Dreamworks To Debut New ‘How To Train Your Dragon’ Holiday Special

Courtesy: Dreamworks Animation

Dreamworks is bringing its hit How To Drain Your Dragon franchise back to television this holiday season with a new half-hour special.

How To Train Your Dragon Homecoming is scheduled to air at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT Dec. 3 on NBC.  The story reunites stars Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Gerard Butler and Craig Ferguson for a story that picks up 10 years after the end of the property’s movie trilogy.  It bridges the span where the trilogy’s finale ended and the reunion of Hiccup and Toothless at that movie’s very end.

Hiccup and Toothless open the 30-minute special, sharing stories of their adventures with their families.There is just one problem.  With so much time having elapsed between the end of the trilogy’s climactic battle and the friends’ reunion, the vikings had forgotten about the bond between the dragons and vikings.  This leads Hiccup to come up with the idea to develop a grand holiday pageant celebrating that once unbreakable bond.

Tim Johnson (HomeAntz) directed the new special.  Jonathan Groff (blackish) and Jon Pollack (Modern Family) co-wrote the script for the brand new holiday special. Craig Rittenbaum (Dreamworks Dragons) associate produced the special.

How To Train Your Dragon Homecoming is scheduled for release on DVD Dec. 3, the same day it airs on NBC.  It will premiere on digital on Dec. 4 and on Hulu on Dec. 5.

The new special is just the latest appearance that the hugely popular franchise has had on television.  It has also spawned the animated series Dragons: Riders of Berk and Dragons: Race To The Edge as well as the previously released holiday special, Dragons Holiday: Gift of the Night Fury.

More information on this and other titles from Dreamworks is available online now at:

 

Website: http://dreamworks.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/DreamWorks

 

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Lionsgate, Hulu Partner To Release Casual: Season One Next Month

Courtesy: Lionsgate

Courtesy: Lionsgate

Lionsgate announced this week that it will release the first season of Hulu’s original dramedy Casual in physical form.

Casual: Season One will be released on Tuesday, April 5th in stores and online. It will be available exclusively on DVD + Digital combo pack. The original series from Hulu focuses on brother and sister team Alex (Tommy Dewey—17 Again, The Mindy Project, Step Up: Revolution) and Valerie (Michaela Watkins—The New Adventures of Old Christine, Trophy Wife, Enough Said) as the pair tries to balance living together along with Valerie’s teenage daughter Laura (Tara Lynne Barr—Aquarius, God Bless America, Dawn). The pair has to navigate the difficult waters of the dating world, fraught with one-night stands strange encounters and much more all while raising Laura and the ups and downs of family life that is anything but that of Full House, The Brady Bunch or any of those other idealized family sitcoms. The series was nominated for a Golden Globe for “Best Comedy: TV Series” in its debut season. It also stars Nyasha Hatendi (Narcopolis, The Ghost Writer, Silent Witness) and Frances Conroy (Six Feet Under, American Horror Story, The Aviator).

Along with its ten full-length episodes, Casual: Season One will also include a bonus behind the scenes featurette that outlines the series’ birth and everything that went into its episodes. The two-disc set is currently expected to retail at MSRP of $29.98 and can be pre-ordered online now direct via Lionsgate’s online store at http://www.lionsgateshop.com/product.asp?Id=34013&TitleParentId=10326. Fans can view a trailer for Casual: Season One online now at http://www.lionsgate.com/tv/casual/.

 

Courtesy: Lionsgate

Courtesy: Lionsgate

 

More information on this and other titles from Lionsgate is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.lionsgate.com

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

 

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.

King, Cowherd, Schaap To Fill In For Olbermann Beginning Next Week

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The “King” of talk is coming to ESPN.  Larry King will fill in for ESPN’s Keith Olbermann on Olbermann next Tuesday – Thursday, October 1st – 3rd. King will fill in while Olbermann takes a temporary leave of absence to host TBS’ Major League Baseball post season studio show.  Olbermann will be gone from his namesake show from next Monday, September 30th to October 2oth.  He will return October 21st.  King will fill in for Olbermann each night at 11pm ET when the show airs.  He is also scheduled to make an appearance on Olbermann this Friday, September 27th.  King, who hosts his own show, Larry King Now, discussed filling in for Olbermann when asked about his temporary assignment.  “I am a great admirer of Keith Olbermann who I think is the quintessential sports host,” said King.  “Sports have always been my avocation – they’re part of my being.  Having the chance to come back to my hometown of New York and host Keith’s show for several days is a terrific joy for me and a return to my first love.”

ESPN Executive VP of Programming and Acquisitions Norby Williamson was just as pleased that King accepted the offer to fill in for Olbermann.  “Olbermann is designed specifically around Keith’s one-of-a-kind personality so having a guest host like Larry, who can deliver a similar level of editorial expertise and intellectual commentary to entertain sports fans, fits the bill perfectly,” said Williamson.  “Larry is so popular and well-known to television viewers but being able to bring them his unique perspective on sports topics is a new twist and we’re excited to have him.”

Once King’s turn is up on Olbermann ESPN’s own Jeremy Schaap and Colin Cowherd will each have a turn hosting the show with Schaap hosting first from October 8th – 10th.  Cowherd will fill in for Olbermann from October 15th – 17th.  Jamie Horovitz, ESPN VP of Original programming and production was optimistic in discussing having two ESPN veterans filling in for Olbermann in his absence.  “Both Jeremy and Colin have distinctive personalities and points of view that will bring a different perspective to the program while Keith is away,” said Horowitz.  “While we’ll certainly miss Keith in the coming weeks, we’re also looking forward to producing some fun and entertaining shows for sports fans with our guest hosts.”

