Friday, August 30, 2013

See what the new J.R. Ewing action figures will look like

They're big, they're beautiful, and we just can't wait. Figures Toy Co. has released images of the two variations of its J.R. Ewing of "Dallas" 12-inch action figure:

The series will include J.R. figures in two different styles: "Oil Tycoon" and "Who Shot J.R." Downright yummy. Pass the bourbon and branch. And see a little bit more at Figures Toy Co.'s site.

Images courtesy of Figures Toy Co.; please do not copy without permission.

Monday, August 19, 2013

A look inside Atlanta's Fabrefaction Theatre with BRBTV

A spring trip to Georgia for BRBTV meant not only another "Dukes of Hazzard" event, the Dukes of Hazzard Georgia Reunion in Byron (see our March 2013 posts) but also a journey to downtown Atlanta, where BRB and her friend Tracy got to see the Margaret Mitchell house, the Underground Atlanta mall, and another of the city's gems, the Fabrefaction Theatre.

Mr. Whit Davies, an Atlanta actor who can be found in many of Fabrefaction's shows, was kind enough to take us behind the scenes at the theatre house, telling us a little more about what the group does. It was the day of the final performance of Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple," and we also got a look at the costumes used in this '60s piece, plus we talked to the actor who played Oscar in the show.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Take a tour of "Vampire Diaries" locales around Covington, Georgia

Our beloved Covington area of Georgia is not only the birthplace of "The Dukes of Hazzard" -- it has seen a lot of filming of TV and movies over the years. More recently, this region south of Atlanta been the locale for "The Vampire Diaries."

Chad James of Georgia offers tours of "The Vampire Diaries" outdoor locations on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year. Each tour lasts approximately two to three hours and is a combination of a “walking tour” and a “caravan tour.” The tour begins promptly at 1 p.m. at the Civil War monument located in the center of the historic Covington town square. Though the tour does not provide interior access to any of the homes featured on the show, it does visit the interior of a couple of businesses that have been used.

On the tour you might see sites like the one below in Olde Town Conyers, Georgia. In the Season 4 episode of The Vampire Diaries titled "We'll Always Have Bourbon Street," Olde Town Conyers doubled as New Orleans, Louisiana. The location where this particular photograph was taken is where Damon and Stefan Salvatore encountered Charlotte (a vampire who was turned by and had been sired to Damon since the 1940s).

With a portion of the tour being a “walking tour,” you're encouraged to dress comfortably. Also, don’t forget to bring a camera!

"The pilot episode of "The Vampire Diaries" was shot in British Columbia, Canada," organizer Chad James explains to BRBTV. "Still, knowing that future episodes of the show would be filmed in and around the Covington, Georgia, area, I really wanted to check the show out. After watching the pilot episode in 2009, I became an immediate fan. The opening scene was really what got me hooked. It was very much a scene one would expect to see in a horror film and was very reminiscent of a scene from the classic '80s vampire flick, 'The Lost Boys.'"

So what inspired this tour -- what really is the appeal of "The Vampire Diaries"?

"There are several things that I like about 'The Vampire Diaries,'" he says. "First, I think that the show is very well-written. And, as a result, I think that the show appeals to a larger demographic than it was initially intended to. Still, the writing would be nothing if the show didn't have such a stellar cast ensemble to bring the characters and the storylines to life. In my opinion, I don't think they could have cast three lead actors any better than Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev, and Paul Wesley."

He explains further: "On more than one occasion, I was on the square in Covington and had people come up to me asking if I knew where some of the homes/buildings featured on 'The Vampires Diaries' were located off of the square. Knowing that there were two tours offered in town, I asked the people if they were aware. A number of people knew about the other tours, but said that they either couldn't afford to pay or simply didn't want to pay the fee to take either of the other tours. So, when I heard this from more than one person, I decided to start up my own tour and offer it at a very reasonable price that hopefully every fan can afford. I really enjoy guiding the tours as I am a 'people person' and enjoy meeting and talking with people. With that said, I'm just as happy taking two people on a tour as I am taking 12. With me being a fan of 'The Vampire Diaries,' I simply want to give other fans of the show an exceptional tour at the most reasonable price I can."

The cost of our tour is $20 per person. Anyone interested in booking a tour must do so no later than 48 hours before the scheduled date of the tour.

"All in all, I believe that our tour is a value and gives fans of 'The Vampire Diaries' an opportunity to see a number of familiar locations that have been featured on the series," Chad says.

Keep up-to-date at the tour's Facebook page, and to book a tour, simply call (678) 936-5457 or email And check out

Photos courtesy of Chad James / The Vampire Tours
Please do not copy without permission

Monday, August 12, 2013

BRB interviews Walt Simonson

Billie Rae Bates of BRBTV continues her work for the Washington, D.C.-based "Fantastic Forum" TV show with this interview with comics giant Walt Simonson. In the talk, Simonson talks about his career, particularly what have been his influences in the industry around him over the years, his collaborations with his wife, Louise, and even his cameo role in the "Thor" movie.

