Category Archives: TV

Guinan Wants A Comeback – Whoopi Goldberg Wishes To Be in New Star Trek Picard Show

Captain Picard could always use some advice from his good friend, Guinan, and Whoopi Goldberg is all on board for that idea.

On David Tennant’s podcast, the former 10th Doctor suggested to his guest Whoopi Goldberg that now that Patrick Stewart is back in the Trek universe with his own new show coming soon, perhaps she too could be a part of that world once more.

Here is the transcription from that segment:

Tennant: You could presumably go back to Star Trek. Patrick Stewart is back at it.

Goldberg: I know, but, you know, they have not asked me.

Tennant: You need to ask them again. They would probably think you are kidding.

Goldberg: Well, I don’t know. Maybe. I will. I’ll put it out there.

Tennant: Well, this could be it. We are putting it out there.

Goldberg: All right. We are putting it out there right now.

Goldberg played Guinan on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” the bartender in ten-forward, who was also an El-Aurian, a mysterious race of empathic humanoids who aged at a much slower pace than the average species. She gave plenty of good advice to the TNG characters, including trying to help Wesley learn how to ask a girl out with the help of Commander Riker.

Earlier this week, we wrote about Goldberg’s appearance on Tennant’s podcast in relation to how she pitched the BBC to let her be the first female Doctor Who lead, years before Jodie Whittaker took that role.

You can listen to the entire episode of the podcast below:

The untitled Jean-Luc Picard-centric Star Trek series is currently in pre-production, and will begin filming this April.

What other characters would you like to see return in the upcoming Picard show? Personally, I want to see what happened to the DS9 crew!

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Whoopi Goldberg Could Have Been First Female “Doctor Who”

Academy Award winner and host of “The View”, Whoopi Goldberg recently revealed she tried to break ground by pitching the BBC to become the first female Doctor, years before Jodie Whittaker took the helm.

Goldberg was chatting with David Tennant, AKA the 10th Doctor, on his new podcast, and explained to him that she had pitched the idea of her picking up the sonic screwdriver some years ago, but was met with rejection.

“I wanted to be the first female Doctor … the American version of Doctor Who ends up in New York and it’s me”, she told Tennant.

“The idea of that so made me happy. But they were like ‘Um no.’ I was like, ‘OK, I’m cool. I ­understand.’”

Goldberg has been an active player in sci-fi media, known especially for her role as Guinan on “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. She has cited seeing Uhura on TV, a black woman on the bridge who was contributing and being respected by others, was a huge inspiration to her as a child, not just for her acting aspirations but as a human being.

Whoopi spoke with the Radio Times way back in 2017, where she first mentioned that she wanted to star in “Doctor Who”.

“I always hope when I come to England, the BBC will say, ‘Hey we want you to do something.’ I would love that”, she told The Sun, while speaking about her love of British TV.

“You have a different quality now on television. The way you guys have always done shows has always been the smartest and we’ve finally just figured it out.

“I like the idea of doing things the way y’all do them, you do some really fun stuff like Black Mirror or, you know, I’m still dying to do Doctor Who.”

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WATCH – “The Twilight Zone” Superbowl Commercial Premieres

During Super Bowl LIII, the live telecast was suddenly interrupted it seemed. TVs began to glitch out, and it appeared that CBS was abruptly off the air… at least, that’s what they wanted you to think.

In fact, it was actually a commercial for the new Jordan Peele helmed “Twilight Zone”, giving us our first taste of the new series.

Check out the extended commercial in the video above!

Actors who will be appearing in the new series announced so far include Ike Barinholtz, John Cho, Lucinda Dryzek, Taissa Farmiga, Greg Kinnear, Luke Kirby, Sanaa Lathan, Kumail Nanjiani, Adam Scott, Rhea Seehorn, Alison Tolman, Jacob Tremblay, Jefferson White, Jonathan Whitesell, Jessica Williams, DeWanda Wise and Steven Yeun.

