SHOOTING STARS: National Geographic, Latin Grammys return to Las Vegas

  These days, repeat visits are music to Las Vegas’ collective ears. Which makes this week’s returning productions — led by the 10th annual Latin Grammy Awards and National Geographic Channel’s “World’s Toughest Fixes” — all the more welcome.
  “World’s Toughest Fixes” returns for its first all-Vegas episode, following a May shoot during which host Sean Riley joined maintenance experts atop the Stratosphere Tower’s X-Scream attraction for a single segment that will air soon.
  This time around, “World’s Toughest Fixes” will shoot three separate segments, taking viewers behind the scenes at the Fremont Street Experience, Bellagio’s famous fountains and Cirque du Soleil’s “Ka” at the MGM Grand.
  “We haven’t done an entertainment show like this yet,” notes researcher Gina Scarpulla. And the Las Vegas focus “pairs well for both our international and domestic channels.”
  This week, “Toughest Fixes” concentrates on segments devoted to the Bellagio fountains and Fremont Street Experience’s Viva Vision. Next week: “Ka.” (As always, stay tuned to Shooting Stars for more details.)
  Latin beat: Play it again. That’s the theme for Thursday night’s 10th annual Latin Grammy Awards, which goes live at 5 p.m. on Univision from the Mandalay Bay Events Center. (Live at 5 to the East Coast, that is; we Pacific time-zone types will get the 8 p.m. tape-delayed version.)
  The awards show made its Vegas debut two years ago and organizers were “so thrilled, so happy,” they couldn’t wait to come back, according to Latin Recording Academy president Gabriel Abaroa. And the 10th-anniversary awards telecast provided a perfect opportunity to return.
  Although the 2007 awards show demonstrated Las Vegas’ technical know-how, “this year we have devoted much more attention to security and traffic,” Abaroa acknowledges, recalling how recording artists’ ardent fans mobbed casinos to see their favorites.
  “We’ve come one step above in terms of logistics,” he says. “The rest is the magic of the music.”
  Prior to the awards telecast, Univision’s “Noce de Estrellas (Night of the Stars)” will cover celebrity arrivals.
  Fourth and out: The documentary “Saving Sin City” has been in production for about a year and a half, focusing on Annie Lobert, pictured, and her efforts to help local prostitutes find new lives through her nonprofit group Hookers for Jesus.
  But now, the end is near for the British documentary crew, which starts a fourth — and final — Las Vegas shoot this week.
  “We are mainly picking up shots but we will also be catching up on a number of Annie Lobert’s reformed teenage hookers to see how they have got on,” reports co-director Russ Coffey.
  Fator goes RADD: Terry Fator and his puppet pals take a break from their Mirage headliner gig today to tape national TV and radio spots for RADD, the entertainment industry nonprofit group that promotes road safety.
  Fator and friends will appear in at least four public service announcements (two for TV, two for radio) scheduled to tape at the Las Vegas’ Levy Production Group.
  Directed by Rob Scheffer, the spots will debut in  Southern Nevada, inaugurating RADD’s newly announced “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk … Do You” campaign this holiday season.
  Casting about: On the air, Bravo’s “Top Chef” is still in Las Vegas.
  Off the air, Bravo’s back in Las Vegas Nov. 11 to hold an open casting call for the seventh season of “Top Chef” and the first season of the “Top Chef” spinoff “Just Desserts.”
  The audition will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the MGM Grand’s Craftsteak; for additional information or to download an application, visit www.BravoTV.com/casting.
  And the faith-based drama “Rescue Us,” shooting early next year, will hold the second of two appointment-only casting sessions from 9 a.m. to noon and 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday; for information, check out www.rescueusthemovie.com; to request an audition, e-mail   rescueusthemovie@yahoo.com.
  Double ‘Deal’: It’s double the fun at the Tropicana this week as CBS’ “Let’s Make a Deal” concludes a two-day shoot today, then picks up again Friday through Sunday, with audience call times at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. For free tickets, call the Trop at (800) 706-8767 or go online to www.cbs.com/daytime/lets_make_a_deal and click on “Online Ticketing.”
 

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