Launching the new year in dramatic style, NBC has set January premiere dates for three key midseason series — “The New Celebrity Apprentice,” now in Los Angeles and starring master of the boardroom Arnold Schwarzenegger; “Grimm,” which will begin its sixth and final season; and the epic, romantic and wondrous “Emerald City.”
“THE NEW CELEBRITY APPRENTICE”: Monday, Jan. 2, 8-10 p.m.
Sixteen celebrities are set to compete for their favorite charities when “The New Celebrity Apprentice” shifts to Los Angeles for its eighth season where twice-elected California governor and international movie superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger reigns over the boardroom.
Advising the new head of the boardroom this season will be world-class business minds, including investment guru Warren Buffett, one of the most successful businessmen in the world; former Microsoft CEO and Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer; Tyra Banks, a supermodel, actress, TV host, producer, accomplished businesswoman and CEO of the Tyra Banks Company and cosmetics brand, TYRA Beauty; actress, author and entrepreneur Jessica Alba, the founder and chief creative officer of the Honest Company and Honest Beauty; and Schwarzenegger’s trusted confidante and nephew, prominent entertainment attorney Patrick Knapp Schwarzenegger.
This season’s celebrity contestants vying for the coveted title of the Celebrity Apprentice and a $250,000 check to give to their designated charity are:
- Laila Ali — Retired four-time boxing world champion and two-time hall of famer, TV host, author, health and wellness expert and daughter of boxing legend Muhammad Ali
- Brooke Burke-Charvet — Actress, host, entrepreneur, fitness expert and CEO of ModernMom.com
- Eric Dickerson — Pro Football Hall of Fame running back who played for the Los Angeles Rams, Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Raiders and Atlanta Falcons
- Boy George — Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, lead vocalist for the pop band Culture Club, international DJ and a coach on the U.K. version of “The Voice,” as well as a top fashion designer and photographer
- Matt Iseman — “American Ninja Warrior” host, comedian, actor and licensed physician
- Carrie Keagan — Actress, producer, writer, entrepreneur and the former host of VH1’s Emmy Award-winning live morning talk show “Big Morning Buzz Live with Carrie Keagan”
- Carson Kressley — Emmy Award-winning television star, celebrity stylist, author and fashion designer, as well as a successful horse show exhibitor who owns saddlebred horses
- Lisa Leslie — Naismith Hall of Famer, four-time Olympic gold medalist and WNBA champion who earned an MBA
- Jon Lovitz — Comedian, film and television star and former “Saturday Night Live” cast member
- Vince Neil — Lead vocalist for the heavy metal band Mötley Crüe as well as eclectic businessman with interests in liquor, bars, restaurants, tattoo parlors along with clothing and retail
- Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi — Reality television star and New York Times bestselling author
- Kyle Richards — Actress and star of ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” is a philanthropist who owns an innovative boutique concept in Beverly Hills
- Chael Sonnen — Former UFC standout and mixed martial artist
- Porsha Williams — Co-host of nationally syndicated Dish Nation, star of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” entrepreneur.
- Ricky Williams — Heisman Trophy winner for the University of Texas, 2015 College Football Hall of Fame inductee and ESPN sports analyst who was a running back for the Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints and Baltimore Ravens
- Carnie Wilson — Singer, television host and member of the pop music group Wilson Phillips.
Mark Burnett, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Page Feldman and Eric Van Wagenen are executive producers. “The Celebrity Apprentice” is produced and internationally distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM).
“GRIMM”: The final season begins Friday, Jan. 6, 8-9 p.m.
Closing out an incredibly successful series run and giving viewers a chance to say goodbye over the last 13 episodes, the sixth and final season of NBC’s drama “Grimm” will begin its last chapter with the battle fans have long been waiting for — Nick versus Capt. Renard.
The series, which reached the 100-episode milestone last season, has long been a fan and critical favorite, with the Los Angeles Times calling it “terrific and trendsetting… ‘Grimm’ has become a beacon of solid narrative and a weekly reminder of why monsters matter.” The New York Times said “Grimm” is “engaging, clever, tense, funny and well-paced, featuring a remarkably appealing cast.”
As for events leading into the final season, the nefarious forces of Black Claw have been silenced and Nick (David Giuntoli) faces an all too familiar foe in Capt. Sean Renard (Sasha Roiz). Now in the seat of power as the mayor elect of Portland, Renard is poised to bring rise to his own brand of law and order. Nick must take a stand to protect his city and those closest to him, especially his child with Adalind (Claire Coffee). It will take the full force of Nick and his allies to find a way to bring the peace.
Meanwhile, Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) and Rosalee (Bree Turner) grapple with bringing a child into a new and tumultuous world, and Eve (Bitsie Tulloch) faces unsettling identity issues as her former self lurks below the surface.
“Grimm” also stars Russell Hornsby and Reggie Lee.
The series was created by David Greenwalt & Jim Kouf and Stephen Carpenter. Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner (“Hollywood Game Night,” ”Hot in Cleveland”) serve as executive producers along with Greenwalt and Kouf. “Grimm” is a Universal Television and Hazy Mills production.
“EMERALD CITY”: Friday, Jan. 6, 9-11 p.m. two-hour event; 9-10 p.m. each week following
Swept up into the eye of a tornado, 20-year-old Dorothy Gale (Adria Arjona) is transported to another world — a mystical land where an all-powerful ruler (Vincent D’Onofrio) governs over one kingdom, has outlawed magic, and faces not only the wrath of a growing cauldron of witches but a looming disaster brought on by a mythical force. Epic, romantic and fantastical, “Emerald City” is an empowering tale of a young woman finding her true strength and identity even as she battles to bring a divided world together.
Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Ana Ularu, Mido Hamada, Jordan Loughran, Gerran Howell and Joely Richardson also star. David Schulner, Shaun Cassidy, Josh Friedman and Matthew Arnold serve as executive producers. The series is directed by Tarsem Singh Dhandwar, who also serves as an executive producer. “Emerald City” is a Universal Television production.
No Question Mark Box Here; Super Mario Delivers a 1-Up in Theaters
If you were born in the ’80s, ’90s, or literally ANY decade after those, you know about Super Mario. A cultural phenomenon was brought to life on the big screen this last weekend. One that has not only stood the test of time but reinvented itself time and time again. This wasn’t even the first time it’s been made into a movie but, well, let’s be honest.. some of us choose not to acknowledge the LIVE action adaptation of the beloved game from 30 years ago.
It was pretty bad… But this was animation. ILLUMINATION animation at that. The Universal company that brought us Gru and his Minions, showed us the Secret Life of Pets, and gave us a reason to SING! Still, I had my reservations and even some concerns, especially when the casting was announced.
Eyebrows were raised. As big of stars as they were on paper, could they really deliver on voicing characters from a staple of our childhood? They did.
Chris Pratt and Charlie Day may not be Italian, and Jack Black may not be a King or Turtle creature from the Mushroom Kingdom, but they make the characters their own all while paying homage to the lore of a video game.
From the jump, the story reintroduces us to the brothers that just want to save Brooklyn one clogged sink at a time. We feel an instant connection and relate to these “underdogs of the plumbing world”. The movie is riddled with easter eggs, each of which tugs on the heartstrings of every generation of Mario fandom. And the soundtrack was beautifully put together to not only make us feel like we’re taking a walkthrough of the game but like an experience all its own with some familiar favorites thrown in.
Every word in the movie is pure eye candy for both those that are casual fans, and those analyzing every frame to see what they’ll catch next. Bowser’s ship, the Mushroom Kingdom, Kong’s arena, and the Rainbow Road.. They’re all meant to give us just enough of a “new” look at these amazing worlds, but stay true to how we remember them.
The movie itself moves along at the perfect pace. Although, if you don’t really know ANYTHING about the Super Mario Bros, you may have gotten a little lost and felt left behind in the green tunnel. But that’s ok! It’s an adventure of the imagination and a classic story of a boy that meets a girl and tries to save the world from a monster that wants to destroy it.
What’s funny is that you could easily say this is a story about two characters who couldn’t be more opposite if they tried, battling to win the heart of a princess. Who would’ve thought that the King of the Koopas was just trying to impress his crush?
And that song? Ohhh THAT song! It’s my new ringtone and deserves the Oscar for Best Original Song.
Back to the movie.
Universal and Illumination clearly understood the assignment. Is it missing some things or could things have been done differently or even better? Absolutely! We’re the worst critics of the things we hold nearest and dearest to our hearts. But if you’re up for going on a 90-minute adventure through amazing worlds, with awesome music, and characters that’ll make you smile and laugh, then this is the perfect movie to spring you into that warm summer feeling.
Plus there’s the whole part with karts and shells, and banana peels and oh my goodness how amazing was that?? It’s enough to make you want to stand up and cheer, then go home and destroy your friends and family on your favorite track haha.
The bottom line, it pays homage in all the right ways to the little guy with the mustache, while giving us something new and exciting. Take the kids and go see Super Mario Bros. You’ll be glad you did!
Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns to WonderCon 2023
Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes & Hunters Opening Act Saturday, March 25 at 1:30 p.m. on North 200A. Talent confirmed so far to participate in the post-screening panel is Natalie Alyn Lind (Big Sky, The Goldbergs, Gotham) as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince and longtime RWBY cast member Lindsay Jones (Camp Camp) as Ruby, Kara Eberle ( RWBY: Ice Queendom) as Weiss, Arryn Zech (Detective Now Dead) as Blake and Barbara Dunkelman (Blood Fest) as Yang – along with Jeannie Tirado (Soul, Saints Row) as Green Lantern and Tru Valentino (The Rookie, The Cuphead Show!) as a cyborg. Also attending the panel will be producer/director Kerry Shawcross (series RWBY) and writer Meghan Fitzmartin (Supernatural, Justice Society: World War II).
Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns to WonderCon 2023 with the big screen debut from DC Animated Films: highlights this year include the world premieres of the highly anticipated Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham and Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes & Hunters Part One the weekend of March 24-26 in Anaheim, California. Both screenings will be followed by panel discussions with actors and creators. Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham premieres at The Arena on Friday, March 24 at 6 p.m. Tati Gabrielle (Kaleidoscope, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Uncharted) as Kai Li Cain, Christopher Gorham (The Lincoln Lawyer, Insatiable) as Oliver Queen, David Dastmalchian (Dune, Suicide Squad, Ant-Man) as Grendon, producer/co-director Sam Liu (The Death and the Return of Superman), co-director Christopher Berkeley (Young Justice) and screenwriter Jase Ricci (Teen Titans Go! and DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem Across the Multiverse).
Both films will have encore screenings in the Arena on Sunday, March 26. Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One will screen at 12:15pm, followed by Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham at 2:00pm