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Aniplex of America Announces AkibaFest™, A New Animation and Technology Festival Taking Place October 15th & 16th In Little Tokyo, Los Angeles

July 2, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Aniplex of America Announces AkibaFest™, A New Animation and Technology Festival Taking Place October 15th & 16th In Little Tokyo, Los Angeles Los Angeles-based publisher of anime hit franchises like Sword Art Online announces 2-day animation and Japanese pop culture festival

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Aniplex of America, a Los Angeles-based publisher of many of today’s most popular anime franchises today announced their plan to bring AkibaFest™ –a new type of anime convention to Southern California– inspired by the most popular aspects of Akihabara, aka the Japanese pop culture capital of the world. AkibaFest™ will take place on October 15th and 16th in 2016 in the Little Tokyo section of Los Angeles.

Fans of anime, manga, games, cosplay, and more can register for updates on the AkibaFest™ website now. The full site will launch in late-July, with updates on performers, activities, participating anime and game publishers, as well as ticket and pricing details. For fans of animation and everything related to Akihabara, AkibaFest™ promises to be the ultimate fan event of the year.

Aniplex of America President, Hideki Goto, said “It’s clear from the passion exhibited by anime fans, cosplayers, manga collectors, tech enthusiasts and gamers that there is still a thirst for new experiences. However, it is only with the support of the fans that we can make AkibaFest a successful event. Only with their enthusiastic participation can we turn Little Tokyo into ‘Little Akiba’ on the weekend of October 15th and 16th.”

John Inada, Aniplex of America’s Director of Business Development said “A lot of events offer different facets of Japanese culture, but there hasn’t been an event that really brings it all together. Our goal for AkibaFest is to fill this void in as authentic manner as possible. We’re going to transform Little Tokyo into the closest thing to ‘Akiba’ as possible. If we can’t bring you to Akihabara, we’re going to bring Akihabara to you.”

AkibaFest™ is a cooperative venture between Aniplex of America, other notable anime and video game publishers, technology partners, and the Little Tokyo business community. Fans will be able to enjoy exclusive film screenings, expert panels and workshops, playable video game demos, technology demos, cosplay contests, themed cafés, exclusive merchandise offers, Japanese food and beverages, and much more.

For more information please visit the ANIPLEX USA website: http://akibafest.com/

About Aniplex of America Inc.
Aniplex of America Inc. (Santa Monica, California) is a subsidiary of Aniplex Inc. (headquartered in
Tokyo, Japan) – a Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) group. Aniplex Inc. is a leading provider of anime content, along with music production and distribution in Japan. Aniplex of America has launched fan-favorite Blu-ray and DVD titles including the Sword Art Online series, Your lie in April, KILL la KILL, Bakemonogatari, Fate/Zero, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Blue Exorcist, NISEKOI, OREIMO 2, Magi: The Kingdom of Magic, Expelled From Paradise, The irregular at magic high school, ALDNOAH.ZERO, Fate/stay night [Unlimited Blade Works] and DURARARA!!×2. The company’s ever-growing line-up of shows includes our most recent titles such as: ERASED, The Asterisk War, OWARIMONOGATARI, Charlotte, Classroom Crisis, WAGNARIA!!3, GOD EATER and HAIFURI (High School Fleet).

 

WONG KAR WAI TO PRODUCE ALIBABA PICTURES GROUP’S DEBUT FILM BAI DU REN

January 14, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Urban romantic comedy will star Tony Leung Chiu-Wai and

written and directed by best-selling author Zhang Jiajia

Hong Kong, SAR –January 14, 2015— Acclaimed international filmmaker Wong Kar Wai will produce Alibaba Pictures Group’s debut feature film BAI DU REN. The urban romantic comedy will star frequent Wong collaborator Tony Leung Chiu Wai (The Grandmaster, In the Mood For Love) and be written and directed by best-selling author Zhang Jiajia as an adaptation of his own short story. The film, which marks the directorial debut of Zhang, is part of a long term investment deal between Wong’s Jet Tone Films and Alibaba to expand its film division.

Bai Du Ren was originally a short story featured in Zhang’s anthology collection I Belonged to You, which was China’s best-selling book in 2014.

“The partnership with Alibaba Pictures will be an exciting new experience for Jet Tone and me,” stated Wong. “Bai Du Ren will be a unique combination of literature, film and technology that will introduce global audiences to one of China’s best young talents.”

