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‘Thomas & Friends’ Changes Tracks, Pulls In at Nickelodeon (Exclusive)

‘Thomas & Friends’ Changes Tracks, Pulls In at Nickelodeon (Exclusive)
All change! “Thomas & Friends” will be part of Nick Jr.’s timetable from March when the Mattel animated series moves from its longtime home on PBS to the preschool net, Variety has learned.

Nickelodeon has brought on board the series, based on the much-loved Reverend Awdry “Thomas the Tank Engine” books, and will also be the exclusive consumer products agent for “Thomas & Friends” in the U.S. The deal spells an end to Thomas’ long relationship with PBS, which showed spin-off series “Shining Time Station” as far back as the late 1980s and “Thomas & Friends” from 2004.

Mattel took ownership of the Thomas & Friends brand when it acquired Hit Entertainment in 2011 and has given the TV property a major overhaul for its upcoming 22nd season, “Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures!”, which debuts in the fall.

The new look and storylines were developed in association with the United Nations, incorporating several
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Grease: Live: Original Frenchy Didi Conn Shares the Stage With Carly Rae Jepsen

Grease: Live: Original Frenchy Didi Conn Shares the Stage With Carly Rae Jepsen
Now this is what we call a “very strategic career move.”

Didi Conn, who famously donned Frenchy’s pink wig in the 1978 movie version, made a special cameo Sunday in Fox’s Grease: Live opposite — you guessed it — the new Frenchy, Carly Rae Jepsen.

PhotosGrease: Live Performances — Grade ‘Em All!

In case that’s not full-circle enough for you, Conn was playing Vi, the waitress who lends Frenchy a sympathetic ear, which leads into the iconic number “Beauty School Dropout.” Here’s a little photo to refresh your memory:

Conn’s small-screen resumé include roles on Transparent, Law & Order: Svu and Happy Days.
See full article at TVLine.com »

Flashback: That Time Richard Pryor Had His Own Kids' Show

  • Movies.com
If only Lenny Bruce had lived long enough to get his own Saturday-morning cartoon. At some point, it seems now, every racy comedian goes clean for the sake of family entertainment. Howie Mandel, George Carlin and Bob Saget had all mostly performed stand-up meant only for adult ears before (and sometimes during and after) getting their own kid-friendly programs, respectively Bobby's World, Shining Time Station and both Full House and America's Funniest Home Videos. And let's not forget that before Pee-wee's Playhouse and a couple movies made Pee-wee Herman seem as innocent as Mickey Mouse, the character (stage alias of Paul Reubens) did some pretty blue material, which you can see in his earlier HBO special. It shouldn't be surprising, then, that...

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See full article at Movies.com »

Watch a Joyful Mandy Patinkin Play With His Model Trains

  • Vulture
Watch a Joyful Mandy Patinkin Play With His Model Trains
A lovely profile of the very talented, very exuberant Mandy Patinkin aired on 60 Minutes last night, and Patinkin's dissection of his own career is an honest one. It's worth watching in its entirety, but if you're short on time, skip to 9:20 and watch Patinkin proudly show off his giant train set. In fact, he keeps the 60 Minutes production team playing with trains all night. Get this guy on an episode of a revamped Shining Time Station Asap.
See full article at Vulture »

Gerard Parkes, Beloved Fraggle Rock Actor, Dies at 90

Gerard Parkes, Beloved Fraggle Rock Actor, Dies at 90
Gerard Parkes, the Dublin-born actor best known for playing the sole human character, Doc, on Jim Henson's Fraggle Rock, died on Oct. 19 in his retirement home in Toronto, Canada. He was 90 years old. Parkes was born in Ireland in 1924, and he moved to Canada after World War II, starting his acting career in theater in 1948. Aside from Fraggle Rock, Parkes also acted in children's fare like A Muppet Family Christmas and Shining Time Station. Parkes won best actor at the 1968 Canadian Film Awards for his role as Uncle Matthew in the film Isabel, but it was the role of Doc
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Gerard Parkes, ‘Fraggle Rock’ and ‘Boondock Saints’ Actor, Dead at 90

