Thursday, October 07, 2021

'Thomas & Friends' to Steam Back Onto Nick Jr. UK With 'All Engines Go'

Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go Expands Globally


Mattel Television’s new Thomas & Friends animated series Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go is headed to new stations around the world!

Mattel has secured new distribution deals with Nick Jr. (U.K.), WarnerMedia (EMEA), WarnerMedia (LatAm), TF1 (France), Noga (Israel), and FPT TV (Vietnam).

The arrival of Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go on Nick Jr. UK & Ireland marks a homecoming, with the Nickelodeon UK network airing the original series for many years.


Longstanding Thomas content partners that have signed on to distribute the show include Milkshake (U.K.), Nickelodeon (Greece), Televisa (Mexico), TV Cultura (Brazil), Puls (Poland), NHK (Japan), and Tooniverse (South Korea).

The series is currently available in the U.S. on Cartoon Network and in Canada on Treehouse; it will also launch on Netflix in the U.S. starting October 29 and on Milkshake! in the U.K. on November 8.

Produced by Mattel in partnership with Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana, Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go is a reimagining of the Thomas & Friends property with stories told from Thomas’ point of view. It features new art direction, more physical comedy and music, and a greater range of character expressiveness.

“In addition to Thomas being more playful and relatable than ever before, the stories in Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go resonate with kids everywhere today,” said Mattel Television senior vice president and general manager Frederic Soulie. We are pleased to introduce our all-new vibrant Thomas & Friends content to a global audience with our distribution partners.”


Original source: aNb Media.

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'Rugrats: Part 2' Episode Guide | Paramount Plus

Naptime's over, babies! More adventures await in all-new episodes of Rugrats, now streaming exclusively on Paramount+. Try it FREE at ParamountPlus.com!


A reinvention of the beloved '90s animated series, Rugrats follows a group of daring babies as they discover the big world around them. Led by Tommy Pickles, this toddler crew explores the world from their pint-sized and wildly imaginative perspective. 


7. No License to Drive/I Dream of Duffy: Angelica needs the babies' help adjusting to life without her Cynthia car when her car privileges are taken away. / Tommy and his friends must keep Angelica under control when she discovers a way to get any toy she asks for.


8. The Fish Stick/The Pickle Barrel: When the babies' favorite song gets 'stuck' in Chas's head, Tommy and the babies go on a quest to get it unstuck. / Tommy and Chuckie discover that playing music might threaten their friendship.


9. The Future Maker/Goodbye Reptar: Angelica uses the face filters on her phone to trick Susie into thinking she's going to turn into a taco. / Tommy takes charge to help Chuckie send a message to his Reptar doll who they think travelled back to outer space.


10. The Bubbe and Zayde Show/The Perfect Myth: Tommy's favorite characters from a funny TV show turn out to be his visiting grandparents. / Angelica gives the babies impossible orders in a world where she is the Goddess of Perfect. Special guest stars Henry Winkler (Happy DaysArrested DevelopmentMonsters at Work) as Boris, Tommy’s Zayde, and Swoosie Kurtz (Mike & MollyBless the Harts) as Minka, Tommy’s Bubbe. [sneak peek]


11. The Big Diff/Final Eclipse: Tommy and Chuckie fear their friendship is over when Angelica says they're too different to be best friends. / Susie, Tommy, and Chuckie must defeat an "outer space villain" while at a sci-fi movie convention with their dads. Special guest star Ben Schwartz (Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesParks and RecreationHouseBroken) as Lord Crater, the pompous but truly evil villain of The Final Eclipse movie franchise. [sneak peek]


12. Great Minds Think Alike/Betty and the Beast: Susie and Angelica disagree on how to use their newfound "super" ability to move things with their minds. / Tommy and his friends fear Tommy's daddy has turned into a fantastical beast and it's up to them to turn him back. Special guest star Raini Rodriguez (Bunk’d) as Gabi, Betty’s niece and the babies’ favorite babysitter ever. [sneak peek]


13. Escape from Preschool/Mr. Chuckie: Tommy leads his friends on a daring mission to break Angelica free from her preschool. / When Chuckie turns into a grown-up overnight, Tommy gets him to take the babies out on the town. Special guest star Charlet Chung (Craig of the Creek) as Kimi Watanabe, Angelica’s eternally cheerful adversary at preschool. [sneak peek]


14. The Werewoof Hunter: Tommy needs his friends' help to save Angelica after she turns into a werewolf at a scary Halloween party where their parents seem to be disappearing one by one. (Halloween special)

New episodes of the Paramount+ Original Series Rugrats are now streaming exclusively on Paramount+. Try it FREE!


Rugrats stars EG 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 reprise 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).

