Peanuts and Popcorn

Peanuts and Popcorn

Have Your Say on Who Wins the American Comedy Awards

posted by jtotey
The American Comedy Awards airs on May 15, 2014 on NBC. (Photo: NBC)

The American Comedy Awards airs on May 15, 2014 on NBC. (Photo: NBC)

Who is your favorite late night TV host? Which comedy movie did you see this year that was worth your hard-earned money? Which viral video cracks you up every time you see it? Wouldn’t it be great if there was an award show (as if there wasn’t enough already) to honor those who pull our funny bone? Well now there is! Don Mischer Productions will be presenting the American Comedy Awards Thursday, May 15 on NBC, however, your vote is needed NOW. (Why NBC waited until the last minute to ask for our help, is a mystery.)

“The American Comedy Awards will honor those who have achieved new heights during the past year in both film and television, as well as pay tribute to some of comedy’s most enduring personalities,” states the award show’s press release. “The telecast will acknowledge the work of stand-ups, those who specialize in movies and the actors and actresses who are seen by millions on TV every week.”

Categories of awards include: Comedy Film, Comedy Actor, Actress and Supporting Actor and Actress, Director, Screenplay, Comedy Writing,  Comedy Series, Alternative Comedy Series, Late Night Talk Show, Viral Video, Club Comic and more.

Voting is currently open online at  or on Facebook via the “American Comedy Awards” Facebook Voting App.  Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. ET/8:59 p.m. PT on March 18. You must be at least 13 years old to vote.

Have a Passion for ‘The Passion?’

posted by jtotey
Jim Caviezel as Jesus in "The Passion of Christ."

Jim Caviezel as Jesus in “The Passion of Christ.”

Ten years ago, Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ entered theaters and rocked the world. This year, the movie will be edited for television and shown on Palm Sunday on the UP network. The three-time Oscar®-nominated film will air with limited commercial interruption on April 13th at 9:00 p.m. as part of UP’s two-week celebration of Easter. This will be the first time that the movie has been shown on commercial television.

“UP is proud to present this powerful, groundbreaking cinematic portrayal of Christ’s death and resurrection as the centerpiece of our extensive Easter programming,” said Charley Humbard, president and CEO, UP. “The Passion of the Christ is a story of unconditional love—the love of a Mother for her son and the love of a Son for his Heavenly Father and for all mankind. This film depicts the story that is at the very heart of Christianity. It truly epitomizes our holiday theme: ‘Easter Lives Here!’”

The Passion was written and directed by Gibson and starred Jim Caviezel (Jesus) and Monica Bellucci (Mary Magdalene). In 2004 it took in $612 million at the worldwide box office, becoming the highest grossing independent film of all time and it remains the highest-grossing religious film in history. Considered by Entertainment Weekly as one of the most controversial movies of all time, the movie proved to the world that people are open to the idea of faith-based movies. The indie film inspired movie directors to create new stories including this year’s Son of God, Noah and Exodus.

For those who have never seen the movie, it deals with the last 12 hours of Jesus’ life beginning in the Garden of Olives where Jesus went to pray after the Last Supper. Unique in that every line is spoken entirely in reconstructed Aramaic and Latin with subtitles, The Passion of Christ is a somber movie and very violent. Some parents will want to show the movie to their children, but if you do, make sure that they are old enough to talk about what they see and it will probably be very disturbing to them and give them nightmares. (There are plenty of other Easter teaching tools you can use to tell the story of Jesus.)

For the rest of us, the film will give you a good idea of the pain Jesus suffered for us.

‘Believe’ in Another Great Show for NBC

posted by jtotey
Johnny Sequoyah as Bo, Jake McLaughlin as Tate -- (Photo by: Eric Liebowitz/NBC)

Johnny Sequoyah as Bo, Jake McLaughlin as Tate — (Photo by: Eric Liebowitz/NBC)

NBC appears to be rising from the ashes creating new, better, quality shows instead of relying on re-boots that don’t work. From comedy (About a Boy, Growing Up Fisher) to game shows (Hollywood Game Night) to drama (The Blacklist), NBC is hitting the mark for good programming. Include in the mix the latest sci-fi/drama/mystery show, Believe.