  • The Wrap
Gerard Parkes, ‘Fraggle Rock’ and ‘Boondock Saints’ Actor, Dead at 90
Gerard Parkes, best known for playing Doc on the Jim Henson children series “Fraggle Rock” died of natural causes on Sunday. He was 90. Born in Dublin, the actor relocated to Canada after World War II and launched his career on CBC Radio in the 1950s. He began acting in television with a 1960 appearance on the series, “The Encounter.” See photos: Hollywood's Notable Deaths of 2014 Parkes is also known for his role in 1999's “The Boondock Saints,” playing a bar owner (also named Doc) with Tourette syndrome. He was also seen in “The Littlest Hobo,” “Shining Time Station,” and “A Muppet.
See full article at The Wrap »

Fraggle Rock: Gerry Parkes Dies at 90, Farewell Doc

Muppet site Tough Pigs reports that actor Gerry Parkes (sometimes credited as Gerard Parkes) has died at the age of 90. Parkes was best known as the beloved human character Doc from the Fraggle Rock TV show. He also had a recurring role in the Shining Time Station series from the 1990s.

In addition, Parkes appeared in more than 70 TV shows and movies, including The Boondock Saints. His last on-screen appearance was in 2009's The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day.

Here's are clips from the final episode of Fraggle Rock. Doc and Sprocket are moving away but still have a connection to the underground creatures.

What do you think? Do you remember Parkes' work on Fraggle Rock or on other TV and movie projects? Have any favorite memories?
See full article at TVSeriesFinale »

9 movies that prove why nostalgia isn't always a good thing

Remember that thing you loved from your childhood? It's coming back. We're not talking specifics here, we're talking everything.

New movies or TV shows revolving around everything from Scooby Doo to Ninja Turtles, Danger Mouse and Bananaman are on the horizon - you could accuse producers of running out of new ideas, but how long before they run out of old ideas?

Nostalgia can give you a warm and fuzzy feeling, but sometimes it isn't always a good thing. Digital Spy suggests 9 instances when looking back to the past resulted in a questionable present:

The Saint (1997)

A movie adaptation of popular TV series The Saint had been mooted for some time. It finally limped into cinemas in 1997 with Val Kilmer as Simon Templar - he was no Roger Moore, but let's face it, who is?

The film, which is a relatively low-key (if somewhat eccentric) spy caper, suffered because it
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

9 movies that prove why nostalgia isn't always a good thing

9 movies that prove why nostalgia isn't always a good thing
Remember that thing you loved from your childhood? It's coming back. We're not talking specifics here, we're talking everything.

New movies or TV shows revolving around everything from Scooby Doo to Ninja Turtles, Danger Mouse and Bananaman are on the horizon - you could accuse producers of running out of new ideas, but how long before they run out of old ideas?

Nostalgia can give you a warm and fuzzy feeling, but sometimes it isn't always a good thing. Digital Spy suggests 9 instances when looking back to the past resulted in a questionable present:

The Saint (1997)

A movie adaptation of popular TV series The Saint had been mooted for some time. It finally limped into cinemas in 1997 with Val Kilmer as Simon Templar - he was no Roger Moore, but let's face it, who is?

The film, which is a relatively low-key (if somewhat eccentric) spy caper, suffered because it
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

The 20 Best Summer Blockbusters of All Time: 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2'

The 20 Best Summer Blockbusters of All Time: 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2'
Has any hit ever been more sure-fire than Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2? The eighth Harry Potter film opened just under a decade after the first one — a decade that saw Potter fandom sweep across the globe. The franchise’s rapid release schedule — with a new film hitting theaters every 18 months on average — meant that a whole generation of moviegoers literally grew up with Harry Potter, watching the stars age from humble prepubescent beginnings into grown-up megastars. The fact that J.K. Rowling released the three final books during the same period occasionally made it feel like all
See full article at EW.com - PopWatch »

1990 Things From The 90s (Seriously)

1990 Things From The 90s (Seriously)
It's been more than a decade since the 1990s ended, yet the Internet can't seem to go a day without a reminder of the neon slap bracelets that may have been banned from your school.

Yes, we get it. Times are tough and there's comfort in reflection, but enough is enough.

Below, a final goodbye to the 90s to end the nostalgia once and for all. (We're not kidding. There are 1990 items below.)

