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Movies and Television

Chris Pratt Reprises ‘Star Lord’ Roll to Entertain Kids at LA Hospital

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Often, it’s simple, everyday things like being able to watch a much-anticipated movie that can make all the difference for a sick child relegated to a hospital wing. Knowing this, actor Chris Pratt teamed up with Marvel and Children’s Miracle Network to bring a special showing of the summer blockbuster “Guardians of the Galaxy” to the children, families and staff at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles on Wednesday. And while the kids may have been excited about watching the film, … for what happened next.

During the screening, Pratt briefly disappeared, and then returned dressed as his character, Star Lord. Pratt spent the next few hours in full costume, handing out movie-themed toys, taking hundreds of pictures, letting the kids try on some of his gear, signing autographs for everyone who wanted one, and just generally being awesome. He also visited patients in the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases and the Pediatric ICU, as they were not well enough to attend the screening. Read more

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Edge of Tomorrow: Live. Die. Rebrand.

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For many, Edge of Tomorrow became the blockbuster that wasn’t.

Critics loved it, and so did its audience:

“Gripping, well-acted, funny, and clever, Edge of Tomorrow offers entertaining proof that Tom Cruise is still more than capable of shouldering the weight of a blockbuster action thriller.” [Rotten Tomatoes]

—only there were never enough of those fans to bring the Tom Cruise-led action flick into the black: It opened to a disappointing $29.1 million and today stands just under the $100 million mark, which is $78 million short against its $178 million budget (foreign grosses and marketing expenses aside.

So what went wrong? Warner Brothers Studio has apparently concluded that  Tis but thy name that is my enemy.

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Downton Abbey’s Classy, Charitable Response to ‘Water Bottle-Gate’

By now, you’ve probably seen the promotional image for Downton Abbey that’s had fans, history purists, and the internet in general in a multi-day frenzy, but in case you haven’t, here it is — out-of-place plastic water bottle and all:

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In response to the media madness, the cast of the hit show has released another image, and this one is chock-full of water bottles. Only this time, their presence is intentional, and intended to refocus the public’s attention on a worthy issue.

A spokesperson for British TV network ITV explained, “After seeing the reaction the picture caused earlier this week, the cast and crew came up with the idea of turning some of this attention towards an issue around water that really matters. They hope that by posing for this picture they will be able to raise awareness and amplify the work of international charity – WaterAid.”

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WaterAid is a charitable organization that has spent decades bringing water, sanitation and hygiene education to where it’s needed most.

Barbara Frost, Chief Executive of WaterAid, said: Read more

James Franco Is Hosting A Special To Promote The Interview As Dave Skylark

Here’s something you hear every day: James Franco has got a new movie coming out! To promote that movie, The Interview, he’s going to host a half-hour special on MTV completely in character.

Dave Skylark asks hard-hitting questions to celebs like Nicki Minaj: “You wrote the song ‘Superb Ass.’”

“It’s ‘Super Bass,’” Minaj corrects.

Haha! James Franco.

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Conservationists Use Twitter to Inject ‘Real Science’ Back into Shark Week

If you were to search #SharkWeek on Twitter right now, it would yield plenty of brand tweets reminding customers that the product or service in question is a perfect tie-in to the annual celebration of our toothy, aquatic heroes. In fact, with shark-themed doughnuts, cars, cosmetics, and whiskey, one might even be able to live this whole week without touching a single non-shark-related thing, however tenuous the actual connection might be.

But brands aren’t the only Twitter-users utilizing the #SharkWeek hashtag to further their own purposes; while it’s undeniably fun to buy into the hype, there are many organizations and individuals that would like to remind us that the heart of Shark Week is (or should be) science, education, and conservation, and they are taking to Twitter to hammer this message home.

While some are simply taking it upon themselves to spread awareness and education (like the examples above), others are taking direct issue with the programming on Discovery, lamenting the replacement of good old-fashioned documentaries with the increasingly-popular “docudrama.” Read more

September 11: How The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (of Australia) Forgot

never_forget“Never Forget.”

It was the rallying cry heard ’round the world following that fateful day of Sept. 11, 2001–and it’s still a very sensitive topic for many in the United States and beyond.

Paramount Pictures Australia came a little too close to that memory for comfort in promoting its upcoming film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles–and had to issue a quick apology after social media took notice.

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Marvel Continues Its Diversity Push With a Black Captain America

the falconComic book fans have had a lot to talk about this week. The latest news from Marvel is we’re going to be getting a new Captain America. Sam Wilson, aka The Falcon, will become Captain America come October. The Falcon is a black character; he was portrayed by Anthony Mackie in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. He’s the second black character to portray Captain America and one of the few black characters ever in the comics.

The news comes hot on the heels of the announcement that Thor will be a goddess. Taken together with the recent introduction of a Pakistani Muslim Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan, and the ongoing success of Miles Morales in the Spider-Man comics, you have a diverse cast of characters that reflects a trend we’re also seeing in television entertainment.

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CW’s Supernatural Gets Twitter Trolled in Miraculous Fashion for ‘Queer Baiting’

supernaturalThe CW (formerly known as the WB because initials are good) isn’t exactly known for “quality programming” lately. Back in its heyday, the network was populated with Gilmour Girls, Steve Harvey, the Wayans family (and Jamie Foxx), and Dawson’s Creek.

Today, not so much. One of its breakthrough-ish hits has been Supernatural

So, it’s the summer doldrums and the network is in need of an idea to resurrect its viewing audience and maintain its interest in the show. “Good audience. Good show. Good material. Eureka!”

And then, the network discovered the dark side of Twitter.

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APOCALYPSE WATCH: The Weather Channel’s New Reality Show Fat Guys in the Woods

UJA-Federation's 2014 Digital Media Award CelebrationPaging Jim Cantore and Sam Champion: Please pick up the white courtesy phone. America has a question for you, “Is this the end of the world as we know it?” 

Typically, one could go to The Weather Channel for local reports, airline backups, and the occasional meteorological quip from any generic host. Some joke about “it’s hail out there” or something that would cause one to groan — if they were paying attention.

Then, Jim Cantore (bald guy on the left) became a thing of legend. He wanted to be the guy in the eye of the storm. That followed Sam Champion (always pretty guy on the right) leaving his post at GMA and getting his own show at The Weather Channel.

Then, capitalism. And that’s when it got really good.

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5 Things PR Can Learn from Transformers

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Because sometimes PR people need a parachute to help slow them down.

ICYMI: Michael Bay blew another part of Hong Kong and Detroit into the Stone Age with the unveiling of Transformers 4: Age of Extinction.’ It was mildly successful, earning $104 million to score the the largest opening weekend of the tetralogy.

This may be a surprise to some, but I found myself in one of those weekend theaters, grasping a large caffeinated beverage with cargo shorts full of cheap snacks from Walmart (Oh please! Like I was the only one). And while I was watching Optimus Prime get all ‘Urban Cowboy’ on a dinobot, the oddest 5 Things came to my flacky brain: 5 things PR pros can actually learn from Transformers.

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