The series officially premieres on Monday, April 1 on their online streaming service, CBS All Access. Following the two episode premiere, new episodes will be available on demand weekly on Thursdays beginning April 11, exclusively for subscribers to the website. There is a free week long trial, so if you haven’t checked out what CBS All Access has to offer, between this and Star Trek Discovery it may be a good time to give it a shot.

Jordan Peele and Simon Kinberg serve as executive producers along with Win Rosenfeld, Audrey Chon, Glen Morgan, Carol Serling, Rick Berg and Greg Yaitanes.

The “Avengers: Endgame” movie also debuted a new trailer tonight, check it out at this link here!

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How Adult Swim cartoon “TIGTONE” gets animated

Animation is not just drawing the same thing again and again to make a flat picture look like it’s moving. What it really comes down to is problem solving. Sure, you could repetitively doodle the same person jumping up and down, but how do you do it efficiently and convincingly?

One of my favorite new Adult Swim cartoon shows is “Tigtone”, originally created by  Andrew Koehler, Benjamin Martian, and Zack Wallenfang (the latter of whom is not involved in the current series but was part of the pilot). It combines “Dungeons & Dragons” fantasy settings with the insanity of your typical inane Adult Swim humor. It’s everything I love and more.

The element that absolutely drew me in the most was the animation style. It looked like nothing I had ever seen before, and if you don’t know what I am talking about – take a look at the pilot episode in the video below:

It’s clear to see why this got picked up by Adult Swim. It looks like someone took an illustration from a fantasy book or a Magic the Gathering card and somehow enchanted it so that it would become an 11 minute cartoon. Much like how Tigtone needs a quest, I too need one, and today that quest has been discovering how the heck they animate this show! After I saw the first Adult Swim episode aired, I started digging around but was unable to find much. Eventually, I found a video not from the creative team behind it, but from RedLetter Media AKA the home of everyone’s favorite curmudgeonly review, Mr Plinkett. Check out this video below to see a little of the behind-the-scenes production process:

This video revealed that the VO actors often perform their lines with the producer present, and do a very unique motion-capture. Clearly, that is just the first step, but it’s certainly a very big clue to what they are doing.

More recently, Adult Swim released the video below, likely due to folks like myself and readers like you who have been endlessly googling “How do they animate TigTone”?

All that SEO analytical data paid off, and we got more of an official look at how the hometeam produces their mo-cap sessions, involving a piece of apparatus that resembles a medieval torture device that I honestly would not be surprised to see in an episode.

The next big question was how do they take these mo-cap sessions and add it to the artwork?

The clues we got from the video was that they seem to be using Adobe After Effects, a very powerful (and accessible) app that you can get fairly easily if you don’t mind paying a monthly subscription fee.

I started to dig deeper, and stumbled upon this Youtube tutorial by Creativid Studios who seems to be doing something very similar to what the animators behind “Tigtone” are doing.

This form of AE motion capture combines a recording of the actors face with a series of masks, combining an illustration of the cartoon characters face with some holes in it to let the actor’s eyes and mouth peek through.

Once you have those features removed, you then use a Face Tracker that is built into AE to recognize a face, and then creates key frames to track the mouth as it moves. It’s easier to watch the video then have me explain it all, so take a look and see what you think.

Of course, this begs the question – why animate this show in such a time consuming way? In an interview with Little Black Book Online, Benjamin Martian and Andrew Koehler addressed those thoughts, and had this to say:

Andrew: An enormous part of what makes the humour work is the fact that the presentation takes itself seriously. It NEEDS to look like epic, hand painted, exquisitely detailed art in order for the total farce of the writing to work. 

Benjamin: Also the style and process came out of necessity and resourcefulness. When we realised we couldn’t produce these fantasy scripts live-action, Andrew used what he had at his disposal to make something work. That something was this 2D motion capture technique. Also, damn all convention.