From Nickelodeon Animation Studio, the brand-new Rugrats series features rich and colorful CG-animation and follows the babies – Tommy, Chuckie, Angelica, Susie, and Phil and Lil – as they explore the world and beyond from their pint-sized and wildly imaginative point-of-view.

This August 11th marked the 30th anniversary of the series. The original Rugrats series launched in August of 1991 and instantly became a groundbreaking phenomenon, spawning consumer products and three hit theatrical releases, and cementing its place in pop culture history through its iconic characters, storytelling and unique visual style.  The series earned four Daytime Emmy Awards, six Kids' Choice Awards and its own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Rugrats was in production for nine seasons (169 episodes) over the course of 13 years.

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 on season one.

For a FREE trial of Paramount+, visit ParamountPlus.com!

More Nick: Paramount Plus Renews the All-New 'Rugrats' for Season 2!

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NEW Rugrats Shorts with Angelica and Susie! 🍼 Nickelodeon Cartoon Universe

NEW Rugrats Shorts with Angelica and Susie! 🍼 Nickelodeon Cartoon Universe


In the brand new Rugrats short "The Expedition", the Rugrats babies go mountain-climbing on a forest expedition to find treasure! Then, Angelica puts on "The Cynthia Show!" with her Cynthia doll, but keeps getting interrupted!

Rugrats is a Paramount + Original! Catch all new episodes now, exclusively on Paramount+! Try it FREE at ParamountPlus.com!

#Rugrats #NEWRugrats #NickToons #NickelodeonCartoon #Shorts #Animation


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We Did a HAUNTED Hollywood Scavenger Hunt *creepy* | The Sorta Scary Show Ep 6 | AwesomenessTV

We Did a HAUNTED Hollywood Scavenger Hunt *creepy* | The Sorta Scary Show Ep 6 | AwesomenessTV


Today on The (Sorta) Scary Show, Next Influencer's Matt and Ace go on a HAUNTED SCAVENGER HUNT in HOLLYWOOD, with the guided help of paranormal investigator Stefan Brigati! 👻 They run into some spooky guests during their journey, like the GHOST of Marilyn Monroe who helps them find what they're looking for! Will they be able to uncover Hollywood's biggest secrets throughout the scavenger hunt? 

Catch up on the latest episode of The (Sorta) Scary Show with Ace B. King & Matt Taylor right here! 👻 https://bit.ly/sortascary

→ about The (Sorta) Scary Show! ←
Next Influencer’s Matt Taylor and Ace B. King are getting us all ready for Halloween with their (Sorta) Scary Show! The (Sorta) Scary Show combines PARANORMAL, HAUNTED activities with the sassiest TikTok influencers you DON'T want to mess with - DEAD OR ALIVE. There’s GHOST-HUNTING and EXORCISMS and HAUNTED DOLLS and MEDIUMS and PSYCHICS and CELEBS and... did we mention SCARES?! Get ready for the spookiest, creepiest, and most frightening things imaginable 😈

Watch AwesomenessTV's Next Influencer Season 2 HERE! - http://bit.ly/nextinfluencer

→Talent Credits ←
Ace B. King - @acebking 
Matt Taylor - @mattheperson  
Eileen Padilla - @bbyeileen 
Eddie Preciado - @eddiepreciado  
Patti Negri - @patti.negri   

What do you guys want to see Matt & Ace do in Season 2?!?

#FullEpisode #Scary #SortaScaryShow

Scenes in this episode were filmed adhering to then-current Local, State, and/or Country mandated COVID-19 safety guidelines and restrictions.

→ about AwesomenessTV! ←
Welcome to AwesomenessTV, the destination for Gen Z reality TV shows with your favorite TikTok and digital influencers. Featuring Brent and Lexi Rivera, Nate Wyatt, The Merrell Twins, Noah Beck, Larray, Alex Warren and more, see them in ways you’ve never seen them before! Like in Twin My Heart, a dating show where the Merrell Twins help their closest friends find love. And AwesomenessTV’s Next Influencer, a reality competition show where up-and-coming TikTokers compete at the chance of becoming the next big ATV star. Also, our My Dream Quinceañera channel gives you a real look at planning the Quince of your dreams with rising LatinX influencers! Here you can feel free to express yourself, have fun and get real with us. And we’ll gossip with you daily on The Daily Report 😉. New shows everyday to have an awesome day!

SUBSCRIBE FOR NEW VIDEOS DAILY!: http://bit.ly/subscribe2AwesomenessTV

→ follow AwesomenessTV! ←


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Ryan Builds a Time Machine to Watch Rugrats! | Ryan's World

Ryan build a time machine to watch Rugrats! | Ryan's World


This is an ad for Rugrats on Paramount+. Parents, watch new episodes streaming October 7th, exclusively on Paramount+!

