ESPN’s ‘MNF’ Preseason Coverage Begins Tonight

Courtesy: ESPN

Monday Night Football launches its 2017 National Football League broadcast season tonight with a pre-season cross conference matchup.

ESPN’s flagship NFL program begins its 2017 broadcast season with a showdown between the Jacksonville Jaguars (AFC South) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFC South).  The matchup is just one of the games on the schedule for the second week of the NFL’s 2017 preseason.

Jacksonville will look to add a second notch to its win column in the preseason after defeating the New England Patriots 31 – 24 in week 1.  The Bucs will look to bounce back and get its first win of the preseason after falling to the Cincinnati Bengals in week 1 23 – 12.

Sean McDonough will have the call for tonight’s game, which is set for 8 p.m. on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.  He will be joined in the booth by analyst Jon Gruden for additional commentary.  Reporter Lisa Salters will be on the sidelines for all of the latest in-game news and interviews.

Monday Night Countdown will set the stage for tonight’s game beginning at 7 p.m. ET with Suzy Kolber at the helm.  She will be joined by analysts Matt Hasselbeck, Randy Moss and Charles Woodson for additional commentary alongside NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

ESPN will also have full coverage of the preseason week 2 match between the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns Aug. 21. the Browns defeated the New Orleans Saints 20 – 14 in preseason week 1 while the Giants fell to the Pittsburgh Steelers 20 – 12 that week.

More information on ESPN’s NFL coverage is available online now along with all of the latest NFL news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.espn.com/nfl

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/NFL_MNF

 

 

 

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Networks To Offer Extensive Little League Classic Coverage Sunday

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN will present a special extended Major League Baseball broadcast Sunday.

The network will bring audiences the first-ever Little League Classic, which will see the St. Louis Cardinals taking on their National League Central foes, the Pittsburgh Pirates live at the renovated Historic Bowman Field in Williamsport, PA – the location of the Little League World Series.

The broadcast will be preceded at 6 p.m. by Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet.  Karl Ravech will anchor the hour-long broadcast and will be joined by analyst David Ross and reporter Tim Kurkjian for the broadcast.

Dan Shulman will have the call for Sunday’s game on Sunday Night Baseball.  He will be joined by his Sunday Night Baseball cohorts Jessica Mendoza and Aaron Boone for the broadcast.

Kurkjian will also be on hand for all of the latest in-game news and interviews.  Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred will also be on hand during the game.

Along with interviews with Manfred and other highlights, ESPN will present interviews with various MLB stars and personnel.  Images of those and other non-MLB figures as Little Leaguers will also be displayed throughout the game.

Sunday’s regular-season matchup between the Cardinals and Pirates will be the closer in a four-game series between the National League Central foes. St. Louis currently sits third in the division, 2.5 games back from the division-leading Chicago Cubs, while Pittsburgh sits just below the Cardinals in fourth, 5.5 games back.

Mike Leake (7 – 11) is scheduled to get the start for the Cardinals Sunday while Ivan Nova (10 – 10) is expected to take the mound for Pittsburg.

The Cardinals-Pirates matchup is just one of the games set for Sunday’s ESPN MLB schedule.  Mendoza and Boone will provide commentary for the Little League World Series on ABC beginning at 1 p.m.

Ravech will cover two of the series’ games – 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. – and two editions of Baseball Tonight – 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.  Kurkjian will also be on two editions of Baseball Tonight along with his work on the Little League Classic.

Baseball Tonight presented by Oscar Meyer will air at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. with Adnan Virk and David Ross.  Each broadcast will be from a different location at the Little League World Series.

The full schedule for the ESPN networks’ Little League World Series and Little League Classic is noted below.

ESPN’s Williamsport schedule for Aug. 20:

Time

Telecast

Network

10 a.m.

(13) International: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 3 presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods at Volunteer Stadium

Karl Ravech, Tim Kurkjian, Sebastian Salazar

ESPN2, ESPN App

11 a.m.

(14) US: Winner of Game 2 vs. Winner of Game 4 presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods at Lamade Stadium

Dave Flemming, Kyle Peterson, Julie Foudy

ESPN, ESPN App

1 p.m.

Baseball Tonight presented by Oscar Mayer

Adnan Virk, David Ross

ESPN, ESPN App

1 p.m.