Wong Kar Wai is an award-winning writer/director whose unique narrative and visual styles have inspired a generation of filmmakers. His most recent film, the martial arts epic The Grandmaster was nominated for Best Cinematography and Best Costume Design at the 86th Academy Awards. Wong’s other works include the critically-acclaimed dramas In the Mood for Love, Happy Together and 2046. Wong is currently serving as Exhibition Artistic Director for China: Through the Looking Glass, the Costume Institute’s Spring 2015 Exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum, which will highlight Chinese imagery in art, film, and fashion

Tony Leung Chiu Wai is one of the most celebrated Chinese actors of his generation. In addition to winning the Best Actor Award at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival for In the Mood for Love, he has also a seven-time Hong Kong Film Award winner and a three-time Golden Horse Film Award winner. He has worked with many leading international filmmakers including Wong Kar Wai (with whom Leung has collaborated with on seven films), Ang Lee and John Woo.

Born in Nantong, Jiangsu Provence, Zhang Jiajia is currently China’s best-selling author whose works include “I Belonged To You” and “Mercy: Let Me Always Be With You”. He also wrote the screenplay for the martial arts comedy The Butcher, the Chef and the Swordsman, which earned him a nomination for Best Screenwriter at the 2011 Golden Horse Awards.

Alibaba Pictures Group is the film production division of Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce company that provides technology and services to consumers and businesses. Alibaba Pictures will leverage the Alibaba Group’s cloud computing and big data technologies to tap customer demand and create a comprehensive ecosystem for its film and television production and marketing businesses.

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About Jet Tone Films

Founded in 1990 by acclaimed international filmmaker Wong Kar Wai, Jet Tone Films is a one of the leading production companies in Asia. With offices in Hong Kong, Beijing and Taiwan, the company has produced some of the most critically acclaimed Chinese-language films to emerge in world cinema, including In the Mood for Love (2000) and Touch of The Light (2012). In addition to films, Jet Tone has also produced award-winning commercials for numerous global brands.

 

FUNimation adds additional TUGG screenings in AMC theaters of popular Korean zombie coming-of-age melodrama, LET ME OUT Back to Back Screenings in Atlanta & Chicago in late October 2013

September 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

FLOWER MOUND, TX (9/25/13)- FUNimation, Group 1200 Media and Giant Ape Media announced today plans to partner again with Austin based, TUGG. Using a grassroots movie distribution business model, FUNimation plans to expand the release of live-action Korean zombie coming of age melodrama, LET ME OUT to additional cities across the country. The film will be released theatrically in AMC theaters and open back to back in Atlanta, GA on Wednesday, October 23rd and in Chicago, IL on Thursday, October 24th.  Advance ticket sales are available for purchase online and a minimum number of tickets must be sold ONE WEEK prior to date of screenings to guarantee screenings will happen; otherwise, the event will be cancelled. Tickets for screenings can be purchased online via TUGG’s website, www.tugg.com/titles/LET-ME-OUT. LET ME OUT is screening simutaneously in three cities: San Francisco, Dallas and NYC in theaters tonight (Wednesday, September 25th) at 7:30pm.

Directed by Chang Lae Kim and Jae Soh, the film stars popular K-drama actors, Hyun-Sang Kwon (THE KING 2 HEARTS, QUEEN OF AMBITION, VAMPIRE PROSECUTOR 2) and K-pop star, Hee-von Park from SM Entertainment’s girl band, MILK and star of (GRAND PRIX, READ MY LIPS, FAMILY and GOD’S QUIZ SEASON 3). LET ME OUT is Kwon’s first lead role in a motion picture and he is the son of acclaimed Korean director, KWON-TAEK IM (Director of CHIHWASEON and Winner of Best Director at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival).

TUGG is a web-platform that enables individuals and organizations to host special movie events in their theater and choose the films that play in their local theaters. Individuals are empowered to select a film, screening time, and nearby theater, and then spread the word to their immediate and online community. Once a necessary amount of people commit to attending, the event will be confirmed, and Tugg will reserve the theater, manage ticketing and ensure delivery of the film; allowing the audience to sit back and enjoy the show.

For additional information about how to buy tickets in Atlanta or Chicago; please go to TUGG.com and search by film title for more details. The film will be released in theatres in three major markets on Wednesday, 9/25/13 at 7:30pm in SF, NY and Dallas, TX on the same night.