A reimagining of the classic ’90s hit, the all-new Rugrats series features rich and colorful CG animation and follows Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, Lil, Susie, and Angelica as they explore the world and beyond from their pint-sized and wildly imaginative point-of-view.

Try Paramount+ for free: https://bit.ly/rugratspart2


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Max Mies (FOURCE) Gets Put to the Test | Amazing Guests #1 | Nickelodeon Netherlands

MAX MIES (FOURCE) OP DE PROEF GESTELD: ‘’DAT GAAN WE ZO NIET DOEN’’ 🍋😝 | TE GEKKE GASTEN #1 | Nickelodeon Nederlands


In de eerste aflevering van #TeGekkeGasten gaat Nienke langs bij boyband-member Max Mies uit FOURCE. Ze daagt hem uit om een stapelgekke challenge te bedenken en uit te voeren. Max gebruikt waar hij al jarenlang bekend om staat: zijn stem! Maar; zingen is natuurlijk niet echt een challenge, dus doet Nienke als scheidsrechter nog een schepje bovenop: spice it up! Of nou ja, 'upspicen' is misschien niet helemaal het juiste woord: het zuurgehalte gaat namelijk door het dak in deze video. 

In Te Gekke Gasten dagen we jouw favoriete sterren – zoals Max Mies van FOURCE, Creator Camp-ster en tevens bekend TikTokker’ Lonneke van Krimpen en multitalent Kaj van der Voort, uit om een stapelgekke challenge te bedenken en deze uit te voeren, om vervolgens een van jouw andere favoriete sterren dezelfde uitdaging te geven. Klinkt te gek toch? Na de achtdelige serie, kun je op 25 november stemmen op je favoriet: Wie heeft het meeste indruk op je gemaakt met zijn of haar challenge en wint een te gekke prijs?

MAX MIES (FOURCE) OP DE PROEF GESTELD: ‘’DAT GAAN WE ZO NIET DOEN’’ 🍋😝 | TE GEKKE GASTEN #1 | Nickelodeon Nederlands


In de eerste aflevering van #TeGekkeGasten gaat Nienke langs bij boyband-member Max Mies uit FOURCE. Ze daagt hem uit om een stapelgekke challenge te bedenken en uit te voeren. Max gebruikt waar hij al jarenlang bekend om staat: zijn stem! Maar; zingen is natuurlijk niet echt een challenge, dus doet Nienke als scheidsrechter nog een schepje bovenop: spice it up! Of nou ja, 'upspicen' is misschien niet helemaal het juiste woord: het zuurgehalte gaat namelijk door het dak in deze video. 

In Te Gekke Gasten dagen we jouw favoriete sterren – zoals Max Mies van FOURCE, Creator Camp-ster en tevens bekend TikTokker’ Lonneke van Krimpen en multitalent Kaj van der Voort, uit om een stapelgekke challenge te bedenken en deze uit te voeren, om vervolgens een van jouw andere favoriete sterren dezelfde uitdaging te geven. Klinkt te gek toch? Na de achtdelige serie, kun je op 25 november stemmen op je favoriet: Wie heeft het meeste indruk op je gemaakt met zijn of haar challenge en wint een te gekke prijs?

#TeGekkeGasten #Stapelgek #Nickelodeon


Originally published: October 06, 2021.

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Classic Rugrats Comic Strip for October 7, 2021 | Nickelodeon

Classic Rugrats Comic Strip for October 7, 2021 | Nickelodeon


Stream all new CG-animated Rugrats series, exclusively on Paramount+!


Rugrats, provided to Creators Syndicate by Nickelodeon, based off the popular animated television series has been created for children and family's to laugh and enjoy together.

Follow these comics and their take on real episodes of the show and their own spin on hilarious adventures.

Read more Rugrats comic strips!: https://www.creators.com/features/rugrats

More Nick: Paramount Plus Renews the All-New 'Rugrats' for Season 2!

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Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl Original Soundtrack | Jukebox | GameMill Entertainment

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl Original Soundtrack | GameMill Entertainment


Enjoy the full original dukebox jukebox soundtrack of Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl, available now on Xbox, PlayStation, Switch, and PC!


00:00:00 - Arcade Map
01:06:21 - Armada
03:46:25 - Carnival Lofi
05:20:02 - Drome
08:48:01 - Duo Kitchen
10:58:09 - Duo Madness
13:18:02 - House
15:19:21 - Lose Version 1
15:47:00 - Lose Version 2
16:21:21 - Loud
18:43:10 - Main Menu
20:29:25 - Omashu
22:31:11 - Online Menu
24:41:19 - Playground
27:04:00 - Rooftop
29:19:09 - Sewers Combined
32:00:07 - Shanty
34:29:28 - Slide House
37:45:01 - Spirit World
39:43:23 - Stomp
41:53:26 - Temple 2
46:27:22 - Trash Heaps Of Fun
49:14:20 - Waterfall
51:37:03 - YMC
54:25:12 - Zone
56:20:15 - Versus
58:01:02 - Victory
58:01:03 - Battle Finish


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Lincoln Loud Announces Dak Prescott as NVP from Week 4 'NFL Slimetime'

The Loud House's Lincoln Loud announces Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott as NVP from Week 4 during NFL Slimetime!


