Tag Archives: reality TV

Holly Madison Goes Goo-Goo Ga-Ga over Candy Necklaces in Las Vegas

Former Hugh Hefner flame, reality TV beauty and Las Vegas “Peepshow” star Holly Madison will unveil her new line of candy necklaces at the Sugar Factory inside Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas on Friday, May 21 at 5 p.m. 

 A longtime Sugar Factory fam, Madison approached the confection company to collaborate on a signature version of her favorite sweet treat, the candy necklace. 

Madison will be filming the candy necklace launch for her new E! reality TV series, “Holly’s World.” 

Sugar Factory isn’t your average sweet spot. The brand has made confections part of popular culture and has turned sweets into the latest designer accessory. Sugar Factory’s signature Couture Pop collections have already hit the red carpets in the hands of celebrities at major events in Miami, Los Angeles, New York City and Las Vegas. 

Kim Kardashian, the Pussycat Dolls and Britney Spears are now endorsing their very own Couture Pops, and are just part of the buzz that has made Sugar Factory a national media sensation in People, OK!, Us Weekly, In Touch Weekly, NBC’s “Today” show and more. 

The Sugar Factory offers everyone an opportunity for a sweet escape. For more information please visit www.SugarFactory.com.

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Wayne Newton Lands New Reality TV Show

Long dubbed “Mr. Las Vegas,” veteran entertainer Wayne Newton has landed his first reality TV show, which will focus on the women who run his life, both on and off stage. 

The iconic singer who has performed for over 40 years and in over 30,000 solo shows in Las Vegas will front the new show on American cable channel WeTV.   Release timing is being worked out.

Tentatively titled, “Wayne’s World,” the show will feature his wife and attorney Kathleen McCrone, her sister Trisha McCrone and Newton’s publicist and his 7-year-old daughter, Lauren.  Even his mother-in-law, Marilyn, will make an appearance – she runs the star’s merchandise empire. 

The announcement of the show comes after a super bad start to 2010 for Newton – his wife filed court papers in February in a bid to keep her assets separate from those of her financially-troubled husband, and his adopted daughter, Erin, suffered liver, kidney and respiratory failure and fell into a coma after giving birth to the star’s grandchild. 

The health crisis forced Newton to pull out of a series of lucrative engagements, so he could be close to his sick daughter, who is now on the road to recovery. 

Las Vegas police descended upon his Sin City ranch, while he was at his daughter’s bedside at the end of February, to try to collect court judgments relating to a bank loan Newton reportedly reneged on. 

Newton has blamed years of bad money management by his team of advisors for his financial troubles. 

He also has been accused of failing to pay storage fees to keep his private jet in a hanger at the Oakland County International Airport in Michigan.

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Paris Hilton has No Takers for TV Show

The Simple Life is not simple anymore for Paris Hilton. 

Paris Hilton`s latest idea of making a new reality show on her personal life has found no takers among TV executives pitched from many channels.  It appears that television brass doesn’t care about her, leading many to say her audience appeal is vanishing at warp speed. 

Pop socialite, Hilton heiress and consummate Las Vegas partier, once being the center of tabloid action with millions of fans, had been planning a new reality television show to revive her sagging career, covering her engagement and wedding to current boyfriend Doug Reinhardt. 

In the past, the 29-year-old has found a modicum of success as a porn star, subject of a homemade sex tape, and in several reality shows. But the pop tart has failed miserably in legitimate movies- her name in the credits usually guarantees that a film won’t be taken seriously. 

Of course, the current rekindling of former BFFs Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie just might do the trick.  After a long absence, the duo was recently spotted last week seriously chatting up some scheme at Victoria’s Secret 15th Swimsuit Anniversary in Beverly Hills. 

Other viable options for Hilton could be to continue to seek out and walk red carpets - for a reduced fee – or do infomercials- IF execs see the products would benefit from her endorsements.  

Could Paris Hilton morph into the female incarnate of deceased supreme huckster Billy Mays?

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Entire Town Turns Out to Cheer “Pawn Stars”

The 3,0004-resident Wisconsin town of Lac du Flambeau likes, no apparently really loves, Rick Harrison, son Corey and Corey’s few-screw-loose pal, Chumlee.   

During a six-hour visit last Saturday at the Lake of the Torches Resort in the town, a whopping 3,000 screaming fans showed up at the casino to meet-and- greet the prime reality TV stars of the hugely popular History Channel cable hit, which is filmed in Las Vegas.

