Several North Carolinians to appear on reality shows in the coming weeks

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By Tim Clodfelter/The Winston-Salem Journal

North Carolinians will be appearing in several cable reality shows in the coming weeks.

First up, a family that lives in Sparta will appear in a new reality show airing on TLC this week.

“Risking It All” starts at 10 p.m. Tuesday. It follows three families who relocate so they can go off the grid, giving up not only electricity and running water in what TLC describes as “a drastic last resort to reconnect with each other.”

Among the families are David and Shay Kemp, who are from Boiling Springs, S.C., and moved to Sparta in the series. They are married with five kids, and after David was laid off from his job, they decided to re-evaluate their lives and learn to live off the land.

And in a few weeks, a man from Elkin will get his chance at reality-show fame on the fourth season of CMT’s reality competition show “Redneck Island” — think “Survivor” with good ol’ boys and gals. There are 24 contestants on an island in Georgia competing for a $100,000 prize. Steve Austin, a wrestler and actor, is the host.

Anthony Parigi, a 31-year-old office manager from Elkin, will be one of the contestants. I’ll be writing more about him closer to the show’s premiere date on Dec. 4. The show airs at 10 p.m. Thursdays.

“Friday and Saturday nights find Anthony at his local country bar drinking moonshine and flirting with ladies,” according to CMT’s biography. “He’ll raise hell all weekend long, but come Sunday morning he’s in a church pew asking God for forgiveness. This guy has a heart of gold, but don’t mistake his kindness for weakness. “

Showing a cheeky sense of humor, Parigi replied to the show’s post about him on Facebook with the line: “He’s not a redneck, probably drives his cat around in a Prius,” and went on to say he was stoked about appearing on the show.

Previous seasons of the show have included contestants from Harrisburg, Hiddenite and Rocky Mount.

One of the most notorious bombs in video-game history is the basis of a new documentary being released on streaming video Tuesday through the Xbox game consoles and at www.xboxvideo.com. The video is free, though people without an Xbox Live membership will need to register first.

“Atari: Game Over” looks at the rise and fall of the Atari Corporation, one of the earliest and most powerful video game companies, and how it faced the overwhelming disaster that was “E.T.: The Extraterrestrial.” The movie was a huge hit, but Atari’s 1982 videogame spinoff was an unmitigated disaster, with terrible game play and ugly graphics. According to urban legend — one examined in the documentary — millions of unsold game cartridges were buried in the New Mexican desert. The fiasco is believed to have caused long-term damage to the video-game industry that it took years to recover from, and Atari was never the same.

I played the game as a kid on the Atari 2600 game system — and still have my copy of it — and yep, it was just that bad.

New TV-on-DVD releases Tuesday include the second seasons of two stylish British shows: “The Paradise,” a costume drama set in a Victorian-era department store, seen stateside on PBS; and “Wolfblood,” a supernatural drama about teen werewolves.