Join Television host Nate Burleson and Nickelodeon star Dylan Gilmer as the end zones become the “slime zones” and watch weekly NFL highlights like you’ve never seen them before. Catch NFL Slimetime, every Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT on Nickelodeon, and Paramount+ the following day! Try Paramount+ for FREE at ParamountPlus.com.

More Nick: Nickelodeon and CBS Sports Team Up with NFL for the 2021-2022 Season!

Originally published: October 07, 2021.

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Some Fans Think 'Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl' Dev Teased Goku DLC

A Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl developer suggests third-party characters could come to the game when asked about potential Goku DLC.


Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is out now, giving players the chance to face off as a variety of characters from Nickelodeon TV shows in a Super Smash Bros.-style setting. And like Super Smash Bros., it seems Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl will be expanding its roster through DLC characters. There are plenty of Nickelodeon characters that could make the cut for Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl DLC, but it seems that non-Nickelodeon characters could also be on the table.

In an interview hosted by professional Super Smash Bros. Melee player Hungrybox, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl developer Thaddeus Crews was asked if non-Nickelodeon characters could come to the game as DLC, with Goku from Dragon Ball Z given as a specific example. Crews responded by saying that third-party characters weren't something that the developers considered at all "initially," suggesting that this is something that is now a possibility. Ultimately, Crews declined to elaborate further on Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl DLC characters or future plans for the game.

Now, it's entirely possible that Crews was just referring to the possibility of third-party characters coming to Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl and wasn't meaning to tease anything about Goku specifically. In fact, that seems to be what he suggested in a followup post on the game's Discord without outright denying the possibility of Goku DLC, as seen in a separate screenshot. Regardless, it seems many fans would be excited to see Goku fight the likes of SpongeBob SquarePants and Nigel Thornberry.

Goku has been one of the most highly-requested DLC characters for Super Smash Bros. over the years, but Nintendo has made it clear that it wants its crossover fighting game to only feature video game characters. Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl doesn't have that restriction, and while Goku is not a Nickelodeon character, the anime series Dragon Ball Z Kai has aired on Nickelodeon's Nicktoons network in the past. There have been all kinds of crazy, unexpected guest characters in fighting games over the years, so it's certainly not outside the realm of possibility that Goku DLC comes to Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl, even if it's not being worked on at this time.

Of course, it's best for fans to keep their expectations in check. Again, it seems most likely that Crews was not meaning to tease Goku DLC at all, and was instead just referring to third-party characters coming to the Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl roster in a general sense.

It should also be mentioned that Goku wasn't featured in the Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl DLC leak that cropped up recently, which could be a good sign that he won't actually make it into the game. The potential Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl DLC characters that were leaked include Garfield, Shredder from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Jimmy Neutron and Cindy Vortex from The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Plankton, Mr. Krabs and Squidward from SpongeBob SquarePants, Tommy Pickles from Rugrats, Vlad Plasmius from Danny Phantom, Prince Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender, and finally Rocko from Rocko's Modern Life. None of those characters have actually been confirmed for Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl either, though.

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is out now for PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. To find out more about the game, click here.


Original source: Game Rant; Lead image: Shacknews.

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Nickelodeon to Premiere 'Baby Shark's Big Show!' Halloween Special 'Baby Shark's Haunted Halloween/Wavey Jones' Locker' on Oct. 18

Things will be getting spooky in Carnivore Cove this October when Nickelodeon premieres the brand new Baby Shark's Big Show! Halloween special "Baby Shark's Haunted Halloween/Wavey Jones' Locker" on Wednesday, October 20, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. ET/PT!


In "Baby Shark's Haunted Halloween," Baby Shark must overcome his one big fear when he meets a real life ghostfish! Then later in "Wavey Jones' Locker," Baby Shark and William must travel to the deep dark depths to retrieve Baby’s lost microphone! (#111)

Visit https://www.babysharksbigshow.com for Baby Shark's Big Show! videos, arts and crafts, coloring pages, and to make your very own shark!



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'Bubble Guppies' Season 6 Launches With New Halloween Special, Premiering Oct. 19 on Nickelodeon

Bubble Guppies swims into its sixth season with a brand new Halloween special, "Werewolves of Bubbledon!", premiering Tuesday, October 19, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. ET/PT on Nickelodeon!


