News Bytes: ‘Johnny Test’ Reboots on Netflix, HBO Max Debuts ‘Furry Friends Forever,’ Xolo Maridueña Cast as Blue Beetle & More

New ‘Johnny Test’ Series Launches on Netflix
Fans of the over-the-top action comedy which ran from 2005 to 2014 can now enjoy all-new adventures with plucky human guinea pig Johnny, his genetically modified talking dog, Duke, and his super-genius twin sisters. Produced by WildBrain, the first of two planned new seasons (available now) continues where Scott Fellows’ (Big Time Rush) original series left off. An interactive special is also due to launch on Netflix. Starring James Arnold Taylor, Trevor Devall and Maryke Hendrikse.

‘Furry Friends Forever: Elmo Gets a Puppy’ Arrives on HBO Max
An adorable new half-hour 2D Sesame Street special has arrived to charm family audiences: When Elmo and Grover discover a sweet stray puppy, they set out on an adventure to help find their new furry friend Tango a forever home. With heartfelt, original songs and vivid animation, Elmo learns how to feed Tango, give her a bath, and take her for walks – all with a little help from pals Cookie Monster, Abby Cadabby and Big Bird. Promoting ways animal lovers of all ages can best care for their pets, the special celebrates the arrival of 123 Sesame Street’s new “fur”-ever friend!

‘Cobra Kai’ Star Xolo Maridueña in Talks to Star as Latino Superhero ‘Blue Beetle’ for HBO Max
The breakout Karate Kid spinoff star — who is of Mexican, Cuban and Ecuadorian heritage — looks a likely pick for the role of Jaime Reyes in the upcoming HBO Max/Warner Bros./DC Films movie, which will be the first stand-alone DC comics flick to feature a Latino lead. Angel Manuel Soto (Charm City Kings) is set to direct from a screenplay by Gareth Dunnet-Alocer (upcoming Scarface remake). Blue Beetle was originally created by Charles Wojtkowski for Fox Comics in 1939, then was acquired and reimagined by Charlton Comics in ’50s and ’60s, before landing at DC in the ’80s. Jaime Reyes (created by Keith Giffen, John Rogers and Cully Hamner) debuted in 2006’s “Infinite Crisis” crossover event before launching the new Blue Beetle line. He acquired his powers when he found the Blue Beetle scarab in a vacant lot on his way home from school.

Xolo Maridueña | Blue Beetle
Xolo Maridueña | Blue Beetle

Benesse Corporation Launches Shimajiro Theme Park Attraction
The new permanent attraction at Toei Kyoto Studio Park, a theme park and film set in Kyoto City where visitors can enjoy a realistic recreation of the country’s Edo period, invites children over the age of two to take part in Shimajiro and Uzumaki Ninja Daisakusen, an educational adventure starring Shimajiro set in ancient Kyoto, where a dragon has awoken from a long sleep and gone on a rampage! Children can dress up as ninjas and, with facsimile ninja swords in hand, they can explore the exciting treasures of the Film Village, find and collect the four powers used by the legendary ninjas and defeat the dragon.

Shimajiro Theme Park
Shimajiro Theme Park

David Rubin Re-Elected Academy President
The casting director was re-elected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Board of Governors. Also elected to officer positions were: DeVon Franklin, Vice President (chair, Equity and Inclusion Committee); Donna Gigliotti, Vice President/Secretary (chair, Governance Committee); Larry Karaszewski, Vice President (chair, History and Preservation Committee); David Linde, Vice President/Treasurer (chair, Finance Committee); Isis Mussenden, Vice President (chair, Museum Committee); Wynn P. Thomas, Vice President (chair, Education and Outreach Committee); Jennifer Todd, Vice President (chair, Awards Committee); Janet Yang, Vice President (chair, Membership Committee).

More bits from the news desk:

Baby Shark Play Button
Baby Shark Play Button

TV & streaming updates:

  • Pinkfong has received a special Baby Shark-themed Play Button from YouTube for hitting 50 million subscribers. Baby Shark Dance — the most-viewed video in YouTube history — has made Pinkfong the first kids’ brand to receive the platform’s Custom Creator Award.
  • Amazon’s IMDb TV acquired exclusive U.S. AVOD rights to Studio 100 Media‘s CG-animated series 100% Wolf – Legend of the Moonstone (26 x 22′), launching August 12. The series is produced in association with commissioning broadcasters ABC Australia and Super RTL (Germany) as well as Studio 56.
  • CAKE secured a U.K. deal for 2D animated preschool series Tish Tash (52 x 5′) with CBeebies. Produced by Studio Gale (S. Korea), August Media Holdings (Singapore), Synergy88 Ent. (Philippines) and BAFTA/Emmy-winning U.K. animation house Karrot Ent., the series follows the adventures of a young bear named Tish, her family and her larger-than-life imaginary friend, Tash, as they learn about the world around them.
  • ViacomCBS Networks Int’l and Comcast’s Sky inked a deal to launch Paramount+ in the U.K., Ireland, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Austria in 2022 as part of a new, multi-year distribution deal that also include the extended carriage of VNI’s Pay TV channel portfolio, and the renewal of Sky as an ad sales partner in select markets.
  • Moonbug Ent. announced its first SVOD deal with Turkey’s leading VOD platform, BluTV, which will launch a dedicated channel for the brand offering its 4.2 million subscribers access to shows like CoComelon, Blippi, Little Baby Bum and more.
Tish Tash
Tish Tash


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