Below please find the participating theaters:
Atlanta, GA
Theater: AMC Parkway Pointe 15
Date: 10/23/2013
Time: 7:30pm

Chicago, IL
Theater: AMC Loews 600 North Michigan 9
Date: 10/24/2013
Time: 7:30pm

“Due to the overwhelming success of the TUGG campaign for LET ME OUT, we are pleased to be able to bring the movie to the big screen in additional markets,” says Adam Zehner, VP of Distribution, FUNimation Entertainment.

“We gave our fans the power to demand LET ME OUT on the big screen and it paid off, showing that our fan community is the most passionate about the brands they love, ” says Scott Lonski, Director of Marketing Services, Group 1200. “Now we can continue to build off the momentum of this film and bring other FUNimation and Giant Ape brands to the big screen in cities across the country by using the TUGG platform,” continues Lonski.

“We believe TUGG is a solid business model. We were blown away by the amount of support we saw online for the September screenings in SF, NY and Dallas, TX in such a short amount of time.  Our distributor received requests for additional cities and now it’s becoming a reality. Through TUGG, filmgoers can be empowered to curate unique theatrical engagements with the support of their immediate and online community, proof that all types of films can find their own audience,” says Irene Cho, Producer, LET ME OUT.

FUNimation & Giant Ape Media are partnering with Drama Fever again on these four LET ME OUT screenings to help spread the word and are planning contests for free screening tickets and unique film experiences similar to the one in LA where Giant Ape hosted a contest with an opportunity to attend a dinner with the film’s director, lead actor and VIP tickets to the premiere.

Written, directed and produced by Koreans and Korean Americans, LET ME OUT is written and directed by Jae Soh and Chang Rae Kim.  Produced by Min Soh and Irene Cho.  Executive Produced by Jae Soh. LET ME OUT is the first Korean independent film released back to back in both Korea and the U.S.

LET ME OUT is a Korean language coming of age melodrama and pays homage to Day For Night (France), Living In Oblivion (USA) and Korean cinema. LET ME OUT pokes fun at director Yang Ik-June who won the 2009 Rotterdam Film Festival’s Tiger Award for his film, Breathless.  Director of M, Duelist, Nowhere To Hide and Korean film icon, Lee Myungse is cast as himself.

SYNOPSIS:
This zombie melodrama is Mu-Young film school opus. An eternal senior, he knows everything about cinema but nothing about actual filmmaking.  Critical of everyone else, he heckles the famous indie director Ik-June Yang at a campus screening and somehow receives film funding.  His dream of working with his love-interest Ah-Young becomes a nightmare.  Everything that can go wrong does.  Barely surviving a disastrous shoot, Mu-Young learns making a movie is like love, you can’t do it alone. LET ME OUT is a tribute to guerrilla, indie, amateur, low-budget cineastes struggling to create.  It is hope.
LET ME OUT opened in Korea on August 15, 2013 and is being distributed through Baekdu Daegan Film Company in approximately 15 theaters including Art House Momo (Baekdu’s Art House theaters), CGV Movie Collage (the Art House division of CJ Entertainment), and Artplus Cinema Network in various cities throughout Korea, including Seoul. The film had its red carpet US Premiere at the Downtown Independent Theater in LA on August 16, 2013 to a sold out audience with director, Jae Soh and Kwon Hyun-Sang, the film’s lead actor attending from Korea. LET ME OUT is the first Korean independent film released back to back in both Korea and the U.S. and is distributed in the U.S. by Funimation Entertainment, a Group 1200 Media company, based in Flower Mound, TX.

About Group 1200 Media
Group 1200 Media is a multifaceted entertainment conglomerate encompassing FUNimation(R) Entertainment, Giant Ape Media and Group 1200 Products (GameSamba and Immerz). This production, marketing, and distribution corporation strives tirelessly to accomplish its mission of delivering the highest quality entertainment brands – along with their associated products – across a multitude of genres. Group 1200 Media is committed to continually releasing and developing exciting new properties representative of its diverse background in the entertainment industry. Additional information may be found at www.group1200.com .

About TUGG
Tugg, Inc. (“Tugg”) is a crowdsourcing platform that enables individuals, organizations and companies to host special events in theaters nationwide. Through Tugg, people are empowered to curate unique theatrical engagements with the support of their immediate and online community. With Tugg’s nationwide network of exhibitors, fans everywhere can showcase Tugg’s expansive library of studio and independent films. www.tugg.com

 

Voting Begins on First Inaugural Annual DramaFever Awards

March 8, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Over 70 Korean Drama Celebrities and Asian Stars To Be Selected by their US Fans

NEW YORK, NY [March 13, 2013] – Korean drama and international television is having its moment, and now DramaFever, a leading US-based online TV network for world entertainment backed by AMC Networks and Bertelsmann, is holding its first inaugural “DramaFever Annual Awards.” The awards will shine the spotlight on fan favorites among a who’s-who of must-see international dramas and celebrities. Voting runs exclusively on DramaFever.com through the end of March 2013, giving fans at least four weeks to vote to select the ultimate winners.

