9:15AM (PST) – Grae Drake, Rotten Tomatoes
In 6th grade, when Rotten Tomatoes Senior Editor Grae was arranging movie outings for all her friends, she picked the movie. Through the years studying film at the University of Texas at Austin, being honored by Sundance and the Director’s Guild of America, and working as a filmmaker in Los Angeles, she realized how terrible she was at keeping her opinions to herself. The Popcorn Mafia podcast was born, and led to her becoming CNN’s movie critic. She also has dished the dirt with stars on HLN’s Showbiz Tonight, Fox News, G4’s Attack of the Show, and is a regular at the TV Guide Network and the Reelz Channel. Her passionate thoughts can also be heard on terrestrial radio all over North America. And just to note, she still won’t let other people pick the movies.
Movies this week:
9:30AM (PST) – Lori Alan, Pixar’s “Inside Out” – in theaters TODAY, June 19th!
Lori Alan started talking as soon as she fell out of the womb, and hasn’t stopped since. A native of the Washington, DC area, her passion for entertaining led the five-year-old actress to make her television debut as the star of a Shakey’s Pizza commercial. She went on to graduate with honors from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and set off cutting her teeth on the comedy circuit, as a longtime member of New York’s Gotham City Improv (Groundlings East).
Lori is perhaps best known for her award-winning voice-over work. Coming to a theatre near you in June 2015, Lori joins Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling and Bill Hader in Pixar’s Inside Out. Recently honored by her peers at the First Annual Voice Arts Awards (the Academy Awards for Voice-Overs) Lori took first-place prizes for Outstanding Body Of Work and Outstanding National Television Commercial. She starred as Diane Simmons on Family Guy, Pearl the Whale on SpongeBob: Squarepants, and Sue Richards, The Invisible Woman, on Marvel Comics’ The Fantastic Four, among many other fantastic animated roles (Monster’s University, Toy Story 3, Despicable Me 2, WALL•E, Henry Hugglemonster, Metal Gear Solid, Cow and Chicken, Animaniacs, and Futurama) and a long, successful commercial career. Lori has firm roots in theatre, where she’s thrived for over three decades. She most recently mounted a smash solo show, Lori Alan: The Musical, and appeared alongside Paul Reubens in The Pee-Wee Herman Show. Of her role as Queen Celia in the hit musical Sneaux!, Backstage West proclaimed, “Lori Alan might give Carol Burnett pause!” She originated the role of Mae in the award-winning musical Reefer Madness, a performance that earned raves from Kenny Morse of CBS Radio, who called her “a standout whose talent will take her very far”. Luckily, that talent brought Lori right to the small screen. From roles on the gripping Showtime drama Ray Donovan, to the hilarious Comedy Central gem Workaholics, to the deliciously naughty Desperate Housewives, Lori’s energy and natural essence flow effortlessly from genre to genre. A true character actress in every sense of the word, when Lori speaks, the world listens. She delves deeply into her material, emerging with the power to make the audience laugh and cry in the same moment. Her television career has flourished with appearances on Bones, Southland, CSI, 90210, Law and Order (both LA and the original), and every other show imaginable.
Lori lives in Los Angeles with the love of her life, Harry, her 4-legged, “soul mate” Newfie-Chow mix. She is the Co-founder of the US Chapter of The Global Campaign of NoToDogMeat, which prevents and suppresses cruelty towards dogs and cats in the meat trade. Lori also sits on the board of Pickle Pants Dog Rescue in Los Angeles, which focuses on rescuing, rehabbing, and rehoming animals otherwise set for death row from high kill shelters. Lori is passionate about advocating for animals in dire need of protection, and is committed to helping those who can’t speak for themselves have a voice. Her other hobbies include singing in the shower, discovering new gluten-free cookies, and trying to switch to decaf.
10:15AM (PST) – Carlton Cuse and Dr. Pavan Kadandale, “The Strain”
Mark your calendars and set your DVRs for the Season 2 premiere of “The Strain” - July 12th at 10PM on FX! Season 1 is available now on Hulu
Fight or Die: The Science behind FX's The Strain – Canvas Network | Free online courses | MOOCs
Carlton Cuse is one of the most successful writer-producers in television, and is currently showrunning four different drama series: The Strain (FX), Bates Motel (A&E),The Returned (A&E) and Colony (USA).
