Win VIP access to the Amgen Tour of California in Clovis



UPDATE: Congrats to our winner, Whitney!

ORIGINAL POST: As you probably know, the Amgen Tour of California wheels into Clovis on Wednesday. It’s where the fourth stage of the state-wide cycle race winds down, with a finish line right in Old Town Clovis.

Anybody can go out and watch the end of the race, and enjoy the accompanying festivities in Old Town Clovis. Heck, organizers are pushing to make it a ditch day (Take the Day Off, they say). Not just anybody, however, can go where The Beehive is sending one lucky winner.

We’ve got a pair of passes to the VIP hospitality tent at the race’s finish line. It includes free food (from Save Mart and QN4U), free beer and the best seat you can get. In addition, our winner gets parking passes and tickets to the post-race party at the Clovis Rodeo Grounds.

Sounds pretty nice, right? Well, it could be yours. Just leave a comment below telling us your favorite story about taking the day off. Deadline to enter is 3 p.m. Tuesday. The winner will be chosen at random and will be notified by e-mail, so please leave a real e-mail address and check it. One entry per person. You’re ineligible if you’ve won something from us in the past 30 days. Complete rules after the jump.

Meet Krispy Kreme, the hottest rapper of 2012

Meet young rapper Krispy Kreme, a viral Internet sensation who is being dubbed rap’s Rebecca Black. His first video, “The Baddest,” zoomed past a million views. And his second video, “Haters Wanna Be Me,” has only been up for a day and is already at 150,000+ views. Thanks, in part. of his mean-mugging sidekick Money Maker Mike.

I don’t know that this really is Rebecca Black-ish. There are plenty of unintentionally bad rappers out there. This seems like the opposite. There’s some well-placed comedic know-how at play. (The pool of snot under his nose? Come on, that’s great).

The whole thing kind of reminds of me that Kanye West video that starred Zach Galifianakis. I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody like Andy Samberg was ultimately revealed to be behind this. The whole story will certainly emerge. That’s the Internet’s job. For now, let’s all just enjoy Krispy Kreme.

Louise Mandrell meets her new leading man in ‘Calamity Jane’



Good Company Players is gearing up in a big way for the highlight of its season: the starring appearance of country-music star Louise Mandrell in the musical “Calamity Jane,” which opens July 19. I devoted my Sunday Spotlight column to Mandrell’s recent trip to Fresno. She came to sit in on auditions for the remaining roles in the show.

Mandrell told me that “Calamity Jane” will be the last time she performs, at least into the near future. She isn’t using the word retirement, but her husband, John Haywood, has been ill, and in recent years she’s cut back her career to spend more time with him.

“Because of my husband’s health, this is the last thing on the books,” she says of her appearance in the Good Company show. “If his health improves, that may change, but as of now, this is the last thing that is for sure.”

And who will play the role of Wild Bill Hickok, the love interest of Calamity Jane, in the show? The lucky guy is veteran Good Company actor Brian Pucheu. Mandrell told me after the casting announcement that she’s delighted to work with Pucheu, although she admits that the extreme beard that he sported during auditions — which he grew out for his first-rate portrayal of Charles Guiteau in the just-finished run of “Assassins” at Fresno State — did throw her at first. After she looked at pictures of a less-hirsute Pucheu in earlier roles for Good Company, she declared him “quite handsome.”

Photo: Mandrell, left, works with William Johnson, Brian Pucheu and Teddy Moldonado during auditions for “Calamity Jane.” On the jump: More pics and the “Calamity Jane” cast list.

More network shows on chopping block


GCB.JPG There’s no official word on what CBS, ABC and the CW have planned for the 2012-2013 TV season, but here’s an unofficial look at what the networks will be dropping.

CBS canceled “How to Be a Gentleman” weeks after it launched. Also on the list to get the boot are “A Gifted Man,” “Rob,” “Unforgettable,” “NYC 22″ and veteran cop drama “CSI: Miami.” No word on the what’s happening with “Rules of Engagement.”

ABC dumped “Man Up!” and “Charlie’s Angels” a long time ago. “Pan Am” also didn’t take off for the network.

