Friday, March 04, 2022

Animation Magazine Names 'Transformers: EarthSpark' Co-Exec Producer Dale Malinowski as One of 2022's Rising Stars of Animation

Animation Magazine has announced Dale Malinowski, a Co-Executive Producer on Nickelodeon and Hasbro's upcoming CG-animated Transformers: EarthSpark series, as one of 2022's Rising Stars of Animation!


Animag’s 2022 Rising Stars of Animation feature also honors Karissa Valencia, the creator of Spirit Rangers for Netflix, who started her career at Nickelodeon as a “Nick-tern” for the Talent Development Department, and Ruolin Li, director of Abominable and the Invisible City for DreamWorks Animation Television, who started her career working as a storyboard revisionist for Nickelodeon’s 2012 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series!

A huge congratulations to Dale, Karissa, Ruolin, and everyone honored in Animation Magazine's 2022 Rising Stars of Animation feature! You can read more about each honoree at animationmagazine.net.

Dale Malinowski
Co-Executive Producer, Transformers: EarthSpark, Nickelodeon


Age: 36
Birthplace: Raised in Reading, Pennsylvania
School: Temple University, 2007

First time I knew I wanted to work in animation: I loved animation and comics from a very young age. I would trace comic-book covers and interior splash pages, I would draw characters I loved from the shows I was obsessed with, and I would staple together drawings of original characters I created to assemble their stories in DIY comic books. I knew I wanted to be a storyteller as a kid but I didn’t know how to convert my fantasy into a career. That path came into focus at school, so I put in the work and followed opportunities that led me to animation. Luck and timing played a role in my journey, too!

First animation job: Assistant to three current series executives at Nickelodeon. I didn’t know what ‘current series’ was before the interview, and I showed up sporting a black eye from a freak softball collision — not a good look walking into a children’s entertainment company. Still, those three executives took a chance and hired me. They were phenomenal bosses and mentors who taught me everything about animation production. I was vocal about my passion for writing and they encouraged me to pursue it. After a few years (and many failed interviews), I landed a job as a script coordinator and finally made it into a writer’s room. That was on Andy Suriano and Ant Ward’s Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and it was a dream come true.

Fave animated shows growing up: My favorite animated shows were the ones whose characters lived in my toy chest: TMNT, The Real Ghostbusters, Batman, X-Men, and Transformers, to name a few.

What I love about my job: I love writing for these characters. The Transformers are beloved, and contributing to their legacy is a privilege. I smile every time Final Draft auto-fills ‘Optimus Prime’ in the character field. I also love storyboard launch meetings. That’s the production milestone where written material begins its transition into a visual language. Discussions about character, intent, and how to communicate “what it’s about” are always enlightening because so many of my co-workers are masters of their craft.

Challenges: The job has many challenges, but they’re relative. We spend our days (and nights and weekends!) making animation for a kid audience, so maintaining perspective makes even the toughest moments feel surmountable.

Animation idols: I admire everyone I’m working with right now. Many crew members are the most talented people I’ve never met! Someday, we will all gather and be merry — I will probably cry.

Best career advice: You are more important than your work. Take care of yourself and ask for help when you need it.


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Nick Jr. at the Cinema to Return to Russian Movie Theaters [Update: Postponed]

ViacomCBS Networks Russia (Россия) and Pioneer Film Company have extended their partnership which will see "Nick Jr. at the Cinema" return to Russian cinemas in November 2021! The "Nick Jr. at the Cinema" initiative, brings some of Nickelodeon's top-rated preschool series to the big screen, including brand new episodes and specials before they air on the Nick Jr. channel. The 2021 edition of Nick Jr. at the Cinema" will kick off on November 4 with PAW Patrol: Jet to the Rescue, with new releases each month going forward.

Update (4/3/22) - Due to Russia's continued illegal invasion of Ukraine, Paramount has decided to pull content out of Russian theaters, including PAW Patrol. The news was announced on Thursday, March 3.




Since launching in March 2019, around one million moviegoers throughout Russia have seen their favourite Nick Jr. shows on the silver screen thanks to "Nick Jr. at the Cinema", earning more than 161 million rubles at the box office.

In addition to PAW Patrol, cinemagoers will be able to watch Blaze and the Monster Machines and Santiago Of The Seas in the coming months.


Information about the project, as well as a list of participating cinemas will be available on the official "Nick Jr. at the Cinema" website, https://nickjrvkino.ru, soon.

