Pat Clark: Updating the region's TV connections

pclark@modbee.comJuly 24, 2013 

Staff Photographer

Pat Clark

MARTY BICEK — Modesto Bee Buy Photo

— Well, that's a bummer.

The powers that be at HGTV — most notably the panel of judges — decided that someone other than Sonoran Jeribai Tascoe should have their own design-centric show on the cable home and garden channel.

Harumph.

Not that the person they chose over Tascoe on Sunday night was a particularly bad choice; it just wasn't the choice that folks in these parts — i.e., me — wanted to see.

Tascoe, 33 and a native of the Mother Lode region, has competed since June on "HGTV Star," a competition/reality show that rewarded Tiffany Brooks with the win and her shot at stardom. He made it to the finale, where he vied against Brooks and one other competitor.

While that's a wrap on his time on the HGTV show, Tascoe said in an interview last week that he'd like to pursue some other television venture down the road. In the meantime, he'll continue on with his successful graphics and interior design work that he does from his Sonora homebase.

Looks like former Modestan — and another finalist from a reality/competition show, by the way — is continuing to make her mark on television.

Lindsay Pearce, who competed in the first season of competition show "The Glee Project," will have a guest starring roll on Lifetime's "Drop Dead Diva" this season. It just so happens that the show is cast by the company co-owned by another former Modestan, Robert Ulrich. Ulrich's wife and former Ripon native Kim Johnston Ulrich also has appeared on the comedy series. Ulrich, of course, also mentored Pearce during her stint on "The Glee Project," which rewards winners with a role on the hit Fox series "Glee."

Pearce is taking a week off from rehearsals for the West Coast revival of the musical "Bare" to film the episode. "Bare," a Damon Intrabartolo-Jon Hartmere pop opera, will open Sept. 6 at the Hayworth Theatre in Los Angeles.

"Drop Dead Diva" airs Sundays on Lifetime.

And because there appear to be far fewer degrees of separation than just six when it comes to Modesto's Hollywood connections, it seem appropriate to segue here into the news that Dot Marie Jones will return to the valley in October to speak at the 16th annual Power of the Purse Luncheon, put on by the Women's Leadership Council.

Jones, born in Turlock and raised in Hilmar, is a retired athlete who, it just so happens, scored her third Emmy nomination last week for her guest starring work on "Glee" — a show that also is cast by Ulrich.

Power of the Purse is a fund-raising event put on by the Women's Leadership Council — part of the United Way Stanislaus of County. It will be Oct. 9 at the Gallo Center. Reservations and sponsorships are being accepted online at www.uwaystan.org.

Finally. It seems like months since there's been a "Top Chef" of some form to obsess over. And it has been — five months to be exact — since "Top Chef Seattle" signed off. So it's about time that "Top Chef Masters" has arrived to fill the food battle void on the Bravo channel.

The new season debuted Wednesday, too late for press time for me to speak specifically to what went down. The show is a spinoff of "Top Chef" and pits accomplished and celebrity chefs against each other to vie for money for their favorite charities.

Without having even seen a single episode yet, I'm declaring that former "Top Chef" contestant Brian Voltaggio will have been robbed — again! — if he doesn't win.

Reach Scene editor Pat Clark at pclark@modbee.com.

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