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WIRE BUZZ: Steven Universe fundraiser; Bill & Ted behind the scenes; ViacomCBS global streamer in 2021
They may not be the Crystal Gems exactly, but they're still going to try and save the day — or at least raise money for a good cause.
Steven Universe creator Rebecca Sugar and singer Estelle (who also plays fan-favorite Garnet on the animated series) will be hosting a special charity event on Thursday to raise money for the National Bail Out, a collective that focuses on bailing out Black mothers and caregivers, as well as supporting bail reform efforts and creating resources for organizations and advocates interested in ending pretrial detention.
As seen in the tweet below, the charity event, which will take place on the official Cartoon Network Instagram, will feature musical performances — no doubt of some of the animated series' classic songs — followed by a Q&A with Sugar and Estelle.
Per Sugar's tweets, Cartoon Network will be matching donations up to $50,000, with the show's creator also promising to play the full version of a song from the series, "Change Your Mind," something fans have never heard before, if the fundraiser crosses that particular monetary benchmark.
Steven Universe revolves around the adventures of a young boy (the titular "Steven") who lives with Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl, a trio of Crystal Gems — ageless aliens who take a female humanoid form powered by the magical gemstones — who both help raise him and train him to save the world from other alien threats alongside them, just as his mother, Rose Quartz (a Crystal Gem herself), did so before him.
You can watch the charity event on Cartoon Network's official Instagram on Thursday at 4 p.m. EST.
Next, those anticipating Bill & Ted Face the Music can watch its stars chat about the beloved time travel series' origins. Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves take fans behind the scenes with a new featurette — while those playing their daughters (Samara Weaving and Brigette Lundy-Paine) talk about joining the crew.
Take a look:
"When we got them together," said producer Scott Kroopf, "it was like deja vu." The duos discuss music, getting into the Bill & Ted vibe, and more as they're interspersed throughout some futuristic footage from the film — but all the heartwarming behind-the-scenes secrets are second to the actual fun of the movie. "Audiences are going to lose their minds," Lundy-Paine said. Weaving agrees in an echo. Those two really are suited to be Bill & Ted's kids.
Bill & Ted Face the Music arrives On Demand and in theaters on Aug. 28.
Finally, those international residents that don't have...well, access to CBS All Access will be getting a new streaming service from ViacomCBS soon — possibly as soon as next year.
Variety reports that the media company is aiming to launch its global streamer in early 2021, combining offerings from its TV channels (like CBS, MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon) and movie holdings (Paramount films) into a streaming platform combining Showtime and CBS All Access.
Heading to "Australia, Latin America, and the Nordics" first and then following up in other international markets, the new streamer (which hasn't got a name yet) looks to morph those countries' experiences with the already-present services of either CBS All Access (in Australia) and Paramount Plus (Latin America, the Nordics, Eastern Europe). This puts many of ViacomCBS' global streaming deals in question, as the global rights to many of its series have contracts in place for distribution elsewhere. Picard, for example, comes from Amazon Prime outside of the U.S.
“We’re going to continue working with our colleagues in our distribution team to work out the right approach to allocate rights and windowing in those markets,” said David Lynn, president and CEO of ViacomCBS Networks International. “We have more than enough content to continue to do licensing.”
The plan looks to combine the company's media offerings into a single source, following in the footsteps of WarnerMedia's HBO Max and NBCUniversal's Peacock...but only outside the U.S. For now.