PBS Succeeds Again With Its Latest ‘Nature Cat’ DVD

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS Kids/PBS

Early this year, PBS Distribution released another new collection of episodes from PBS Kids’ hit series Nature Cat in the form of Nature Cat: Nature Cat & Mr. Hide.  This latest collection of episodes – another four-episode presentation – is yet another success for the network.  That is especially the case considering that its episodes, which promote outdoor activity and learning, were included in a disc that was originally released in the dead of winter.  Now with summer only days away, those pro-outdoors stories – which form the foundation of the disc’s presentation – are even more timely in their presentation.  They will be discussed shortly.  The biology lessons tied into each story add to the stories even more, and will be discussed a little bit later.  The disc’s average price point put the accent to the disc’s presentation and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted here is key in its own way to the whole of Nature Cat & Mr. Hide.  All things considered, they make this DVD another success for PBS, PBS Kids and PBS Distribution.

Summer vacation is here or almost here for students across America.  While school is either out for summer or almost out, it doesn’t mean the fun and learning have to stop.  Nature Cat: Nature Cat & Mr. Hide offers young viewers plenty of entertainment while also educating those audiences.  That is done in part through the pro-outdoor stories featured in each of the disc’s four episodes.  From playing a game of hide and seek against Ronald and a group of other cats to exploring nature to learn about organisms that light up at night (and light up the night) to frolicking with some friendly dragonflies to enjoying a game of beach volleyball, the episodes featured in this disc do plenty to promote outdoor activity in the warm weather.  With any luck, young viewers will take that promotion for healthy, active lifestyles, and allow it to inspire them to move more while also learning about all that nature has to offer.  Speaking of learning about all that nature has to offer, the science lessons that are incorporated into the pro-active lifestyle stories add their own positive element to the DVD’s presentation.

The science lessons that are tied into each of the DVD’s four featured episodes are just as diverse as the pro-active lifestyle stories themselves.  The disc’s title episode features a lesson about camouflage.  It’s hardly the first time that viewers have been treated to a lesson about the ways in which prey use colors and patterns in nature to keep from being eaten by predators.  It has been discussed in Wild Kratts, another hit PBS Kids show.  It has also been discussed on PBS’ popular wildlife series Nature more than once.  In the case of this episode, viewers learn specifically how creatures, such as frogs and deer use camouflage to hide from predators.  Nature Cat ends up searching for ways to camouflage himself in a neighborhood-wide game of hide and seek that involves, what else, a dog hunting cats.  “The Glow Games” finds Nature Cat and his friends having to find three different bioluminescent life forms before Ronald.  The episode’s title gives a hint about one of the living, light-creating creatures that Nature Cat and company find.  Another of the bioluminescent creatures that the group finds is a popular summertime creature of the night.  It will be left for audiences to discover on their own.  The third is perhaps the most unexpected.  It will also be left for viewers to discover on their own.  Overall, the beings that Nature Cat and company discover are diverse in their own right.  “The Shell Game” takes audiences to the beach and teaches about invertebrates with the introduction of another of Nature Cat’s friends, a hermit crab who has outgrown his shell.  The crab tells Nature Cat and company that if he can’t find a new shell, he can’t help them face Ronald and his team in a game of beach volleyball.  It goes without saying that such a plot point is original in comparison to Nature Cat’s other episodes and to episodes from other wildlife-based series animated and otherwise.  “Enter The Dragonfly” entertains right from its title, which is a spoof of the famous 1973 Bruce Lee martial arts flick Enter The Dragon.  There’s no martial arts featured in this episode, despite that pun.  Rather, the story has a rather medieval vibe as Ronald is sent on a quest to become one of the Knights of Nature.  In the process, he – and viewers – learn the life cycle of a dragonfly.  That can easily serve as the starting point for lessons about the life cycles of other semi-aquatic animals, such as frogs, toads and salamanders.  By now, the diversity in the science lessons featured in this DVD’s episodes should be obvious.  That diversity goes just as far as the episodes’ pro-healthy lifestyle lessons to making this DVD a joy for audiences of all ages and kinds.  Keeping all of this in mind, the DVD’s average price point proves to be more money very well-spent.