They went on to discuss how this process came to be, and the hardships that ultimately led them to the one of a kind aesthetic that “Tigtone” has:

Andrew: It was a lot of trial and error, research and development, hurry up and wait, and blood, sweat, and tears. But really it was all about figuring out the practicality of it all – how do I warp his face without distorting his hair, how do I keep the teeth from floating around, etc. The answer always involved a lot of math and a lot of rendering. 

Benjamin: Andrew was like MacGyver, digitally duct-taping this process together with different programs and plug-ins. When we started production at Titmouse, the animation studio that produces the series, we had to completely reinvent the production process to accommodate this bizarre technique.

The famed “Torture Chair” with a DSLR ominously hovering above it

That same article also gives us some of the most exact specifics we have seen on the internet so far about the steps taken to animate in this style:

Benjamin: After we have all the lines recorded and cut into the animatic (animated storyboards) we isolate every line for each character and categorise them by shot angle. We then glue pearl craft beads onto our faces at specific points to track the movement of the entire face. For example, we put three dots over each eyebrow to capture the way the eyebrows bend.

Then we strap ourselves into our motion-capture bench with a camera mounted overhead. We play back every single line on a loop and perform the line, trying to perform in sync with the line.

After that, the motion of each dot on our face is attached to the corresponding dot on the characters’ face to create the motion. Then the animators do a TON of work to hone in the performances – so it’s not just our faces doing all the work.

One of the most important things about doing this with their “torture chair” is making sure the people reading the lines and being filmed are perfectly still. The mo-cap data must precisely match the angles of the characters being animated in order to register with the tracker. If they don’t – back to the torture chair for them to reshoot the scene.

Either way, it seems the technology is in your grasp, and now you too can attain that unique look with your own cartoons! If you give it a try, let us know how it came out and feel free to post it in the comments!

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Watch the Season 2 Premiere of “Star Trek: Discovery” for FREE – Make It So!

Want to see the new Star Trek series on CBS All Access, but not convinced it’s worth your money? Lucky for you, CBS has heard your complaints, and is throwing you a bone.

CBS just uploaded the entire Season 2 Premiere of “Star Trek: Discovery” to watch for free on their Youtube channel. Picking up where things left off last time (Spoilers), The NCC-1030 USS Discovery ended the war with the Klingons, and was about to embark for whatever was next. It just so happened to be a distress signal from a familiar ship – The NCC 1701 USS Enterprise, with Captain Christopher Pike at the helm! What happens next? You will have to watch this very exciting episode to find out!

Here is their official synopsis of the season:

After answering a distress signal from the U.S.S. Enterprise, season two of Star Trek: Discovery finds the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery joining forces with Captain Christopher Pike on a new mission to investigate seven mysterious red signals and the appearance of an unknown being called the Red Angel. While the crew must work together to unravel their meaning and origin, Michael Burnham is forced to face her past with the return of her estranged brother, Spock.

Check it out and let us know what you think of this episode in the comments below!

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Will Smith Talks About The “How Come He Don’T Want Me” Scene From Fresh Prince

Everyone who watched “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” remembers that iconic scene where Will and his deadbeat Dad (played by Ben Vereen) have one final scene together before he runs out of his life once again. It’s a heartbreaking moment for Will, and intensified as his vents to Uncle Phil (James Avery) about how he doesn’t need anyone before breaking down in the arms of his Uncle, the father he needed all along.

In an interview with Tidal featuring Elliott Wilson from Rap Radar, Smith broke down the scene and explained how that moment came to be. It’s quite the story and worth checking out.

Check out the video below:

Here is the transcript from the clip:

James Avery wouldn’t give me a damn inch. Everything I said and everything I did for James Avery he was like “no, not good enough. You have this position, look where you are, look at what you are blessed with. I’m sorry but I am not accepting anything other than absolute committed perfection from you.”

And at that time I was ballin! (laughter) and James Avery wouldn’t give me nothing. He was the model for me. James Avery was so serious and I would look at him and he had that acting power I wanted to have. He would listen to my music and say “nope, nope.”