Official ViacomCBS Networks Россия press release:

ПРОЕКТ «NICK JR. В КИНО» ВОЗВРАЩАЕТСЯ В КИНОТЕАТРЫ С 4 НОЯБРЯ


Кинокомпания Пионер и ViacomCBS возобновляют сотрудничество над проектом «Nick Jr. в кино», стартовавшем в начале марта 2019 года. В рамках ежемесячного кинотеатрального релиза «Nick Jr. в кино» дети дошкольного возраста и их родители смогут посмотреть новые серии популярных мультсериалов на больших экранах, в том числе до официального выхода некоторых их них в эфир телеканала Nick. Jr. Новый выпуск - специальный эпизод «Щенячий патруль: улётная помощь» - с одними из самых популярных героев телеканала Nick Jr. покажут в кинотеатрах с 4 ноября 2021 года.

С начала старта проекта кинокомпания Пионер выпустила 11 выпусков с анимационными шоу канала Nick Jr., собрав в прокате более 161 млн рублей. Выпуски детского сборника посмотрело около 1 млн кинозрителей по всей России.

Новые выпуски проекта «Nick Jr. в кино» будут выходить каждый месяц. Помимо «Щенячьего патруля», российские кинотеатры покажут анимационные шоу «Вспыш и чудо-машинки» о бесстрашном пикапе-гонщике, «Сантьяго и его моря», историю о приключениях восьмилетнего пирата и его друзей, и многие другие. Юные зрители узнают, как важно развивать уверенность в себе, быть трудолюбивым и помогать окружающим.

«За последний год мы часто получали от партнеров и кинотеатров запросы о возобновлении показов нашего чудесного проекта, и сейчас мы очень рады перезапустить Nick Jr. в кино. Благодаря удобному хронометражу выпуска, их регулярности и узнаваемости бренда возвращение проекта на российские экраны станет отличным подарком для детей и их родителей. Для многих малышей «Nick Jr. в кино» становится опытом первого похода в кинотеатр», − уверена генеральный директор кинокомпании Пионер Александра Геллер.

«Мы очень рады продолжению сотрудничества с кинокомпанией «Пионер», ведь благодаря ему у маленьких зрителей и их родителей есть возможность посмотреть любимые мультсериалы не только в эфире Nick Jr. и на VOD-платформах, но также и на больших экранах в самых разных городах страны. Наш предыдущий проект оказался очень успешным: около миллиона зрителей побывали в кинотеатрах и посмотрели выпуски сборника, – уверены, что новый этап нашего сотрудничества также привлечет большое внимание аудитории», - отметила Елена Бальмонт, старший вице-президент и генеральный директор ViacomCBS Networks International в России, СНГ, Украине, Грузии и странах Балтии.

Подробности проекта, а также адреса кинотеатров, где пройдут кинопоказы, скоро будут доступны на официальном сайте проекта.

###


Originally published: October 13, 2021.


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CBS Sports and Nickelodeon Deliver Most-Watched NFL Wild Card Game in Seven Years

CBS SPORTS AND NICKELODEON DELIVER MOST-WATCHED NFL WILD CARD GAME IN SEVEN YEARS

49ers-Cowboys Averaged 41.496 Million Viewers Across Both Networks, Peaking with More Than 50 Million Viewers for Game’s Conclusion

Paramount+ Scores Its Most-Streamed Non-Super Bowl NFL Weekend Ever; 49ers-Cowboys Is Its Most-Streamed Non-Super Bowl Game of All Time


01.19.2022 - CBS Sports and Nickelodeon’s presentation of the 49ers’ victory over the Cowboys on Sunday, Jan. 16 (4:40-8:02 PM, ET) scored as the most-watched NFL Wild Card game on any network in seven years (Detroit-Dallas, 1/4/15, 42.320), averaging 41.496 million viewers across both networks and up +35% versus last year’s comparable game.

The audience peaked with more than 50 million viewers (50.229) for the game’s conclusion.

Paramount+ registered its most-streamed non-Super Bowl NFL weekend ever and 49ers-Cowboys scored as its most-streamed non-Super Bowl game of all time. Super Wild Card Weekend delivered double-digit year-over-year growth in total streams, streaming minutes and unique viewers from last year’s Super Wild Card games.

