Wednesday, April 16, 2014

L.A. Cameo: Slate on "Modern Family' And Its Accurate Los Angeles Geography



Over the years "Modern Family" has gone from barely acknowledging its setting to taking full advantage of its Los Angeles locale. The comedy's characters shop at the Grove, regularly show up at the Century Plaza Hotel (above, which doubles for many locations) and plenty of other West L.A. locales.

In a column for Slate, writer Andy Bowers sees even more similarities between the show and his life on the westside:

Mitchell Pritchett has taken over my office. I mean that literally, or as literally as possible when one is discussing a fictional character. If you watch last week’s episode of ABC’s Modern Family, you’ll see Mitch start a new job at the Center for Justice. They give him an office with an exposed brick wall, the office in which he finds several intriguing notes left in the desk drawer by the previous occupant. But in real life, the previous occupant of that room was me. (I recently moved to another office that also appears briefly in these scenes; it’s the one to the right of the vending machine, a machine that, sadly, they only brought in for the shoot.

If you live or work in West L.A., you’ve probably had a few Modern Family encounters of your own. And if you live around here and watch the show, it’s easy to forget these people are fictional. They feel like real neighbors who inhabit the same world we do, much more so than any other TV show I’ve ever seen. They’ve filmed at my daughter’s middle school, and Luke and Manny currently attend the public high school (Pali) that they’d probably attend if they were, you know, real people. The Pritchett and Dunphy kids use the playground and sports facilities at the same park we do. Claire’s firing range is in a strip mall that is walking distance from my house (although that particular business does not exist), and the intersection where she tried to get a stop sign installed is one I pass through every day on my bike ride to work (thankfully, it already has a four-way stop). We also regularly see the MF crew as they shoot driving scenes—which involve complicated rigs in front of the characters’ car—all over the local streets.

That's nothing new in Los Angeles, even in this age of runaway production. Film shoots are a regular way of life here, of course. And we regularly chronicle how "Mad Men," "Parks and Recreation" and some of our other favorite shows use Los Angeles spots to double as out-of-town settings. But Bowers points out a rare opportunity: "Modern Family's" Dunphy house is actually on the market right now, and for sale at $2.3 million.

OK, the fantasy of living in pricey Los Angeles real estate. That is the stuff that Hollywood dreams are made of.

Rate-A-Restaurant #315: Deluca's Italian Deli

Delucas

Restaurant: Deluca's Italian Deli

Location: 781 Americana Way (Glendale's Americana at Brand)

Type of restaurant: Italian Deli

Delucas

We stipulated: We were at the Americana on a Friday night for an event at the Barnes & Noble, and it was getting late -- too late to find a sit-down restaurant, but time to get something quick.

They stipulated: "Deluca’s Italian Deli serves up flavorful, authentic sandwiches, antipasti and bakery treats in a fresh, modern setting. Enjoy Italy’s finest imported meats and cheeses as well as local artisanal specialties, all priced for everyday eating."

Delucas

What we ordered: PANINO CAPRESE (Fresh imported Mozzarella, sliced tomato, roasted bell peppers and basil on a toasted baguette; $7.50), rigatoni from the deli case ($7.50)

Delucas

High point:  The one sandwich was good enough for both Maria and I (we weren't that hungry), while Evan and Nathan could share the pasta.

Low point: They gave us the wrong sandwich first -- mozzarella with prosciutto. It was Friday, so we were supposed to be no-meat for Lent, and realized Deluca's error when we took a bite! But thankfully they made us a new sandwich and let us keep the wrong one (and bring home).

Delucas

Overall impression: While the market items (imported from Italy) are as pricey as you might expect, I was impressed with how economical our meal was -- rare for an upscale deli like this. I like that Deluca's is around, and is probably a nice resource for people living at the Americana. Given the Americana's turnover rate -- many of the shopping center's inaugural restaurants (including the ones funded with Rick Caruso seed money) are now gone -- I wonder how long Deluca's has left in its life. But for now, I'm glad we tried it.

