Friday, September 30, 2016

Around the Tubes: 9/30/16



I have gotten a plethora of cool press releases have been flooding my inbox recently that you may find interesting. This post will include blurbs on The Crooked Man, Dr. Oakley Yukon Vet, Clash of the Corps, Death on a Comet: The Rosetta Mission, Why Would You Do That, Fight Valley, and The Many Sad Fates of Mr. Toledano.

- The Crooked Man, which airs this Saturday, October 1 at 9:00, kicks off Syfy's 31 Days of Halloween. While at a slumber party, twelve year old ‘Olivia’ is blamed for the horrific and mysterious death of her friend after singing a song, created by a reclusive mastermind, ‘Milo’ (Michael Jai White), which summons a demonic figure known as "The Crooked Man". Returning to her hometown six years later, a string of unusual deaths lead Olivia (Angelique Rivera) to believe that she's still being haunted by whatever she saw that fateful night. Once you sing the rhyme, everyone in the house is cursed to die by his hands.


- Dr. Michelle Oakley returns with an all new season of Dr. Oakley Yukon Vet. Follow her as she makes house calls across thousands of square miles in the Yukon Territory in northern Canada - where she's responding to some of the most unique and challenging cases of her career. From moving bears with tractors and horses with helicopters, to castrating angry boars and capturing wild bison, she'll have to use every trick she has to save these animals. Accompanied by her daughters and armed with humor as sharp as a scalpel, Dr. Oakley deftly juggles being a full-time veterinarian, wife and mom while taking us into the isolated regions of the Yukon.

- Fuse (www.fuse.tv), a national television network for the fast-growing, Latino and multicultural 18-34 audience, today announced that Clash of the Corps Executive Producer Dwayne Johnson will host the series’ premiere episode on his official Facebook page, as part of a Facebook Live viewing event for his over 56 million fans on Tuesday, October 4 at 10:00.

- The network announced today that on Friday, Sept. 30 at 7:20AM ET they will break into regularly scheduled programming to air live footage of the Rosetta spacecraft as it crashes into Comet 67P, the celestial body it was sent to study over a decade ago. At 10:00 on the same day, Science Channel will premiere the all-new primetime special, Death on a Comet: The Rosetta Mission, hosted by Dr. Dan Riskin. This one-hour special captures the history of the mission, and the emotional final moments as Rosetta gathers the last bit of science from the comet before its mission-ending crash.

- The outrageously funny stand-up comedian Sebastian Maniscalco asks the questions most people won’t in his upcoming comedy event, Why Would You Do That?, premiering on Saturday, October 1st at 10:00 on Showtime on-air, on demand and over the internet. Directed by Joe Demaio, written by Maniscalco and filmed live at New York City's famed Beacon Theatre during one of the seven sold-out shows on his 2016 tour, the hour-long special is chock-full of skepticism. With his unique brand of sharp observational comedy, high-energy physicality and inimitable facial expressions, Maniscalco invites the audience to take a look at their own habits through the lens of his old-world, Italian-American upbringing where everyone and everything is suspect. From odd nicknames for grandparents and giving “parent prices,” to house parties where they make you take your shoes off, no one is safe from his quick-witted discourse.

- GSN, the leader in game shows and competitive entertainment, announced today it has obtained telecast rights to 13 episodes of the hidden camera/comedy horror TV show Scare Tactics, hosted by actor/comedian Tracy Morgan. The show will be paired with the network’s new horror-themed game Hellevator in a “Friday Night Frights” programming block on Fridays from 9-11, beginning October 7.

- Fight Valley stars the world’s best female fighters including former UFC Bantamweight champion Miesha Tate, Ronda Rousey defeater Holly Holm, and UFC newbie Cris "Cyborg." In this action packed thriller a young woman is found dead after getting involved with an underground fighting ring. Her sister begins training under a respected ex-fighter as she searches for the killer. FIGHT VALLEY will be available on DVD October 25, 2016.