King’s new web only series, Larry King Now, is much like his previous hit CNN show, Larry King Live.  He continues interviewing some of the most important names in the news and world of entertainment in his show, which can be seen on Hulu and Ora TV.

Colin Cowherd can be heard regularly on ESPN and ESPN radio on his show, The Herd with Colin Cowherd.  It runs daily from 10am ET – 1pm ET.  The former host of SportsNation, Cowherd also now hosts Colin’s New Football every Sunday morning at 9am.  Cowherd shares his personal thoughts on football and life in general.

Jeremy Schaap hosts ESPN Radio’s The Sporting Life and serves as correspondent for ESPN’s E:60.  He also contributes to ESPN’s Outside The Lines, NFL Countdown, and College Game Day.  His interviews and commentary are featured each week on ESPN’s flagship show, SportsCenter.

More information on each of these shows and more is available online at http://www.espn.com and http://www.facebook.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.

Martha Stewart Holiday Collection Offers Lessons, Ideas For The Holidays

Courtesy: A Squared

Martha Stewart recently announced that she has made a deal with Hulu to have some of her programming broadcast via Hulu.  Now, audiences of all ages have a brand new way to enjoy Martha Stewart like never before.  Martha & Friends:  Holiday Collection follows a ten your old Martha and her friends (Hannah, Kevin, and Lily) through the holidays.  The single disc collection starts off on Halloween.  In Martha’s Halloween, Martha and her friends have to go hunting for her dogs, Francesca and Sharkey, after the dogs get scared during Kevin’s filming of his Halloween movie.  Martha, Lily, and Hannah play a trio of “glampires” who attend a Halloween costume party with the aim of turning everyone else into “glampires.”  The dogs think that Martha and her friends really are vampires, so they run off and accidentally pull the plug to the power in the old barn in which Kevin is filming his movie.  This leads the kids to go off in search of the dogs.  There’s nothing overly scary here.  So both parents and kids of all ages will be able to sit down and enjoy this episode that would be a great fit for any child’s Halloween party.

Martha and her friends learn in Martha’s Halloween that as a certain president once noted, we have nothing to fear but fear itself.  She and her friends learn even more valuable lessons in the collection’s Thanksgiving episode.  In Martha’s Thanksgiving, Martha and her friends all have family visiting from out of town.  Along with their aunts and uncles, all four kids have to deal with their cousins, too.  So it’s up to Martha to figure out how to entertain her friends’ cousins and her own cousin, too, all while managing their Thanksgiving plans, too.  The kids’ cousins aren’t the only hurdle that Martha and her friends have to face in the collection’s Thanksgiving episode.  They learn that the elderly Mr. McGregor isn’t the mean person that they were previously led to believe he was.  In turn, they learn not to let what they’ve heard be the basis of what they think of someone.  These are more great lessons for viewers of all ages.  It all comes together to make for a fun and memorable addition to the collection.

Along with the valuable lessons about family that this episode teaches, audiences are also reminded of proper pet care during Thanksgiving.  Francesca and Sharkey (Martha’s dogs) remind audiences that dogs can’t eat turkey bones because it’s not safe for them.  So instead, they show audiences how the turkey bones can be used to help make a broth.  That creativity echoes throughout all three episodes of this collection.  It too is something that parents and kids alike will love. 

Viewers learn one more very valuable lesson in the final piece of the Martha and Friends:  Holiday Collection.  In the Christmas episode included in the set, Martha and her friends are setting up a Christmas tree for the annual Christmas tree decorating contest.  She wants to win really badly.  Even her friends realize that maybe she’s a little too caught up in what she’s doing.  So when things don’t go exactly as planned, thanks to the weather, young Martha realizes what’s really most important.  Parents will love the lesson taught by this episode.  While it’s a holiday episode, the lesson taught here is one that will resonate throughout the year.

The trio of holiday shorts included in this set teaches audiences lots of great lessons that will apply throughout the year. They’re just a part of what makes the shorts a joy for the whole family.  There are also lots of ideas of how to decorate and cook special dishes for the holidays that kids and adults alike will enjoy.  Parents can even pop the DVD into their computers to access bonus content including:  cookie cutter templates and templates just to name a couple bonuses.  There are also a handful of bonus webisodes that families can enjoy without even the use of a computer.  It all combines to make a holiday DVD that the whole family will enjoy again and again throughout the holiday season.

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Martha Stewart, Emeril Lagasse Come To Hulu & Hulu Plus

Martha Stewart is now on Hulu.  And she hasn’t come alone.  Stewart has brought friend and chef Emeril Lagasse with her as part of the deal between the Martha Stewart Network, Hulu and Hulu Plus.  Lagasse’s show, “Emeril’s Table” debuted yesterday online along with her shows, “From Martha’s Kitchen” and “DIY Crafts.”  Late night host Conan O’ Brien joined Stewart in the premiere episode of “DIY Crafts” while celebrity chef Mario Batali made a guest appearance on “From Martha’s Kitchen.”

“From Martha’s Kitchen”, “Emeril’s Table” and “DIY Crafts” are just a drop in the bucket with this new deal.  Thanks to this new deal, audiences will also get to check out special Martha Stewart seasonal programming.  This comes just in time for the holidays.  Hulu is also planning on adding even more content during the month of October and into the year’s end, giving audiences a prime location to get all the latest shows from the Martha Stewart Network.

Fans can check out the first batch of episodes from “Emeril’s Table”, “From Martha’s Kitchen” and “DIY Crafts” now via Hulu at http://www.hulu.com/emerils-table, http://www.hulu.com/from-marthas-kitchen, and http://www.hulu.com/diy-crafts

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.