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Las Vegas Pawn Shop Doubles as Reality TV Show, Proving Junk Sells

Well, it’s not all junk.  But many may think their dust-collecting, largely abandoned asset won’t bring much money- that is until they haggle with Rick Harrison, center, or his father, Richard, left, or son Corey who co-own a hugely successful Las Vegas pawn shop, Gold and Silver Pawn. 

Recession?  What recession?  Boom times are out the roof, thanks in no small part to the History Channel’s hit reality TV series “Pawn Stars.” 

Back in July, before the show started, the family business about 70 customers a day that showed up at the 713 Las Vegas Blvd. South address. 

And now? “We do about 1,000 a day,” said beaming Rick Harrison. 

The 35 episodes of national TV exposure have doubled revenue and generated a non-stop waiting line of 50 customers throughout the day, which usually ends at 11 p.m. 

The Harrisons have even added a surreal touch for their customers: a velvet rope for crowd control, ala a Las Vegas nightclub. 

Two of the more shocking items that recently arrived: a bronze medal from the 1960 Rome Summer Olympics and a 1998 Denver Broncos Super Bowl ring.  Rick Harrison said he paid $700 for the medal and $11,000 for the bejeweled ring.  The medal came from a shoebox found in a garage by a son-in-law who was cleaning up after his wife’s father died. The family, who lived in the Midwest, was vacationing in Las Vegas and decided to sell the medal. 

“Names aren’t etched on Olympic medals so we have no idea who it belonged it to,” Harrison said. 

Harrison said the ring owner identified himself as a former landlord of Bronco safety Tori Noel, a late addition to the team roster. The former University of Tennessee standout saw little action that year in Denver, the first of back-to-back Super Bowl titles, and suffered a career-ending injury the next year during training camp. 

It’s not the only Super Bowl ring pawned at Gold and Silver. Harrison said he purchased Brock Williams’ ring from the 2002 Super Bowl-winning New England Patriots. 

Williams, a former cornerback at Notre Dame, was paid about $2,000 for the ring. He never returned to buy it back, Harrison said.

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Man Starts 10-Day Las Vegas Stay- Lounging with Deadly Snakes

An expert in deadly animals is planning to stay for 10 days inside a box full of deadly snakes at a Las Vegas Strip casino as part of yet another reality television show. 

Donald Schultz will enter the clear glass box outside O’Sheas Casino in Las Vegas this Sunday, starting with 50 snakes inside. Plans call for five new snakes to be added to the box each day until there are 100 snakes – including cobras, pythons and rattlesnakes. 

The stunt will be filmed for Animal Planet’s “Wild Recon” series.

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Las Vegas Lady Entrepreneur to Star in “Launch My Line”

Bravo’s new fashion reality TV show “Launch My Line” partners successful professionals with established fashion designers to do just as the title says:  create a fashion line. 

A graduate of the Harvard Executive Business School, Marilyn Crawford, who lives in Las Vegas, has established herself as the ultimate expert and spokesperson in business and entertainment.  Crawford is the CEO of Windsor PTM, a global strategic marketing company. She is also Chairman of 2810, a private business membership club. 

When she was three years old she got the fashion bug–  a woman who lived down the street from her made clothes that Crawford designed with the help of her father. 

Fast forward, now Crawford figures if she could catch a fashion guru’s eye, she shouldn’t have a hard time launching a fashion line.  She envisions a clothing collection designed for the “average-sized woman,” which Crawford describes as 12-14.  She says her line would be a cross between Miranda and Samantha from the TV show “Sex and the City,” and, like those two characters, make a loud statement. 

Meanwhile, not to let grass grow under her feet, Crawford continues to travel extensively around the globe for her business and entertainment clients which include: Coca-Cola, Sony Universal, Master Charge, CNN, Volvo, Larry King, Russell Simmons and Sean “P. Diddy” Combs. 

Crawford has been named “Woman of the Year” from Arts Horizon and TD/Commerce Banks, and has received The International Women’s Exchange Compass Award, The Humanitarian of the Year Award and Ebony’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award. 

“Launch My Line” premieres Wed., Dec. 2 at 11 p.m. (PT) on Bravo.

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Ex-Madam Heidi Fleiss Back on Top- Again!

