Bite Me...News Bites & Rumors Oct 18

Woman biting a piece of chocolate

The old crooner Andy Williams used to sing “Moon River.”  But Andy wasn’t in trouble with the Securities and Exchange Commission like the 3 execs of Moon River Studios.  It’s one Georgia studio project, near Savannah, that just flat didn’t work out.  The claim is that investors were defrauded, which is impossible because nobody EVER gets ripped off in show business.  It would have been the biggest studio project in ‘Merica, with studios, offices, post prod and an outdoor music venue.
Two sad Atlanta-related passings: William “Bill” Nunn III, or Radio Rahem of Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing,” passed away at 63 in Pittsburg.  He was a distinguished Morehouse grad, class of 76.  He was also in “New Jack City” and the Spiderman movies.  And Tommy Ford, Martin Lawrence’s pal Tommy on “Martin” died in ATL at just 52.  No clear cause of death though.  He was getting knee replacement therapy most recently.  In addition to the onscreen stuff, Big Tommy was a children’s book author and started a non-profit for disadvantaged youth.
Music Midtown made it rain…both during the festival and money-wise.  It’s organizer Live Nation Entertainment gave $100k for improvements to Piedmont Park.  And that’s gravy on top of the icing, because they already give $400k every year to Mayor Kasim’s Centers of Hope and fancies up the park once the big show is done.  Best guessing is Music Midtown brings $50M in economic impact for the city every time it happens.  Our Parks & Rec Commissioner is Amy…just like Poehler.  Except her last name is Phuong.   She says the park serves about 4M residents and visitors a year, and that’s not counting Frisbee-catching dogs.
If you’re a gaming freak who wants to work, Hi-Rez Studios in Alpharetta is wearing out their HR department, bringing in 75 new jobs across all kinds of disciplines like marketing, customer service, web developers, digital artists and yes, game developers.  The company’s games include Smite, Paladins, Tribes Ascend, and Jetback Fighter.
So now that Tyler Perry's spent the $30M burning a hole in his pocket on Fort McPherson, he’s got to do something super cool with it, and he’s apparently come up with it.  The first massive water tank for filming in Georgia will be located on the new studio.  Those of you who shoot guerilla-style at the Georgia Aquarium must be jelly.  Now he can shoot “Madea Joins the Navy.”  Overall, the ol’ Fort will have at least 14 stages and should be completely done in late 2017.
If you were an extra on “MacGyver,” you just might get your shot at background stardom again.  The reboot from CBS has been picked up for a second, 22-episode season.  It shoots at Mailing Avenue Stageworks.  It got the renewal despite falling numbers; the pilot did really well but it fell off about 3M after 4 episodes.  We doubt your background acting was to blame.
Fingers crossed for local gal (sexist thing to call a woman, I know) Beth Keener, who’s been kicking butt trying to be Kelly Ripa’s new co-host.  She’s a local actress who’s apparently quite likeable, and as of this writing she’s in the top 5.  The show flew her up to NY to do silly things and try to get online votes.  The sole winner will be picked Friday, October 21.  Beth, by the way, looks NOTHING like Michael Strahan.