(15) International: Winner of Game 5 vs. Winner of Game 7 presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods at Volunteer Stadium

Karl Ravech, Aaron Boone, Jessica Mendoza, Sebastian Salazar

ABC, ESPN App

2 p.m.

(16) US: Winner of Game 6 vs. Winner of Game 8 presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods at Lamade Stadium

Dave Flemming, Kyle Peterson, Julie Foudy

ESPN, ESPN App

4 p.m.

Baseball Tonight presented by Oscar Mayer

Adnan Virk, David Ross, Karl Ravech, Tim Kurkjian

ESPN, ESPN App

6 p.m.

Baseball Tonight presented by Oscar Mayer

Karl Ravech, David Ross, Tim Kurkjian

ESPN, ESPN App

7 p.m.

MLB Little League Classic on Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell

Dan Shulman, Jessica Mendoza, Aaron Boone, Tim Kurkjian

ESPN, ESPN App, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio

More information on the ESPN networks’ baseball coverage is available online along with all of the latest baseball news 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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Reveals Networks’ Early 2017 CFB Broadcast Schedule

Courtesy: ESPN

The start of the 2017 college football season is three months away, but ESPN is already building anticipation for the new season.

ESPN announced this week, the broadcast schedule for the 2017 college football season across its networks.  The networks’ season launches with a five-day slate of games running from Aug. 31 to Sept. 4. That schedule includes a 2-3 matchup between Florida State and Alabama on ABC’s Saturday Night Football.

Ohio State and Oklahoma will also go toe-to-toe on the weekly broadcast for what will be the teams’ fourth showdown.  Before that though, the Buckeyes will open the ESPN networks’ 2017 college football broadcast schedule Aug. 31 as the team takes on Indiana.  Other matchups scheduled for the networks’ opening stretch include Penn State facing Akron Sept. 2 on ABC, N.C. State facing South Carolina the same day in Charlotte on ESPN and Tennessee facing Georgia Tech in Atlanta Sept. 4 on ESPN.

The current schedule for the ESPN networks’ first three weeks of games is noted below.  Audiences should note more games will be announced at a later date.

ESPN/ABC’s Week 1 Schedule

Date

Time (ET)

Game

Network

Thu, Aug. 31

8 p.m.

No. 1 Ohio State at Indiana

ESPN

Fri, Sept. 1

9 p.m.

Utah State at No. 11 Wisconsin

ESPN

Sat, Sept. 2

Noon

Akron at No. 5 Penn State

ABC

Kent State at No. 7 Clemson

ESPN

3 p.m.

NC State vs. South Carolina from Charlotte

ESPN

3:30 p.m.

No. 14 Michigan vs. No. 21 Florida from Arlington, Texas

ABC

6:15 p.m.

Appalachian State at No. 13 Georgia

ESPN

8 p.m.

2017 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game: No. 2 Florida State vs. No. 3 Alabama from Atlanta

ABC

9:30 p.m.

2017 AdvoCare Texas Kickoff: BYU vs. No. 12 LSU from Houston

ESPN

Sun, Sept. 3

2:30 p.m.

2017 MEAC/SWAC Challenge: South Carolina State at Southern

ESPN2

7:30 p.m.

No. 20 West Virginia vs. No. 22 Virginia Tech from Landover, Md.

ABC

Mon, Sept. 4

8 p.m.

2017 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game: Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech from Atlanta

ESPN

ABC’s Saturday Night Football: Week 2

Date

Time (ET)

Game

Network

Sat, Sept. 9

7:30 p.m.

No. 8 Oklahoma at No. 1 Ohio State

ABC

ABC’s Saturday Night Football: Week 3

Date

Time (ET)

Game

Network

Sat, Sept. 16

8 p.m.

No. 15 Miami at No. 2 Florida State

ABC

Additional games for ESPN’s networks weeks 0, 1, 2, and 3 schedule will be announced at a later date
Rankings are from
Mark Schlabach’s post spring games Top 25 on ESPN.com

More information on the ESPN networks’ college football broadcast schedule is available online now along with all of the latest college football news at:

 

 

 

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/espncfb

 

 

 

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Goo Goo Dolls’ New EP Now Available

Courtesy: Warner Brothers Records

Goo Goo Dolls fans have lots of reason to be “happy” today.

