tv reporter

The NATPE circus is perfect fit for Vegas

Las Vegas is a spectacle unto itself, but the sights inside NATPE's Conference & Exhibition last week rivaled anything one can see in the city.

With people from NATPE fixture Kato Kaelin to the cast of "Reno 911!" in town to talk up their first-run and off-net programming, it makes for an entertaining week for someone perusing the exhibition floor and suites at the Mandalay Bay Resort.

One of the most appreciated moments during the confab was getting hugged by the very likable star of Sony Pictures Television's upcoming court show "Judge David Young" after an exhausting three days of trekking around the hotel and convention center.

"Hugs are therapeutic," he said before offering a red, heart-shaped keychain printed with the question "Have you hugged your judge today?" And that was not an act: The circuit court judge in Miami-Dade County said he often makes plaintiffs and defendants in his courtroom hug if he thinks they need it.

On the other hand, one of the more surreal moments occurred Wednesday afternoon in the suite of Trifecta Entertainment & Media, which was selling shows including "Jack Hanna's Into the Wild" and "UFC Wired." At one point, an odd mixture consisting of Hanna, the Ultimate Fighting Championship title holder Chuck Liddell, a 7-month-old red kangaroo, a 6-year-old lemur and the comedian formerly known as "the Weasel" ? Pauly Shore ? all were holding court. Shore was trolling the floor and suites hawking his "Natural Born Komics," a comedy/variety TV special/DVD from his Landing Patch Prods. and Stardust Pictures.

Several floors below, in Twentieth Television's suite, were Mike Jerrick and Juliet Huddy, hosts of "The Morning Show With Mike & Juliet," which debuts today. The duo have been best friends for five years and hosted Fox News Channel's "Dayside" together, and their natural chemistry was on display as they finished the other's sentences and gave each other a hard time about attending rival universities (Jerrick is a University of Kansas alum, while Huddy went to the University of Missouri).

Then there was Janice Dickinson, star of FremantleMedia North America's "The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency," who marched two shirtless male models ? one of whom was former "Survivor" contestant J.P. Calderon ? to Fremantle's booth and promptly told them to "drop trou," leaving no doubt as to the answer to the question, "Boxers or briefs?"

For the record, it was the latter.
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