DOGTV premieres ‘The Adoption Show’ showcasing adoptable rescue dogs

June 8, 2017

DOGTV's "The Adoption Show"

 

The following is a press release from DOGTV:

DOGTV, the world’s first and only television network created specifically for dogs, is airing a new show for human viewers, aiming to help dogs in need. The DOGTV “Adoption Show,” which will begin airing on Friday, June 9, is a 15 minute program featuring 10 adoptable dogs per episode from various rescue shelters across the United States, including information on how to adopt them. The show is hosted by actress Maggie Lawson, and features renowned dog trainer Victoria Stillwell, who provides tips on helping adopted dogs cope in their new home. DOGTV will be gifting those who do adopt dogs featured on the program with a DOGTV goodie bag and a special adoption kit with $600 worth of product for their new pup.

The first episode is already available for pre-viewing online at dogtv.com/adopt where viewers can also find information about all of the dogs featured on the “Adoption Show” and how to adopt them. An important component of DOGTV’s adoption initiative will be spreading the word via social media. Be sure to visit facebook.com/dogtv for adoption success stories, tips for adopting dogs and more.

“DOGTV subscribers are passionate about their own pets in addition to the wellbeing of all animals. Launching the ‘Adoption Show’ across our network will inspire this dedicated group to help dogs in need, whether they are adopting a dog themselves, or sharing information on adoptable dogs with their friends,” says Ron Levi, Co-Founder and Chief Content Officer, DOGTV. “We are looking forward to rewarding those who open their hearts and homes to a rescue dog from our show by offering special adoption kits to help make the transition smooth for both the pet and their owner.”

DOGTV has a history of partnering with rescue shelters, providing free DOGTV programming that is scientifically designed to combat dog boredom, separation anxiety, hyperactivity and more, and has been especially helpful with calming shelter dogs and increasing their adoptability. For the “Adoption Show,” DOGTV is partnering with several shelters including the San Francisco SPCA, Chicago Canine Rescue, Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society, San Diego Humane Society and SPCA and more.

In addition to partnering with rescue shelters, DOGTV has also partnered with several dog-loving brands to support the “Adoption Show” and prep new pet parents who adopt dogs featured on the show with a great care package including a DOGTV goodie bag and the following items:

  • Find my Pet – A smart real time tracking collar for dogs
  • Thundershirt – A dog anxiety vest and calming solution, helping millions of dogs
  • Foscam R2 Indoor Home Camera – A camera that keeps an eye on your dog and allows you to talk to him right from your phone.
  • G.O.A.T. Smart Pet Speaker – A speaker that plays music for your dog and even takes selfies with him
  • I and Love and You – 6 bags of food and treats including Naked Essentials Kibble and treats, which are made with real meat and contain no grains, fillers or any artificial ingredients
  • Three Dog Bakery – All natural dog cookies, including a case of Classic Crèmes Carob with Natural Vanilla Flavor Filling
  • My Dog Nose it – Sun protection for your dog’s nose
  • The Secret Language of Dogs  – The new book from popular dog trainer and “Adoption Show” regular Victoria Stilwell

DOGTV’s “Adoption Show” will air everywhere DOGTV is available including on Comcast’s Xfinity On Demand, DIRECTV, RCN, Apple TV, Chromecast, Amazon FireTV, Roku, iOS, Android and DOGTV’s Social Media Channels.

2017 Tony Awards: performances and more presenters announced

June 8, 2017

Tony Awards logo

Tony Awards 2017 host Kevin Spacey
Kevin Spacey (Photo by Joe Pugliese/CBS)

The following is a press release from the Tony Awards:

An array of showstopping performances will be featured on the 71st Annual Tony Awards, live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City, Sunday, June 11 (8:00-11:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network.

The high-energy evening will feature performances by the casts of the 2017 Tony-nominated shows “Bandstand,” “Come From Away,” “Dear Evan Hansen,” “Falsettos,” “Groundhog Day The Musical,” “Hello, Dolly!,” “Miss Saigon,” “Natasha, Pierre, & The Great Comet of 1812” and “War Paint,” with additional performances by Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr. and the Radio City Rockettes.

Oscar, Golden Globe and Tony Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey will host the awards show for the first time. As previously announced, Scott Bakula, Sara Bareilles, Orlando Bloom, Rachel Bloom, Glenn Close, Stephen Colbert, Brian d’Arcy James, Cynthia Erivo, Tina Fey, Sally Field, Sutton Foster, Josh Gad, Whoopi Goldberg, Josh Groban, Jonathan Groff, Mark Hamill, Taraji P. Henson, Chris Jackson, Allison Janney, Scarlett Johansson, Anna Kendrick, Keegan-Michael Key, Nick Kroll, John Legend, John Lithgow, Bette Midler, Patina Miller, Lin-Manuel Miranda, John Mulaney, David Oyelowo, Chaz Palminteri, Sarah Paulson, Ben Platt, Lea Salonga, Tom Sturridge, Tommy Tune and Olivia Wilde will also take part in Broadway’s biggest night.

This year marks the 71st anniversary of the Tony Awards, which were first held on April 6, 1947 at the Waldorf Astoria’s Grand Ballroom. The ceremony is presented by Tony Award Productions, which is a joint venture of the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, which founded the Tonys.

Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss of White Cherry Entertainment will return as executive producers. Weiss will also serve as director for the 18th consecutive year.

2017 CMT Music Awards: Keith Urban is the top winner

June 7, 2017

With four awards, Keith Urban was the top winner of the fan-voted 2017 CMT Music Awards, which took place at Music City Center in Nashville on June 7. The show was hosted by “Nashville” co-star Charles Esten and televised live on CMT, Spike and TV Land. Urban won in all of the categories in which he was nominated: Video of the Year (for “Blue Ain’t Your Color”), Male Video of the Year (for “Blue Ain’t Your Color”), Collaboration Video of the Year (for “The Fighter” with Carrie Underwood) and Social Superstar of the Year. Urban and Underwood also performed “The Fighter” at the CMT Music Awards. Underwood won two awards, including Female Video of the Year (for “Church Bells”). She now holds the record for winning the most CMT Music Awards, with 17 total.

