Netflix is bringing back Bill Nye and “The Magic School Bus” to remind us all that science is important (and fun!)
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Not all heroes wear capes. Some wears lab coats and bow ties. Others wear long, mauve dresses emblazoned with planets, rocket ships, and light bulbs.

If, like me, you grew up in the 1990s, you learned a lot about the world from Bill Nye and Ms. Frizzle. I still remember the episode of Bill Nye the Science Guy about matter, and the cheesy, yet informative, “Solid, Liquid, Gas” song set to the tune of The Brady Bunch. I remember, with bizarre clarity, the episode of The Magic School Bus when Ms. Frizzle’s class travels through Ralphie’s body, which to this day remains the basis for what I know about white blood cells, bacteria, and antibodies.

Now more than 20 years since these shows both debuted, Netflix wants to help a new generation of kids learn about science—and have some fun in the process. At a press event in New York City yesterday, the streaming service released the first trailer for its new science talk show starring Nye, Bill Nye Saves the World, and announced that Saturday Night Live‘s Kate McKinnon will voice Ms. Frizzle in a reboot of The Magic School Bus.

Launched on PBS in 1993, Bill Nye the Science Guy immediately became a staple in American science classrooms. The show, and its host, a mechanical engineer by trade, were beloved for their inventive skits and quirky sense of humor. The animated series The Magic School Bus debuted a year later on the same channel and was nominated for seven Daytime Emmys, winning one for actress Lily Tomlin, who voiced the teacher and driver of the bus, Ms. Frizzle.

Continue onto Quartz to read the complete article.

Regina King ties record for most acting Emmys won by a Black performer
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Regina King accepting Emmy while holding the emmy in hand

“Watchmen’s” Regina King made history at the 72nd Emmy Awards Sunday.

King’s win for lead actress in a limited series or movie for her portrayal of Angela Abar (a.k.a. Sister Night) in the HBO superhero drama is her fourth career Emmy. This ties the record held by Alfre Woodard for most acting Emmys won by a Black performer.

Created by David Lindelof, “Watchmen” is based on the acclaimed comic book series by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons but is not a direct adaptation. It is more like a sequel that follows new characters such as King’s Sister Night.

This “allowed me to tap into all those things I think are just wonderful about being a Black woman,” King previously told The Times. “[T]he blueprint that was the inspiration for Angela was probably every Black woman that ever was.”

In addition to being recognized for her performance in “Watchmen,” King has previously won the lead actress in a limited series or movie Emmy in 2018 for “Seven Seconds.” In 2015 and 2016 she won in the supporting actress in a limited series or movie category for her performances in “American Crime” (playing different characters each time). King has five career Emmy nominations so far.

Woodard, who has earned 17 Primetime Emmy nods, won in 1984, 1987, 1997 and 2003. These recognitions were in the supporting actress in a drama series category for “Hill Street Blues,” guest performer in a drama series (before there were gender-specific categories) for “L.A. Law,” lead actress in a miniseries or special for “Miss Evers’ Boys” and guest actress in a drama series for “The Practice.”

The other Black actors with four Emmy wins each are Chris Rock and Bill Cosby, but their awards include non-performance categories. Rock has won three Emmys in writing categories (1997, 1999 and 2009) in addition to his variety, music or comedy special win in 1997 for “Chris Rock: Bring The Pain.” Cosby, who is currently serving time after being convicted of sexual assault in 2018, won three consecutive lead drama series actor Emmys for “I Spy” (1966-1968) and in the variety or musical program category in 1969 for “The Bill Cosby Special.”

Continue on to the LA Times to read the complete article.

Zendaya Makes History with Her Emmy Win
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Zendaya poses with head looking over shoulders smiling

“She’s younger than Baby Yoda and she already has an Emmy,” Jimmy Kimmel said after a visibly shaken Zendaya, 24, became the youngest Emmy winner for best lead actress in a drama for her role as Rue on HBO’s “Euphoria.”

The breathless actress, who was surrounded by a semicircle of teary-eyed supporters and wearing a crystal bandeau top with a billowing black-and-white polka-dot skirt, clearly had not prepared an acceptance speech.

“This is pretty crazy,” Zendaya said as she clasped her hands over her statuette, as though hardly daring to believe it was real.

