HGTV Wants Your House
After nearly 10 years on the air and over 200 episodes, HGTV's reality series If Walls Could Talk shows no signs of crumbling. In each episode, presenter Mike Siegel visits historic homes across the country, uncovering the secrets of past owners. Then in a reverse Antiques Roadshow twist, Siegel brings in an expert to appraise the mustiest contents of the house.
The privacy of these previous owners and the gratuitous use of their personal lives as lowbrow entertainment has never been called into question. But hey, it's a fun show, so who cares about letting someone's late great grandpa rest in peace when there's a mass audience to sate?
With its penchant for 19th-century houses, it seems inevitable that one of Walls' ports of call should be Charleston. HGTV is looking for likely local candidates now, so if you have a home with a hint of mystery and you're brave enough to show your attic space to a nation of cable viewers, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. —Nick Smith
Measure for Measure
You've got to feel sorry for Todd Robinson. The Emmy-winning director has spent years getting The Last Full Measure ready for production. After several months in preproduction hell, the John Cusack vehicle was set to start shooting in South Carolina this month. But by then the film had missed an incentives deadline, adding a million dollars to its budget.
Problems like this arise in film production all the time, and it's not unusual for a movie to change locations in order to save money. But with stars like Morgan Freeman, Laurence Fishburne, and Robert Duvall on the payroll, there's an urgency attached to getting this movie up and running. Unfortunately for Charleston and Columbia, where Robinson planned to film, Louisiana and Connecticut are now being considered as alternatives.
In The Last Full Measure, Cusack's character strives to secure one last honor for a Vietnam hero dead more than three decades. Think Courage Under Fire with a factual basis.
Robinson has grumbled about the missed million, saying the Palmetto State's decision has put the project "on life support." The state Commerce Department, which has the final say on film incentive packages, is sticking to its guns. Its offer is still a juicy one — the production would benefit from a $4.4 million deal, one of the state's highest incentive packages to date. —Nick Smith