In the all new Bubble Guppies Halloween episode "Werewolves of Bubbledon!," on Halloween eve in the foggy town of Bubbledon, everyone is nervous because there’s a werewolf on the loose! Monster Detectives Molly, Gil, and Dr. Pupson are on the case, but will they find the critter before Halloween is cancelled? (#601)

Watch classic episodes of Bubble Guppies on Paramount+! Parents and caregivers can try it FREE at ParamountPlus.com!


Subscribe to the fin-tastic BRAND NEW Bubble Guppies YouTube channel!: https://at.nick.com/BGSubscribe


Lead image: Pinterest /@desireedevega.

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Nickelodeon Announces 'Santiago of the Seas' Halloween Special

Things will be getting spooky on the high seas this Fall in Nickelodeon's fang-tastic brand new Santiago of the Seas Halloween special!


In "The Mysterious Island," on Halloween night, Santiago and his crew try to retrieve the legendary Treasure Treats from La Isla Misteriosa! Then in "Mystery of the Vam-Pirates," Santiago meets a real-life vampire, and the two must team up to save their crews!

The all new Santiago of the Seas Halloween episode will premiere on Nickelodeon in the U.S. on Thursday, October 21, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. ET/PT, and on Nick Jr. Global on Saturday 30th October 2021 at 12:00 CET.



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Nickelodeon to Premiere New 'Blue's Clues & You!' Halloween Special 'The Ghost of the Living Room' on Oct. 18

There's something strange in Blue's neighborhood in the brand new Blue's Clues & You! Halloween special "The Ghost of the Living Room", premiering Monday, October 18, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. ET/PT on Nickelodeon!


In the all new Blue's Clues & You! Halloween episode "The Ghost of the Living Room", Josh and Blue are throwing a Halloween party and all our friends are in costume! Blue’s a unicorn, Magenta’s a mouse, but wait, who’s that mysterious, silly ghost gliding about the Living Room? We’ll look for clues as we go through a haunted house skidoo! (#304)



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How ViacomCBS Will Lead the Way Toward More Inclusive Storytelling

How ViacomCBS Will Lead the Way Toward More Inclusive Storytelling

By Bob Bakish, President and CEO of ViacomCBS


The Power of Pedro

Twenty-seven years ago, millions of people met Pedro Zamora.

At a time when fewer than 40 percent of Americans personally knew someone with HIV/AIDS, MTV’s The Real World introduced viewers to an openly gay, HIV-positive Cuban American man who was full of joy and willing to open his life to the world.

It was a watershed moment in television. Millions came to know Pedro not as a statistic, but as a partner and friend, wholly real and wholly human. And they mourned when he died from complications of the disease—just hours after the season’s final episode aired.

I’m proud that Pedro found a home on one of our networks. And I’m prouder still of our organization’s legacy of telling stories that reflect the whole human experience and allow people to see themselves in ways they never thought they could—from Nickelodeon’s global phenomenon Dora the Explorer, which brought an English- and Spanish-speaking animated Latina heroine right to kids’ living rooms; to BET’s Being Mary Jane, which illuminated the hopes and challenges of a Black woman building her career as a TV news anchor; to today’s hit broadcast television series, The Equalizer, where the story of a former CIA agent hellbent on delivering justice is delivered through the lens of a Black mom; to Comedy Central’s Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens, whose Asian American protagonist’s coming-of-age struggles and successes make her relatable, beloved—and just the same as so many other young women coming of age. Which is exactly the point.

For decades, we’ve told stories that matter. But we’ve been operating on instinct rather than measuring impact. We could see that Pedro was having a deep effect, for instance, but we never measured that effect, nor did we break down the reasons he resonated so much—at least, not in ways that we could replicate across other programming.

We know that media shapes minds. Now, we need a deeper, more quantifiable understanding of how to harness the power of storytelling to challenge stereotypes, shift perceptions, and create meaningful change.

This starts not just with who is represented but how they are represented. And it requires more than an earnest desire to do better; we must find concrete ways to hold ourselves accountable.

Introducing Content for Change

As we look to come together for our annual Global Inclusion Week, today, I’m excited to announce that we are expanding Content for Change, a bold initiative that seeks to apply scientific research, rigor, and data to transform our entire creative ecosystem—from the content we produce to the creative supply chain that powers it to the culture that underpins everything we do.

BET created Content for Change last year, building on its 40-year history of trailblazing leadership in audience education and celebration of Black excellence. At a moment of national reckoning, the initiative catalyzed efforts to break down the narratives that enable intolerance, hurtful stereotypes, and systemic racism to exist and grow. From groundbreaking news series like Disrupt and Dismantle, to provocative specials like Black x Jewish and State of Our Union with Vice President Kamala Harris, BET’s Content for Change began the work to shift the way we see each other – and ourselves.

Starting today, the entire ViacomCBS organization is joining forces to support and amplify these efforts —while also expanding the initiative’s areas of focus—across the globe.