The NFL Wild Card Game on Nickelodeon, a simulcast featuring enhanced original on-field graphics, advanced augmented reality including an AR blimp that flew throughout the stadium, and gallons of green slime - both virtual and physical - was watched by 1,333,000 viewers.

ADDITIONAL NOTES ON 49ERS-COWBOYS

After recording its most-watched regular season in six years, THE NFL ON CBS continued its strong viewership into the postseason as the 41.496 million viewers for 49ers-Cowboys marked CBS’ most-watched Wild Card game in 10 years (Pittsburgh-Denver, 1/8/12, 42.371) and ranks as the Network’s second-most watched Wild Card game on record (since 1988).

The game is the most-watched television program on any network since Super Bowl LV on CBS and THE NFL ON CBS has delivered the only two programs with more than 40 million viewers during that span (49ers-Cowboys, 41.496 million viewers and Raiders-Cowboys on Thanksgiving, 40.802 million viewers).

BILLS-PATRIOTS DELIVERS 23% INCREASE ON SATURDAY NIGHT

The Bills’ 30-point victory over the Patriots in primetime on Saturday, Jan. 15 (8:16-11:04 PM, ET) averaged 26.373 million viewers, a +23% increase over last year’s comparable Saturday night game.

* * *

Update (3/4) - Nickelodeon's 2022 NFL Wild Card Game on Nickelodeon "SlimeCast" has been nominated for the "Outstanding Fan Engagement" award in the 2022 SportTechie Awards!

From Variety:

Inside the ManningCast: How ESPN and Two Football Brothers Are Transforming Sports TV


By Brian Steinberg

ESPN executives have been trying since 2018 to convince Peyton Manning to join the in-studio broadcast team for their flagship “Monday Night Football.” Now they may be happier that he turned down those overtures.

That’s because the retired NFL quarterback has gained traction with an alternate “Monday Night Football” telecast for ESPN2 that he began hosting with his younger brother, Eli, another former all-star QB, in September. The stakes couldn’t be higher for ESPN, the NFL or the TV business — even though the decidedly low-tech broadcast, which quickly came to be known as “ManningCast,” feels like a cross between hanging out in a sports bar and a glorified Zoom session.

The brothers have held forth for 10 Monday nights during the 2021 NFL season, offering live banter and crosstalk alongside the same feed of the game being broadcast on ESPN and sometimes ABC. Football fans who want traditional play-by-play game coverage can tune in to “Monday Night Football” regulars Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Louis Riddick and Lisa Salters on the mothership ESPN. Those who want to hear two Super Bowl MVP quarterbacks chop it up with the occasional athlete or celebrity guest can sit back and relax with the ManningCast.

Fans are hooked. On Wednesday, ESPN and its corporate parent, Disney announced an expanded deal with the Mannings, who will create concepts similar to the ManningCast for UFC, college football and golf broadcasts under Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions. Media companies see the format as one of the creative steps that networks and streamers must take to squeeze profits out of increasingly sky-high sports rights. The leagues think they’ve hit upon a new way to get younger fans to watch their games. And media executives across the industry are scrambling to duplicate ESPN’s feat — and not just in sports. “It could be any big event,” says Tom Young, co-head of sports broadcasting at CAA. “The dog show. The spelling bee.” Maybe even “American Idol” or the Oscars? “You could certainly see the same dynamics in those programs,” says Burke Magnus, ESPN’s president of programming and original content.

The Mannings have captured, on average, 13% of the total audience for ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” during the regular season, according to Octagon, a sports-marketing firm owned by Interpublic Group, and 10.6% including the Wild Card game that was also broadcast on ABC. “There’s some real engagement there,” says Daniel Cohen, Octagon’s senior vice president of global media rights consulting. “If you can break a 10% number, then this is valuable” to the cable and satellite companies that distribute ESPN and the marketers who want to advertise on it.

To be sure, it’s not clear yet whether such concepts — some executives call them “alternacasts” or “megacasts” — are luring thousands of new viewers or just keeping fans engaged and tuning in longer through sampling. “Some of it is incremental, and some of it is bouncing back and forth,” acknowledges Magnus, noting that ESPN researchers continue to analyze this season’s audience data. But executives believe the new formats serve as “an audience expansion tool, without question, for us and the leagues who are in the business of growing more fans.”