- More than three years in the making, award-winning filmmaker Joshua Seftel’s new documentary, The Many Sad Fates of Mr. Toledano, will have its national television debut on public television’s WORLD Channel this Monday, October 3rd. Check local listings.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 9/25/16



Ray Donovan: It I weird watching the “previously on” montage and realized this whole season was based around Ray feeling sorry for a Russian prostitute he played Cat’s Cradle with. I actually thought last week that turning rat would be the only way out for Ray but of course he was able to get out from underneath the Russian mob without owing the FBI anything. I was hoping that Ray would be a rat and spend a little time in prison because the show may have been a little more interesting going forward if the series started out with hating his father so much he tried to kill him for being a rat only for him to do the same thing. Oh well.

Fear the Walking Dead: Did I miss something? The question of the past couple episodes was what happened to Ophelia and this week she is just on a road trip. How exactly did she get out of the hotel? The stairwell was pretty full of walkers when Alicia tried to leave that floor. So is she off to find her fiancée? Are we actually going to follow her or is something going to happen to her that she ends back at the hotel? Or is this the last we see of her?
You can download Fear the Walking Dead on iTunes.

Masters of Sex: So did approach her old therapist in hopes to get him to work with her or to get a free session? Or just to use him? Kind of a weird turn of events. Then her husband and her ended up not actually getting married (and decided this off screen) and now it looks like her daughter is leaving her too. Shame if you is gone for good because the daughter started out as one of the more interesting characters last season but did not really go anywhere with her. But hey, at least she has a new partner at the clinic and bizarrely is the husband(?) of Bill’s new co-worker. Interesting that Bill lied about his relationship with Virginia. I wonder if he was truthful their she would be truthful of her relationship.

The Strain: Being that we are just at the start of the season, I assumed the big worm that slithered away from the Master after being decapitated was the Master’s essence and he was not really dead. And that turned out to be the case and for some reason the Ancients knew this but did not bother to tell anyone to make sure the big old worm gets stepped on after you kill the host. So I guess the next question is who is the Master going to inhabit next. Nazi guy was very disappointed it was not him last time. Maybe he will be overlooked again and Eph’s wife will be the next in line. Though I think it would be better if the Master chose Eph’s son, that would be really twisted.
You can download The Strain on iTunes.

Gotham: Man, the Talon looked like he was wearing a Nightwing mask; I got a bit confused for a little bit. But not as confusing as the Koopa from the horrible live action Super Mario Bros. being in the beginning of the episode. And how actually did the Captain survive the attack from Azrael? Well, it is a comic book, I am sure this is not the last we see of Poison Ivy (mostly because of stupid casting spoilers that I for some reason still read even though I avoid all other spoilers).
You can download Gotham on iTunes.

Lucifer: Speaking of casting spoilers, I knew going in Trisha Helfer was going to end up being Lucifer’s mom but Lucifer miss identifying his mom multiple times was still funny. And is his brother losing his powers. His time stop ended before he could get the blood (and yet managed to not be arrested) and then he had trouble floating things.
You can download Lucifer on iTunes.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: I am not sure if I am disappointed or relieved that Nick Cage is not reprising his roll at Ghost Rider. Probably the latter. I am definitely relived that Ward was not the Life Model Decoy. I figured it would be him or electro boy (except he got crossed off that list after appearing in the main cast credit during the Blindspot premiere. Instead we got a hot naked chick in a very humorous version of Ex-Machina type scene.
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on iTunes

Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen. X: A Survivor first!!!! The first evacuation ever! But this begs the question, where exactly did they go? Probst said on Twitter that they took them to a quiet room all night, but just exactly where? Ponderosa? Did they have to leave the island completely? I think the best part of this season will be watching the Millennials be inept. Though I have to disagree with the worst shelter ever as they did not dig a hole in the beach which ended up being filled with water which happing during the first All Star season I believe. I really hope there is not an early tribe swap so no one comes and saves the younger tribe. Oh yeah, and the Legacy Advantage sounds stupid.
Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen. X on iTunes

Blindplot: How random was the phycologist hitting on Chrissy Seaver? Does he not remember what happened to her last boyfriend? But that was not the only personal storyline of the week as it turns out Kurt is going to be a father. At least his father set such a low bar he can just step over it.
You can download Blindspot on iTunes.