The Disney-actress-turned-drama-star beat out the decades-older counterparts Jennifer Aniston, Olivia Colman, Sandra Oh and Laura Linney to claim the crown — not to mention the incumbent winner, Jodie Comer, who set the record last year when she won for “Killing Eve” at age 26.

“Thank you to all of the other incredible women in this category,” Zendaya said. “I admire you so much.”

“Euphoria,” a drama series created by Sam Levinson about high-school students who navigate love, sex, drugs and identity conundrums, premiered on HBO in June 2019. It received six nominations this year, though Zendaya’s was the only one for acting. HBO announced last year that the series had been renewed for a second season.

The actress said she was inspired by others her age who were working to make a difference in the world. “I just want to say that there is hope in the young people out there,” she said. “And I just want to say to all our peers out there doing the work in the streets: I see you, I admire you, I thank you.”

Continue on to the New York Times to read the complete article.

Emmys 2020: Record Number of Black Actors Score Nominations
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collage of emmy nomination images

The Television Academy nominated a record number of Black actors for Emmys on Tuesday morning, with 34.3% of the acting nominees being Black.

There were 102 acting nominees this year across lead, supporting and guest categories for drama, comedy and limited series/TV movie. Thirty-five of those slots went to Black actors (notably, Maya Rudolph actually accounts for two of those slots, being nominated against herself in the guest comedy actress category for her work on both “The Good Place” and “Saturday Night Live”).

Other nominees in top acting categories include Billy Porter, Sterling K. Brown, Zendaya, Anthony Anderson, Don Cheadle, Issa Rae, Tracee Ellis Ross, Regina King, Jeremy Pope, Octavia Spencer and Kerry Washington.

This is a notable increase from last year, when Black actors made up 19.8% of the nominee pool, as well as an increase from 2018, when there were 27.7% Black actors nominated — the previous highest percentage in the Academy’s history.

“2020 isn’t just about the global health crisis. This year we are also bearing witness to one of the greatest fights for social justice in history, and it is our duty to use this medium for change. That is the power and responsibility of television — not only delivering a multitude of services or a little escapism, but also amplifying the voices that must be heard and telling the stories that must be told. Because television, by its very nature, connects us all,” said Frank Scherma, chairman and CEO, Television Academy, at the start of the nominations announcement.

But the fight for inclusion is far from over, as these numbers have ticked up but are still far from parity. And although the acting categories are still split by gender, which forces parity, the writing and directing categories are not.

The writing categories fared better than directing, but only marginally, when it came to parity. Not including the variety series writing category which lists entire staffs on the ballots, the select writers scoring noms in the drama, comedy, limited series/TV movie/dramatic special, variety special and documentary or nonfiction program consisted of 40 people, 13 of which were women. This is 32.5% women nominees (67.5% men). The limited series/TV movie/dramatic special category is what really made the difference, with six of nine nominees here being women, including “Unorthodox’s” Anna Winger and “Normal People’s” Sally Rooney and Alice Birch.

Continue on to Variety to read the complete article.

Diverse Concert Series announced by Kennedy Center & Facebook
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Stage for a concert Online transmission. Business concept for a concert online production

As previously announced with the Kennedy Center’s Social Impact initiatives, the Center will launch Arts Across America on July 27, a program to uplift artists and showcase art from communities and regions across the country in this time of uncertainty.

Over 20 weeks, Arts Across America will feature free, digital performances from over 200 diverse, visionary artists who play leadership roles in their communities, exemplify unique regional artistic styles, and are using their medium as a tool for advocacy and social justice. Arts Across America is made possible and livestreamed by Facebook and will continue through December 11, 2020.

“Bringing the world closer together is at the core of Facebook and that’s exactly why we’re supporting the Kennedy Center’s Arts Across America program to help people around the country connect virtually through their appreciation for the arts,” said Facebook’s Director of Public Affairs Robert Traynham. “We look forward to seeing the diverse artists share their talents through this innovative program.”

