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Strange New Worlds’ Big Lower Decks Crossover Has 1 Concern To Overcome



Star Trek’s SDCC 2022 panel revealed an upcoming crossover between Strange New Worlds and Lower Decks – but has one big problem to overcome.

Can the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds crossover with Star Trek: Lower Decks overcome its obvious hurdle? Star Trek‘s SDCC 2022 panel mapped out the franchise’s immediate future (on TV, that is) with all the pomp and bluster you’d expect after Strange New Worlds‘ sweeping critical success. Despite a nostalgic teaser for Star Trek: Picard season 3 and a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday” for new Captain Kirk, Paul Wesley, arguably the day’s biggest Star Trek news proved to be confirmation of a crossover between Captain Pike’s Enterprise and the animated Star Trek: Lower Decks gang.


The inter-show showdown is scheduled for Strange New Worlds season 2, and will be directed by William T. Riker himself, Jonathan Frakes. In an ambitious mashup, the episode shall incorporate live-action and animated elements and, most importantly, will feature the live-action debuts of Star Trek: Lower Decks‘ Beckett Mariner (Tawny Newsome) and Brad Boimler (Jack Quaid). No further story details were provided at SDCC 2022, but Mariner and Boimler feel like a perfect fit for the lighter tone of Strange New Worlds, with its alien LARPing and pirate impressions. Live-action Cerritos crew cameos would prove far more challenging to execute in, say, Star Trek: Discovery.

Nevertheless, transporting Mariner and Boimler into Strange New Worlds creates a problem of its own. Captain Pike’s Star Trek story is set in 2259, shortly prior to Kirk’s adventures in The Original SeriesStar Trek: Lower Decks is set after The Next Generation (with Riker as captain of the Titan), and takes place around 2380, putting over a century between the two shows. Strange New Worlds must somehow bridge this gap to convincingly explain how two hapless Cerritos crew members from the future wind up poking their noses into Starfleet history.

How Mariner & Boimler Can Appear In Strange New Worlds Season 2

Let’s face it, Star Trek is hardly in unfamiliar territory when it comes to mashing up characters from conflicting timelines. The time travel option is very much on the table here, and Star Trek: Lower Decks season 3 SDCC trailer footage actually shows the Cerritos approaching a wormhole while it admires the pylons of Deep Space Nine. The upcoming Strange New Worlds crossover could be as simple as one of the ships (probably the Cerritos given its track record) bumbling through a portal into another era.

Of course, the slingshot maneuver is always available too. Star Trek: Lower Decks season 2 ended with Captain Freeman no longer a free woman, arrested by Starfleet for a crime she didn’t commit. Mariner and Boimler – aided by Rutherford’s computer brain, maybe – could slingshot into the past to save their captain, but miscalculate the distance by 100 years or so. From red matter to the Nexus, Star Trek is packed with time travel possibilities. All of them are risky, but in the madcap world of Star Trek: Lower Decks, does that matter?

Time travel isn’t necessarily to blame for Strange New Worlds‘ Star Trek: Lower Decks crossover. The landmark episode may adopt a format akin to “The Menagerie,” where the Cerritos crew encounters a planet/villain/space oddity that Starfleet records show Pike’s Enterprise crew dealt with over a century prior. The episode could play both timelines out simultaneously, perhaps with Mariner and Boimler working from clues left behind by their Enterprise predecessors, sending messages through time to tackle the same problem across eras. Or maybe it’s just a holodeck thing…

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‘The Masked Singer’ Season 8 Finale Reveals Identities of the Harp and Lambs: Here’s Who The Winners Are



SPOILER ALERT: Do not read ahead if you have not watched Season 8, episodes 11 and 12, of “The Masked Singer,” “Two-Hour Epic Finale,” which aired Nov. 30 on Fox.

“The Masked Singer” ended its eighth season on a “Glee”-ful note. Singer and actor Amber Riley, known for playing Mercedes Jones on Fox’s “Glee” and more recently for projects including “A Black Lady Sketch Show” and Lifetime’s “Single Black Female,” was revealed as this season’s winner on the Wednesday night finale.

