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Starz Digital Media is proud to be announcing their next step in the mission to deliver quality programming across multiple platforms with the launch of its new entertainment and comedy YouTube channel, “Union Pool.”  Brought to life by the company behind the web series sensation “How It Should Have Ended,” “Union Pool” will offer a unique variety of animated and live-action series, with new episodes launching every Tuesday and Thursday at www.youtube.com/unionpool.  Initial programming will include pop culture animated mashup “Tvoovies,” acting school spoof “Hollywood Acting Studio,” and the award-winning puppet animation adventure “Captain Cornelius Cartoon’s Cartoon Lagoon.” We at RTV are more than excited to see how Starz will be bringing their quality entertainment to the YouTube platform, and to a vast community of millions who visit YouTube daily.

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First of the three series coming to YouTube is a series called “Tvoovies”, (a mashup of the words “TV” and “movies”). The original concept for “Tvoovies” was inspired by casual conversations on the popular social news site Reddit. Created by award winning LA-based producers Cosmic Toast Studios in partnership with Starz Digital Media, “Tvoovies” is a pop culture animated mashup where hit television series collide with blockbuster films.  Whip-smart, tongue-in-cheek and often outrageous, this season’s lineup, parodies the biggest titles in entertainment, including “Jurassic Parks and Rec,” “Mad X-Men,” “Indiana Jones and the Abbey of Downtown” and “The Grey’s Anatomy.” It definitely sounds like something along the lines of Cartoon Network’s “MAD” or Adult Swim’s “Robot Chicken“. Being a fan of Parks and Recreation, I was a bit taken back by the fact that in the image the T-Rex is actually dressed as Ron Swanson of Parks and Recreation fame.

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The second of the YouTube series is called “Hollywood Acting Studio”. Created by Kevin Best, co-founder of the Natural Disastronauts (Cracked.com’s Cracked Advice Board), “Hollywood Acting Studio” follows the hilarious unorthodox teaching methods of Professor Lafrange, a failed Hollywood hopeful instructing a new crop of aspiring actors at a local community college. (A plot very reminiscent of the indie film “Hamlet 2” released in 2008.) Students learn the pillars of the craft, such as auditioning, green-screen acting, crying, and more through Lafrange’s deranged and pretentious techniques.  “Hollywood Acting Studio” stars Groundlings and Upright Citizen’s Brigade breakout comedian Drew Droege, creator of the viral video sensation “Chloë,” and features Co-Producer Daniel Vincent Gordh, star of the Interactive Media Emmy® -winning series  “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries,”.  The ensemble cast of “Hollywood Acting Studio” includes J. Teddy Garces (“The Guild”, “The Sessions”) and award-winning actress Myra Turley (“Mad Men”). Also being a fan of the Upright Citizens Brigade with alumni such as Jackie Clarke, Andy Rocco, Jake Fogelnest and Jawnee Conroy, I have to say I am very excited to get to check this show out as well.

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To round out the lineup of the series coming to Starz’s new comedy block on youtube is a quirky looking series called “Captain Cornelius Cartoon’s Cartoon Lagoon”. Nickelodeon and DC Comics alumni Manny Galán and Pat Giles of Pat-Man Studios serve as Executive Producers for “Captain Cornelius Cartoon’s Cartoon Lagoon”.  The show is an award-winning animated adventure that follows seafaring puppets on their underwater quest aboard the Manta Ray.  This cartoon-retrieving vessel commanded by Captain Cornelius dives deep into Cartoon Lagoon in search of the best and the worst cartoons ever made.  Meanwhile, a motley crew spoofs PSAs and retro animated favorites, including the original “Casper The Friendly Ghost,” “The Underwater Adventures of Captain Nemo,” and “Popeye the Sailor Man.” Celebrated by Amazon Studios with the 2012 New York Television Festival Audience Award, this magical salute to Saturday morning cartoons unites “MAD TV” and “Robot Chicken” scribe Steve Borst with a lineup of veteran and breakthrough talent from The Disney Channel, Nick Jr., The Jim Henson Company, Marvel Comics, Archie Comics, WB Animation, MTV, Spike TV, “Bear in the Big Blue House,” and Broadway’s “Avenue Q.” The artwork is very reminiscent of shows like “Ed, Edd n Eddy”, “Spongebob Squarepants”and “Ren and Stimpy”. Starz is looking to shape up quite the abstract, well thought out series of shows to bring to the YouTube community, and with it an entire army of talent experience in other series in the past.

For more information about “Union Pool” or any of the upcoming productions, visit www.youtube.com/unionpool.

Behind The Studios

Founders of Cartoon Lagoon Studios bringing you “Captain Cornelius Cartoon’s Cartoon Lagoon” Manny Galán and Pat Giles have been in the pop culture business for years with a long pedigree in children’s television. Giles previously served as the art director for Disney’s “Stanley” series on The Disney Channel, and worked on hundreds of episodes on six other TV shows, including “Disney’s Doug,” and MTV’s “Daria.” Giles also co-founded the indie-comics publisher Monkeysuit Press, featuring his TPB comic collection “The Big Problem With Marshall.” Galán has worked at Marvel, DC Comics, Archie Comics and Nickelodeon, first in their consumer products division and later in the On Air department where he wrote and directed hundreds of shorts, including the legendary “Nickmas” series, “Captain Nick,” and “How Angelica Stole Christmas.” Galán’s toy line “Dookie-Poo” is an award-winning collection of designer vinyls and plush, and featured in indie-comics collection Combination Platter.

Cosmic Toast Studios (“CTS”), bringing you “Tvoovies“, located in Burbank, California, is a full-service production studio that specializes in animation, music scoring, and sound effects to create remarkable worlds and memorable characters. Every step of the pre-production, production, and postproduction process is completed within the studio, including animation (both 2D and CGI), writing, storyboarding, animatics, shooting (CTS has its own green screen facility), editing, sound design, music scoring, and song and voice over recording. CTS’ other credits include production of animated feature DVDs, webisodes, TV series and commercials for a client base that includes Skechers, Hasbro, Mattel, Maker Studios,  Moonscoop Productions and MGA Entertainment.

The Natural Disastronauts behind the series “Hollywood Acting Studio” is a sketch comedy troupe and filmmaking collective composed of Daniel Vincent Gordh, his brother Will Gordh, Katy Stoll and Kevin Best.  They’ve received acclaim for “The Cracked Advice Board” and “The Katie Willert Experience,” two popular webseries hosted on the Webby Award-winning humor site Cracked.com.  They’ve also produced numerous one-off sketches that have garnered over 10 million views webwide. Their viral hit sketch “State Home for Manic Pixie Dream Girls” was widely received and featured across top culture and humor sites, including Buzzfeed, The A.V. Club, The Gloss, and Flavorpill.

We at RTV can’t wait to check out this collection of shows bringing you off-beat, tongue-in-cheek humor created by an illustrious alumni of talent spanning a multitude of amazing programming and comedians looking to bring nothing but the funniest. Stay tuned to RTV for the latest in technology, video games, cellphones and more.