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Dinges: Austin gets exposure on Bravo, Syfy shows

Gary Dinges
Austin magician Marcus Eddie will appear on Syfy’s ‘Wizard Wars.’

Reality TV’s undying love for Austin continues, with two more shows focusing their attention on our fair city.

Bravo was in town recently, filming at four restaurants for “Best New Restaurant,” a new show from chef Gordon Ramsay’s production company that’ll be hosted by “Top Chef’s” Tom Colicchio.

The locations were super secret … until now. The cable network tells me the local restaurants producers selected were Barlata Tapas Bar, Porter Ale House Gastropub, Restaurant Jezebel and Swift’s Attic.

The show also visited four restaurants apiece in three other cities: Los Angeles, Miami and New York.

In July, diners were quizzed after chowing down at the four Austin restaurants. Their reactions were filmed and will air on the show.

Restaurants will be judged on their overall concept, as well as the quality of the dishes served, hospitality and decor, with the winner getting a writeup in Bon Appetit magazine

“’Best New Restaurant’ is a fast-paced, emotional show that reveals not only the behind-the-scenes effort it takes to run a successful restaurant, but also how passionate owners and chefs are about their businesses,” said Jenn Levy, senior vice president of current production for Bravo Media. “Austin provided some incredibly impressive new restaurants that are strong competitors and will do Texas proud.”

The show is set to premiere in January. Look for more details as the debut episode approaches.

Bravo’s sister network, Syfy, also has its eye on Austin.

Look for local magician Marcus Eddie at 9 p.m. Tuesday on “Wizard Wars,” a magic competition.

Eddie, 35, says he’s been hooked on magic since he was a child.

When he’s not on primetime TV, Eddie can be found performing at private events and restaurants around town.

“My love of magic goes back to when I received a magic kit at 5 years old,” he said. “In first grade, the principal of my school made a rock disappear right in front of my eyes, and from that moment, I knew I was going to be a magician. I would study from books in the school library, making my own props out of toy boxes and duct tape.

“Eventually, I won several awards competing in magic competitions. Now, I’m creating original magic and consulting for other magicians, but soon I hope to present my show to the world.”

The winners of “Wizard Wars” will be crowned Sept. 23, with the top team walking away with $10,000.

“The experience of competing on ‘Wizard Wars,’ was amazing,” Eddie said. “I’ve been waiting for this type of platform to showcase the creativity that goes into making the impossible happen. I’ve been creating and performing magic for over 20 years, so when the opportunity came, I was ready.”

Around the dial …

Morning co-host Alex O’Neal has departed Majic 95.5. He’s been replaced by Stephen Michael Kerr, a 24-year veteran of the radio station who most recently served as afternoon host. The station has also dumped the nationally syndicated “Delilah” show. … Nielsen is out with its rankings for the 2014-15 TV season, and Austin has moved up one spot. We’re now the 39th largest market in the nation, with 729,300 TV households. … San Marcos-based Grande Communications has renewed its sponsorship deal with Texas State University athletics through 2017. … Read my blog at or follow @gdinges on Twitter to get the latest updates on local radio and TV stations.