Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

‘Utopia’ failed FOX experiment

If you ever have the opportunity to make a wager with Simon Andreae, executive vice president of Fox’s alternative programming, take it. There’s no way to lose.

During the summer, when FOX unveiled it’s new reality series, “Utopia,” to TV critics, Andreae was confident the year-long program would be a hit. He was wrong by 10 months as the network finally canceled the series that was DOA.

Only Andreae seemed to not be able to see what everyone else saw: the show was a stinker from the start.

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‘Capture’ host Luke Tipple explored Clovis

The Hunt BeginsLuke Tipple, an Australian marine biologist who has hosted shows on Discovery, National Geographic and Animal Planet, got to do some exploring while working on the new CW competition series, “Capture,” when it filmed in Shaver Lake in April and May. The show debuts at 9 p.m. tonight on KFRE (Channel 59.1).

He didn’t travel to Yosemite despite his love of the great outdoors. Tipple made weekly trips to Clovis. “I would go there every weekend to go to the gym,” Tipple tells me during a party at the Beverly Hilton thrown by CBS/CW during the TV critics meetings. “I got to know Clovis and Fresno a little bit. But, I spent a lot of time in Shaver Lake at the local bars an restaurants. The people of Shaver Lake were a lot of fun.”

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Lauren Scott still cooking on ‘The Taste’

350x260The first night of competition on the ABC reality show “The Taste” could not have gone better for Lauren Scott, the Buchanan High School grad who now lives in Laurel, Miss. Her chicken stew was selected by guest judge Gabrielle Hamilton, chef and owner of Prune in New York, as the winner of the “The Team Taste Test.” The win gave her immunity and moved her ahead to next week’s competition.

The show features four celebrity mentors — Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson, Ludo Lefebvre and Brian Malarkey — who selected four chefs to be on their teams during the initial auditions. Scott was selected to be part of Lawson’s group.

Because she knew she wasn’t going home, Scott decided to try something different in the “Blind Taste Test” elimination round where four contestants created dishes to be judged in one bite by the mentors. The judges didn’t like her effort .

Micah Kasman from Team Malarkey and Renatta Lindsey from Team Nigella were sent home.