Amazon's The Lord of the Rings series gets a title; Magnolia Network launches to big numbers, thanks to Fixer Upper: Welcome Home; Chicken Run gets a sequel; and the world of Craig of the Creek gets bigger.
The Lord of the Rings: ?
Amazon Prime Video's The Lord of the Rings series premieres Friday, Sept. 2, with new episodes airing weekly after that. Season one filmed in New Zealand, where Peter Jackson's LOTR movies were filmed; season 2 moves to the U.K.
So, without further ado, here's the title:
Amazon describes the series thus:
The new epic drama brings to screens for the very first time J.R.R. Tolkien’s fabled Second Age of Middle-earth’s history. Beginning in a time of relative peace, thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’ books, the series follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth.
Magnolia Network Builds Big
On Jan. 5, DIY Network officially relaunched as Magnolia Network. Part of that was the season premiere of network co-owners (with Discovery, Inc.) Chip and Joanna Gaines' show Fixer Upper: Welcome Home.
The show's first two episodes of the series featuring the Christian home remodelers, which aired on Jan. 5 and a week later, scored the higher numbers than anything on the network's previous incarnation.
From The Wrap.com:
The Jan. 5 cable premiere of “Fixer Upper: Welcome Home” drew more than 1.7 million viewers, according to Nielsen’s Live + 3 Day measurement, a near-400% improvement over DIY’s 2021 primetime average. Those numbers made “Welcome Home” a Top 10 program on cable among adults (people 18+), and was No. 3 in its 9 p.m. time slot. (If you exclude the cable news channels, it was No. 1.)
Chicken Run Returns
In 2000, Wallace and Gromit creators Aardman Animations had a hit with Chicken Run, a clay-animation film about chickens escaping from a farm.
While It may be a bit scary for younger kids, Chicken Run grossed $225M and is the highest-grossing stop-action film ever.
Now, there's going to be a sequel on Netflix, due out in 2023. From Variety.com:
The sequel, “Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget,” follows Ginger, who, having pulled off a death-defying escape from Tweedy’s farm, has set up a peaceful island sanctuary for the whole flock, far from the dangers of the human world. When she and Rocky hatch a little girl called Molly, Ginger’s happy ending seems complete. But back on the mainland the whole of chicken-kind faces a new and terrible threat.
The cast includes Thandiwe Newton (Ginger), Zachary Levi (Rocky), Bella Ramsey, Jane Horrocks, Imelda Staunton, Lynn Ferguson, Josie Sedgwick-Davies, David Bradley, Romesh Ranganathan, Daniel Mays and Nick Mohammed.
Here's a peek at the original:
Craig of the Creek Gets a New Season and More
Cartoon Network's Craig of the Creek just premiered on Monday, Jan. 17, and WarnerMedia Kids & Family wasted no time in picking up a fifth season of the show about the adventures of precocious Craig and his pals at the neighborhood creek.
Cartoon Network Studios will also produce a prequel film called Craig of the Creek: The Movie, and a preschool spin-off series, Jessica's Big Little World -- all of which will be available in 2023 on Cartoon Network and streamer HBOMax.
Per Cartoon Network, Season 5, which will debut early next year, “delves deeper into the endless world of the Creek as Craig embarks on more journeys with friends new and old, finding adventure, mystery and fun around every bend.”
As to the rest, from the same post:
“Craig of the Creek: The Movie” is an origin story of the Creek’s bravest explorer that could only be told through the scope of a movie. Craig Williams is the shy, new kid in town, longing for his old home and life, per WarnerMedia. According to the press release, “Little does he know, he’ll soon set off on the biggest adventure he could ever dream of. Treasure maps, pirate ships, and a villain who wants to destroy the Creek are just the beginning in this treasure hunting epic!”
“Jessica’s Big Little World” is described as a preschool spinoff series that centers on Craig’s little sister Jessica “as she navigates her way through a world where everything seems much bigger than she is.” The description continues, “Although she’s the youngest and still needs help with a lot, Jessica is inspired by the grown-ups and bigger kids around her and is persistent in her quest to conquer monumental kid tasks like creating a bedtime routine or saying hi to a new classmate. With the help of her friends, imaginary and real, Jessica sets off to take on the world, even if she still does suck her thumb…sometimes.”
Image: Amazon Prime Video
Kate O’Hare, a longtime entertainment journalist, is Social Media Content Manager at Family Theater Productions.