So we’re doing that scene (see below) and I’m having a hard time with it and it comes to the moment and we’re in the scene together. I’m messin up the lines cuz I want it so bad and we’re in front of the audience and we’re doin it and I’m furious and he holds on to me and he says “hey, relax, relax, it’s already in there you know what it is. Look at me, use me. Don’t act around me, act with me.” So he’s talking me through it so I get it together.

So I do the scene and he hugs me at the end and while he’s hugging me he whispers in my ear, “that’s f*ckin actin right there!” (laughter). It makes me teary right now. I was using him. I wanted him to want me. I wanted him to approve of me. So actually in that scene I was transferring that energy.

That was certainly the first time the world saw the dramatic abilities of Smith, and it would (as we know now) not be the last.

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SDCC 2018: The Thirteenth Doctor arrives in new “Doctor Who” Trailer!

The TARDIS doors have opened, and we now have our first taste of Jodie Whitaker as the new Doctor Who!

Just revealed during BBC America’s Doctor Who panel at SDCC 2018, this new trailer shows us the Thirteenth Doctor as she meets her “new best friends” Yasmin (Mandip Gill), Ryan (Tosin Cole), and Graham (Bradley Walsh).

We also get to see a little of the new TARDIS interior, as well as a very unique sonic screwdriver.

The series is expected to return to airwaves later this fall.

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DC Collectibles Announces ‘Justice League’ Animated Figures for DC Universe

DC UNIVERSE is a first-of-its kind digital subscription service that gives fans access to exclusive content and experiences not available anywhere else. With membership, fans will enjoy all-new original live-action and animated series, classic TV series and films, a curated selection of digital comic books, breaking news, an expansive DC-centric encyclopedia, and access to exclusive merchandise. Additional fan features include opportunities to connect with others in the DC community, earn premium rewards and participate in sweepstakes and contests.

“Developing new ways for consumers to access some of our most popular and iconic brands and franchises as well as exclusive new content whenever they want, on the devices they choose, is one of our studio’s top priorities,” said Craig Hunegs, president, Warner Bros. Digital Networks. “The DC UNIVERSE platform gives fans a place to tailor their experience and build a direct relationship with DC in a way they never could before.”

Members of DC UNIVERSE can:

WATCH exclusive originals and classic favorites;
READ from an extensive list of curated comic books;
CONNECT with the DC community;
EXPLORE the latest breaking news and the ever-expanding DC encyclopedia;
WIN premium rewards and participate in sweepstakes and contests;
SHOP for exclusive merchandise.

Fans can sign up today for an opportunity for beta access, which will open in August 2018. Beta access will give members a chance to test the new digital experience and provide valuable feedback on the early version of the service before it goes live later this fall 2018.

“DC UNIVERSE is so much more than a streaming service. It’s a welcoming place for everyone to immerse themselves in their own level of DC fandom, with the epic characters, stories, and experiences they have come to expect from DC,” said Jim Lee, chief creative officer and publisher, DC Entertainment. “We are investing in and creating original, high-quality shows including the new Titans series, and curating the most beloved nostalgic content, while at the same time elevating the comic reading experience to new heights. Nothing this robust has ever been offered to fans before.”

WATCH
At the heart of DC UNIVERSE will be all-new exclusive original live-action and animated series based on DC’s iconic characters. Developed by Warner Bros. Television, Swamp Thing and Doom Patrol are scheduled to debut in 2019, following the dramatic, live-action adventure series Titans which premieres later this year. Warner Bros. Animation is also developing a slate of animated TV series based on existing fan favorites, including Harley Quinn and the highly anticipated third season of the popular Young Justice: Outsiders animated series which are both scheduled to debut in 2019.

