Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Nickelodeon to Premiere 'Rubble & Crew' on February 3, 2023 | First Look & Promo


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BURBANK, Calif.–Nov. 21, 2022–Nickelodeon and Spin Master are building on the global success of the award-winning top-rated preschool series, PAW Patrol, with the launch of Rubble & Crew, a brand-new animated spinoff centered around fan-favorite character Rubble on Friday, Feb. 3, at 11:30 a.m. (ET/PT). Produced by Spin Master Entertainment, Rubble & Crew (26 episodes) follows Rubble and his pup family as they use their awesome construction vehicles to build and repair whatever the town of Builder Cove needs in high-stakes adventures. The series marks the first television spinoff for preschool powerhouse PAW Patrol, which will celebrate its milestone 10th anniversary in 2023. Rubble & Crew will air regularly Fridays at 11:30 a.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon and continue to roll out on Nick Jr. channels internationally next year.

“Every dog has its day, so we’re answering the fan demand for more of PAW Patrol’s beloved bulldog, Rubble, with his very own series that marks the TV expansion of the global PAW franchise,” said Ramsey Naito, President, Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Animation. “Rubble & Crew is an all-new series focusing on family and community, and it’s filled with new characters and big adventures that lean into construction play patterns that will let the audience engage in a whole new way.”

“As a proud member of the PAW Patrol, Rubble has stolen the hearts of preschoolers around the world with his loyal, optimistic nature and penchant for treats,” said Jennifer Dodge, Spin Master’s President of Entertainment and Executive Producer. “Our new series expands Rubble’s world with storytelling that digs into amazing construction projects and the importance of family, combined with high-stakes action, fun adventures and messy demolition that preschoolers will love.”

Set in the community of Builder Cove, a neighboring town to PAW Patrol’s Adventure Bay, Rubble & Crew centers on Rubble, the funny and optimistic leader of the construction crew. In the small, quickly growing town, lots of things are still needed for the community to come together, including a bigger airport, train station, bridges, tunnels, schools, fire stations, parks and more. Rubble and his construction pup family--his pup cousins Mix, Wheeler, Charger, Motor, along with Grandpa Gravel and Auntie Crane--must work together to tackle and build all the projects the town needs.

Rubble & Crew will feature occasional appearances by familiar faces from Adventure Bay and introduce the following new characters:

  • Mix, a construction chemist handling all things concrete, glue, cement and custom paints;
  • Wheeler, the clean machine for this Builder Cove team, who does not like to get dirty and bolts away to clean up every mess;
  • Charger, a big energy pup (especially when he gets a case of the zoomies!) who is kind and always eager to help out or dig into a new construction project;
  • Motor, the tiniest and youngest pup who is a valuable member of the construction crew and looking for ways to be a good helper with her power smash-it energy;
  • Grandpa Gravel, Rubble’s grandpa, the family kibble chef who supplies the team with snacks from his tasty food truck;
  • Auntie Crane, Rubble’s auntie, who runs the supply warehouse and makes sure all the pups are loaded up and ready to build;
  • Speed Meister, who runs the rival construction company in town along with his slow-moving villainous sidekick, Mr. McTurtle--together they build fast and sorta good;
  • And Mayor Greatway, Adventure Bay Mayor Goodway’s sister, a motorcycle-riding bubbly bundle of friendliness and her pet, Mr. Ducky-Doo.

Following the series launch of Rubble & Crew, PAW Patrol’s 10th anniversary year in 2023 will culminate with the Oct. 13 release of the theatrical movie sequel, PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie, from Spin Master Entertainment, Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies. PAW Patrol was recently renewed for a 10th season (26 episodes) that will follow the PAW-some pack of pups, including Chase, Marshall, Rubble, Skye, Rocky, Zuma, Everest and Tracker, on even more action-packed rescue missions and adventures--whether it’s deep in the unexplored regions of the jungle or out-of-this-world trouble in Adventure Bay. Additionally, PAW Patrol’s Chase will take to the sky once again as a balloon in this year’s 96th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®.

Rubble & Crew is executive produced by Jennifer Dodge, Ronnen Harary, Laura Clunie, Toni Stevens and Bradley Zweig, and is directed by Dianna Basso and supervising director Joey So. Rubble & Crew was developed by Bradley Zweig based on the original PAW Patrol television series created by Keith Chapman. The series for Nickelodeon is overseen by Eryk Casemiro, Executive Vice President, Nickelodeon Animation, Global Series Content. Jen Pace serves as Nickelodeon’s Production Executive for the series.

