She-Ra gets a makeover! A first look at the new Netflix series and meet the cast
Noelle Stevenson didn’t grow up watching She–Ra: Princess of Power, but she wishes she had. “I was always looking for the female characters in sci-fi and fantasy who were more than just the girlfriend,” says the celebrated cartoonist, 26. “I love the female characters in She–Ra. There isn’t another show quite like it.”
The original She–Ra — which followed Princess Adora, the twin sister of Prince Adam (a.k.a. He-Man) — debuted in 1985, more than six years before Stevenson was born.
But now she’s co-executive producer (alongside Chuck Austen) on a reboot, She–Ra and the Princesses of Power, from DreamWorks Animation Television that will debut on Netflix later this year.
The series will feature the voices of Grey’s Anatomy alum Sandra Oh, Orange Is the New Black‘s Lorraine Toussaint, black-ish‘s Marcus Scribner, Dancing With the Stars champ Jordan Fisher, and Young & Hungry‘s Aimee Carrero.
“She–Ra was ahead of its time,” says Stevenson, who is also the creative force behind Nimona and Lumberjanes. “I’m so excited to bring these stories of female power and love and friendship back now when it seems like we need them more than ever.”
She-ra and the Princesses of Power is slated to debut on Netflix later this year. The animated show’s cast list and photo is below.
Aimee Carrero as Adora/She-Ra
Jordan Fisher as Seahawk
Marcus Scribner as Bow
Lorraine Toussaint as Shadow Weaver
Sandra Oh as Castaspella
Karen Fukuhara (Suicide Squad) as Glimmer
AJ Michalka (The Goldbergs) as Catra
Reshma Shetty (Royal Pains) as Angella
Keston John (The Good Place) as Hordak
Lauren Ash (Superstore) as Scorpia
Christine Woods (Hello Ladies) as Entrapta
Genesis Rodriguez (Time After Time) as Perfuma
Vella Lovell (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) as Mermista
Merit Leighton (Katie and Alexa) as Frosta
Krystal Joy Brown (Motown: The Musical) as Netossa
Freeform has had its fill of Young & Hungry — the sitcom’s current fifth season will indeed be its last. But (and this is a pretty big “but”) the cabler announced on Thursday that it is developing a two-hour movie that will “further the adventures of Gabi, Josh and their circle of friends.”
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The series’ final 10 episodes (aka Season 5B) will premiere on Wednesday, June 20 at 8/7c. Rumors about the series’ end game kicked up last month when leading lady Emily Osment told fans on social media that the show’s “final 10 episodes” would air sometime in 2018. And then earlier this week, the show’s Season 6 fate was all but sealed when Osment was cast in a CBS comedy pilot.
There were no additional details about the prospective reunion movie, although Freeform confirms the series’ primary creative team — including David Holden, Caryn Lucas, Ashley Tisdale, and Eric and Kim Tannenbaum — will shepherd the project.
Freeform also released the following logline for Season 5B: “Gabi and Josh [are] finally together and in love, but now navigating their new status as a full-fledged couple. Meanwhile, the rest of Josh’s staff, Yolanda and Elliot, are grappling with the change in work dynamic with Gabi as the “woman of the house.” Sofia, Gabi’s best friend, who begins to feel like a third wheel with the new couple, sets out on her own path to find love.”
Young & Hungry stars Osment (Hannah Montana) as Gabi Diamond, a young (!) chef who’s hungry (!) for work, until she’s hired by handsome millionaire Josh Kaminski (played by S#*! My Dad Says‘ Jonathan Sadowski), with whom she eventually falls in love. Along for the ride are Josh’s publicist Elliot (Entourage‘s Rex Lee) and housekeeper Yolanda (Black Dynamite‘s Kym Whitley), as well as Gabi’s roommate Sofia (Elena of Avalor‘s Aimee Carrero).
The comedy premiered in June 2014 and most recently aired a new episode on May 22, 2017 — during which off-again couple Josh and Gabi decided to get back together.
The world premiere play The Portuguese Kid, written and directed by John Patrick Shanley, has added Aimee Carerro to the cast! The production that is set to run at New York City Center—Stage I will begin previews on September 19 ahead of an October 24 opening night.
Carerro will play the role of Patty alongside the previously announced Jason Alexander as Barry Dragonetti, Sherie Rene Scott as Atalanta, Mary Testa as Mrs. Dragonetti and Pico Alexander as Freddie.