Arts Across America will be available on Facebook Live, YouTube, and the Kennedy Center website, five days a week at 4 p.m. ET.  A rotating performance schedule will feature performers presented by the Kennedy Center and presenting partner organizations invited to curate performances as identified by the National Endowment for the Arts’s Regional Artist Organizations:Arts Midwest; Mid-America Arts Alliance; Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation; New England Foundation for the Arts; South Arts; Western States Arts Federation; jurisdictional arts agencies representing U.S. territories; and Sankofa.org. An initial calendar for this celebration of all who contribute to the culture of the U.S. is below: 

  • July 27: Minneapolis, Minnesota – Arts MidWest: TruArtSpeaks
  • July 28: Virginia – Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation and The Floyd Country Store: Earl White and Eddie Bond
  • July 30: Miami, Florida – South Arts: Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami, Sammy Figueroa, and Celia & Paco Fonta
  • July 31: Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona – West Arts: Brian Lopez
  • August 3: Burlington, Vermont – New England Foundation for the Arts and The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts: Christal Brown
  • August 4: Kansas City, Missouri – Mid-America Arts Alliance, The Bruce R. Watkins Center, and 1KC Radio: Glenn North
  • August 6: The Virgin Islands Council on the Arts: Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Knights and the AY AY Cultural Dancers
  • August 11: Maryland – Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation: Joe’s Movement Emporium
  • August 13: Tennessee and Kentucky – South Arts: Amythyst Kiah and The Local Honeys

More information about Arts Across America can be found HERE.

Create a Live Video Community (and Why You Would Want to)
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young black woman filming a video while playing guitar

There is a good chance that most people reading this have tuned into at least one live video over the last week. It’s something that is becoming increasingly popular, and is expected to continue to increase in popularity going forward. There are many good reasons why more influencers and businesses alike are turning to creating a live video community, and harnessing the power that it can offer. Now is the time to learn how to create a live video community and why it’s so important to do so.

“People are showing that they love live video and interacting with it in a big way,” explains Alexander Riesenkampff, the chief executive officer of GetVokl, a livestreaming platform. “We have helped many people build and grow their live video community, and know that as this field continues to grow, we will be helping many more.”

People tend to feel more urgency to watch a live video. Seeing that it’s live gets them interested. The area of live video offers a lot of potential for those who are brand influencers, businesses, or those who want to make a strong connection with their followers. Not only is viewing live video on the rise, but research shows that it tends to outperform recorded video.

Those interested in creating a live video community should spend a little time exploring how others have done it. GetVokl, for example, has many live communities that can be accessed, providing a good place to do a little homework and learn the ins and outs. Once you are ready to get started, GetVokl can help you create a larger community. They also make it easy to directly monetize the audience. The app allows each live video to be shown across multiple platforms at one time. This ensures that your video is live across all platforms, rather than being live on one and then having to post a recorded video to the others.

Here are 5 reasons why it’s a good idea to create a live video community:

  • Live video gives you the ability to increase engagement and interaction with your audience. It allows for immediate feedback and discussion. This helps to build authority, make a connection, and increase loyalty.
  • An effective marketing tool, creating a live video community can lead to an increase in sales and revenue. It gives all types of companies and influencers a way to increase their earnings.
  • Live video communities feel real and authentic. This is one of the reasons why people prefer it to recorded videos. Most recorded videos are heavily edited, yet people prefer the authenticity that comes with it being live.
  • There is a greater ability to make an impact when you engage in live video with your target audience. They can ask questions, provide immediate feedback, and get to know your personality more.
  • Audiences tend to watch for a longer period of time when the information is coming to them live, as opposed to in a recorded video. Keeping your target market watching longer makes for a more effective marketing experience.

“Creating a livestream community is something anyone can do,” added Riesenkampff. “Once you do it, you will see there are benefits. It’s like getting the chance to be with your people in the same room, even if they are thousands of miles away. Whether you hold Q&A sessions, offer how-to talks, host interviews, provide advice, or just offer fun looks into what you are doing, it leaves a powerful mark.”

GetVokl is an app that allows people to livestream across multiple platforms at one time. It’s free to use and ideal for podcasters, coaches, teachers, bloggers, reporters, or others who want their livestream to reach people on multiple platforms. It’s quick to set up and easy to use, requiring only minimal technical knowledge. GetVokl also features VCoin, which helps podcasters earn more money by letting people give tips or donations as the livestreaming takes place. To learn more about GetVokl or to download the app, visit the site: https://getvokl.com/.

 To learn more about how VCoin works, watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qroHqQY0IjY&feature=youtu.be.