Cuse grew up in Boston, Massachusetts and Orange County, California. He attended Harvard University, graduating with a degree in American History. He began his career in feature films. With Jeffrey Boam, Cuse developed the story and screenplays for Lethal Weapon 2, Lethal Weapon 3 and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
He began his television career as a writer on the Michael Mann series Crime Story. He then co-created and executive produced the critically acclaimed FOX series The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. He also created and executive produced the CBS show Nash Bridges starring Don Johnson, which ran for six seasons and 121 episodes. His other credits during this time include creating the CBS show Martial Law starring Arsenio Hall and Sammo Kam-Bo Hung.
In 2004 Cuse teamed with Damon Lindelof to serve as the showrunners, executive producers and head writers for all six seasons of Lost on ABC, winning many awards for their work. While overseeing Lost, Cuse also pioneered the development of the first transmedia content made in conjunction with a television series. Bates Motel is produced by Universal Television for A&E Network and stars Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore. The third season premiered in March 2015. The Returned is an adaptation of the International Emmy® winning French series, Les Revenants, and premiered on A&E in March 2015. Colony is co-created by Cuse and Ryan Condal. It is produced by Legendary Television and UCP for USA Networks and is scheduled to premiere in the fall of 2015. In addition, Cuse is the screenwriter on the New Line/Warner Bros. feature San Andreas, starring Dwayne Johnson, which opened in May 2015.
Cuse has received 10 Emmy® Nominations for his work and has won two Emmys, for Outstanding Drama Series and for Outstanding Achievement in Interactive Media. Among his other honors, Cuse has won a Peabody Award, a Golden Globe®, the Jules Verne Award, four Saturn Awards and a Writers Guild Award. In 2010, Cuse was named to Time Magazine’s annual List of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.”
Dr. Kadandale hails from the once-sleepy city of Bangalore in India. After getting a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology, Chemistry and Zoology, he then did his Master’s in Biochemistry. He then moved to the United States, and obtained his PhD from Rutgers University in New Jersey. He continued traveling West, and did a post-doc at UC San Diego, and is currently an Asst. Teaching Professor at the Ayala School of Biology at UC Irvine. He has had diverse research interests, and has studied (amongst other things) how DNA is transported into the nucleus of a cell, the molecular basis of fertilization, and the role of autophagy in cellular dynamics. He is currently interested in Biology education, and is trying to figure out how improve the teaching of critical thinking and data analysis skills in the undergraduate curriculum.
11:15AM (PST) – Josh Levs, investigative journalist, expert on modern fatherhood, parent of three and author of “All In: How Our Work-First Culture Fails Dads, Families, and Businesses – And How We Can Fix It Together”
Photo credit: Jim Gilson
Prior to CNN, Josh Levs was a reporter for NPR. His many prizes include six Peabody awards, two Edward R. Murrow awards, and a designation as a Journalist of the Year from the Atlanta Press Club. Levs is also a motivational and keynote speaker. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife and children. His new book “All In: How Our Work-First Culture Fails Dads, Families, and Businesses – And How We Can Fix It Together” is published by HarperOne.
11:30AM (PST) – Tom Asacker, Business Philosopher and Author of “The Business of Belief”
Tom Asacker has been teaching and inspiring organizations and entrepreneurs for over 20 years. World-class companies including Procter & Gamble, UPS, and G.E. have called on Tom to shake up their people, fill them with ideas and charge them with inspiration.
Often described as a catalyst and non-conformist and acclaimed for his no-nonsense style, Tom is the author of The Business of Belief, Opportunity Screams, A Little Less Conversation and A Clear Eye for Branding, groundbreaking books that redefine business for the new, customer-controlled economy. His first book, Sandbox Wisdom, a heartwarming story about a CEO’s search for meaning and success in the world of business and work, was a business bestseller in the U.S., and was published internationally to rave reviews.
A popular speaker, Tom has lectured on innovation, leadership, the customer experience, and marketplace trends to corporate, association, and university audiences around the world. As an independent business consultant, he’s advised start-up ventures, NPOs, and Fortune 500 companies on leadership, emerging trends and strategic brand development. Asacker brings a breadth of business development, marketing, management and operational expertise from prior management posts at G.E., as well as from his entrepreneurial experience as co-founder and President of a high-tech medical device company.
He is a recipient of the George Land Innovator of the Year Award; he holds medical patents and product design awards; and he is recognized by Inc. Magazine, MIT, and the Young Entrepreneurs’ Organization as a past member of their “Birthing of Giants” entrepreneurial executive leadership program. Tom holds degrees in Economics and Business Management, and lives in the great Northeast.