Now called “Design Star: Next Gen,” the show features the 2010 La Roche University interior design/visual communications grad competing against seven other designers for a $50,000 top prize and a TV show hosting gig by redesigning home interiors and unexpected spaces (a passenger jet, caboose and city bus interior).
All six episodes of “Design Star: Next Gen” will debut weekly on streaming service discovery+ beginning Wednesday with just the first episode airing on linear HGTV at 9 p.m. the same day.
An Erie native, Allgeier has worked as a design rep for several furniture, linen and glass lines and for private clients. He’s also got a side business doing drag as Alora Chateaux, hosting a free bingo night every Tuesday via Facebook (with tips encouraged) while also booking paying gigs with corporate clients that include popping into mundane Zoom meetings to “shed some positive light as much as I possibly can.”
It’s unsurprising then that Allgeier has auditioned for “RuPaul’s Drag Race” which may be how he got on the radar of a casting company for “Design Star.” Producers contacted him in early 2020 about appearing on “Design Star” as it was revived seven years after its most recent season.
Then the pandemic hit and Allgeier didn’t give “Design Star” a lot of thought until months later when producers flew him to Los Angeles to film the new season under covid-19 safety protocols from late October to late November.
“It’s always been a dream of mine, not so much to do reality television, but to be a part of a television production,” Allgeier said. “So whenever opportunities come, I’m very interested in participating.”
Allgeier had watched some seasons of the original “Design Star” and has vivid memories of the show’s first winner.
“This was back in the early 2000s when there wasn’t as much gay exposure on television,” he said. “I do remember David (Bromstad) because he was gorgeous and my little queer self was very excited to see something that resembled a bit of myself on television, not in a sitcom platform but more of a reality show-type platform. Since (the show) also incorporated design, it was everything to me.”
But this is a retooled “Design Star” and Allgeier said the unknown of what the show would entail — as well as how it would be produced during covid — proved the most challenging aspect of his reality TV adventure.
“Being under others’ schedules or going into something very blind, that was the hardest thing for me,” he said. “It’s very intense and you’re very much under a time crunch. And going from living by myself and working in my apartment to now being on the other side of the country and in front of a ton of people and being filmed, it was a surreal experience.”
But also one he thoroughly enjoyed.
“I love building things and making things and being outdoors and getting dirty and being on construction sites,” Allgeier said. “It was really intense and really stressful but it’s a lot of everything I love to do.”
‘Superman & Lois’
Given its title, The CW’s latest Superman series sets expectations that it will be a rehash of ABC’s 1993-97 show “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” but “Superman & Lois” turns out to be more akin to “Smallville: The Next Generation,” following in the footsteps of The WB’s 2001-11 series than emphasized family drama as much as super-heroics.
Debuting with a loaded 90-minute premiere at 8 p.m. Tuesday on WPCW-TV, “Superman & Lois” dispenses with Superman’s origin story — including alter ego Clark Kent’s childhood and teen years, adulthood working in Metropolis for The Daily Planet and meeting and marrying Lois — in its first five minutes.
Then the show moves into new-for-TV territory as viewers meet Lois and Clark’s twin teenage sons, popular jock Jonathan (Jordan Elsass, “Little Fires Everywhere”) and emo loner Jordan (Alexander Garfin).
By the end of the premiere, the family has relocated from Metropolis to Smallville, and Lois (Elizabeth Tulloch) and Clark (Tyler Hoechlin) consider the possibility that the boys could have superpowers of their own. There’s also a subplot about a nefarious investor (Adam Rayner) who’s buying up Smallville property and businesses, including the bank where Lana Lang (Emmanuelle Chriqui) works.
It’s hard to judge from the pilot and a second episode what the balance of superheroics/teen troubles will be on a weekly basis, but if The CW insists on making more superhero shows at least this mashup of past Superman TV shows gets off to a rousing enough start.
‘Attack of the Murder Hornets’
Well-made documentary “Attack of the Murder Hornets” (streaming Saturday on discovery+) recounts the hunt for an Asian giant hornet’s nest in Washington state last year, leaning into the horror movie aesthetics of its title.
Filmmaker Michael Paul Stephenson not only scores points on style but also substance, revealing the character of a state scientist and citizen scientists as well as the impact of greed on scientific research that comes in a last-act twist.
Tran leaves WTAE-TV
WTAE is searching for a new weekend morning meteorologist to take the place of Cam Tran, who has accepted a weather position at Hearst-owned, sister-station WESH-TV, the NBC affiliate in Orlando. Tran joined WTAE in May 2017.
CBS renewed Swissvale native Billy Gardell’s “Bob (Hearts) Abishola” and fellow Monday night sitcom “The Neighborhood” for the 2021-22 TV season. …Hallmark Channel’s “Good Witch” returns for its seventh season on May 16; a new “Aurora Teagarden” movie premieres on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries” at 8 p.m. March 14 followed at 8 p.m. March 21 by a new “Murder 101.” … Discovery’s Magnolia Network won’t launch on what’s currently the DIY channel until January 2022 but it will be available on streamer discovery+ on July 15. … NBC’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” will sit out the 2020-21 TV season, returning for its 10-episode eighth and final season during the 2021-22 TV season. … “Bridgerton” star Rege-Jean Page will host NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” this weekend with musical guest Bad Bunny. … Pittsburgh’s Stan Younger, one of the credited writers of the Apple TV+ movie “The Banker,” has acquired the life story rights of Julius L. Chambers, founder of the first integrated law firm in North Carolina. Younger will write a script for the proposed bio-pic. … A new season of “Murdoch Mysteries” kicks off at 7 p.m. Saturday on cable’s Ovation TV. … CNN afternoon anchor Brooke Baldwin will leave the network in April. … CBS is developing “NCIS: Hawaii.”
AandE | Movies/TV | TV Talk with Rob Owen