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Monday, July 28, 2014

Wichita gets more shots at being on TV


There’s something oddly exciting about Wichita making it on television, no matter the reason.

And Wichita has at least two small-screen opportunities in its future — one that’s happening whether we like it or not and another that we’ll have to work to make happen.

The first is Monday night at Intrust Bank Arena, which will be invaded by the show “Monday Night Raw,” one of those crazy WWE shows filled with drama, body slams, knees to the groin and bedazzled undies.

The show will be broadcast live from the arena at 8 p.m. on USA, cable Channel 28, and there’s more.

Star Johnny Knoxville, known for his MTV show “Jackass,” will be in town to serve as a guest host at the event.

Knoxville, an over-the-top stuntman-turned-movie-star whose specialty is being filmed in unspeakable, intentional pain, is appearing on the show to promote his new movie, “Jackass 3D,” scheduled for an Oct. 15 release in movie theaters.

WWE, I’m sure you won’t be shocked to hear, isn’t really my thing. But it’s wildly popular among a demographic that includes lots of families locally, said A.J. Boleski, the arena’s new general manager.

The event likely will draw between 8,000 and 9,000 fans, and the broadcast will give the arena great exposure, he said. Usually, “Raw” airings will show a shot of the venue or the venue’s marquee when it leads into and comes back from commercial breaks.

“This is the first time for the arena being on live national TV,” Boleski said. “And Johnny Knoxville being here will just hype it up even more.”

Speaking of hype, I got a phone call this week from a publicist at ABC television asking me to hype the fact that the show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” is looking for deserving local families it can feature.

You’ll recall that the show has had pretty good luck in these parts. In 2005, the show filmed a four-hankie episode when Ty Pennington and crew built a new home for the Nutsch family of Rose Hill, whose house had been destroyed in a gas explosion.

Last year, they were back, building a new house for Iraq war vet Patrick Tutwiler, whose Chapman house — and much of his town — had been destroyed by a tornado.

Now, the casting department is looking for new families to help, specifically “people who have amazing strength of character and who put their own needs aside to help others,” the casting call says.

Families can nominate themselves or others and must demonstrate how a home makeover will make a difference in their lives.

Perhaps not as sexy as bedazzled undies, but definitely just as deserving of a Wichita television moment.

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