The veteran rock outfit released its new EP You Should Be Happy today via Warner Brothers Records. The 5-song disc’s lead single ‘Use Me’ is streaming online now, too. Audiences can view the song’s lyric video online now here. Audiences can also hear the record in whole here and can order it online here.

In celebration of the record’s release, the band will launch the “Long Way Home Tour” beginning July 14 in Mountain, CA.  American Idol star Phillip Phillips will join the band as direct support.  Tickets can be purchased online now via the band’s official website and through the official Live Nation website.

The tour’s current tour schedule is noted below.

Tour dates:
Fri- Jul-14-17 Mountain, CA Shoreline Amphitheatre
Sat-Jul-15-16 Las Vegas, NV Downtown Las Vegas Event Center
Sun-Jul-16-17 Phoenix, AZ Comerica Theatre
Tue-Jul-18-17 Greenwood Village, CO Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater
Thu-Jul-20-17 South Fargo, ND Scheels Arena
Fri-Jul-21-17 Council Bluffs, IA Harrah’s Hotel & Casino- Stir Cove
Mon-Jul-24-17 Chicago, IL Huntington Bank
Tue-Jul-25-17 Indianapolis, IN Indianapolis Farm Bureau
Thu-Jul-27-17 Peoria, IL Peoria Riverfront
Fri-Jul-28-17 Appleton, WI Fox Cities Stadium
Sat-Jul-29-17 Plymouth, MN Hilde Performance Center
Mon-Jul-31-17 Nashville, TN Ascend Amphitheater
Wed-Aug-02-17 Huber Heights, OH Rose Music Center at The Heights
Thu-Aug-03-17 Rochester Hills, MI Meadowbrook
Sat-Aug-05-17 Cleveland, OH Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica
Sun-Aug-06-17 Philadelphia, PA Festival Pier
Tue-Aug-08-17 Vienna, VA Wolf Trap
Wed-Aug-09-17 Uncasville, CT  Mohegan Sun
Fri-Aug-11-17 Syracuse, NY Lakeview Amphitheater
Sat-Aug-12-17 Darien Lakes, NY Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
Sun-Aug-13-17 Wantagh, NY Northwell Health at Jones Beach Center
Tue-Aug-15-17 Boston, MA Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
Wed-Aug-16-17 Portland, ME Maine State Pier
Fri-Aug-18-17 Holmdel, NJ PNC Bank Arts Center
Sat-Aug-19-17 Bethel, NY Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
Sun-Aug-20-17 Saratoga Springs, NY Saratoga Performing Arts Center
Tue-Aug-22-17 Baltimore, MD Pier Six Pavilion
Wed-Aug-23-17 Raleigh, NC Red Hat Amphitheater
Fri-Aug-25-17 Virginia Beach, VA Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheatre
Sat-Aug-26-17 Asheville, NC Biltmore Estate – South Terrace
Sun-Aug-27-17 Charlotte, NC Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre
Wed-Aug-30-17 Orlando, FL Hard Rock Live
Fri-Sep-01-17 Miami, FL Klipsch Amphitheater at Bayfront
Sat-Sep-02-17 Jacksonville, FL Daily’s Place
Mon-Sep-04-17 Atlanta, GA Chastain Park Amphitheatre
Thu-Sep-07-17 Houston, TX Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Sun-Sep-10-17 Albuquerque, NM Sandia Resort Casino
Tue-Sep-12-17 San Diego, CA Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre
Wed-Sep-13-17 Los Angeles, CA The Greek Theatre

More information on You Should Be Happy is available online now along with Goo Goo Dolls’ latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.googoodolls.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/googoodolls

 

 

 

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Announces 2017 WNBA Season Broadcast Schedule

Courtesy: ESPN

The 2016 – ’17 NBA season is winding down as the playoffs are in full swing, but for those wanting their basketball fix even after the season ends, ESPN and its networks have the answer.

The WNBA’s 2017 season officially tips off May 13 at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN.  Ryan Ruocco will have the call for the game.  He will be joined by analyst Rebecca Lobo for additional commentary. Reporter Holly Rowe will be courtside for all of the latest in-game news and interviews.