Guided by scientific research and insights, we will embrace our power and our opportunity to portray people of all races, genders, sexualities, faiths, and abilities with humanity and depth—beginning with our current areas of focus: racial equity and mental health.

Three Pillars: Content, Creative Supply Chain, and Culture

You’ll be hearing more about Content for Change in the months to come. But here is our starting point: Content for Change will be centered on three commitments—or pillars—and grounded in data-driven research.

  • Our first commitment is rooted in our CONTENT: We will evolve and transform the kinds of stories we tell.

This commitment builds off research that ViacomCBS undertook in the last few years to better understand our role and ability to address racism and mental health through our content – across demographics and genres – and even through our consumer products.

BET’s launch of Content for Change was anchored in this work and resulted in the principle that media plays a pivotal role in shaping and driving individuals’ and communities’ values, perceptions and actions, and could positively impact social justice outcomes for Black Americans. In its study, “Shades of Us: A Study of Race, Identity and the American Family,” Nickelodeon also looked at how race and ethnicity inform a child’s identity and learned that media portrayals often reinforce stereotypes, which are internalized by kids and impact their self-esteem. And, most recently, our Consumer Products team conducted a study looking at “Girls and Doll Choice,” which confirmed the need for authentic representation in dolls and the heavy toll it takes on girls when it is not available. This work has been central to how we’ve begun to take action – from the ways Nick is using its content to help parents talk to their kids about race to the launch of CBS News’ Race & Culture Unit and their efforts to remove bias from one of the most relied upon news sources in the U.S.

Sensing misrepresentation and underrepresentation of mental health issues in their programming, MTV also partnered with the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative to study mental health depictions across 29 shows in the ViacomCBS portfolio.

The Annenberg Inclusion Initiative found that while an estimated one in five Americans suffer from mental health issues, fewer than one in ten of our series regulars did—and one in thirty characters overall, many of which perpetuated negative stereotypes.

We used those insights to change our approach: partnering with a mental health nonprofit specializing in young viewers, creating a new guide to help storytellers portray mental health with understanding, holding internal workshops with writers and producers to create a fuller context around mental health struggles—and ultimately, sharing our findings with the broader industry.

Moving forward, we will expand our Annenberg Inclusion Initiative partnership by analyzing 60 series across other key demographics—like race and ethnicity, gender, age, LGBTQ+ identification and disability status. We’ll identify representation gaps among the people behind the camera—including series creators, producers, writers, and directors—initiate new training, and share that information broadly.

We are also partnering with Stanford University to test new hypotheses for how the power of content can be harnessed to shift perspectives. We’ll examine individual bias among all audiences, the impact of longstanding oppression inflicted upon and internalized by audiences of color, and systemic racism across society.

Together, this research will provide the foundation for our work moving forward. We will share the initial findings when available and identify key tenets to guide the advancement of our content efforts by 2023, with the goal that our storytelling does not just drive change, but is more provocative, more interesting, more nuanced, and more engaging as a result.

  • Our second commitment is rooted in our CREATIVE SUPPLY CHAIN: We will transform our content creation process, ensuring equity at every stage—from talent to production to the writers’ room—while enlisting the participation of our partners, suppliers, and vendors.

We’ll build on our existing work supporting a new generation of creators from underrepresented communities, with a renewed focus on hiring emerging talent and moving to new paradigms that inject equity into our talent pipelines.

This includes new early access, apprentice, and mentorship programs, as well as our longstanding efforts to broaden our creative talent pool with programs such as our ViewFinder Emerging Directors Program, Directing Initiative, and Writers Mentoring Program.

Expanding on this work, today, we are proud to announce the launch of our Content for Change Academy, a new program that aims to remove barriers to entry for new storytellers, build equity, and invest in our next generation of leaders from nontraditional pathways, including individuals from community colleges and certification programs, who are historically marginalized from entry into the entertainment industry. To identify this talent, we are partnering with Reel Works, a Brooklyn-based organization that provides emerging storytellers in underserved communities with mentorship for careers in media, and their MediaMKRS workforce development program. The MediaMKRS program aims to build a talent pool that reflects the diversity of New York City by credentialing young professionals and matching them with on-the-job training opportunities at a number of media organizations, including ViacomCBS. The Content for Change Academy will provide these individuals with paid experience in entry-level creative and production roles – without the need for enrollment in traditional four-year colleges or universities – allowing them to learn the skills for a successful career in entertainment and build their portfolios, with the goal of staff placement upon the program’s completion. Storytellers are joining this inaugural class across BET, CBS Sports, CBS Studios, Nick Jr., Paramount Network, Showtime and Velocity.

