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Discussion Starter #701
Hmm, okay, not sure I have that much nostalgia for the Space Program.

There have been other series and certainly a lot of movies about various aspects of the Space Program already.
 

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It has kinda' been done to death at this point, hasn't it? How many more of those stories are there to tell, and how many new ways are there to tell them? Easy to see why, all the selfless heroism and single-minded pursuit of dangerous goals, etc. Speaks to the ingrained sense of "American exceptionalism" that is pounded into us from an early age that transcends our current self-centered and myopic politics. The early astronauts were heroes we could all admire, from a more "innocent age".

Me, I prefer the "alternative history" stories like ATV+'s 'For All Mankind'.
 

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Hmm, okay, not sure I have that much nostalgia for the Space Program.

There have been other series and certainly a lot of movies about various aspects of the Space Program already.
Me, I prefer the "alternative history" stories like ATV+'s 'For All Mankind'.
I get both your points. But, that is not the Disney way. :whistle:

If this does well in Season 1 and with the announcement yesterday from NASA to land the first woman and next man on the Moon in 2024 (Artemis Plan), they will ride this wave if possible.
 

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It has kinda' been done to death at this point, hasn't it? How many more of those stories are there to tell, and how many new ways are there to tell them? Easy to see why, all the selfless heroism and single-minded pursuit of dangerous goals, etc. Speaks to the ingrained sense of "American exceptionalism" that is pounded into us from an early age that transcends our current self-centered and myopic politics. The early astronauts were heroes we could all admire, from a more "innocent age".

Me, I prefer the "alternative history" stories like ATV+'s 'For All Mankind'.
I love the alt-History stuff too .. (if done right)

If you want a slice of the real dark side, the Netflix Doc on the Challenger is worthwhile ..

But, in all fairness, if one Space Program show inspires any of the youth of America to pursue a career in some area of Science / Technology, it's a good thing ..

"One small step .."
 

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But, in all fairness, if one Space Program show inspires any of the youth of America to pursue a career in some area of Science / Technology, it's a good thing ..

"One small step .."
Well said.

I was about to reply that most of us posting here who 'have seen it all before' are likely not 10 years old with aspirations to become an astronaut someday. If I were a parent with a 10-year old girl or boy that is fascinated and curious about space, I would welcome a new series like this on Disney+ to share the real 'original astronauts' experience with. Otherwise, they are left to believe that if you want to go into space today you need to become a billionaire and have a last name like Bezos, Branson or Musk...
 
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Discussion Starter #707
But, in all fairness, if one Space Program show inspires any of the youth of America to pursue a career in some area of Science / Technology, it's a good thing ..

"One small step .."
Get them a video game system or an iPad early enough ...

Lot of engineers grew up in households where they bought early home computers like the Commodore 64, Apple II, Atari 800, etc.
 

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Samuel L. Jackson to Star in Nick Fury Series in the Works at Disney+

Disney+ is developing a series centered on Jackson’s MCU character, Nick Fury, with Jackson on board to reprise the role...Kyle Bradstreet (Mr. Robot, Berlin Station) will write and executive-produce the project...plot details, however, are currently being kept under wraps...

 

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Disney Hires Technology Veteran Diane Jurgens as CIO

By Todd Spangler

Walt Disney Co. hired Diane Jurgens, a senior technology management exec with more than three decades of industry experience, as its new chief information officer.

Jurgens will start at Disney on Oct. 5 and report to McCarthy. Jurgens replaces Susan O’Day, who retired as Disney’s CIO and EVP of enterprise technology in January 2020.

Jurgens most recently served as CTO for BHP, a multinational mining, metals, and petroleum company based in Singapore. She previously held senior executive positions with companies in various industries including president and managing director of Shanghai OnStar Telematics Co., CIO for General Motors’ international operations, and as an executive at Boeing.

As Disney’s CIO, Jurgens will lead the company’s global Enterprise Technology organization, which includes enterprise business systems, infrastructure, workforce enablement, and enterprise resilience engineering. Her responsibilities also will include planning, prioritization, implementation and operations of Disney IT systems and infrastructure across the company.