The team of Ruocco, Rowe and Lobo won’t be the only well-known names scheduled to appear on espnW throughout its WNBA 2017 season broadcast schedule.  Pam Ward and LaChina Robinson will both appear on select games, too.  Prim Siripipat will serve as a studio analyst for the network’s broadcast schedule this season.

The worldwide leader in sports will carry coverage of 16 WNBA games this season beginning with the season opener between the Los Angeles Sparks and Seattle Storm.  Along with its 16-game broadcast schedule for the league’s regular season, ESPN’s networks will also carry full coverage of the league’s postseason.

This season’s broadcast schedule includes two matchups between the Sparks and Lynx (July 6 and Aug. 27), three games featuring the Storm and three featuring the Washington Mystics.  The New York Liberty and Dallas Wings each have three games on the network’s schedule, too.  ABC, which is also part of the ESPN family of networks, will carry full coverage of the 2017 WNBA All Star game Saturday, July 22 at 3:30 p.m. ET.  espnW’s full broadcast schedule for the 2017 WNBA season is noted below.

Date                  Time (ET)                                   Game                                   Network

Sat, May 13       5 p.m.            Seattle Storm at Los Angeles Sparks            ESPN

Thu, May 18      7 p.m.             Minnesota Lynx at New York Liberty            ESPN2

Tue, May 23      8 p.m.             Connecticut Sun at Minnesota Lynx             ESPN2

Tue, May 30      7 p.m.           Los Angeles Sparks at New York Liberty      ESPN2

Tue, Jun 6        8 p.m.             Washington Mystics at Dallas Wings            ESPN2

Tue, Jun 13      10 p.m.            Dallas Wings at Los Angeles Sparks           ESPN2

Fri, Jun 23        8 p.m.            Washington Mystics at Minnesota Lynx        ESPN2

Thu, Jun 29      8 p.m.              Seattle Storm at Connecticut Sun                ESPN2

Thu, Jul 6         8 p.m.             Los Angeles Sparks at Minnesota Lynx        ESPN2

Tue, Jul 18       9 p.m.                  Chicago Sky at Seattle Storm                    ESPN2

Sat, Jul 22       3:30 p.m.                WNBA All-Star Game 2017                        ABC

Tue, Jul 25       8 p.m.               New York Liberty at Minnesota Lynx            ESPN2

Thu, Aug 3      8 p.m.                 Atlanta Dream at Minnesota Lynx                ESPN2

Thu, Aug 10    8 p.m.                 Phoenix Mercury at Dallas Wings                ESPN2

Wed, Aug 16   7 p.m.         Los Angeles Sparks at Washington Mystics      ESPN2

Thu, Aug 24    9 p.m.            Los Angeles Sparks at Phoenix Mercury         ESPN2

Sun, Aug 27    7 p.m.            Minnesota Lynx at Los Angeles Sparks           ESPN2

More information on the 2017 WNBA season is available online now along with all of the latest WNBA headlines at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://www.wnba.com 

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

 

 

 

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Eagle Rock Entertainment Announces Release Date For New Sinatra Collections

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Eagle Rock Entertainment will release two more collection of classic Frank Sinatra performances next month.

The Frank Sinatra Collection: The Timex Shows Volume 1 & 2 will be released Friday, May 19 on DVD and digital platforms.  Volume 1 features Sinatra’s first two Timex-sponsored performances on ABC.  The performances were recorded on Oct. 19, 1959 and Dec. 13, 1959.

Fellow Rat Pack member Dean Martin appeared as a special guest on the first of the specials.  Mitzi Gaynor and Bing Crosby also made special appearances along with Jimmy Durante.

Peter Lawford, Hermione Gingold, The Hi-Los—Red Norvo’s jazz combo, dancer Juliet Prowse and Elle Fitzgerald all made appearances in the second performance.

Volume 2 features two more of Sinatra’s classic television appearances, the first being “To The Ladies,” recorded on February 15, 1960 on ABC.  The performance was the third of Sinatra’s Timex-sponsored ABC specials.  The variety style broadcast included appearances by Lena Horne, Mary Costa, Barbara Heller, Juliet Prowse and special guest Eleanor Roosevelt.