Together, these efforts will strengthen our career development programs, which have helped hundreds of people from historically excluded communities launch their careers and begin to change the face of content creation, both in front of and behind the camera. We are also working to develop a cross-company framework to leverage partners and vendors in this work, including unions, guilds, and industry partners spanning negotiations, hiring practices, opportunities, commitments, and more. And, in honoring the kickoff of this commitment, ViacomCBS is awarding $1 million over the next few months to community-based organizations on the front lines of enabling and celebrating more inclusive storytelling, with a broader commitment that the guiding principles of Content for Change will steer the company’s giving going forward.

  • Our third commitment is rooted in our CULTURE: We will continue to evolve our corporate culture, expanding opportunities for advancement and access at all levels of the company and across our entire content creation ecosystem.

We will hold a mirror up to ourselves, building on our foundation of inclusion and belonging that touches all 20,000+ people across ViacomCBS. From our annual Global Inclusion Week and Employee Resource Groups to Listening Tours and Engagement Surveys, we will continue to engage our employees with programs that promote belonging and create an environment where everyone is empowered to succeed. We will also measure our internal impact with the same rigor we apply to our external efforts. By the end of 2021, we are targeting a global hire and promotion rate of 55% for female senior vice presidents and a U.S. hire and promotion rate of 40% for ethnically diverse vice presidents. We are tracking ahead of this goal and, by the end of 2022, we will share an update to achieve longer-term targets.

In addition, we will scale MTVE’s Culture Code, bringing the training’s emphasis on respect and mutual understanding to our entire creative community. Our shared values will inform how we as inclusive storytellers address pressing issues of race and social justice. We will continue to partner with community organizations and subject matter experts to inform this work, to create ripple effects across the entire entertainment industry.

Finally, we will require our creative partners to be trained in our standards and we will hold them accountable for results—starting with MTVE productions, 100 percent of which will be trained by the end of 2022.

Together, our investments in these three pillars will help us marshal our resources and insights to write the next chapter of inclusive storytelling. It’s the right thing to do, of course, but it’s also the smart thing to do. It will enable us to continue to attract the best possible talent to the best possible workplace, while further building ViacomCBS’ legacy as a global content powerhouse. And I’m grateful for the many colleagues across our brands and businesses who have already done so much to further this important work, including our Content for Change Executive Sponsors – Scott Mills, Chris McCarthy, Brian Robbins, George Cheeks, Marva Smalls and Julia Phelps – for their partnership and unwavering commitment to leading the way.

The Good We Can Do Together

We readily acknowledge that, as a company, we aren’t perfect. We don’t have all the answers and we will undoubtedly stumble and fall short from time to time. The goal isn’t to be perfect.

The goal is to keep getting better, to keep learning, and to have a foundation and an approach to self-correct in ways that are measurable and concrete.

This will be some of the most important work we do as a company. But I also believe that it will be the most meaningful. My sincere hope is that the work we begin today creates an entirely new ecosystem for content creation.

Just think of the characters we’ll never meet as long as only two percent of speaking characters have any kind of disability. Just think of the perspectives we’ll miss as long as just thirteen percent of directors are people of color.

When diversity becomes a box to check rather than a core value, it shows. A stove-piped, piecemeal approach will no longer cut it; this moment demands nothing less than systemic transformation.

That’s why this company-wide commitment is reaching toward a high purpose: to transform the way the world sees people and how people see themselves—just as Pedro Zamora did 27 years ago.

In 1994, the 22-year-old Pedro testified before Congress. He told lawmakers, “If you want to reach me as a young gay man, and especially a young gay man of color, then you need to give me information in a vocabulary I can understand and relate to.” During his time on The Real World, Pedro embodied that charge. His humanity was palpable, and his story inspired not just empathy, but education.

As a company, and eventually as an industry, we can lift up people, tell their stories, and elevate the programming that will change the ways we see ourselves and one another.

In the process, we can transform the world for the better—one person, one story, and one program at a time.

###


Original source: 3BL Media.

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VaultArt Studio Artist Darian Johnson Turns Beloved Animation Into Grotesque Paintings for New Exhibition

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - For generations of kids, Nickelodeon has been the channel to watch, and one of the network's biggest draws is its beloved animated series, such as the long-running, mega-hit SpongeBob SquarePants, which has managed to go beyond the small screen to social media in the form of countless memes.

Darian Johnson’s SpongeBob SquarePants, part of In the Flesh at VaultArt Studio. Photo: Darian Johnson/Courtesy of VaultArt Studio

One local artist has turned Nickelodeon nostalgia into a series of fascinatingly bizarre paintings, now on view at VaultArt Studio.

Darian Johnson, a local painter, sculptor, and illustrator, is part of In the Flesh, the studio’s annual Halloween group exhibition described as featuring "all the ghosts and goblins you know and loathe, along with a selection of avant-garde works that map the intersections of the supernatural, the weird, and the grotesque.”