Will we return: Perhaps, if we're at the Americana and again looking for a quick bite to eat.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

L.A. March Radio Ratings: Good Month for Kevin & Bean, KOST



March was great for KROQ's "Kevin & Bean Show," which ended the month in first place among all morning drive radio shows. K&B posted a 5.4 share of persons 12 and older; a 6.8 share of listeners 18-34; and 7.6 share of listeners 25-54. That was good enough for first in all key measurements.

In persons 12+, next were talk radio KFI's Bill Handel (4.3), Spanish KLVE's Omar Velasco (4.2), top 40 KIIS' Ryan Seacrest (4.1) and AC KBIG's Valentine, tied with Spanish KSCA's "El Bueno, La Mala y El Feo" (3.9).

Second in 18-34 was Power 106 KPWR (6.6 share), while No. 1 in 25-54 was KBIG (4.8).

The biggest rise in the mornings is KLVE's Velasco, who went from 9th to 3rd in just one month.

As for the overall radio rankings, AC KOST is still No. 1, even without Christmas music, with a 5.0 share, followed by KBIG and KIIS (tied at 4.9), KPWR (4.5) KRTH (4.3). KPWR was first with 18-34 year olds (8.4), while KBIG led the 25-54 audience (5.6).

How We Nearly Missed The "Blood Moon," Live from Our Backyard

Blood Moon

SCENE: Our bedroom, Monday, midnight.

MARIA: Hey, we don't want to go outside, right? We already saw the moon on the news, that's enough, right?

MIKE: Yeah. But maybe we should go outside anyway, just in case.

MARIA: OK. [Not quite convinced] Let's do it.

They climb out of bed and slowly make their way to the back door. Right outside, they immediately see the moon. It's copper red. Worth it.


Above and below, pics taken in our backyard at around 12:10 a.m.

Blood Moon

Blood Moon

Monday, April 14, 2014

L.A. Cameo: Here Are the Actual Sites From "Mad Men's" Season 7 Premiere

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On AMC's "Mad Men," not only does Los Angeles play New York, but it sometimes gets to play itself too. We've chronicled quite a few "Mad Men" shooting locations over the years, including the Victorian home in last season's finale that doubled for Don Draper's childhood whorehouse. Now "Mad Men" is back for its seventh and final season, and it looks like the show will rely even more on Los Angeles locales (now that some of the show's characters actually reside in the 1969 version of our city). Above, you can see Don Draper (Jon Hamm) in front of one of the 1960s-era tile mosaics found at LAX. Here are more sites from episode 1:

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(Sorry for the bad coloring here... for some reason I had a difficult time taking screen shots last night.) Above and below, Megan Draper (Jessica Pare) picks up her hubby Don at the Trans World Airlines terminal at LAX.

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Here's a pull back shot of LAX from the episode. BUT wait a sec... that's not LAX at all! It's actually the old terminal at Ontario International Airport. Yep, although the shot of Don on the people mover was indeed filmed at LAX, the outdoor scene between Megan and Don was filmed many miles away in Ontario.

Mad Men

Above and below, here's Terminal One now, which is used for offices and storage.

Mad Men

Film shoots at the Ontario airport are also a regular sight -- "Argo" filmed its airport scenes here.

Mad Men

Above and below, Don and Megan meet Megan's new Los Angeles agent at a fancy restaurant. It's never revealed where they're supposed to be. Maybe Scandia? Chasen's?

Mad Men

In real life, the scene was shot at the infamous Dresden Room on Los Feliz, made famous by "Swingers" and still the home of Marty and Elayne!

Mad Men

The Dresden has been around since 1954, so maybe that indeed is where Megan and Don were dining.

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Above and below, Joan (Christina Hendricks) meets Wayne Barnes (Dan Byrd) for drinks at a New York restaurant.



Of course, most Angelenos could spot that it actually was the Biltmore Hotel's Gallery Bar (below).

Mad Men

"Few bars in Los Angeles enjoy the fame of the Biltmore's Gallery Bar," the hotel proudly states.

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California Pete hits the famous Canter's on Fairfax.

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Not much needed to be changed on this Canter's shoot; as seen below, the restaurant still looks like it's from a bygone era.

canters

I'm bummed a young Rodney Bingenheimer didn't walk by. But other than that, a stellar week one for L.A. cameos in "Mad Men."
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