Titans follows young heroes from across the DC Universe as they come of age and find belonging in a gritty take on the classic Teen Titans franchise. Dick Grayson and Rachel Roth, a special young girl possessed by a strange darkness, get embroiled in a conspiracy that could bring Hell on Earth. Joining them along the way are the hot-headed Starfire and loveable Beast Boy. Together they become a surrogate family and team of heroes.
Doom Patrol is a reimagining of one of DC’s strangest group of outcasts: Robotman, Negative Man, Elasti-Woman and Crazy Jane. Led by the mysterious Dr. Niles Caulder they’re called into action by the ultimate hero for the digital age, Cyborg. Banding together these rejects find themselves on a mission that will take them to the weirdest and most unexpected corners of the DC universe.
Swamp Thing follows Abby Arcane as she investigates what seems to be a deadly swamp-born virus in a small town in Louisiana but soon discovers that the swamp holds mystical and terrifying secrets. When unexplainable and chilling horrors emerge from the murky marsh, no one is safe.
Young Justice: Outsiders features the return of the fan favorite animated series with a huge cast of DC’s most iconic young superheroes – plus brand-new characters, many of whom are just discovering their unique meta-powers and special abilities. Set against the backdrop of a rich, deep world that touches all corners of the DC universe, the season focuses on meta–trafficking, and an intergalactic arms race for control of these super–powered youths.
Harley Quinn follows Harley’s adventures after she breaks up with the Joker and strikes out on her own in this new adult animated comedy. With the help of Poison Ivy and a ragtag crew of DC castoffs, Harley tries to earn a seat at the biggest table in villainy: the Legion of the Doom.

An assortment of DC’s most beloved superhero films will also be available at launch for exclusive streaming windows, including all four original Superman movies as well as a selection of epic animated movies including Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, Green Lantern: First Flight, and Wonder Woman. The service will also feature classic TV shows, including Batman: The Animated Series and the original Wonder Woman series available for the first time in HD.

READ
The DC UNIVERSE comics reader will include native, untethered access across devices from a smartphone or tablet to a living room screen rendered in vivid detail. Fans can scroll through some of their favorite comics from the comfort of their couch with family or friends and see this vibrant art form come to life like never before. A curated selection of thousands of DC comics will be available to DC UNIVERSE members from a library that includes decades of comics creations.

Members can read some of the most famous stories in comic book history such as the first 1938 Action Comics that introduced Superman to the world as well as Detective Comics #27which first introduced Batman in 1939. Other titles include Geoff Johns and Jim Lee’s iconic Justice League (2011), Swamp Thing (2011) written by Scott Snyder, and Harley Quinn (2013) written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner. Rotating selections will cater to both members new to comics and passionate fans looking for hard-to-find titles. Comics can also be downloaded for reading offline on a smartphone or tablet.

“We wanted the DC UNIVERSE comic reader to be a blend of art and technology that would further enhance fan’s experiences of the live-action and animated programming on DC UNIVERSE,” said Dan DiDio, publisher, DC Entertainment. “This hand-curated selection from our decades of comic creations gives fans a thematic digital longbox to carry with them on the device of their choosing or lets them watch exclusive video content on a big screen followed by the comic that inspired it.”

CONNECT
The community within DC UNIVERSE will be a place where members can rate, create and share their own personalized playlists of their favorite heroes and villains. Members can personalize their profile and select their own avatar, be it Superman, Wonder Woman, or another heroic character or symbol. Designed to be a place for finding commonality and sharing favorite rivalries or the latest list of must-read comic books, members will have a forum for posting information, finding friendship and sharing their DC passions in a shared, moderated space within DC UNIVERSE.

EXPLORE & WIN
Latest news, an extensive DC encyclopedia, and chances to win round out the membership benefits of DC UNIVERSE. Short-form news, interviews and previews in daily video segments will keep fans up-to-date on the latest from all corners of the DC universe. The ever-expanding DC encyclopedia, to which fans can contribute, will house bios of hundreds of DC characters and places. In addition, members will have chances to win premium rewards, including game unlocks, first-chance access to pop-culture events, exclusive experiences and more.