Las Vegas Backstage Access has written many times on the illustrious Heidi Fleiss.

Now, the ex-Madam Heidi Fleiss is back in the news again, and pretty much for the same reason she always made news, selling sex. 

This time however, her source of income is the airing of an HBO special about, Heidi Fleiss’ Stud Farm, her latest sex for money venture in Las Vegas – where anything is legal- well, er…almost.                                                       

Now, fresh off her inpatient drug treatment program stint on VH1′s “Celebrity Rehab 2″ with Dr. Drew Pinsky, in September Fleiss was sentenced to three years probation on felony drug charges stemming from her February ’08 arrest in Pahrump, a rural town 45 minutes outside of Las Vegas.

She needs to stay out of trouble, and away from drugs, through 2012.   She promised she would.

The former Hollywood Madam, 43, plans to leave her home in Pahrump and her many birds in January to be on the show, which is in its last season. It was announced in August that Britain’s Channel 4 would pull the plug on the series due to low viewer ratings. 

District Judge John Davis in Pahrump cleared her earliery in the week to travel to London early January for a paid appearance on the reality television show. 

This will be her second appearance on a reality television show, unless you count all of the times her real life has landed her on televison.

Fleiss told the Review-Journal that she was to be paid $10,000 per episode, money she needs as her most recent endeavor, a dog grooming shop in Las Vegas, is apparently all washed up. 

She continues to draw a paycheck from a laundromat she owns in Pahrump called Dirty Laundry. 

Fleiss originally achieved notoriety through her part in an illegal prositution ring in Hollywood, claiming she made in excess of $10 millon a year which involved high profile celebrities, drugs, and all the other assorted benefits of life down under. 

As for her latest venture, there is not much news as to how many episodes HBO will run, or the business end of the deal either.

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Donald Trump Productions (NBC’s “The Apprentice”) and Juma Entertainment (ABC’s “The Superstars”) have Teamed up tor a Groundbreaking New Las Vegas Reality TV Show

The strong duo is currently conducting a nationwide talent search for successful, eligible bachelors who think they have what it takes to win the heart of a well known bachelorette, who is a major TV personality and Donald Trump’s close friend. bachelorette

Donald Trump Productions and Juma Entertainment are presenting a relationship show unlike any other, titled “The Ultimate Merger.” Donald Trump will take on the role of matchmaker to help a well known bachelorette achieve the “ultimate merger” – a successful relationship. For more information  

Single men should be 21yrs and older, all races and ethnicities, able to work in the U.S., legal US resident, outgoing with big personalities and financially successful. 

If you think you have what it takes to win the Bachelorette’s heart, please email the following information ASAP (no deadline stated in release, but earlier the better), to tripletcasting@earthlink.net  a brief description of yourself, recent photos of you, and contact number/s where you can be reached.

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Las Vegas Mayor & Tart Queen Film “Planet Holly” in Las Vegas this week

Colorful Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, an-Mob lawyer, and Las Vegas’ version of Lady Gaga, Holly Madison, will be joined together this week as filming begins on her VH1 reality show, “Planet Holly,” at Planet Hollywood Resort.bachelorette

His appearance will involve him naming five things that will make Las Vegas better; she will then go out and do those five things.  

During his weekly media sit-down meeting last Thursday, the mayor talked about his participation in the reality show and also mentioned he will be narrating another reality show about Las Vegas.

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Bartending Throwdown: Season Two of Las Vegas’ On the Rocks

LXTV.com’s online bartending competition for season two’s On the Rocks, takes off from where season one left off:  bartender’s making a go at a $100,000 check (courtesy of Absolut Vodka) and the title of America’s Top Bartender at the two-time host city of Las Vegas. 

Where season one was filmed at bars throughout the MGM Grand, season two will take place throughout Caesars Palace over eight days, starting at the end of October and airing as three 30-minute episodes on NBC following Saturday Night Live, beginning November 7.   Up to three contestants may be voted off after each episode, making this both the shortest of the foodie reality television shows out there as well as that with the highest stakes for the competitors. 

Open casting calls were held in Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Chicago and Las Vegas. 

Award-winning mixologist and Pernod Ricard brand ambassador Simon Ford will return on the show in the capacity as advisor on all things beverage. 

