Scoop: BATTLEBOTS *PREVIEW SPECIAL* on ABC - Today, May 10, 2016

The epic robot-fighting tournament “BattleBots” is back for season two this summer and kicks off with a preview special entitled “BattleBots: The Gears Awaken,” on TUESDAY, MAY 10 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. The robot shrapnel will fly in the BattleBox once again, with expert play-by-play analysis from veteran sports broadcaster Chris Rose, and color commentary from former UFC fighter Kenny Florian. This season will be hosted by ESPN’s Samantha Ponder. “BattleBots: The Gears Awaken” will feature twelve robots fighting it out in a series of rumble matches for the final four spots in the field of forty-eight, who will ultimately vie for the championship trophy. Covering every inch of the robot fighting mayhem is sideline reporter Alison Haislip. Judging the battles are former BattleBots competitor & special effects artist Fon Davis, the face of “Nerdist” Jessica Chobot and a special guest judge for each round of the competition. For “BattleBots: The Gears Awaken,” Clark Gregg (“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D”) will be the first guest judge. Ring announcer Faruq Tauheed will preside as the bots go metal-a-metal.

“BattleBots” is a reimagined take on the killer robot combat sport from Whalerock Industries and the creators of the original “BattleBots” franchise, Ed Roski and Greg Munson. The homemade robots will battle against each other in a single elimination tournament until there is one champion. The ten episode series will feature next generation robots – bigger, faster and stronger than ever before. The show will continue to emphasize the design and build elements of each robot, the bot builder backstories, their intense pursuit of the championship and the spectacle of the event. While there’s only one weight-class, there are a huge variety of deadly weapons. Forty-eight robots will enter, but, in the end, only one will win the final trophy. Executive producers are Lloyd Braun, Chris Cowan, Edward P. Roski (Trey), Greg Munson and Aaron Catling.

CHRIS ROSE – Chris Rose is the co-host of MLB Network’s “International Talk” with Kevin Miller, showcasing the more surprising side of Major Leaguer’s’ personalities. Rose is also a studio host for many of NFL Network’s critically acclaimed programs. He is the host of “Game Day” and “Game Day Highlights” each Sunday of the NFL season. Rose is also a host on NFL Network’s biggest events including Super Bowl, NFL Draft, Pro Bowl, and NFL Combine coverage. Previously, Rose was an on-air host at FOX Sports and FOX Sports Net. He served as the on-site “FOX MLB Pre-Game Show” host, called play-by-play for select MLB games and hosted FOX’s All-Star Game and World Series coverage. In addition to his baseball work, Rose was the host of “The Best Damn Sports Show Period” from 2001-2009. During his tenure with FOX Sports and FSN, Rose also hosted Poker’s “Million Dollar Challenge” and numerous other poker series. Rose’s past work also includes boxing play-by-play for “Golden Boy Boxing” on Fuel TV and “Guinness World Record Amazing Animals” on Animal Planet.

KENNY FLORIAN – Kenny Florian became an original cast member of “The Ultimate Fighter” in 2005, where he made it to the show’s finals. After “The Ultimate Fighter,” Kenny “Ken Flo” Florian experienced great success as a UFC fighter. Florian fought from 2005 thru 2011, during which time he competed in three title fights. He earned Fight of the Night honors three times and Submission of the Night honors two times. Florian is the only UFC fighter to compete in four divisions (Featherweight, Lightweight, Welterweight and Middleweight). He was known for his analytical approach to the sport and his razor sharp elbows. His professional mixed martial fighting career record was 16 (wins) and 6 (losses). Today Kenny can be found outside of the Octagon as a commentator and co-host for “UFC Tonight” on Fox Sports 1. He serves as a color commentator for UFC Fight Nights and is the online co-host of “UFC Now.”

SAMANTHA PONDER – Samantha Ponder is a contributor on College GameDay since 2012, and also the Friday host for ESPN’s College Football Live telecast from the site of GameDay. Previously, she served as a reporter on ESPN College Football Primetime (Thursday) with Rece Davis, Jesse Palmer, and David Pollack. She joined ESPN and the Longhorn Network in 2011 as a reporter working events, studio shows and feature stories out of the LHN studios in Austin, Texas. She previously served as a reporter for ESPN’s Tuesday and Saturday primetime college basketball games. Ponder was previously a host and reporter for Fox Sports, contributing to both Fox Sports Net and Fox College’s coverage of college basketball and football in the Pac 10 and Big 12 conferences. In her role with Fox, Ponder worked as a studio host and a sideline reporter in both college football and basketball. As a host, she led the pregame, halftime, and postgame studio shows for various events, including the Pac 10 Basketball Tournament and “Paradise Jam,” a preseason tournament in the U.S. Virgin Islands featuring teams from the ACC, Big East, and other various conferences.