Finally, after months of seeing the same commercial over and over again of a screaming little girl and a flock of birds, we finally got a chance to see what all the fuss was about last night NBC. Believe is the latest project from Executive Producer J. J. Abrams who was fortunate enough to snag the Oscar-winning director Alfonso Cuarón of the Sandra Bullock/George Clooney film, Gravity, to direct.

It is yet too soon to know exactly what this show will become, but with its’ title and subject matter, we do know that faith will be an element of the show. Bo (Johnny Sequoyah) is a special girl with powers of levitation, telekinesis, seeing the future and controlling nature. Although we don’t know for sure, we assume that she is good. Her parents died when she was very young and her current parents of two weeks get killed off from the get go. There are two groups of people after her. One, led by Skouras (Kyle MacLachlan, looking great for his age), who will stop at nothing to retrieve the girl. For what purpose? We don’t know, but it cannot be good. The other is led by Milton Winter (Delory Lindo), who aims at protecting the girl at all costs. Winter and Channing (Jamie Chung), track down Tate (Jake McLaughlin), a wrongfully imprisoned man who is about to face the death penalty, to watch over the girl. Seemingly an unlikely person to babysit, the show makes it clear why he was chosen by the end of the episode. When he sees her for the first time, he begins to cry. She says to him, “Do you know why you were crying? It is because you remember that you were good once.”

Bo is 10 years old and her powers have begun to get stronger. She appears to do just fine on her own. Perhaps she needs someone to watch over her as she is still a child and tends to think like one. Each episode has a tone similar to the old Touched by an Angel TV show, where Bo is able to touch the life of strangers spiritually. The first episode has an uplifting message featuring a young doctor who has little self-confidence. It also has a tone of The Fugitive, as Bo and Tate will need to travel from city to city. The two make for an unlikely pair and both will need to learn how to trust the other in order to survive.

The pilot episode features some incredible visual scenes for a TV show including that swirl of birds seen in the previews, an artistic view of a car crash and gentle blue butterflies flittering about.

Believe airs on Sundays at 9:00 p.m. running up against ABC’s Ressurrection, which should make for an interesting battle. If you missed the premier, you can catch it online at NBC.com or watch the “encore” presentation this Saturday night, March 15th  at 10:00 p.m.

Outspoken Christian Actress Among the Dancing Stars this Season

posted by jtotey
Candace Cameron Bure (Photo: ABC)

Candace Cameron Bure (Photo: ABC)

The full cast for the next season of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars was announced today during the Good Morning America telecast and like last season, the show is headed for a lot of changes. (More on that below). Among the stars will be Candace Cameron Bure. You may remember her in the role of D.J. Tanner in the ever-so-sweet Full House sitcom. That was a LONG time ago, but she has recently made a resurregence on TV appearing on a few specials for the UP Network and starred in last year’s Hallmark Original Movie, Let it Snow. Before that, she starred in ABC Family’s Make It Or Break It. She is also sister to Kirk Cameron and like him, is an outspoken Christian not afraid of sharing her views on faith and family. Cameron Bure is a producer, a New York Times bestselling author and inspirational speaker. She has been married to former NHL star Val Bure since 1996 and together they have three children. She will be teamed up with Mark Ballas.

Good Morning America's Lara Spencer (left) poses with the 2014 DWTS cast: Standing: EMMA SLATER, BILLY DEE WILLIAMS, DANICA MCKELLAR, VALENTIN CHMERKOVSKIY, SEAN AVERY, CANDACE CAMERON BURE, MAKSIM CHMERKOVSKIY, MERYL DAVIS, NENE LEAKES, TONY DOVOLANI, SHARNA BURGESS, CHARLIE WHITE, CHERYL BURKE, DREW CAREY, DIANA NYAD, HENRY BYALIKOV, ERIN ANDREWS; Sitting: KARINA SMIRNOFF, DEREK HOUGH, MARK BALLAS, PETA MURGATROYD, JAMES MASLOW, WITNEY CARSON, CODY SIMPSON; Front: TOM BERGERON

