Posted: Jul. 4, 2011 | 2:02 a.m.
Magic's in the air -- and will be online this summer, when "Believe" headliner Criss Angel debuts his new Internet magic site, www.themagicplace.com.
Angel describes the site as "a portal for everything magic," including a Magic Broadcast Network featuring 14 different weekly programs. The shows range from the Angel-hosted talk show, "Magic Jam," to "The Next Mindfreak," feature aspiring magicians competing to perform at Luxor.
"We have been shooting quite extensively around town," Angel says, not only at Luxor and at various locations but also at a new 30,000-square-foot studio, minutes from the Strip, that's "capable of doing state-of-the-art things."
"We're shooting, literally, every day, all the time," Angel explains. "The studio is running full time."
Among Angel's expected guests on his "Magic Jam" talk show: past Strip fixtures Siegfried & Roy and Lance Burton.
It's "definitely more intimate" than Angel's A&E series "Mindfreak," he acknowledges. But that reflects a change in TV -- and TV audiences.
"With the Internet, people don't watch TV the way they used to," he says. "For me, this is the future -- and the future is now."
Room to vroom: The annual cross-country madness known as "Bullrun" returns to Las Vegas this week, with both the Strip and downtown getting into the act.
MTV's set to air a series in the fall, devoted to the high-octane road rally featuring hot cars and a host of celebrities who'll be dodging state troopers and hitting the party circuit, which this year stretches from Las Vegas to Miami.
Planet Hollywood Resort serves as headquarters for drivers and their high-end rides Thursday through Saturday; the action moves to the Fremont Street Experience about 5 p.m. Saturday, when the cars will be on display, followed by a 6-8 p.m. start.
Vintage Vegas: The spirit of old Vegas informs the just-wrapped action thriller "Hole in the Desert," which recently filmed at a variety of downtown locations, including the old Atomic Lounge, reports producer Anthony Fankhauser .
Although the production shot interiors in Los Angeles , a Vegas location visit was a must, he notes.
"The script called for Vegas," Fankhauser says of the project, written and directed by Steven R. Monroe and featuring Jason Wiles and Las Vegas' own Cerina Vincent. After all, "Vegas is unique. It's a one-of-a-kind location."
Reality check: Spike's "The Ultimate Fighter" is expected to wrap its 14th season next week, reports supervising producer Jamie Campione. But that made-in-Vegas staple has plenty of company on location around town.
CMT's "Made," inspired by the Emmy-winning MTV series, focuses on 25- to 50-year-olds transforming their lives by pursuing their dreams -- and is expected on the Strip on Saturday. Ireland's "Late Late Show," planned a Vegas visit last weekend. Also last week, a TV pilot from EA Sports -- featuring Navy SEALS training NFL players in hostage extraction techniques -- was scheduled to shoot at a Boulder City gun club and an El Dorado Canyon mine.
Next week, the upcoming Travel Channel special "Vegas Knights" aims to take viewers behind the scenes at some of the Strip's most exclusive locations. Food Network's "Cupcake Wars" also is expected back in town next week. And "Kitchen Crashers" -- the latest from the same production company that brings you the DIY Network's "Yard Crashers," "House Crashers" and "Bath Crashers" -- is scheduled to crash a southwest Las Vegas residence next week.