Brad Paisley To Serve As Guest Picker On ESPN’s CGD Broadcast This Week

College GameDay Logo

Courtesy: ESPN

Country music superstar Brad Paisley is set to appear on ESPN’s College GameDay this weekend.

Paisley will be a guest picker on this Saturday’s broadcast of College GameDay presented by Home Depot when host Chris Fowler and the rest of the CGD crew rolls into Morgantown, West Virginia on the campus of West Virginia University. Chris Fowler will anchor Saturday’s live broadcast of the Emmy Award-winning show. He will be joined by analysts Lee Corso , Kirk Herbstreit, and Desmond Howard at the desk. The group will offer more picks and insight for this weekend’s slate of college football matchups. The show will broadcast live from the patio of the Mountainlair Student Union on the campus of WVU. Saturday’s broadcast marks only the second time that ESPN’s College GameDay presented by Home Depot has been broadcast live from WVU. The Mountaineers’ matchup against the Horned Frogs of TCU will be broadcast live on ABC at 3:30pm ET.

Brad Paisley Promo Pic

Courtesy: ESPN

In regards to the announcement of Paisley’s appearance, ESPN coordinating producer Lee Fitting discussed the network’s excitement at having Paisley, who is himself from West Virginia, appear live ahead of WVU’s matchup later Saturday afternoon. Anytime we can get a star of Brad Paisley’s stature on the show it is a huge win,” said Fitting. “On top of that, Brad is a West Virginia native and huge Mountaineers fan. GameDay’s been on a great run this season with celebrity guest pickers and Saturday morning in Morgantown with Brad on our set should be very entertaining.” Paisley released his latest full-length studio album Moonshine in the Trunk on August 25th.

More information on this weekend’s edition of ESPN’s College GameDay is available online at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/college-football

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/collegegameday

Twitter: http://twitter.com/CollegeGameDay

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

The World Needs More Red Skelton And Less Blue Comedy

Courtesy: Timeless Media/Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Timeless Media/Shout! Factory

Television has come a long way since its heyday.  That’s not necessarily a good thing, though.  Between the advent of mobile video and the seemingly endless stream of overly violent and sexualized dramas and comedies available to audiences today, it has come a long way in the wrong direction.  Television used to be something that would bring families together.  Now it has become an increasingly divisive medium aimed at specific audiences from one time slot to another.  Whether it be those series aimed more at younger audiences or those geared more towards older audiences, they all seem to be equally violent and sexualized.  The result is that families rarely ever sit down together to sit down together to watch television.  The advent of mobile video hasn’t helped with this, either.  Thanks to Timeless Media Group and Shout! Factory though, audiences have been given plenty of alternatives to that programming in recent years.  They have released titles such as I Spy: The Complete Series, The Gene Autry Show: The Complete Series, Highway 66 and others in recent years, much to the pleasure of classic television lovers such as this critic.  Earlier this year, Timeless Media Group and Shout! Factory even went so far as to release The Red Skelton Show: the Lost Episodes.  Now they have followed up that release with the brand new release of another great classic in the form of The Red Skelton Show: The Early Years–1951 – 1955.  This new box set from Timeless Video and Shout! Factory is another excellent addition to the home library of any true fan of classic television.  The primary reason that classic TV fans will love this latest box set is for the show itself. To be more exact, audiences will appreciate the largely family friendly nature of the episodes that span these episodes.  Another reason that audiences will enjoy this latest collection of Red Skelton Show episodes is the quality of the footage.  The footage in these episodes has truly stood the test of time.  It looks just as it did in the episodes’ original broadcasts decades ago on NBC.  Last but hardly least worth noting about this set is its packaging.  The set is comprised of eleven discs, the eleventh being a disc loaded with bonus features.  There’s no easy way to package so many discs in one set.  But Timeless Video and Shout! Factory pulled it off.  All three aspects taken collectively into consideration, they make The Red Skelton Show: The Early Years–1951 – 1955 a set that any true lover of television’s golden era will want to add to their personal DVD library.

