“Friends” Reunion Officially Happening At HBO Max

By Creative Media Times

Nearly 16 years after it went off the air, the six original cast of “Friends” is set to reunite for an untitled and unscripted special for HBO Max, WarnerMedia announced Friday.

“It’s official, Friends fans! After 15 years, nine months, and innumerable fan requests from around the globe, we now have the ‘brand-new information’ you’ve been waiting for,” the announcement read.

In perfect Friends fashion, the cast of the iconic sitcom, Courteney Cox (Monica Geller), Matthew Perry (Chandler Bing”, Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe Buffay), Jennifer Aniston (Rachel Green), and David Schwimmer all posted on Instagram Friday afternoon a vintage-themed group picture (below) crowded in a car. That is, except, Matt le Blanc (Joey Tribbiani) who posted a different picture from another TV show.

“It’s happening,” the cast simultaneously posted on each of their Instagram accounts Friday. The cast is set to return to Warner Bros. Studio’s Stage 24, the original soundstage where the show was shot during its run.

The sitcom is one of the most successful of all-time, at one point generating 52.9 million viewers, when Chandler hooked up with film superstar Julia Roberts in the two-part episode “The One After the Super Bowl.”

HBO Max will cost $15 a month and is currently set to launch in May.

Wil Wheaton To Host “Gamemaster” ESports Reality Show

A new esports reality show, GAMEMASTER, will debut on a streaming service in Spring 2020. The nine-episode show will feature Wil Wheaton as the Commissioner/Host and showcase 12 amateur esports contestants from across the U.S. Ripped from their gaming chairs and plunged into our world, these gamers will live together in a house under the inescapable spotlight of a competition being broadcast on platforms around the globe. The contestants will be announced soon.

Over the course of nine episodes (featuring more than two dozen video games), the reality show will find fan favorites, mortal enemies, awesome games, cool gear, and tremendous audiences — all in a quest to discover the one, true “GameMaster.” Twelve amateur gamers start out, someone goes home each week, and two will battle it out at the finale to grab the $100K cash prize and claim the title.

GAMEMASTER is being produced by Georgia-based Peach Maria Productions (pronounced muh-RY-uh), and will be powered by AMD.

“GAMEMASTER takes the love of gaming and elevates it to a whole new level through the first immersive, multi-platform, head-to-head competition for both casual and diehard gaming fans,” said show creator and executive producer John Colp. “Our players won’t play the same game from noon to night. They will play different games throughout and, at the end, the person who has the best cumulative score will be crowned the champion.”

“Gaming is part of almost all of our lives, whether on consoles or computers or phones, we’re all gamers in some way,” says executive producer Laurie Lockliear. “GAMEMASTER celebrates the joy, tech and humor that gamers love – whether you’re a professional player or you’re playing solitaire on your phone!”

‘Murder Mystery’, ‘The Witcher ’ Among Netflix’s Most Viewed In 2019

By Creative Media Times

Netflix

Netflix has released its Top 10 most viewed titles in movies, TV series and specials in 2019, showing that the Adam Sandler-Jennifer Aniston comedy feature Murder Mystery is the streaming service’s top title.

Also in the list are the streaming giant’s sci-fi horror Stranger Things, on its third season, and new fantasy drama series Henry Cavill’s The Witcher.

Murder Mystery was a massive hit when Neflix released it back in June. It gained more than 30 million views in its third three days, which is the largest viewership in the streaming service’s history.

Though Netflix did not reveal its methodology for the list, it mentioned that “the lists are ranked based on accounts that choose to watch two minutes or more of a title during its first 28 days on Netflix in 2019.

Top 10 most popular releases of 2019:

1. Murder Mystery
2. Stranger Things 3
3. 6 Underground
4. The Incredibles 2
5. The Irishman
6. The Witcher
7. The Triple Frontier
8. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
9. The Umbrella Academy
20.The Highwaymen

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Philip Pullman’s Fantasy Trilogy “His Dark Materials” Soundtrack Released

Award-winning composer Lorne Balfe’s dramatic soundtrack to the BBC’s adaptation of Philip Pullman’s fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials has been released digitally today from Silva Screen Records and will be available on CD in January 2020.

