News Round-Up: March 29, 2018

Me with Arminae Austen and Matt Zarley in Fort Worth, Texas 1999

Some news items you might have missed:

• Since it’s Thursday, how about a little #Throwback action? The pic above was from a production of A Chorus Line I directed back in 1999 at Casa Mañana in Fort Worth, Texas. I wasn’t originally going to be in the show but the producers eventually asked if I would also play the role of “Bobby” since I had many times before. Pictured with my besties from the Broadway production of ACL who came down to kill it, and kill it they did, Matt Zarley and Arminae Austen.

• There will be a sixth and final installment of social media phenom Sharknado this year on SyFy Network. #YAY! #DumbButFun

• The Ecuadorian embassy has placed jammers in its own building to block WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from access to the internet, social media or even phone calls. Assange has been living in the embassy since 2012 believing he’ll be picked up and extradited to the United States for questioning over activities by WikiLeaks.

•  A high-level Trump campaign official had repeated communications in the final weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign with a business associate tied to Russian intelligence, according to a document released on Tuesday by the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the election. Remember when the story was “There was NO communication by anyone on the Trump campaign with Russians?”

• Did you hear the one about Donald Trump’s lawyer dangling pardons to former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn and former campaign chair Paul Manafort? #ObstructionOfJustice?

• Always keeping in mind that nature is beautiful but can be just as dangerous, check out this incredible video of a cheetah on the hunt who jumped into a jeep to check things out. Gorgeous, exciting but scary as hell. The passenger didn’t make eye contact so he wouldn’t seem a threat. #WOW

The Sharks Are Coming (Again)! “Sharknado 5” Gets Greenlight

Variety shares the news that Syfy Network’s “Sharknado” franchise will have a fifth installment this summer. And yes, action hero Ian Ziering will be back as the intrepid shark-slayer, “Finn Shepard.”

The original 2013 “Sharknado” introduced the concept of a shark-laden twister via one bearing down on Los Angeles.

In “Sharknado 2: The Second One,” New York City was the target of the disaster, and in “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!” a mega-sharknado made its way down the East Coast from Washington, D.C. to Florida.

In the most recent installment, the very-close-to-copyright-infringement-titled “Sharknado: The 4th Awakens,” the shark-infested storms went national. The film ended with the Eiffel Tower ripping away from Paris and crashing down on Niagara Falls, setting the stage for the fifth edition of America’s answer to the sprawling sagas of the ancient world.

In “Sharknado 5,” with much of North America lying in ruins, the rest of the world braces for a global sharknado. Fin Shepard (Ziering) and his family must put a stop to this disaster before Earth is obliterated.

“Sharknado 5” is a working title, to be clear; Syfy and Asylum have some time to come up with a truly clever main or subtitle, like “Sharknado 5: Finternational Waters” or “Sharknado: Dinner for 5.”

As silly as they are, I really enjoy these guilty-pleasure TV movies. So over the top.

And Ziering’s dead-on approach as “Finn Shepard” makes it abundantly clear that he’s completely in on the joke. With each entry in the series, the jokes get more and more outrageous. And I love it.

News Round-Up: June 1, 2016

Nick Jonas

Some news stories you may have missed:

• All-around hottie and LGBT ally Nick Jonas says he’s “technically” had gay sex.

• Australia’s Prime Minister predicts public vote on same-sex marriage by the end of the year.

• Only 12% of those polled in NBC/Wall Street Journal poll say Donald Trump has the temperament to be president.

• You too can own Zac Efron’s movie jockstrap from Dirty Grandpa, includes “assorted stains from use during production but remains in good condition.”

• New Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows Hillary Clinton leading Bernie Sanders by 2 points 49%-47%.

• The Massachusetts House has passed transgender protections, and the governor has signaled he will sign the bill into law.

• Britain’s healthcare system refuses to cover PrEP.

• This GIF of a Chippendale defeating a shark in the upcoming “Sharknado: The 4th Awakens” is my favorite thing today. Now THAT’s technique!

“Sharknado: The 4th Awakens” Shares New Teaser

New teaser for the upcoming Sharknado: The 4th Awakens which uses my home city of Las Vegas as “chomping grounds” for at least part of the movie.

Chain-saw wielding action hero Ian Ziering will be back with his crew of shark-slayers on July 31st on Syfy.

Check the appearance of one of the world famous Chippendales here 🙂

“Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!” Set To Air July 22nd

Syfy and The Asylum today announced that the official title of the latest installment in the global pop culture sensation is Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!

The two-hour original movie will devour the planet on Wednesday, July 22 at 9/8c.

In addition, Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! will wreak havoc on all Syfy channels around the world – 86 countries in all, including the UK, Australia and across Europe, Asia and Latin America – when it premieres in international primetime within 24 hours of the United States debut.

Said Chris Regina, Senior Vice President, Program Strategy, Syfy: “We wanted this third title to boldly go where no shark movie has gone before. ‘Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!’ embraces the larger-than-life irreverence that has made these movies so popular and entertaining.”

Sharknado 3 will cause mass destruction in Washington, D.C. before roaring down the Eastern Seaboard and into Florida, and stars Ian Ziering as Fin, Tara Reid as April and Cassie Scerbo as Nova. 