Other performances at the 2017 CMT Music Awards, as described in a CMT press release:

The show kicked off with a celebration of the life and music of the late Gregg Allman. Jason Aldean, Darius Rucker and Charles Kelley wowed the audience with an acapella version of “Midnight Rider” before seguing into a full on jam featuring former Allman Brothers band member Derek Trucks, while images of Allman filled Music City Center, earning a standing ovation.

Rock icon Peter Frampton and Brothers Osborne owned the CMT outdoor stage with a gritty, guitar-fueled performance of “It Ain’t My Fault.”

Miranda Lambert celebrated the power of pink plastic with the world premiere performance of “Pink Sunglasses” in front of thousands of fans adorning their own beloved pink shades.

Backed by a sexy squad of dancers, Thomas Rhett got the audience on their feet with his hit “Craving You.”

With thousands of fans lining the streets, The Chainsmokers and Florida Georgia Line performed an EDM/country mash-up of “Last Day Alive” for the first time anywhere from a rooftop high a top the Nashville skyline.

Blake Shelton sang of yesteryear with his hit “Every Time I Hear That Song.”

Brett Eldredge brought the beat and an entire drumline for “Somethin’ I’m Good At.”

Little Big Town delivered an emotionally charged world premiere performance of “When Someone Stops Loving You.”

Jason Derulo and Luke Bryan continued their budding bromance and showed why they were winners of the “CMT Performance of the Year” award with their electrifying mash-up of “Strip it Down” and “Want to Want Me.”

Kelsea Ballerini debuted her soon-to-be-smash “Legends.”

Earth Wind & Fire closed out the show with Lady Antebellum with a country funk mash-up of “You Look Good” and “September.”

This year, the CMT Music Awards featured a second concert stage sponsored by Firestone that included performances from some of country’s hottest new artists including Brett Young, Jon Pardi, Lauren Alaina, Midland and Chris Lane.

Presenters included Ashton Kutcher, Clare Bowen, Danny Masterson, Dustin Lynch, Hoda Kotb, Jada Pinkett Smith,  Johnny Galecki, Josh Henderson, Katherine Heigl, Kathie Lee Gifford, Kid Rock, Rachel Bilson, RaeLynn, Reba McEntire, Bobby Bones, Cody Alan and Katie Cook.

Here is the complete list of winners and nominees for the 2017 CMT Music Awards:

* = winner

VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Best video of the year; awarded to the artist (male, female, group/duo or collaboration) and the video director. Final nominees announced during live telecast, with final voting held online at CMT.com during the show.

  • Artists of Then, Now & Forever – “Forever Country”
  • Brad Paisley – “Today”
  • Brett Eldredge –“Wanna Be That Song”
  • Carrie Underwood – “Church Bells”
  • Cole Swindell –“Middle Of A Memory”
  • Dierks Bentley feat. Elle King – “Different For Girls”
  • Florida Georgia Line –“H.O.L.Y.”
  • Jon Pardi – “Dirt On My Boots”
  • Keith Urban – “Blue Ain’t Your Color”*
  • Kelsea Ballerini – “Peter Pan”
  • Little Big Town – “Better Man”
  • Luke Bryan – “Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day”
  • Miranda Lambert – “Vice”
  • Thomas Rhett – “Star Of The Show”

MALE VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Best video by a male artist; awarded to the artist

  • Blake Shelton – “Came Here To Forget”
  • Eric Church – “Record Year”
  • Jason Aldean – “Lights Come On”
  • Keith Urban – “Blue Ain’t Your Color”*
  • Luke Bryan – “Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day”
  • Thomas Rhett – “Star Of The Show”

FEMALE VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Best video by a female artist; awarded to the artist

  • Carrie Underwood – “Church Bells”*
  • Kelsea Ballerini – “Peter Pan”
  • Lauren Alaina – “Road Less Traveled”
  • Maren Morris – “80s Mercedes”
  • Miranda Lambert – “Vice”
  • Reba McEntire – “Back To God”

DUO VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Best video by a duo; awarded to the artists

  • Big & Rich feat. Tim McGraw – “Lovin’ Lately”
  • Brothers Osborne – “21 Summer”
  • Dan + Shay – “How Not To”
  • Florida Georgia Line – “H.O.L.Y.”*
  • LoCash – “I Know Somebody”

GROUP VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Best video by a group; awarded to the artists

  • Eli Young Band – “Saltwater Gospel”
  • Lady Antebellum – “You Look Good”
  • Little Big Town – “Better Man”*
  • Midland – “Drinkin’ Problem”
  • Old Dominion – “Song For Another Time”

BREAKTHROUGH VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Best video from an artist’s major breakthrough album; awarded to the artist (male, female or group/duo)

  • Brett Young – “In Case You Didn’t Know”
  • Jon Pardi – “Dirt On My Boots”
  • Kane Brown – “Used To Love You Sober”
  • Lauren Alaina – “Road Less Traveled”*
  • Luke Combs – “Hurricane”
  • RaeLynn – “Love Triangle”

COLLABORATION VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Best video from a collaboration; awarded to the artists

  • Artists of Then, Now & Forever – “Forever Country”
  • Chris Young feat. Vince Gill – “Sober Saturday Night”
  • Dierks Bentley feat. Elle King –  “Different For Girls”
  • Florida Georgia Line feat. Tim McGraw – “May We All”
  • Keith Urban feat. Carrie Underwood – “The Fighter”*
  • Kenny Chesney with P!nk – “Setting The World On Fire”

CMT PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR
Musical performance on a television show, series or variety special on CMT; awarded to the artist (individual, group or duo)

  • Jason Aldean – “Hicktown” (From CMT Concert of the Summer)
  • Jason Derulo and Luke Bryan – “Want To Want Me” (From CMT Crossroads)*
  • John Mellencamp and Darius Rucker – “Pink Houses” (From CMT Crossroads)
  • Alicia Keys and Maren Morris – “80s Mercedes” (From CMT Crossroads)
  • Meghan Trainor, Jill Scott and Kelsea Ballerini – “You’re Still The One/Any Man of Mine/Man I Feel Like A Woman” (from CMT Artists of the Year)
  • Nick Jonas, Thomas Rhett and Danielle Bradbery – “Close” (From CMT Crossroads)