The main themes from His Dark Materials have already been introduced to the listeners through The Musical Anthology of His Dark Materials, released on Silva Screen Records in November 2019. For this concept album the principal themes were reworked, moulded and explored as each character’s theme is on a separate musical journey throughout the series. The themes are never fixed, there are no rules and they are constantly evolving. His Dark Materials original score provides a musical narrative drive across all 8 episodes. The album presents the music, including main character themes, as they appear through the series.

The score is performed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Matt Dunkley. The leading cast for His Dark Materials includes Dafne Keen as Lyra, Ruth Wilson as Mrs Coulter, Lin Manuel Miranda as Lee Scoresby, James McAvoy as Lord Asriel, Clarke Peters as The Master of Jordan College, James Cosmo as Farder Coram and Anne-Marie Duff as Ma Costa, with Will Keen as Father McPhail and Ariyon Bakare as Lord Boreal.
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Golden Globes 2020: Full List of Nominations

By Creative Media Times

Netflix

Marriage Story leads this year’s nominees for the film categories of the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards, receiving six nominations, followed by The Irishman and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood with five nominations apiece.

Nominations were announced on Monday (Dec. 9), with winners to be revealed on Sunday, January 5. NBC will broadcast this ceremony live beginning at 5:00 p.m. PT/8:00 p.m. PT. Ricky Gervais is set to return as host. The 2020 Golden Globes is also set to honor Tom Hanks with the Cecil B. DeMille Award.

The Golden Globes honor achievement in both television and film and is organized by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HPFA).

See the full list of nominees below.

BEST PICTURE – DRAMA
1917
The Irishman
Joker
The Two Popes
Marriage Story

BEST PICTURE – COMEDY/MUSICAL
Dolemite Is My Name
Knives Out
Jojo Rabbit
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Rocketman

BEST DIRECTOR
Bong Joon-ho, Parasite
Sam Mendes, 1917
Todd Phillips, Joker
Martin Scorsese, The Irishman
Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood

BEST ACTOR – DRAMA
Adam Driver, Marriage Story
Joaquin Phoenix, Joker
Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory
Christian Bale, Ford v Ferrari
Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes
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Miss Universe 2019 Press Junket

By Armando

Miss Iceland at 2019 Miss Universe press junket
Photo: AI PHOTO IMAGING
aiphotoimaging.com

Miss Universe 2019 contestants took time out early morning on Thursday to meet with the press at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta, Georgia.

Ahead of this Sunday’s pageant finals, the contestants answered questions from the media during the early morning event.

Although almost everyone made a great impression, some of the standouts (from talking to the press in attendance) include Miss Iceland, Miss South Africa, Miss Puerto Rico and Miss Vietnam. Towards the end of the event, reining Miss Universe Catriona Gray arrived and fielded questions from the press.

Photo: Armando (aiphotoimaging.com)

The day also featured the unveiling of a new Miss Universe crown by luxury jeweler and new crown sponsor Mouawad. The crown was unveiled by Mouawad co-guardian Pascal Mouawad, Miss Universe Organization President Paula Shugart, along with current pageant titleholder Catriona Elis Gray.

Delegates from 90 countries and territories is set to compete for this year’s Miss Universe beauty pageant. Up next for the candidates will be the preliminary competition that’s set to be held on Friday, December 6. Miss Universe Catriona Gray is also set to appear in the Atlanta Christmas Parade on Saturday, Dec. 7.

Miss Universe 2019 will be held this Sunday December 8, 2019 at the Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Georgia and will air live at 7/6c on FOX. Steve Harvey is set to return as host.

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“Frozen II,” “Missing Link” Lead 2020 Annie Awards Nominations

By Creative Media Times

United Artists Releasing

Its been another great year in animation, and this year’s Annie Awards have the list to prove it. ASIFA-Hollywood has just announced the nominees for the 47th Annual Annie Awards, with ‘Frozen 2’ and ‘Missing Link’ topping the list.

Presented annually by the Los Angeles branch of the International Animated Film Association, Annie Awards recognizes the best in the field of animation throughout the year.

Just as “Frozen 2” is currently breaking boxoffice records, the Disney film also earned an incredible eight nominations, including Best Feature. Also in this category is fellow Disney film “Toy Story 4,” LAIKA’s “Missing Link, DreamWorks’ “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” and Netflix’s “Klaus.”