Mr. Robot: Much like Elliot, I fully believed Tyrell was in Elliot’s head since the moment when he got in the cab. Okay, unlike Elliot, I was not going to risk that theory against being shot. Poor Elliot, if only the cabbie had answered him when he asked the driver if he saw the guy sitting next to him (why the guy did not recognized the most wanted man in America is just something we will likely have to throw in the questions we will never get answered pile).

Almost as big a shock was we learned that the FBI has a whiteboard with Elliott and Tyrell in the middle. Much like the other big twits, there is a generous amount of poetic license because otherwise, why exactly would they have Elliot in prison for a lesser crime and not interrogate him then? Really the only reason to let him out is hoping he would leave you to Tyrell, except apparently no was tailing Elliot when he went to meet Tyrell. Hurumph.

And though I was bearish on this season, I got excited for a post credit scene after last year’s jaw dropper of White Rose dressed like a man in some sort of Illuminati club with the head of Evil Corp. It started out great (Kenny Rogers and Sheena singing Bob Seger!!!!!) but how disappointing the “big” reveal was Elliot’s prison buddy finding the F-Society lackeys who went on the lamb.
You can download Mr. Robot on iTunes.

Notorious: I was not expecting much with this show but it somehow managed to go under my expectations. At least Julie Taylor trying to be a lawyer should be entertaining.
You can download Notorious on iTunes.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Around the Tubes: 9/23/16



I have gotten a plethora of cool press releases have been flooding my inbox recently that you may find interesting. This post will include blurbs on Freakish, Crowded House, Hooligan Sparroww, Jago: A Life Underwater, UNDERFIRE: The Untold Story of Pfc. Tony Vaccaro, Meet the Press, and Dice.

- Check out the new official teaser for upcoming Hulu Original Freakish. The teen, horror series premieres all episodes on Hulu on Monday, Oct. 10 and stars digital influencers Liza Koshy, Meghan Rienks, Hayes Grier and Melvin Gregg as well as traditional actors such as Leo Howard (“Kickin’ It”) and Aislinn Paul (“Heroes Reborn”). Also, as part of a special launch week promotion called #FreakWeek, Tumblr will debut two new episodes of the Halloween event series from AwesomenessTV on a custom Freakish Tumblr page every day for a period of five days (October 10th – 14th). #FreakWeek is a first-of-its-kind event that will allow all fans and viewers to preview and discover Freakish for free on Tumblr (for a limited time), or stream the entire series on Hulu anytime.


- Crowded House will be celebrating their 30th anniversary by reissuing their entire catalogue in two disc deluxe CD packages and 180-gram heavyweight vinyl, unlocking a wealth of rare material that has been personally selected by Neil Finn and the band. They will be released on Friday, November 18 through Universal Catalogue, and are available to pre-order at the official Crowded House Store. Digital versions will also be available on November 4.

- The riveting documentary Hooligan Sparroww, which follows the incredible story of a group of activists in China who risk their lives to protest against the sexual abuse of school girls by their principal debuts on the PBS television series POV on Monday, October 17, 2016. (Check local listings.)

- Smithsonian Earth, the subscription video streaming service from Smithsonian Networks™ that delivers spectacular original nature and wildlife content, will feature the award-winning one-hour 4K film Jago: A Life Underwater, starting on September 22. The film tells the life story of Rohani, an 80-year-old seafaring hunter who lives in a Bajau village in the Togean Islands of Sulawesi, Indonesia.

