05/05/11 12:23pm

COVERING HOUSTON’S INSIDE STORIES Stick ’Em Up! filmmaker Alex Luster tells the Houston Press’s John Nova Lomax a few of the things he learned from mentor and former KTRK reporter Carlos Aguilar in the mid-1990s, when they both worked at Spanish-language news station Noticiero 48: “‘He said, “Most of your news stories are gonna be in the Inner Loop.” I asked why and he told me it was easier for a TV station to get [those stories], and also the ones in Southwest Houston. Most of the stations didn’t want to waste the gas or time to cover things outside the loop,’ Luster remembers. ‘And he taught me how not to get lost without reading a map or pulling over to get your bearings — to just head for the buildings. He said to learn downtown and then everything else I could figure out from there. That’s another reason I’ve come to love the Inner Loop — the buildings signified home and safety.'” [Houston Press; previously on Swamplot]

10/11/10 12:45pm

Last night’s postponed airing on ABC of the first Extreme Makeover: Home Edition filmed in Houston proper made no mention of the mud-inducing and deadline-destroying downpours, the organizers’ multiple pleas for Gatorade, patio furniture, trim carpenters, siding installers, and plumbers — or the mad (and ultimately futile) rush for an on-time finish that was a major source of drama at the South Union site. But it did feature a brief pre-demolition “roast” of the Johnson family’s dilapidated original home on Goodhope St. by comedians Tommy Davidson, Ralphie May, and Paul Rodriguez, as well as a later appearance by supermodel Brooklyn Decker, (wife of tennis star Andy Roddick), flown in to design the 5 Johnson girls’ elaborate pink closet. Plus: plenty of those fawning building-product-delivery placement shots. On what looked like it could have been the limo ride back from IAH after the family’s Paris vacation, Cedric the Entertainer briefly “joked” to the girls that they wouldn’t get to see their new house right then. But viewers’ only delay was a commercial break.


LOOKING FOR HOUSTON ON LAST NIGHT’S EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION? The efforts of all those local volunteers rushing madly to finish a new home for the Johnson family in South Union were supposed to be featured in last night’s season premiere of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. At least that’s what ABC was saying up until the middle of this month. C’mon, you say that to all your markets, don’t you? But — surprise! — a Baltimore build completed just a couple of weeks ago was featured in the 2-hour special instead. The Houston show, featuring construction work coordinated by HHN Homes and featuring a select group of comedians, has been rescheduled for October 10th. Photo: Candace Garcia

09/17/10 5:05pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: AS SEEN ON TEEVEE “Remember the show “Houston Knights”? I loved watching that for [its] single season. My favorite part was the [scenic] hills off in the distance, and the heroes speeding to downtown from NASA via the Galleria. The scenes were always the same loops that they filmed here at one point put into different orders and called by different landmark names. The Astrodome was usually consistant but that was the only landmark they got right. I can’t wait to see all of the Dallas/FW landmarks called by Houston names. Sounds like a drinking game to me.” [SCD, commenting on Jerry Bruckheimer Knows All the Hottest Houston Cop Action Is in Dallas]

09/16/10 3:13pm

Helicopter flyover alert: NBC’s new police action series, “Chase,” which debuts next week, is a show about the federal fugitive-apprehension team in Houston. The show’s lead character — a role notable for having been turned down by Maria Bello, Tea Leoni, and Christina Applegate — is U.S. Marshal Annie Frost (played by former All My Children star Kelli Giddish), who leads her law-enforcement team chasing criminals all over South Texas. So it was really important that the cast and crew find a way to get plenty of that Texas flavor on the show.

No-brainer, then: Under the guidance of executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer, the production team moved to uh, Dallas to film the pilot. And that’s where they’ll film later episodes too. Hey, it puts them right in the action to do all of those good 10-gallon-hat and runaway cattle scenes. Sure, but what are they gonna do when they’ve got a scene set in the Galleria, or Highland Village, or West Village Ave? What about then?

Video: NBC

04/05/10 5:12pm

Over the weekend we finally got the big reveal from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, featuring the 15-member Beach Family in Kemah. Pictured above: the new Therapy Room, modeled after “the carnival in Kemah.”

Next from the Beaches’ new 6,340-sq.-ft. home: magical mushrooms in the “Trees and Tea Parties Room.”


01/08/10 10:48am

FROM ONE EXTREME TO ANOTHER As all of Kemah knows by now, the latest beneficiaries of one of those “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” weeklong volunteer-fueled whirlwinds is the 15-member Beach family: “After Hurricane Ike, the Beaches moved from their damaged home at 1013 Delesandri Lane into two FEMA trailers, parked in front of their house. Last fall, they moved to the backyard, into an 18-foot travel trailer with one toilet. The hot water tank held just 6 gallons, and they had to make frequent visits to the laundromat and cook on a gas grill. . . . The Beaches knew they were one of five local families nominated for the show, but Thursday’s ‘door knock’ made it official. The ‘reveal’ is scheduled for next Thursday, when they’ll come home to a 6,340-square-foot, two-story house with eight bedrooms and 4½ bathrooms. The episode is scheduled to air in March. Plans for the home include an elevator, therapy room and rooftop solar panels. The house will be built to meet standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act, with wide doorways and bathrooms spacious enough for a wheelchair.” [Houston Chronicle]

03/10/09 5:59pm

YOUR CHANCE TO BE IN THE FORECLOSURE SPOTLIGHT KHOU-TV reporter Dave Fehling is trying to find people who might have interesting perspectives on how foreclosures are affecting various local neighborhoods — for a Channel 11 teevee news story he’s putting together. Can any Swamplot readers bail him out? Or maybe just point him in the right direction? Send Fehling an email (link at the bottom) with your sobering story. But really, if you’ve got something truly juicy to tell, we’ll want to hear about it too! [Swamplot inbox]

01/25/08 12:31pm

Here’s the setup: Evacuated from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, a family moves in with relatives in Houston. Hilarity ensues.

Drat! We missed the premiere of “As For Me and My House,” which began showing locally this week on KNWS, Channel 51. It sure would be great to see more clips.

And yes, this is the sitcom’s actual tag line: “The Hurricane may be over . . . but the Real Storm is just beginning!”