Everyone can agree, however, that the Mannings are doing more than just giving sports nuts something to talk about at the bar. This is an era when all kinds of TV viewership are under pressure, as consumers move from sitting around their TV set at a specific time to calling up whatever it is they want to watch with a few clicks of the remote and a subscription to one of a few dozen streaming services. “I think the networks are realizing that a core fan may certainly want to watch the game, but this gives the network an opportunity to bring in a different kind of fan who is interested in a different kind of experience,” says Matthew Kramer, co-head of sports broadcast at CAA. “The future of watching sports will in some way, shape or form include a ‘megacast’ model.”

Despite all the attention, the brothers don’t go in for anything fancy, in either setup or presentation. They talk over each other. They barely acknowledge when the show must stop for a commercial break. Guests like Dwayne Johnson get to talk about their love of football, tequila investments and upcoming movie projects — and even a T-Rex skull replica on display in the background — without the slightest pressure to dig deeper. When the Mannings signed off after a Wild Card game not too long ago, they did so without the faintest whiff of TV-hosting skills. “Bye!” yelled Peyton. Neither of them told viewers to stay tuned to watch late-night ESPN mainstay Scott Van Pelt on “SportsCenter.”

“That’s part of the secret sauce,” says Magnus. “It’s very casual. It’s very informal,” and besides, no one is on the Mannings’ case to sound like polished sports analysts. “I think fans are fine with that. If you want the high-end platinum production experience, you can go over to ESPN and see what’s up on ‘Monday Night Football.’”

After a typical weekend during football season, viewers have spent many hours with NFL games by the time Monday night comes around, says Magnus. The Mannings “help drum up more people having an interest to watch a Monday night game who probably wouldn’t want to watch otherwise.” The brothers, whose show is produced through Peyton Manning’s Omaha Prods., have largely kept silent about the success of the ManningCast, despite its popularity. Through ESPN, they both declined to comment.

Some of football’s biggest supporters back the maneuver. A new generation of customers doesn’t like to be tied down to a single product or piece of media, points out Andy Goeler, vice president of marketing for Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Bud Light, which is using the Super Bowl to introduce a zero-carb version of its well-known brew as well as a line of soda-flavored Bud Light seltzers. “The landscape requires you to be out there in more niche things to be able to continue to connect with consumers,” he says.

The leagues are pushing for it too. “We actually challenged our partners in the spring of 2020,” when adding new Wild Card games to the season, says Hans Schroeder, chief operating officer of NFL Media. “We felt there was an opportunity to do more, particularly for certain parts of our fan base.” As viewers grow accustomed to streaming live sports telecasts and watching games in new venues, he adds, leagues need to be mindful of “avid and casual fans who watch a game through a different experience” from a traditional TV broadcast. When Major League Baseball was in talks to renew its rights deals with ESPN and Turner last year, creating new ways of showing games “was a major part of the conversations,” says Noah Garden, MLB’s chief revenue officer. “It’s front and center for all of us.”

But the success of the ManningCast has programmers questioning whether it was lightning in a bottle or whether it’s a format that can be applied to other conceits. Can ESPN — or anyone else — launch a ManningCast-like program that becomes just as popular? Or even expand the idea?

Networks have been experimenting with new spins on traditional sports telecasts for some time. There have been “kidscasts” on ESPN, where teens talk about the action at the Little League World Series. The MLB Network last year employed former New York Yankees pitcher C.C. Sabathia to lead a “Clubhouse Edition” that had him trade anecdotes about the game with other former players; there have been statcasts with on-air graphics for fans who want to nerd out on things like pitches per plate appearance. NBC Sports has offered “Hot Pass” coverage of NASCAR races that allow viewers to see things from the perspective of several top drivers. There was a “MarvelCast” of an NBA game on ESPN2 that turned a contest between the Golden State Warriors and the New Orleans Pelicans into a battle that featured a different scoring system and superhero avatars.

Nickelodeon for two seasons has dispatched a trio to call its own broadcast of a CBS Sports feed of an NFL Wild Card game for kids: This year, sportscasters Nate Burleson and Noah Eagle talked with Nickelodeon actor Gabrielle Nevaeh Green about broccoli, among other things, and Nickelodeon producers created an augmented-reality slime monster that rose from the field on several occasions.

“We definitely felt the pressure to take it up a notch,” says Brian Robbins, president and CEO of Nickelodeon and Paramount Pictures. The NFL believes the Nickelodeon work has boosted the number of kids and families watching the CBS Sports’ Wild Card game coverage, according to the NFL’s Schroeder — even if they just tuned in to the more traditional broadcast.