Among those made famous during season one were Las Vegas bartenders James “Franchise” Hadhazy, BarMagic of Las Vegas’ Kristen Schaefer and Stripsteak’s Amanda Gager, who, after outlasting and outmixing her competition, took home the check and the coveted title.  Gager is said to be returning this season as judge, as well as entertaining Italian playboy bartender Brienza. 

Among those called back this season was First Food and Bar bartender Mariena Mercer, 26, and a rare second-generation Las Vegas native.  Mercer has been bartending up to two jobs at once since she turned 21.

 “I really want to experience every type of bartending,” she says.  “I really would love to own my own bar some day.”

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Strip Club Reality TV Gives a Zesty Taste of Las Vegas

Embodying Las Vegas craziness, decadence and adult strip club allure, the new Playboy TV reality show King of Clubs is filmed in Las Vegas at the legendary Palomino Club, the venue’s second foray into adult TV (the first being the humorous lap top dance/quiz program Show Us Your Wits.) 

The show follows the Gentile family as they take over the only strip joint in town with a full-nude license and a full bar, plus dancers who are as young as 18.  But this show is not just merely a half-hour’s worth of lap dances and nudity on the small screen. 

King of Clubs premiered on September 25, and though sexuality is a strong component of each episode, it’s easy for the viewer to become wrapped up in the stories of the individuals involved in the night-to-night operations of the Palomino Club. 

The family running the club presents an interesting dynamic, but also that the show reveals that strippers aren’t as dumb as tacks, the prevailing stereotype. 

If you don’t subscribe to Playboy TV, no sweat.  Las Vegas locals and military are always free at the Palomino Club and they’re considering adding the channel to their cable package just to get the show. 

And even if you aren’t intrigued by the business side of King of Clubs, there’s plenty of titillating content.  One upcoming episode, for example, features “Design a Vagina” night, complete with a naked backstage cat fight.

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Manhunt on for Reality TV Contestant who Allegedly Mutilated, Murdered Ex-Wife

A reality TV contestant, Ryan Alexander Jenkins, was charged with murder Thursday in the death of his ex-wife, Jasmine Fiore, as the manhunt for Jenkins spread to Canada and police provided gruesome new details about the killing. JasmineFiore

Police say Jenkins removed the teeth and fingers of Jasmine Fiore, presumably to impede authorities in their efforts to identify the naked body after it was found stuffed in a suitcase in a California trash bin last weekend. 

The former swimsuit model and Jenkins were briefly married after a quickie Las Vegas wedding earlier this year, and had been fighting in recent months. Prosecutors said the two checked into a San Diego hotel last Thursday, and Jenkins checked out the next morning. Fiore was not seen alive again. 

He vanished after the body was found Saturday and Buena Park, Ca. police Lt. Steve Holliday said he’s possibly armed with a handgun. 

Jenkins is believed to have driven 1,000 miles to Washington state and then hopped in a boat to a peninsula on the border, where he walked into Canadian territory. A Canadian police official said ground, air and canine units are involved in the search for Jenkins. 

Fiore’s ex-boyfriend, Robert Hasman, urged Jenkins’ friends and family to help police find him. 

Jenkins was a contestant on the VH1 reality TV show “Megan Wants a Millionaire.” 

After taping for the VH1 series finished in early March, Jenkins met 28-year-old Fiore in Las Vegas casino and the two got married on March 18, said Fiore’s mother, Lisa Lepore. 

But in May, “they had a big blowout,” and fought because he was jealous of her ex-boyfriends, Lepore said. “She had the marriage annulled.” 

The federal government was in the process of issuing a federal warrant Thursday afternoon, which would allow Canadian authorities to take Jenkins into custody there. 

If Jenkins is arrested in Canada, California can request that he be extradicted to the U.S. 

Jenkins earned the nickname “Smooth Operator” on “Millionaire” because of “his cheeky cockiness. And I mean that in a friendly way,” said Rob Locke, who played the host, a butler named Niles. 

Court records show that Jenkins was charged in June in Clark County, Nev., with a misdemeanor count of “battery constituting domestic violence” for allegedly hitting Fiore in the arm and will be tried in December. 

Jenkins also has a criminal history in his hometown of Calgary, Canada. He was sentenced to 15 months of probation in January 2007 on an unspecified assault charge, according to the Alberta, Canada Ministry of Justice. No further details were available. 

Neal Tomlinson, a partner at the law firm representing Jenkins in the Nevada case, declined to comment and declined to say if his firm was representing Jenkins in the current matter. 