SOCIAL SUPERSTAR OF THE YEAR
Most creative and engaging social media posts by an artist; awarded to the artist

  • Brett Eldredge
  • Jake Owen
  • Keith Urban*
  • Kelsea Ballerini
  • Lauren Alaina
  • Thomas Rhett

2017 RuPaul’s DragCon NYC: dates, location ticket availability announced

June 7, 2017

RuPaul's DragCon NYC 2017

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” contestants (Photo courtesy of VH1)

The following is a press release from RuPaul’s DragCon:

Presented by RuPaul and World of Wonder Productions, the inaugural RuPaul’s DragCon NYC will be held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on September 9-10, 2017. Tickets will go on sale Thursday, June 8, 2017, at Noon EST/9am PST at RuPaulsDragCon.com.

The two-day convention, a homecoming for RuPaul and World of Wonder Productions, will welcome fans from around the globe to the first DragCon held in the Big Apple. RuPaul’s DragCon NYC was announced after a record breaking 40,000+ fans attended the third annual DragCon held in Los Angeles earlier this year.

RuPaul’s DragCon NYC will feature vendors and exhibitors, exclusive merchandise, panel and Q&A sessions, autograph and photo opportunities with drag stars—including many from the Emmy award-winning series “RuPaul’s Drag Race”—with more to be announced! 

2017 Sundance Next Fest: programming lineup announced

June 7, 2017

Marquee at the Theatre at the Ace Hotel (Photo by Ryan Kobane)

The following is a press release from Sundance Next Fest:

Sundance Next Fest takes it to the Next level with the announcement of seven films direct from the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, paired with three energizing musical performances. The fest lights up Los Angeles August 10-13 at The Theatre at Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles, and this year will include presentation of the Institute’s Vanguard Awards to Quentin Tarantino and Dee Rees. This marks the fifth annual Sundance Next Fest and fourth consecutive year that The Theatre at Ace Hotel has hosted the festival. Tickets ($15-$35), as well as day and weekend passes and tickets to Thursday night’s opening event, NEXT FEST After Dark, are now available at sundance.org/next. Proceeds benefit Sundance Institute’s year-round programs for independent artists.

John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival, said, “This year’s weekend festival offers everything from a Sundance throwback to our first-ever Next Fest episodic screening; the perfect blend to give Angelenos a taste of our Park City Festival. A majority of these movies, filmmakers and musicians are from Los Angeles, so it’s a great opportunity to showcase and celebrate hometown talent.”

The festival reaches new heists on Thursday, August 10 with Next Fest After Dark, presented by Acura, featuring a 25th anniversary screening of Reservoir Dogs on restored 35mm and presentation of the Institute’s Vanguard Leadership Award to Quentin Tarantino. The screening is supported by Cinespia and followed by an outdoor opening night party. Reservoir Dogs debuted at the 1992 Sundance Film Festival following Tarantino’s participation in the Institute’s Directors Lab and returned to its roots with a From the Collection screening at this year’s Festival. The party will include food, drinks, games, music and more, and all proceeds benefit the nonprofit Institute’s year-round programs for independent film and theatre artists. Tarantino is the fifth recipient of this award celebrating creativity and leadership in independent film, joining the likes of journalist and film critic Roger Ebert and actress and arts advocate Glenn Close.

Trevor Groth, Director of Programming for the Sundance Film Festival, said, “’Reservoir Dogs’ debuted as the Festival’s most talked-about film in 1992 and 25 years later, it’s still a fresh, high-caliber thrillride, and more iconic than ever. I can’t think of a better way to kick off Sundance Next Fest than to showcase our history and what we’re all about.”

Sundance Next Fest continues on Friday with the LA premiere of absurd comedy “Lemon,” directed by Janicza Bravo, with a performance by powerhouse vocalist Lizzo. Saturday’s lineup includes: Sundance NEXT FEST’s first-ever episodic selection — a special screening of seven episodes of the comedic drama “Gente-fied,” created by Marvin Lemus; the 2017 Sundance Film Festival’s Audience Award: NEXT-winner “Gook’; and “Bitch,” starring Jason Ritter and Jaime King, paired with a performance by Sleigh Bells who just released their fourth LP, Jessica Rabbit. Sunday’s events include: the Los Angeles premieres of “Dina”, a documentary about an unconventional love story that took home the Grand Jury Prize in Park City; Alex Ross Perry’s latest film “Golden Exits”; and Michelle Morgan’s witty love letter to the city of angels, “LA Times,” accompanied by a live performance by LA-based duo Electric Guest, the band behind the hit “Dear to Me.” Additional program elements for the daytime screenings, including live Q&As with movie icons, will be announced.

Sundance alum Dee Rees, writer and director of “Pariah,” “Bessie” and “Mudbound,” will receive the Vanguard Award at Sundance Next Fest, celebrating an emerging artist with creative independence. Rees is an alumna of Sundance Screenwriters, Creative Producing and Directors Labs. She has been the recipient of Sundance Institute’s Time Warner Fellowship and Annenberg Film Fellowship and premiered two feature films at the Sundance Film Festival, Pariah in 2011 and Mudbound in 2017. The Vanguard Award includes a cash grant and mentorship from industry professionals and Institute staff. Rees will be the sixth recipient of this award; past recipients include Damien Chazelle (“Whiplash”), Benh Zeitlin (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”) and Ryan Coogler (“Fruitvale Station”). The Vanguard Award was founded in 2011 to mark the 30th anniversary of the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program and its founding director, Michelle Satter.

Next Door will be open during the festival for guests to continue the party between screenings. Adjacent to The Theatre at Ace Hotel, Next Door is an outdoor space with food, drinks, games and more. Sundance Next Fest is an extension of the popular Next section at the Sundance Film Festival.

Sundance Next Fest After Dark ticket packages, Weekender ticket packages and individual movie tickets are on sale now at sundance.org/next.