Fans vote for their favorites among six contenders in 12 categories, including who they love the most among male and female lead actors, performances by an ensemble cast, most unforgettable theme music, breakout actors and, of course, the big prize for “Drama Of the Year.”  Viewers are also being asked to choose among dramas and actors who electrified the screen as couples, best friends in the “bromance” category, exceptional villains, and doomed lovers.  Categories like “Best Kiss” and “Most Underrated Drama” add to the fun and controversy.

“Beyond licensing and translation, DramaFever is continually creating ways to connect viewers to their favorite actors and shows,” said Vice President Boram Nam who works with the top TV networks and content producers in Asia. “The annual DramaFever Awards is a very direct and fun way we can spread and share US fan enthusiasm for their favorite actors overseas.

TV producers and actors might be surprised and excited to hear about their growing American fan base and who’s watching them. Not what you’d expect, 85% of DramaFever’s active 3.5 million US monthly viewers are of non-Asian descent, and its audience has been doubling every six to 10 months since 2009. In 2012, DramaFever viewers watched 2.8 billion minutes of video. In just the first week, nearly 200,000 votes had been cast.

Voting is easy and can take as little as a few minutes. People simply click to vote and can preview clips. The rules are simple and work to reflect the level of fan devotion, allowing people to vote as many times as they like. DramaFever will award DramaFever Award trophies in all categories directly to the stars overseas. Fans can get updates on DramaFever.com, the DramaFever blog, newsletter and the social channels.

Link to vote: http://www.dramafever.com/m/df2012awards/

ABOUT DRAMAFEVER
DramaFever is a rapidly growing online TV network for primetime shows from around the world. Founded in August 2009, New York-based DramaFever streams to millions over DramaFever.com, mobile and web TV apps (Android, iOS, Google TV, Roku) and also provides a curated selection of shows to Hulu, Netflix, iTunes and Samsung. Its mission is to help TV networks and entertainment companies create new audiences, distribution channels and revenue streams in the USA and other new markets, while providing consumers with a steady diet of the best TV from abroad. Shows are available on-demand to consumers with English and Spanish subtitles, just hours after the shows air overseas. People watch for free or with a premium subscription. To learn more, visit www.DramaFever.com.

 

Malaysian artist Hong Yi’s coffee ring stain portrait of singer/actor Jay Chou

January 6, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

We just had to plug Malaysian artist (Red) Hong Yi’s latest artwork using coffee stains and making a portrait of singer/actor Jay Chou.

According to her blog, the portrait took her 12 hours. There were no guide lines used, she just literally used the rings from her coffee cup.  How awesome is that!  And for the naysayers, she also posted a video on YouTube to show her working on it.

 

Pacific Media Expo 2012 — Day 3 by Nergene Arquelada (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)

November 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Pacific Media Expo 2012 concluded on Sunday at the Los Angeles Airport Hilton.  The final day of the annual Asian pop culture convention still had a wide range of programming for attendees to enjoy.

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For the past several years, this convention has hosted a Filipino martial arts tournament on it’s final day.  This year included a Brazilian jiu jitsu tournament for the first time.

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Gourmet food trucks once again were included as part of this convention.  On Sunday, attendees could get a bite to eat from Truck Norris, a gourmet food truck specializing in Hawaiian and Filipino food.

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Guest of honor and industry guest panels continued throughout the morning and early afternoon.  Sunday’s programming included panels by anime guest of honor, Momoru Yokota.  Panels by industry guests included a panel with some cast members of Power Rangers Samurai and another panel featured some of the US voice actors from the series Puella Magi Madoka Magica.  Actor Dante Basco turned out to be the most popular guest at this year’s convention.  His panel was the only guest panel to be hosted in the convention’s main events hall and it was completely full.

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The Pacific Media Expo fashion show is traditionally on the final day of the convention.  This year’s fashion show featured designs from several brands including dolldelight, h.NAOTO, and Baby the Stars Shine Bright.  Tomo and Satsuki, music guests of honor from the band Moon Stream, also participated in the show by modelling designs from the Alice and the Pirates line.