The Red Skelton Show is one of the great comedy sketch shows to ever grace television screens across the country during its two decade-long run.  The brand of comedy presented by Skelton and his cast mates has influenced countless comedians and actors throughout the decades since its original broadcast from 1951 – 1971.  By comparison to the brand of comedy being offered to audiences today, the comedy presented in The Red Skelton Show is an example of what once made comedy great.  It serves as an example of everything that comedy has lost since shows such as this ended.  That is the central reason that audiences will enjoy this latest collection of episodes from Timeless Media Group and Shout! Factory.  As audiences will see in these episodes, Skelton and his cast mates needed only rely on its physical comedy and family friendly writing to entertain audiences.  That same physical comedy and family friendly writing is just as entertaining today as it was decades ago.  Audiences will love watching Skelton’s prat falls and his monologues that start every episode.  It’s so easy to see just how many of today’s comedians have been influenced by Skelton’s physical comedy alone.  The various characters that he portrays are just as funny.  And even when his cast mates join in the fun, things never get too blue for audiences.  Though, older audiences will probably appreciate some of the sketches more than younger audiences.  From some not-so-lightly veiled political commentary to a skit about the reality of married life to Skelton taking on the role of a male ballet dancer and more, the skits within each episode will have audiences laughing uproariously.  Some might even be surprised at how much they will laugh.  The constant show-ending bit of Skelton being pulled under the curtain will have audiences laughing just as much no matter how many times it happens.  The fact that these episodes can entertain audiences of all ages so much even today with its older brand of comedy is a true testament to the work of the show’s writers and its cast, Skelton included.

The brand of comedy presented across the episodes in The Red Skelton Show: The Early Years–1951 - 1955 is a big part of what makes this set well worth the purchase by any true classic TV connoisseur.  The brand of comedy presented in this series can be seen in the likes of The Carol Burnett Show, The Sonny & Cher Show and other variety shows of the ilk.  It’s just one part of why audiences will appreciate this latest release.  Another reason that audiences will appreciate this box set is the footage itself.  Almost sixty-five years have passed since the show’s debut in 1951.  And nearly sixty years have passed since 1955.  The footage presented in this box set has stood the test of time quite well since then.  The footage looks just as it did in the show’s original broadcast so many decades ago.  That is a testament to the work of those charged with resurrecting these only reels that remain from the series.  While television in the 1950s was not exactly on the level of today’s television in terms of its resolution, there’s still something special about seeing this old footage. It’s like finding an original 45 rpm record and hearing that static from days gone by once the needle drops.  It’s just a special feeling that can’t fully be explained in words.  The best way to understand it is for viewers to see these episodes for themselves.  Audiences will understand and appreciate the look of the footage when they pick up this box set for themselves.  That understanding and appreciation will in turn lead viewers to be in agreement as to why the episodes’ footage is just as important as the episodes themselves to the episodes’ enjoyment.

The quality of the episodes’ footage, the writing for each episode and the acting on the part of the show’s cast (I.E. the episodes overall) collectively does so much to make The Red Skelton Show: The Early Years—1951 – 1955 a wonderful addition to the personal collection of any classic television connoisseur. The packaging of the set is just as important as the set’s content and the look of the episodes in their presentation. Its final count is eleven discs. There’s no easy way to package that many discs into a single box set without a certain amount of space being taken up on a DVD rack. So taking that into account, the means of packaging in this set is itself worth noting. The set’s primary ten discs are placed inside their own slim cases inside the bigger box. Each slim case holds two discs. The eleventh and final disc contains the set’s bonus material in its own slim case. Again, it’s not the smallest box. But considering the fact that the people at Timeless Media Group and Shout! Factory took the high road makes it impressive in its own right. There are companies out there even today that package multi-disc sets by overlapping discs within the boxes. That is hardly smart. It means the potential of scratching the set’s discs. Such a practice greatly reduces the life of discs in said boxes and eventually wasted money on the part of the consumer. So while the packaging for The Red Skelton Show: The Early Years—1951 – 1955 may come across as slightly bulky, the reality of the packaging is that it is actually quite smart. Even if the companies had packaged the set with two boxes holding five discs in one and six in the other, the end result would still have been about the same. Again, the conclusion is that Timeless Media Group and Shout! Factory have taken the smart route with the set’s packaging. That smart packaging along with the quality of the footage and the episodes themselves collectively makes The Red Skelton Show: The Early Years—1951 – 1955 that much more of a must have for any true fan of classic television and for anyone looking for a way to bring the family back together every now and then for some quality time together.

