Monday, May 24, 2021

TBS Launches Best of Friends Awards; AMC Networks Adds to All-Star Cast of Ultra City Smiths

The Best of Friends Awards

TBS announced the launch of of the first-ever "Best of Friends Awards" hosted by Schitt's Creek star and #1 Friends fan, Sarah Levy. Fans can vote for their favorite moments from the iconic series in a variety of categories – including Best Cellebrity Cameo, Best Musical Moment, Best Romantic Moment and more – by visiting www.TBS.com . Winners will be announced during a livestream on TBS' YouTube, Twitter and Facebook pages on Wednesday, May 26 at 8:30pm ET/5:30pm PT, with a special guest appearance from a Friends fan favorite. Fans who vote will be entered to win a Friends merchandise prize pack.

Additionally, in support of the highly anticipated premiere of Friends: The Reunion streaming on HBO Max Thursday, May 27, TBS is running a bracket on Instagram and Twitter to select the #1 fan moment of all time, having already achieved 800k votes and counting. This joins the previously announced Friends: From the Beginning marathon currently airing on TBS until June 4.

Friends: The Reunion

HBO Max debuted the official trailer and key art for Friends: The Reunion, debuting Thursday, MAY 27 on HBO Max. Friends stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer return to the iconic comedy's original soundstage, Stage 24, on the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank for a real-life unscripted celebration of the beloved show.

Ben Winston directed the special and executive produced along with Friends executive producers Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman, and David Crane. The special hails from Warner Bros. Unscripted Television in association with Warner Horizon, Fulwell 73 Productions and Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions. Aniston, Cox, Kudrow, LeBlanc, Perry, and Schwimmer executive produced the special. Emma Conway, James Longman and Stacey Thomas-Muir co-executive produced.

In celebration of the special, HBO Max will launch the following activations, inspiring friends to reunite nationwide to watch Friends: The Reunion:

  • "Friends Reunite for Friends" Screening Events: On Wednesday, May 26th, HBO Max will invite select guests and super-fans for an exclusive screening to experience the reunion special with their friends IRL. The experience will include tailored pre-show entertainment and outdoor screenings before its HBO Max debut in two iconic locations: The Greens at Pier 17 in New York City, NY and at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles, CA. Fans will have the opportunity to attend through a #SuperFriendsFan UGC sweepstakes via HBOMax, HBOMaxPop and Friends social channels.
  • Scener Watch-Along Partnership: Fans can reunite with their friends virtually to enjoy the reunion special together with Scener. Starting premiere day, fans will be able to see their favorite cast reunite on their own custom virtual couches with video and chat capabilities on scener.com. Fans can share watch party experiences using the #CentralPerkWatchParties hashtag.
  • Digital & Social Red Carpet: To further celebrate the long-awaited reunion special, HBO Max is hosting a live-streamed digital and social red carpet on Wednesday, May 26th from 7:30pm to 8:30pm PST. This event will feature exclusive programming, guest-star appearances and live segments from the "Friends Reunite for Friends" screening events in New York and Los Angeles leading up to the reunion special.
  • To celebrate the must-stream event of the summer, HBO Max will launch the "For Fans Of Friends" spotlight page on May 27, offering customized Friends-themed content to invite viewers to immerse themselves in curations centered around everyone's favorite group of six. The page will include a myriad of themed episodic collections from fan favorites, guest stars, iconic moments and fashion to custom talent-driven curations. Collections include "Best of Rachel," "The Ones With Celebrity Guests" and the most-watched episodes.

    Ultra City Smiths

    AMC Networks announced the second round of voice casting for its new half-hour, stop-motion, animated baby doll series, Ultra City Smiths, created by Steve Conrad (Patriot, Perpetual Grace), who serves as showrunner, and Stoopid Buddy Stoodios (Robot Chicken, Crossing Swords). The first two episodes of the series will premiere on AMC+ on Thursday, July 22 with subsequent episodes dropping weekly, every Thursday. The six-episode first season will air on AMC this fall.

    Rounding out the cast are Kristen Bell (Queenpins, The Woman in the House) as Donella Pecker, Dax Shepard (Parenthood, The Ranch) as Congressman Chris Pecker, Alia Shawkat (Seach Party, Duck Butter) as Little Grace, Tim Meadows (Schooled, No Activity) as Deputy Mayor Jeff Thumb, Terry O'Quinn (Lost, Patriot) as Captain Krieger, Debra Winger (Terms of Endearment, Shadowlands) as Trish McSapphire, Guzmán (Shameless, Traffic) as Rodrigo Smalls, Julian Barratt (Truth Keepers, Killing Eve) as The Most Dangerous Man in the World, Sunita Mani (Evil Eye, Save Yourselves!) as Detective Jaya Mukherjee, and Tom Waits (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, The Dead Don't Die) as The Narrator.