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The convention ended with closing ceremonies with guests of honor Masumi Kanoh, Mamoru Yokota, and Moon Stream in attendance.  The daruma was completed with Mamoru Yokota filling in the left eye, signifying a successful convention for 2012.

Pacific Media Expo returns to the Los Angeles Airport Hilton for next year’s convention, which will run November 8-10.

 

Pacific Media Expo 2012 — Day One by Nergene Arquelada (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)

November 10, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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Pacific Media Expo 2012 is now underway at the LAX Hilton in Los Angeles.  This is the ninth year for this annual Asian pop-culture convention.  This convention has a very diverse array of programming including music, Asian film and Korean drama screenings, a large martial arts tournament, Japanese fashion, video games and contests, and cosplay.  Festivities began Friday afternoon with opening ceremonies.  Many of this year’s guests of honor were in attendance, with the exception of  Z8, fashion designer from the GRAMM line of the h.NAOTO brand, who had to cancel her appearance because of a health issue.

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Other guests of honor for this year include Masumi Kanoh, designer for the brand Baby the Stars Shine Bright! and anime guest of honor, Mamoru Yokota, a character designer, producer, and animation director who has worked on such titles as Macross Frontier, Death Note, Kanon, and the movie, Air.  Music guests of honor for this year are the band, Moon Stream.  Vocalist, Satsuki, and guitarist, Tomo, appeared at Friday’s opening ceremonies along with their support band members.  The honor of filling in the right eye of the traditional daruma was given to Masumi Kanoh.  With that, the convention was officially declared open.

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The big event for the first night of Pacific Media Expo was the concert featuring winner of AX Idol 2004, Stephanie Yanez, local band, Psycho Bando, and guests of honor, Moon Stream.  Pacific Media Expo continues through Sunday.  Saturday’s programming includes guest of honor panels for Mamoru Yokota and Masumi Kanoh, Cosfest (the convention’s cosplay competition), a Vocaloid concert, and another concert by Moon Stream with opening act, Lolita Dark.  The band hinted at Friday night’s show that Saturday night’s concert will be more of a rock ‘n’ roll show, without the VK fashion and makeup, and a different setlist.

 

Announcing the Return of the Anime Music Video Contest at Pacific Media Expo 2012

October 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Anime has progressed and so has fan art. With the availability of high quality video editing software and low cost hardware, Anime Music Videos are equaling professional editing quality as last year’s PMX 2011 AMV “Best Action” winner displays (Warning these are amazingly imaginative beautifully composed violently graphic scenes. Anime is not just for kids.): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTjO2SAzukI.

AMV’s are predominantly fan created using anime or video game footage set to an audio track, a mesh of love of anime/video games, love of music, and artistic vision. The most popular AMV from this era was for the 1996 song “Daytona 500”, from Ghostface Killah that was viewable on BET.

“Due to the positive response of last year’s first annual AMV contest, AMVs are often way for fans to express their love for this popular entertainment and art form and PMX is proud to be able to offer a place where they can showcase their efforts and talents.” says Chow Suchintamai, AMV Coordinator.

The PMX AMV Contest will be judged in three categories: Action, Comedy, and Drama. The deadline for entries is October 21, 2012 at 5pm PST. Judging will occur on Saturday, November 11, 2012 at 1pm to 3pm where there will be prizes awarded for Best of Show $200, Best Action $100, Best Comedy $100, Best Drama $100, and PMX Staff Pick will be receiving PMX Goodies.

For more information, go to http://PacificMediaExpo.com

About Pacific Media Expo:

As America’s first major media trade show dedicated primarily to Asian-Pacific popular culture
and entertainment, Pacific Media Expo (PMX) is a distinguished industry event sponsored by
the Pacific Media Association. PMX 2012 strives to create an eclectic community where artists,
industry, and fans can freely experience and express the very best of Asian-Pacific popular
culture.

 

KIRK WONG’S HIGH OCTANE ACTION THRILLER ‘SIX’ RAMPS UP

July 31, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Hyde Park Takes Worldwide Rights

Los Angeles, CA – (July 30, 2012) –OK101 Ltd,  Fantawild Film Industry Investment Inc., Asia Entertainment Media Ltd., National Film Capital and Hyde Park International have greenlit director Kirk Wong’s martial arts action thriller SIX, which was written by Li Feng (“Hero”), Eric Martinez (“Beyond the Mat”) and Doug Brode.  OK101, Fantawild, Asia Entertainment Media and National Film Capital are co-producing while Ashok Amritraj’s Hyde Park International (HPI) will executive produce and handle worldwide sales, excluding Greater China.