SHOP
Exclusively for DC UNIVERSE members, DC Collectibles—the award-winning line of collectibles from DC Entertainment—will offer a wide range of new action figures and collector’s items based on DC’s iconic characters and stories. Members will have exclusive access to all-new six-inch Justice League Animated action figures based on designs from the fan-favorite animated series (2001-2004), starting in fall 2018. In addition to DC Collectibles, members will have access to a wide range of exclusive, curated and hard-to-find DC merchandise from a variety of licensing partners before the rest of the world.

The operation of DC UNIVERSE will be managed by Sam Ades, general manager and senior vice president, Warner Bros. Digital Network, based in Burbank. The digital media executive formerly served as the senior vice president, direct to consumer, for DC Entertainment, where he was responsible for creating and executing DC’s digital marketing strategy.

DC UNIVERSE will be available at launch on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV, as well as the web and mobile web. To learn more and register for an opportunity for beta access, visit DCUNIVERSE.com and follow DC UNIVERSE on social networks including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

ABOUT DC UNIVERSE
DC UNIVERSE, launching in 2018, is a standalone digital experience designed for the DC fan. Showcasing DC’s iconic characters, DC UNIVERSE offers new original live-action and animated series, legendary films and series, and epic animated movies, as well as a fan community, a curated selection of comic books, and exclusive merchandise. DC UNIVERSE is operated by Warner Bros. Digital Networks in collaboration with DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Digital Labs. DC UNIVERSE offers access to exclusive content and experiences not available anywhere else. To learn more, visit www.DCUNIVERSE.com.

ABOUT DC ENTERTAINMENT
DC Entertainment, home to iconic brands DC (Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, the Flash), DC Vertigo (Sandman, Fables) and MAD, is the creative division charged with strategically integrating across Warner Bros. and WarnerMedia. DC Entertainment works in concert with many key Warner Bros. divisions to unleash its stories and characters across all media, including but not limited to film, television, consumer products, home entertainment, and interactive games. Publishing thousands of comic books, graphic novels and magazines each year, DC Entertainment is one of the largest English-language publishers of comics in the world.

ABOUT WARNER BROS. DIGITAL NETWORKS
Warner Bros. Digital Networks (WBDN) creates, builds, and operates direct-to-consumer digital services, digital premium content, and experiences. The WBDN team is chartered with bringing together a diverse portfolio of iconic brands and innovative, exclusive premium content, focused on serving digital-first audiences. Leveraging the studio’s iconic franchises and vast library, WBDN’s portfolio includes DC UNIVERSE, DramaFever, Boomerang, and Filmstruck in partnership with Turner. WBDN also produces and distributes premium digital series through Stage 13 and Machinima and in partnership with LeBron James’ Uninterrupted and Ellen DeGeneres’ Ellen Digital Ventures. Warner Bros. Digital Networks’ premium programming and digital offerings put viewers at the center of entertainment, sports, gaming, and pop culture, reaching audiences anywhere, across any platform.

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Showtime to debut “Bipolar Rock ‘n” Roller” doc, about Mauro Ranallo’s battle with mental illness

Prolific combat sports broadcaster Mauro Ranallo and his lifelong battle with mental illness are the subject of a new documentary film from SHOWTIME Sports®. BIPOLAR ROCK ‘N ROLLER – named for the moniker Ranallo gave himself as a broadcast personality and DJ in the early 90’s – will premiere on SHOWTIME during Mental Health Awareness Month on Friday, May 25 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

Ranallo has Bipolar Affective Disorder, a condition afflicting nearly five percent of the U.S. population according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI.org). As a national sportscaster for preeminent boxing, mixed martial arts and WWE events, Ranallo has long been an advocate for ending the stigma of mental illness. Now, for the first time, he exposes the true extent of his daily struggle. Through extensive behind-the-scenes video footage, candid personal interviews and detailed accounts from his loved ones and doctors, BIPOLAR ROCK ‘N ROLLER takes an unflinching look at mental illness and its effects.