Spin Master Corp. (TSX:TOY) is a leading global children's entertainment company, creating exceptional play experiences through its three creative centres: Toys, Entertainment and Digital Games. Spin Master Entertainment creates and produces compelling multiplatform content, through its in-house studio and partnerships with outside creators, including the preschool franchise PAW Patrol and numerous other original shows, short-form series and feature films.

Nickelodeon, now in its 43rd year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The brand includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, digital, location-based experiences, publishing and feature films. For more information or artwork, visit http://www.nickpress.com. Nickelodeon is a part of Paramount’s (Nasdaq: PARA, PARAA) global portfolio of multimedia entertainment brands.

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PAW Patrol fans can stream full episodes of PAW PatrolPAW Patrol: The Movie and PAW Patrol Live! At Home featuring "Race to the Rescue" on Paramount+. Try it FREE today at ParamountPlus.com.

Originally published: November 21, 2022 at 17:23 GMT.

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Avatar: The Last Airbender Was 'Technically Canceled' In Between Seasons 2 & 3

Avatar: The Last Airbender has become a fan favorite animated series, with its popularity only increased since the last episode aired more than a decade ago. Across it's three season run, the series became renowned for its complex story with serious themes, while at the same time ensuring the show remained fun, entertaining, and exciting to watch. However, despite its popularity, something unfathomable happened behind-the-scenes: the show was technically canceled for a while between seasons 2 and 3, which would of left the series ending on a massive cliffhanger.

Avatar: The Last Airbender was obviously not the first animated show to tell a serialized story over the course of several episodes. But Avatar was still significant in how its story was allowed to continue over three seasons and tell a complete, epic fantasy story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Though it is commonly believed that the show was planned out from the very beginning, with Nickelodeon giving creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko three seasons from the start to tell the story, the truth is not that simple.

As Aaron Ehasz, who served as head writer on Avatar: The Last Airbender tells it, Avatar was constantly fighting to tell its story, and even if certain elements — Aang learning all four elements, Zuko becoming a good guy — were thought of ahead of time, completing the story was never a guarantee.

"When I got brought on, they had just gotten greenlit for five scripts, and my job was to make sure those five scripts were strong enough that they would order a season of the show," Ehasz told /Film. "So we did those scripts, and then we got greenlit for 13 episodes. It wasn't even 20." Wanting the network to realize the potential of the story, they ended those 13 episodes on a high note, which is why episode 13 is "The Blue Spirit," largely considered one of the best episodes of the entire show. After the rest of the first season was picked up, the show once again ended its possible run on a high note, with "The Siege of the North."

Even when season 2 got picked up, there was no guarantee for a third season, which led to the huge cliffhanger in which Aang got hit with lightning, his fate uncertain. "They did not pick it up after season 2," Ehasz revealed. "The ratings were not strong enough! They did not pick it up. We laid off all the writers after season 2. Everybody was sent home for three or four months."

It wasn't until Nickelodeon's Eric Coleman started campaigning for the show to the rest of the Nickelodeon brass that season 3 was confirmed, but the writers and the rest of the team were still away. "So there was a rolling hiatus through all of season 3, where all the storyboard artists had to take a couple months off, all the designers had to take a couple months off. Everyone did, because we had to catch up again on the scripts. So Avatar was essentially default cancelled between season 2 and season 3. People do not know that. So there was always love, but there was not always obvious success and ratings for Avatar."

Thankfully the rest is history, with the series only gaining in popularity, with the Avatar Universe continuing with spin-off series The Legend of Korra and several graphic novels. The franchise especially saw a boom in popularity in recent years due to the pandemic. And thanks to its ever-increasing popularity, several new Avatar: The Last Airbender projects are in the works, including a series of movies from Nickelodeon's Avatar Studios, and a live-action adaptation by Netflix.

Ehasz was joined in the interview with /Film by George Lentino, a former director of standards and practices at Nickelodeon, to talk about Standards & Practices at the network - Lentino has worked overseeing standards and practices for 25 years on all kinds of cartoons. The two discussed misconceptions about S&P, and when it can lead to better storytelling or lead to conflict.