Sundance Next Fest supporters include: Principal Sponsors – Acura and Adobe; Media Sponsors – LA WEEKLY, Los Angeles Times, Mashable; and Supporting Sponsors – Allbirds, Beachside, Dolby Laboratories, Inc., FilmL.A., Inc., Hochstadter’s Slow & Low Rock & Rye, Stella Artois®, The Theatre at Ace Hotel, and Utah Office of Tourism and Film.

Here is the schedule for the 2017 Sundance Next Fest

Thursday, August 10

7:30 p.m. – “Reservoir Dogs”

A film still from “Reservoir Dogs” (Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute)

Reservoir Dogs / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Quentin Tarantino) — They were perfect strangers, assembled to pull off the perfect crime. Then their simple robbery explodes into a bloody ambush and the ruthless killers realize one of them is a police informant. But which one? This 25th anniversary screening will be presented on a 35mm print. Cast: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi, Lawrence Tierney, Michael Madsen. 25th ANNIVERSARY

Friday, August 11

8:00 p.m. – “Lemon” + Lizzo

Brett Gelman in “Lemon” (Photo by Jason McCormick, courtesy of Sundance Institute)

Lemon / U.S.A. (Director: Janicza Bravo, Screenwriters: Janicza Bravo, Brett Gelman) — Lemon: a person or thing that proves defective, imperfect, or unsatisfactory. A man whose blind girlfriend is leaving him, whose career is going nowhere and whose family is disappointed in him—Isaac Lachmann is 40. He doesn’t know how he got there. Things were supposed to work out differently. Cast: Brett Gelman, Judy Greer, Michael Cera, Nia Long, Shiri Appleby, Fred Melamed. LOS ANGELES PREMIERE

Lizzo (Photo by Jabari Jacobs)

Lizzo wields the kind of voice that’s right at home in soul, pop, hip-hop, R&B, rock and gospel. The vivacious and versatile vocalist’s impassioned delivery and dynamic range bonds the six tracks on her major label debut EP, Coconut Oil (Nice Life Recording Company/Atlantic Records). Lauded by Noisey, Entertainment Weekly, Paste, Rolling Stone, Spin, Idolator, and more, the EP boasted the hit “Good As Hell,” which was featured on the Original Soundtrack to Barbershop: The Next Cut and churned out over 7.3 million Spotify streams and 1.3 million YouTube views in less than six months.

Saturday, August 12

12:00 p.m. – “Gente-fied”

America Ferrera in “Gente-fied” (Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute)

“Gente-fied” / U.S.A. (Director, creator and co-writer: Marvin Lemus, Co-writer: Linda Yvette Chavez, Executive Producers: Charles D. King, Aaliyah Williams, America Ferrera) — Seven characters deal with the effects of change in L.A.’s Boyle Heights. Bicultural millennials and old-school business owners hustle to create spaces that celebrate their Latino identities—even while faced with rent hikes, a housing crisis, and a steady stream of outsiders threatening to gentrify their barrio. NEXT FEST will screen all seven episodes of this short-form episodic series. Cast: Edsson Morales, Alicia Sixtos, Victoria Ortiz, Yareli Arizmendi, Salvador Velez Jr, Rafael Sigler, Art Bonilla. LOS ANGELES PREMIERE

4:00 p.m. – “Gook”

Justin Chon in “Gook” (Photo by Ante Cheng, courtesy of Sundance Institute)

“Gook” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Justin Chon) — Eli and Daniel—Korean American brothers who run a shoe store in Paramount, California—form an unlikely friendship with Kamilla, an 11-year-old African American girl. As Daniel dreams of becoming a recording artist and Eli struggles to keep the store afloat, LA’s racial tensions erupt during the infamous 1992 riots. Cast: Justin Chon, Simone Baker, David So, Curtiss Cook Jr., Sang Chon, Ben Munoz. Winner of the Audience Award: NEXT at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

8:00 p.m. – “Bitch” + Sleigh Bells

Marianna Palka in “Bitch” (Photo by Armando Salas, courtesy of Sundance Institute)

“Bitch”/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Marianna Palka) — A woman snaps under crushing life pressures and assumes the psyche of a vicious dog. Her philandering, absentee husband is forced to become reacquainted with his four children and sister-in-law as they attempt to keep the family together during this bizarre crisis. Cast: Jason Ritter, Jaime King, Marianna Palka, Brighton Sharbino, Rio Mangini, Kingston Foster. LOS ANGELES PREMIERE

Sleigh Bells (Photo courtesy of Sleigh Bells)

Sleigh Bells wasted no time after getting off the ground in 2009, releasing three blistering records in four years. Ready for a break from the road, they took their time on their fourth LP, “Jessica Rabbit,” writing and finishing the record several times only to realize that they wanted to push themselves and the music further. The result is an intense and vulnerable record that’s highly evolved and completely uncategorizable, a major statement from a band wholly committed to advancing their dynamic, uncompromising vision. Jessica Rabbit is the first release on the band’s own record label, Torn Clean.

Sunday, August 13

12:00 p.m. – “Dina”

Dina Buno and Scott Levin in “Dina” (Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute)

“Dina” / U.S.A. (Directors: Dan Sickles, Antonio Santini) — An eccentric suburban woman and a Walmart door-greeter navigate their evolving relationship in this unconventional love story. LOS ANGELES PREMIERE. Winner of the U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

4:00 p.m. – “Golden Exits” 

Emily Browning and Adam Horovitz in “Golden Exits” (Photo by Sean Price Williams, courtesy of Sundance Film Institute)

“Golden Exits” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Alex Ross Perry) — The arrival of a young foreign girl disrupts the lives and emotional balances of two Brooklyn families. Cast: Emily Browning, Adam Horovitz, Mary-Louise Parker, Lily Rabe, Jason Schwartzman, Chloë Sevigny. LOS ANGELES PREMIERE

8:00 p.m. – “L.A. Times” + Electric Guest

Dree Hemingway and Michelle Morgan in “L.A. Times” (Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute)