“Diane is a proven global technology leader with strategic vision, and her talents will be a great asset to the company as our businesses and industry continue to evolve,” McCarthy said in a statement. “Her breadth of experience in driving technology and innovation on a worldwide scale make Diane the right choice for this role, and I am very excited to welcome her to my team.”

Jurgens commented, “I am incredibly grateful to Christine for the opportunity to be part of an amazing organization, and I look forward to working with the talented Disney team and leveraging my experience to contribute to the innovation and creativity that the company is known for around the globe.”

Jurgens holds an an M.S. and B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Washington and an MBA from Seattle University.

 

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Disney+ to Launch Drive-In Festival in Santa Monica

Films in the series include 'Coco,' 'Tangled' and 'Captain Marvel.'

Disney+ on Friday revealed that a drive-in film festival will open in Santa Monica next month.

Beginning Oct. 5, the series will kick off with a world premiere of The Right Stuff, after which the film will debut on Disney+ on Oct. 9.

Then, the films will include six nights of movies including Tangled, Coco, Star Wars: The Emperor Strikes Back, Hocus Pocus, Captain Marvel, The Sound of Music Sing-A-Long and the Disney+ original film Clouds.

The festival will operate under social distancing guidelines to protect guests and staff, and safety measures such as face coverings will be required for patrons when interacting with attendants or exiting their vehicles. Congregating outside vehicles will not be allowed in accordance with state and county requirements.

Capacity at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica will be limited and reservations for each vehicle are required to attend (with four guests allowed in each car). Starting Sept. 28, Disney fans can register for complimentary tickets via the Disney+ Drive-in Festival website.

 

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Secret Society of Second-Born Royals: New Disney+ Movie Leaves the Door Wide Open for Sequels — Grade It!
By Andy Swift

Are we sure Prince Harry didn’t ghostwrite this one?

Secret Society of Second-Born Royals, which is now streaming on Disney+, follows five younger siblings of heirs to various thrones, led by Princess Sam (Andi Mack‘s Peyton Elizabeth Lee). These young royals think they’re being shipped off to summer school, only to discover that they’ve been recruited by a top-secret organization to defend the royal families from any number of international threats. Oh, did we mention they all have super powers? They do!

Trained by a bespectacled professor named James Morrow (Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist‘s Skylar Astin), the second-borns work to hone their respective powers — invisibility, persuasion, etc. — all while bonding with one another as unlikely teammates. But trouble arises when Edmond (V-Wars‘ Greg Bryk), a traitorous former member of the Secret Society, breaks free from his 10-year imprisonment, vowing revenge on the woman who locked him away.

 

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Character Powers and Stunts Featurette | Secret Society of Second-Born Royals

Discover the powers of the characters in #SSSBR and the stunts that went into bringing them to life.

 

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‘Monday Night Football’ is More Than a Game for Disney in NFL Rights Scramble

By Brian Steinberg

In a crucial moment for any TV network that wants to stay in the business of broadcasting NFL football games, ESPN this evening is calling in some big guns.

Before kickoff on tonight’s “Monday Night Football,” the sports-media giant will feature an opening segment designed with help from colleagues at Disney sibling Marvel. The montage looks similar to the opening of one of the studio’s super-hero blockbusters. Viewers will hear narration from Samuel L. Jackson, the actor who plays Nick Fury and has enjoyed a continuing presence in Marvel’s popular films. They will see players from tonight’s game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Baltimore Ravens depicted as if they were superheroes from one of Marvel’s colorful comic books. And then they will hear “Heavy Action,” the theme that has been have been an audio hallmark of the program since its tenure on ABC.

Superheroes can only help.

Each “Monday Night Football’ broadcast this season takes place as the NFL and the TV networks that air its games are holding critical negotiations about rights contracts that, if they aren’t renewed, could determine nothing less than the fate of traditional TV itself. To be sure, networks make tweaks and improvements to regular programs all the time, but this season, any changes to gridiron TV take place under a new and intense spotlight. “We are obviously interested in bringing the full power of the Walt Disney Company into the conversation we are having with the NFL,” says Burke Magnus, ESPN’s executive vice president of programming, acquisitions, and scheduling, in an interview.

