Earth to Ned

American television series

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Earth to Ned
GenrePuppetry
Improvisational comedy
Talk show
StarringPaul Rugg
Michael Oosterom
Colleen Smith
Theme music composerGimme Moonz
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes30
Production
Executive producersBrian Henson
Vince Raisa
Joseph Freed
Allison Berkeley
Running time23–25 minutes
Production companiesThe Jim Henson Company
Marwar Junction Productions
DistributorDisney Platform Distribution
Release
Original networkDisney+
Original releaseSeptember 4, 2020 (2020-09-04) –
present (present)
Infobox instructions (only shown in preview)

Earth to Ned is an American television show on Disney+ that began streaming on September 4, 2020. It stars Ned, an alien from outer space, who came to planet Earth on a mission to invade it, but upon arriving, fell in love with its pop culture and instead decided that he would rather host a late night talk show to meet and be entertained by Earth's celebrities.[1] A total of twenty episodes have been released so far.

Premise

Sent by his father, the admiral of the fleet, to conquer the planet, Ned arrives on Earth only to become enchanted with Earth's celebrities. Instead of invading the planet, Ned buries his spaceship deep below Earth's crust and abducts celebrities by beaming them to his ship for interviews in the style of a late night talk show.[2] Ned serves as the host, and the show features Cornelius as an alien sidekick from a race of aliens called Cornisians that Ned's species had previously conquered, and an unspecified number of much smaller alien beings called CLODs (short for Cloned Living Organism of Destruction) who speak in gibberish and scare the guests. Ned and Cornelius broadcast their show from their spaceship-turned-television studio.[3]

Format

Every episode typically begins with Ned facing some sort of issue or becoming intrigued by an average, every day cultural phenomenon such as sports, pets, or dreams. He will banter with Cornelius and BETI before starting up the show. Cornelius will introduce the first guest, who is usually seen getting beamed into a waiting room (apparently while they were in the middle of some other activity) and will converse with BETI before arriving on set. Sometimes depending on what Ned is up against, the guest will come straight to the set. Ned will go into the guest's background before segueing into the subject at hand. Sometimes Ned will have them play a game, or have the guest do something relating to their craft, though this is not always the case.

After the first guest is sent home, Ned will send Cornelius to the surface to learn more about the episode's subject. Cornelius will usually interact with a professional of some kind and occasionally will interact with another well known celebrity. Sometimes, Ned will instead play a video or Cornelius will be sent to fulfill a task of some kind instead. Afterwards, he is brought back where Ned brings on the second guest, who is immediately brought to the set. Once again, Ned goes through a similar interviewing set up and will sometimes have them play a game or not.

After the second guest is sent home, Ned will close the show out. A coda usually appears at the end with Ned recording a status report of his supposed conquering of Earth which consists of him claiming that something went wrong and that he has to delay the attack. He instead talks about what he has learned about Earth's culture. It is implied that he is trying to subconsciously convince his superiors and his father that Earth is not bad and should be spared.

Characters

  • Ned (performed by Paul Rugg) - The 437-year-old spaceship captain and talk show host from an as-yet-unidentified alien race. He was tasked with leading an assault on Earth, but fell in love with the culture and decided to start a talk show instead. His father is the admiral in charge of their conquering of the galaxy and it is heavily implied throughout the first season that he has a troubled relationship with him. Ned is egotistical and brash, but very curious nonetheless and wants to be informed of all things earth-related. He considers Ben Schwartz to be his arch-nemesis because in the future, he steals his show. His favorite earth "cuisine" is mayonnaise. Paul Rugg is assisted in performing Ned by Morgana Ignis, Donna Kimball, Allan Trautman (who leads the animatronic performance), and Jack Venturo.
  • Cornelius (performed by Michael Oosterom) - The lieutenant and talk show co-host. He comes from a race of aliens called Cornisians who have always served Ned's species ever since Ned's kind conquered the Cornisians' homeworld. He takes to the idea of being a co-host for Ned's show and will introduce the guests. Cornelius often gets sent to the surface to perform field reporting, which usually results in him getting absorbed into the complexities of the subject at hand. He is slightly inept, but witty and makes humorous comebacks when Ned insults him. Michael Oosterom is assisted in performing Cornelius by Nicolette Santino (who operates the left-hand) and Drew Massey.
  • BETI (voiced by Colleen Smith) - The spaceship's artificial intelligence. She is a charge of energy that powers the ship and doubles as a computer that can glean information. She is sarcastic and cynical and is not above belittling Ned and Cornelius's intelligence. At one point, she felt insulted when guest Thomas Lennon corrected her about American Gothic. She typically appears on a giant screen behind the set.
  • CLODs (performed by Jack Venturo and Victor Yerrid) - Short for Cloned Living Organism of Destruction, they are a group of small monster-like creatures that can eat mostly any material and speak in unintelligible grunts and growls.