'Water. Earth. Fire. Air'

Released in 2005, Avatar: The Last Airbender remains a show like no other. Inspired as much by the works of Studio Ghibli and Shaolin Soccer as it is by fantasy epics like The Lord of the Rings, this cartoon marries Eastern and Western aesthetics to create a unique look. It also featured a variety of martial arts to create exciting and dynamic action scenes that felt closer to Jackie Chan movies and action anime than most other animated series.

One of the first conversations with standards and practices was about the action, specifically the firebending, one of the four main bending techniques, and also one with potential "do not try this at home" issues. As Lentino remembers is, Nickelodeon executive Eric Coleman met with him and explained, "Hey, we've got this show, there's going to be fire in it. How do we do fire?" Coleman spoke about how firebending would work in the show, and made it clear it would not be about burning people alive. Lentino, who appreciated Coleman's willingness to solve problems ahead of time by coming to standards and practices early, responded positively to the idea. "I was like, 'Well, as long as we're not burning people alive, I feel like there's ways of making this happen,' and clearly they made it happen."

The show also had exquisite storytelling and vast world-building full of deep and rich mythology, a history that spans centuries, multiple cultures and lore, and one of the best character arcs in modern TV. Indeed, The Last Airbender has some heavy subjects for a show that aired right after SpongeBob SquarePants and also had plenty of kid-friendly jokes and cute animal companions, from genocide and the obliteration of an entire culture to war and fascism — not exactly what comes to mind when you think Nicktoons.

"We were aware that the story had deeper implications and themes," head writer Aaron Ehasz said. "But at the same time, we knew that a lot of our audience was going to be younger." To balance the two, The Last Airbender had enough action and humor that a six-year-old could easily perceive and enjoy, while having those deeper themes they can understand when they rewatch the show as older kids. And as Lentino explained, tackling difficult or complex ideas is also as much about the delivery system as it is about the message itself. 

"Think about an audience hearing 'death, dying, genocide' over and over and over again in a 45 second scene. What does that convey? And is that what you guys want to convey? And then take a look at that. That's always the way I would approach it with the [creative team]. Then they think about it, and they would always be the ones who would make the best decisions on this. Standards and practices just guides and makes suggestions, and they put together the good stuff."

An example of this comes in the first part of the four-part finale, when Aang is preparing to fight the Fire Lord with a wooden dummy with a melon as a head — dubbed Melon Lord — and hesitates to think about killing his opponent. In the final version of the episode, Sokka slices the melon in half off-screen to show how it's done. According to Ehasz, the script originally had the full melon head being knocked off, which led to discussions about what to show. "It's okay to destroy the melon or cut the melon in half, but something about doing it where you're actually lopping it off as the head of the thing had a different, almost more realistic and scary impact," the writer said, describing the sliced-off half of a melon just dropping without showing the act as "not as visceral and suggestive of a decapitation." It's just as much about the delivery as it is about the message.

It's about empowering, not sanitizing

While there are many shows and movies that joke about standards and practices, they tend to focus on the conflict between company and creator and the limitations placed on creativity. For Lentino, it is important to dispel that notion and also highlight that S&P "has always been about helping the creators get on air what they want to get on," and about guiding the filmmakers early on so the final product stays as close to the original vision as possible. "My philosophy also is, if you get to the animation stage, and I have a standards and practices note, that means I made a mistake," he said. Of course, it doesn't always work that way. "I've definitely had other encounters with [standards and practices] people who almost seem like they're trying to sanitize [the show], or reduce liability," Ehasz added.

When it comes to The Last Airbender, Ehasz and Lentino agree that the show seemingly managed to do so much with its limitations because of the way it tackled its heavy subjects. Take Jet, for example, one of the best-written and complex characters, a young rebel who wasn't above drowning an entire village of innocent people to defeat the few soldiers stationed there. Jet met a tragic death in season 2 — not that the show outright told you he died, of course.

"I remember the biggest conversation we had was about Jet," Lentino said. "There's a little bit of vagueness to [Jet's death], but not really." Indeed, what we see is a heavily injured Jet staying behind to fight some elite Earth Kingdom forces while Aang and the gang escape, his future uncertain, but not looking good. "It was this complicated math involving Toph could tell whether he was lying," added Ehasz. "[Jet] said, 'I'm going to be okay.' But then [Toph] was like, "He's lying." That was the math that lets you figure out he was not going to be okay."