ESPN makes its case to the league as the network continues to rebuild its “MNF” on air team. For years, ESPN viewers knew they’d be greeted by Jon Gruden or Mike Tirico. The former left in 2018 to coach the Raiders, while Tirico decamped to NBC Sports in 2016. In their place, the network has tried Joe Tessitore, Booger McFarland and Jason Witten, while not-so-quietly reaching out to eye-popping candidates like Peyton Manning (not interested at the moment) and Tony Romo (his salary requirements were too high for Disney).

“You have to have a group that has chemistry together. It’s a tall order,” particularly when new teams are critiqued instantly on social media when they are trying to find ways to gel, says Stephanie Druley, ESPN’s executive vice president of event and studio production, in an interview. “That’s our goal, and look, we have felt like we’ve progressed each year.”

The new “MNF” team of Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Louis Riddick (above, pictured) and veteran sideline reporter Lisa Salters is focused less on football rights and more on football games – even though they face challenges sparked by broadcasting live sports in the midst of global pandemic. “There are people who are in charge of these kinds of things, who will handle these things at Disney and at ESPN. That’s what they do,” says Riddick, the former Buffalo Bills running back, in an interview on Saturday. “What we are in charge of is making sure we display a high quality of professionalism and talking about the game – informing people, educating people, entertaining people.”

ESPN faces more pressure than some of its rivals. Its rights contract with the NFL lapses after the 2021 season, while deals between the league and NBC, Fox and CBS end after 2022. There is speculation that the NFL and the networks could unveil new terms as soon as November. “The conversations are still at a relatively early stage, but are sort of moving along nicely,” Fox Corporation CEO Lachlan Murdoch recently said during a recent investor conference. “The NFL has asked all the broadcasters to think about every package and think about how would we monetize packages that we currently have, or other packages, differently.”

People familiar with parts of the negotiations expect Disney to be ambitious and aggressive. Some discussions have considered the idea of whether Disney might move a property like “Monday Night Football” to ABC and even gain a new chance to become part of the rotation of the Super Bowl broadcast already enjoyed by its competitors, according to two people familiar with some of the discussions. Some executives would not be surprised to see Disney even make a bid for NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” according to one of these people.

“There is speculation coming from everyone but us,” says Magnus, who declined to comment on any of the scenarios.

Billions of dollars are at stake. The average cost of a 30-second ad on “Monday Night Football” last season came to nearly $277,605, according to Standard Media Index, a tracker of ad spending. ESPN is believed to be spending around $1.9 billon a year for NFL rights – a figure most expect to swell under the terms of a new contract. The talks will no doubt involve back-and-forth over what the networks should get in exchange for rising fees, and how they can help the NFL reach new audiences amid a media landscape that is splintering around new types of viewing behaviors and technology.

Every Monday night, Disney offers up a new statement about what it can do with a football property. Last week, ESPN put together a “mega-cast” for “MNF,” with the game broadcast on ESPN and ABC while a bevy of popular guests like Charles Barkley and Peyton Manning held forth on ESPN2. “We sort of wanted it to feel like a Zoom pop-in,” says Druley. ”We have the bandwidth and platforms to put up different types of broadcasts. You can really experiment and see what you like, what the fans like.”

Rivals are trying to show off as well. ViacomCBS intends to air an NFL broadcast later this season on Nickelodeon, in a bid to spark new interest in the sport from some of TV’s youngest audiences, and agreed to a massive $17 million per year contract to keep Tony Romo from going elsewhere. NBC has added new high-tech camera technology to “Sunday Night Football,” and is giving Tirico some temporary Sunday announcing duties to help Al Michaels cut back on travel in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

ESPN has had to do a lot in recent years to convince the NFL of its intentions. Executives freely acknowledge the network’s relationship with the league had deteriorated. The quality of “MNF” match-ups was not the best, and ESPN may have been distracted by the ratings performance of other leagues like the NBA. ESPN regularly creates new programs and formats for other leagues, too, but under Jimmy Pitaro, who was named ESPN’s president in 2018, the network has worked on a “resetting” with the NFL, says Magnus, and placed new emphasis on many aspects of how it showcases the league.

