Hulu Confirm Third Run of The Awesomes

Just like LegoHulu recognises awesome and rewards it, as they announce Seth Meyers’ animated comedy superhero creation The Awesomes will be renewed for a third season exclusive to the streaming platform.

the_awesomes_titleCurrently airing a 10-episode second season every Monday until 6 October, the format is to return for another run, likely to start airing in early August as before with another 10-episode selection released weekly on Hulu.

Beatrice Springborn, Hulu’s ‘head of original series’, stated: “When we first premiered season one of The Awesomes two years ago, we knew it was going to be a big success for Hulu. With a growing fan base from season to season and a cast featuring some of the funniest people on television, it was a natural decision for us to renew the show for a third season.”

Following the story of ‘the greatest superhero team in history’ after the departure of their best members, the series has had plenty of success through being one of Hulu’s few original series, with headlining voice cast members such as Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Bobby Lee, Bobby Moynihan, Kenan Thompson, Maya Rudolph, Will Forte, and Meyers himself.

Co-created by Mike Shoemaker (not to be confused with any former German racing drivers), with co-production from Hulu, Broadway Video (Saturday Night Live, Late Night With Seth Meyers), and animators Bento Box Entertainment (Bob’s Burgers), The Awesomes has plenty of structure behind it to carry on for a few seasons yet, but how will they fare starting at the end of this week, when an anthropomorphic horse on Netflix enters the online-exclusive animation industry?

Steve Ballmer Clips Microsoft Out Of Life For Good

Just six months after resigning his position as CEO, long-standing Microsoft employee Steve Ballmer has given up his position on the company’s Board of Directors.

steve_ballmer_la_clippers_ownerThe 58-year-old, who this month purchased the Los Angeles Clippers NBA franchise for $2b, has cited the newfound basketball team ownership responsibilities amongst a number of commitments that he currently has, as a result needing to cut something out.

In a public statement on the matter, Ballmer, who claims to “bleed Microsoft” after 34 years at the company, noted of his short-lived stint in the new role having taken up a lot of his schedule: “In the six months since leaving, I have become very busy. I see a combination of the Clippers, civic contribution, teaching and study taking a lot of time. Given my confidence and the multitude of new commitments I am taking on now, I think it would be impractical for me to continue to serve on the board, and it is best for me to move off. The fall will be hectic between teaching a new class and the start of the NBA season so my departure from the board is effective immediately.”

His replacement at CEO Satya Nadella, said of the transitional work that he oversaw: “It’s been a great privilege to have worked with you and learned from you. Under your leadership, we created an incredible foundation that we continue to build on – and Microsoft will thrive in the mobile-first, cloud-first world. While your insights and leadership will be greatly missed as part of the board, I understand and support your decision.”

As the company run themselves without any presence from one of their most prominent figures for the first time since 1980, will Microsoft be able to retain their high market positions while Ballmer is ballin’?

Charlie Sheen Makes It Rain In ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

The highly-trending and quickly-spreading ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ is probably only heading into a slow decline in shock value considering that *everyone* is now doing it, but Charlie Sheen’s recent effort at least keeps the idea refreshing, and not in the way that having cold water over your body does.

charlie_sheen_make_it_rainAmongst the many dull and generic celebrity dousings on the internet this week, FX‘s Anger Management actor Sheen managed to make both a generous gesture, a statement towards other wealthy participants, and a challenge to his main enemies in showbusiness, all in the space of a minute whilst remaining completely bone dry.

The video he posted, uploaded through celebrity gossip network TMZ, shows a smartphone recorded clip of the eccentric actor as he pours the bucket… only for money to come out.

While such a scene would be perfect for a stereotypical rap video, he instead notes that it is a total of $10,000 (rather than the challenge’s rule-suggested $10/$100) which he will be donating to the ALS Association, and for his ’3 people to challenge’ part, he picked out three people involved with his former CBS show Two and a Half Men: co-star Jon Cryer, creator Chuck Lorre (who sacked him after a series of controversies in 2011), and Sheen’s replacement Ashton Kutcher, all being called out to do what Sheen does in the video below:

NFL Offer Super Bowl Half-Time Slot… For A Fee

It is a well-known fact that the Super Bowl is a pretty big deal every year in the USA (and to a lesser extent, other countries out of curiosity of the show put on). It is also known that for many fans not as into american football as more regular viewers, their contribution to the 9-figure viewing total (to be enjoyed early next year by NBC) is more out of interest in the commercials aired and/or the half-time show than the big game itself.

university_of_phoenix_stadium_in_americaOne thing that would be unusual to think could actually happen, though, is for the two more ‘alternative’ Super Bowl viewing reasons to combine, as the NFL reportedly begin their annual search for an act to play their championship game… with the added requirement that it is they who contribute a fee for the right to do so.