Fiore was last seen alive with Jenkins at a poker game in San Diego. Jenkins reported her missing Saturday night to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, police said. 

A preliminary coroner’s report indicated Fiore was strangled. 

VH1 said it has postponed any future airings of the show. The statement also said that the show was an outside production licensed to VH1, but that it was produced and owned by 51 Minds Entertainment.

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Shaquille O’ Neal & Oscar de la Hoya Go Head-to-Head in Las Vegas

NBA superstar Shaquille O’ Neal and championship boxer Oscar de la Hoya will discuss their head-to-head matchup exhibition at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas on Tuesday.  The match which will be featured in an Oscardelahoyaepisode of the new reality series “Shaq VS” on ABC Television Network. Shaq

ABC and Media Rights Capital announced the premiere of “Shaq VS,” a new competition series starring NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal. The one-hour series, in which O’Neal will take his athletic prowess beyond the basketball court and strive to become a champion in a new sporting event each week, will debut on August 18 from 9 to 10 p.m. ET on ABC. 

If you would enjoy an article on this event for your publication, please contact Las Vegas Backstage Access by commenting on this article.

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Las Vegas Bachelor Millionaires Star in “Megan Wants a Millionaire” VH1 Reality Show

TJDiabTwo of the bachelor millionaires on VH1’s popular new reality show, “Megan Wants a Millionaire” are from Las Vegas.  The two Las Vegans are 38-year-old TJ Diab, left, CEO of Johnny Loves Vodka, and 31-year-old Corey Thomas, director/founder of The Web Squad. CoreyThomas

VH1 estimated Diab’s net worth at $6.5 million and Thomas’ at $5 million.  

Both Las Vegans made it past the first round, which premiered Sunday with 17 contestants.

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Millionaire Matchmaker Plans Las Vegas Wedding

Many people get a vicarious thrill from watching reality show host Patty Stanger work her magic on super-rich men, matching them with a bevy of eligible ladies.   Now, the Millionaire Matchmaker is getting her own turn at love and wedding planning – Stanger is engaged, Usmagazine.com reports. PattiStanger

The 48-year-old received a proposal from her boyfriend, real estate executive Andy Friedman, while the two were vacationing in Hawaii.

According to the website, a black swan named Raymond delivered the 4-carat engagement ring on Stanger’s birthday.

The host of the popular Bravo matchmaking show said that she and her fiancé are still deciding where to wed, but she’s partial to a destination wedding in Las Vegas in 2010.

“I want to elope, and he wants a big wedding. I’m like, ‘Let’s go to Vegas!’” Stanger told Usmagazine.com.

Stanger founded the Millionaire’s Club in Beverly Hills in 2000 as a way to find partners for extremely wealthy men. On her reality show, part of the fun is that she gives the men makeovers (both physically and emotionally) before they are considered “date-ready.”

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Ultimate Fighting Championship More Than Human Cockfighting

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was once brashly branded by U.S. Senator John McCain as “human cockfighting” and the sport was scorned by many, even banned from television networks. 

Fast forward, MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fighting is now sanctioned in every state with an athletic commission, except New York. 

What was once a fledging sport trying to survive when it first appeared at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on the Las Vegas Strip in late September 2001, is a booming multibillion dollar industry. 

Las Vegas brothers Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta and a street-smart former boxing promoter named Dana White were riding the tide to something big back then– less than eight years later, the UFC staged the biggest, most lucrative event in its history: UFCs 100th contest last night at the Mandalay Bay. 

Tickets for Saturday night’s championship were snapped up in minutes, and some ringside seats sold on StubHub this week for $45,000 each. The UFC’s pay-per-view audience surpassed boxing and World Wrestling Entertainment for the first time in 2006. 

The pugilistic contest saw heavyweight champion Brock Lesna unmercifully pummel Las Vegas Frank Mir with staccato right hands in the second round and emerge victorious in the octagon, avenging his only prior professional loss, which came against Mir last year. UFC2

The sport has worldwide appeal and is experiencing unprecedented growth. The UFC organization has expanded to England and Germany, and is poised to take on France and Australia next. There is even an unquestionable fever for it in Canada, and a palpable sense of momentum for a company that just five years ago was more than $40 million in debt. 