SIX is a martial arts action thriller enveloped in Manga trappings.  A mad scientist has successfully created five hybrids by fusing human and animal genes together, granting them animal-like capabilities that allow them to fight fiercely. The five must join together when another of their kind known only as SIX intends to hunt them down and harness their powers. A lethal game of hide-and-seek soon begins, driven by the emotional journey between these compelling characters that are also romantically entangled. At the final showdown, the secret of SIX is revealed.

The film commences principal photography on location in China and Louisiana in November 2012. The cast will include Hollywood and Asian stars.

Hailing from Hong Kong, Wong is a veteran of Asian cinema who has been directing films for over thirty years.  Some of his credits include CRIME STORY with Jackie Chan, THE GUNMEN, ROCK & ROLL COP, and THE BIG HIT starring Mark Wahlberg.

“I am excited to work with such a talented filmmaker as Kirk in bringing Asian mysticism to Western commercial cinema,” said Ashok Amritraj, Chairman of Hyde Park Entertainment Group. “We look forward to making SIX a global success.”

Hyde Park Entertainment Group (HPEG) has produced or distributed box office successes and critically acclaimed titles including GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE 3D, THE DOUBLE, BLUE VALENTINE,  BERNIE and MACHETE. Amongst HPEG’s current slate of films are the four-quadrant family adventure film MIDNIGHT SUN; the UNTITLED ELMORE LEONARD PROJECT starring Jennifer Aniston, ADULT WORLD starring Emma Roberts and John Cusack; and SUNLIGHT JR. starring Naomi Watts and Matt Dillon.

 

JESSICA SIMPSON MAKES A SURPRISE GUEST APPEARANCE AS PART OF THE CHALLENGE REWARD AS THE REMAINING CONTESTANTS BATTLE EACH OTHER ON ICE AND THEN ON THE SCALE ON NBC’S “THE BIGGEST LOSER”, AIRING TUESDAY, MARCH 13 , 8-9:30 P.M. ET

March 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – March 7, 2012 – A grueling challenge on the ice leads to an amazing reward for one contestant — a shopping spree with singer, actress and fashion designer Jessica Simpson on “The Biggest Loser,” airing Tuesday, March 13 (8:00-9:30 p.m. ET) on NBC. “Fashion Star,” the new NBC series featuring Simpson as a fashion mentor, premieres at 9:30 p.m. ET immediately following this episode of “The Biggest Loser.”

This week, the nine remaining contestants learn from host Alison Sweeney that the game is going to singles, and they will also face the season’s first yellow line at the weigh-in. Their challenge as individuals takes place on the ice, with each player harnessed by rope to a large ring in the center of the rink. In a physically demanding tug-of-war twist, each contestant has to try to make their way to a buzzer in front of them, while also pulling all the other contestants in their desired direction. A Yankee Swap prize system guarantees a prize for all, though some are far more desirable than others, with the grand prize being a shopping spree with a celebrity.

The celebrity is singer, actress and fashion designer Jessica Simpson, who helps style the winning player plus another contestant of their choice in her Jessica Simpson Collection Los Angeles showroom. It’s a dream come true for the two lucky players who get to try on clothes from Jessica’s clothing line and see how amazing they look in their new smaller sizes. Plus, they get to keep whatever they want from her collection, including clothes, purses, shoes and accessories so they can look their best when they leave the ranch and return home. Simpson also gives each contestant a special gift.

Also, the tables are turned when one contestant gets a chance to coach trainer Bob Harper, while another player reveals a painful secret from her past to trainer Dolvett Quince as he tries to help her overcome her fear of heights. Later, after two people fall below the yellow line at the weigh-in, a tough elimination sends another player home.

“The Biggest Loser” is a production of Reveille, 25/7 Productions and 3 Ball Productions. Ben Silverman, Dave Broome, JD Roth, Todd A. Nelson, Todd Lubin and Alex Katz are the executive producers.

For embeddable clips and full episodes from “The Biggest Loser,” please visit NBC.com’s official show site: http://www.nbc.com/the-biggest-loser/

For artwork and a complete press kit from the show please visit the NBC Universal Media village website at http://www.nbcumv.com/mediavillage/networks/nbcentertainment/thebiggestloser.

Please follow us on http://www.facebook.com/biggestloser and at http://twitter.com/biggestlosernbc.

 

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