“L.A. Times” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Michelle Morgan) — In this classically styled comedy of manners set in Los Angeles, sophisticated thirtysomethings try to determine whether ideal happiness exists in coupledom or if the perfectly suited couple is actually just an urban myth. Cast: Michelle Morgan, Dree Hemingway, Jorma Taccone, Kentucker Audley, Margarita Levieva, Adam Shapiro. LOS ANGELES PREMIERE

Electric Guest (Photo courtesy of Electric Guest)

Electric Guest – L.A.-based duo Asa Taccone and Matthew Compton recently released Plural on Downtown/Interscope Records. The record finds the duo at the absolute top of their game, infusing their version of electronic r&b with an even more confident, adventurous spirit than their 2012 debut album, Mondo, displayed, which Rolling Stone called “a Beck-ian journey into L.A. slacker soul, full of hooky neon jams.” MTV named Electric Guest an Artist To Watch, NME tagged them as a Band Of The Week, and they made the rounds at festivals in addition to taking late night TV by storm with performances on Letterman, Fallon, Conan and more.

2017 Songwriters Hall of Fame: presenters and performers announced

June 7, 2017

Songwriters Hall of Fame

The following is a press release from the Songwriters Hall of Fame:

Irving Azoff, Benny Blanco, Jon Bon Jovi, Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff, Johnny Gill, Whoopi Goldberg, John Leguizamo, Pat Monahan, Kelli O’Hara , Usher and Cassandra Wilson will either present and/or perform at the 48th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Dinner slated for Thursday, June 15th at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in  New York City.

Inductees at this year’s event include Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Berry Gordy, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Robert Lamm & James Pankow p/k/a “Chicago,”  Max Martin, and  Shawn “Jay Z” Carter.  Caroline Bienstock will receive the Abe Oleman Publishing Award, Alan Menken will be honored with the Johnny Mercer Award, Pitbull will be the inaugural recipient of the Global Ambassador Award and Ed Sheeran will be awarded with the Hal David Starlight Award.

About The Songwriters Hall of Fame:

The Songwriters Hall of Fame celebrates songwriters, educates the public with regard to their achievements, and produces a spectrum of professional programs devoted to the development of new songwriting talent through workshops, showcases and scholarships.  To qualify for induction into the SHOF, a songwriter must be a published writer for a minimum of 20 years. Out of the tens of thousands of songwriters of our era, there are approximately 400 inductees who make up the impressive roster enshrined in the Hall of Fame.  The list includes Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil, Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller, Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier & Brian Holland, Smokey Robinson, Albert Hammond, Desmond Child, Paul Williams, Hal David & Burt Bacharach, John Fogerty, Bob Dylan, Isaac Hayes & David Porter,  Carole King, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Jon Bon Jovi & Richie Sambora, Elton John & Bernie Taupin, Brian Wilson, James Taylor, Don Schlitz, Bruce Springsteen, Phil Collins, Alan & Marilyn Bergman, Loretta Lynn, Jimmy Webb, Van Morrison, Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton, Diane Warren, Paul Anka, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, Bill Withers, Neil Diamond, Steven Tyler & Joe Perry, Leonard Cohen, Ray Davies, Donovan, Cyndi Lauper,  Mick Jones & Lou Gramm, Chip Taylor, Elvis Costello, Marvin Gaye, Nile Rodgers & Bernard Edwards and Tom Petty among many others.

Full biographies and a complete list of inductees are available at the Songwriters Hall of Fame’s Virtual Museum at http://songwritershalloffame.org/.  Joining online is quick and easy: http://songhall.org/join

Ticket Information:

Tickets for the Songwriters Hall of Fame event begin at $1,250 each, and are available through Buckley Hall Events, 914-579-1000. Net proceeds from the event will go toward the Songwriters Hall of Fame programs.  Songwriters Hall of Fame is a 501(c)3 organization.  The non-deductible portion of each ticket is $170. Contributions, for which no goods or services are received in exchange, are fully tax-deductible as provided by law.

Bacardi and Major Lazer debut Music Liberates Music program to give studio time to emerging Caribbean artists

June 7, 2017

Major Lazer members Walshy Fire, Jillionaire, and Diplo at BACARDÍ x Major Lazer Present the Sound of Rum “Spirit Up” at Virginia Key, Key Biscayne in Miami on May 26, 2017. (Photo courtesy of BFA)

The following is a press release from Bacardi:

Bacardi and Major Lazer have launched Music Liberates Music, a program designed to support the island music that inspires them by providing up-and-coming artists a chance to share their music with the world. Every time fans play Major Lazer’s new track ‘Front of the Line’ (feat. Machel Montano & Konshens) on Spotify, Bacardi will donate studio time for aspiring Caribbean artists.  To listen to the just released ‘Front of the Line’ track and view the current tally of studio time, go to www.MusicLiberatesMusic.com.

Barcadi and Major Lazer will join forces to encourage fan participation—the more listens, the more studio time will be provided to these emerging artists, from now through the end of the month. Approximately every 50 plays equals one second of studio time—this will quickly add up, considering Major Lazer is known for chart-topping hits with 40+ million plays.

Bacardi and Major Lazer have similar roots and ambitions. The Sound of Rum concept behind their collaboration began in January as a way to connect the brand’s 150-year history of island roots to modern music but it’s become more than just music. It’s a cultural and creative collaboration that provides the perfect intersection of music and rum—a movement of sound that blurs the lines between reggae, dancehall, hip-hop and electronic music to bring people of different genres together.

The Caribbean is the heartland of The Sound of Rum. The budding artists, who are featured as part of the Music Liberates Music program, truly embody this movement. Bacardi and Major Lazer are thrilled to be giving them a voice, providing much-needed studio time and allowing them to achieve recognition outside of the conventional path to success.

 

2017 Electronic Entertainment Expo: E3 Coliseum lineup announced

June 7, 2017

E3

The following is a press release from Entertainment Software Association:

The full lineup of panels and guests for the first E3 Coliseum was announced today by the Entertainment Software Association. A spectacular main stage event that will connect video game fans with the biggest names in entertainment, E3 Coliseum will be June 13 and 14 at The Novo at L.A. Live as part of E3, the world’s premiere event for digital entertainment for PC, consoles, mobile platforms, and virtual reality.