But the ManningCast is opening eyes about the potential of such programming. ESPN is putting enough firepower behind the concept to turn it from a clever one-off to a sustainable format that fans can expect to see semiregularly. The Mannings are under contract with ESPN for two more years, says Magnus, who thinks there’s more that can be done to up the ante on the alternate telecast. “Is that replicable?” asks Patrick Crakes, a former Fox Sports executive who now works as a media consultant. “Or have we just seen the mountain?”

• • •

With former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo lending pizazz to CBS Sports’ NFL broadcasts after joining in 2017, ESPN executives were eager to upgrade their “MNF” booth, particularly with contract talks for the next slew of NFL rights in the offing. Peyton Manning, a Super Bowl champ for the Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos who had authority and appeal, seemed like a great idea. The trouble? Time and travel commitments were too much for the grid-iron champ.

“For a variety of reasons, mostly personal for him, it became a bridge too far,” explains Magnus. “He has young kids. He wanted to be around as a father — all the stuff that anyone could appreciate in terms of why he might not want to spend 18 to 19 weeks in a stadium calling games. So the conversation eventually morphed into doing something that could have, in a way, the same kind of effect that having him in a booth would achieve.”

The ManningCast is relatively easy to produce. Brother Eli, retired from the New York Giants, usually holds forth from his home in New Jersey, and producers can sometimes see his kids on the set before the game starts. Peyton, meanwhile, typically is sitting in a makeshift studio built in a friend’s private warehouse facility in Denver. The brothers can travel if they need to, knowing they can host a game no matter where they might go, and Peyton even visited an ESPN studio for one game.

ESPN originally expected to have a host work with the duo, but after off-camera tryouts, producers decided one wasn’t necessary. Peyton Manning is said to be particularly involved with the process — casual on screen but hands-on with details behind it. The brothers have even taken an interest in working with ESPN to book guests, which this season included Jon Stewart, David Letterman, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

There have been moments when the brothers’ lack of polish has been jarring. Eli Manning raised two middle fingers on live TV while recounting an anecdote about getting “the double bird” from a 9-year-old while talking on screen to former Philadelphia Eagles player Chris Long. “I’m sure you can blur that out, right?” he asked producers as the show progressed. Um, no. On the final ManningCast of the season, Peyton at one point was heard to say loudly, “I can’t hear shit.”

ESPN executives are trying to fine-tune a format that so far seems to work because of its looseness. Do the brothers need more guests? Should they not have as many? And ESPN could have some soul-searching on its hands if Peyton Manning and other investors make a successful bid to buy the Denver Broncos, as has been speculated. How can the network have someone who has a vested interest in one of the teams talking about NFL games, players and policies? “It depends, I suppose, on how it happens. Is he a principal owner or a minority owner?” asks Magnus, who notes that more players are moving into the business side of sports. “Player-ownership concerns are going to become more frequent over time. I can’t really speculate. We’d have to have a conversation about that.”

The network has time to ponder these questions. Executives hope to pair the brothers with the best “Monday Night Football” games on the schedule, says Magnus. But ESPN also has to maneuver around the Mannings and their personal commitments. “Maybe, over time, we can do a couple more games,” Magnus suggests. Still, ESPN doesn’t want to overplay its hand. “One thing we are really mindful of is, I call it the ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’ syndrome,” says Burke, referring to the ABC game show that, at its most popular, was airing in primetime five days a week and saw its numbers fall. “You don’t want to take something that works and just overdo it.”

Already, there is speculation that Amazon, which has taken over rights to “Thursday Night Football,” may one day look to woo the brothers away. Marie Donoghue, vice president of global sports video at Amazon, declined to comment. “Makes for good copy,” Magnus quips.

• • •

There’s more to come. ESPN plans to run a separate broadcast of its long-running “Sunday Night Baseball,” led by former New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez and veteran Yankees broadcaster Michael Kay. Already, the pair is being called “Kay-Rod.” And ESPN is in discussions with the NBA about potentially creating a sort of “team cast,” says Paul Benedict, the NBA’s senior vice president of broadcast content management, that gives viewers hours of behind-the-scenes coverage of one of the teams in the league’s playoffs before and around a pivotal matchup.