This bodes well for all five films’ prospects at the Oscar’s Best Animated Feature. Since 2002, the Academy Awards has bestowed the trophy to the same Annie winner a total of 13 times. Last year’s big Annie winner “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” won seven awards including Best Animated Feature. The film went on to emerge victorious the Academy Awards.

This year’s Best Character Animation is equally competitive, with “Alita: Battle Angel,” “Avengers: Endgame,” “Game of Thrones,” “Pokémon Detective Pikachu” and “Spider-Man: Far From Home” all vying for the trophy.

The Annies also announced the nominations for the categories in television, student film, commercial, special production and VR. See the list of nominations below, or visit annieawards.org/nominees.

“The Mandalorian” Now The Most Streamed Series

By Creative Media Times

Disney+

Just two weeks after its Disney+ debut, “The Mandalorian” has officially become the most in-demand television series in the U.S. across all streaming platforms, this according to Parrot Analytics, a company that measures television viewing demand.

The Mandalorian garnered over 00 million demand expressions during the week (from November 17 to November 23), ending Stranger Things‘ 21-week reign. The Netflix series had 81 million demand expressions, followed by DC Universe’s Titans, with 71.2 million.

“While demand is a metric that should not be confused with subscriber numbers, this is a strong indication that the ‘Star Wars’ series is driving a lot of sign-ups to the recently-debuted Disney+ service,” a Parrot Analytics representative said.

The Mandalorian is also garnering great reviews, currently receiving a 90% rating on RottenTomatoes, and a 95% audience rating.

Demand for the show should intensify further with the release on December 20 of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the third installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy.

“The Witcher” Already Renewed For Its Second Season

By Creative Media Times

Netflix has already picked up the second season of The Witcher, a month before the series premieres.

“I’m so thrilled to announce: Geralt, Yennefer, and Ciri will be back for more adventures… in Season Two,” said showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich on Twitter.

“I could not be more proud of what the amazing cast and crew of The Witcher have accomplished, and can’t wait for the world to dig in and enjoy these stories with us.”

The upcoming fantasy web television series is based on the book series of the same name by Andrzej Sapkowski and stars Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia, Anya Chalotra as Yennefer, and Freya Allan as Ceri.

Season 1 of The Witcher is set to debut on Netflix on December 20.

Zombies, Spies, Bounty Hunters and More; Eleven New Channels Added To Pluto TV Latino

Pluto TV, the leading free streaming television service in the U.S., today debuted eleven all-new channels featuring Spanish-speaking programming on Pluto TV Latino – a dedicated category living on the Pluto TV platform that delivers premium, ad-supported programming for US Hispanic audiences. Introduced in July, the Pluto TV Latino vertical marks the latest evolution in Pluto TV’s ongoing mission to entertain the planet and appeal to global audiences.

This new suite of channels brings an additional 2,000 hours, totaling 4,000 hours of Spanish & Portuguese-speaking programming and a total of 22 channels dedicated to 24/7 Latino programming on Pluto TV. The new content brings an all-new array of fan-favorites with movie-themed channels and curated genre channels featuring 24-hour programming in reality, travel, food, wildlife, and just in time for Halloween – a channel dedicated to terrifying films.

With something for everyone, these all-new genre specific channels targeted to Hispanic audiences add an even greater array of classic and iconic programming associated with fan-favorite brands like Nick (Nick Latino), Nick Jr. (Nick Jr. Latino), and Spike (Spike Aventura) to channels dedicated to franchises like “Pluto TV 007 en Español”, a 24-hour dedicated channel streaming 18 original James Bond adventures. Pluto TV will also air award-winning “The Walking Dead en Español” on “Pluto TV Cine Estelar” every weeknight at 7pm ET, and then replay the show during the weekends on Pluto TV Cine Terror at 4pm and 7pm ET.

“Over the past year, Pluto TV has been heavily focused on increasing our global reach, weaving cultural resonance and diversity into our programming to appeal to audiences at home and abroad,” states Amy Kuessner, SVP Content Strategy & Global Partnerships, Pluto TV. “With Pluto TV Latino, we’ve witnessed the rapid adoption of OTT throughout the US Hispanic market and saw an opportunity to do what few others can do, super-serve them with premium content they know and love, in the language they speak.”

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