Joining them will be David Hasselhoff as Fin’s father, Gil; Bo Derek will play April’s mother, May; Ryan Newman will play April and Fin’s daughter, Claudia Shepard, and Jack Griffo will portray Claudia’s friend, Billy.

Additional cameo roles include Mark Cuban as the President of the United States; Ann Coulter as the Vice President; Michele Bachmann as herself; Jerry Springer as Mr. White, a manic tourist; Washington Redskins tackle Tom Compton as a reporter; *NSYNC singer Chris Kirkpatrick as a pool lifeguard, and Chris Jericho, who will portray Bruce the roller coaster ride operator.

When it aired last July 30, Sharknado 2: The Second One became Syfy’s most-watched original movie ever.


Mark Cuban & Ann Coulter Cast As Prez/Vice-Prez In “Sharknado 3”

Please tell me this means we get to see them eaten by sharks and Ian Ziering becomes President!

Via Deadline:

Mark Cuban (Shark Tank) has been cast as President of the United States and political commentator/author Ann Coulter will assume the duties of Vice President in Syfy/The Asylum’s Sharknado 3. The latest installment of the pop culture phenomenon will cause mass destruction in Washington, D.C. before roaring down the Eastern Seaboard and into Florida. It will premiere on Syfy in July.

Previously announced cameos in Sharknado 3 include Bo Derek as May, the mother of April (Reid); Jerry Springer, appearing as Mr. White, a manic tourist; *NSYNC singer Chris Kirkpatrick as a pool lifeguard; and Chris Jericho, as Bruce the roller coaster ride operator.

The “Sharknado” movie series has become a huge money-maker for Syfy. When the sequel – Sharknado 2: The Second One – aired last summer, it became the most-watched original movie in the network’s history.

An enormous part of the appeal of the films is the over-the-top/tongue-in-cheek humor played throughout the sci-fi film.

Another huge asset is the action hero studliness of leading man Ian Ziering. Like a fine wine, Ziering has aged very, very well. Take a look below from his appearances in Las Vegas as the Chippendales special celebrity host.

Yeah, that sells tickets… 🙂

Sharknado 2: The Second One rakes in 3.9 million viewers, 1 billion Twitter impressions

Syfy’s pop culture/social media hit – Sharknado 2: The Second One – delivered serious numbers in the ratings department during last night’s July 30 premiere, becoming the channel’s most watched Original Movie ever with 3.9 million total viewers.

Over on the social media side, Sharknado 2 delivered One Billion estimated impressions for Sharknado Twitter conversations.

At one point, Sharknado 2 held all top 10 trending topics in the United States.

According to reports, Sharknado 2 is the most “social movie” on TV ever, and was more social than any episode of Game Of Thrones, The Bachelorette or Survivor.

Compared to the first Sharknado movie premiere on July 11, 2013, total viewers were up 183%.

Sharknado 2 beat numerous broadcast programs in prime including CBS’s Extant, Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance and ABC’s Motive among Adults 18-49.

Syfy will air Sharknado 2 again Saturday, August 2 at 7PM and Sunday, August 3 at 9PM (ET/PT).

(via press release)

“Sharknado 2: The Second One” airs tonight on Syfy

Don’t forget “Sharknado 2: The Second One” debuts tonight on the Syfy Channel 9/8c. Check your locals listings.

Social media’s favorite “over the top” science fiction shark movie is back – with hunky 50 year old action-hero Ian Ziering!

The cast is “in” on the joke, so you can laugh along, too.

And don’t forget to track and tweet on Twitter where a good part of the fun will be.

You can follow #Sharknado2TheSecondOne to catch the witty “shark” comments.

Review: “Sharknado 2 – The Second One”

Ian Ziering stars in “Sharknado 2: The Second One” 

Excerpt from rave review from the AP about Syfy’s “Sharknado 2: The Second One:”

The good news: “Sharknado 2” is a hilarious must-see treat.

The original film erupted as a social-media and pop-culture phenomenon, mostly celebrated for its unwitting awfulness. It was a throwback to drive-in movies of 50 years ago that you would have ignored while you and your date put your attention elsewhere. A would-be blend of “Jaws” and “Baywatch,” it was funny, but never seemed to be in on the joke.

Against all odds, “Sharknado 2” has wised up. Though it and its performers teem with conviction – no winking at the audience here – the film is unabashedly awash with fun. And unlike laid-back Cali, New York – always spoiling for a fight – is the perfect arena for dramatic strife, even from killer sharks cascading from the sky.

In fact, “Sharknado 2” serves as a paean to the Big Apple. Veteran comedian Robert Klein (playing the mayor of New York in one of the film’s numerous celebrity cameos) delivers a rousing call-to-arms for all New Yorkers: “When something bites us, we bite back!” Hizzoner said a mouthful!

But the film will sink its teeth into you from its first moments as you join Fin and April on their terrifying airline flight. Fasten your seatbelt for a wicked homage. This “Sharknado” is the very definition of scared silly.

“Sharnado 2: The Second One” debuts on Syfy Channel this Wednesday at 9pm EDT.