Worldwide basketball star LeBron James and business partner Maverick Carter are set to executive produce ESPN Films’ and Disney XD’s new special “Becoming,” a half-hour show for kids and families profiling the inspirational journeys of today’s top athletes. “Becoming” will debut SUNDAY, OCTOBER 26 (8:00 p.m., ET/PT) on Disney XD and is in development for an ongoing series. Produced in association with ESPN Films and LeBron James’ Springhill Production Company, the pilot will tell the story of the NBA champion’s trajectory to the top and reflect the spirit of his accomplishments, including some of the most defining and triumphant moments of his life.
“I’m really excited about helping develop ‘Becoming’ and bringing this kind of program to kids,” said LeBron James. “Sports and athletes were my inspiration growing up. It was the stories about Michael Jordan, Deion Sanders, and Allen Iverson that kept me dreaming. When I learned that they had some of the same struggles and challenges I did, it made everything seem possible. That’s what ‘Becoming’ is all about.”
“This is a very exciting project for Springhill Production Company,” said Maverick Carter, co-founder and partner of Springhill Production Company. “We are looking at a variety of projects and this was an obvious choice. It’s so true to the type of content for kids we want to do. ESPN Films understands how to bring sports stories alive. We do a lot of work with different projects focusing on kids, and the demand for programming like this is obvious.”
Marc Buhaj, senior vice president, Programming and general manager, Disney XD said, “We’re thrilled to work alongside ESPN Films and LeBron James on ‘Becoming.’ This unique special gives our audience an inspiring and relatable look at one of America’s most beloved sports stars as LeBron shares his personal journey with Disney XD viewers.”
“It is incredibly exciting to use our style of non-fiction storytelling to showcase LeBron’s extraordinary story,” said Connor Schell, vice president and executive producer of ESPN Films. “For an audience of kids everywhere, the tone of the show is meant to be aspirational and illustrate how much support and hard work goes into LeBron becoming who he is today.”
Filmed in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, the “Becoming” pilot takes a stroll down memory lane with the Cleveland Cavaliers forward through rarely seen footage from his earliest days in sports, including the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) where James played youth basketball for the Northeast Ohio Shooting Stars, as well as his record-setting days at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School where he garnered worldwide attention. James, along with those close to him, including lifelong friends, mentors, teammates and former coaches, will share candid memories with his young fans during the special.
“Becoming” is executive-produced by James and Maverick Carter of Springhill Production Company, along with John Dahl, Libby Geist and Connor Schell, the creative team behind ESPN’s Peabody and Emmy Award-winning “30 for 30″ series. “Becoming” is produced by Gentry Kirby and Erin Leyden.
Disney XD is a basic cable channel and multi-platform brand showcasing a compelling mix of live-action and animated programming for Kids age 6-11, hyper-targeting boys and transporting them into worlds full of humor, unexpected fun and inspiring action-filled adventures. Disney XD-branded content spans television, online, mobile and VOD platforms. The programming includes series, movies and short-form, as well as sports-themed programming developed with ESPN. In the U.S., Disney XD is seen on a 24-hour, advertiser-supported network that reaches over 80 million households via its basic cable and satellite affiliates. There are 30 Disney XD channels available in 25 languages around the world.
Created in March 2008, ESPN Films produces high-quality films showcasing some of the most compelling stories in sports. In October 2009, ESPN Films launched its signature 30 for 30 film series, which has since won a Peabody Award, Producer’s Guild Award and an Emmy Award. Inspired by ESPN’s 30th Anniversary, the films that made up the series were a thoughtful and innovative reflection on the past three decades told through the lens of diverse and interesting sports fans and social commentators. The strong reaction from both critics and fans led to the launch of 30 for 30 Volume II, which is currently underway. Additional projects from ESPN Films include the critically-acclaimed Nine for IX series, SEC Storied and the Webby Award- and Emmy Award-winning 30 for 30 Shorts.
Springhill Production Company is the entertainment and content company created by LeBron James and Maverick Carter. Named after the public housing complex where James grew up in Akron, Ohio, Springhill Production Company develops creative content across a variety of platforms including digital, documentary and feature films, and scripted and unscripted TV. Springhill Production Company has offices in Los Angeles and Akron
Walt Disney World has announced the Frozen Holiday Premium Package.
This premium offering is offered November 7 – 19, November 21 – December 9 and December 11 – January 4, 2015 and includes reserved seating for a performance of “For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration” at the Premiere Theatre, reserved Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights viewing, a Frozen-themed dessert party in the evening, a holiday themed lithograph, and a “Frozen” pin.