- UNDERFIRE: The Untold Story of Pfc. Tony Vaccaro chronicles the life of a man who played two risky roles in World War II: a combat infantryman on the front lines and a photographer who took and developed roughly 8,000 photographs of the war. Director Max Lewkowicz visits European locations where Vaccaro shot some of his most powerful photos, tracing his evolution from a young GI eager to record the war, to an elderly man increasingly horrified at man’s ability to wage it, having vowed never to take another war photo on the day the conflict ended. The HBO Documentary Film UNDERFIRE: The Untold Story of Pfc. Tony Vaccaro will debut on HBO on Monday, November 14 at 8:00.

- After meeting with President Obama today in the Oval Office to discuss TPP, Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) sat down with Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd, telling him “the chances are miniscule” that he will be voting for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. “It’s very, very likely I will not” vote for Trump, said former presidential candidate Gov. Kasich. “It is country first, and I am unlikely to cast that vote.”

- Showtime has picked up a second season of the comedy series Dice with seven new, half-hour episodes to air in 2017. Produced by Fox 21 Television Studios, season two of the scripted, semi-autobiographical series will dig deeper into the many facets of Andrew Dice Clay – beyond the character who once sold out Madison Square Garden – as the unemployed comic struggles in the Vegas suburbs to be a loving father, a devoted boyfriend and a professional gambler who is stuck dealing with the effects of his outrageous brand of fame. Production will shoot in Los Angeles and Las Vegas next year.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Fall 2016 Music Preview


This is usually the time when I bemoan the lack of marquee releases being released over the next couple month, even in the fourth quarter when tent-poles were usually released. Except there are a couple of albums coming out soon. Metallica released a first single that was straight fire. The new Green Day song is better than anything off their last trio of albums. The mellower side of me is also excited for new Norah Jones and Regina Spektor whose last albums were really good. Okay, that is about it, of those with solid release dates so far, Sting may come in at number five most interesting album coming out before Christmas. But here are a couple more albums that will at least b worth a spin on Spotify when they are released. Click on the album title to pre-order on Amazon. Click the artist's name to be take to their iTunes page.


Last Week
We're All Gonna Die - Dawes
Braver Than We Are - Meat Loaf
Three - Phantogram

Tomorrow
Chapter and Verse - Bruce Springsteen
Tightrope Walker - Rachael Yamagata
Natural Causes - Skylar Grey
Young as the Morning Old as the Sea - Passenger
Leap of Faith - Timothy B. Schmit
A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings - Beach Slang
The Art of Elegance - Kristin Chenoweth
The Prelude Implicit - Kansas

September 30
Remember Us To Life - Regina Spektor
The Alter - Banks
American Band - Drive-By Truckers
22, A Million - Bon Iver
Following My Intuition - Craig David
Atrocity Exhibition - Danny Brown
Keep Me Singing - Van Morrison
Dream too Much - Amy Lee
New City Blues - Aubrie Sellers

October 7
Day Breaks - Norah Jones
Revolution Radio - Green Day
The Malibu Sessions - Colbie Caillat
Swallowed by the New - Glen Phillips
13 Voices - Sum 41
50 - Rick Astley

October 14
Walls - Kings of Leon
The Heart Watches While The Brain Burns - Mike Doughty
Ruminations - Conor Oberst

October 21
saintmotelevision - Saint Motel

November 4
Being No One, Going Nowhere - STRFKR
Eternally Even - Jim James

November 11
57th and 9th - Sting
Jessica Rabbit - Sleigh Bells
Goodnight City - Martha Wainwright

November 18
Hardwired…To Self-Destruct - Metallica
Amateurs - Royal Teeth

TBD
Beck
Dia Frampton
Jimmy Eat World
Liam Gallagher
Lorde
Gorillaz
Robert Randolph & The Family Band
Ryan Adams
The Shins
Wu-Tang Clan
Zac Brown Band

And of course this could be the quarter when Dr. Dre released Detox.

