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, August 17

    Abbott Elementary - "Pilot" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    In this workplace comedy, a group of dedicated, passionate teachers — and a slightly tone-deaf principal — are brought together in a Philadelphia public school where, despite the odds stacked against them, they are determined to help their students succeed in life. Though these incredible educators may be outnumbered and underfunded, they love what they do — even if they don’t love the school district’s less-than-stellar attitude toward educating children.

    Abbott Elementary - "Work Family" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    After Jacob reveals a detail about his personal life, Janine realizes she doesn’t know the other teachers as well as she thought. Meanwhile, as Gregory’s stern teaching approach is causing his whole class to underperform, Barbara and Melissa teach him how to relax and make his lessons more fun.

    Abbott Elementary - "Step Class" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    Janine is thrilled when Ava asks to help her teach the after-school step class, but the two don’t see eye to eye on how to run the program. Later, when Barbara, Melissa and Jacob plan an “eat-off” to decide who makes the best pizza in Philadelphia, Gregory is forced to reveal a secret.

    Abbott Elementary - "Desking" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    When the students start participating in a new online trend that causes disruption to the school, the teachers band together to put an end to it. Meanwhile, Mr. Johnson provides comforting life advice to Gregory; and later, the teachers finally meet Jacob’s boyfriend, Zach, who joins in to help stop the students “desking”.

    Wellington Paranormal - "Mobots" (The CW, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    Officer Minogue meets Officer O'Leary's mom when they use her house for a stakeout to investigate why a mass quantity of obsolete electronics goes missing.

    Wellington Paranormal - "The Invisible Fiend" (The CW, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    Minogue and O'Leary investigate a mysterious home invasion with no visible signs of entry, managing to arrest an invisible creature and bring it back to the station for questioning.

    grown-ish - "You Don't Know Me" (Freeform, 10:00PM ET/PT)
    The girls enlist Junior's help to find their shady roommate, Lauryn, who has a habit of mysteriously disappearing; Junior wonders if Annika is starting to catch feelings for him; Aaron suspects that Doug isn't being honest with him.

    Everything's Trash - "Rom-Coms Are Mostly Trash" (Freeform, 10:30PM ET/PT)
    After Phoebe suddenly sees Michael in a new light, she attempts to set him up with Malika, who already has her eye on an old flame; Jayden worries that he and Jessie have lost their spark, so they decide to spice things up.

    Complete TV Listings


    Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 15)

    Wednesday, August 17

    • Alison Brie (GLOW/Community) - Watch Alison Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
    • Sasheer Zamata (Home Economics/Woke) - Sasheer appears on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
    • Nicole Byer (Grand Crew/Loosely Exactly Nicole) - Nicole guest hosts Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
    • Demi Lovato (Sonny with a Chance) - Demi co-hosts The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
    • Kenan Thompson (Kenan/Kenan & Kel) - Kenan will be on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
    • Zazie Beetz (Atlanta) - Zazie appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
    • Simu Liu (Kim's Convenience) - Simu chats with the ladies of The View on a repeat on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
    • Susan Walters (Dear John/The War Next Door) - Susan is a guest on a repeat of The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
    • Blair Underwood (The New Adventures of Old Christine) - Blair will be on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
    • Kel Mitchell (Game Shakers/Kenan & Kel) - Kel appears on a repeat of The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
    • Sherri Shepherd (Mr. Iglesias/Trial & Error/Sherri/Less Than Perfect/Suddenly Susan) - Sherri guest hosts a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
    • Josh Peck (Grandfathered/Drake & Josh) and Rhea Perlman (Cheers/Pearl/Kirstie) - Josh and Rhea talk about Netflix's 13: The Musical on Access Daily, so check your local listings.
    • Murray Bartlett (Physical/Looking) - Murry talks about White Lotus on ABC's GMA 3: What You Need to Know at 1pm.


    New on DVD/Blu-ray (April-August)

    Up All Night - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) The Danny Thomas Show (aka Make Room for Daddy) - The Complete Fourth Season Becker - The Complete Series (2022 Release) The Neighborhood - Season Four The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season Three

    04/05 - Up All Night - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
    04/26 - The Danny Thomas Show (aka Make Room for Daddy) - The Complete Fourth Season
    04/26 - Jackie Gleason TV Treasures - 70th Anniversary Collection (including Honeymooners Rarities)
    05/03 - No Activity - Season Three
    05/13 - The Donna Reed Show - The Complete Seasons 1-5 (Time Life)
    05/31 - Becker - The Complete Series (2022 Release)
    06/14 - Curb Your Enthusiasm - The Complete Eleventh Season
    06/14 - Hacks - Season One (Blu-ray) (DVD)
    06/14 - Rutherford Falls - Season One (Blu-ray) (DVD)
    06/21 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season One / Season Two
    07/19 - The Neighborhood - Season Four
    07/19 - Reno 911! - The Hunt for QAnon (Blu-ray) (DVD)
    07/26 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season Three / Season Four
    08/16 - And Just Like That... - The Complete First Season (Warner Bros. - Canada)
    08/16 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-Fourth Season (Blu-ray) (DVD)
    More Recent and Upcoming TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


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