“All the things going on right now, whether it’s UFC 100 or going to Germany for the first time, it’s really the way it’s been for us the last nine years,” White told The Associated Press recently. “The great thing about this sport, it transcends all cultural barriers, language barriers, because I don’t care what language you speak, what color you are, what country you’re from, at the end of the day we’re all human beings. Fighting is in our DNA.” 

The UFC began in 1993 as a tournament to crown the world’s best fighting style, featuring everything from boxers to a sumo wrestler. There were no weight classes, gloves or rounds. There was no judging and virtually no rules. The only way to win was by knocking out your opponent or making them quit, which is precisely what a scrawny jujitsu expert named Royce Gracie did. 

Dozens of states quickly enacted laws banning “no-holds-barred” fighting, abhorred by the thought of humans fighting inside an eight-sided cage. Even though limited rules and gloves were introduced, the organization stood on the brink of bankruptcy. 

That’s when White brought the concept to the Fertittas, a pair of casino executives he’d known since high school. They purchased the UFC for $2 million in 2001 and immediately went to work getting the sport sanctioned. Universal rules were put in place, allowing shows to be held for the first time in casinos in Nevada and New Jersey. 

“When we bought this company, especially my partners, they had a lot of people working for them and they thought this was probably the dumbest business investment ever,” says White, the UFC president. “We believed in it. We were passionate about the sport.” 

But passion only goes so far. By 2004, parent company Zuffa LLC still couldn’t climb out of the red. The Fertittas nearly gave up, and White frantically tried to secure funding to press on. 

Everything changed when the trio came up with “The Ultimate Fighter,” couching the sport in a reality TV format. The cable show was an instant hit, and the sport quickly began to slice into boxing’s fan base, which had long grown stagnant.

Stars like Las Vegans Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture were born, and an entire industry sprouted nearly over night. Nearly ever major event is now sold out, and a sport that corporate American once refused to touch has credibility with mainstream sponsors like Harley-Davidson and Budweiser. 

The new “UFC: Undisputed” video game sold a 1 million copies its first week.

“Having ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ was the thing that did it for us, live fighting on TV,” says Liddell, who was recently inducted into the UFC’s Hall of Fame. “That’s what we had to do, was get a live fight on TV. It couldn’t have worked out better.” 

Each of the Fertittas now own 45 percent of Zuffa LLC, while White owns 10 percent. Before the recession hit, the company was estimated to be worth close to $1 billion. 

Business advisory firm Applied Analysis in Las Vegas recently completed an economic impact study of the UFC on Las Vegas, which has been severely affected by the crumbling economy, and found it generated $86.2 million in nongaming revenue for six events held last year and early this year. 

White believes it’s his responsibility to safeguard a sport that he has grown and nurtured almost from the beginning, and has given him so much in return: financial security, a 7,500-square-foot home, worldwide attention. 

“Is it going to become stale, are people going to become tired of it? Hell no,” he says. “Is there too much football on TV? Is there too much baseball on TV? People want to see great fights, and if we put together the best fights with the best fighters in the world, this is going to continue to grow and grow and grow.”

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Five Thousand “I Do’s” on New Las Vegas Wedding Reality TV Show

Did you attend the wedding of controversial ex-NBA player Dennis Rodman to bombshell entertainer Carmen Electra at the Chapel of the Flowers in Las Vegas?   Did you “miss” your own wedding, perhaps being a bit too tipsy to properly take it all in?  Or maybe you have the urge to soon get married in Las Vegas, but get a case of uncontrollable itching and hives when contemplating a visit to a chapel? 

Have no fear, for here’s your opportunity for a vicarious semi-holy redemption. 

Released on the heels of TLC’s super buzzed “Jon & Kate Plus 8” reality TV show, the cable channel premiered Friday their newest reality show, “Happily Ever Faster.” 

It’s Las Vegas kitsch at its lively – and extraordinary – best, documenting weekly the wedding trials and tribulations of the Chapel of the Flowers, located in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada– the city long-recognized as being the distinctive destination “Wedding Capital of the World.” 

The multimillion-dollar family-run Chapel of the Flowers has been in the wedding business for almost 60 years.  The husband and wife team of Jason and Holly and their staff marry over 5,000 couples a year, routinely running around like possessed demons (the good kind), spewing forth married couples faster and better than hamburgers fly off the grill at fast-food hamburger joints.ChapeloftheFlowers

Amid it all, somehow the staff retains their sanity and even their zest for Las Vegas weddings, offering a tasteful approach to matrimony that sets them apart from many chapels on the Strip. 

