your Eyes” is currently available to stream and features Steve Lukather on guitar. Stream it HERE.


- MVD has acquired the exclusive US distribution rights for Bubba The Redneck Werewolf. Based on the cult classic comic book series, the feature film marks the second directorial effort of Brendan Jackson Rogers, who also serves as one of the film's producers. Bubba The Redneck Werewolf coming to Blu-ray, DVD and Digital / VOD on October 11th.

- Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will pay tribute to pratfalls and double-takes with Ouch! A Salute To Slapstick, a month-long programming special featuring more than 50 films exploring the history of slapstick. Hosted by acclaimed stand-up comedian Greg Proops, the special will feature programming from silent masters Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd to modern master Will Ferrell, and will premiere Sep. 6th and air every Tuesday and Wednesday during the month. Additionally, TCM is once again partnering with Ball State University and Canvas Network to offer a free online multimedia course on slapstick comedy. Enrollment begins today and comedy fans can sign up for the course at

- Showtime announced its winter lineup with the Emmy® and Golden Globe®-winning drama series Homeland returning for season six on Sunday, January 15 at 9:00 and season two of the critically-acclaimed hit drama Billions returning on Sunday, February 19 at 10:00. Both series are shooting in New York this Summer with Homeland returning to the U.S. after spending the last two seasons shooting in South Africa and Berlin. New seasons of HOMELAND and Billions will be available on SHOWTIME on-air, on demand and over the internet.

- On the heels of Ray Donovan scoring five Emmy nominations for its third season, Showtime has ordered a fifth season of its hit drama series. Production on season five’s 12, one-hour episodes will begin next year. One of the top-rated drama series on premium television this summer, Ray Donovan returned for its fourth season up double digits year over year and continues to air on Sundays at 9:00. The announcement was made today by David Nevins, President and CEO, Showtime Networks Inc. at the 2016 Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour.

- TBS, a division of Turner, is injecting a little groove into its original series lineup. The network has greenlit Drop the Mic, a new mixture of comedy and music from executive producers James Corden and Ben Winston. Joining them as executive producer is Jensen Karp, former battle rapper Hot Karl. Drop the Mic is already a huge viral and digital success as an ongoing popular segment on The Late Late Show with James Corden. The new series will be produced by CBS Television Studios and Fulwell 73 and is slated to join the TBS lineup in 2017. Drop the Mic will pit four celebrities against each other in a rap battle royale packed with "I can't believe they just said that" moments. Each week's winner will be chosen by the studio audience. TBS has ordered 16 episodes of Drop the Mic, with a host to be announced later. The show is TBS's first new unscripted series since the arrival of Michael Bloom, who joined TBS & TNT in June as senior vice president of unscripted & special event programming.

- iHeartMedia and Turner announced today that the popular, fan-fueled iHeartRadio Music Awards will return on Sunday, March 5, 2017, to the historic, fabulous Forum in Los Angeles. The fourth year of the event will again be televised live on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8 p.m. (ET)/5 p.m. (PT) and simulcast on iHeartMedia stations nationwide, as well as on iHeartRadio, the all-in-one digital music and live streaming radio service.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 8/14/16

Ray Donovan: This show would be much better if Cochran and Ray were forced to team up every week. Can’t Cochran become the new Ezra?

Roadies: Not since the over choreographed scene with KellyAnne running back to the band at the end of the Pilot has anything been so obvious that KellyAnne would end up getting the perfect picture after be denigrated by her idol. Okay, it was also pretty obvious that Phil find his way back to the tour considering Ron White was in the title credits this whole time. Still I find the show very enjoyably, it is kind of like a cozy but tattered blanket reminding me of a time when shows used to be fun before The Sopranos came along and most shows had to be super serious ever since.

BrainDead: As silly as Laurel almost being subjected to enhanced interrogation (granted as not likely that scenario is in present day, I can see that playing out exactly that way in a potential Trump presidency), it did make for a good scene with the bug people inadvertently voting against the torture.
You can download BrainDead on Amazon Instant Video, free with a Prime membership.

Pretty Little Liars: So Charles had a sibling that is the Liars’ age. They seem to heavily pushing Noel so that probably means it is not him. Sara is blonde and has the look, but she just died (or so we are led to believe, it would not be the first time someone came back from the dead). It is ethnically impossible (not that it has stopped the writers before, Charles turned out being a chick who dated her brother and significantly younger than they led us to believe) but I am rooting for Mona. But I am guessing it will end up being Jenna.
You can download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

Casual: What was up with the ending? Is our health system so messed up that we are talking people back to their homes when they run out of money?
You can watch Casual on Hulu.

Mr. Robot: I am beginning to think the writers are just trolling us now. And I thought the two straight weeks where they started with a flashback was unnecessary, this week we got a full twenty minutes of Elliot stuck in a cheesy nineties sitcom (I think Married with Children did that very episode) complete with Alf. Alf! Alf killing Gideon!! Again!!! How could anyone possibly take the rest of the episode serious after that (um, I think Angela got hit on with a really bad pick up line)? But hey, at least they worked in an Up All Night reference because, c’mon, does anyone remember anything about USA in the nineties other than Up All Night? I guess we did get one thing out of that, it seemed pretty clear that Mr. Robot admitted to killing Tyrell. Sure you cannot truly believe a delusion, but he did admit to it.
You can download Mr. Robot on iTunes.