Amazon has created a stream led by Hannah Storm and Andrea Kremer for “Thursday Night Football” games. Amazon also gives European subscribers access to Premier League soccer games, accompanied by an audio feed that plays only the sounds of the stadium where the game is taking place. All of this activity means that more experimentation is on the way. “We absolutely believe offering fans optionality is a positive,” says Donoghue. “It’s a way to create big-tent experiences where people come in and can experience the game in their preferred way.”

Even the Super Bowl could get a new megacast format. If Jimmy Pitaro, chairman of ESPN and Disney’s sports content, has his way, the 2026 championship telecast — the first time Disney will carry the big game since 2006 — will be done across many broadcasts. Some might feature unique camera views, or a certain set of celebrities. “When the Super Bowl comes around for us, it’s not going to be just one thing,” says Magnus. “It’s going to be a dozen things.”

Some media outlets are even creating bespoke events outside the sports leagues. Nickelodeon is getting ready to launch a “Nickelodeon Slime Cup” that pits four three-person teams — a professional golfer, a celebrity and a Nickelodeon actor — against one another on an obstacle-course fairway. It follows the success of WarnerMedia’s “The Match,” which relies on teams of top golfers and other athletes. “A lot of dads play golf, and getting to watch this with your kids really will be fun,” says Nickelodeon’s Robbins.

Two fast-moving dynamics are likely to quicken the adoption of the broader changes. Sports betting, once taboo, is fast becoming a legal pastime, and sports networks are devising programs that focus more on wagering than on the plays on the field. Some gambling-focused alternatives come with experts in oddsmaking and special stats. Meanwhile, the sports leagues are eager to find new ways to court younger fans and their families. Robbins says talks are ongoing over whether Nickelodeon will pursue its Wild Card kidscast for a third year. “We are talking about what we are going to do next year — what games, if we do a playoff game — something different,” he says.

The Mannings may not know it, but they are leading a bigger fight. How can traditional media companies sustain the kinds of TV-watching behaviors that still generate billions of dollars in advertising and subscription fees as the prevalence of streaming eats away at that model? If the brothers can spawn new activity around “Monday Night Football,” a show that has been on the air since 1970, who’s to say that the right combination of actors, celebrities or influencers couldn’t do something similar for other types of shows?

Nickelodeon is getting all kinds of requests, says Robbins. “Everybody wants us to do” this type of programming, but, he suggests, “you might see us try it in some other areas with our corporate partners, potentially CBS, and maybe that happens sooner rather than later.” What could that look like? “Everyone wants to see how the ‘CBS Evening News’ could be Nick-efied,” says Robbins. “We are having a lot of conversations — let’s put it that way.”

If the Mannings eventually take a pass on hosting and producing, a lot of people seem poised to take the ball and run with it.

###


Originally published: January 19, 2022 at 20:19 GMT.

H/T: USA Today; Additional source: @jokerbeans2091.

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Hill Country Comicon 2022 to Host 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' Reunion Panel on Sunday, March 6

New Braunfels, Tx - The 2022 Hill Country Comicon will be hosting a Avatar: The Last Airbender reunion panel on Sunday, March 6 at 2:00pm in Panel Room A!


"Avatar the Last Airbender has been captivating fans since it hit the screen in 2005 on Nickelodeon. We laughed and cried as Aang embarked on his epic journey out of the ice to reach his full Avatar potential.  With the help of his companions Sokka, Katara, Toph, and of course Appa and Momo he learns how the world has changed since he initially ran from the overwhelming responsibility of taking on the mantle of The Avatar.  Join voice actors Greg Baldwin (Uncle Iroh), Jesse Flower (Toph), Olivia Hack (Ty Lee), and Jack De Sena (Sokka) as they talk about the series that captured the hearts and minds of fans for the last seventeen years."

The ATLA reunion panel is one of the convention's most buzzed about events, according to Jennifer MacPherson, the digital media director for Hill Country Comicon. “It was just perfect timing,” voice actor Greg Baldwin told Herald-Zeitung Online. “What’s happening to the show is that a completely new generation has been exposed to it and loving it just as much as their parents did.”

Baldwin voiced the fan favorite character Uncle Iroh for the final season of the animated epic, and the actor feels blessed to have voiced such a wise character that has been an instrumental part of people’s lives.

