On the surface, daytime television and professional hockey don’t appear to have much in common.
That is, except for Las Vegas — the location for star-studded awards shows going live from separate casino venues this week.
First up: the 2010 NHL Awards, set for Wednesday at the Palms’ Pearl Concert Theater. (More about that one in a bit.) And on Sunday, the 37th annual Daytime Emmy Awards go live from the Las Vegas Hilton’s showroom at 6 p.m. for CBS, with Regis Philbin (pictured) as host. (Live to the East Coast, that is; locals will have to catch the tape-delayed version at 9 p.m.)
It’s the first time any Emmycast has been staged somewhere other than the traditional broadcast hubs of New York and Los Angeles, notes executive producer David McKenzie of Associated Television International. Las Vegas seems an ideal alternative, he adds.
“Think of all the game shows that have come to Las Vegas,” McKenzie says. “Think of all the actual games in Las Vegas — and all the slot machines that are tied into game shows,” plus “all the talk shows that come into Vegas.” Add glitz and glamour worthy of any soap opera diva and it adds up to “a fairly cool marriage” between the Daytime Emmys and this year’s Vegas setting, he maintains.
That setting will be reflected in a “very Vegas-themed show,” McKenzie promises, with a large local contingent appearing on the telecast — including such Strip fixtures as Blue Man Group, Cirque du Soleil, David Copperfield, Marie Osmond, “Jersey Boys” and “Lion King” cast members and the “Jubilee!” showgirls, all of whom are scheduled to appear.
Even more Vegas types, from Cher to Barry Manilow to Garth Brooks, are expected to make taped contributions as part of the show’s tribute to “American Bandstand” and original host Dick Clark, according to McKenzie. (Other familiar faces taking part in the Clark tribute include Chubby Checker, Tony Orlando, Frankie Avalon and the Spinners.)
“I think Las Vegas is a great place to host award shows — and do any TV shows,” says McKenzie, whose previous made-in-Vegas productions include the “World Magic Awards” and “Masters of Illusion.” Overall, “It’s a good trend,” he comments — one McKenzie says he expects will continue.
The puck stops here: Between the recent Stanley Cup final between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Philadelphia Flyers and the Canada-U.S. gold-medal showdown in men’s hockey at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, “hockey’s had a great year so far,” notes Palms owner George Maloof.
The winning streak continues Wednesday at the Palms, where stars of hockey — and Hollywood — converge for the 2010 NHL Awards.
The 4:30 p.m. awards bash will be telecast live from The Pearl — in high-definition — on cable’s Versus channel in the U.S. (The awards also will air in Canada on CBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.)
Leading the show’s Vegas-connection contingent: performers from Cirque du Soleil’s “Love” and veteran Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer, whose made-in-Vegas projects range from “Con Air” to TV’s “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.” Actor Mark Wahlberg, rapper Snoop Dogg, rockers Shinedown and NFL stars past and present are scheduled to join the show’s host, comedian Jay Mohr (pictured).
Last year, when the NHL Awards debuted at the Palms, “they didn’t want to go overboard” with the glitz, Maloof recalls. But this year’s show will be “more Vegas-y,” he says, with a heavier dose of showbiz to go with the hockey.
“People appreciate coming to Las Vegas” for awards shows, Maloof says, in part because of “the energy of the town and people wanting to be here.”
Water works: On Sept. 4, Germany’s VOX television channel plans to devote its entire programming day to the topic of water.
Which explains why a documentary crew is spending almost two weeks in Las Vegas, shooting footage for a two-hour program “addressing one of the world’s greatest challenges: living in a desert situation and how to cope with the scarce resources of water,” according to VOX’s Holger Hufen.
Although the documentary explores the water situation in the Southwest, the show will have “a special emphasis on Las Vegas,” Hufen reports in an e-mail.
Despite its desert location, “on first sight it looks like Las Vegas is very lavish with the scarce resource water,” Hufen notes.
In its first three days on location, the documentary will visit Southern Nevada Water Authority sites, according to the SNWA’s Kristin Howey, including residential areas, a water treatment facility, Lake Mead and the Strip.
But the VOX team is only the latest European media group to visit SNWA lately. “We’ve had a couple different German teams and French media, all within the past couple weeks,” Howey notes, dubbing it “European media time here at SNWA.”
Reality bites: Speaking of European media, London-based Renegade Pictures is expected in town Saturday to begin an eight-day shoot for the BBC 3 series “Don’t Tell the Bride,” in which the young couple receives a dream wedding — organized by the groom, who surprises his bride with the arrangements. (Wonder what they’re doing in the wedding capital of the world?) And cameras keep rolling on a variety of resident reality shows, including History’s “Pawn Stars,” Spike’s “The Ultimate Fighter,” Fox’s “Cops,” E!’s “Holly’s World” and truTV’s “Rehab: Party at the Hard Rock Pool.”