Set in Providence, Rhode Island, The Portuguese Kid focuses on the habitually widowed Atalanta (Scott), who pays a visit to her second-rate lawyer Barry Dragonetti (Alexander). Intending to settle her late husband’s affairs, the larger-than-life Greek tightwad quickly becomes a nightmare for her cheesy, self-aggrandizing attorney. Add Barry’s impossible Croatian mother (Testa), a dash of current politics and a couple of opportunistic young lovers, and you have in hand a recipe for comic combustion.
The creative team for The Portuguese Kid includes John Lee Beatty (scenic design), William Ivey Long (costume design), Peter Kaczorowski (lighting design) and Obadiah Eaves (original music and sound design).
Carrero appeared was seen off-Broadway in What Rhymes with America. She currently stars on the Freeform comedy Young & Hungry and voices the title role of animated hit show Elena of Avalor. Her recent TV credits include recurring roles on NBC’s Blindspot and FX’s The Americans, with film roles in Lionsgate’s The Last Witch Hunter and Fox’s The Devil’s Due.
Something tells us that Young & Hungry‘s Aimee Carrero won’t have to fake any chemistry with her newest on-screen partner.
Tim Rock — the real-life husband of Carrero (aka Sofia) — is guest-starring on an upcoming episode of the Freeform comedy, TVLine has learned exclusively, playing a dentist with whom Sofia is set up on a blind date.
Rock’s previous TV credits include roles on American Housewife, House of Lies and Flashforward.
Though Freeform is not moving forward with its proposed Young & Hungry spinoff — which would have followed Sofia’s exploits working under Logan Rawlings (played by executive producer Ashley Tisdale) — the network did recently order additional episodes of the flagship series’ fifth season.
BEST NEWS EVER.
Freeform picked up a fifth season of the hit original comedy series YOUNG & HUNGRY, it was announced today by Karey Burke, executive vice president, Programming & Development, Freeform. The new season will kick off production next week and will premiere in 2017.
“‘Young & Hungry,’ was the number one cable comedy among Adults 18-34 during its most recent run, and saw double digit growth over the previous season in our key demographics,” said Burke. “The series has been a powerhouse for us since launch and we are thrilled to bring it back for a fifth season.”
“Young & Hungry” wrapped up its fourth season on August 3 with strong season-to-season gains in Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, powered by double digits increases across male demographics. The series was the No. 1 original ad-supported cable comedy for Summer 2016 in Adults 18-34 and cable TV’s No. 1 series on Wednesdays at 8 o’clock across key target Adults 18-34, Viewers 12-34 and Female (W18-34/W18-49/F12-34) demographics. The series and cast have been nominated for seven TEEN CHOICE AWARDS and two PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS since its premiere in the summer of 2014.
“Young & Hungry” is produced by David Holden, Ashley Tisdale, Jessica Rhoades, Caryn Lucas, and Eric Tannenbaum and Kim Tannenbaum in association with CBS Television Studios. Gabi Moskowitz, of BrokeAssGourmet.com, is a San Francisco-based food blogger and contributed to the development of this project. The series stars Emily Osment, Jonathan Sadowski, Aimee Carrero, Kym Whitley and Rex Lee.
The 28-year-old and her beau Tim Rock exchanged vows during a romantic ceremony in Aspen, Colorado over the weekend (ends21Aug16).
She took to Instagram on Sunday (21Aug16) to share the first shot from the nuptials, posting a picturesque photo of herself and her new husband in their wedding attire, standing face to face and surrounded by trees and mountains in the background.
Aimee simply wrote the caption, “Day 1.”
Among those in attendance were her co-stars from U.S. comedy Young & Hungry, including Jonathan Sadoski, Rex Lee, Mallory Jansen, and Emily Osment, who posted a number of snaps from the wedding weekend on Instagram.
In one group shot with the happy couple taken on the eve of the ceremony, Emily wrote, “OUR BABY’S GETTING MARRIED!!! Congrats Aimee and Tim!!!.”
“It was finally my time.”
Those words, spoken by the animated Princess Elena in the first episode of “Elena of Avalor,” a new Disney Channel series, are meant to reflect power: The zesty teenager has reclaimed her tropical kingdom from an evil sorceress. But the line has a deliberate double meaning. With Elena, Disney has created — at long last — its first Latina princess.