Baldwin will join fellow cast members Jack De Sena, who played Sokka, Olivia Hack, who voiced Ty Lee, and Jessie Flower, who lent her voice to earth-bending prodigy Toph and will be accompanying Baldwin on the convention floor dressed as their respective characters.

“There’s what I call a radical freedom that exists at these places where you can literally let your freak flag fly,” Baldwin said. “You can wear whatever you want, be your inner self, and no one is going to judge you for it.”

In addition to the Avatar: The Last Airbender reunion panel, Hill Country Comicon 2022 will also host a Power Rangers panel on March 6 at 3:00 p.m. in Panel Room A, which will be attended by Space Cases star Walter Jones. There will also be a Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl Challonge tournament on March 5. For more information and tickets, visit https://www.hillcountrycomicon.com.

Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra on Paramount+ and Netflix! Try Paramount+ for FREE at ParamountPlus.com

Listen to the brand new podcast, Avatar: Braving the Elements!




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Clancy Brown: The Many Layers Of Mr. Krabs | SpongeBob BingePants Podcast

Clancy Brown: The Many Layers Of Mr. Krabs | SpongeBob BingePants Podcast

"The Siege of the North Part 1" with Christopher Sabat | Avatar: Braving the Elements Podcast

"The Siege of the North Part 1" with Christopher Sabat | Avatar: Braving the Elements Podcast

Outright Games Releases 'Ryan’s Rescue Squad' Video Game

PLAY TOGETHER AND SAVE RYAN’S FRIENDS IN AN ALL NEW GAME FROM THE GLOBAL KIDS’ PHENOMENON

YOUTUBE MEGASTAR RYAN LAUNCHES ‘RYAN’S RESCUE SQUAD’ VIDEO GAME IN 2022


London, November 29, 2021 - Today Outright Games and pocket.watch™ have announced the brand new video game Ryan’s Rescue Squad coming to consoles and PC in 2022, from global kids phenomenon ‘Ryan’s World’ whose YouTube channels receive over 1 billion views per month from over 48 million subscribers.


In this side-scrolling platform adventure, featuring 2-player local co-op travel across slime-filled planets to rescue Ryan’s friends who have been captured by the evil Dark Titan and his wicked allies Robo Combo and Packrat!

Ryan's Rescue Squad - Launch Trailer


Ryan needs your help! His friends have been kidnapped by the evil Dark Titan and his allies, and you are the only hero who can rescue them! Set out on a fun-filled adventure and save the day. Ryan's Rescue Squad is out now for consoles & PC!

This announcement follows the first ever Ryan’s World FanFest real-time live streaming event that took place on Saturday 27th November. The stream was free to view globally for all of Ryan’s 30M+ fans and was an interactive event featuring puzzles and challenges, photo booths, downloadable content and Voice-Activated Emojis.

Ryan’s Rescue Squad will be released next year on Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, XBox Series X, XBox One and PC.

KEY FEATURES

  • Choose your Character - Be Ryan, Combo Panda, Alpha Lexa or Gus the Gummy Gator
  • Team up - Play together in local 2-player mode
  • Play minigames - Bulls Eye, Spaceship Flight, The Floor is Lava and Fire at will
  • Power Up! - Eat Moe’s pizza to become invincible and more
  • Collect and Customise - Unlock and buy amazing new costumes for your character














Watch Ryan's Mystery Playdate on Nickelodeon, Nick Jr. and Paramount+!  Parents and guardians can sign up for a free trial of Paramount+, which also includes hundreds of full-length episodes of lots more preschool favorites at ParamountPlus.com.


Originally published: November 29, 2021.

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YTV Canada to Premiere 'Rugrats' Reboot on March 5

Hold on to your diapees, babies, as the Rugrats are back! YTV in Canada will premiere Nickelodeon's brand new CG-animated Rugrats series on Saturday, March 5 at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT!


The all-new Rugrats follows the even bigger adventures born from the colorful imaginations of Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, Lil, Susie, and Angelica. Produced by the Nickelodeon Animation Studio, the reimagined babies continue to explore their world in brand-new adventures that will both complement and evolve the original series’ beloved stories.

In the one-hour premiere episode, “Second Time Around,” Tommy leads the babies on a daring adventure to help Chuckie after his big attempt to be brave goes horribly wrong. Warning: dinosaurs are involved. (#999)

Rugrats made its world premiere on Paramount+ in the U.S. on Thursday, May 27.