Punctuated with “Oh my God!” “Holy crap!” and “Hustle, hustle!” utterances, Chapel of the Flowers wedding planner Melody approaches each wedding with boundless energy and a unique breath of fresh air- despite many wedding couples not bringing their tuxes, dresses – even rings - on their wedding day; hearing the same old stories from wedding couples ad infinitum, but acting like it’s the first time; and rectifying one mess after another- all the while proving, though, that stereotypical Las Vegas kitschy wedding dramas can be indeed transformed with panache in a heartbeat into an elegant affair.  Melody appears to effortlessly eat, sleep and breathe weddings, meeting five to 12 couples or more in person daily, and gets the job done quickly and efficiently under the most severe time constraints. 

More than merely documenting 15-minute quickie wedding packages – with an Elvis impersonator thrown in for good measure from time to time – “Happily Ever Faster” explores Chapel of the Flowers wedding services which are also sometimes performed off the Las Vegas Strip (yes, believe it or not, there is more to Las Vegas than one-armed bandits and gawdy neon). 

And while other wedding reality television shows may have an occasional to or from Sin City visit, this is the only wedding show so far that is based in Las Vegas.  

With the Las Vegas wedding industry facing economic challenges [as reported by Las Vegas Backstage Access on January 11 and June 20], the show may prove to be just the stimulus ticket needed to aid Las Vegas’ wedding tourism- and ancillary wedding support businesses,  as well.

So, if your champagne flute hasn’t spilled over with the plethora of wedding reality television shows, including We classics “Bridezilla”, “Rich Bride, Poor Bride,” or “My Platinum Wedding,”  TNT’s “Wedding Day,” or CW’s “Hitched or Ditched,” – and approximately 13 other current wedding shows (and that’s not counting all the additional wedding dress, cake and accessory television show spin-offs!) – then consider taking a break from watching Kate Gosselin’s spankings and Jon and Kate’s dual infidelity flaps, by checking out this half-hour show that starts at 7:30 p.m. (PT) Friday’s on TLC.   It could quite possibly be your “cuvee champagne” television offering.

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Nick Lachey Hooks Sexy Las Vegas Reporter

EmilyGimmelLas Vegas nightlife reporter Emily Gimmel is linked to Nick Lachey in the latest Star Magazine.

NickLacheyGimmel, 24, and Lachey, 34, “flirted up a storm” reportedly at the recent Kentucky Derby, according to the tabloid. Gimmel acknowledged that she ran into Lachey and chatted him up several times.

Gimmel, a native of Lousiville, is the entertainment reporter for 702.tv, which is part of the Greenspun Media Group. She is also cast in the upcoming reality show “Southern Belles,” on SOAPNet channel. The show premieres on May 21 at 10 p.m.

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Paris Hilton on the Cheap in Las Vegas

Paris Hilton often calls Las Vegas her partying home.  Now that lifestyle may become even more of a regular reality, albeit more austere, as season two of her reality TV show “Paris Hilton’s My New BFF” faces the grim reality of diminished glamour brought on parishilton2by economic facts of life. 

Contestants of the show have to face the realities of living in a mansion that costs half as much as the home of the show that was rented last season.  If that’s not enough indignity to suffer, trips to New York and Tokyo are out this year, as the show’s production budget has been cut by 10 percent. 

With the recession continuing to eat into advertising revenue at TV networks, a popular solution has emerged – even cheaper reality TV.   This after reality shows already were TV’s low-budget alternative, costing about $950,000 per episode, versus $1.7 million for a scripted drama. 

MTV, which plans to air the new Hilton show this summer, is filling more air time with new reality series rather than reruns, but, even so, its programming costs are down 17 percent per half hour, said Tony DiSanto, head of programming at the channel. 

Sorry, Paris.

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Kato who? Uh, is he the homeboy of O.J. Simpson?

O.J. Simpson is cooling his heels in the Big House at the Lovelock Correctional Center in Northern Nevada, eating savory “mystery meat” while serving his nine-to-thirty-three-year term for his memorabilia heist that went terribly wrong at Palace Station.  But his house guest back in 1994 when he was charged with killing his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, was Kato Kaelin. 

Kaelin, now 50, testified at the 1995 murder trial and his life has been inextricably linked to the former football star ever since. 

