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Elon grad competing on CW singing show

Elon graduate and country musician Jenny Leigh Freeman is the latest singer with local ties hoping to make it big on a national singing competition show.

Freeman is competing on the CW network's new series, "The Next," a show on which big music stars participate in an intense 72-hour mentoring session with an undiscovered singer, working to groom the up-and-comer for a chance at a record deal.

Freeman, a Maryland native who currently lives and performs in Baltimore, appeared on the August 23 episode of "The Next," where she was mentored by country singer John Rich. She competed against three other performers in the Baltimore round, and though she didn't win that round, she still has a chance to move to the semi-final round and compete against singers from Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Dallas and Orlando.

That's where you come in. . . .

"Breaking Pointe" shows ballet isn't for the faint of heart

With most workplace reality shows, there's really nothing at stake. The drama is for drama's sake and the viewer's amusement.

That's not true in "Breaking Pointe" (8 tonight, CW), a six-episode series that follows the Salt Lake City Ballet Company, Ballet West. In the first episodes we not only meet the dancers, we meet them during the week when they are -- or are not -- being offered year-long contracts. And one gets cut. There are real consequences here.

After all, these are talented people trying to make a life in a profession that's as difficult to get entry into as the NFL. And, as the show points, out, the dancers are as athletic as football playesr, and punish and push their bodies like them too.

Tift Merritt to appear on CW drama "Hart of Dixie"

UPDATE: The CW has moved this episode to Feb. 6. Raleigh native Tift Merritt will get some primetime network television exposure Monday on the CW drama "Hart of Dixie."

Merritt, a Grammy nominated singer-songwriter, will premiere her new song "Sweet Spot" on the show's Valentine's Day episode. "Hart of Dixie" is set in the fictional small town of Blue Bell, Alabama. The show's pilot was shot in Wilmington but subsequent filming moved to Los Angeles.

In the January 30 February 6 episode, Merritt plays herself, performing "Sweet Spot" with two of her band members at the town's annual Valentine's dance.

'One Tree Hill' wrap sale in Wilmington

The CW series "One Tree Hill" will wrap next week after nine seasons of production in Wilmington.

What happens next will be a huge "wrap sale," and your chance to own some of the clothing and other items used on the show.

The Wilmington Star-News wrote about the wrap sale, which will begin with a tag sale of about 15,000 pieces of wardrobe items, artwork and linens with fixed prices available for purchase December 2-4. The next weekend, December 9-11, furniture and appliances will be auctioned. They quote a marketer of the event, managed by Auction Company of Wilmington, as saying the more in-demand items will be auctioned the afternoon of December 10.

Screen Gems Studios is located at 1223 23rd Street in Wilmington. There's more detailed information about the auction items (including photos) and times at the Auction Company of Wilmington website.

Go get some stuff!

Charlotte native gets Kevin Williamson show for fall

Britt Robertson, the young Charlotte native who starred in the CW's "Life Unexpected," has been tapped to star in a new show slated to air on the same network this fall.

Robertson will star in "The Secret Circle," a drama based on a three-book series from "The Vampire Diaries" author L.J. Smith. Robertson will play a young woman who moves to a new town and discovers she's not only a witch but also the key to unlocking a centuries-old battle of good vs. evil.

Sound familiar? Yeah, it sounds an awful lot like "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Which we love! So yes!

"The Secret Circle" is being co-written and exec-produced by another North Carolina native, Kevin Williamson of 'Scream" fame, who currently has a CW hit with "The Vampire Diaries." The Hollywood Reporter says Liz Freidlander will direct the pilot.

"Life Unexpected" ran for two seasons on The CW. 

UNC School of Arts dean has cameo on "Gossip Girl"

Ethan Stiefel, the School of Dance dean at the North Carolina School of the Arts, will make a cameo appearance on the CW drama "Gossip Girl" Monday night.

Stiefel will appear with his partner, Gillian Murphy, a UNC School of the Arts alumna. Stiefel and Murphy (in the center at left) are both principlal dancers with the American Ballet Theatre, and they will appear on the show as themselves.

Did they find "America's Next Top Model" in Raleigh?

 

Last week, Happiness decided to get out of the office and go to the local search for "America's Next Top Model," at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences.

Want to feel old and plump? Head over to a model audition!

We arrived early so the line wasn't long, but there were some lovely, leggy ladies waiting.

"Life Unexpected" an unexpected gem

"Life Unexpected," which debuts tonight on The CW, is way better than most CW fare of late. In fact -- and this is the ultimate compliment -- it's a little reminiscent of "Gilmore Girls" (but darker and without the distractingly wacky townfolk).

It's about a fifteen-year-old girl in Portland, Oregon, the product of a high school one night stand who has been cruelly bounced around the foster care system her entire life.

Lux (played by Brittany Robertson, who is from Charlotte) is about to turn 16 and wants to be emancipated from the system, so she finds her real father to ask him to officially sign away his rights. 

What to Watch: Josh Groban guests on Glee

America's Got Talent (8pm, NBC) -  In the season 4 finale, a winner is announced and takes home $1 million. British singer Susan Boyle will perform, as will Shakira, Leona Lewis and Rascal Flatts

The Beautiful Life (9pm, CW) - Tonight is the pilot for a new CW show exec produced by Ashton Kutcher about up-and-coming models in the New York fashion world. Sara Paxton, Elle Macpherson, and Mischa Barton (all at left) star.

Glee (9pm, Fox) - Will neglects the Glee club while forming an all-male acapela group, so the kids hire a well-known choreographer to assist them. Josh Groban stars as himself.

BIO Remembers Patrick Swayze (10pm, A&E) - A special look back at the life of late actor Patrick Swayze. There's also a marathon of Swayze's A&E tv show "The Beast" from 2pm-6pm, and again at 11pm. "The Beast" aired on A&E last season.

What to Watch on Friday: Michael Jordan, LaToya Jackson, and vital repeats

Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement From Springfield, Massachusetts (6:30, ESPN) - UNC and Chicago Bulls superstar Michael Jordan is among the 2009 class being enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame. Also, David Robinson, John Stockton, C. Vivian Stringer, and Jerry Sloan.

Vampire Diaries (8pm, CW) - If you missed Thursday night's premiere, you can catch a repeat tonight. Then watch a repeat of the "Melrose Place" premiere from Tuesday night at 9pm. 

Glee (9pm, Fox) - Ditto for "Glee." I'm so glad Fox is showing the "Glee" premiere for a second time. They can't show it too many times for me! If you didn't see it Wednesday, please please watch it tonight. Cheerios coach Jane Lynch (right) is the show stealer.

Monk (9pm, USA) - Jay Mohr guest stars as a defense attorney who gets Monk on the stand and questions his unusual investigative techniques. 

20/20 (10pm, ABC) - LaToya Jackson talks to Barbara Walters. If that's not enough, LaToya will also appear on "The View" on Monday. 

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