Something similar happened with one of the most traumatic and tough-to-watch storylines in the whole show: when Aang's faithful flying bison, Appa, gets kidnapped. When we finally catch up to him, we see he's suffered at the hands of a sadistic circus owner. "We knew who was right and wrong in that story a little bit," said Ehasz. "It's more about understanding it and facing it in a way that can lead to, hopefully, good growth." Lentino agreed, adding, "We've got the bad guys, we've got a clear delineation, we're not supporting them in any way."

Aaron Ehasz's latest project, The Dragon Prince is available to stream on Netflix.

Stream 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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'SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off' Serves Up Physical Edition For Nintendo Switch


This physical edition will include all new DLC, a bonus costume pack, and an exclusive poster!

EDISON, NEW JERSEY – Nov. 21, 2022 – The all-new physical edition of fast-food cooking game SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off “Extra Krusty Edition” is now available for pre-order ahead of its release on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023. Each physical edition will include an exclusive poster (while supplies last), all new DLC, New Kelp City, a comic book convention themed world – and a costume pack of four new outfits to dress up like the SpongeBob crew.

From publisher Tilting Point and Nighthawk Interactive, the bustling cooking game from the beloved cartoon franchise lets fans play as SpongeBob SquarePants to help Mr. Krabs expand his restaurant empire, starting with a breakfast stand outside of SpongeBob’s house. New Kelp City, a brand-new comic book convention-themed area, will push fry cooks to deliver top-tier dishes and defeat E.V.I.L. villains in five new super powered restaurants.

SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off will allow players to experience interactive fun features, including:

● Fun and Fast-Paced Cooking – Players can get behind the grill as the ultimate fry cook himself, SpongeBob SquarePants, to serve food to the residents of Bikini Bottom. They will also see familiar faces from the long-running cartoon show including Patrick Star, Sandy Cheeks, Squidward and many more.

● Explore the World of SpongeBob SquarePants Players will run kitchens all over famous Bikini Bottom landmarks. From grilling up Krabby Patties in the Krusty Krab to hot dogs in Weenie Hut Jr’s. New restaurants and cuisines are added regularly, bringing new cooking challenges and recipes to learn.

● Collect and Customize – As players progress, they will unlock beloved characters from SpongeBob SquarePants and dress them in show-inspired themed outfits. They can also design and upgrade restaurant furniture to match their aesthetic.

● Hilarious Storyline – While unlocking new levels, players will experience an all-new and exclusive SpongeBob SquarePants story featuring SpongeBob, Mr. Krabs, Squidward, Sandy and Patrick.

The physical edition of SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off is available to pre-order for Nintendo Switch for $29.99 at all major retailers. The game is rated E for everyone.

For more information visit: TiltingPoint.com

About Tilting Point

Tilting Point is a leading free-to-play publisher that powers up existing live games using deep marketing and product expertise, cutting-edge technology, Web2 to Web3 services, and a user acquisition war chest. Recognized as one of the top mobile game makers in the world by PocketGamer.biz in 2021, Tilting Point was founded in 2012, and has grown to a staff of over 400 people with offices in New York, Barcelona, Boston, Kyiv, Los Angeles, Seoul & San Diego. Tilting Point’s most successful games include SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off, Star Trek Timelines, and Warhammer: Chaos & Conquest.

About Nighthawk Interactive

Built by a team of industry veterans, Nighthawk Interactive aims to combine their proven experience with the ever-changing needs of modern game development. With a strong focus on publishing, co-publishing, and retail distribution, Nighthawk has built strong partnerships with some of the biggest brands in entertainment, along with many talented independent developers to deliver great experiences to gamers around the world. For more information about Nighthawk, visit www.NighthawkInteractive.com, and follow us on Twitter at (@NH_Interactive).


Watch SpongeBob SquarePantsKamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years and The Patrick Star Show on Nickelodeon, and 200 episodes of SpongeBobThe SpongeBob Movie: Sponge On The Run and The SpongeBob Musical on Paramount+! Try it FREE at ParamountPlus.com.

Listen to The SpongeBob Musical here!