The surprise is that “GCB” won’t be back. It looked like the successor to “Desperate Housewives” but now both shows are gone.

Also leaving the lineup will be “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” “Work It,” “Missing” and “The River.” “Cougar Town” leaves ABC for new life on the cable channel TBS.

“H8R” died early for the CW and viewers knew this was the last season for “One Tree Hill.” Add to the departing list “The Secret Circle” and “Ringer.”

FOX adds three new shows for fall lineup


kaling.JPG The FOX Network has announced the 2012-2013 lineup and it includes two new comedies and one new drama.

On the comedy side, “The Mindy Project” stars Mindy Kaling as an OB/GYN navigating the tricky waters of her personal and professional lives. “Ben and Kate” stars newcomer Dakota Johnson and Nat Faxon as a pair of odd-couple siblings. They will join “Raising Hope” and “New Girl” for a Tuesday night comedy block.

The drama “The Mob Doctor” features Jordana Spiro as a life-saving surgeon caught between her promising medical career and her family’s debt to Chicago’s Southside mob.

To make way for the new shows, FOX handed out a few pink slips. Of the five new shows the network launched for the 2011-2012 season, only “New Girl” and “The X-Factor” return. The highly anticipated “Terra Nova” has gone the way of the dinosaurs as has “I Hate My Teenage Daughter” and “Allen Gregory.” Also canceled were “Alcatraz,” “The Finder,” “Napoleon Dynamite” and “Breaking In.” This goes along with the earlier announcement that “House” was ending this year.

FOX has a few mid-season shows in the wings including the Kevin Bacon drama “The Following” and the comedy “The Goodwin Games” starring Scott Foley and Becki Newton. Bacon plays an ex-FBI agent called back to duty to track down a serial killer. The comedy follows three siblings who have to jump through hoops to get the family inheritance.

“Glee” will be back and moves to Thursdays.

This is what the FOX 2012-2013 primetime lineup will look like in the fall:

On TV tonight: ‘The Bachelorette’


bachelorette_pre.jpg “The Bachelorette” 9:30 p.m., KFSN (Channel 30.1): The latest lovesick representative from the Central San Joaquin Valley begins his quest to find love on national television with the season debut of “The Bachelorette.”

A press release announcing the names of the 25 bachelors who will try to win the heart of single mom Emily Maynard lists “Brent, 41, a technology salesman from Fresno.” Brent reveals on the ABC website that his favorite group activity is “pulling out the boat in the summer and loading everyone up spending the day on the lake. Soccer, golf, etc.” Brent calls himself a closet romantic whose motto is “never give up.”

Brent was born in Midland, Texas.

Maybe he’ll have better luck than the past two local contestants on “The Bachelorette” — Ryan Park and Kasey Kahl.

Six new shows coming to NBC


perry.JPG I’m often asked to explain the method to the madness that is the creation of a network’s fall TV schedule. That’s always difficult because the method changes every time.

You would think that a network executive would look at it’s lineup and say these are the shows people are watching so we will bring them back. The other programs would be canceled. But, NBC has announced it’s 2012-2013 season and there’s no “Harry’s Law.”

It was the highest rated script show on the channel. Only professional football and “The Voice” drew more viewers. What got the show bounced was that it attracted and older audience and the network has no time for that demographic.

Go figure.

The network had decent success with its 2011-2012 season launches with three of the six shows coming back for sophomore seasons – “Whitney,” “Grimm” and “Up All Night.” “Prime Suspect,” “The Playboy Club” and “Free Agents” never made past the first few months.

Also canceled where the mid-season shows “Are You There, Chelsea?” “Best Friends Forever,” “Bent,” “Awake,” “The Firm,” and “Who Do You Think You Are?” “Smash” will be back but not until midseason.

To fill the holes, NBC will add the comedies “Go On,” “The New Normal,” “Animal Practice” and “Guys with Kids” and the dramas “”Revolution” and ” Chicago Fire.” Waiting in the wings are the comedies “Save Me,” “1600 Penn” and “Next Caller” along with the dramas “Do No Harm,” “Infamous” and “Hannibal.”

Here’s a quick look at the new shows and what NBC’s 2012-2013 schedule will look like:

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