ALISON HAISLIP – From acting to hosting to hanging with ninjas, Alison Haislip has done it all. Haislip was a series lead in Hulu’s first original series entitled “Battleground,” produced by Marc Webb, as well as Hulu’s daily show “The Morning After.” She recently starred in the horror film “Freshwater” and the dramedy feature “Saturn Returns.” She also hosted what was dubbed the “Chelsea Lately” for nerds: ”Four Points,” with Alex Albrecht on Chris Hardwick’s Nerdist Channel, and was Hardwick’s correspondent for his show “The Nerdist” on BBCA, as well as the correspondent for Zac Levi’s innovative company, “The Nerd Machine,” which partners with SPIKE to cover all things geek. While Haislip well known from her past duties on G4’s “Attack of the Show” and “American Ninja Warrior,” she garnered a lot of attention when she took upon the innovative role of the first ever on-air social media correspondent on “The Voice” during its first season. Haislip’s other television credits include “Shameless,” “Bones,” “NCIS,” and Comedy Central’s “Reno 911!”

FON DAVIS – In his two-decade career, Fon Davis has worked on over 30 feature films. As a alumnus of the Industrial Light and Magic Model Shop, Fon has worked on features such as “Star Wars,” “Pearl Harbor,” “Starship Troopers,” “Galaxy Quest,” “Terminator III,” “Mission Impossible III” and the Matrix series. In addition to his work in visual effects, Fon has also worked in Disney’s art departments as a concept designer/model maker, and on several stop motion projects including “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Coraline.” More recently, Fon worked on “Interstellar,” “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Elysium.” Fon is a creative director at Fonco, guest host, an instructor for the Stan Winston School, writes and develops his own projects, frequently using his broad knowledge in entertainment and visual story telling. Fon has experience in the art and craft of model making for cinema, from concept design to hybrid practical and CG VFX, with a particular expertise in knowing where models and miniatures can play a role in today’s digital world. Fon was the BattleBots Lightweight Rumble Champion in 2000, with his robot Mouser Mecha-Catbot.

JESSICA CHOBOT – Jessica Chobot currently serves as host for “Nerdist News” over at Nerdist.com and host/creator of the “Bizarre States” podcast, the latest edition to the Nerdist Industries podcast channel, as well as a freelance host for both TV and web. Jessica spent the first half of her career at IGN Entertainment where she hosted the popular web shows “IGN Strategize” and “The Daily Fix.” From there it was only natural for her to jump into television where she hosted G4TV’s “Proving Ground,” alongside Ryan Dunn, and as a field correspondent for G4?s “Attack of the Show” and “X­Play.” She also hosted the two­part special, “S and Wars,” on the Travel Channel. Jessica’s eight-year career has focused on in­studio productions and event coverage, including the highly successful “Nerdist News” show, Gamespot’s “Player vs. Gamer” and live event and e­sports coverage for Microsoft. As a notable and knowledgeable woman in the tech, video game and entertainment industry, Jessica Chobot has made appearances as an industry expert for “ABC World News,” “EXTRA!,” “FOX News Live,” “CBS News” and more.

FARUQ TAUHEED – Faruq Tauheed is an American actor and host that has been seen and heard on TV, film, and radio professionally since 1998. A proud Philadelphian, Faruq has been living in Los Angeles since finishing his BFA degree in New York City and London. He has appeared on many of your favorite television series, including “Cold Case,” “The Shield,” “NCIS” and “New Girl” to name a few. Lending his distinct and recognizable voice to some of the coolest animation projects in Hollywood, he can also be heard on some of the hottest video games such as “Mass Effect 3” and “BioShock Infinite” series. Faruq debuted in “Selma, Lord, Selma”, an ABC/Disney television movie and he is truly blessed to be back on the network as the new, dynamic ring announcer of the new hit summer series “BattleBots.”

CLARK GREGG - Gregg moved to Los Angeles in the mid-90s to pursue film and television work, landing roles in films including playing S.H.I.E.L.D.‘ Agent Phil Coulson in “Thor,” “Iron Man” and “Iron Man 2,” ”Mr. Popper’s Penguins,” “500 Days of Summer,” “Choke,” “In Good Company,” “Spartan,” “State and Main,” “Lovely and Amazing,” “The Human Stain,” “We Were Soldiers,” “One Hour Photo” and “Magnolia.” He played the role of ‘Hank/Henrietta’ in Tod Williams’ debut feature, “The Adventures of Sebastian Cole,” for which he received an Independent Spirit Award nomination. In 2012, he reprised his role as Coulson in Marvel’s “The Avengers,” which broke box office records. An experienced screenwriter and director, Gregg’s screenwriting debut, “What Lies Beneath” (Dreamworks), starred Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer and was directed by Robert Zemeckis. His feature film directing debut, “Choke,” which he adapted from the novel by Chuck Palahniuk, starred Sam Rockwell and Anjelica Huston, and premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, where it was awarded a Special Jury Prize for Best Ensemble before being acquired by Fox Searchlight. His second film as writer-director, the dark indie comedy “Trust Me,” starred Gregg along with Sam Rockwell, Allison Janney, Felicity Huffman, William H. Macy and Amanda Peet. The film premiered at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival and was released in May 2014.

About Whalerock Industries
Whalerock Industries is a media and technology company based in West Hollywood.

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