The film explores Ranallo’s career, including his work on the two biggest pay-per-view events in television history, and his relentless pursuit of a childhood dream despite seemingly insurmountable odds. Through this deeply personal portrait, Ranallo hopes that the film might inspire others to persevere in pursuing their dreams despite the challenges of a mental health condition.

“I have always tried to do my part to bring awareness to mental health issues,” said Ranallo. “Over the last several years, I allowed my best friend, Haris (Usanovic), to film me at my lowest points as well as at my highest. The idea is simply to show others who suffer that they are not alone and that, even when the outlook is bleak, you can overcome and achieve success. Mental illness is a life sentence—there is no cure—but it doesn’t have to be a death sentence.”

“Through BIPOLAR ROCK ‘N ROLLER, Mauro Ranallo has chosen to share not only his life’s dreams, but his nightmares as well,” said Stephen Espinoza, President, Sports and Event Programming for Showtime Networks Inc. “Having reached the pinnacle of his profession, Mauro bravely turns his keen observational skills inward to examine his own life-long battle. The result is a raw, poignant and ultimately inspirational film that personifies Mauro’s courage and selflessness.”

Ranallo is a popular fixture on today’s combat sports scenes. In a career that has spanned more than 30 years, he has called everything from “All-Star Wrestling,” a Canadian professional wrestling outfit, to historic MMA events for PRIDE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIPS out of Japan, to WWE SmackDown Live on USA Network, to many of the biggest boxing events in the world for SHOWTIME Sports. Ranallo was the first broadcaster to call play-by-play on boxing, kickboxing, MMA and professional wrestling events on national television.

Today, Ranallo is the voice of three prominent nationally televised series: SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING®, WWE’s weekly show NXT on WWE Network, and BELLATOR MMA on Paramount Network. Perhaps best known for his dramatic, excitable style, Ranallo is a student of the English language. He has already made a lasting mark on the industry having called the two biggest pay-per-view events in television history: Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao (May 2015, international telecast); and Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor (Aug. 2017, SHOWTIME PPV®).

BIPOLAR ROCK ‘N ROLLER is produced by Brian Dailey, the network’s Vice President, Sports Digital Content and Strategy, and MALKA MEDIA GROUP. Directed by first-time filmmaker Haris Usanovic, the film is executive produced by Stephen Espinoza and SHOWTIME Sports.

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John Cena’s Villainous Character Revealed in Nickelodeon’s “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”

Nickelodeon today revealed a first look at the character art of original villain, Baron Draxum, voiced by WWE Superstar John Cena, in the all-new animated series Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Cena will portray the Turtles’ newest nemesis, alongside Omar Miller (Ballers) as Raphael, Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation) as Leonardo, Josh Brener (Silicon Valley) as Donatello, Brandon Mychal Smith (You’re The Worst) as Michelangelo, Kat Graham (The Vampire Diaries) as April O’Neil and Eric Bauza (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) as Splinter. Cena unveiled the artwork at Nickelodeon’s Upfront presentation, held today in New York City.

“I’ve always been a fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, so getting the opportunity to voice a character, especially the villain Baron Draxum, is truly special,” said Cena.

An alchemist warrior mutant from the Hidden City, Baron Draxum is the self-proclaimed protector of all mutant-kind. Using ooze, he plans to mutate all of humanity with his insect-like creatures called Oozesquitoes. Cena’s recurring character will debut in the premiere episode of Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, bowing later this year on Nickelodeon.

Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles follows the band of brothers as they discover new powers and encounter a mystical world they never knew existed beneath the streets of New York City. The new 26-episode series is co-executive produced by Andy Suriano (character designer, Samurai Jack) and Ant Ward (supervising producer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) at Nickelodeon in Burbank, Calif. Veteran animation industry voice actor Rob Paulsen is voice directing the series.

Viewers can visit the Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles page on Nick.com for more information and follow @TMNT for Turtle Power updates.

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