Briefs: UGA launches Masters in Fine Arts for film and TV, ‘Survivor’ brings back former Atlantan Parvati Shallow, ‘Lodge 49’ really dead

Originally posted Monday, December 23, 2019 by RODNEY HO/ on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

University of Georgia is launching a masters program focused on film, TV and digital media next year.

Charles Davis, dean of the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, said the 2008 tax credit fueled the mass migration of Hollywood to Georgia. But while a majority of the "below-the-line" crew members are now Georgia residents, most of the "creative" above-the-line folks (producers, writers, directors, actors) still live in Hollywood or New York.

While more creatives are moving and living here, UGA wanted to boost the numbers with a new master program to encourage folks who are interested in writing screenplays or producing TV and film to take that next step.

The two-year program will include one year in Athens and a second at Pinewood Forest, a development by Pinewood Studios and the Georgia Film Academy.

Students will be able to create a TV pilot, a short film or some sort of video product they can market once they are finished, Davis said. “It’s a way to break into that creative echelon, to have something in your hand,” he said.

UCLA and NYU in Los Angeles and New York, respectively, have comparable, well-established programs. So why not Georgia?

The UGA program will debut next fall with about a dozen students and Davis said he hopes to grow it to about 40 to 50 within three years.


Credit: Rodney Ho

Credit: Rodney Ho

Parvati Shallow, a UGA grad and former Atlantan, will be joining the 40th season of "Survivor," which will feature 20 former winners with the victor pocketing $2 million.

Shallow, who appeared on the show three previous times, won "Survivor Micronesia: Fans vs. Favorites" in 2008. She was one of the first five inductees into the "Survivor Hall of Fame." 

Shallow, now 37, has said in the past she was done with being on the show, but clearly the temptation to be in this ultimate “all-star” edition with double the prize money was too much to turn down.

Other former winners who will compete include two-time winner Sandra Diaz-Twine, "Boston" Rob Mariano, his wife Amber Brkich and Ethan Zohn.

Shallow married "Survivor" alum John Fincher in 2017.

She has worked at CBS News, written recaps of "Survivor" for Hollywood Reporter and is now an executive coach, speaker and yogi, according to her Instagram page.


Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

The strange but mesmerizing "Lodge 49" - shot largely in metro Atlanta but set fictionally in Long Beach -was recently cancelled by AMC after two seasons.

The creators shopped the show elsewhere but recently threw in the towel. Wyatt Russell's Dud and his oddball friends at Lodge 49 will no longer be drinking and trading stories about the scrolls.

"It breaks my heart to announce that Lodge 49 won't be going forward," creator Jim Gavin tweeted to fans. "We tried very hard to find a new home, but there were no takers. Ratings, metrics, algorithms…que sera, brah."

Season two overnight ratings were around 200,000 and its 18-49 ratings barely scraped 0.1. Despite critical acclaim, those ratings were not good even in 2019.

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