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Foreign Legion

Larry King Reminds at NATPE: It’s Who You Know

Although the biggest news to come out of Guggenheim Digital Media CEO Ross Levinsohn‘s chat at NATPE in Miami Beach today with Larry King is the imminent announcement of UK-Australia distribution for the talk show host’s ambitious endeavor Larry King Now, we were struck by the idea that even for someone like King, it’s who you know.

Per a report by THR‘s Alex Ben Block, King explained just how casually the whole Ora TV opportunity came about. It must be nice when things like this can happen at your dinner table:

He said that he met the Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim when he went to Mexico for a charity event. Later Slim came to his home in Los Angeles for dinner and asked what King wanted to do next. King’s wife suggested he do a new talk show on the Internet, and Slim agreed to provide financing.

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Aussie Personality Maude Garrett Relocating to LA

Every Sunday, Hollywood-based Australian syndicated radio show The Hot Hits counts down LA’s top 35 songs and features interviews with various celebrities. Starting February 3, the program will have a new host.

Maude Garrett (pictured), who broke through Down Under in 2005 via the national talent search Fresh Meat and has hosted various programs on Nickelodeon Australia as well as the Channel 9 reality TV program The Pursuit, is moving to LA for the new gig. Per the Optus MCM Media Group announcement:

The self-confessed pop-culture brainiac and video game fanatic will be moving to Los Angeles and she couldn’t be more excited about it. “It’s my dream job!” Maude says. “‘I’m able to completely indulge in my love of pop culture, from music to movies and gossip! Moving to LA to attend premieres, interview the biggest celebrities and talk about my obsession with video games…. somebody pinch me!”

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This Viper Room Act is Straight Out of South Africa

From trade publication Screen Africa comes word of an imminent west coast arrival, the Parlotones. After a big farewell concert this weekend in Johannesburg sponsored by Jacaranda 94.2 FM, the massively popular South African alternative rock group is relocating to Los Angeles and kicking things off stateside with a January 17 performance at the Viper Room.

Per the article:

The move will put the band in a more accessible position to the many press conference and interviews that are demanded of a band in the United States. They will also be in a position to tour relentlessly…

“The Viper Room concert is an exclusive show for a few select fans and key industry players,” says lead vocalist Kahn Morbee. “We will then get to work on the new album with the next show being the 91X Next Big Things with The Parlotones show in San Diego hosted by 91X, one of the most important alternative radio stations in America.”

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British Interviewer Blogs About His Tarantino Tussle

The funniest reaction to that UK Channel 4 set-to-go-viral press junket interview conducted by Krishnan Guru-Murthy (pictured) with Quentin Tarantino is from the interviewer himself. Via blog post-mortem, the reporter deems himself rather disappointed with the level of QT’s first wave of put-down dialogue:

Tarantino has made at least two of my all time favorite movies. I can quote speeches from Pulp Fiction on a good day and watch Kill Bill Vol 2 on a late night anytime. So I have to admit “I’m shutting your butt down!” was a slight disappointment from the creator of some of the most exciting dialogue of modern movies…

For those concerned about my “butt” it is just fine. My cycling training for the big London to Paris ride with Jon is causing it more pain than Quentin. And he didn’t storm out at the end, in case you’re wondering. Though we didn’t exchange mobile numbers.

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LA Filmmaker Wraps Up Seven-Month South American Adventure

Thanks to the power of Google’s hangout and shared-docs features, Mark Dennis was able throughout his May-December 2012 motorcycle journey across South America to keep up with his LA-based business partner Ben Foster. Together, the pair run Pad Thai Pictures.

There was however one extremely harrowing moment for Dennis. During his travels, which will form the research basis of the duo’s follow-up feature Enduro, things took a literal turn for the worse in Bolivia:

After being hit by a drunk driver in a remote area, Dennis found himself stranded at the bottom of a cliff with a broken wrist, elbow and kneecap. “It was pretty much the exact scenario people warned me about going into that part of the country,” says Dennis. “But with the bad luck came the good and I was bailed out by a young boy riding by on a motorcycle who summoned his father’s pickup to pull me back up the cliff.”