Keep your eye on the "Fantastic Forum" website for more great stuff, and remember you can catch the show in all kinds of places:
  • Washington, D.C., on DCTV Comcast channels 95 and 96 and RCN channels 10 and 11 and Verizon FIOS 10.
  • Montgomery County, MD, on Montgomery Community Media (MCM-TV) Comcast channel 21.
  • Fairfax County, VA, on Fairfax Cable Access (FPA-TV) Cox channel 10.
  • Arlington County, VA, on Arlington Independent Media (AIM) on Comcast channel 69 and Verizon FIOS 38.
  • Prince George's County, MD, on Prince George's Community Television (CTV) Comcast channel 76 and Verizon FIOS 42.
  • Baltimore City, MD, on Community Media of Baltimore (CMBC) Comcast channel 75. 
  • YouTube
  • Vimeo

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

"Dallas" fan shares his story of working on the set of the new show

It would seem like a dream come true, to work on the set of the reboot of a TV show you love. Alex Calloway of Midland, Texas, got to experience that firsthand, working on the set of the new "Dallas" at Southfork Ranch in Texas, and he was kind enough to share his story with BRBTV…

“Dallas” has been my favorite show since I started watching the reruns in college. As I collected the DVD's and several books on the subject throughout the years, as well as engaged in the online fanbase, my devotion to the show only increased. When they announced the filming of a pilot for a new show, I was of course thrilled along with the rest of the fan community. We had been waiting for a new reunion or revival show for years and when the news came it was like Christmas morning.

I applied to be an extra along with tons of other fans and did not expect to be accepted. When I heard they wanted me, well, words obviously can't express the excitement. When I heard it was to play a waiter at Christopher Ewing's wedding at Southfork, the real Southfork, I was even more thrilled. And when I realized this scene was going to have not only the new cast but Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray, Steve Kanaly, and Charlene Tilton, well, I knew it was likely to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I expected the greatest theme park attraction-style thrill of my life and, although I understand my experience as an extra was rare and not typical, it indeed did not disappoint.

As I headed down to a hotel in Plano, Texas, near Parker just outside of Dallas where Southfork is, it got even more exciting. I had visited before, been on the tour, but now I was going to be on the show. I still don't know how I slept that night.

When I got there the next day, early of course, and met the fellow extras, it became clear I was the only fan who had gotten lucky enough to do this for his first extra job. Everyone else was a professional, people who had done this many times and many of whom were also on the original. It was just another job to them, but they were extremely nice and seemed happy for me. I felt very grateful and blessed that I had somehow made it on to the job. As I got dressed in my waiter outfit and headed out from the dining hall and saw the ranch, the “Dallas” theme played in my head and images of the opening credits rolled across my mind. I knew it was going to be an incredible two days.

As I stood outside the famous ranch house by the garage and the grill next to it, just taking it in while remembering scenes from the show, out came Patrick Duffy in a tux and cracking jokes. The smile I had at the moment really was making my face hurt, it was so wide. It was like I had gotten to go back in time and be on the set of the original show; I truly felt like Marty McFly. I knew I wanted to try to meet Mr. Duffy and tell him how much I loved his work and the character of Bobby Ewing, not to mention “Step By Step” and his funny videos with the crab, but I was pretty speechless and knew I would have to wait till the end of the day anyway since extras are not really supposed to do that.

I took my orders and proceeded to look like a busy waiter carrying a tray of cups back and forth between tables as they filmed a scene with a helicopter arriving on the ranch to meet Bobby. It was eight different kinds of awesome to see that. Memories of that happening on the show time and again flashed across my mind as I continued to feel like I was in a time warp. As the day went on toward lunch, the rest of the actors began to show up for the scenes set before the wedding. Seeing Linda Gray, Charlene Tilton, and the new cast show up was a thrill in and of itself. I did my best with the instructions I had on where to stand to be near the actors and the camera. The idea of seeing myself in this first episode of the new “Dallas” was extraordinary, so I just decided to go with the moment -- I knew I might never get a chance like this again.

We broke for lunch and had some very good food, as though it had been made by Miss Ellie herself. As I sat there finishing up, in strolled Steve Kanaly, who was being very casual and relaxed, and I of course was once again excited as I had been all day. I headed outside to wait for them to tell us to go back to work and saw him again standing out there. A guy approached with his family who recognized him and they had a happy reunion right there outside the dining hall. As it turned out, it was Joe Duncan, the man who originally owned the ranch years ago before he sold it around the middle of the show’s run. Just the fact that I saw those guys meet again for the first time in awhile blew my mind somewhat.

Over the course of that day I boldly approached and met Josh Henderson, Jordana Brewster, and Charlene Tilton -- I felt very proud of myself as a fan. But when we headed out at the end of the first day I finally got my chance to meet Mr. Duffy. He and Linda were out in the parking lot and, despite being extremely nervous, I managed to approach them and introduce myself. Not only were they both extremely nice, but Patrick offered to take a picture. Naturally I had neglected to bring a camera. He said we should do it at the end of the next day, and I was just smiling from ear to ear. Once again, not sure how I slept that night but I did.

 Alex Calloway with Patrick Duffy.
Photo courtesy of Alex Calloway; please do not copy without permission.

The next day I played a chef, so I actually got to join the ranks of “Dallas” actors who played more than one role. I met Steve Kanaly briefly and watched “Dallas” history be made as Christopher got married. Finally, as the day wrapped, I managed to just barely catch Mr. Duffy and get a fellow extra to take this amazing photo I got with him. It was the icing on the cake of an incredible dreamlike life experience. As I drove away and pondered what the new show would be like, I knew that my career was likely to make it where I wouldn't get to be an extra again. I regretted also later on of course that I did not get a chance to meet Mr. Hagman as he was not in the scene. But the experience I came away with was an incredible one and I am still amazingly grateful that I got to do it and be a part of “Dallas,” all the while interacting with and meeting heroes who I had watched on TV for years.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Next two Hollywood Shows serve up the "Dallas" stars

Queued up at the next Hollywood Show, which happens in Chicago in the first weekend of September, are some fave stars of one of the shows BRBTV loves:
  • Audrey Landers of "Dallas" and "The Dukes of Hazzard"
  • Barbara Eden of "Dallas"
  • Greg Evigan of "Dallas"

Then at the October show in Los Angeles we've got:
  • Joan Collins of "Dynasty"
  • Merete Van Kamp of "Dallas" (first appearance!)