Riley was unmasked as the Harp, beating out the Lambs — who were unmasked as 90s vocal group Wilson Phillips.

“It’s very validating as an artis,” Riley tells Variety about her win. “It can get very discouraging in this industry especially as a music artist. I’m pretty much a new artist, even though I’ve been in this industry a really long time… to hear all the amazing things that the judges had to say about me [has been validating]. Even seeing online the things that people had to say about me and how positive feedback has been. My voice has been my lifeline for my whole entire life. It’s saved me time and time again.

“This show is something that I didn’t know that I needed, to keep me growing,” she says. “It refueled me.”

For Harp, Nicole Scherzinger was correct with Amber Riley. Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg guessed Jordin Sparks. Robin Thicke thought it was Yvette Nicole Brown. Ken Jeong named Jennifer Hudson.

“I really did try to cover up my voice by singing heavier and lower, but I don’t know, they guessed me pretty early on,” Riley says. “Which was OK. It’s kind of flattering that your voice can be recognizable because it makes you feel like an original. And I knew that Nicole was going to guess me early on too. So, I wasn’t very surprised by that. But I was really flattered by the other guesses, like Jasmine Sullivan and Jennifer Hudson.”

For Lambs, Robin Thicke got it right with Wilson Phillips. Nicole Scherzinger agreed. Ken Jeong guessed the Kardashians, Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg thought it was The Chicks.

Amber Riley as the Harp and Wilson Phillips as Lambs join Nikki Glaser as Snowstorm, Ray Parker, Jr., as Sir Bugaboo, Linda Blair as Scarecrow, Chris Jericho as Bride, Adam Corolla as Avocado, George Foreman as Venus Flytrap, George Clinton as Gopher, Joey Lawrence as the Walrus, Le’Veon Bell as the Milkshake, Kat Graham as Robo Girl, Jerry Springer as Beetle, Gloria Gaynor as Mermaid, Mario Cantone as Maise, Daymond John as the Fortune Teller, Barry Williams/Christopher Knight/Mike Lookinland as the Mummies, Montell Jordan as Panther, Jeff Dunham as Pi-Rat, Chris Kirkpatrick as the Hummingbird, Eric Idle as the Hedgehog and William Shatner as the Knight as the celebrities revealed in “The Masked Singer” in Season 8.

This season, “The Masked Singer” adopted a new “King or Queen of Masked Singer” format. That meant three or four costumed celebrities performed each week, but only one moved on to compete against two or three more people the following week.

That led to the semi-finals, with the Harp surviving Round 1 and is the first to make it to the semi-finals, while Lambs won Round 2 and also joined the semis, with Snowstorm winning Round 3. Harp and Lambs moved on to tonight’s finale.

“The Masked Singer” Season 8 featured costumes including “Bride,” “Avocado,” “Venus Fly Trap,” “Sir Bugaboo,” “Scarecrow,” “Hedgehog,” “Mummies.” Themed episodes included “Vegas Night,” “Comedy Roast,” “Hall of Fame,” “Muppets Night,” “Andrew Lloyd Webber Night,” “TV Themes,” “’90s Night,” “Thanksgiving” and “Fright Night.” Guests this season included Donny Osmond, Andrew Lloyd Webber, The Muppets, Will Arnett, Leslie Jordan, Joel McHale, Tori Spelling, Jon Lovitz, Jodie Sweetin, Carrot Top, Blue Man Group, Lance Bass, Danielle Fishel, Sheila E. and Drew Carey.

The Season 8 contestants “boast a combined 32 Grammy nominations, 16 Emmy wins, 8 gold albums, 4 Golden Globe nominations, 42 books, 10 Teen Choice awards, and 5 stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame,” according to Fox.  