Kaelin’s transition from real life reality to acting has been seamless.  He has been a Screen Actors Guild card-carrying katokaelinmember for 22 years.  A year before the killings, he had tested, albeit unsuccessfully, for a part in the film “Dumb and Dumber.”  

After the trial Kaelin was launched into faux stardom, going on a speaking tour and appearing in several TV reality shows and films.   For the past five year he has worked for National Lampoon in Los Angeles developing film projects.

Coming full turn, Kaelin now graces the Planet Hollywood stage in Las Vegas as a wedding crasher in “Tony and Tina’s Wedding.”   His character plays Tony’s house guest for five years, sleeping, fittingly, on the couch.

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Nevada Film Industry Weathers Economic Storm with Gusto

While most segments of Nevada’s economy have been shrinking, if not temporarily disappearing all together, there’s one area that not only met budget projections but those projections earned more than $100 million dollars for various Nevada coffers.  witchmountain

The Nevada Film Office (NFO) announced that film related production revenue for 2008 totaled $110,552,900, making it the 9th year that the NFO has met their $100 million benchmark. 

“The figures from the last decade confirm that Nevada is at the forefront of the film industry as a production destination.” said Luis Valera, Commissioner for the Nevada Commission on Economic Development. 

The NFO assists a variety of productions including commercials, television series and student and feature movies.   The movie “21″ and CSI: Las Vegas are favorites that come to mind.  But already in 2009 the reality program The Locator, comedy show Howie Do It and the news program ABC Primetime have all completed Las Vegas filming segments. 

In 2008, the current box office smash Race to Witch Mountain spent several weeks filming in downtown Las Vegas- and it didn’t just spend time under the glitzy neon glamour lighting.  As with other productions, non-Strip Las Vegas facilities served as useful and realistic filming locations.   The Fergusons Motel on 10th street was the home of down on his luck hero cabbie Jack Bruno (aka Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson).  The El Cortez Hotel and perennial filming favorite, Planet Hollywood, was featured prominently.  And in addition to filming on the Strip and through Fremont Street, the Race to Witch Mountain crew spent time working at Red Rock Canyon – which once again appears to be the perfect setting for another far, far away and very arid planet. 

With a growing list of Las Vegas film projects already approved and permitted for 2009, this is sure to be another banner year for NFO revenues.  That should translate into more revenue in the bank for hotels, caterers and equipment rental agencies.  And, of course, Las Vegas residents who earn extra bucks playing extras, will continue to bring Nevada to life on plasma TVs around the world.  

With this amount of money spent by film crews each year, Las Vegas won’t even mind if the hero makes a grand exit through the side door of the Tropicana and walks out under the blinking winking lights of the Fremont Street canopy (Angel – Season 4 – The House Always Wins).   

After all, the buck stopped in Las Vegas, right?

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Reality is . . . World’s Strictest Parents?

“Reality” programming.  Design a fish-out-of-water scenario.  Find folks willing to have every moment of their life’s reality-tvexperiences video taped and displayed for what is sure to result in some public ridicule.  Then turn on the cameras and get ready to roll – somewhere there will be a market share willing to watch.  Considering the lower costs to produce shows like Survivor and the Amazing Race and the high advertising revenues those programs can generate, and it’s no wonder that more and more production companies are trying their hand at the “reality” television market. 

Not long after the reality travel shows started to hit the air, a second trend of hometown reality programming began appearing with shows like Super Nanny and It’s Me or The Dog popping up.  In these situation dromedies, dysfunctional family life was placed front and center with outtakes, personal video diaries and complete blog-o-sphere communities dedicated to dissecting each and every episode. 

Enter the latest in the reality genre – The World’s Strictest Parents.  For parents who are “proud of your firm parenting skills” this is a chance to host a teen who is “tired of your parents’ rules.” This import from British television is meant to shine a light on family relations and if it follows the path of the British original, that path will be short and rather one direction.  Unlike other trade-em-up programming such as Wife Swap where the mis-matched mom and family’s both trade out for two weeks or more, The World’s Strictest Parents is a one way flip that lasts on average only 8 days.  Unruly teens who are frustrated by the structure and stricture of their home life are sent to live with parents who are all about structure and stricture. 

If you’re interested in trying out, fill out the online form and head for casting in Las Vegas.  At least 8 episodes of the U.S. version are planned and have been picked up by CMT for an April pairing with Nanny 911.

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