Forecast: September 2010

The month in preview.

TELEVISION
HOW TO BECOME A HOW-TO STAR

Ever wonder how those flannel-clad guys ended up on public television? Now’s your chance to find out, because Ask This Old House is casting for a roster of guest-star painters and electricians. Apply by 9/30, and you could appear on the new season (starting 10/7). You’ll need experience and a license to work in Massachusetts, of course, and a little charisma wouldn’t hurt. Producers plan to swing by applicants’ work sites for on-the-spot lessons. Consider it your screen test. —Shannon Fischer

SPORTS: The Comeback Kid

MOVIES
THE AFFLECK HYPOTHESIS
Given Ben Affleck’s talent for hooking up with career threateners — Gigli, Jersey Girl, J. Lo — studio execs could be forgiven for sweating the 9/17 release of The Town. They should relax. Our number crunchers have developed a scientific(ish) method for predicting success: the Affleck Hypothesis®, which states that the farther an Affleck movie is set from Boston Common, the lower the Rotten Tomatoes score will be. So how will The Town do? Take a look.

<–Far Away = Bummah———Hub Location = Wicked Awesome–>
Pearl Harbor
Honolulu
Miles from Common: 5,091
Score: 26

The Sum of All Fears
Baltimore
Miles from Common: 358
Score: 59

Bounce
Los Angeles
Miles from Common: 2,606
Score: 51

Changing Lanes
New York
Miles from Common: 183
Score: 78

Gone Baby Gone
Dorchester
Miles from Common: 4.5
Score: 94

The Town
Charlestown
Miles from Common: 1.5
Score: 96 (predicted)

Good Will Hunting
Cambridge
Miles from Common: 1
Score: 97

9/25 The Esplanade Association holds its major fundraising gala on the banks of the Charles. Will Beacon Hill residents open their wallets? esplanadeassociation.org.

9/26
Cyclists of all kinds invade Storrow for the sixth annual Hub on Wheels extravaganza. hubonwheels.org.

PERSON OF INTEREST: Ken Burns Goes into Extra Innings


REAL ESTATE
WHY HALF PRICE IS THE RIGHT PRICE

The historic Wyck Estate (pictured) in Manchester-by-the-Sea recently sold for $11.45 million, half the original listing price. Believe it or not, that’s actually good news as far as economic indicators go, says Lanse Robb, the LandVest broker who struck the deal. Last year the market stalled as wealthy buyers angered sellers with insultingly low offers. But savvy buyers recently started making fair bids, while sellers began accepting the cold fact that their homes are now worth 50 percent of their former values. With both sides grudgingly seeing eye to eye, the floodgates opened. Robb, for one, has already cleared more than $25 million worth of sales this year. "All this is part of a giant reset dial," he says. "Mind you, close to $12 million is still quite something." —F.S.


THEATER
EMERSON SETS THE STAGE

The Theater District is about to step into the big time. On 9/23 Emerson unveils its new cultural colossus, ArtsEmerson, with major premieres at the revived Paramount and Cutler theaters, followed by shows from director Peter Brook and Ireland’s Abbey Theatre, as well as The Merchant of Venice starring F. Murray Abraham. The all-star lineup is largely the work of ArtsEmerson executive director Rob Orchard. "Emerson really did the heavy lifting by renovating these theaters," he says. "Once I showed the artists Boston’s creative community, they didn’t need much convincing." —Matthew Reed Baker