Although theoretically it may make sense with the (most likely) musical artist getting plenty of exposure out of it, morally by the NFL it would feel like the worst they should do is just have the act play for free in a mutually-beneficial agreement (as they had been doing before, but with league-covered multi-million production & travel expenses), but at the same time this is the NFL looking for the best possible scenario for their brand…

…But at the same time as that their suggestion is one that could risk putting that Super Bowl brand at risk, potentially scaring off potential big-name participants for what was originally devised as a ratings-saving approach to the halftime performance… so they may need to keep “Up with People” on emergency speed-dial for a while here…

In the current plans by the NFL, though, the act to succeed Bruno Mars (who appears to have got off lucky a year early) and have a huge headlining act at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona (USA) on 1 February 2015 will reportedly be Katy Perry, Coldplay, or Rihanna, or potentially a combination of that list, although none have been as welcoming to the idea after hearing of the new requirement.

While the latter two have played a major sporting event together before at the Closing Ceremony of the 2012 Paralympic Games, that would be widely considered a much more deserving recipient of non-payment (as they reportedly did so with Jay-Z), but the NFL will have other ideas for their extravaganza. The Wall Street Journal suggest that the league have made a request for a one-off fee to play the Super Bowl XLIX, or alternatively, to “…contribute a portion of their post-Super Bowl tour income to the league”.

They will surely manage to find someone that wants to fit these terms eventually, but as the 32 franchises of the league continue their pre-season campaigns ahead of competing to be the 2 teams involved on the psuedo-holiday, will the league actually find it a tougher challenge to put on the sideshow than the teams playing to be the main attraction? At least in the past two decades the NFL, for its faults in the matter, have managed to bring out headlining acts that are (for the most part) less campy than what was used in different eras, although you can let it slide considering the era and a lack of HD-generation set-ups that today’s acts enjoy:

At least they won’t be taking any ideas from their first-ever attempt, the NFL can safely assume that the average modern Super Bowl viewer does not want to see or hear a traditional brass band:

YouTube Trailer Messes Pixar Movie Up The Bay

Pixar, a property of Disney, are a company known not only for their industry-leading CGI animation for films, but also the quality of their titles, with it being widely agreed that not one of their (at present) 14 feature releases can be considered a ‘bad film’, almost all of them in the realm of ‘excellent’.

up_bay_titleOne of the titles considered to be in the higher tiers of Pixar’s resume is 2009 release Up, an emotional family film following an old man’s quest to fulfil the shared dream he had with his deceased wife. Never before had a film about a house flying by balloon power to South America been so well received, particularly the opening scenes which are regarded as one of the biggest emotional rollercoasters in the history of cinema.

But what if Up was not under the direction of Pete Docter with a team of careful and considerate Pixar producers in support, and under the realm of, say… Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles‘ Michael Bay? YouTube user MrStratman7 has the viral answer, and it rhymes with “BOOM!”…

Also, the opening scenes somehow become even more tragic:

The Great iPhone Heist

While Google, Microsoft, Samsung, and other rivals would probably be glad of Apple being knocked down a peg or few from their business status, they would probably want to do so through fair means and hard work, but can take a small grin at the recent stories coming from within the company.

iphone_5c_colors_spreadIt has been reported that seven American Apple employees from an Apple Store somewhere in Florida have been arrested regarding links to a iPhone-based scam.

The belief by prosecutors is that these seven are responsible for assisting criminals in stealing over $500,000 worth of iPhone-shaped merchandise, and taking a cut from said thieves for doing so.

The method used to do this was allegedly utilising a contact from a Best Buy in order to supply them with ‘legitimate serial codes’, under the reasoning that ‘registered serial numbers’ of devices declared stolen are unable to be processed through Apple’s in-store systems, enabling devices to be taken from Apple Stores without being trackable.

The accused employees are believed to have been paid $45-75 bonuses by Apple for each stolen iPhone that was replaced in-store, The Register reports, but Apple soon contacted police after performing an audit that uncovered unusually high levels of iPhone replacement cases being handled by certain staff members, with six workers arrested and a seventh turning themselves in, though the main thieves are yet to be caught with no leads.

While the amount of money lost through the crime is not going to be a big deal for a company making billions each year like Apple, how big a hit will the series of events have on their reputation?