The package costs $89 per adult and $59 per child (ages 3 – 9), plus tax (gratuity is included). Valid theme park admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios is required and is not included in this package price.
To book guests can call 407-939-1854
Beginning today, nostalgic fans wishing to relive and share their favorite sports moments will be able to access more than 600 hours of events from ESPN Classic on-demand, anytime directly from their set top boxes by the end of the month. The launch is ESPN’s largest on-demand content offering and a significant turning point in ESPN Classic’s 19-year history. DISH is the affiliated video provider at launch.
“As fans continue to evolve the way they consume content, making ESPN Classic an on-demand offering is the logical next step,” said David Preschlack, Executive Vice President of Affiliate Sales and Marketing for Disney and ESPN Media Networks. “It is a powerful consumer proposition and a great example of how we are collaborating with our partners to free up bandwidth, allowing them to better serve customers.”
Archived programming of memorable moments available to fans nationwide through the new service will follow the seasonality and relevancy of each sport year-round. At launch, this includes classic college football and college basketball games leading up to the College Football Playoff and NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, respectively. Some events that will be made available through the end of the year include:
- College Football – more than 200 games highlighted by the last five BCS Championship games, all-time great bowl games such as the 1973 Sugar Bowl between Notre Dame vs. Alabama and marquee rivalries including Florida State vs. Miami.
- College Basketball – more than 50 games through 2014 alone, highlighted by a dozen Jimmy V Classic events to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Jimmy V tournament, including Indiana vs. UNC in 1999, Duke vs. Kentucky in 2001, Michigan State vs. Syracuse in 2010, Jimmy V’s legendary speech and more.
DISH customers that receive ESPN networks as part of their video subscription will have immediate access to on-demand programming from ESPN Classic. A digital content offering through WatchESPN is slated to launch in early 2015.
As of today, nearly 11,000 Orange County children have a great new place to play. More than 200 volunteers from the city of La Habra (@LaHabraCA), KaBOOM! (@kaboom) and the Institute for Healthcare Advancement joined Disney VoluntEARS (@CitizenDisney) to deliver a new kid-inspired playspace in fewer than eight hours at San Miguel Park (981 N. Euclid St.) in La Habra. The playground design is based on children’s drawings created at a special event earlier this year.
“The impact that these projects have on our community is immeasurable,” said Mayor Tom Beamish, City of La Habra. “We are able to improve our parks and make them more inviting to children by creating a vibrant and positive playground experience for the surrounding families. We appreciate KaBOOM! for coordinating these events and for all they do, and special thanks to Disney for its participation in this project at San Miguel De Allende Park.”
“Creating experiences that bring families together is at the heart of everything we do,” said Michael Colglazier, president of the Disneyland Resort. “Working with KaBOOM provides our Cast Members yet another opportunity to improve and enrich the lives of children and families of Orange County.”
Since 1996, KaBOOM! has been dedicated to the goal of ensuring that all children get the balanced and active play they need to thrive because #PlayMatters.
The new playground is one of many made possible with support from Disney as part of Magic of Healthy Living, an initiative that partners with parents to inspire kids to lead healthier lifestyles. By the end of 2014, Disney’s support will bring the magic of play to more than 75,000 kids and families.
Disney and KaBOOM!
Seven playgrounds for nearly 11,000 Orange County children:
San Miguel Park, La Habra – Sept. 2014
John Marshall Park, Anaheim –Mar. 2014
Modjeska Park, Anaheim – Oct. 2013
Schweitzer Park, Anaheim – Mar. 2013
Boys & Girls Club Santa Ana – Sept. 2012
Stoddard Park, Anaheim – May 2012
Edison Park, Anaheim – Jun. 2011
Disney has released new clips from Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day starring Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner. The film will open in theaters October 10, 2014.
Stop, Drop & Roll:
Effort on the Potty:
This Day Was Cursed:
Jake and his crew of kid pirates take flight over London in Disney Junior’s “Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Battle for the Book!” a primetime special premiering SUNDAY, OCTOBER 26 (6:00 p.m., ET/PT) on Disney Channel and Disney Junior. Beloved Disney heritage characters Wendy, John and Michael Darling make their series debut in the music-filled special, with Maia Mitchell (Disney Channel’s “Teen Beach Movie” and ABC Family’s “The Fosters”) voicing the role of Wendy and performing new original song “Once Upon A Time.” Peter Pan and Tinker Bell will also appear.
A full-length preview of “Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Battle for the Book!” will be available on WATCHDisneyJunior.com and the WATCH Disney Junior app for smartphones and tablets beginning Sunday, October 19, followed by the debut of a new Hidden Objects game on Wednesday, October 22.
