ABC ANNOUNCES HOSTS AND PANEL OF EXPERTS FOR "BATTLEBOTS,"
The Epic Tournament Event Begins Sunday, June 21 at 9pm on ABC
The robot shrapnel will fly in the BattleBox this summer, with expert play-by-play analysis from veteran sports broadcaster Chris Rose, and color commentary from former UFC fighter Kenny Florian. Hosted by celebrated sports anchor Molly McGrath, "BattleBots" premieres SUNDAY, JUNE 21 (9:00- 10:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. Covering every inch of the epic robot fighting competition are sideline reporters Allison Haislip and NASA engineer Bobak Ferdowsi. Judging each battle are former BattleBots competitor and special effects artist Fon Davis, NASA astronaut Leland Melvin and the face of Nerdist Jessica Chobot. Ring announcer Faruq Tauheed will preside as the bots go metal-a-metal.
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."
MOLLY MCGRATH - Molly McGrath is a host, anchor, reporter and sideline reporter for Fox Sports and Fox Sports 1. Molly is currently the anchor for the nightly sports highlight program, "America's Pregame," on Sports 1 and is the lead sideline reporter for Fox's national broadcast college football coverage. She also serves as a sideline and feature reporter for NFL games on Fox. Prior to joining Fox Sports, Molly worked as the sideline reporter and in-arena host for the Boston Celtics. While working for the Celtics, Molly joined Comcast SportsNet New England and reported from the sidelines for the network's game broadcasts and hosted "Celtics Now." She hosted, produced, and edited daily updates, exclusive interviews and other packages for the Celtics team website. Molly grew up in San Francisco, California before attending Boston College where she studied Broadcast Journalism and Communications.
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, " he Nerd Machine, " who 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!"
BOBAK FERDOWSI - Bobak Ferdowsi is an engineer on the Europa Clipper study and formerly a Flight Director on Mars Curiosity, after working design and testing for nearly a decade on that project. Bobak earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics in 2001 from the University of Washington and subsequently his Master of Science in the same area from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He gained notoriety during the Curiosity landing when the audience at home saw his Mohawk and stars in his hair. Bobak has always wanted to work on missions to explore our universe. He plays shortstop in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory softball league and usually rides his bike to work. He spends a lot of his free time doing outreach to encourage STEM education, including the White House science fair and a number of talks at schools throughout the country.
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.
LELAND MELVIN - Leland has a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and a Master's degree in Materials Science Engineering. He worked at NASA Langley Research Center in the area of nondestructive testing creating optical fiber sensors for measuring damage in aerospace vehicles with his work being published in numerous scientific journals. Leland has traveled on two Space Shuttle missions to help build the International Space Station. After hanging up his space boots, as the head of NASA Education he served as the co-chair on the White House's Federal Coordination in STEM Education Task Force and was the United States representative and chair of the International Space Education Board (ISEB). Before becoming an astronaut Leland was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the 1986 College Draft to play professional football but a hamstring injury thwarted his NFL career with Detroit and then later with the Dallas Cowboys. He is the only person drafted into the National Football League to have flown in space. He uses his life story as an athlete, astronaut, scientist, engineer, photographer and musician to help inspire the next generation of explorers to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEM) careers.
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 "X�Play." She also hosted the 2�part special, "S and Wars," on the Travel Channel. Jessica's eight-year career has focused on in�studio productions and event coverage, including the highly successful "Nerdist News" show, Gamespot's "Player vs. Gamer" and live event and e�sports 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."
"BattleBots," a reimagined take of 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 style format, until there is one champion. MGM Television, which has a development deal with Whalerock Industries, will be distributing the program internationally. There will be cash prizes for winners in the Championship Rounds. Executive Producers are Lloyd Braun, Chris Cowan, Ed Roski and Greg Munson.
About Whalerock Industries
Whalerock Industries, founded by Lloyd Braun, is a media and technology company creating innovative content experiences across all platforms. Whalerock's digital properties reach approximately 70 million people and include Wonderwall.com, Mandatory.com, Mom.me and Moviefone.com (in partnership with Aol). The company has television and films in development and production across the media landscape.