    Ultra City Smiths

    These all-star cast members join the previously announced Jimmi Simpson (Westworld, Black Mirror), Da'Vine Joy Randolph (Dolemite Is My Name, The United States vs Billie Holiday), John C. Reilly (Moonbase 8, Ralph Breaks the Internet), Bebe Neuwirth (Chicago, Cheers), Jason Mantzoukas (Big Mouth, Infinite), Damon Herriman (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, Underground Railroad), Melissa Villase├▒or (Saturday Night Live, Toy Story 4), Kurtwood Smith (That '70s Show, RoboCop), Tim Heidecker (Moonbase 8, Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!), Chris Conrad (Patriot, Perpetual Grace, LTD) and Hana Mae Lee (Patriot, The Babysitter: Killer Queen).

    From AMC Studios and created by Conrad, the Ultra City Smiths story unfolds via the stop-motion animation of baby dolls repurposed as a grown-up cast of characters. The series hinges on an investigation into the mysterious disappearance of fictional metropolis Ultra Cit's most famous magnate (Smith). Two intrepid detectives (Simpson and Randolph) follow the case, rallying to fight against their city's dangerous corruption, at a high cost to themselves and their families, all in pursuit of a gentler place to call home.

    Stoopid Buddy Stoodios' Seth Green, John Harvatine IV, Matthew Senreich, Eric Towner and Chris Waters serve as executive producers along with Jennifer Scher. Jeff Dieter and Thomas J. Glynn are producers.


    Sitcoms Airing Tonight

    Wednesday, June 23

    Dave - "The Observer" (FXX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
    Dave and Benny's friendship blossoms in strange and unexpected ways, leading them to confront questions of privilege, race, sexuality, and dermatology; Mike's isolation deepens, and a chance encounter sheds light on the root of his anger.

    Complete TV Listings


    Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of June 21)

    Wednesday, June 23

    • Billy Crystal (The Comedians/Soap) - Watch Billy on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
    • Henry Winkler (Barry/Out of Practice/Monty/Happy Days) - Henry appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
    • Christine Baranski (Happy Family/Welcome to New York/Cybill) - Christine is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. She also talks about The Good Fight on CBS This Morning sometime between 7-9am.
    • Josh Gad (Central Park/Avenue 5/1600 Penn/Back to You) - Josh will be on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
    • Dana Carvey (One of the Boys) - Dana is a guest on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
    • Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - Ken appears on a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
    • Caroline Rhea (Sydney to the Max/Sabrina, the Teenage Witch) and Ruth Righi (Sydney to the Max) - Carolina and Ruth are guests on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
    • Alyssa Milano (Romantically Challenged/Who's the Boss?) - Alyssa discusses how she is inspiring a new generation of female leaders, the latest book of her children's series and her podcast on a repeat of Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.
    • Laura Prepon (Are You There, Chelsea?/That '70s Show) - Laura stops by to chat and shares her new kitchen gadget line on a repeat of The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
    • Abbi Jacobson (Broad City) - Abbi is a guest on a repeat of The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
    • D. L. Hughley (The Hughleys) - D. L. talks about the onstage collapse that led to his COVID-19 diagnosis on a repeat of The Doctors, so check your local listings.


    New on DVD/Blu-ray (February-June)

    Betty White's Pet Set - The Complete Series Happy Together - The Complete Series 'Til Death - The Complete Series Fuller House - The Complete Series Parks and Recreation - The Complete Series

    02/02 - Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In - The Complete Series (2021 Retail Release)
    02/16 - Fam - The Complete Series
    02/23 - Betty White's Pet Set - The Complete Series
    03/02 - Blue Mountain State - The Complete Series
    03/02 - Happy Together - The Complete Series
    03/02 - Rick and Morty - The Complete Seasons 1-4 (DVD) (Blu-ray)
    04/20 - 'Til Death - The Complete Series
    05/11 - Dead to Me - Season Two
    06/08 - The Critic - The Complete Series
    06/08 - Fuller House - The Fifth and Final Season
    06/08 - Fuller House - The Complete Series
    06/08 - Our Cartoon President - Season 3
    06/15 - The Office - Season 1 (Blu-ray) / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9
    06/15 - Parks and Recreation - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
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