“Welcome Home, Elvis” was the last of Sinatra’s Timex-sponsored ABC broadcast. Originally airing on ABC on May 12, 1960.  The special stood out because it marked the first time Elvis appeared on television since returning from his military service at the time.

Presley joined Sinatra for a stirring performance of ‘Witchcraft’ and ‘Love Me Tender’ in his appearance on the program, and was just one of the celebrities to perform on the program.  Nancy Sinatra and Peter Lawford joined fellow Rat Pack member Sammy Davis, Jr. and one-time Rat Pack member Joey Bishop throughout the show, too.

The full track listing for the performances is noted below.

FULL TRACKLISTING INFORMATION

‘THE TIMEX SHOWS VOL. 1’

THE FRANK SINATRA TIMEX SHOW
1) High Hopes (Bing Crosby/Dean Martin/Mitzi Gaynor) 2) Day In, Day Out (Frank Sinatra) 3) Together, Wherever We Go (Frank Sinatra/Bing Crosby/Dean Martin) 4) Hurricane (Mitzi Gaynor) 5) Talk To Me (Frank Sinatra/Mitzi Gaynor) 6) Cheek To Cheek (Bing Crosby/Dean Martin/Mitzi Gaynor) 7) Wrap Your Trouble In Dreams (Dean Martin 8) Medley: Good Old Songs/Down By The Old Mill Stream/The Old Gray Mare/In Shade Of The Old Apple Tree/That Old Feeling/Down The Old Ox Road/Old Rockin’ Chair/Old Devil Moon/You’re An Old Smoothie/My Old Flame/Ol’ Man River (Frank Sinatra/Bing Crosby/Dean Martin) 9) High Hopes (Frank Sinatra) 10) Medley: Just One Of Those Things/Angel Eyes/The Lady Is A Tramp (Frank Sinatra) 11) Medley: Start Each Day With A Song/Inka Dinka Doo/Baby, Won’t You Please Come Home (Frank Sinatra/Bing Crosby/Dean Martin/Mitzi Gaynor/Jimmy Durante)

AN AFTERNOON WITH FRANK SINATRA
1) Spend The Afternoon With Me (Frank Sinatra) 2) I’ve Got The World On A String (Frank Sinatra) 3) The Desert Is Calling (The Hi-Lo’s) 4) Comes Love (Hermione Gingold/Peter Lawford) 5) There’s A Lull In My Life (Ella Fitzgerald) 6) It’s All Right With Me (Frank Sinatra) 7) Juliet Prowse Dance Routine 8) Too Marvelous For Words (Frank Sinatra/Red Norvo Quintet) 9) Here Is That Rainy Day (Frank Sinatra/Red Norvo Quintet) 10) Just You, Just Me (Ella Fitzgerald) 11) I’ll Never Smile Again (Frank Sinatra/The Hi-Lo’s) 12) Can’t We Be Friends (Frank Sinatra/Ella Fitzgerald) 13) Puttin’ On The Ritz (Hermione Gingold/Peter Lawford/Juliet Prowse) 14) He Loves And She Loves (Ella Fitzgerald) 15) Love Walked Right In (The Hi-Lo’s) 16) Our Love Is Here To Stay (Frank Sinatra) 17) Love Is Sweeping The Country (Frank Sinatra/Hermione Gingold/Peter Lawford/Juliet Prowse/Ella Fitzgerald)

‘THE TIMEX SHOWS VOL. 2’

TO THE LADIES
1) Here’s To The Ladies (Frank Sinatra) 2) I’ve Got You Under My Skin (Frank Sinatra) 3) Ouvre Ton Coeur (Mary Costa) 4) By Strauss (Barbara Heller) 5) Ring The Bell (Lena Horne) 6) Come Cha Cha With Me (Juliet Prowse) 7) It’s A Lonesome Old Town (Frank Sinatra) 8) But Beautiful (Lena Horne) 9) From This Moment On (Lena Horne) 10) Harold Arlen Medley: As Long As I Live/It’s Only A Paper Moon/One For My Baby/Accentuate The Positive/Stormy Weather/Get Happy/Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea (Frank Sinatra/Lena Horne) 11) My Heart Stood Still (Frank Sinatra) 12) Yours Is My Heart Alone (Mary Costa) 13) Afraid Of Love (Barbara Heller) 14) My Heart Belongs To Daddy (Lena Horne) 15) My Funny Valentine (Juliet Prowse) 16) High Hopes (Eleanor Roosevelt) 17) Here’s To The Ladies (Frank Sinatra)