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Twenty-Five Best Battle Round Performances from The Voice



In honor of the tenth season of The Voice, I decided to make a list of the best Blind Auditions in the shows run. Instead of doing the same for the subsequent round when they started, I decided just to do a new best of each round at the start of every new season. So of course Battle Rounds were the next up. Except I realized, oh yeah, I hate this round. So I decided at a smaller number because it was hard to even find twenty-five I did not hate. The general problem with this round is these contestants are stuck singing with someone they may not match with singing a song that may not even fit them and most end up boring. But at least there were a few trainwreck pairings that were so bad they were entertaining (see Shields Brothers vs. Erin Martin) except starting in season three they started montaging most of these so were never get to see how awesomely bad Beat Frequency vs. Laura Vivas really was. Of course some trainwrecks did sneak through since them because there have been plenty of inexplicable Steals throughout the seasons (seriously, Nic Hawk was saved for some reason). Oh well, here are the few Battles I did not hate:

1. Put Your Records On - Danielle Bradbery vs. Caroline Glaser
2. Vision of Love - Trevin Hunte vs. Amanda Brown
3. If I Ain't Got You - Jesse Campbell vs. Anthony Evans
4. Heart Shaped Box - Lindsey Pavao vs. Lee Koch
5. She's Gone - Nicholas David vs. Todd Kessler
6. As Long As You Love Me - Caroline Pennell vs. Anthony Paul
7. Ain't No Sunshine - Ryan Innes vs. Orlando Dixon
8. Put the Gun Down - Mis Z. vs. Ashley Morgan
9. Wherever You Will Go - Andi and Alex vs. Chance Peña
10. No More Drama - Kim Yarbrough vs. Whitney Myers
11. I Wish it Would Rain - Preston Pohl vs. Barry Black
12. Message in a Bottle - De'Borah vs. Nelly's Echo
13. Dog Days Are Over - Suzanna Choffel vs. Lelia Broussard
14. Sweater Weather - Ellie Lawrence vs. Tim Atlas
15. Everything Has Changed - Madilyn Paige vs. Tanner James
16. Samson - Korin Bukowski vs. Chance Kirby
17. Have You Ever Seen the Rain - Sawyer Fredericks vs. Noelle Bybee
18. Antes de las Seis - Mary Miranda vs. Cáthia
19. Elastic Heart - Hannah Huston vs. Maya Smith
20. When Will I Be Loved - Audra McLaughlin vs. Alaska and Madi
21. You Know I'm No Good - Jess Kellner vs. Taylor Beckham
22. Sugar - Abby Celso vs. Brian Nhira
23. Leather and Lace - Casey Weston vs. Tim Mahoney
24. Baggage Claim - Liz Davis vs. Nicole Johnson
25. Old Time Rock and Roll - Blind Joe vs. Blaine Mitchell


Battles by Coach

Blake - 5
Adam – 4
Pharrell - 4
Cee-Lo – 3
Christina – 3
Usher - 3
Gwen – 2
Shakira – 1


Battles by Season

Season 1 – 1
Season 2 – 4
Season 3 – 4
Season 4 – 4
Season 5 – 2
Season 6 – 2
Season 7 – 0
Season 8 – 2
Season 9 – 4
Season 10 - 2


Like I said, the Battle Rounds are a drag because of bad matchups and bad song selections, but almost as bad as some really head scratching picks. What makes some of these picks so bad is sometimes they seem purposely bad for instance it seems like Adam has one favorite every season then rids his team of any challengers to his chosen one. Then there are Shakira and Pharrell who literally said they pick people who need more of their help, and I am pretty sure Gwen goes by this philosophy too. With that said, here are the ten worst coaches’ decisions during the Battle Rounds:


1. Erin Martin over The Shields Brothers (Cee-Lo Season 2)
2. George Horga jr. over Juhi (Cee-Lo Season 5)
3. Ryan Sill over Jessie Pitts (Gwen Season 7)
4. Daniel Passino over Kristen Marie (Christina Season 10)
5. Taylor John Williams over Amanda Lee Peers (Gwen Season 7)
6. Deja Hall over Ddendyl (Shakira Season 6)
7. Nick Hagelin over Jessica Crosbie (Pharrell Season 10)
8. Olivis Henken over Stephanie Anne Johnson (Christina Season 5)
9. MacKenzie Bourg over Emily Earl (Cee-Lo Season 3)
10. Devon Barley over Rebecca Loebe (Adam season 1)


