Peanuts and Popcorn

Peanuts and Popcorn

Coming to a TV Near You: Dove Movie Channel

posted by jtotey
How to Train Your Dragon 2 received 5 Dove seals and could potentially be featured on the new Dove Channel.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 received 5 Dove seals and could potentially be featured on the new Dove Channel.

Founded in 1991, the nonprofit organization Dove Foundation as been dedicated to encouraging Hollywood to create family-friendly products. Movies and books are regularly screened by Dove and only those that are more or less “safe” for the family earn the coveted Dove seal of approval.

Just last month, it was announced that Dove would begin a partnership with Cinedigm to provide an over-the-top (OTT) digital subscription streaming service which will be widely accessible to consumers via the web, set top boxes, gaming consoles, and connected TVs.

The press release stated that “Dove Movie Channel streaming service will feature Cinedigm’s vast library of family-friendly, faith and kids’ content, as well as acquired content and original programming. Today, millions of families rely on The Dove Foundation’s ratings system, which has the participation of all major studios and hundreds of independent distributors and producers. Dove’s research has shown that their endorsed films are three times more profitable than non-endorsed films. All content released on the channel will meet the stringent guidelines of the Dove Seal in order to be programmed on the service.”

“Once entertainment content shifted to digital platforms, we began seeking a partner to provide instant access to Dove-approved faith and family movies and television series,” said Dove co-founder and CEO, Dick Rolfe.  “Cinedigm is the ideal partner, perfectly suited to provide a robust inventory of Dove-approved content coupled with the latest digital technology available on multiple platforms.”

“We are excited to partner with The Dove Foundation to meet the acute need for an over the top subscription service providing pre-screened, curated and wholesome family-friendly content,” said Chris McGurk, Chairman and CEO of Cinedigm.  “The Dove Foundation offers families the highest degree of confidence that they will be viewing only appropriate entertainment from a source they can trust.”

One detail the press release failed to mention was the date when the Dove Movie Channel would be operational, but it seems likely that families may have to wait a little while. Cindedigm’s goal is to launch many branded digital channels over the next 18 months. DOCURAMA is the company’s first digital channel available now and ConTV (a comic-con themed network) will be launched this fall.

Kid President: Declaration of Awesome

posted by jtotey
Robby is Kid President (HUB Network)

Robby is Kid President (HUB Network)

In July 2012, the world was introduced Kid President through a series of videos posted on YouTube. Cute, short videos that feature Robby, a little guy with great vision. Those videos have captured America and now Robby has his own TV show on the HUB network!

“Never did we imagine our journey would take us the places it has,” says Brad Montague, photographer and brother-in-law of Robby. “Who knew a little can and string could connect you to everyone from bestselling author Nick Hornby to actor Rainn Wilson or to the President of the United States?”

Robby has Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) a brittle bone condition which has resulted in him having over 70 breaks since birth, something he has talked about in his videos. “What’s inspiring about Robby isn’t his condition, but the fact that his condition doesn’t define who he is. In spite of all he’s been through he not only keeps going – he dances,” says Montague.

The First Hamster

The First Hamster

“The idea for Kid President came a few years ago. My wife and I started a camp for kids who want to change the world, GO! Camp. We were blown away by the ideas and the hearts of the students there. These students wanted nothing more than to leave the world better than they found it. After seeing their creativity and compassion I couldn’t help but think – wouldn’t it be cool if we listened to kids more? The two of us work on each episode together. There’s no fancy film crew or staff. It’s just us having fun and hoping we create something that makes people happier than they were before they clicked play. Our hope is that each episode is received with the same love that started this whole adventure.”

“Kid President: Declaration of Awesome” airs each Saturday at 7pm EST (6pm CT) on the HUB Network. This week’s episode,”Kid President Makes an Episode about Families,” Robby seeks advice from Mario Lopez on how to make a TV show and decides to talk about how families make the world more awesome.

YouTube Preview Image

You May Like Giving, but They Do Not Want Your Money

posted by jtotey
Brad Formsma, founder of "I Like Giving." (ILikeGiving.org)

Brad Formsma, founder of “I Like Giving.” (ILikeGiving.org)

Have you seen the short video titled, “I Like Being 98?” It was posted on YouTube back in February of this year but has just now seen some traction. In fact, I Like Giving, the creator of the video, just announced this week that this simple video has hit over two million views with 1.5 of them just from the previous week alone.

The video shares the simple story of 98-year-old Evelyn who went to re-apply for her driver’s license so that she could take her friend to the grocery store. A beautiful story about friendship and giving.

“We are so humbled by the tremendous support we’ve received for this video,” said Brad Formsma. “We’ve had people from all across the world reach out to tell us how moved they were by Evelyn’s story. We hope this video will continue to inspire others to live a more generous life.”

So who exactly is “I Like Giving” and what do they want? Definitely not your money.

Card“We long for something else,” says the website. “I Like Giving is a non-profit created to inspire a generous world. It serves as a platform for unique storytelling and idea sharing. It believes a generous world is a better world for all of us and wants your action, not your money. Go check out a story today and then go create one of your own.”