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Meet the Lakers’ Korean-Language TV Broadcast Duo

Never mind that the LA Clippers have now won more 2012-13 season games in a row than the Lakers have won games, period. Until further notice, the purple and gold remain the SoCal basketball brand with the largest international reach.

To wit, KPCC reporter Ben Bergman‘s piece today for Take Two about the pair of broadcasters transmitting every Lakers game in Korean. The purple and gold are the first NBA team to have all their games available with Korean SAP, although it’s put together a fair distance from Staples Center:

Whether the Lakers are home or away, Paul Lee and his broadcast partner Young Don Lee call the action from El Segundo, deep inside the spacious headquarters for Time Warner Sportsnet and Deportes…

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Upcoming Documentary Will Offer a Big Hooray for Canadians in Hollywood

Once again this holiday season, they’re everywhere on the American pop culture firmament. Martin Short hosted SNL’s Christmas show; Seth Rogen is road-tripping on the big screen with Barbra Streisand; and Cirque du Soleil is winding down Iris at the Dolby Theatre.

To celebrate the contributions of these and many other south-of-the-border entertainment industry Canucks, the British Columbia duo of Ian Ferguson and Leslie Bland are preparing the 2013 book and documentary double whammy Gone South: How Canada Invented Hollywood. As they recently explained to a reporter for their Victoria hometown newspaper the Times-Colonist, the goal with the doc is to have fun:

In lieu of typical talking-heads footage, they plan to shoot conversations with stars engaged in activities, such as potential sequences in which Lost star Evangeline Lilly would point out Canadian stars on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. If he’s available, Short might speak while shooting pool, or Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek could chat while slapping pucks around.

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Dutch Entertainment News Behemoth Opens LA Office

One of the activities Amsterdam-based FCCE is engaged in is the production of weekly boiler-plate entertainment news programs. Shows with titles like Films & Stars and Hollywood Buzz, each designed for easy re-dubbing and local market customization.

So it makes sense that on the heels of opening an office in Beijing, the company has now come to Los Angeles. Per a Screen International report:

“Opening an office in LA was just a matter of time and focus,” says FCCE co-owner René Mioch. “Together with the daily news feed, we have a reach of hundreds of millions of people, bringing infotainment news as it is. We don’t do paparazzi-styled items, we’re not interested in gossip; we want to entertain and inform people about their favorite actors, actresses, directors, movies, glamour lifestyle and fashion.”

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African Journalists Visit Las Vegas

Nevada Broadcasters Association CEO Bob Fisher bid a fond farewell this morning to a group of 17 visiting African journalists, in town since last Thursday under the auspices of the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program and the World Affairs Council of Las Vegas. He tells FishbowlLA the experience ranks as one of the highlights of his 17 years as head of the organization.

On Sunday, Fisher hosted the group at his home, joined by a number of local media personalities including Chris Roman (representing Hispanic stations), Dale Davidson (Christian stations), Frank Mueller (UNLV, college stations) and Lee Solonche (PBS). Over dinner and dessert, the foreign reporters shared through an interpreter some of their overriding impressions. These included:

“There is the challenge of the limited consumption of green energy at Vegas PBS and the excessive consumption of neon and LED energy on the Strip. Between the actual way of life and the American Dream.”

“After touring Washington, D.C. and New Orleans, it seems to most of us that being in Las Vegas – we have found the “real” America. It is a combination of the American Dream with a dose of reality.”

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Sideways Author Rex Pickett Takes His Creative Process to Chile

And he is inviting everyone to follow along via the website RexinChile.com.

Pickett is officially off this week from Santa Monica to Chile, where he will spend the next three-four months researching the third part of his Sideways trilogy. Even before departure, he’s blogged the first nugget of possible third-novel inspiration:

I did a corporate outing — my first — with a gaggle of guys and women from the adult beverage department of Walgreens (yes, Walgreens sells wine) — up to Sideways ground zero… The writer in me started to envision the opening of Sideways III (Chile). To wit: Miles has been reduced to corporate outings after the success of his novel and the movie that sprang from it. But he needs a change. Events will conspire to take him to Chile. That’s all I have right now.

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