Some of the decisions in the first two seasons were so bad that starting in season three they added the Steal to keep some of the good talent from going home so soon, except there were some mind numbingly bad Steals which were clearly used by coaches as Knockout Round fodder and so here are the ten most wasted Steals in the history of the show:

1. Nic Hawk (Blake Season 5)
2. Collin McLoughlin (Blake Season 3)
3. Chevonne (Christina Season 3)
4. Music Box (Usher Season 4)
5. Jacob Rummell (Pharrell Season 8)
6. Alessandra Guercio (Christina Season 3)
7. C. Perkins (Usher Season 4)
8. Orlando Dixon (Adam Season 4)
9. Clinton Washington (Adam Season 8)
10. Anthony Paul (Christina Season 5)

Sunday, September 18, 2016

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 9/18/2016




BrainDead: The one thing that defeated the bug people was shame because that is the one thing politicians do not feel? A little too much on the nose but still a pretty entertaining little show. Probably for the best there is no second season (aside from the lack of Ramona Flowers on my television every week) as this was a good enough end.
You can download BrainDead on Amazon Instant Video, free with a Prime membership.

Ray Donovan: So Micky is some sort of ping pong savant? Who knew? I figured something had to go wrong; the bookie going out like Elvis was not what I was expecting. I figure Hector would end up not throwing the fight (which could very well still happen) or the stripper would steal the cash, or Micky would give it to her outright. But he ended up giving the markers to the Russian dude. The big twist was the FBI found the niece who spilled everything. Is Ray going to have to turn rat to get out from under this? What a horrible turn of events for him if that is the way he has to go. He spent the first season trying to kill his father and eventually turns into him.

The Strain: So the first season, the exposed the Muppet looking Master to sunlight and all he had to do was shed the body and moved into the rock star. Now they cut off the rock star’s head and the worm slinks to the sewers. Hurumph. Not that I expected them to actually kill the Master during the third episode of a season.
You can download The Strain on iTunes.

Mr. Robot: When they brought in the little girl at the Commodore 64 with the whip marks and asking Angela if she ever cried during sex, I figured this has to be her version of Elliot’s eighties television delusion and the little girl will actually be young Angela. Nope, that apparently really happened and was just White Rose testing Angela for some reason. Alrighty. But the bigger news was the return of Tyrell… maybe. Elliot was not sure if he was really there or not so us the audience is left to wonder the same. I leaning towards he is a delusion, the driver would not confirm there was another person in the car and this Tyrell certainly did not act like he did in the first season and looked not as irate as I would expect someone to act one when seeing the person who set him up to take the fall for the worst economic collapse ever.
You can download Mr. Robot on iTunes.

Blindplot: After spending an entire season of is she or isn’t she Taylor Shaw only to be like, nope, in the season finale, it is interesting that in the second season premiere we got a definitive answer of who Jane really is and we get to meet her brother and her “mother” (that is not to say these people are not lying and that is the twist in this season’s finale). And was that a nuclear warhead at the end?
You can download Blindspot on iTunes.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Around the Tubes: 9/16/16



I have gotten a plethora of cool press releases have been flooding my inbox recently that you may find interesting. This post will include blurbs on Mission Critical, Global Citizen: The World on Stage, Mars, Star Wars, National Museum of African American History and Culture, and Waylon Jennings.

- Thursday, September 22, is World Rhino Day. As a network dedicated to animals and the people who love them, we aim to showcase and celebrate the brave individuals and organizations that are fighting to preserve and protect our world’s amazing wildlife. In honor of this special day, Nat Geo WILD is premiering Operation Sumatran Rhino: Mission Critical on Sunday, Sept. 18 at 9:00 with a special encore on Thursday, Sept. 22 at 9:00. This is the second installment of our new monthly series Mission Critical. In Borneo, Sumatran rhinos’ numbers are down to just single digits. Conservationists are on a desperate mission to save the country’s last individuals. The only way to ensure the safety and survival of these last rhinos is to capture all remaining in the wild — a dangerous and costly operation. Follow Malaysia’s foremost rhino scientists in their incredible quest to save this critically endangered species.