The Red Skelton Show: The Early Years—1951 – 1955 is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online direct from the Timeless Video store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/tv/comedy/the-red-skelton-show-the-early-years-1951-1955. More information on this and other releases from Timeless Media Group and Shout! Factory is available online at:

 

Website: https://www.shoutfactory.com/tentpoles/timeless-media-group

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Timeless-Media-Group/358391474233364

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Daugherty, Others Staying With ESPN After 2014 NASCAR Season Ends

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN and NASCAR are parting ways at the end of the 2014 season. Despite this change, there’s good news for audiences and ESPN’s NASCAR broadcast team. ESPN announced this week that analyst and team owner Brad Daugherty will remain with the worldwide leader in sports.

ESPN announced this week that Daugherty will join ESPN’s basketball broadcast team beginning Monday, December 1st. Daugherty is a former five-time NBA All-Star and college basketball standout. He will serve as an analyst on ESPN’s NBA Tonight, NBA Coast to Coast, and SportsCenter regularly. He will also make appearances on ESPNU’s ACC Sunday Night package along with other other programming across the ESPN family of networks.

Before joining ESPN’s NASCAR broadcasts, Daugherty served as a reporter for ESPN and ABC’s college basketball from 1999 – 2001. Prior to joining ESPN’s ranks, he also served as a game analyst for the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers and San Antonio Spurs local broadcasts. His playing career included eight seasons as a member of the Cavaliers after being selected in the first round of the NBA Draft in 1986. He averaged 19 points and 9.5 rebounds per game during his career. His love for NASCAR showed throughout his career as he wore the number 43 in honor of “The King” Richard Petty. The Cavs retired his number in 1997.

Daugherty is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill at the age of 16 and graduated from the university in 1986. He was named an All-ACC player twice during his college career and a first-team All-American in his senior year at the university. He averaged 20.2 points and 9 rebounds per game during his senior year at UNC.

Daugherty’s is not the only move that ESPN has announced in regards to the network’s NASCAR broadcast team. Veteran racer and long-time ESPN NASCAR analyst Ricky Craven recently signed a new deal with ESPN that will see him remain with the network as a NASCAR analyst for SportsCenter and other ESPN news platforms. Nicole Briscoe, it was announced last month, will serve as an anchor on SportsCenter and will also take on additional assignments. And reporter Marty Smith will stay on board with ESPN, too. He will remain with ESPN as a Bureau Reporter for ESPN. Allen Bestwick, who has led ESPN’s NASCAR coverage each week, will remain with the network, too. He will stay on to call ESPN’s IndyCar races and to cover tennis and golf coverage. He will also anchor some programming on ESPN’s new SEC Network.

More information on ESPN’s on-air staff and all of the latest sports headlines from ESPN is available online at:

Website: http://espn.go.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ESPN

Twitter: http://twitter.com/espn

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Cook’s Country Season 7 Another Great Fit For Any Foodie And Lover Of The Culinary Arts

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

PBS will release the seventh season of its fan favorite cooking series Cook’s Country tomorrow.  The series’ seventh season is another delectable treat for any foodies and lovers of the culinary arts out there.  Much like its “sister series” America’s Test Kitchen, the central aspect of this season’s success is that it continues to make the food the star instead of the hosts.  And also just as with that series, it also offers the same content as that series, proving once more that cooking is a science rather than just standing over a hot stove.  Rounding out this latest release’s success is the fact that every one of the dishes features throughout the season are also presented with their own printable recipes.  Each of the factors noted by themselves play their own important part in the enjoyment of Cook’s Country: Season 7.  Collectively, all three factors make this latest collection of episodes one more delectable season of one of television’s top two cooking series.  The other top candidate:  That’s right.  It’s America’s Test Kitchen.