The average price point for Nature Cat: Nature Cat & Mr. Hide is $5.67, using price listings at Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Amazon, Barnes & Noble Booksellers and PBS’ online store.  The most commonly listed price, listed at Walmart, Amazon and Target, is $4.79.  The most expensive listing, $6.99, is at PBS’ store.  The DVD was not listed at Books-A-Million’s website at the time of this review’s posting.  Regardless of which retailer one uses, the money spent on this DVD will still go back to PBS even if purchased from a retailer other than PBS.  What’s more, the fact that the DVD’s average price point of less than $7 is one that clearly will not break any consumer’s budget, whether ordered online or in store.  The content noted in the DVD through this review proves the money spent on the DVD is well-spent.  All things considered here, Nature Cat & Mr. Hide becomes a presentation that proves to be yet another success for PBS, PBS Kids and PBS Distribution.

PBS Distribution’s recently released Nature Cat DVD, Nature Cat & Mr. Hide is another welcome offering from what is another welcome addition to PBS (and PBS Kids’) program lineup.  That is proven in part through stories that promote active lifestyles in each episode.  The science lessons that are tied into the stories add to each episode’s interest, too.  The DVD’s average price point is anything but a budget buster.  Rather, it is money well-spent, considering the breadth and depth of the DVD’s overall content.  Each item noted here is important in its own right to the whole of Nature Cat & Mr. Hide.  All things considered, they make this DVD yet another positive offering from the still very young series.  It is available now.  More information on the DVD is available along with plenty of Nature Cat activities, printables, episodes and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pbskids.org/naturecat

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

 

 

 

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‘Finding Your Roots: Season 5’ Scheduled For Release Tuesday

Courtesy: PBS

The fifth season of PBS’ hit series Finding Your Roots comes to DVD Tuesday.

Finding Your RootsSeason Five follows the ancestral paths of 23 more celebrities from various areas.  From the literary world to the world of politics to the worlds of comedy, television and movies, audiences are presented with even more histories that show you never know who you are unless you find your own roots.

Among the most notable of the celebs featured in the fifth season of Finding Your Roots are individuals, such as Sarah Silverman (Wreck-It RalphWreck It RalphRalph Breaks The InternetSchool of Rock), Facebook Executive Sheryl Sandberg and politician Paul Ryan.  Others featured in this season include, but are not limited to: actor Kal Penn, journalist Lisa Ling and Marco Rubio.

Finding Your RootsSeason Five will retail for MSRP of $39.99, but can be ordered now at a reduced price of $34.99 at PBS’ online store. Its run time is listed  at 600 minutes.

More information on Finding Your Roots is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/finding-your-roots

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/HenryLouisGates

 

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Robin Roberts To Be Honored At TNT’s Annual NBA Awards

Courtesy: TNT/Turner Sports/NBA

Good Morning America anchor and veteran broadcaster Robin Roberts will receive a special honor at next month’s NBA Awards presented by Kia.

Roberts will receive the Sager Strong Award at the ceremony, which will air at 9 p.m., June 24 on TNT.  The Sager Strong Award is named for iconic TNT sidelines reporter Craig Sager and is presented annually to one person who is a trailblazer that has exemplified courage, faith, compassion and grace.

Sager died in 2016 after losing his battle with cancer. He was known as much for his bright, colorful outfits as his coverage of the NBA. Roberts, who is known for her leadership at ABC’s Good Morning America, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. She was named co-anchor for GMA in 2005.

Prior to her appointment at ABC, Roberts became a well-known figure at ESPN, mostly for her work on ESPN’s SporsCenter.  Roberts started her broadcast career in Mississippi before eventually moving to Nashville and Atlanta.  That path would eventually lead Roberts to ESPN and then to ABC.

Roberts was inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2016.  She has also been honored with the Gracie Award this year and the George Foster Peabody Award in 2012, the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2013 ESPYs and the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism in 2014.

Other recipients of the Sager Award are figures, such as Monty Williams (2017) and Dikembe Mutombo (2018).

This year marks the third year for TNT’s NBA Awards.  The ceremony honors the NBA’s top performers from the 2018-19 season.  The program is produced by Dick Clark Productions.