After being forced to share coverage of the NFL Draft with Fox in 2018 – an emotional blow to many longtime ESPN employees – ESPN pushed back: Its 2019 broadcast of the event from Nashville involved a separate, glitzier production tailored for ABC. ESPN’s 2020 Draft, a massive virtual undertaking in pandemic-torn 2020, offered relief to fans whose sports were scuttled by coronavirus. The studio show “NFL Live” got a new lead host, Laura Rutledge, in 2020, along with a new analyst Mina Kimes. ESPN’s morning program, “Get Up,” has kept a steady NFL focus since a retooling of the program in its first year on air.

“The working relationship with the NFL is much better today than it was a couple of years ago,” says Magnus. “We finally made the NFL the priority that they should have been, and we are doing fun things, doing creative things to reach different audiences and grow different audiences.”

TV executives know that in an era when more viewers are migrating to streaming-video favorites, a programming schedule without a robust NFL component is a doomsday scenario. “It really fuels conversations and content for us year-round, and so, yeah, it’s critically important,” says Magnus. “It’s central to our offering.”

The new “MNF” trio isn’t coming in cold. Levy, who has been at ESPN for nearly three decades, and Griese, a former NFL quarterback, have called college games together. And the three worked on a “MNF” game last season. But they all acknowledge they have come together at an unusual time. Announcers and crew can’t hold meetings in person. There are more restrictions when it comes to visiting teams. “There are even smaller things,” explains Levy. “The three of us can’t go to the game together. We need to go there in separate cars.”

The announcers believe their job is to call attention to the game, not themselves. “We are going to cover the game and document how the game is won and all of the storylines that go with it, but we also want to have some fun,” says Griese. “Remember, this is entertainment.”

It certainly is for fans at home. But for Walt Disney, ESPN and the NFL,”Monday Night Football” will be something quite different until a new contract is signed.

 

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Secret Society of Second-Born Royals: New Disney+ Movie Leaves the Door Wide Open for Sequels — Grade It!
By Andy Swift

Are we sure Prince Harry didn’t ghostwrite this one?
LOL. Possible. If it had landed on Netflix, then your theory would strengthen. :giggle:
 

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Baby Yoda Is Helping Firefighters Battle Wildfires In Pacific Northwest

A Baby Yoda toy gifted to a team of firefighters has become a mascot for first responders tackling the the wildfire crisis in the Pacific Northwest.



 

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Disney Adds ‘GroupWatch’ Feature To Disney+ In Major Social Viewing Push

Disney is rolling out GroupWatch, a feature that enables up to seven Disney+ subscribers to simultaneously view and react to a movie or series.

It is the most ambitious push into social viewing by any streaming service yet, expanding on efforts by Hulu and Amazon Prime Video as well as apps like Netflix Party and Scener, which added Disney+ to its roster over the summer. Unlike those other offerings, though, Disney’s GroupWatch is not a web browser extension or something limited to a laptop. It is available, with a few minor exceptions, on all connected platforms where Disney+ can be viewed, on screens of all sizes.

By tapping the GroupWatch icon on a series or film on Disney+ via a mobile device or the web, a subscriber can invite others to join. Once those invites are accepted, the viewing session can occur via a connected-TV device or smart TV.

When the feature is added to Disney+ accounts starting Tuesday morning, it will be only in the U.S. In the fall, European territories will gain the capability. In order to co-view across continents, the same versions of the same titles will need to be available in every country.

Disney went live with GroupWatch after test runs in Canada, Australia and New Zealand earlier this month.

At launch, GroupWatch does not offer text messaging, which is a key component of the existing plug-ins and social viewing initiatives. Instead, participants can respond to programming with one of six emojis: “like,” “funny,” “sad,” “angry,” “scared” and “surprised.”

Advanced synchronization technology accounts for any lag in connections among the participants and allow any of the GroupWatch viewers to pause as needed.

“Storytelling comes alive when you’re able to share and enjoy it with others, and in this moment when many are still apart from their friends and family, GroupWatch offers a way to safely connect virtually by co-viewing your favorite Disney+ stories with your favorite people from the comfort of your living room,” Jerrell B Jimerson, SVP Product Management for Disney+, said in a press release.