Cook’s Country and America’s Test Kitchen are the top two cooking series on television today.  That is merely the opinion of this critic.  It is not a statement by the numbers.  Though, it would be interesting to see the numbers for both of these hit PBS series.  Getting back on topic, one of the reasons that Cook’s Country—much like its “sister series”—has remained so popular among audiences now seven seasons in is that it makes the food the star, not the hosts.  Far too many of the cooking shows on the likes of Food Network, Travel Channel, Fox, and Cooking Channel make the people the stars.  A cooking show shouldn’t be about the people.  It should be about the food.  Thank goodness this series has stuck to that constant now seven seasons in.  And the food is definitely mouth-watering to say the least.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all featured here.  From the rise and shine “Impossible” Ham-and-cheese pie to the Grilled Cowboy-Cut rib eyes and Grilled Caesar Salad for lunch to the Slow-Cooker Baked Ziti for lunch, there are plenty of tantalizing dishes for audiences of all tastes.  There are even some great desert recipes in the form of the Strawberry Pretzel Salad, Italian Cream Cake, and Summer Berry Pudding.  There are plenty of other recipes from which audiences will find their favorite(s).  Regardless of which recipe(s) audiences pick, the vast selection and styles show the respect that the series’ hosts and heads have for food and its role in the world.  It’s just one way in which this season continues the long-held tradition of Cook’s Country to make the food the star of the show.  And that continued tradition is just one part of why audiences will appreciate the series’ seventh season in its DVD release.

The long-held tradition of making the food the star rather than the hosts is a big part of what has made Cook’s Country and its “sister series” hits among audiences for so many years.  Just as important to the enjoyment of Cook’s Country: Season Seven is the focus on food’s history and its educational importance.  This is another long-held tradition that has made Cook’s Country just as much of a hit as ATK.  Audiences learn how different ingredients and chemicals interact with one another in each episode.  They also learn little tidbits along the way that make this season just as interesting as the series’ previous seasons.  One example of those tidbits is the importance of using room temperature milk versus cold milk in making homemade cinnamon buns.  There’s even some history tossed in throughout various episodes.  One of the more interesting pieces of history that audiences will learn is that the New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp actually uses no barbecue sauce at all.  It in fact uses spices and butter among other elements.  Host Christopher Kimball and his co-cook in that episode explain where the misleading name came from.  It’s a pretty interesting little lesson.  And it’s just one more example of why the educational content of Cook’s Country: Season 7 makes this season another wonderful collection for any foodie and lover of the culinary arts.

The combination of educational content and focus on food rather than people makes Cook’s Country: Season 7 well worth the watch by any foodie and lover of the culinary arts.  As enjoyable as the pair makes this season’s episodes, there is still one aspect of this box set worth noting that makes it enjoyable.  That final factor is the inclusion of a full set of printable recipes.   Every dish presented in this double-disc set is accompanied by its own printable recipe in .pdf format.  So all a person needs to print them out is Adboe Reader.  This is important to note in that audiences don’t get this with ATK‘s home releases.  There are some recipes in its home releases.  But they rarely include every recipe for audiences to try themselves.  Cook’s Country: Season 7 is the exact opposite.  Audiences can print out any of the recipes or all of them and start up their very own cookbook (or expand said cookbook).  That way, audiences can try out any of the recipes from this season for themselves whenever they want.  This aspect together with the show’s continued educational content, and its focus on food rather than people, makes Cook’s Country: Season 7 whole.  It makes this set another great addition to the home library of any foodie and lover of the culinary arts.

Cook’s Country: Season 7 is available now on two-disc DVD bo set.  It can be ordered direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=46781986&cp=&sr=1&kw=cooks+country+season+7&origkw=Cook%27s+Country+Season+7&parentPage=search.  More information on this and other seasons of Cook’s Country is available online at:

Website: http://www.cookscountry.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CooksCountry 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Shout! Factory Gets “Weird” This Fall

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

A little more than twenty-five years ago, a little comedy by the name of UHF took the world by storm. The movie starred famed quirky comedian and satirist Weird Al Yankovic and a then unknown Michael Richards (Seinfeld). Just over a quarter of a century later, that cult hit flick will see the light of day again when Shout! Factory re-issues the movie on Blu-ray next month.

Shout! Factory will re-issue UHF on Tuesday, November 11th. As bizarre as the movie is, its premise is actually a relatively solid sticking point. It centers on a small time TV station facing off against a corporate giant in its attempts to keep from being bought out and shut down. In his attempt keep the station from being shut down, George Newman (Weird Al) enlists the help of his friends to put on a giant fundraiser that involves some of the wildest programming that anyone has ever seen. Among those friends is Stanley Spadowski (Michael Richards).