More information on next months’ broadcast is available online now along with all of the latest NBA headlines at:

Website: http://www.tntdrama.com/nba-on-tnt

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/NBAonTNT

 

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 Broadcast Schedule For Upcoming MLB Games

Courtesy: ESPN

The Cubs and Brewers will go under the lights Sunday night live on ESPN.

The National League Central foes, who are one, two in the division, will close out their three-game weekend series at Wrigley Field.  Milwaukee blanked Chicago 7-0 in the series’ opener Friday.  The teams face off in the series’ second game Saturday afternoon at 2:20 p.m.

Jon Lester (3-2) is scheduled to start for Chicago in Sunday’s game.  His last time on the mound was May 7 against Miami.  Lester allowed two runs on eight hits over the course of six innings in that game, and struck out six batters.

Jhoulys Chacin (3-3) is scheduled to get the start for Milwaukee in Sunday’s game.  His last time on the mound was May 6 against Washington.  He allowed two runs, two walks, two earned runs and three hits over five innings in the game,despite the Brewers’ 5-3 win over the Nats.  Chacin also allowed one home run during his time on the mound.

Milwaukee has proven better at home than on the road so far this year, going 16-8 at home and 8-8 on the road.  However, the Brewers are in the midst of a seven-game win streak.  The Cubs meanwhile, 13-6 at home and 9-8 on the road so far this season and comes into Saturday’s game on the heels of their Friday loss to the Brewers.  The loss comes after the Cubs took three of four against Miami this week.

Sunday’s ESPN Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell broadcast launches at 7 p.m. Matt Vasgersian will anchor the broadcast.  He will be joined in the booth by analysts Jessica Mendoza and Alex Rodriguez for additional commentary.  Jon Sciambi and Chris Singleton will have the call on ESPN Radio.

Sunday night’s game will also be available in Spanish on ESPN Deportes and online via the ESPN app.  It will be preceded at 6 p.m. by ESPN’s MLB pre-game broadcast of Baseball TonightSunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet.  Karl Ravech will anchor the broadcast.  He will be joined by analysts Mark Teixera and Tim Kurkjian for additional commentary.

Milwaukee will have no time to rest following Sunday’s match.  The Brewers will be back in action at home on ESPN Monday night on the network’s weekly Monday Night Baseball presented by USAA.  Monday’s game is the opener in a four-game series against the National League East-leading Philadelphia Phillies.  The starting pitchers for Monday’s game have not been announced.

Karl Ravech will anchor Monday night’s broadcast.  He will be joined in the booth by analysts David Ross Tim Kurkjian for additional commentary.

ESPN’s MLB coverage coverage continues Wednesday with Wednesday Night Baseball presented by Hankook Tire as the Braves and Cardinals face off in the second game of a three-game cross-conference.  At this time, Michael Wacha (3-0) is the only pitcher formally announced for the game. 

Wacha is scheduled to start for St. Louis in that game.  His last time on the mound was Thursday against the Cardinals NL foes, the Pittsburgh Pirates.  The Cardinals routed the Pirates 17-4 in that game, with Wacha taking the win. 

Wacha allowed four runs, one walk, one home run and four earned runs on nine hits over 5.2 innings in the game. He also struck out two batters.

The starting pitcher for the Braves was not noted at the time of this release.

Coverage of Wednesday’s game is scheduled to start at 7:20 p.m. Jon Sciambi and David Ross will have the call for the game.

More information on ESPN’s upcoming MLB broadcasts is available online now along with all of the latest MLB headlines at:

 

Website: http://www.espn.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/espn

 

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ESPN To Carry Exclusive NBA Draft Lottery Coverage

Courtesy: ESPN

As the 2018-19 NBA season winds down, ESPN will carry coverage of the first building block for the 2019-20 season.

The worldwide leader in sports will broadcast the 2018 NBA Draft Lottery May 14 from 8:30 – 9p.m.  The broadcast will originate live from Chicago, ILL and will feature the reveal for the Draft lottery order, analysis from ESPN on-air talent and interviews with the NBA’s top prospects.

The NBA Draft Lottery coverage will precede ESPN’s exclusive coverage of either Game 1 or 2 of the NBA’s Western Conference Finals. Coverage of the matchup will be simulcast on ESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes and through the ESPN app.