When the dastardly Captain Hook steals Wendy’s storybook from the Darling family home in London, Peter Pan enlists Jake’s help to save the day. With his trusted crew and the spirited Tinker Bell by his side, Jake meets the Darling children for the first time, and together they race to prevent Never Land’s most cherished tales from being lost forever.
The Emmy-nominated and Annie Award-winning “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” consistently ranks among the top preschool programs in Kids 2-5. The strong connection young viewers and their parents have with the characters and stories has led to the series extensions across all Disney businesses, including the popular “Disney Junior Live on Stage!” attraction atDisney California Adventure park at the Disneyland Resort and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. The series is also highlighted in the 103-city tour of “Disney Junior Live On Tour! Pirate & Princess Adventure.” It was recently showcased as part of Disney Junior’s “Pirate and Princess: Power of Doing Good” pro-social touring event sponsored by ASPCA, Youth Service America (YSA), National Wildlife Federation and First Book.
Other extensions of the hit series are multiple book titles, apps, a robust product line from Disney Consumer Products and multiple soundtracks and DVDs from Disney Studios. “Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Battle for the Book!” will release on DVD on January 6, 2015.
He is the perfect killing machine. The apex weapon. The demolisher. Only he doesn’t know it! This October, a new legend is born in DEATHLOK #1 – the first explosive issue in an all-new ongoing series! Launching as part of the Avengers NOW! initiative, critically acclaimed creators Nathan Edmondson (Black Widow, The Punisher) and Mike Perkins (Captain America, Stephen King’s The Stand) provide a brand new spin on Deathlok like you’ve never seen him before!
After Michael Collins – there was Henry Hayes. A war veteran, a single parent. A good man who though he’d left his war behind. As a field medic, he has traveled to war zones to heal the wounded, unaware of his true purpose. Unbeknownst to him, he has been transformed and twisted into a new weapon for a new war – DEATHLOK! Operative, fighter, assassin and more – he is whatever his mysterious handlers need him to be.
Utilized as a deadly weapon rented out to the highest bidder, Hayes travels the globe toppling dictators and destabilizing regimes – his memories erased after each mission. All in the name of his mysterious corporate masters. Yet as he slowly uncovers the truth about his existence, he’ll struggle with the knowledge he’s been transformed into the ultimate weapon of mass destruction – and expose the disturbing legacy of the many Deathloks that came before him.
Hunted by S.H.I.E.L.D. and unaware of his true purpose, the one man army will be forced to choose – is he man…or machine? The answer lies in the high-octane first issue as the next blockbuster Avengers NOW! series debuts this October in DEATHLOK #1!
In the latest issue of Total Film Magazine, director David Fincher discusses his talks to direct Star Wars: Episode VII
“I talked to Kathy about it, but I think that it’s a different thing from… I don’t know what Disney-Lucasfilm will be like,” he says of the studio merger that resulted in a new batch of Star Wars films being greenlit.
“It’s tricky,” he adds. “My favourite is The Empire Strikes Back. If I said, ‘I want to do something more like that,’ then I’m sure the people paying for it would be like, ‘No! You can’t do that! We want it like the other one with all the creatures!’
“I always thought of Star Wars as the story of two slaves [C-3PO and R2-D2] who go from owner to owner, witnessing their masters’ folly, the ultimate folly of man… I thought it was an interesting idea in the first two, but it’s kind of gone by Return Of The Jedi.”
ABC has renewed its summer drama series Mistresses for a third season with a 13-episode order. The series second season rated just behind the show’s first year. The show is produced by ABC Studios.
The town of Rosewood is a perfect setting for things that go bump in the night, and this Halloween ABC Family’s “Pretty Little Liars” will give its devoted fans an inside look at the show with interviews with PLL cast and crew. The fan special “Pretty Little Liars: We Love You To DeAth” will air on Tuesday, Oct. 21st at 8 PM ET/PT as part of ABC Family’s “13 Nights of Halloween.”
Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson, Lucy Hale, Shay Mitchell and Sasha Pieterse sit down to answer fans burning questions about the show, while Tyler Blackburn, Ian Harding, Janel Parrish, Keegan Allen and “Pretty Little Liars” crew members sit down to give insiders a glimpse at the behind the scenes workings of the show. It wouldn’t be Halloween, or “Pretty Little Liars,” if it didn’t include some of “A’s” victims in a “Dearly Departed”-themed segment with interviews from those who met a deadly end, such as Bianca Lawson (“Maya St. Germain”), Ryan Merriman (“Ian Thomas”) and Bryce Johnson (“Det. Darin Wilden”).
Also “Pretty Little Liars” super fans weigh in on their favorite OMG moments and what the show has meant to them. And everyone has a theory on who they think is “A!”