In an interview, Jimerson noted that GroupWatch had been in development before COVID-19 upended society and culture in early 2020, but it gained relevance given the remote-ness of life this year.

In August, Disney reported having reached 60.5 million global subscribers since launching Disney+ in November 2019. It came to market along with Apple TV+, and HBO Max and Peacock have since also joined the fray. The new streaming services aim to close the gap with Netflix and other incumbents.

Disney got early traction with Disney+ thanks to Star Wars spinoff series The Mandalorian, which is about to see the debut of its second season. Movies have played an outsized role in the development of the service due to the closure of movie theaters in many territories due to the pandemic. Hamilton, a filmed version of the Broadway smash, debuted on Disney+ over the July 4 holiday weekend and Mulan, a big-budget, live-action title, debuted this month as a $30 premium item for subscribers.

 

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Learn about comics' real-life impact with trailer for Marvel's 616 documentary series

By Christian Holub

Stan Lee used to say that the Marvel Comics universe was ″the world outside your window." Another legendary comic writer, Alan Moore, coined the designation ″616″ to refer to the Marvel universe's place in a larger multiverse. Both those concepts come together in the title of the upcoming Disney+ documentary series Marvel's 616, which explores how Marvel comics and characters have influenced our own real-life world. You can exclusively watch the first trailer for Marvel's 616 above.

Marvel's 616 consists of eight episodes, directed by different accomplished filmmakers and tackling various facets of Marvel. The first episode, ″The Japanese Spider-Man,″ is directed by David Gelb (Jiro Dreams of Sushi) and tells the story of the most interesting Marvel adaptation you've probably never heard of before. In 1978, Marvel struck a deal with Japanese TV giant Toei to adapt the company's most popular superhero for Japanese audiences. The result involved a giant robot and a cool car, and became an important influence on Japanese pop culture. Japanese Spider-Man (a.k.a Supaidāman) has rarely been seen outside of Japan, so the footage will knock your socks off.

The second episode is titled ″Higher, Further, Faster," after the tagline of writer Kelly Sue DeConnick's popular Captain Marvel comics that were a big influence on the 2019 film starring Brie Larson. Directed by Gillian Jacobs (Community), the episode introduces viewers to the women who have played important roles in Marvel's history. The third episode, ″Amazing Artisans,″ is directed by Clay Jeter and focuses on two international Marvel artists, Javier Garrón and Natacha Bustos, who live in Barcelona and use their life experiences to influence their work on popular young superheroes Miles Morales and Moon Girl.

Episode four, ″Lost and Found,″ is directed by Paul Scheer (Black Monday, The League) and features him exploring the most obscure, wild, and forgotten Marvel characters (rest assured: there are plenty of them). The fifth episode, ″Suit Up!," is directed by Andrew Rossi (Page One: Inside the New York Times) and focuses on cosplay culture. There are interviews with several cosplayers as they prepare for last year's New York Comic Con, so if you are missing the in-person NYCC experience this year, this episode should work as a substitute. Virtual NYCC will have plenty of panels, but they won't have the irreplaceable experience of walking around so many unique cosplayers.

The sixth episode, ″Unboxed,″ is directed by Sarah Ramos (Parenthood) and explores the ″symbiotic relationship″ between comics and toys. Which came first, which influenced the other? The answer is not always the same, as indicated by interviews with Marvel toy experts, designers at Hasbro and Funko, and passionate collectors. Episode seven, ″The Marvel Method," is directed by Bryan Oakes and takes a close look at the creation of the new Iron Man 2020 comic. There are interviews with writer Dan Slott, artist Pete Woods, and editor Tom Brevoort as they work to get the comic completed by deadline. In addition, the interviews provide historical background on the development of the titular Marvel Method as it was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, for better and worse.


Last but certainly not least is the eight episode, "Marvel Spotlight." Directed by Alison Brie (Community, GLOW), this episode follows a group of students at Florida's Brandon High School as they put on performances of the new Marvel Spotlight plays and realize how much characters like Ms. Marvel and Squirrel Girl speak to their own high school experiences.

All episodes of Marvel's 616 begin streaming on Disney+ on Nov. 20. Check out the trailer and preview clips above.

 
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