Produced by Geoff Keighley, creator and producer of The Game Awards, E3 Coliseum will feature two full days of programming, including live demonstrations of upcoming games, insightful panels, and special one-time-only conversations. Open to all E3 badge holders, fans can begin lining up to attend E3 Coliseum starting at 7 a.m. June 13. The Novo is only a short walk from where E3 is being held at the Los Angeles Convention Center. For more information on E3 Coliseum access and programming, please visit www.e3coliseum.com.

E3 Coliseum also is teaming up with Facebook to give the global video game community the chance to watch and ask panelists questions. In addition to Q&As with in-person attendees, fans around the world can visit Facebook.com/E3Expo during E3 Coliseum to watch select panels on Facebook Live and submit questions to be answered by participating panelists. E3 Coliseum panels will also be streamed on Twitch—the official E3 streaming partner, Mixer, and YouTube.

The full schedule for E3 Coliseum is as follows:

Tuesday, June 13

11:00 AM – Noon:
God of War: Behind the Curtain

It’s been one year since game director Cory Barlog and his team at Santa Monica Studio introduced fans around the world to a bold new vision for God of War. Join us as Cory and other members of the development team share new insights and recount challenges overcome, delving further into writing, world building, combat design, and the powerful father/son relationship at the heart of Kratos’ new beginning. Moderated by Michele Morrow.

Noon – 12:30 PM:
Inside Bungie

For over 25 years, Bungie has pushed the video game industry in bold new directions. Join Bungie CEO Pete Parsons for a wide-ranging discussion about his career, the industry, and Bungie’s next release, Destiny 2. Moderated by WWE superstar (and devoted Destiny fan) Big Show.

12:30 PM1:30 PM:
World Builders
Join host Chris Hardwick for a keynote discussion about building worlds across entertainment mediums, with a focus on video games. Hardwick will be joined by astrophysicist Neil Degrasse Tyson, director James Gunn, Gearbox’s Randy Pitchford, and 343 Industries’ Kiki Wolfkill.

1:30 PM2:15 PM:
Assassin’s Creed

Ubisoft presents a look at what’s next from Assassin’s Creed.

2:15 PM2:45 PM:
What Game From E3 Will Make You the Next Online Gaming Superstar?
In a world where online content creators can make or break the success of a new game, discover which games from this year’s E3 are going to make the biggest splash with the world’s largest online creators. Join MatPat, creator of The Game Theorists YouTube channel (more than 8 million subscribers, 2016 winner of the Streamy Award for Best Gaming Channel), to find out which games are making a mark at E3 in the eyes of top Twitch and YouTube streamers. Learn what makes some games great to play and others great to watch for millions of fans on YouTube and Twitch.

2:45 PM3:15 PM
Bethesda Softworks
Join Bethesda Softworks for a look at a newly announced title that will be seen for the first time at their E3 2017 Showcase.

3:15 PM– 4:00 PM
Square Enix
Don’t miss when Square Enix presents a live demonstration of a newly announced title being showcased at E3 2017.

4:00 PM4:30 PM
Epic Games
For over two decades, the team at Epic Games has built some of the video game industry’s most talked about titles. Join members of Epic at E3 Coliseum for a behind-the-scenes look at the developer’s next release.

4:30 PM5:00 PM
Swing Behind the Scenes With the New Spider-Man for PS4
Join key members of both Insomniac Games and Marvel for a peek into the upcoming Spider-Man collaboration for the PS4.

5:00 PM5:45 PM:
Project Scorpio: The Most Powerful Place to Create and Play
Discover how Xbox built a powerful development platform in Project Scorpio with game creators in mind. Featuring key members of the Xbox team, including Turn 10 Studios and The Coalition. Moderated by Xbox Live’s Larry Hryb (Major Nelson).

6:00 PM7:00 PM:
Jack Black in Conversation with Tim Schafer
Over the past 30 years Tim Schafer has created some of the gaming industry’s most hilariously memorable worlds and characters. The multi-talented Jack Black (star of Brutal Legend) leads a wide-ranging conversation with Tim about his career, creative process, and yes, Psychonauts 2.

Wednesday, June 14

10:00 AM10:45 AM:
New Realities: VR, AR, and Gaming
Video games are ushering in a whole new era of interactivity across a host of new devices that deliver virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) experiences. Join Will Smith (The Foo Show) for a discussion about the state of immersive reality and the future of gameplay and storytelling in VR and AR. Joining Smith will be film director Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters), Curtis Hickman (Co-Founder/CCO, The Void), Tanja Watson (Co-Founder, Squanchtendo Games) David Ellison (CEO, Skydance Media), and Brandon J. Laatsch (Stress Level Zero Games).

10:45 AM11:30 AM:
Sea of Thieves: Community Spirit
The Sea of Thieves team discusses the opportunities and challenges of transforming Rare, one of the industry’s most secretive developers, into an open studio that celebrates its community and has brought its most passionate fans right into the heart of the development process – an essential step in creating a AAA shared-world pirate adventure.

11:30 – Noon:
Gaming Evolved: New Voices, New Visions
As the video game industry continues to evolve, there are opportunities for new voices and perspectives to push the medium in exciting new directions. Join us for a discussion about the many ways creators can express themselves and reach new audiences through video games.

Noon – 12:45 PM
Crash Bandicoot Reunion
Twenty-one years after he first arrived on the scene, Crash Bandicoot is back! Join members of the original creative team behind the game – Connie Booth, Mark Cerny, Naughty Dog co-founders Andy Gavin and Jason Rubin, and Bob Rafei – for a once-in-a-lifetime reunion to discuss the making of the original Crash Bandicoot and its impact on the video game industry.

12:45 PM1:30 PM:
Mortal Kombat: Celebrating 25 Years
For over 25 years, Mortal Kombat has evolved and pushed the fighting game genre in new directions, including its most recent release, MKX. Mortal Kombat co-creator Ed Boon joins the E3 Coliseum to reflect on the series and its impact on popular culture, esports, and the video game industry.