1. Scrunchies

2. "The Wild Thornberries"

3. Dawson and Joey

4. "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys"

5. Mr. Feeny

7. MTV playing music videos

8. Snick

9. The premiere of "Freaks and Geeks"

10. Levar Burton

11. "Daria"

12. "Arthur"

13. "The Powerpuff Girls"

14. "Smart Guy"

15. Comedy Central globe logo with buildings

16. "The X-Files"

17. Rosie O'Donnell

18. Bill Nye

19. "Dawson's Creek"

20. The Mighty Ducks"

21. "Are You Afraid of the Dark"

22. Cornholio

23. Rachel Green

24. Tim Allen

25. "All That"

26. "Beverly Hills 90210"

27. "Step by Step"

28. "The Ren & Stimpy Show"

29. "The Famous Jett Jackson"

30. "Buffy the Vampire Slayer
See full article at Huffington Post »

9 Director Shane Acker to Helm Live-Action Thomas The Tank Engine

Director Shane Acker (9) has been tapped to direct a live-action film based on the long-running preschool toy Thomas the Tank Engine.  The film will be set in Sodor, the island of talking trains.  Thomas, created 65 years ago, has been the top preschool toy in the UK for eleven years and in the Us for ten years.  Acker tells Deadline that the story "will revolve around a child slightly older than preschool, who has drifted apart from his father. The son is introduced into this world of Sodor, a place his father visited as a child but can't remember. There is a bonding experience." Josh Klausner (Shrek the Third) and Chris Viscardi & Will McRobb wrote the script.  Hit the jump for my thoughts on the project. At first, Acker seems like an odd choice for a movie based on a property designed for preschoolers.  Not only is Acker's background in animation
See full article at Collider.com »

Looking Back Over Ringo Starr's Life as He Turns 70

It was 70 years ago - today that Ringo Starr was born. After fighting a series of childhood illnesses, the young Richard Starkey became an in-demand drummer in his native Liverpool and he replaced Pete Best in the group that was to become the most famous band in the world, The Beatles.

Now, as Starr turns 70, we thought we'd take a look back over his life and dig up some of the facts you might not know about the old rocker. Happy Birthday Ringo!

Ringo will celebrate his 70th with a private party at New York's Hard Rock Cafe and then perform with his All Starr Band at Radio City Music Hall in the evening.

Ringo has been asking fans to hold up V signs and chant 'peace and love' at noon on his birthday every year since 2008.

Ringo wasn't a fan of India when The Beatles went there to study
See full article at Aceshowbiz »

Blog Trends from My Bunk 03/15/10

  • Pajiba
If Leonardo DiCaprio is the new Robert DeNiro, what does that make Sir Ben Kingsley, who will work with Martin Scorsese once again in the director's first children's film (if you don't count the PG-rated The King of Comedy), The Invention of Hugo Cabret? The guy best known as Gandhi will reportedly portray real-life magician-turned-filmmaker Georges Melies, who was kinda like the James Cameron of the 19-aughts, in the adaptation of the Brian Selznick fantasy novel.

If you've never seen one of Melies' films, you're probably at least familiar with the Smashing Pumpkins video he made (for some reason the IMDb credits the thing to Little Miss Sunshine directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris). In any event, I'm a big fan of the early proponent of effects-heavy cinema, and though I don't think Kingsley looks like the guy, I am glad someone other than Terry Gilliam is giving him some due recognition.
See full article at Pajiba »

'Thomas' buys ticket to big screen

'Thomas' buys ticket to big screen
All aboard! Thomas the Tank Engine is heading back out on the tracks.

The cheeky children's book character is en route to the big screen via Hit Entertainment, which has hired screenwriter Josh Klausner ("Shrek the Third") to write a script for a feature based on the tiny-train world "Thomas & Friends" created by the Rev. W.V. Awdry in the 1940s.

Julia Pistor of Hit Movies, a newly launched unit of Thomas caretaker Hit Entertainment, is producing. The UTA-repped Hit also owns the Barney and Bob the Builder franchises, and it launched the film division to bring those family-oriented properties to the multiplex.

"'Thomas & Friends' is a phenomenally successful and versatile brand that appeals to children and families worldwide," said Pistor, who heads Hit Movies. "Generations of children have grown up with the adventures of 'Thomas & Friends' with its storytelling tradition, positive values, timeless lessons and rich train history. We
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

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