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Baidu’s Facemoji Keyboard Brings Sanrio Anime Characters to Life via Augmented Reality

Chris

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Sanrio, the global lifestyle brand best known for pop culture icon Hello Kitty, and Baidu, Inc., have partnered to bring the immensely popular Aggretsuko and Gudetama characters to millions of users via augmented reality on Baidu’s Facemoji Keyboard app. This marks the first partnership between Sanrio and Baidu, and signifies a joint effort to bring Sanrio’s beloved characters to fans in the United States.

“The entire world has treasured memories of Sanrio’s characters, so we wanted to bring these memories to life for our U.S. users in a new and modern way,” said Mr. Jiang Feng, director of Baidu’s global business unit. “With Baidu’s AR technology, users can record videos, take selfies and connect with one another, while taking the form of everyone’s favorite red panda and lazy egg.”

Facemoji Keyboard has established a reputation for providing exceptional user experiences, vast customization offerings and a selection of features leveraging Baidu’s robust AI technology. The new additions from Sanrio join an existing family of AR Emoji, as well as a growing library of stickers, GIFs and custom keyboard designs. Now, millions of users of Baidu’s Facemoji Keyboard app can enjoy AR Emoji that capture the spirit of Sanrio’s characters by leveraging AI technologies.

With Aggretsuko this cute red panda is an office associate working at a highly respected trading company, and star of Netflix’s animated series Aggretsuko, who is frustrated by unsympathetic bosses on a daily basis. When a user opens their mouth wide, they can transform from agreeable, mild-mannered Retsuko into her fierce, thrash-metal karaoke singing alter ego, Aggretsuko. This AR Emoji is perfect for showing friends just how frustrating that to-do list really is.

Some say this egg known as Gudetama is lazy, others argue it is simply practicing self-care; even more identify with its struggle to tackle the day ahead. Whatever the draw, Gudetama’s adorable apathy is contagious, and users can finally express themselves with this uncannily accurate AR character.

Facemoji Keyboard users can access the Aggretsuko AR Emoji free for the first three months, then for $3.99 per download. The Gudetama AR Emoji will also be available for purchase at $3.99.

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Nickelodeon to Debut LEGO City Adventures

Chris

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Nickelodeon and the LEGO Group today announced the all-new high-stakes CG-animated comedy series LEGO City Adventures will premiere on Saturday, June 22, at 11:30 a.m. (ET/PT). A rollercoaster ride of fantastic fun, the series (10 episodes) depicts the funny, smart, and dynamic slices of life within the sprawling and diverse LEGO City community, following the absurd and action-packed adventures of its residents. Premieres continue Saturdays at 11:30 a.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon.

“LEGO CITY is our strongest evergreen property globally, and for the first time we are leveraging episodic content to establish characters and personalities that bring the city to life,” said Jill Wilfert, Vice President, Licensing & Entertainment for LEGO Group. “We’re thrilled to partner with Nickelodeon for this important evolution of LEGO CITY given how well positioned they are to engage children and families with relevant programming.”

“The LEGO brand is known for creating imaginative and innovative content for kids, and we are excited to collaborate with the LEGO Group to bring the unique characters, style and humor of LEGO City Adventures to life on Nickelodeon,” said Layla Lewis, SVP of Global Acquisitions and Content Partnerships, Nickelodeon.

LEGO City Adventures explores the intertwining paths of the city’s everyday heroes as they work together to stop a mysterious master criminal who begins to wreak havoc on their town. In the premiere episode “Cubs and Robbers,” a movie promotion stunt goes wrong, unleashing a humongous ‘Cubby the Cop’ balloon on the city. Then, in “Billy the Bug,” Fire Chief McCloud accidentally buys a malfunctioning Twirly Hat for her nephew.

Citizens of LEGO City introduced throughout the series include: Sergeant Duke DeTain (Joe Zieja, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4), an overly heroic cop; Freya McCloud (Misty Lee, DC Super Hero Girls), a crisis-ready fire chief; Shirley Keeper (Alex Cazares, The Loud House), the grumpy street sweeper; Harl Hubbs (Daniel MK Cohen, Fixed), an overeager handyman; Tippy Dorman (James Arnold Taylor, Star Wars: The Clone Wars), an expert doorman with a secret; Solomon Fleck (Roger Craig Smith, Avengers Assemble), the dedicated city mayor; Percival “Wheelie” Wheeler (Mick Lauer, Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal), a skateboarding police chief and more.

Created and produced by LEGO Group, LEGO City Adventures is also produced by Flaunt Animation (Scotland) and Passion Pictures (France) and written by Jon Colton Barry (Phineas and Ferb), Steven Banks (SpongeBob SquarePants), Jamie Moyer (Modern Family) and Brian Hunt (Second City Chicago). Jason Oliveri is the executive in charge of LEGO City Adventures for Nickelodeon.

Following its U.S. launch, the series will roll out on several of Nickelodeon’s international territories in fall 2019.

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XFL Will Air on ABC, ESPN, FOX Sports and FS1

Lindsay

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The XFL today announced multi-year agreements with ESPN and FOX Sports to televise XFL games starting with its inaugural 2020 season. XFL games will air weekly on broadcast TV (ABC and FOX) complemented by games on cable (ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 and FS2). The XFL TV schedule allows for consistent appointment viewing each week with back-to-back games starting Saturday afternoons at 2 pm ET as well as two additional games on Sunday afternoons.

“We look forward to showcasing the XFL on ESPN and ABC, including the kickoff game and championship during the league’s inaugural season,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN Executive Vice President, Programming and Scheduling. “Vince McMahon and Oliver Luck are two of the sports industry’s most creative and experienced leaders, and they have exciting plans for this league. We believe in their vision for the XFL, which will be a great addition to our year-round commitment to football.”

“We welcome the XFL to the FOX Sports Family and are pleased to expand our relationship with Vince McMahon,” said Eric Shanks, FOX Sports CEO & Executive Producer. “Football is in FOX Sports’ DNA and a key component of our programming strategy. Alongside Oliver Luck and his incredible team, we’re excited for the debut of the XFL on FOX Sports.”

“We are thrilled to partner with ESPN and FOX Sports, two innovative media companies with extensive experience in world-class football production that will undoubtedly help us reimagine football,” said Vince McMahon, XFL Founder & Chairman. “The XFL broadcast schedule provides us with incredible reach and makes it easy for fans to watch our games consistently every weekend.”

The agreements were negotiated by CAA Sports and Evolution Media Capital (EMC) on behalf of the XFL.

The XFL will kick off on Saturday, February 8, 2020 with teams in Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, St. Louis, Seattle, Tampa Bay and Washington D.C. Additional XFL-themed programming and on-air talent will be announced in the future.

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