The series stars E.G. Daily (Tommy Pickles), Nancy Cartwright (Chuckie Finster), Cheryl Chase (Angelica Pickles), Cree Summer (Susie Carmichael), and Kath Soucie (Phil and Lil DeVille), all of whom are reprising their iconic roles in this new series.


The original adventurous babies’ voice cast is joined by new voices, including Ashley Rae Spillers and Tommy Dewey (Tommy’s parents, Didi and Stu Pickles); Tony Hale (Chuckie’s father, Chas Finster); Natalie Morales, (Phil and Lil’s mother, Betty DeVille); Anna Chlumsky and Timothy Simons (Angelica’s parents, Charlotte and Drew Pickles); Nicole Byer and Omar Miller (Susie’s parents, Lucy and Randy Carmichael); and Michael McKean (Grandpa Lou Pickles). Guest stars include Jameela Jamil (The Good Place), Charlet Chung (Craig of the Creek) as Kimi Watanabe; Raini Rodriguez (Bunk’d) as Gabi; Henry Winkler (Happy Days, Arrested Development, Monsters at Work) as Boris; Swoosie Kurtz (Mike & Molly, Bless the Harts) as Minka; and Ben Schwartz (Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Parks and Recreation, HouseBroken) as Lord Crater.


Produced by Nickelodeon Animation Studio, the all-new Rugrats is based on the series created by Arlene Klasky, Gabor Csupo, and Paul Germain. Eryk Casemiro (“Rugrats”) and Kate Boutilier (“Rugrats”) are executive producers and Dave Pressler (“Robot and Monster”) and Casey Leonard (“Breadwinners”) serve as co-executive producers, with Rachel Lipman (“Rugrats”) as co-producer and Kellie Smith (“The Fairly OddParents”) as line producer. Charlie Adler (“Rugrats”) serves as the voice director. Production is overseen by Mollie Freilich, Senior Manager, Current Series Animation, Nickelodeon.

Currently in its first season, Rugrats was recently picked up for season two.

The original “Rugrats” series launched in August of 1991 and instantly became a groundbreaking phenomenon, spawning consumer products and three hit theatrical releases, cementing its place in pop culture history through its iconic characters, storytelling, and unique visual style. “Rugrats” was in production for nine seasons over the course of 13 years. The series earned four Daytime Emmy Awards, six Kids' Choice Awards, and its own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Online at ytv.com, fans can find out more about their favourite YTV shows. Fans can also follow YTV on Instagram and subscribe to the YTV YouTube channel for the latest YTV news, highlights, schedules, videos and games. Nickelodeon programming is also available on the Nick+ streaming service.

Rugrats New Series! | YTV


Big adventures born from the colourful imaginations of babies Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, Lil, Susie and Angelica.

Reaction to RUGRATS rebooted in 3D!? | YTV


Spencer reacts to the Rugrats trailer for the new (computer-animated) Rugrats revival series and reveals easter eggs from  the original 2D animated show from the 90s that she spotted in the trailer.

More Nick: 2022 on Nickelodeon | New Shows, Specials, Events, Movies, Episodes, Games and More!

Originally published: February 19, 2022.

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A Familiar 'Face' Could Be Returning to Nickelodeon Very Soon

A familiar face could be returning to Nickelodeon very soon!


According to a recent United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) trademark filing made by Paramount Global (formally ViacomCBS), the parent company of the Nickelodeon brand, Face, the animated host of Nick Jr. who presented Nickelodeon's long-running preschool programming block for 10 years between 1994 and 2004, may be making a comeback very soon!

Paramount has applied to register Face's Music Party with the USPTO under NICE class 41 - Education, entertainment, sporting and cultural services, which is for Goods & Services pertaining to "entertainment services in the nature of continuing program series, featuring live action, comedy and drama provided through cable television, broadcast television, internet, video-on-demand, and through other forms of transmission media; providing online information in the field of entertainment concerning television programs".

To accompany the filing, Paramount provided the USPTO with a image of the project's logo, which seems to confirm that Face will be part of it!


At the moment, not much information is available about Face's Music Party, however, it will feature live-action children, including singer/actor/dancer Innocent Ekakitie, who will showcase his "triple threat" skills on the project.

Stream all your favorite Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. shows on Paramount+ and Noggin! Try Paramount+ for FREE at ParamountPlus.com!


Originally published: March 04, 2022.

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