WELCOME HOME ELVIS
1) It’s Nice To Go Trav’ling (Frank Sinatra/Joey Bishop/Sammy Davis Jr/Nancy Sinatra) 2) It’s Nice To Go Trav’ling (Frank Sinatra/Joey Bishop/Sammy Davis Jr/Nancy Sinatra/Elvis Presley) 3) Witchcraft (Frank Sinatra) 4) Come On Bess (Sammy Davis Jr) 5) Oriental Dance (Leona Irwin & The Tommy Hansen Dancers) 6) Gone With The Wind (Frank Sinatra) 7) Uh Oh! (Nutty Squirrels) 8) All The Way (Sammy Davis Jr) 9) Shall We Dance (Sammy Davis Jr/Peter Lawford) 10) Fame And Fortune (Elvis Presley) 11) Stuck On You (Elvis Presley) 12) Medley: Witchcraft/Love Me Tender (Frank Sinatra/Elvis Presley) 13) Medley: Witchcraft/Love Me Tender – Reprise (Frank Sinatra/Elvis Presley) 14) You Make Me Feel So Young (Frank Sinatra/Nancy Sinatra) 15) Let’s Dance (Nancy Sinatra)

 

 

More information on The Frank Sinatra Collection: The Timex Shows Volumes 1 & 2 is available online now along with all of the latest news on other upcoming Sinatra recordings at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.sinatra.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/FrankSinatra

 

 

 

More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

 

 

 

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Shout! Factory Kids’ New ‘LPS’ DVD Is A “Star” In Itself

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids

Shout! Factory Kids’ latest entry in its ongoing series of Littlest Pet Shop DVD, Littlest Pet Shop: Pet Stars is a star in itself among the bigger picture of the series’ current collections.  The DVD, released Feb. 14, is yet another enjoyable collection of episodes for the whole family.  That is due in part to the collection’s featured episodes and their sequencing.  That will be discussed shortly.  The episodes’ writing is just as important to note in examining this collection if not more than the episodes themselves. While it is a minute detail here, the series’ animation can actually be noted in the case of at least one of the collection’s episodes.  Each element plays its own important part to the collection’s overall presentation.  All things considered, this collection proves in the end to indeed be another enjoyable addition to the series’ current list of entries and another one of this year’s top new children’s DVDs.

Shout! Factory Kids’ latest Littlest Pet Shop DVD Littlest Pet Shop: Pet Stars is yet another enjoyable addition to the series’ current list of home releases.  It is also an easy, early pick for any critic’s list of the year’s top new children’s DVDs.  That is due in part to the episodes that are featured on the DVD.  As with the series’ previous DVD releases, this collection features five more episodes from the family friendly animated series.  The episodes featured in this collection take families through the series’ second and third season.  What truly stands out here is that the episodes are presented in relative chronological order from start to finish.  This includes both overall and within the seasons themselves.  ‘Heart of Parkness’ and ‘Standup Stinker’ are both lifted from Season Two while ‘The Secret Recipe,’ ‘A Night at the Pawza’ and ‘Sue Syndrome’ are all lifted from Season Three.  On the surface, this seems like an unimportant element to examine.  In the bigger picture though, presenting the episodes in almost the same order as they aired in their original television broadcast shows a dedication to properly transferring the episodes from television to DVD.  Simply put, it’s an aesthetic element, but an important one nonetheless.  To that end, it is still a highly important piece of the DVD’s overall presentation, and not the only important piece either.  The writing behind each episode is just as important to examine as the episodes themselves.