- Tom Morello (Prophets of Rage) and Jon Batiste (The Late Show with Stephen Colbert) will curate musical performances for Global Citizen: The World on Stage, an evening bringing renowned artists, world leaders, and influencers together as they address the world’s greatest challenges and make major policy commitments towards ending extreme poverty. The evening of advocacy and impact will take place at New York University's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday, September 22. The event will feature performances by Tom Morello, Jon Batiste and Stay Human, Regina Spektor, Aloe Blacc & Maya Jupiter, Moxie Raia, and The Kenyan Boys Choir. Speakers will include Cecily Strong, Forest Whitaker, Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, The Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Nigerian Minister of Environment Amina Mohammed, and Yazidi human rights campaigner Nadia Murad.

- Of all the planets in our solar system, none has captured our collective imagination like Mars — a mysterious, indelible part of the zeitgeist. The quest to send humans to Mars has engaged the top minds in science in a modern-day space race, and it has infiltrated pop culture through blockbusters like Andy Weir’s “The Martian” and through out-of-this-world tweets from astronaut Scott Kelly. Now, National Geographic Channel; Academy Award- and Emmy-winning producers Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Michael Rosenberg of Imagine Entertainment; and Academy Award-nominated and Emmy-winning producer Justin Wilkes, Academy Award- and Emmy-winning producer Jon Kamen, and Dave O’Connor of RadicalMedia and visionary Mexican filmmaker Everardo Gout (“Days of Grace”), have joined forces to launch viewers farther into outer space than ever before with the global event series Mars. Premiering on the National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo Mundo in the U.S. on Monday, Nov. 14 at 9:00 and internationally in 170 countries and 45 languages on Sunday, Nov. 13, Mars — which is set both in the future and in the present day — will redefine television storytelling by combining feature film-quality scripted drama and visual effects with best-in-class documentary sequences to drive forward a cohesive, edge-of-your-seat story of mankind’s thrilling quest to colonize Mars.

- Global media company Turner has entered into multi-year licensing agreements for the Star Wars movie collection through unprecedented domestic deals with The Walt Disney Studios and 20th Century Fox that grant TNT & TBS the exclusive linear basic cable and companion ad-supported on-demand rights to Star Wars. The agreement with Disney for 10 films includes the network premiere windows to last year's record-breaking Star Wars: The Force Awakens and this year's highly anticipated Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which opens in theaters on December 16, 2016. The Disney agreement also includes five of the six original classic Star Wars films, as well as the network television premieres of the next three yet-to-be-released movies. The installment that launched the franchise, Star Wars: A New Hope, comes to Turner through a separate arrangement with 20th Century Fox, thus making Turner the only company with basic cable rights to all 11 titles in the collection. The Star Wars movies will come to Turner beginning Tuesday, September 20, when TNT kicks off six consecutive nights of the original classic films (complete schedule below). The movies will also air in December, in conjunction with Disney's theatrical release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. TNT is set to premiere last year's blockbuster Star Wars: The Force Awakens in early 2018, followed in 2019 by this year's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

- On September 24, 2016, the Smithsonian will open the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history and culture. The opening will welcome President Barack Obama and some of the biggest influencers in politics and Hollywood. Smithsonian Channel has partnered with the National Museum of African American History and Culture to produce 130 videos for the inaugural exhibits. The videos, comprised of 450 minutes of footage with an estimated 8,000 images, will be displayed on monitors ranging in size from 22 inches to a massive 186-foot overhead screen.

- Country Rewind Records (a division of Hindsight Records, NY), will introduce one of its newest collections of country music’s hidden treasures—The Lost Nashville Sessions (Waylon Jennings). The project will be available October 21, 2016* via all major digital retail outlets.