Ousted Secret Service Head Pierson Wanted the Agency to be More Like Disney World
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In a critical report from the Washington Post, the paper reports that the ousted Secret Service Director Julia Pierson wanted the agency to be more like Walt Disney World:

 Supervisors who had mapped out the security plan said they were taken aback when Pierson, who worked during high school at Walt Disney World as a costumed character and park attendant, said: “We need to be more like Disney World. We need to be more friendly, inviting.”

 The former Cast Member resigned as head of the agency charged with protecting the President of the United States following several incidents that revealed that the agency is struggling in fulfilling its mission.
Jay Bilas Renews ESPN Contract Through 2022-23 College Basketball Season
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Jay Bilas, known for an extensive knowledge of men’s basketball and his insightful analysis about the entire sports industry, has agreed to an extension with ESPN through the 2022-23 men’s college basketball season, it was announced by John Wildhack, ESPN Executive Vice President, Production and Programming.

Bilas, who is featured on ESPN’s game and studio coverage, will call top men’s college basketball games involving the nation’s marquee teams and conferences and will be present at the Men’s Final Four through studio coverage, as well as game telecasts on ESPN International. Saturday’s will be busy for Bilas as he will add ESPN’s Saturday Primetime Presented by DIRECTV game-of-the-week assignment to his analyst role on the popular Saturday morning and evening college basketball program, College GameDay Covered by State Farm. He has been an analyst on the show that originates from the site of the Saturday Primetime telecast since its debut in 2005.

Bilas will contribute to several ESPN platforms, including ESPN.com and SportsCenter. His extension will keep him on ESPN’s coverage of the NBA Draft, where he has been providing in-depth player scouting and analysis since 2003.

“Jay Bilas is a tremendous contributor to ESPN in so many ways, and we are delighted to extend our relationship with him,” said Wildhack. “He is among a small group of commentators who transcend genres based on his ability to inform and educate sports fans, break down game action and articulate how and why things happen in college basketball and the sports world at large.”

Added Bilas: “For over twenty years, I have been honored to be a member of ESPN’s amazing team and, like all of my teammates here at ESPN, I’ve always fully embraced the role I have been assigned. I’m thrilled to continue my career with ESPN, and to work together with so many talented and dedicated people. I’m extraordinarily fortunate to be a part of this team.”

Bilas joined ESPN in the 1994-95 college basketball season as a game and studio color commentator.

In 2007 and 2008, Bilas was nominated for an Emmy as Outstanding Studio Personality, and in 2008 Bilas was honored by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) for the Best Column of the Year. Sports Illustrated has twice named Bilas the best analyst in college basketball.

A prep All-American from Los Angeles, Calif., the 6-7 Bilas was a four-year starter at Duke under Mike Krzyzewski from 1982-86. As an undersized center, Bilas scored 1,062 points, grabbed 692 rebounds, and helped lead Duke to the 1986 ACC Championship and NCAA Championship game. Bilas’ 1986 Duke team still holds the NCAA record for the most wins in a single season with 37.

Drafted by the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, Bilas played professional basketball overseas, ranking among the leagues’ top scorers in Italy during the 1987 and 1988 seasons, and then in Spain for part of the 1989 season. Bilas returned to Duke in 1990 to serve as an assistant coach on Krzyzewski’s staff, while also earning his law degree from Duke Law School. As an assistant coach under Krzyzewski, the Blue Devils advanced to the NCAA Championship game three times, winning back-to-back titles in 1991 and 1992.

Since 1992, Bilas has been an attorney with the law firm of Moore & Van Allen, PLLC, where he has specialized in commercial litigation. Bilas serves on the Board of Advisors of the John R. Wooden Award, the Board of Advisors of the Chip Hilton Award, the National Board of the Coaches vs. Cancer Organization and the Board of Advisors of the Duke Brain Tumor Center and Duke Childrens’ Hospital.

Bilas has participated as a coach in two “Operation Hardwood – Hoops With the Troops” basketball tournaments in 2005 and 2006, in which NCAA coaches and sports personalities coach military basketball teams at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.