Here were the contestants and their performances on the finale:

Harp, “The Masked Singer” (Michael Becker / Fox)
Pete Dadds

Harp (Amber Riley)

Songs: “The Edge of Glory,” by Lady Gaga; “Gravity,” by John Mayer

Previous songs: “Perfect,” by Pink; “I Have Nothing,” by Whitney Houston; “Thank You for Being a Friend” (“The Golden Girls” theme song); “About Damn Time,” by Lizzo

Package voiceover: “Becoming the Harp has been unlike anything else I have experienced as an artist. When I step into this costume, I am transformed. I feel regal. Elegant. And totally weightless. Which is ironic because this thing is no joke to cart around. But really, it’s freeing. Being under the mask has allowed be to separate from former jobs, my name, what people expect from me, and prove myself with just my voice. I’ll always be the Harp.”

Journey voiceover: “When I started this journey, I had no idea just how much this competition would mean to me. I’ve spent years in an industry that doesn’t necessarily celebrate who I am all the time. In Hollywood, you can be overlooked based on a more shallow viewpoint. But being able to be the Harp and step out and show my talent alone has been absolutely amazing. This opportunity has allowed me to reintroduce myself to the world on my own terms. And hearing the panel’s words of encouragement week after week has reminded me that I am more than enough. I want to win it not just for myself, but for all the girls who have felt less than perfect. Do not underestimate us.”

Panel guesses: Jennifer Hudson, Yvette Nicole Brown, Fantasia, Amber Riley

Previous panel guesses: Amber Riley, Ashanti, Yvette Nicole Brown, Queen Latifah, Jordin Sparks, Fantasia, Jennifer Hudson, Jill Scott, Fantasia, Ariana DeBose

Lambs, “The Masked Singer” (Michael Becker / Fox)
Pete Dadds

Lambs (Wilson Phillips)

Songs: “I’m Every Woman,” by Chaka Khan; “I Want to Know What Love Is,” by Foreigner

Previous songs: “Hot N Cold,” by Katy Perry; “Ironic,” by Alanis Morissette; “Need You Now,” by Lady A

Package voiceover: “Becoming the Lambs has been a transformative experience. And it’s kind of unbelievable how attached to them we’ve become. We fully embody these characters. We gave ourselves names. I am Rose, my sister is Lilac and my other sister is Blueberry. We’ve been on stages almost our entire lives. But this experience has pushed us as a group and as individuals. And I don’t think we would have made it this far without each other. It will be a part of our lives forever. It’s our rebranding. We’ll make an album with animals. Pet Sounds, Volume 2!”

Journey voiceover: “Coming into this competition, we didn’t know what to expect. But we invited this challenge, and we walked through fire. It’s reinvigorated a spark that we haven’t lit in a very long time. We spent 14 years apart and we went our own ways. We became mothers and carved out our own lives and careers. But there was always a missing piece. Our unique sound is something we discovered as little girls. And if those harmonies that have bonded us together and set us apart from the rest of the competition here. Music is in our blood, it’s the air we breathe, it’s our life force.”

Panel guesses:  Spice Girls, The Chicks, Wilson Phillips, The Corrs

Previous panel guesses: The Kardashians, Haim, The Chicks, The Corrs, Fifth Harmony, SWV, All Saints, Spice Girls, Wilson Phillips

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Daredevil Sister Maggie Actor On Joining Daredevil: Born Again



Actor Joanne Whalley discusses possibly reprising her Daredevil role as Sister Maggie Grace in the upcoming Disney+ series, Daredevil: Born Again.

Actor Joanne Whalley discusses reprising her Daredevil role on the upcoming Disney+ series Daredevil: Born Again. Whalley starred as Sister Maggie Grace, a character introduced in season 3 of the popular Marvel Netflix show. After Matt Murdock, aka Daredevil (Charlie Cox), sustained heavy injuries in The Defenders, Father Paul Lantom (Peter McRobbie) entrusts him to Sister Maggie at the Saint Agnes Orphanage. The titular superhero later learns that Sister Maggie is actually his mother who abandoned him and his father due to post-partum depression.