The multi-artist show will feature the debut of Johnson's master series Gross Up Close Up. VaultArt states that the Halloween show takes inspiration from Gross Up Close Up, a collection of what’s described as “photoreal paintings of Nickelodeon characters,” serving as an ode to the infamous "Gross-Up Close-Up" animation technique.

What’s been dubbed the Gross-Up Close-Up became prominent on Nickelodeon shows, and refers to moments when an episode cuts suddenly to jarring close-ups of characters, during which the cartoony aesthetic is replaced with more realistic, body horror-esque details like throbbing veins, rotting teeth, or infected eyes. The effect, normally accompanied by someone shrieking, was featured on The Ren & Stimpy Show, and has been used on SpongeBob and other shows.

Darian Johnson’s Hey Arnold!, part of In the Flesh at VaultArt Studio. Photo: Darian Johnson/Courtesy of VaultArt Studio

The theme comes through in Johnson’s work, with acrylic paintings putting sometimes uncanny, sometimes captivatingly creepy spins on beloved Nickelodeon characters from the past few decades. Familiar smiles are warped into menacing grins, and eyes are bloodshot or lifeless. In one, SpongeBob brandishes the iconic spatula from his job at the Krusty Krab. In another, Krumm, the comical Aaahh!!! Real Monsters creature defined by his stench and disembodied eyes, looks truly monstrous, his mouth bloody and full of jagged teeth.

Other animated series represented include Hey Arnold!, Rocko's Modern Life, The Wild Thornberrys, The Fairly OddParents, and others.

In the Flesh — which debuted during the October Penn Avenue First Friday gallery crawl — fits in with the mission of VaultArt. The Garfield-based space is a project of Achieva, a Southwestern Pennsylvania nonprofit organization that “advocates for, empowers, and supports people with disabilities and their families throughout their lives.”

In the Flesh curator Benjy Blanco, who, along with coworkers Sam Berner and Steph Neary, runs operations at VaultArt Studio, and says the space functions like an artist collective, where the “artists working at the studio determine our programming — in this case, we're big Halloween fans out here.”

Gross Up Close Up hangs along with works from other VaultArt artists, including animation by Kahyll Holyfield, drawings by Wendy Davis, and sculptures by Maggie Kambic. Similar to Johnson, fellow painter Lee Kennedy also draws on pop culture, including with a portrait of midnight movie icon Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.

Like other VaultArt artists, Johnson faces certain obstacles to getting his art into the community. Blanco says Johnson “expresses himself through atypical verbal communication, mostly nouns and titles,” but says the “shocking quality of his work often speaks for itself.” Even so, Blanco provided a statement from Johnson, which reads:

“Nick.
Gross.
Doug.
Wild.
Arnold.
Real Monster.
Real.
Ha!
Yeah!”

The services offered by VaultArt helps to empower and introduce to the scene artists who may otherwise be overlooked. The VaultArt website states that artists are given access to professional-level arts instruction, exhibition space, and career coaching in order to “transform their creativity into the calling of their choice.”

The support VaultArt offers goes beyond the creative. The studio website says 100% of any artwork purchases goes back to the artists. Currently, various works by VaultArt artists are available to buy on the studio’s website, with prices ranging anywhere from $15 up to $1,000.

It’s here that Johnson’s obvious penchant for reimagining pop culture becomes more clear, with paintings dedicated to Karate Kid, professional wrestler-turned-actor and Nickelodeon host John Cena, and various comic book characters. Some even have a Pittsburgh flavor, with images of late baseball great Roberto Clemente and the famous view of the Incline and Downtown’s Point State Park. One stand-out depicts local documentary filmmaker Rick Sebak meeting controversial rapper/producer Kanye West at Wholey’s Fish Market.

Darian Johnson’s Rocko’s Modern Life, part of In the Flesh at VaultArt Studio. Photo: Darian Johnson/Courtesy of VaultArt Studio

Along with In the Flesh, which showcases all the artists working at VaultArt Studio, audiences can expect to see works from the show uploaded and made available for sale on the vaultartstudio.org online shop throughout October.

Blanco calls Johnson's new painting series “extraordinary,” adding, “We've been thrilled to build up to his showcase for several months.” He adds that Johnson is “one of the most skilled artists” he knows in the region, and speaks to the wide appeal of his art.

“His work, which often intersects pop culture and the grotesque, dazzles with its technical flourishes while finding room for personal connections,” says Blanco. “Why do we love this stuff? By devoting such remarkable talent to pop art, Johnson invites us to consider the discrepancies of artistic merit versus what we really value and deeply need."

Gross Up Close Up and In the Flesh. Through October. VaultArt Studio. 5100 Penn Ave., Garfield. Works will also be uploaded to the gallery website. vaultartstudio.org

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Original source: Pittsburgh City Paper.

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