Star Wars Rebels Renewed For Second Season
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One day ahead of a highly-anticipated television premiere, Disney Channels Worldwide President and Chief Creative Officer Gary Marsh announced plans to produce a second season of the animated series “Star Wars Rebels” from Lucasfilm.

Marsh said, “The global expectations for this series could not have been any higher. And I am proud to say that the team at Lucasfilm has delivered something that has surpassed even that incredibly high bar – artistically and thematically.”

“Star Wars Rebels” has received acclaim from critics and fans alike since its advance debut screening at San Diego Comic-Con in July, followed by special previews this week on WATCH Disney XD and other digital platforms. “Star Wars Rebels” will be introduced via a television movie, “Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion,” premiering FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3 (9:00 p.m., ET/PT) on Disney Channel in the U.S. andMONDAY, OCTOBER 6 (8:00 p.m., ET/PT) on Disney XD in the U.S.  It ushers in the series beginningMONDAY, OCTOBER 13 (9:00 p.m., ET/PT) on Disney XD in the U.S.  The series will air in 34 languages across 163 countries in over 400 million households.

“We all love making ‘Rebels,’ so we couldn’t be happier that it’s moving into a second season,” says LucasfilmVP of Creative Development, Kiri Hart.  “Our fantastic creative team is dreaming up new stories for the crew of the Ghost that will expand their experience of the galaxy and deepen their heroes’ journeys. The fan response to the show has been amazing, humbling and inspiring. We’re looking forward to the adventure ahead.”

The creative team behind the second season of “Star Wars Rebels” includes Executive Producers Simon Kinberg and Dave Filoni, and Co-Executive Producer and Supervising Writer Henry Gilroy.

“Star Wars Rebels” continues the epic story-telling tradition that has captivated generations of “Star Wars” fans since 1977.  Its story is set in the era between the film’s prequel trilogy and original trilogy and is in a unique position to bridge the two both aesthetically and generationally.  Honoring the past while moving boldly into the future, it features fantastic icons from “Star Wars” while introducing a new generation to the far corners of the galaxy, one full of exotic new creatures and characters.

Tim DeKay Cast as Grant Ward’s Brother On Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
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Marvel.com has revealed that Tim DeKay has been cast as Grant Ward’s Brother, Senator Christian Ward, on the sixth episode of Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s second season. Tim DeKay is best known for his role of Peter Burke on USA’s White Collar, but has previously appeared with Clark Gregg on The New Adventures of Old Christine.

ABC To Re-Air Season Premiere of Once Upon a Time
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ABC will re-air the season premiere of Once Upon a Time on Sunday October 5 at 7/6c. This episode replaces the America’s Funniest Home Videos Season Premiere which now airs on October 12.

In “A Tale of Two Sisters,” a scared and confused Elsa finds herself in Storybrooke and, fearful of the intentions of its residents, creates a powerful snow monster for protection. With Robin Hood’s wife, Marian, back in the picture, Regina wonders if her “happily ever after” with the former thief has been completely quashed; while on their honeymoon, Mr. Gold finds an intriguing object that makes him question whether or not he should officially give Belle control over the dagger that makes him The Dark One, and Hook is dismayed to discover that Emma seems to be avoiding him while she tries to help comfort Regina after being the one responsible for bringing Marian back from the past and into Storybrooke. Meanwhile, in Arendelle of the past, as Elsa’s sister Anna’s wedding to Kristoff nears, Anna discovers that their parents – who died on-ship during a violent storm – were heading to a mysterious destination in a quest that may have held the secret to containing Elsa’s out of control Ice powers. And against Elsa’s wishes, Anna wants to finish their journey to find out what they were looking for.

 

ESPN Extends Dick Vitale’s Contract Through 2016-17 Season
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Hall of Famer Dick Vitale, one of sport’s most influential and recognizable personalities, has reached a new contract extension with ESPN to continue as a college basketball analyst with the company through 2016-17. Vitale will call some of the season’s top games across ESPN networks, including regular-season action primarily on ESPN and ESPN2 and the Men’s Final Four for ESPN International. The agreement was announced by John Wildhack, ESPN Executive Vice President, Production and Programming.

