The Banff World Media Festival announced Kenan Thompson, Danielle Brooks, Simu Liu and Sinking Ship Ent. are this year’s Rockie Award Gala recipients. Hosted by Jasmeet Raina, the ceremony will stream live on YouTube June 15 at 3 p.m.

Thompson, best known for his work on “Saturday Night Live” and now headlining the NBC sitcom “Kenan,” will be bestowed the Sir Peter Ustinov Award, which recognizes a creative talent who has made an outstanding comedic contribution to the media industry. Past honorees include Sean Hayes, John Cleese, Tracey Ullman, Bob Newhart, Tantoo Cardinal, John Candy and Bill Hader.

Brooks, who recently starred in “Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia” and was on the long-running “Orange is the New Black,” will receive the A+E Inclusion Award, which recognizes an individual whose efforts and vision in the media realm champion and reflect the diversity of the world we live in. Past honorees include LeVar Burton, Jonathan Murray and Elizabeth Vargas.

Liu, from the upcoming “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” and the recently-concluded “Kim’s Convenience,” will be awarded the Canadian Award of Distinction, which is given to a Canadian whose body of work exemplifies outstanding achievement in the entertainment industry. Past honorees include Just For Laughs, Eric McCormack, Kim Cattrall and Sheila Hockin.

Sinking Ship Entertainment, which produces “Dino Dana,” “Odd Squad” and “Endlings,” among others, will receive the Innovative Producer Award, which recognizes the entrepreneurial excellence and achievements of an independent producer in the realm of TV and digital media. Past honorees include Wattpad Studios, Scott Brothers Entertainment, New Metric Media, Wolf + Rabbit, Don Carmody and marblemedia.

Also in today’s TV news roundup:


Netflix announced that the second season of “Too Hot To Handle” will premiere on June 23 with the first four episodes. The final six episodes of the season will then launch on June 30. The show revolves on a group of 10 sexy new singles who hope to find love at the exotic Too Hot villa (and could potentially win a $100,000 prize) — but they are under strict rules of no kissing, no heavy petting and no self-gratification of any kind. Developed by Laura Gibson and Charlie Bennett, executive producers include Amelia Brown, Saul Fearnley and Ros Coward for Thames Productions and Jonno Richards for Talkback.



Netflix released a trailer for “The World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals,” which is set to debut in mid-June. The series takes viewers around the world with the help of three experts: “Million Dollar Listing New York’s” Luis D. Ortiz and content creators Megan Batoon and Jo Franco. With an eye for every budget and style of travel, the trio uncovers everything from the most exclusive private islands to affordable treehouse getaways. Creators George Verschoor and Will Spjut executive produce alongside Tom Forman, Jenny Daly and Jon Beyer.


Adult Swim ordered two new series, entitled “Royal Crackers” and “Smiling Friends,” from creators Jason Ruiz, Michael Cusack and Zach Hadel.

The new half-hour comedy series “Royal Crackers” follows brothers Stebe, a family man with a wife and child, and Theo Jr., a single, bass guitar player trying to relive his glory days. Together, they live in their comatose father’s house waiting for him to die (but he never does) so they can inherit his cracker company empire. The series is created by Ruiz, who also serves as executive producer along with Seth Cohen. Produced by Titmouse, “Royal Crackers” will premiere in 2022.

“Smiling Friends” will follow the daily activities of Smiling Friends Inc., which is described as “there to lend a helping hand to any city inhabitant who calls their hotline with their troubling situation.” No matter how absurd, the folks at Smiling Friends will send representatives cynical Charlie and star employee Pim to save the day. The quarter-hour animated series is created, written and produced by Cusack and Hadel. It will premiere later this year.


NBC announced that Justin Bieber, Adam Levine, Snoop Dogg, DJ Battlecat, Gwen Stefani, Thomas Rhett, OneRepublic, Lauren Daigle, Ben Platt and Kelsea Ballerini will perform on the Season 20 live, two-hour finale of “The Voice” on May 25. While coaches Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas and John Legend will perform with the final contestants, Bieber will perform a medley of his two singles “Peaches” and “Hold On”; Levine will perform Maroon 5’s latest single, “Beautiful Mistakes,” which features Megan Thee Stallion; Snoop Dogg, who served as a mega mentor this season, and DJ Battlecat will perform “Sittin on Blades” from the artist’s 18th studio album, “From Tha Streets 2 Tha Suites”; Stefani will perform her latest single, “Slow Clap,” which features rap star Saweetie; Rhett will perform his new single “Country Again” from his fifth studio double album, “Country Again: Side A”; OneRepublic will perform their new single “Run” from their upcoming album, “Human,” which will be released later this year; Daigle will perform her new single “Hold On to Me”; Platt will perform his new single “Imagine,” and after representing Team Kelly in the Battles, Ballerini returns to perform her latest single “Half of My Hometown” from her third album, “kelsea.”

Starz announced that Jeff Hephner will have a major recurring role in the second season of “Power Book II: Ghost.” Hephner will play Detective Kevin Whitman, a by-the-book NYPD detective who ppears on the campus of Stansfield University with one mission: to find the murderer of the G.T.G member found in the University’s pool. This will lead him on a journey filled with murder, drug dealers and the one woman who has the ability to turn his white hat black. The “Power” franchise was created by Courtney A. Kemp through her production company End of Episode. In addition to Kemp, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Mark Canton, Chris Selak, Danielle De Jesus, Shana Stein and Bart Wenrich serve as executive producers.


Blake Shelton, Fran Lebowitz, Regard and Troye Sivan & Tate McRae will appear on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” while Don Cheadle, Patti Harrison and Lake Street Dive will be on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” “Conan” will feature Charles Barkley, while Lisa Kudrow and Tamika Mallory will appear on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.” Sen. Bernie Sanders, Action Bronson and Brian Frasier-Moore will be on “Late Night With Seth Meyers”; “The Late Late Show With James Corden” will feature Eric Bana and Pete Holmes, and Eitan Bernath will be on “A Little Late With Lilly Singh.”