About GetVokl:
GetVokl is a free livestreaming community platform built for podcasters, livestreamers, and hosts to unleash the potential of their audiences through interactive live shows that inspire and create vibrant communities. GetVokl allows a livestream to be broadcast over multiple social media platforms at one time. Join or create your live video community. To learn more about GetVokl, please visit https://about.getvokl.com.

Pokémon GO Fest 2020: What to Know About This Virtual Event
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Pokemon Go virtual event poster

Families who play Pokémon GO and have dreamed of taking their kids to the game’s annual live event, Pokémon GO Fest, may have an easier time doing it this year.

The augmented reality game played via mobile app encourages participants to get out and explore their real-world surroundings by connecting the Pokémon universe to actual local businesses and landmarks

But due to the coronavirus pandemic, the game’s creators are taking the need to travel out of the equation, allowing families to participate in Pokémon GO Fest 2020 right in their own backyards.

Niantic formerly held Pokémon GO Fest in Chicago, Illinois, and in cities in Germany and Japan, where hundreds of thousands of fans traveled to designated outdoor parks to meet up in person and participate in special in-game challenges. But the spread of COVID-19 left the game creators needing a more socially distant way to connect fans.

“While we can’t bring hundreds of thousands of people together in a local park, we can certainly recreate the spirit of what Pokémon GO Fest represents,” Niantic said in a blog post. “We’ve designed this year’s event so trainers around the world can go outside to play and celebrate the summer, and do so, of course, while practicing social distancing and being safe.”

Tickets for the 2020 event, which will be held over the weekend of July 25-26, are on sale now.   A GO Fest ticket, which covers both days of play, will cost each participant (each mobile device running the event and playing along) $14.99. Participants will enjoy a brand new adventure within the app on those days, and will have special projects and assignments to complete, all exclusive to the ticketed event.

During past in-person Pokémon GO events, the parks where the events were held were split into various “habitats,” where players could complete tasks and catch different Pokémon. For the virtual event, there will be rotating habitats within the app which will change every hour, regardless of the player’s geographic location.

Niantic plans to donate all proceeds from Pokémon GO Fest ticket sales to supporting the Black community amid the continuing protests surrounding the deaths of George Floyd other victims of police brutality. The proceeds will fund new projects from Black gaming and augmented reality creators as well as donating to U.S. non-profit organizations who are helping communities rebuild.

This story first appeared on TODAY.com.

With Comic-Con canceled, Warner Bros to hold virtual event ‘DC FanDome’ on Aug. 22
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Fandome promo poster

Comic-Con may be canceled this year, but Warner Bros.’ FanDome will convene a 24-hour virtual gathering of the biggest names in the DC Comics universe.

The studio announced Tuesday that DC FanDome will be held on August 22 starting at 10 a.m. PDT. The event will feature talent announcements and reveal new content from WB games, comics, film and television.

The announcement comes a couple months after Comic-Con, which attracts tens of thousands of comics fans to San Diego, was canceled due to the coronavirus-related restrictions around large gatherings.

Virtual panels will feature cast and creators from DC films including “The Batman,” “Black Adam” and “Wonder Woman 1984.” The panels will also highlight casts from television shows such as “The Flash,” “Stargirl” and “Black Lightning.”

“Wonder Woman 1984” was expected to be one of the summer’s biggest releases, but its arrival in theaters has been delayed until October.

FanDome will be spread out across six different areas on the event’s website: Hall of Heroes, DC WatchVerse, DC YouVerse, DC KidsVerse, DC InsiderVerse and DC FunVerse.

Continue on to KTLA News to read the complete article.

‘Star Trek’ Internship Program Launches at CBS Television Studios, Television Academy Foundation
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Star Trek logo

CBS TV Studios and the Television Academy Foundation are coming together to help a group of students live long and prosper.

The two have announced a partnership to launch the “Star Trek” Command Training Program, an internship open to graduate and undergraduate college students nationwide, in 2020.

Initially, the new program will place two interns per semester on a “Star Trek” series, providing them a “360-degree immersion” in the production process of the “Star Trek” universe. Selected interns will also be allowed to actively engage in writers’ rooms, wardrobe design, on-set production, animation and post-production on Los Angeles-based programs.

“When Gene Roddenberry created the original ‘Star Trek’ series over 50 years ago, it challenged stereotypes and championed diversity and inclusion in an unprecedented way,” said Alex Kurtzman, the executive producer who currently oversees the “Star Trek” universe. “The Command Training Program is our commitment to expanding that inspirational vision across the entire ‘Star Trek’ canon. The ‘Star Trek’ universe is an ideal place to celebrate new voices and perspectives. We want to provide the framework to begin entertainment careers in a meaningful way and can’t wait to get started.”

