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October 21, 2017

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Las Vegas on TV: ‘Project Runway,’ ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta,’ ‘Essex,’ Copperfield and Sawchuck


Barbara Nitke/Lifetime

Excalibur headliners Thunder From Down Under are guest studs on Lifetime’s “Project Runway” on Thursday, March 14, 2013. They are pictured here with “Project Runway” mentor Tim Gunn.

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"The Only Way Is Essex."

The Only Way Is Essex

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Excalibur headliners Thunder From Down Under are guest studs on Lifetime's "Project Runway" on Thursday, March 14, 2013. They are pictured here with host, judge and supermodel Heidi Klum.

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Cast members of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" at Crazy Horse III in Las Vegas.

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Grizzly bear Dakota on Hallmark's "Home & Family."

It’s Britain’s top-rated and most-controversial TV show: “The Only Way Is Essex,” and known there as “TOWIE.” Call it the U.K.’s version of “Jersey Shore” or a rough-and-ready “The Hills.”

Now I’ve learned that the British producers have centered on Las Vegas for the U.S. version, and scenes are being shot for the pilot for Bravo. It certainly won’t be a “Sin City Rules” monstrosity.

Here’s a look at the award-winning show now in Season 7. It’s already been renewed for Seasons 8 and 9. I know the identities of prospective cast members filming scenes, but I will keep them under wraps until filming is completed.

An Essex Girl is a derogatory stereotype for an uninhibited, unintelligent, promiscuous and brash female who overindulges in loud verbal vulgarity, silicone breasts and peroxide blonde hair and wears high, white stiletto heels for socializing in down-market nightclubs. Time Magazine wrote: “There is a special place reserved for Essex Girl, who’s command of Spanish runs only to the one word ‘Ibiza’ and perfects an air of tarty prettiness. Posh Spice is the acknowledged queen of that realm.”


“Today’s” weekly “Magic Mondays With David Copperfield” airing all month on NBC went off without a hitch Monday following last week’s en-route emergency plane landing. Since David has two shows every Sunday night and two again every Monday night at Hollywood Theater in MGM Grand, his team and he take a private jet for the trek to New York.


The handsome hunks of Excalibur’s Thunder From Down Under appear on Thursday’s “Project Runway” on Lifetime with supermodel host Heidi Klum and mentor Tim Gunn. The bare-chested beefcake become a double challenge for the designers as they “model” the clothes in a dance routine. Designer Zac Posen and Nina Garcia of Marie Claire are serving as judges alongside Heidi this season.


Sunday night’s episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta continues to be the subject of much water-cooler conversation because of their jaunt through Las Vegas strip clubs. We finally have photos of the Bravo ladies at Crazy Horse III Gentlemen’s Club. Their gentlemen were nowhere to be found that evening!


Tropicana magician headliner Murray Sawchuck received credit Monday for the largest illusion ever performed on daytime TV: producing a grizzly bear from an empty box. Murray was making a return appearance on The Hallmark Channel’s “Home & Family.” It took him four weeks to design and build the illusion, and Hallmark and Universal Studios in Burbank, Calif., where the show is broadcast, had to get authorizations.

It’s believed that this is the first time a bear has been used in a magic trick. Murray worked with sidekick magic consultant Doug “Lefty” Leferovich and animal trainer Randy Miller, who provided the tiger that Murray used for his “America’s Got Talent” appearances. “This is the most dangerous trick I’ve ever tried” Murray told me. “ The grizzly, named Dakota, weighed 950 pounds, and it has never been in a cage.

“Everybody on the set was very tense, and it was the longest 2 minutes in television! We all know that bears can kill, and this just couldn’t go wrong. Fortunately, everything was fine, and the hard work was well worth it. We stunned the audience and the show’s cast.”

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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