SHOOTING STARS: ‘Ultimate Fighter’ returns to action

  Not that anyone’s counting, but the ninth season of “The Ultimate Fighter” is under way, with a Las Vegas park scheduled as a workout location this week.
  The UFC-related reality series began production late last month and is scheduled to continue through early March.
  True to its subtitle, “Team United States vs. Team United Kingdom,” the show will feature 16 U.S. lightweights and welterweights against 16 British rivals.
  As in the previous two seasons, they’ll all have to fight their way into the house where the combatants live and train. The Brits will battle each other for the eight spots on the U.K. team; eight American fighters will make the U.S. squad.
  Californian Dan Henderson will coach the U.S. team; Michael Bisping of Manchester, England, will serve as U.K. coach during the six-week shoot.
  “Ultimate Fighter’s” ninth season premieres April 1 on cable’s Spike TV.
  History mysteries: It’s safe to say Las Vegas wouldn’t be what, and where, it is without humanity’s impact
  But an upcoming History Channel series ponders the question of "Life After People," which "takes a creative leap" to explore the consequences "if all people suddenly disappeared," and "how nature takes over what man has left behind," notes producer Mindy Pomper of Flight 33 Productions, which is producing the 10-episode series.
  Las Vegas earned its own hourlong episode due to its status as "an icon of Americana," Pomper says. "It’s such an attractive city to people — it’s beautiful in its own right," she adds. "It’s got a lot of emotion attached to it and it’s associated with such positive experiences."
  Shooting was expected to continue today at the Springs Preserve, following a scheduled Sunday visit to Madame Tussaud’s wax museum at The Venetian, with additional filming planned for the ghost town of Rhyolite at the end of February, according to Pomper. The series is scheduled to air this spring.
  “Bride” time: Las Vegas lives up to its “wedding capital of the world” title this week with “Russian Bride,” a documentary for National Geographic focusing on foreign marriages.
  According to the Volga Girl Internet site, which matches Russian women with men from other countries, the documentary will focus on “at least three Volga Girl clients and couples,” following them through “courting, engagement and marriage phases.”
  That explains why Washington-base PSG Films, which is producing the documentary, has obtained a film permit to shoot Tuesday at the Clark County Office of Civil Marriages.
  Happy landing: History Channel Canada’s documentary series “Buffalo Air” focuses on Buffalo Airways, which flies World War II-era planes out of Yellowknife in Canada’s rugged Northwest Territories. (It’s about 250 miles south of the Arctic Circle.)
  Starting Friday, however, Mikey McBryan — the son of Buffalo Airways’ owner — will take a break from snow and ice to attend his sister’s wedding at Mandalay Bay.
  And that means a camera (and operator, of course) will follow him to Las Vegas to record his visit, reports production manager Lisa Green of Vancouver-based Omni Film Productions, which produces the show.
  Because the Buffalo Airways operators are generally fighting forest fires, delivering generators to remote Inuit villages and otherwise doing “all the jobs that no one else will do,” Green explains, McBryan’s Vegas visit should rank as a definite change of pace.
  Rap dreams: A new reality TV show, “Who’s the World’s Greatest Underground Rapper,” plans a Las Vegas stop as part of a 10-city tour to find the best unsigned rap artist.
  The rap-star search begins in Memphis, but prospective participants (ages 16 to 36) may submit applications in advance of the tour’s Las Vegas stop, notes Joe Davis, vice president of the show’s production company, Naymon Lumpkin Productions.
  To submit an application, click on http://www.greatestundergroundrapper.com and submit your contact information; show officials will send you an application to return by mail.
  “A month before we come to a city, we will start promoting and informing everyone in that city when we will be there for the show,” Davis explains.

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