Applications for the program, which is designed to “reflect the franchise’s core values of inclusion and diversity,” will be open from Nov. 14 through Jan. 21, 2020, with final selections being announced at the end of March.

Continue on to Variety to read the complete article.

Stranger Things Renewed For Season 4 As Netflix Makes Overall Deal With The Duffer Brothers
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The Stranger Things Cast pose together for a picture

Netflix has renewed the worldwide hit series Stranger Things for a fourth season and signed series creators and showrunners The Duffer Brothers to a multi-year film and series overall deal.

“The Duffer Brothers have captivated viewers around the world with Stranger Things and we’re thrilled to expand our relationship with them to bring their vivid imaginations to other film and series projects our members will love,” said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer, Netflix.

“We can’t wait to see what The Duffer Brothers have in store when they step outside the world of The Upside Down.”

“We are absolutely thrilled to continue our relationship with Netflix. Ted Sarandos, Cindy Holland, Brian Wright, and Matt Thunell took a huge chance on us and our show — and forever changed our lives. From our first pitch meeting to the release of Stranger Things 3, the entire team at Netflix has been nothing short of sensational, providing us with the kind of support, guidance, and creative freedom we always dreamed about.

We can’t wait to tell many more stories together — beginning, of course, with a return trip to Hawkins!”

View the the Stranger Things 4 announcement video

About The Series:

Stranger Things is a Netflix Original Series created by The Duffer Brothers and produced by Monkey Massacre Productions & 21 Laps Entertainment. The Duffer Brothers serve as executive producers on the series alongside Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen of 21 Laps Entertainment and Iain Paterson.

About The Duffer Brothers:

The twin brothers were raised in Durham, North Carolina and began making films in the third grade using the Hi8 camcorder they received as a gift from their parents. They went on to attend Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, graduating in 2007 with degrees in film production.

After graduating, the Duffer Brothers wrote and directed several short films, attracting the attention of both Warner Bros., which acquired their script for the post-apocalyptic horror film Hidden, and filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan, who hired them as writers for multiple episodes of the Fox series Wayward Pines.

Building on their growing success, the Duffer Brothers pitched their idea for Stranger Things, an homage to 1980s genre films. The series was picked up by Netflix and premiered in the summer of 2016 to critical-acclaim and went on to become a global phenomenon, with Matt and Ross at the helm as writers, directors and showrunners.

Stranger Things has garnered over 50 awards nominations, including those from the Emmys, the Golden Globes, the Grammys, SAG, DGA, WGA, BAFTA, the Art Directors Guild and the People’s Choice Awards, among many others.

About Netflix:

Netflix is the world’s leading internet entertainment service with over 151 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.

Selena Gomez’s dream came true when she spent her day with the sharks from “Shark Tank!”
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Selena Gomez poses with the Shark Tank cast smiling and waving her hand

The “I Can’t Get Enough” star finally cashed in on her birthday present by hanging out on set of the hit reality show. Gomez, who’s a self-proclaimed mega-fan of the show, was gifted a day with the sharks by her friends for her 27th birthday.

Sharing several videos and pictures from behind-the-scenes on Friday, Gomez clearly enjoyed her time with Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary, Lori Greiner, and Robert Herjavec. The singer wasn’t the only A-listers who was pumped for her day on the set. Herjavec posted a snap with Gomez and wrote, “Guess who made it into the tank!” But it wasn’t all fun and games for the superstar.

Corcoran revealed they had a bet on whether the next business pitch would get a deal from the sharks and Gomez lost.

She made sure to document the loss too. Sharing a pic of Gomez holding up a sign reading “I beat Selena,” the businesswoman couldn’t help but gloat.

“@selenagomez tried her hand at @sharktankabc making a bet on whether the next business would get a deal. She lost! I won!” she wrote. “And to her great credit, she was waiting on set to pay off her $10 debt. What a class act!”

Gomez recently celebrated her 27th birthday in July.

As The Blast reported, she got the surprise of a lifetime when Mark Cuban sent her a personal message inviting her to watch the sharks in action.

Continue on to The Blast to read the complete article.

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