The episodes featured in Shout! Factory Kids’ latest LPS DVD collection are in themselves important to the DVD’s overall presentation.  That is because they are presented in relatively the same order as they were in their original broadcast.  This is not the first time that Shout! Factory Kids has taken such painstaking efforts to properly transfer the series’ episodes from television to DVD.  That being the case, it makes this element well worth noting.  Just as important to note in examining the collection’s overall presentation is the work of the show’s writers within each episode.  The writing is notable first because of the stories that are at the center of each episode.  The writing in the set’s opening episode “Heart of Parkness” shows that the episodes can and do entertain even when only one of the cast is a story’s focus.  In this case, Sunil is the focus as he is separated from his fellow pet pals and is forced to defend a group of “native” raccoons in the park from a King Cobra.  The setup for the story comes from the Biskit twins’ release of the exotic snake from their father’s pet store because of their own selfishness.  Considering the very real issue of people having (many times illegally) exotic pets and the dangers posed therein, suspension of disbelief here becomes relatively easy.

“Standup Stinker” is another key example of why the episodes’ writing is so important to note. The dual-pronged story line presented in “Standup Stinker” sees both Pepper and Minka following their own dreams, connecting both with plenty of humor along the way.  This touches on another element of the writing that is so important to note–its pop culture references.  True lovers of classic sci-fi flicks will enjoy the manner in which the writers spoofed so many classic sci-fi/alien flicks here as the pets try to make Minka believe she has become the first monkey on Mars right down to the poorly designed alien costumes.  On another note, there is also a joke made through a reference to eBay at the episode’s end that only parents will appreciate.  Speaking of jokes that only grown-ups will appreciate, the story at the center of “The Secret Recipe” is one that adults will enjoy just as much as their children if not more so.

The story at the center of “The Secret Recipe” sees Blythe’s friend Youngmee Song pitching her not so tasty pet treats on a show called Bear Cave, which is very similar to ABC’s hit series Shark Tank.  In the case of Bear Cave, the “hosts” are dressed in bear suits (yes, bear suits).  The full-on spoof of Shark Tank highlights the often times silliness despite attempts by its heads to make it come across as something serious.  That is shown through the “hosts’” reactions and their general personas as well as Youngmee’s pitch.  The scenario is set up through a class project in which Blythe, Youngmee and their classmates have to develop their own businesses.  Again, such a setup is believable as there are some schools (and teachers) who do use this teaching method in their classrooms in real life.  It’s just one more way in which the writing proves so important to the DVD’s overall presentation.  Together with so many other examples, it becomes clear why the writing is so important to the collection’s presentation.  It still is not the last element worth noting here.  The animation is, surprisingly, worth noting here, too.

The episodes that make up the body of LPS: Pet Stars and the writing within each episode is important alone and collectively to this collection’s presentation, as has been pointed out already.  While both elements are clearly important in their own right to the DVD’s presentation, they are only two of its most important elements.  The show’s animation is a minute detail to note here, but is in fact worth noting in this case.  That statement is supported partially in the design of the King Cobra in “Heart of Parkness.”  Rather than make the snake a full-on scary character, the show’s animators maintained a King Cobra’s look but also made the snake not look too scary or menacing.  By making sure the snake didn’t look too scary, the animators helped ensure even more engagement by the show’s younger audiences.  The work of the series’ animators also proves important in “Standup Stinker” as they designed a famous comedian as the host of a comedy competition show.  The animators took David Letterman’s tooth gap for the comedian’s design, crossed it with Conan O’Brien’s face and hair, and Jay Leno’s chin for quite the interesting hybrid figure.  Just as with so much of the writing, this design is something that only adults will appreciate.  On another note, the “hosts” of Bear Cave are an impressive likeness of the “sharks” on ABC’s Shark Tank; so much so that the “sharks,” if they see these designs, would be moved to laugh at the similarities between themselves and the “bears.”  It’s just one more ways in which the animation proves so important to this collection of episodes.  When it is set alongside the episodes, their sequencing and the equally impressive writing within each episode, the whole of these elements shows fully why this collection is a star among this year’s current field of new children’s DVDs.

Littlest Pet Shop: Pet Stars is a star in itself among this year’s current crop of new children’s DVDs.  That is, as already has been explained, due to the episodes featured in this collection and their sequencing, the writing within the episodes and even the animation featured in the series.  Each element shows in its own way to be an important piece of the presentation’s whole.  All things considered, they make Littlest Pet Shop: Pet Stars another enjoyable experience for audiences of all ages and—once again—one of this year’s top new children’s DVDs.  It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered online direct via Shout! Factory’s online store.

More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory and Shout! Factory Kids is available online now at:

 

 

 

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