Kenan Thompson Resumes Nationwide Talent Search, Adding Virtual Reality and a Hologram to the Hunt (TV News Roundup)

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Fresh off his gig hosting this year’s Primetime Emmys, comedian and “SNL” veteran Kenan Thompson is back on stage Thursday night in Atlanta, as he kicks off the 13th edition of his “Kenan Presents The Ultimate Comedy Showcase” — and this time with a few new technological wrinkles.

The stand-up comedy search, which leads off at the Atlanta Comedy Theatre on Sept. 22, follows Thompson as he scouts for adult comedians and talented kids in more than 50 cities. Among the new elements, all around the country (50+ major cities).

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Thompson has teamed up with Rendered Talent to include a virtual reality option for participants to partake in the metaverse through the “Failed To Render Comedy Club.” In addition, Thompson partnered with Proto to be able to join live shows through the metaverse as a digital hologram, attending showcases digitally to accommodate his busy schedule via Proto’s 4K hologram device.

After the initial Atlanta showcase, the next major city showcase will take place in Chicago on October 5.

Also in today’s television news:


Production has started on Tubi Original Movie “Spread,” starring Elizabeth Gillies, Harvey Keitel, Diedrich Bader, Bryan Craig, Teri Polo, Blake Harrison, Tim Rozon and Keith Walker. The film comes from Cartel Pictures and is set to debut in 2023.

Gillies plays an ambitious aspiring journalist who lands a temp job at an adult magazine run by an aging industry king, played by Keitel, and wrestles with her idealism as she works to help the company succeed. The film is directed by Ellie Kanner and written and co-produced by Buffy Charlet, and also stars Dia Frampton, Jonah Platt and Diora Baird.

The film’s plot is inspired by screenwriter Charlet’s real-life experience as a temp at Hustler magazine, where she eventually rose to become an editor, and is executive produced by Gillies, and produced by Stan Spry, Eric Scott Woods and Graem Luis.


TheGrio announced that “Masters of the Game” will premiere Friday, September 30 at 8 p.m. ET/PT and airing original episodes every last Friday of the month on TheGrio’s cable channel. Writer and journalist Touré hosts one-on-one conversations each episode, and the first guests will include tennis superstar Frances Tiafoe in his first long-form interview since the U.S. Open and first-ever Black female NFL coach Jennifer King.

Future guests on the program will include filmmaker Tyler Perry, NBA head coach Doc Rivers, Debbie Allen and more. The show is executive produced by Kash Alexander; Christina Faith also directs and produces.


Canela Media announced that docuseries “Mi Vida,” its original project featuring celebrities’ firsthand accounts of their lives, premieres Nov. 10 on free streaming service Canela.TV.

The first five episodes of the docuseries will run in 2022 and features Kate del Castillo in the premiere episode, with four additional episodes releasing weekly before the end of the year. The second part, with five additional episodes, will debut in the first quarter of 2023. In addition to del Castillo, other stars who will be featured in “Mi Vida” episodes include Manolo Cardona, Ludwika Paleta, Jencarlos Canela, Julián Gil, Roselyn Sánchez, Guy Ecker, Gaby Espino and Danny Trejo.

The 10-episode series is produced by Canela Media in partnership with JK Media Group.


Crackle Plus original series “Wedding Talk,” with hosts Tara Lipinski, Jose Rolon and Jove Meyer, will debut October 13 on the streaming service. It will be available exclusively on the Chicken Soup for the Soul and Crackle’s ad supported streaming apps, as well as Chicken Soup for the Soul’s free ad supported television channel.

Olympic gold medalist and Olympic commentator Lipinski will pivot from sports to fashion, discussing all things nuptials with wedding planner José Rolón and leading wedding designer Jove Meyer during each 30-minute episode of “Wedding Talk.”

The series is executive produced by Jess Loren, Erick Geisler, and Matt Hanna for production company To Whom It May Concern LLC, and executive produced by Michael Winter and David Ellender for Chicken Soup for the Soul Television Group and Rachel Silver of Love Stories TV.


SKDK announced Sarah Lyons has joined the firm’s New York City office as a senior VP of the public affairs practice. In her new role at the firm, she will support corporate, technology and healthcare clients at both SKDK and Sloane.

“Sarah has long supported the work of SKDK’s major health care clients as a consultant, and her addition as a full-time senior vice president provides us with an outstanding opportunity to further deploy her expertise throughout our public affairs practice,” said Mike Morey, Partner at SKDK. “Sarah’s savviness as a comms strategist is unmatched and we are grateful to have her onboard.”

Since early 2021, Lyons has worked with SKDK’s corporate clients in a consultant role supporting its healthcare clients. Before that, she served as the VP of corporate communications for AMC Networks, where she was responsible for the development and execution of internal and external communications strategies in support of content, creative deals, advertising sales, data, distribution and new businesses.

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