Prior to the network’s coverage of the NBA Draft Lottery, a special edition of ESPN’s NBA studio show The Jump will air at 8 p.m.  Hosted by Rachel Nichols, the special episode will feature Nichols sitting down for a one-on-one interview with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver before going on to anchor ESPN’s coverage of the NBA Draft Lottery.

The full schedule of the night’s NBA coverage is noted below.

Time (ET)

Telecast

Platform

6 p.m.

SportsCenter

ESPN, ESPN App

7 p.m.

NBA Countdown

ESPN, ESPN App

7 p.m.

Hoop Streams

ESPN NBA Twitter, ESPN App

8 p.m.

The Jump at the NBA Draft Lottery

ESPN, ESPN App

8:30 p.m.

2019 NBA Draft Lottery Telecast

ESPN, ESPN App

9 p.m.

NBA Western Conference Finals Game 1 or Game 2

ESPN, ESPN App, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes

9 p.m.

Hoop Streams

ESPN NBA Twitter, ESPN App

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

 

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/espnnba

 

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.

“A” Is For “Awesome”: Shout! Factory, Sesame Workshop’s New ‘Sesame Street’ DVD Lives Up To Its Title

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Sesame Workshop

Shout! Factory and Sesame Workshop will release the latest entry in their Sesame Street DVD series Tuesday in the form of Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection.  This latest addition to the series is a fittingly titled offering, too.  That is proven in part through the DVD’s primary content.  It will be addressed shortly.  The DVD’s bonus content adds even more appeal to its overall presentation, and will be addressed a little later.  The DVD’s average price point rounds out its most important elements.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection.  All things considered, they make this latest offering from Shout! Factory and Sesame Workshop a truly awesome DVD.

Shout! Factory and Sesame Workshop’s latest Sesame Street DVD Awesome Alphabet Challenge is truly an awesome new offering from the companies.  That is proven in part through the DVD’s primary content.  The DVD’s primary content takes audiences through the alphabet from A to Z, giving ample time to each letter along the way.  There are at least three different segments as each letter is introduced.  On the surface, that might not seem like much, but on a deeper level, the repetition is standard teaching fare.  Early Childhood educators will appreciate that approach here, as it drives home the different sounds that each letter makes.  This is especially smart.

While the presentation of each letter in its various sounds forms a solid foundation for the primary content, the fact that this is done by taking viewers through the now 50-year history of Sesame Street adds even more appeal to the presentation.  From the series’ most recent years all the way back to the series’ golden era, which featured the likes of Guy Smiley, to the 90s, when Big Bird, Snuffy and company were still key parts of the show and when Grover was a lovable hapless restaurant waiter, to points in-between, the time span of the content will certainly appeal to plenty of grown-ups just as much as children, if not more so.  Simply put, this is nostalgia done right.  In an age when a company, such as Disney tries to reboot everything and play on the viewers’ sense of nostalgia to sell said reboots in place of any real content, Shout! Factory and Sesame Workshop have done the exact opposite.  They have reintroduced the original content while also teaching key lessons, in turn bringing audiences of all ages successfully together.  Keeping all of this in mind, the primary content featured in Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection creates a solid, stable foundation for the DVD.  Resting on that well-grounded foundation is the disc’s bonus content.

The bonus content featured in Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection is so notable because it does just as much to appeal to children and grown-ups alike as the DVD’s primary content.  One of the DVD’s bonus features is a spoof of CBS’ former hit series The Great Race in the 13-minute-plus episode “Elmo’s Amazing Alphabet Race.”  Even the font used for the title is meant to mirror the font used for the font in the noted award-winning CBS competition series.  The story finds Elmo having to make his way around Sesame Street in search of every one of the 26 letters that make up the alphabet.  It continues that process of repetition that is used in the DVD’s primary content, serving even more, to drive home the letters and their different sounds.  He finds letters on the awning for Hooper’s Store, on a book that Abby Cadabby is reading, a bus stop sign and a sign on a door among many other locations.  Along the way, the “host” of the “show” keeps track of things.  In the end, Elmo and Telly get to the alphabet’s end before the chicken strikes the gong, and get a special surprise, which won’t be given away here.  From start to finish, the “episode” does everything right in continuing what was started in the DVD’s primary content.

