‘How to Train Your Dragon 3’ Proves How to Finish a Trilogy

While not exactly a golden rule, it is known fact that if a movie does well in the box office, chances are good that it will be followed by sequel and more often than not, we’ve come to expect that the sequel won’t measure up to the original. Add a third movie to the mix and you’re just asking for trouble. With animated movies, the expectations are often even lower. (Is anyone really surprised that the Ice Age movies keep getting worse?) But sometimes, as is the case with the Disney/Pixar Toy Story movies, we’re pleasantly surprised. Now you can add How to Train Your Dragon to that short list too.

One thing that DreamWorks Animation has understood about this series is that the story comes first, the hijinks come later. The very first Dragon movie proved that way back in 2010 with a strong story and with each chapter that has come after it, that story just keeps getting better. What started out as a cute kid’s story has become a powerful trilogy. We've seen these chara…

ABC Brings Back 'Battle of the Network Stars'

"Battle of the Network Stars."
Joe Tessitore, Caaidy Hubbarth, Cari Champion and Mike Greenberg (ABC)


Starting during the summer on 1976, one of my favorite TV specials was the Battle of the Network Stars. If you are as old as me, you remember that we only had three national TV networks (ABC, NBC and CBS) and the show only aired once per summer. About eight or nine stars from each network would compete during the 90-minute special. Now in 2017, ABC is bringing the show back but times have changed. We now have about a million networks. So, for this revival, the “special” will run for 10 consecutive weeks beginning on Thursday, June 29 at 9:00 p.m. Fourteen different networks will be represented but the teams will be divided by genre instead of networks and only two teams of five players each will compete each week. However, in the long run, more stars will be competing this year than in the previous years – 100 to be exact. Another change this year is that specials will features stars from current TV shows as well as many from shows in the past whereas in the golden days of Battle of the Network Stars, the shows featured were currently running on the three networks.

Those who remember the original specials will be happy to learn that the 2017 version will give tribute to the original Wild World of Sports version where the hosts (Mike Greenberg and Joe Tessitore from ESPN) and sideline reporters (Cassidy Hubbarth and Cari Champion from ESPN) will be sporting the old gold sportscoats of yesteryear.

Though there will be ten teams competing, they will all share two team captains: Super Bowl 50 winner DeMarcus Ware and MMA fighter/Olympian Ronda Rousey.

ABC also promises new takes on classic sporting events like Tug of War, Archery, Kayak Relay, Obstacle Course and the Dunk Tank – all from the site of the original series the campus of Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. The two teams competing this Thursday include:

Battle of the Network Stars

TV Sitcoms vs TV Kids

  • Bronson Pinchot, Tom Arnold, Dave Coulier, AJ Michalka, Tracey Gold
  • Joey Lawrence, Corbin Bleu, Nolan Gould, Lisa Whelchel, Kim Fields

The remaining teams competing this summer include:

Primetime Soaps vs ABC Stars

  • Ian Ziering, Josh Henderson, Gabrielle Carteris, Donna Mills, Mischa Barton
  • Olivia d’Abo, Shari Belafonte, Michael Fishman, Jason Hervey, Anson Williams)

Battle of the Network Stars

Variety Shows vs TV Sex Symbols

  • Joanna Krupa, Nick Lachey, Vanessa Lachey, Gilles Marini, Jack Osbourne
  • Keegan Allen, Traci Bingham, Rosa Blasi, Brant Daugherty, Galen Gering

TV Cops vs TV Sticoms

  • Erik Estrada, Larry Wilcox, Kelly Hu, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, Lorenzo Lamas
  • Todd Bridges, Leigh-Allyn Baker, Dave Foley, Willie Garson, Jenna von Oy

Battle of the Network Stars

White House vs Lawyers

  • Cornelius Smith Jr., Marlee Matlin, Joshua Malina, LaMonica Garrett, Mary McCormack
  • Elisabeth Rohm, Corbin Bernsen, Matt McGorry, Romi Dias, Catherine Bell

TV Moms and Dads vs TV Kids

  • Chad Lowe, Greg Evigan, Ted McGinley, Lesley Fera, Jackee Harry
  • Jimmie Walker, Mackenzie Phillips, Jonathan Lipnicki, Krista Marie Yu, Jeremy Miller

Battle of the Network Stars

TV Families vs TV Doctors

  • Danny Bonaduce, Barry Williams, Beverley Mitchell, Willie Aames, Charlene Tilton
  • Thomas Calabro, Taye Diggs, Rachelle Lefevre, Deidre Hall, Benjamin Hollingsworth

Troublemakers vs TV Lifeguards

  • Vivica A. Fox, Paul Johansson, John Barrowman, Julie Benz, Catherine Bach
  • David Chokachi, Brande Roderick, Parker Stevenson, Nicole Eggert, Gena Lee Nolin

Battle of the Network Stars

ABC Stars vs Variety Stars

  • Ted Lange, Troy Gentile, Jill Whelan, Denise Richards, Joely Fisher
  • Lance Bass, Joey Fatone, Adrienne Houghton, Cameron Mathison, Kelly Osbourne

TV Cops vs Sci-Fi Fantasy Stars

  • Marisol Nichols, Roma Maffia, Adrian Zmed, Fred Dryer, Ryan Paevey
  • Lou Ferrigno, Vinnie Jones, Charisma Carpenter, Kevin Sorbo, Jill Wagner

Battle of the Network Stars airs on Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. on ABC.

To give you an idea of how the show used to look, watch this:


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