As a blogger and freelance writer, I had the express privilege to travel to Los Angeles in October for the filming of the First Annual Hub Network Halloween Bash. The Hub researched and found that no one family-oriented network had cornered Halloween, and they wanted to do something both fun and big to celebrate the holiday with a nationwide costume competition. It's something, the network claims, they hope to keep doing annually, so that family Halloween fun and celebration becomes synonymous with Hub Network, much in the same manner that Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve is associated with being the largest New Year's Eve party on television.
Kids, adults, and families alike were all welcome to participate in the costume competition in one of six categories: Mad Scientist (which featured mostly robotic costumes), Everyday Objects (such as appliances), Blast from the Past (historical themed costumes), Animal Kingdom (which featured animals both alive and extinct as well as fictitious), Howl-arious (comical costumes), and Spooktacular (scary), across which all fifty states were represented with one contestant from each state.
The show was hosted by Saturday Night Live star Kenan Thompson (also known for his roles in the '90s shows All That, Goodburger, and the Kenan and Kel show on Nickelodeon), with guest judges comedian Hal Sparks, actress and singer Coco Jones, and "Halloween Maven" Martha Stewart, who all showed up in impressive costumes. There were also musical performances by teenage stars Cody Simpson and the girl group Fifth Harmony. There were also several guest star presenters for the various categories, including Bill Nye the Science Guy, Rico Rodriguez and Nolan Gould from ABC's Modern Family, Joey King from Oz the Great and Powerful, and stars from the upcoming Hub Network series Spooksville, which airs immediately following the airing of the Bash on Saturday, October 26th at 8pm Eastern.
One finalist was chosen from each category, receiving $1000 and a golden "Jackie" jack-o-lantern statue. From the six finalists in each category, a "Best in Bash" costume was chosen to receive a grand prize of $25,000 and a walk on role in the Hub's popular thriller series R.L. Stein's The Haunting Hour, a live action program featuring one-off scary stories (akin to the Snick 1990's series Are You Afraid of the Dark, minus the campfire aspect).
As for the costumes themselves, I was highly impressed with the ingenuity behind many of them, including Overkill the Zombie Fighting Robot, the Giant Gorilla, the Invisible Cowboy, a demon in the spooky category, a super cute Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, and two dinosaur costumes from the animal category, one of which was ridden by an adorable little girl whose father made her costume himself.
Families will enjoy the upbeat musical performances, the humorous judges, and the hosting by Kenan Thompson. Kids will no doubt be just as impressed with the costumes, and happy to see people of all ages included equally in the categories. Many will jump to start planning their costumes to enter next year.
To see clips from this year's show as well as photographs provided by the Hub Network as well as my own personal photos from the "purple" carpet arrivals of all the stars, be sure to check out my blog at TheTVMom.com!