In a recent interview with, Whalley addresses the possibility of reprising her role for the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s new Daredevil show, Daredevil: Born Again. The actor recalls the “great time” she had working on the original series. Read what Whalley says about her desire to reprise her role below:

“I loved Daredevil! I had such a great time on that, oh my God. I haven’t heard anything [about returning], but I would love to get the wimple on again, though. Talking about characters to play again, I loved her.”

Everything We Know About Born Again

Daredevil in a hallway in She-Hulk

As Whalley has yet to receive the call to reprise her role for the new Daredevil show, she joins other cast members still waiting to return to the franchise. They include Deborah Ann Woll, who portrayed Murdock’s assistant Karen Page, Rosario Dawson (Nurse Claire Temple), and Iron Fist star Jessica Henwick (Colleen Wing). However, Vincent D’Onofrio is set to reprise his role in the upcoming show as the villainous businessman and crime lord Wilson Fisk, aka Kingpin. He so far is the only person confirmed to return for Daredevil: Born Again in addition to Cox.

Set to hit Disney’s streaming service in 2024 as part of the MCU’s Phase Five, Daredevil: Born Again season 1 will consist of 18 episodes, making it the longest of Disney+’s original Marvel shows thus far. Although little has been revealed regarding the upcoming series’ story, D’Onofrio previously teased that the show will delve further into the characters than ever before and leave viewers on the edge of their seat after each episode. Cox has also suggested Daredevil: Born Again won’t be a direct continuation of the original Netflix show. Unfortunately, how Daredevil: Born Again fits into the greater MCU continuity remains unknown.

Last year’s Hawkeye saw the return of D’Onofrio as Kingpin, but also introduced Maya Lopez/Echo (Alaqua Cox), an antagonist dead set on killing Clint Barton who later comes to question her motives and relationship to Kingpin. The new character is set to receive her own television series in mid-2023 which will also feature Kingpin and Murdock as well. With both hero and villain appearing in various shows on Disney+ before Daredevil: Born Again, Marvel Studios appears to be laying down the foundation for these iconic characters before the show lands on Disney+ in 2024.


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‘Love Is Blind’ Creator Chris Coelen Explains How Bold New Reality Show ‘Love Without Borders’ Can Resonate With Every Audience



Chris Coelen knows what makes a TV show work. As the CEO of Kinetic Content, his current slate of shows includes Lifetime’s “Married at First Sight,” Netflix’s “Love Is Blind” and “The Ultimatum,” just to name a few.

Now, he’s moving he’s teaming up with Bravo for the second time, following 2020’s “Spy Games.” In Kinetic’s latest unscripted series, “Love Without Borders,” five singles are looking to change the way they’re looking for love — and where they’re looking. They drop everything and fly across the globe to meet their match with the help of relationship expert Arica Angelo.

“It’s an idea that I really liked and it resonated with me. I felt like it had some residence within the culture. There’s a statistic that I saw in 2016 that said something like 60 million Americans, if given the opportunity to leave the country and be set up somewhere else, they would take that,” Coelen tells Variety. “And that was 2016. A lot has transpired since 2016.”

Like most of his projects, Coelen also felt he could relate to the premise personally.

“At certain points in my life, I was stuck in a rut professionally. I felt like my geographic location was a hindrance to find love, find someone that I wanted to be with. I felt like ‘Oh, my God, I really need to leave Los Angeles and moved to Oregon for some air, and that’s when I’m gonna find the woman of my dreams,’” he recalls. “I would think to myself, ‘This is never gonna happen in Los Angeles.’”

Ultimately, he was wrong but he knows that he’s not alone in that feeling.

“I think that’s very relatable for people who not only want to find love — who doesn’t want to find love? — but also, many people feel like they want to change their lives,” says Coelen. “I think this is a show that’s really rooted in that idea of people who feel like they want to change their lives as much as they want to find love.”

“Love Without Borders” premieres Wednesday, Nov. 30 at 9 p.m. ET.

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