1:30 PM2:00 PM:
Far Cry 5: A Trip to Hope County
Welcome to Hope County, Montana, a rural community taken over by a fanatical cult. Led by Joseph Seed, “The Father,” players will build a resistance with the help of citizens of Hope County. Join Dan Hay, executive producer and creative director, and Drew Holmes, lead writer, to learn more about the citizens of Hope County, including The Father, Pastor Jerome, Mary May, and Nick Rye.

2:00 PM2:30 PM:
Call of Duty: WWII – Sledgehammer Games’ Journey Back to the Franchise’s Roots
Call of Duty: WWII returns to its franchise roots. Join Michael Condrey, Glen Schofield, and Greg Reisdorf for an inside look at the game that is taking the series back to boots on the ground. The panel will share behind-the-scenes development of the E3 content as we look at multiplayer and campaign gameplay and perhaps a hint at things to come in the months ahead. Moderated by Afrojack (Nick van de Wall).

2:30 PM3:15 PM:
Stories Across Screens
How does today’s greatest game writing influence the world of TV and film, and vice versa? Join Better Call Saul Executive Producer Gennifer Hutchison for a conversation with leading storytellers about the opportunities and challenges of interactive and linear storytelling. Hutchison will be joined by Emil Pagliarulo (Designer Director, Bethesda Game Studios), Josh Scherr (Writer, Naughty Dog), and Dan Tractenberg (Director, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Black Mirror).

3:15 PM4:15 PM:
A Conversation with Hideo Kojima and Jordan Vogt-Roberts
A one-on-one session looking back at the career of Hideo Kojima, led by Jordan Vogt-Roberts, director of Kong: Skull Island. These two creative forces will share the stage to discuss the fusion of gaming and cinema. Mr. Kojima will discuss his cinematic influences and how they have allowed him to make masterworks of his own.

4:15 PM5:00 PM:
The Indie Revolution
Some of today’s most creative and inspiring games come from independent developers working outside the system. Join us to hear their stories. Robin Hunicke (Funomena) leads a discussion about the independent game scene across console, mobile, and PC, featuring guests including Brendan Greene (creator, Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds) and Eli Cymet (Alto’s Odyssey).

5:00 PM5:30 PM
Middle-earth: Shadow of War – A Behind-the-Scenes Look

Join Monolith Productions, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, and Troy Baker (the voice of Talion) for an inside look and live demonstration of Middle-earth: Shadow of War.

5:30 – 6 PM:
Square Enix
Join the team at Square Enix for a developer showcase, revealing new details about a game that will be announced for the first time at E3 2017.

6:00 PM:
An exclusive surprise discussion with renowned figures.

E3 is the world’s premier event for computer, video, and mobile games and related products. At E3, the video game industry’s top talent convenes at the Los Angeles Convention Center, connecting tens of thousands of the best, brightest, and most innovative in the interactive entertainment industry. For three exciting days, leading-edge companies, groundbreaking new technologies, and never-before-seen products will be showcased. E3 connects both new and existing partners, industry executives, and the biggest fans of video games, providing unprecedented exposure to emerging markets. E3: It all starts here. See more at www.E3Expo.com.

Geoff Keighley has spent more than two decades covering the video game industry as a prolific journalist, host, and producer. He is the creator/producer of The Game Awards, as well as host/producer of YouTube’s annual Live at E3 coverage, as well as YouTube’s first-ever live series, Live with YouTube Gaming. He has also attended every E3 since 1995.

2017 BET Awards: New Edition, Chance the Rapper get special prizes

June 6, 2017

2017 BET Awards

The following is a press release from BET:

BET Networks revealed iconic R&B group New Edition will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2017 “BET Awards”. In addition, multi–Grammy Award winning hip-hop artist and singer-songwriter Chance the Rapper will receive the evening’s Humanitarian Award presented by Walmart. This year’s broadcast marks 17 years of unexpected performances, trailblazing moments, super dope talent, and entertainment’s most provocative players. The iconic show continues to be a cultural rule breaker steeped in reinvention with some of the most memorable moments in Award show history. The “BET Awards” has set the standard for one of the most intently unconventional, news-provoking broadcasts. The 2017 “BET Awards” will air LIVE on Sunday, June 25 at 8 pm ET from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, CA on BET.

New Edition is a legendary R&B group consisting of members Bobby Brown, Michael Bivins, Ralph Tresvant, Ronnie DeVoe, Ricky Bell and Johnny Gill. Throughout the course of their extensive musical career, New Edition released several chart-topping hits including “Candy Girl”, “Cool It Now”, and “Mr. Telephone Man” – for which they received multiple Soul Train Awards and American Music Award wins. In January 2017, BET launched The New Edition Story, a three-part miniseries that was also BET’s first scripted music-focused program. The show profiled the New Edition journey from the little-known boy band from the Orchard Park Projects of Roxbury, Massachusetts, to one of the most successful adult acts ever in the music industry. To date, New Edition has sold over 20 million records world-wide.

Chance the Rapper is a hip-hop artist, singer-songwriter and philanthropist who rose to popularity with his highly awarded and recognized mixtapes “Acid Rap” and “Coloring Book.” Chance has consistently used his musical platform to support a number of impactful educational, social and political initiatives – positively impacting both local and national communities. In 2016, Chance worked closely with President Obama on My Brother’s Keeper Challenge, an initiative of the United States Federal Government to promote intervention by civic leaders in the lives of young men of color – working to address their unique challenges and to promote racial justice. Chance has also activity fought gun violence, leading social campaigns in his home-town Chicago. Most recently, Chance the Rapper pledged to donate $1 million to in-need Chicago Public Schools in an effort to offset the lack of government funding provided to the area.

Hosted by Leslie Jones, the “BET Awards” 2017 will include performances by Bruno Mars, Future, Migos, Trey Songz and Tamar Braxton. The start power continues as Yara Shahidi, Cardi B, Issa Rae, Jamie Foxx, La La Anthony, the cast of Universal Pictures’ “Girls Trip” (Regina Hall, Tiffany Haddish, with Jada Pinkett Smith and Queen Latifah), Trevor Noah, Robin Thede, Cari Champion and Demetrius Shipp Jr. and many others will take the stage as presenters during the 17th anniversary of the annual highly-anticipated televised event.