“It’s not a secret that the Hispanic and Latino communities have been waiting and hoping and looking forward to our introduction of a princess that reflected their culture,” said Nancy Kanter, the Disney executive overseeing the show, which will begin on July 22 with toy and theme park tie-ins. “We wanted to do it right.”
Did the company succeed? Or is Elena, like some of her royal counterparts, about to run afoul of the princess police?
Few matters in entertainment are as fraught as the Disney princesses, a dozen or so characters led by Cinderella and Snow White that mint money for the Walt Disney Company but also are cultural lightning rods. People who love the princesses (they’re pretty and live happily ever after!) and those who despise them (they promote negative female stereotypes and unrealistic body images!) square off endlessly. Academics study their adverse societal impact, even as women dress like them for their weddings.
Add race and ethnicity, as Disney is increasingly doing with its cartoon heroines, and this is a minefield, especially because animation by its nature deals in caricature. In 2009, when Disney introduced its first black princess, Tiana, every corner of her film, “The Princess and the Frog,” was dissected for slights.
Aware of the scrutiny that “Elena of Avalor” will receive, Disney has loaded each 22-minute episode with Latin folklore and cultural traditions. Avalor has Aztec-inspired architecture. Episodes will include original songs that reflect musical styles like mariachi, salsa and Chilean hip-hop. Elena’s black hair, gathered in a luxuriant pony tail, is accented with apricot mallow, a flower native to Southern California and Northern Mexico.
“We brought in a whole lot of consultants to advise on everything,” Ms. Kanter said. “We wanted to make sure that she didn’t have a doll-like appearance, and we really wanted to steer clear of romance. She has male friends, as teenage girls obviously do, but we did not want it tinged with, ‘Ooh, they’re falling in love.’”
The first episode, made available through a Disney Channel app on July 1, has received positive feedback. “We were all very pleasantly surprised at how well the character was conceived,” said Axel Caballero, executive director of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers. “This is going to have a great impact.”
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Already, though, “Elena of Avalor” has run into questions of princess parity, starting with the medium: Why is Disney introducing her through a television series aimed at children 2 to 11 and not in a full-fledged family movie, like her counterparts? “It really seems like a shun,” wrote Mandy Velez, a co-founder of Revelist, a publication targeted to millennial women.
For Rebecca C. Hains, author of “The Princess Problem: Guiding Our Girls Through the Princess-Obsessed Years,” the newest member of Disney’s royal court wins points for her heroism. In the first episode, Elena, after the deaths of her parents, tries to prove that she is ready to be queen, even though she is only 16.
“She’s not an ornament,” said Ms. Hains, an associate professor of advertising and media studies at Salem State University. “This is a princess with real political power, and that’s genuine progress.”
Still, Ms. Hains was cautious. “The mashing together of cultures gives me pause,” she said. Noting that older characters speak with Spanish accents and that Elena (voiced by the Dominican Republic-born Aimee Carrero) does not, Ms. Hains added, “Being modern and cool seems to mean talking like an American.”
Craig Gerber, who created “Elena of Avalor,” said the accents simply reflect a generational gap, a dynamic seen in many Latino families. He called the attention given to the Disney princesses “incredibly daunting,” but something that made the show better. “I really hope that young Latino children are happy to finally feel represented,” he said.
Serious people closely scrutinizing a cartoon character is the blessing and the curse of being Disney. Because its programming commands such attention, especially among children, the company is often held to a higher standard than competitors. Seemingly everyone has an opinion — often delivered as a demand — about what Disney should be doing with its characters, especially when it comes to diversity.
In 2014, tens of thousands of people signed a petition pushing for a Disney princess with Down syndrome. In the spring, the company faced an online campaign to make Elsa from “Frozen” a lesbian. In recent weeks, an online brush fire has broken out around “Moana,” an animated Polynesian adventure to be released in November; an overweight male character has been criticized as offensive to Pacific Islanders.
“Elena of Avalor” comes as Disney tinkers with its princess strategy. The company has started depicting its princesses in more active poses on toy packaging and emphasizing their various personalities. Pocahontas and Mulan, for instance, are now more prominent.
(For the record, Princess Leia doesn’t count as a member of this group, at least in Disney’s eyes. And celebration over the introduction of a Pacific Islander princess in “Moana” has apparently been premature. Because the film barely mentions her lineage, the company will not be calling Moana a princess, according to a Disney spokesman.)