CALLING ALL GOOFY GOOBERS! (ROCK!) Are ya ready for a deep dive into the world of SpongeBob SquarePants? The SpongeBob YouTube channel is THE PLACE for all fan-favorite SpongeBob moments! We’re serving up everything from legendary scenes to remixes of classic songs to deep dives into Bikini Bottom lore. Be sure to check back every week for Music Mondays, Wumbo Wednesdays, and Flashback Fridays! Subscribe now at https://www.youtube.com/SpongeBobOfficial!

Shop SpongeBob!: https://www.spongebobshop.com - SpongeBob face masks now available, with ALL proceeds going to charity!

Originally published: November 22, 2022.

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Paramount+ Reveals Official Trailer and Key Art for 'The Game' Season 2


The Sophomore Season Kicks Off on Thursday, Dec. 15, With Two All-New Episodes

“The Game” Is Produced by CBS Studios, Inphiniti Entertainment, 
Akil Productions and Grammnet NH Productions

Nov. 21, 2022 – Paramount+ today debuted the official trailer and key art for the upcoming second season of THE GAME. Season two will premiere on Thursday, Dec. 15, with two episodes in the U.S. and Canada. Following the premiere, new episodes of the 10-episode-long season will premiere weekly on Thursdays exclusively on Paramount+. THE GAME season two will also premiere on Paramount+ in the U.K., Australia and Latin America on Friday, Dec. 16, with premiere dates for other international markets to be announced at a later date.

Try Paramount+ for FREE at ParamountPlus.com.

THE GAME stars Wendy Raquel Robinson, Hosea Chanchez, Adriyan Rae, Vaughn Hebron, Analisa Velez and Toby Sandeman. It offers a modern-day examination of Black culture through the prism of professional football. The beloved characters tackle racism, sexism, classism and more as they fight for fame, fortune, respect and love – all while trying to maintain their souls as they each play THE GAME. The second season doubles the laughs and heightens the drama as they fight to survive the storms of change.

Guest stars returning to the series to reprise their roles include Tim Daly as Colonel Ulysses S. Thatcher and legacy cast members Coby Bell as Jason Pitts and Rockmond Dunbar as Pookie. This season also features appearances by legacy cast members Rick Fox as himself and Barry Floyd as Tee Tee.

THE GAME is executive produced by showrunner and writer Devon Greggory, original show creator Mara Brock Akil, Salim Akil, original executive producer Kelsey Grammer and Tom Russo of Grammnet NH Productions. Peter O’Fallon, Barry Safchik and Michael Platt also executive produce. The series is produced by CBS Studios, Inphiniti Entertainment, Akil Productions and Grammnet NH Productions.

Season one of THE GAME, as well as episodes from the original series, which aired from 2006-2015 on The CW then BET, are also available to stream exclusively on Paramount+. The series is distributed internationally by Paramount Global Content Distribution.



About Paramount+

Paramount+, a direct-to-consumer digital subscription video on-demand and live streaming service, combines live sports, breaking news and a mountain of entertainment. The premium streaming service features an expansive library of original series, hit shows and popular movies across every genre from world-renowned brands and production studios, including BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures and the Smithsonian Channel. The service is also the streaming home to unmatched sports programming, including every CBS Sports event, from golf to football to basketball and more, plus exclusive streaming rights for major sports properties, including some of the world’s biggest and most popular soccer leagues. Paramount+ also enables subscribers to stream local CBS stations live across the U.S. in addition to the ability to stream CBS News Network for 24/7 news and CBS Sports HQ for sports news and analysis.

For more information about Paramount+, please visit www.paramountplus.com and follow @ParamountPlus on social platforms.

About CBS Studios

CBS Studios is one of the world’s leading suppliers of entertainment programming, with more than 60 series currently in production for broadcast and cable networks, streaming services and other emerging platforms. The Studio’s expansive portfolio spans a diverse slate of commercially successful and critically acclaimed scripted programming, which includes genre-defining franchises such as “NCIS,” “CSI” and the ever-growing “Star Trek” universe, award-winning late night and daytime talk shows, as well as an extensive library of iconic intellectual property. The Studio also develops and produces local language and international content originating outside of the U.S. with series in the U.K., Europe, the Middle East and Australia.


Stream a Mountain of Entertainment, including your Nickelodeon favourites on Paramount+! Try it FREE at ParamountPlus.com!

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