Good Morning America’s Lara Spencer (left) poses with the 2014 DWTS cast: Standing: EMMA SLATER, BILLY DEE WILLIAMS, DANICA MCKELLAR, VALENTIN CHMERKOVSKIY, SEAN AVERY, CANDACE CAMERON BURE, MAKSIM CHMERKOVSKIY, MERYL DAVIS, NENE LEAKES, TONY DOVOLANI, SHARNA BURGESS, CHARLIE WHITE, CHERYL BURKE, DREW CAREY, DIANA NYAD, HENRY BYALIKOV, ERIN ANDREWS; Sitting: KARINA SMIRNOFF, DEREK HOUGH, MARK BALLAS, PETA MURGATROYD, JAMES MASLOW, WITNEY CARSON, CODY SIMPSON; Front: TOM BERGERON

This season will also include pitting one star against another. Olympic gold medalists, Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who have been skating partners since they were very young children, will be separated for the first time. Both should be amazing contestants given that they are both athletes and that ballroom dancing isn’t a huge leap from ice skating. Is it? Davis will be paired with Maksim Chmerkovsky (the poor thing) while White will be dancing the night with Sharna Burgess.

Other dancing pairs include:

  • Former pro hockey player Sean Avery will share the spotlight with Karina Smirnoff. He is known for his antics on and off the ice.
  • Former “Whose Line is it Anyway” host and current “The Price is Right” host, Drew Carey will be teamed up with Cheryl Burke.
  • The never for a loss of words, Nene Leakes will be dancing with nice guy, Tony Dovolani. Leakes rose to fame as a “real housewife of Atlanta” and then had stints on “The Celebrity Apprentice,” “The New Normal” and her own Bravo series, “I Dream of Nene: The Wedding.”
  • James Maslow from the TV show “Big Time Rush” and part of the boy band of the same name, will be paired with Peta Murgatroyd.
  • Former child star and bestselling author (on the subject of math of all things), Danica McKellar will be dancing with Valentin Chmerkovskiy. You probably remember her playing the role of Winnie Cooper on The Wonder Years.
  • 64-year-old Diana Nyad, famous for achieving her 35-year-old dream of becoming the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida, (It took her five tries to make the 110.86 mile trek. Her last attempt took over 52 hours!), will be teamed up with Henry Byalikov. If she has the energy to swim that far, she will definitely have the stamina to dance.
  • Paralympic Games contestant, Amy Purdy, who lost her legs at the age of 19 as a result of Meningitis, will be partnering with dancing champ Derek Hough.
  • Teen heartthrob and Australian singer, Cody Simpson, will be dancing with Witney Carson.
  • Finally, we’’ see if the force will be with Billy Dee Williams as he is paired with Emma Slater.

Keeping with the one-night-a-week format that they started last season, Dancing will also include these new changes:

  • Erin Andrews has replaced Brooke Burke as co-host. Burke co-hosted the show with Tom “America’s Funniest Videos” Bergeron for seven seasons and despite being let go at a very notice, is taking the disappointing news well. Andrews was a season ten finalist and currently a sports host for Fox Sports. Rumor has it that ABC appreciates Andrews’ large “young male following.”
  • Another somewhat shocking elimination is the replacing of veteran orchestrator and band leader Harold Wheeler and his 28-member group of musicians and singers. Instead DWTS will be using preexisting sound recordings and a small band, something the show toyed with a bit last season. The pre-recorded music will work well with the newer music choices, but the orchestra will be missed during the big band music numbers.
  • The last change is perhaps the strangest. This season the show will introduce “The Switch Up” where “America” will have the power to change the celebrity and professional dance partner pairings at some point during the season. While an interesting concept, this seems like a strange move in that fans of the show enjoy rooting for their favorite “team” not just a “star” and by breaking them up seems to create more of a game of chance rather than skill and talent. Why not just break out the bingo cards to see who should go home each week? It will be interesting to see how “America” reacts to having so much power. DWTS has been a rating giant from its inception so ABC should be careful about constantly rearranging things. Like the old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Dancing with the Stars premieres on Monday, March 17 at 8:00 p.m. on ABC.

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Have Your Say on Who Wins the American Comedy Awards
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posted 2:37:00am Mar. 17, 2014 | read full post »


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