Brad Formsma, a successful landscaper heard news about some bikes being stolen in his neighborhood and called for a family meeting on what to do about it. His oldest son suggested purchasing new bikes for that family. A nice gesture, but it didn’t stop there. The Formsma family decided to forgo their planned trip to a water park and use the money toward purchasing a few bikes. The Formsma’s didn’t know this family or even where they lived, but with some research, they found their home and waited for them to come home. While the family spoke broken English, they managed totell them, “I like Bike! I like Bike!” And that was the beginning of I Live…Giving.

Waterbrook Press

Waterbrook Press

I Like Giving’s website has been around since 2011, but is just now seeing some traction. Partially due to the video mentioned above and partially to the release of Formsma’s new book, “I Like Giving: The Transforming Power of a Generous Life (WaterBrook Press). The website is known for its short “I Like _____” videos featuring everyday people on mission to live generous lives. It has the audacity to challenging the way people view generosity and encourages others to find new ways of giving to others.

We now live in a world where every trip to the grocery store involves someone asking for money for some cause. This isn’t a bad thing, but it is overwhelming. People can’t possibly give to every need or organization out there, no matter how valuable they are. Formsma has a different idea and his thoughts are catching on.

In a recent press release, Formsma admits that he wasn’t always an advocate of a giving lifestyle, but as he began to give, his priorities began to change as he found joy in blessing those around him. “I believe that when giving is our idea, it makes us like giving,” Formsma says. He emphasizes that giving does not have to be large donations or giant demonstrations of generosity, but it can be small acts of kindness, mapping out how a person can live a more generous lifestyle no matter how much money they have. “Giving is a powerful force. The research proves it. Giving gives us life. It connects us to other people, brings us joy and increases our well-being.”

In addition to the inspiring videos, the I Like Giving website also gives ideas on how people can give in the workplace, the classroom and the church body.

‘Rising Star’: Did You Watch the Premiere?

posted by jtotey
Josh Grobin and contestant Macy Kate  on last night's "Rising Star." (ABC)

Josh Grobin and contestant Macy Kate on last night’s “Rising Star.” (ABC)

For months, ABC has been touting that its latest singing competition show, Rising Star would be unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Last night, we finally got a chance to see what all of the hub bub was about.

ABC boasted proudly this morning that Rising Star is the network’s top-rated summer series debut in two years. They also boasted that the show was Sunday’s No. 1 “most-social” broadcast series delivering 290% more “tweets” than NBC’s America’s Got Talent. That sounds pretty impressive at first, but Entertainment Weekly was quick to point out that the new show actually delivered less than Duets, the network’s last try of a singing competition show and that while ABC had 5.1 million viewers while NBC’s America’s Got Talent held strong with 8 million. And about that “most social” claim, it only makes sense that the show should receive that title given that voting on an app specially designed for the show is part of that show’s gimmick.

If you were not one of the 5.1 million viewers to watch the over-hyped show, you can catch the episode online at ABC.com, but you may not want to. Unlike American Idol, the contestants have already been pre-screened. Each are randomly selected to perform a 1.5 minute song in front of a wall with an eager audience waiting on the other side. Each singer has to win over about 75% of the total votes before the wall will come up and allow them to continue through the competition. Each celebrity’s votes counts for 7% each, so if the singer impresses the judges, their score can help launch them forward. Viewers at home must register to vote for each contestant. If a viewer fails to register, their vote will not count. This whole process is supposed to make the show exciting, instead, it doesn’t really add anything.

Star is awkwardly hosted by Josh Groban. He isn’t terrible, but hosting is not his strong suit. Groban was well-prepared for last night’s show, but you would have thought that the network would have picked someone who is better suited for a live show like Tom Bergeron or Ryan Seacrest. You know, someone who actually has experience as a host. Groban is a talented singer but he isn’t witty, interesting and not particularly good with on-the-spot humor.

Brad Paisley, Kesha and Ludacris doing their best to look excited to be a part of the show. (ABC)

Brad Paisley, Kesha and Ludacris doing their best to look excited to be a part of the show. (ABC)

Groban wasn’t the only flaw with the show though. The guest stars, Kesha, Brad Paisley and Ludacris did their best to act like they were very excited for the competition, but only Paisley appeared to be genuine. The three would tease each other trying to act as fun and friendly as the judges on America’s Got Talent. They would pretend to swipe each other’s touch screens, but it looked like someone told them to do that. Other than giving each singer an edge with their 7% vote, it’s difficult to understand what their role is with the show.  After each performance, they gave quick critiques to the singers, but they don’t really serve as judges. Each singer knows at the end of their performance how they did and if they will be allowed to continue through the competition.

Unlike America’s Got Talent and American Idol, there is a lot more talk than there is music and the show’s slow pace just drags. First we meet the contestant via a video. Then we get to see the contestant meet Groban “behind-the-scenes.”  Then, the contestant is brought on stage where Groban greets them again and asks how they are doing and/or if they are nervous to perform, etc. After their performance, whether they passed or failed, they are brought back to the front of the stage to answer more of Groban’s pithy questions. It’s really quite dull.

During last night’s premiere, 16-year-old singer Macy Kate received the highest number of votes (93% East Coast viewers and 91% for the west coast) allowing her to advance in the competition. The show continues with another batch of singers next Sunday from 9:00-11:00 p.m. on ABC.

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