Additional characters performed by Grant Baciocco, Greg Ballora, Kevin Carlson, Raymond Carr, Kevin Clash, Dorien Davies, Alice Dinnean, Artie Esposito, Peggy Etra, Genevieve Flati, Dan Garza, Patrick Johnson, Sean Johnson, Tim Lagasse, Amanda Maddock, Paul McGinnis, Sarah Sarang Oh, and Russ Walko.

Production

Executive produced by Brian Henson (son of Jim Henson) and Vince Raisa (a Jim Henson Company veteran), Earth to Ned combines expert puppeteering with witty banter and carefully selected guest appearances.[1] Henson remarked that the show had been something he had been working on for years and was based on the interesting concept of someone or something wholly unfamiliar with humans trying to figure them out. Because the episodes are available at any time of day and therefore accessible to viewers of all ages, Henson focused on making the content family friendly.[4]

The character of Ned requires four puppeteers and two others, for a total of six, to operate, while Cornelius requires three puppeteers.[2] All of the puppets are fully animatronic, with no CGI involved.[4]

Henson revealed that almost none of the interview segments are scripted, with Ned, Cornelius and the guests for each episode improvising the conversation for the various talk show segments.[4]

Episodes

No.TitleDirected byWritten byGuestsOriginal release date
Part 1
1"Late Night Ned"Tom SternSierra Katow, Yassir Lester, Maggie Monahan,
Eliza Skinner, Adam Stein, Nick Wiger
Andy Richter
             Vanessa Hudgins. Guest 
[Gillian Jacobs]]
September 4, 2020 (2020-09-04)
Ned gives up on wanting to take over Earth and instead starts a talk show.
2"Laugh Your Ned Off"Bruce LeddySierra Katow, Yassir Lester, Maggie Monahan,
Eliza Skinner, Adam Stein, Nick Wiger
Kristen Schaal, Paul Scheer (co-starring Maria Bamford)September 4, 2020 (2020-09-04)
Ned tries to get to the bottom of understanding human comedy.
3"I've Got a Ned Feeling About This"Bruce LeddySierra Katow, Jordan Morris, Maggie Monahan,
Eliza Skinner, Adam Stein, Nick Wiger
Reggie Watts, Billy Dee Williams, BB-8September 4, 2020 (2020-09-04)
Ned hosts a Star Wars-themed show and even gets a visit from BB-8.
4"Night of the Living Ned"Tom SternSierra Katow, Yassir Lester, Maggie Monahan,
Eliza Skinner, Adam Stein, Nick Wiger
Lil Rel Howery, Eli RothSeptember 4, 2020 (2020-09-04)
Ned wants to understand why we love to be scared of things.
5"A Ned's Best Friend"Bruce LeddySierra Katow, Yassir Lester, Maggie Monahan,
Eliza Skinner, Adam Stein, Nick Wiger
Jenny Slate, Bindi and Robert IrwinSeptember 4, 2020 (2020-09-04)
Ned gets advice on how to raise a pet or in his case a lemon.
6"@NedFromTV"Tom SternSierra Katow, Yassir Lester, Maggie Monahan,
Eliza Skinner, Adam Stein, Nick Wiger
NeNe Leakes, Michael Ian BlackSeptember 4, 2020 (2020-09-04)
Ned and Cornelius become addicted to their phones and social media.
7"The Ned-aissance"Tom SternSierra Katow, Yassir Lester, Maggie Monahan,
Eliza Skinner, Adam Stein, Nick Wiger
Raven-Symoné, Thomas Lennon (co-starring Hebru Brantley and Betsy Sodaro)September 4, 2020 (2020-09-04)
Ned tries to understand the concept of art and why people like it.
8"Nothin' But Ned"Tom SternSierra Katow, Yassir Lester, Maggie Monahan,
Eliza Skinner, Adam Stein, Nick Wiger
Joel McHale, Gina Carano (co-starring Joey Muñoz)September 4, 2020 (2020-09-04)
Ned takes a look at the concept of sports and how fun they are.
9"You Better Work, Ned!"Tom SternSierra Katow, Jordan Morris, Maggie Monahan,
Eliza Skinner, Adam Stein, Nick Wiger
Rachel Bilson, RuPaul CharlesSeptember 4, 2020 (2020-09-04)
Ned and Cornelius learn about fashion with the CLODs getting in on the act.
10"Ned: The Musical"Bruce LeddySierra Katow, Jordan Morris, Maggie Monahan,
Eliza Skinner, Adam Stein, Nick Wiger
Taye Diggs, Rachel Bloom (co-starring Joshua Bassett and Olivia Rodrigo)September 4, 2020 (2020-09-04)
Ned tries to get Cornelius to understand musicals by singing about them.
Part 2
11"Dream a Little Dream of Ned"Bruce LeddyDan Gregor, Sierra Katow, Jordan Morris, Maggie Monahan,
Eliza Skinner, Adam Stein, Nick Wiger
Ginnifer Goodwin, Alan TudykJanuary 1, 2021 (2021-01-01)
Ned becomes unnerved at the concept of dreams and what they mean.
12"The Neddies"Bruce LeddySierra Katow, Yassir Lester, Maggie Monahan, Jordan Morris,
Eliza Skinner, Adam Stein, Nick Wiger
D'Arcy Carden, Oliver Hudson (co-starring Howard Fine and Lisa Loeb)January 1, 2021 (2021-01-01)
Ned hosts his own awards show and becomes obsessed with winning an award.
13"Trancendental Neditation"Tom SternDan Gregor, Sierra Katow, Yassir Lester, Maggie Monahan,
Eliza Skinner, Adam Stein, Nick Wiger
Yvette Nicole Brown, Jack McBrayerJanuary 1, 2021 (2021-01-01)
Ned learns about how to manage stress after hearing about the success of his fellow alien captains. Cornelius visits a rage room.
14"Party Like It's Nineteen Ninety Ned"Bruce LeddySierra Katow, Yassir Lester, Maggie Monahan,
Eliza Skinner, Adam Stein, Nick Wiger
Kevin Smith, Aisha Tyler
(co-starring Ben Schwartz)
January 1, 2021 (2021-01-01)
After watching Clueless, Ned becomes obsessed with the 90's and its impact on culture.
15"Alien vs. Nedator"Tom SternDan Gregor, Sierra Katow, Jordan Morris, Maggie Monahan,
Eliza Skinner, Adam Stein, Nick Wiger
Sherri Shepherd, Penn & TellerJanuary 1, 2021 (2021-01-01)
Ned believes alien conspiracies and wants to explore their validity.
16"Ned Over Heels"Bruce LeddySierra Katow, Yassir Lester, Maggie Monahan,
Eliza Skinner, Adam Stein, Nick Wiger
Alyson Hannigan, Ben FeldmanJanuary 1, 2021 (2021-01-01)
Ned gains a crush on Alyson Hannigan and learns about the ups and downs of love.
17"Ned vs. Food"Tom SternDan Gregor, Sierra Katow, Jordan Morris, Maggie Monahan,
Eliza Skinner, Adam Stein, Nick Wiger
Roy Choi, Brenda SongJanuary 1, 2021 (2021-01-01)
Ned decides to become a foodie after seeing Cornelius snacking on Earth food.
18"CyberNedics"Tom SternDan Gregor, Sierra Katow, Jordan Morris, Maggie Monahan,
Eliza Skinner, Adam Stein, Nick Wiger
Mayim Bialik, Margaret ChoJanuary 1, 2021 (2021-01-01)
After an argument with BETI, Ned and Cornelius are forced to go low tech while discussing science.
19"Growing Up Ned"Bruce LeddySierra Katow, Yassir Lester, Maggie Monahan,
Eliza Skinner, Adam Stein, Nick Wiger
Molly Ringwald, Chris Colfer (co-starring Cristela Alonzo and Grace VanderWaal)January 1, 2021 (2021-01-01)
When a CLOD runs away, Ned begins to think about the concept of growing up as Cornelius goes to look for the CLOD.
20"Like Father Like Ned?"Bruce LeddyDan Gregor, Sierra Katow, Jordan Morris, Maggie Monahan,
Eliza Skinner, Adam Stein, Nick Wiger
Jason Ritter, Tig Notaro (co-starring Baron Vaughn)January 1, 2021 (2021-01-01)
Ned's father the Admiral is coming to Earth and Ned learns about what family means.