As for Elena, Disney contended that television was better than film. Rather than relying on parents to take their children to a theater, Disney will pipe “Elena of Avalor” directly into hundreds of millions of homes. The series, which already has a five-season “content plan,” will run in 163 countries and be translated into 34 languages. Disney has also tried to make the series look and sound more like a movie than a television cartoon.
“The goal is certainly to give it as cinematic a feel as possible,” said Tony Morales, who scored the series, drawing inspiration from José Pablo Moncayo, a Mexican musician.
Disney is certainly not skimping on Elena’s promotion, including in the toy aisles, where analysts say there is an opportunity to steal market share from Dora the Explorer, the Latina preschool character that Nickelodeon introduced 16 years ago. It typically takes up to 18 months after a show’s debut for related products to arrive in stores, but Elena items — stuffed animals, shoes, children’s bedding, backpacks, clothes — were made widely available on July 1. Books and Halloween costumes are still to come.
In other words, Disney’s expectations for a hit are high.
“We know that the Latino community is extremely vocal and active,” Ms. Kanter said. “As long as we tell a good story and create a character who is compelling and interesting and stands for something, I think the audience will be really pleased.”
Elena of Avalor gets trapped and protected inside her own special amulet in this new sneak peek to the new Disney Channel series.
Set in the enchanted fairy tale land of Avalor, the series tells the story of Elena (Aimee Carrero), a brave and adventurous teenager who has saved her kingdom from an evil sorceress and must now learn to rule as crown princess until she is old enough to be queen. Elena’s journey will lead her to understand that her new role requires thoughtfulness, resilience and compassion, the traits of all truly great leaders.
The stories incorporate influences from diverse Latin and Hispanic cultures through architecture, traditions, food and customs. Magic, mythology, folklore and music also play an important role, with each episode featuring original songs spanning an array of Latin musical styles including Mariachi, Latin Pop, Salsa, Banda and Chilean Hip Hop.
In the first episode, Elena officially becomes crown princess and rescues her sister, Isabel, from Noblins, elf-like shapeshifting creatures based on a Chilean peuchen myth. The episode also introduces Zuzo, Elena’s spirit guide in the animal world, based on the belief of a Mayan tribe in southern Mexico. In the second episode, titled “Model Sister”, Elena is torn between a promise she made to help Isabel (Jenna Ortega) and fulfilling her royal duties.
The one-hour premiere event will air on Friday, July 22nd @ 7PM ET/PT on Disney Channel, and this fall, a special TV movie titled Elena and the Secret of Avalor will make its premiere, which explains how Elena was imprisoned for decades in her magical amulet and eventually set free by Princess Sofia of Enchancia.
Tyler Posey as Prince Alonso, a charming prince from the Argentine-inspired Kingdom of Cordoba; Lucas Grabeel as Jiku, the leader of the Noblins; Jillian Rose Reed as as Naomi, Princess Elena of Avalor’s closest friend and fellow adventurer; and Marsai Martin as Cat, a budding scientist and adventurer, and many more round out the cast.
“Blindspot” season 2 may see the return of Allison Knight (Trieste Kelly Dunn) and Ana Montes (Aimee Carrero).
In the previous season, Allison was revealed to be FBI Agent Kurt Weller’s (Sullivan Stapleton) ex-girlfriend. The two went their separate ways a while back but were reunited again because of work. At first, Allison and Kurt seemed to be hitting it off again and even ended up sleeping with each other. However, Allison already had a feeling that Kurt was more interested in Jane Doe (Jaimie Alexander).
Allison confirmed her speculations about Kurt’s feelings for Jane when he decided to side with the latter instead of her. According to Entertainment Focus, Allison may return to “Blindspot” season 2 to stir up more drama for Jane and Kurt. Jane and Kurt are currently not in good terms with each other, since the latter found out that she’d been lying to him about her memories.
Meanwhile, Ana and Jane worked together in the previous episode of “Blindspot” season 2. The two developed quite a close relationship with each other after Ana helped Jane hack into a system. Now that Jane is no longer working with the FBI, she can continue helping Kurt and his team from a distance through Ana.
In other news, a young Jane Doe is being cast for “Blindspot” season 2. According to TV Line, executive producer Martin Gero and his team are currently searching for a talented girl between the ages of 9 and 11 who resembles Alexander. Preferably, the young actress should have a background in either gymnastics or martial arts. Anyone with a perfect South African accent is encouraged to audition as long as they are willing to be cast for a recurring role.
“Blindspot” season 2 will premiere on NBC sometime this fall.