“Dick is the ultimate ambassador who has always recognized the importance of both educating and entertaining the audience,” Wildhack said. “He puts his heart and soul into everything he does – his work, his life, his family – and we are all better for it. We are thrilled to have his unmistakable presence on ESPN for years to come.”

Vitale added, “I am just so honored to be at ESPN for over three decades. I am absolutely thrilled, at my relatively young age of 75, ESPN feels I am still passionate enough to talk about a game I love, college basketball.  I am just so grateful to be part of the ESPN family. Without ESPN, there would no Dickie V; there would be no Hall of Fames.  I am forever indebted to them.”

Vitale joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season — just after the network’s September 1979 launch — following a successful coaching career. He called ESPN’s first-ever major NCAA basketball game – Wisconsin at DePaul on Dec. 5, 1979 (a 90-77 DePaul win). Since then, he’s called more than a thousand games.

Over the years, Vitale has been widely recognized for his work and his positive impact on others. Just recently, he was honored by the American Cancer Society for his dedication to cancer awareness; by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) with a Court of Honor Award; as well as by Seton Hall University with the Humanitarian Award.

Beyond the numerous awards he’s received for his work, including the sport’s highest honor in 2008 (Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee in the contributor category), Vitale has been celebrated for his many charitable contributions. He’s been an outspoken and passionate fundraiser and board member for The V Foundation for Cancer Research and has also worked closely with the Boys & Girls Club and Make-A-Wish, among other organizations.

While his knowledge, preparation and enthusiasm are unparalleled, his “Vitale-isms” have become part of the sports lexicon, including “Awesome, Baby!,” “Get a TO, Baby!” and “PTP’er.” Vitale, who has authored nine books, has been selected for nine halls of fame. In addition to TV, he contributes to numerous other ESPN outlets, including ESPN Radio, ESPN.com and more.

Vitale’s roots are in teaching the game he’s loved since childhood. Following college, he got a job teaching at Mark Twain Elementary School (Garfield, N.J.) and coaching junior high school football and basketball. He began coaching for eight years at the high school level in 1963, and in 1970, moved on to his first of seven years of college jobs with Rutgers and later University of Detroit. In May 1978, he was named head coach of the NBA’s Detroit Pistons, the job he held prior to joining ESPN.

Drink Pink This October at Ravello at Four Seasons Resort Orlando
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In celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort is joining many Four Seasons properties across the globe in a “Pink Lady” cocktail promotion. A special pink drink will be offered at Ravello Bar and Ravello restaurant, with a portion of sales from every cocktail sold in the month of October benefitting the Compassionate Hands and Hearts organization, an Orlando-based charity that provides assistance to patients undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

The cocktail, called “The Pink Masquerade,” is sold for $14.  A delicious, refreshing pink cocktail, the Luxardo and Creme de Cassis, a black currant liqueur, provide ample fruit flavor, while acidity from lemon juice balances out the sweetness. Enjoy The Pink Masquerade with appetizers in Ravello Bar or with dinner in Ravello, while supporting the Compassionate Hands and Hearts Foundation.

Guests are encouraged to follow the campaign on social media with the hashtag #PinkTank and to interact with @FSOrlando with the hashtag #FSThinkPink and #PinkTank.

To make The Pink Masquerade at home, enjoy the recipe, compliments of Ravello mixologists.

The Pink Masquerade
1.75 oz Hangar One Vodka
.5 oz Briottet Creme de Cassis
.5 oz lemon juice
.25 oz Luxardo Maraschino Cherry Liqueur
.25 oz Simple Syrup

Shake all ingredients and double strain into a coupe.  Garnish with a lemon twist.

About Compassionate Hands and Hearts
Orlando breast cancer survivor and news anchor Vanessa Echols of WFTV founded the charity in 2007. One-hundred percent of all donations go directly to assist breast cancer patients and their families in central Florida. Services include providing meals for families, lawn care, housekeeping, transportation assistance, and financial assistance for rent/mortgage and utilities. 
www.compassionatehandsandhearts.org

LeBron James Producing ESPN Films’ and Disney XD’s Sports Series “Becoming”
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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 Offering Frozen Holiday Premium Package at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
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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