Reception

As of October 4, 2020 (one month after appearing online), Earth to Ned held a 83% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[5]

New York magazine's blog, Vulture, in praising Earth to Ned called it, "A Joyful Answer To Our Darkest Worry".[6]

According to Robert Lloyd's positive review of Earth to Ned in the Los Angeles Times he said titled his piece, "Restore Your Faith In Humanity With Disney+'s Alien Talk Show, Earth To Ned".[6] and he later placed the show on his top 10 list of television shows in 2020.[7]

According to Paste, Earth to Ned was ranked 14th in their top 2020 funniest shows of 2020 list[8] as well as a top 5 late night show.[9]

References

  1. ^ a b Decider Stream it or skip it: 'Earth to Ned' on Disney+, a Henson-produced talk show hosted by an alien who likes Earth too much to invade, September 4, 2020
  2. ^ a b Collider 'Earth to Ned' review: Disney+'s most bizarre original series is an unexpected delight, September 2, 2020
  3. ^ AV Club How do you get six puppeteers to improvise as one alien talk show host? Ask Brian Henson, September 4, 2020
  4. ^ a b c CBR Brian Henson talks bringing new alien talk show, Earth to Ned, to the small screen, September 5, 2020
  5. ^ "Earth to Ned". Retrieved December 28, 2020 – via www.rottentomatoes.com.
  6. ^ a b Clark, Anne Victoria (October 2, 2020). "Earth to Ned Is a Joyful Answer to Our Darkest Worry". Vulture. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  7. ^ "The 10 best TV shows of 2020". Los Angeles Times. December 7, 2020. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  8. ^ "The 20 Funniest TV Shows of 2020". pastemagazine.com. December 11, 2020. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  9. ^ Martin, Garrett (December 17, 2020). "The Best Late Night Shows of 2020". pastemagazine.com. Retrieved December 28, 2020.

External links

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