The repetition continues even more in the bonus printables that are also featured as extras in this DVD.  Seven pages of printables are available for download.  Six of the printables feature more repetition of the letters, including one page that features the original Sesame Street gang, complete with Snuffy, The Count and even Bert and Ernie, holding all 26 letters of the alphabet.  As an added plus, the very first printable is a connect-the-dots activity that lets young audiences connect the dots to make Elmo’s face and color it.  That, along with the repetition in the other printables and that in the bonus episode “Elmo’s Amazing Alphabet Race” makes the bonus content featured in this disc live up to its title of being bonus material.  When it is considered along with the repetition in the primary content and the content itself, the whole of the primary and secondary content makes the DVD overall more than worth the addition to any classroom and living room setting.  To that end, the DVD’s average price point is money well spent.

The average price point of Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection, using prices listed at Shout! Factory’s store, Walmart, Target, Barnes & Noble Booksellers  and Amazon, is $11.47.  At the time of this posting, it was not listed at Best Buy and Books-A-Million’s websites.  The least expensive listing is at Amazon and Walmart — $9.96.  That is also the most commonly occurring price for the DVD.  The most expensive listing is at Shout! Factory’s store, at $13.98.  Target’s pricing of $9.99 is the middle ground for this title, comparing prices.  Regardless of which retailer consumers use, buyers will know that the money paid is well-spent because of the education that it will certainly provide young viewers and entertainment that it will provide children and grown-ups alike.  Keeping this in mind, the education, entertainment and cost collectively go a long way toward making Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection enjoyable for audiences of all ages, and a truly awesome presentation.

Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection is a presentation that certainly lives up to its title.  It is an awesome collection that audiences of all ages will enjoy.  This is proven in part through the DVD’s collective primary and secondary content, which drives home each letter of the alphabet to young viewers and repeats each letter’s various sounds in each section.  The throwback to Sesame Street’s various eras that is used throughout the primary content adds even more interest to the DVD for grown-ups.  The bonus episode “Elmo’s Amazing Alphabet Race” continues the repetition of the primary content while also certainly bringing laughs to grown-up audiences with its spoof of the former CBS hit competition series.  The bonus printables continue that repetition even more.  Considering all of that content and nonstop education and entertainment, the DVD’s average price point of less than $20 proves quite affordable to say the very least.  Keeping all of this in mind, the whole of this DVD becomes a presentation that is…well…awesome.  Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection is scheduled for release Tuesday.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Website: http://www.sesameworkshop.org

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/sesameworkshop

 

 

 

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Adds Roddy Jones To ACC Network On-Air Team

Courtesy: ESPN

The ACC Network has added another name to its on-air talent roster.

Former Georgia Tech running back and team captain Roddy Jones was announced this week as the newest member of the network’s talent roster.  Jones currently works as a sideline analyst for ESPN during college football season. According to information provided by ESPN, which owns and operates the ACC Network, Jones’ first day on the job at the ACC Network is Aug. 22, the day the ACC Network officially launches.

Jones was upbeat as he recently talked about moving to the ACC Network.

“To be associated with a conference that is so rich in tradition, history and success, and to work alongside some of the best broadcast and production teams in the nation is truly an honor,” Jones said.  “The ACC has been a huge part of my life.  I grew up in the footprint, played in the conference and now cover it as a broadcaster.  I know firsthand how special it is, and how beneficial ACCN will be to the league.”

Jones was a four-year starter at Georgia Tech from 2008-11.  He was the team’s captain in his senior year at the university.  he broke many school records on the way to defeating Clemson in 2009 in the ACC Championship Game.  Among the team records that he broke were those for career starts (52), yards-per-carry (7.6) and rushing yards (212) in 2008 against Georgia.

Off the field, Jones was a three-time All-ACC Academic Football Team honoree.  He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 2010 and earned his MBA in 2013.  This fall marks Jones’ third season with ESPN and its networks.

More information on the ACC Network is available online now at http://www.getaccn.com.

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.