A full list of the 2017 “BET Awards” nominees is now available here.

The 2017 “BET Awards” will premiere around the world on BET’s international networks. It will air in the UK on Tuesday, June 27th at 9:00pm BST, in Africa on Tuesday, June 27th at 8:00pm CAT, and in France on Wednesday, June 28th at 8:00pm CEST. Internationally, fans in 100 countries can also stream the 2017 “BET Awards” live with BET Play, BET International’s subscription video on demand application. The iOS and Android app, which also features current and classic BET television series, documentaries, standup comedy and legendary musical performances, will carry a live feed of the red carpet and the Awards, and is available for download now in the iTunes and Google Play stores for $3.99 a month following a seven-day free trial.

Jesse Collins, CEO of Jesse Collins Entertainment serves as Executive Producer. Connie Orlando, BET’s Interim Head of Programming serves as Executive Producer for BET Networks.

The “BET Awards” will take place along with the BET Experience at L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles from June 22-25, 2017. BET.com/betawards is the official site for the “BET Awards” and will have all the latest news and updates about this year’s show.  VIP Packages for the 5th year of the BET Experience weekend are better than ever and now on-sale. In addition to VIP amenities throughout the weekend and incredible seats for STAPLES Center shows, three levels of BETX VIP Packages offer guests the only opportunity to purchase tickets to the highly-anticipated BET Awards, broadcast live from Microsoft Theater. Last year the in-demand VIP Packages sold out, so guests are encouraged to purchase now before the allotment is depleted. Full package amenities and pricing for the Diamond, Platinum and Gold VIP Packages can be found by visiting BETExperience.com or by calling (877) 234-8425.

General tickets for the BET Experience at L.A. LIVE presented by Coca-Cola® are on sale now at http://www.axs.com/betexperience.

Download the BETX ’17 app powered by AT&T, the #1 source for everything BETX, including real-time event updates, full schedules, BET Fan Fest wristbands, daily prizes, ticket giveaways, live streams and much more.

Follow the BET Experience on Twitter @betexperience for the latest and greatest and join the hottest conversation by using #BETX. Feel free to also check us out online at http://www.betexperience.com.

2017 MegaFest: performers and celebrity appearances announced

June 6, 2017

MegaFest logo

The following is a press release from MegaFest:

Bestselling author, entrepreneur, and renowned pastor Bishop T.D. Jakes hosts the third biennial MegaFest in Dallas from June 28July 1, 2017, at the famed Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas. The internationally-acclaimed four-day faith, film and family festival is returning to Dallas for its third year. With the family favorite festival’s continued growth and popularity, this year’s event estimates to draw over 100,000 attendees from all 50 states to attend panels, workshops, special screenings, performances, activations, and competitions among a variety of engaging events.

“MegaFest is uniquely spectacular,” Bishop Jakes said. “It fills so many needs in people’s lives today — whether getting over your past or claiming your future ahead. It’s healing, it’s inspiring, it’s exciting, it’s entertaining — it’s an experience with something for everyone.”

Recognized as the world’s largest multi-day family festival, the event attracts a diverse collection of influencers, professionals and experts in their respective fields ranging from TV/film, Sports, Music, Ministry, Authors and Business.

Some of this year’s featured motivators, speakers, panelists and moderators include: Bishop T.D. Jakes & Serita Jakes, DeVon Franklin, Cicely L. Tyson, Brian White, Romeo Miller, John Singleton, Angela Simmons, Laz Alonso, Blair Underwood, Kim Fields, Monique Coleman, and Wanda Durant, mother of NBA All-Star Kevin Durant.

The full list of featured participants and speakers can be found here.

Joining MegaFest’s beloved four core program tracks (MegaInspiration: Woman Thou Are Loosed, MegaYouth, Fire Code, MegaKidz Destiny World, Alive Dance/Mime Conference, MegaEntertainment: A Time to Laugh Comedy Show, International Faith & Family Film Festival, Celebrity Meet & Greets, MegaEmpowerment: Business Talk, Financial Talk, Health Talk, Tech Talk and more, and MegaCommunity: Career Corner, MegaFit, College Corner, Fashion Show, Health & Wellness) this year include:

  • The LEGENDS Awards – This invitation-only luncheon recognizes a Hollywood legend that has been victorious, purposeful, and impactful in their career and industry. This year’s recipient of the inaugural LEGENDS Award is award-winning actress, advocate and humanitarian Cicely L. Tyson.
  • MegaFutures – In collaboration with the University of North Texas and inspired by the Emmy Award-winning TV show “Shark Tank,” this competition is open to forward-thinking students in grades 6 through 12 to flex their entrepreneurship skills by giving them the opportunity to pitch their ideas for any prize sum up to $50,000 while simultaneously making like-minded friends and receiving feedback and guidance from a expert panel of judges. MegaFest is accepting online submissions until the end of business day on Monday, June 12, 2017.  For more information on eligibility requirements and submissions please visit: http://megafutures.org/megafutures-at-megafest-entry-form/
  • Youth Robotic Exhibition & Engagement – Attendees are invited to witness live demos of the latest robots in action, build and program their own working robot and attend motivating sessions covering topics such as saving, investing and wealth creation.
  • The MegaFest Choir Experience – Local church choirs from the Dallas-Fort Worth area perform on stage for one of the biggest audiences in the country during the worship portion of the conferences for Woman Thou Art Loosed (WTAL) and ManPower (MP).
  • MegaFest Anthem Challenge – This is an opportunity for all choirs, singers, gospel rappers and spoken word artists to perform on the main stage during MegaFest 2017.
  • MegaCrawl – The Cedars neighborhood has teamed up with MegaFest and will be keeping its local restaurants, bars and coffee shops open late night for all attending the festival. For a list of participating businesses visit: http://www.mega-fest.org/megacrawl/

MegaFest 2015 brought over 91,000 visitors to the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex with an estimated economic impact of more than $59 million.

 

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