UHF will be available on DVD Tuesday, November 11th. It can be pre-ordered online now via Shout! Factory’s website at https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/film-comedy/uhf-25th-anniversary-edition. More information on this and other releases from Shout! Factory is available online at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

MST3K Vol. XXXI Is An Early Thanksgiving Treat For Classic Film Fans

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory is bringing audiences quite a tasty treat of a classic series next month.

Shout! Factory will release Mystery Science Theater 3000 Volume XXXIThe Turkey Day Collection on Tuesday, November 25th. The box set’s release is a doubly good thing since it won’t interfere with the annual traditions of watching football and eating lots of food. Though, it could start its own tradition of taking in some of the movie industry’s biggest turkeys each year around Thanksgiving. Speaking of those cinematic turkeys, the movies included in this year’s Thanksgiving special are: Jungle Goddess, The Painted Hills, The Screaming Skull, and Squirm.

Just as with every previous MST3K, the movies included in the box are just part of the whole that audiences will appreciate. It also includes a number of bonus features. Those features include all-new Turkey Day episode introductions by star Joel Hodges, and an interview with Squirm star Don Scardino. There are also featurettes and bonus “movie posters” crafted by artist Steve Vance. The bonus featurettes included in this box set are: “Undercooked & Overstuffed: Inside the Turkey Day Marathon,” “Bumper To Bumper: Turkey Day Through The Years,” “This Film May Kill You: Making ‘The Screaming Skull’” and “Gumby & Clokey.”

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Volume XXXIThe Turkey Day Collection will be available Tuesday, November 25th on DVD. It will retail for MSRP of $64.99. It can be pre-ordered online direct via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/action-adventure/mst3k-volume-xxxi-the-turkey-day-collection-collector-s-edition-tin. More information on this and other releases from Shout! Factory is available online at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Timeless Media To Re-Issue Classic Crime Drama Next Month

Courtesy:  Timeless MEdia Group/Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Timeless MEdia Group/Shout! Factory

Timeless Media will release one of television’s most beloved classic crime dramas next month.

Timeless Media, in partnership with Shout! Factory, will release M Squad: The Complete Series on Tuesday, November 4th. The series stars famed actor Lee Marvin (The Dirty Dozen, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Shout at the Devil). It ran for three seasons on NBC from 1957 to 1960. Over the course of those three seasons, the series produced a total of 117 episodes. Marvin starred as the series’ lead character Detective Lt. Frank Ballinger, a rather straight forward type of figure among the force’s officers. Marvin’s background made him a perfect choice for the role of Ballinger. Marvin was a highly decorated Marine veteran who served in the South Pacific during WWII. He earned the Purple Heart after the Battle of Saipan.

While Marvin was the star of the show, he was joined over the course of the show’s run by a handful of actors that would go on to be just as well-known in their own right. Dick Wilson and John Hoyt both make appearances in a handful of episodes. Both would go on to star in the hit WWII-based sitcom Hogan’s Heroes after starring in M Squad. And Star Trek co-stars Leonard Nimoy and DeForrest Kelley also made appearances in M Squad. They’re just some of the big names that made appearances throughout M Squad’s run on NBC. There are many others that audiences familiar with classic television and movies will recognize throughout the series’ episodes in its latest re-issue.

The upcoming release of M Squad: The Complete Television Series (Special Edition) is not the first time that the series has been released. Shout! Factory also released the series in a complete series box set in 2008. This latest re-issue includes a bonus disc featuring episodes of Wagon Train, Checkmate, The Virginian, and Lawbreaker. Marvin guest starred in the first three series and served as host of the latter. M Squad: The Complete Television Series (Special Edition) will be available on DVD box set Tuesday, November 4th. It can be pre-ordered now via Timeless Media Group’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/tv/crime/m-squad-the-complete-series-special-edition. More information on this and other releases from Timeless Media Group is available online at:

Website: https://www.shoutfactory.com/tentpoles/timeless-media-group

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Timeless-Media-Group/358391474233364

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.