SHOOTING STARS: It’s prize time for ‘Wheel of Fortune’ at Venetian, Palazzo

“Wheel of Fortune” won’t be here to shoot six weeks of shows for its 28th syndicated season until July.

But “Wheel of Fortune” will be here this week for a “prize shoot” featuring co-host Vanna White, Venetian and Palazzo locations — and some pretty snazzy wheels, including a new 2011 BMW Z4 roadster, a Lexus convertible and a Chevy Camaro.

After all, “to stand out in Vegas, you’ve gotta have some pizazz,” comments Lisa Dee, “Wheel’s” executive director for marketing and promotion. Which explains why four cars will be featured at various locations, including The Venetian’s clock tower and bridge and the Palazzo’s porte cochere.

In addition to the bonus-round prizes, the show will “do all the opens, the bumper segments, the intros” and “fun factoids” in preparation for the show’s upcoming visit, Dee explains. “But, really, it’s the prizes” in the spotlight. (Along with White, of course.)

“Wheel” will tape six weeks of shows during its whirlwind stay — including a “Sweethearts Week,” a New Year’s week and the kickoff week for the new season, which begins Sept. 13.

“It’s a very Vegas-y season,” Dee notes. And why not? “It feels like a natural fit,” she comments, citing “the music and bells and whistles and lights” that describe both Las Vegas and a familiar casino fixture: those popular “Wheel of Fortune” slots.

July’s visit will be the sixth time “Wheel” has visited Las Vegas — and its second trip to The Venetian.

Scheduled taping dates are July 13-14, 16-17 and 19-20; if you’d like free tickets, they’ll be available online starting June 1 at  www.mynews3.com, the home page for “Wheel’s” Las Vegas station, KVBC-TV, Channel 3.

Driving for dollars: Speaking of game shows, Discovery’s “Cash Cab” hits the road(s) for a special “Celebrity Week,” featuring famous folks playing for their favorite charities.

“Cash Cab” usually follows host Ben Bailey transforming unsuspecting taxi passengers into instant contestants.

In Las Vegas, however, the featured celebrities know they’ll be on the hot seat. Among the local riders: magician Lance Burton and sidekick comedy-juggler Michael Goudeau, who are scheduled for their ride-along following their Tuesday show at the Monte Carlo.

Bert’s back: The Travel Channel’s new daredevil series, “Bert the Conqueror,” follows adrenaline junkie Bert Kreischer as he takes on extreme challenges. Little wonder, then, that Kreischer was one of the first to take the plunge at the Stratosphere’s new Skyjump attraction in April.

Because the weather was less than stellar for part of the show’s initial visit, however, Bert and Co. were expected back in town over the weekend to capture some pick-up shots for the half-hour made-in-Vegas episode airing this summer.

Quick hits: The reality-TV cameras keep rolling on truTV’s “Rehab: Party at the Hard Rock Pool” and History’s “Pawn Stars.” Fox’s long-running “Cops” also are back in town and back on the beat with Metropolitan Police officers. And A&E’s “Criss Angel Mindfreak,” based at the Luxor, also plans to return to Grand Canyon West’s Skywalk this week.

This evening at Planet Hollywood, meanwhile, “Extra’s” Mario Lopez is expected to host Cosmopolitan magazine’s third annual Bikini Bash — at which hundreds of bikini-clad babes will gather at Planet Hollywood, spelling out C-O-S-M-O for an aerial photograph to be featured in the magazine’s August edition. As part of the party, musical guests Midi Mafia will shoot a music video, performing “2 Piece (So Cosmo),” which was written especially for the event.
 

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