This episode of Texas Entertainment News, broadcast in February 1996, features interviews with a number of Texan artists, including singer and songwriter Lisa Loeb, country music band Asleep at the Wheel's Ray Benson, and actress Peri Gilpin. Hosted from the set of "Walker, Texas Ranger," the episode spotlights Chuck Norris and his role on the show. Other feature segments include a history of Dallas's Deep Ellum district, video game musician George "Fatman" Sanger, and a company pioneering in the revolutionary technology of high definition television.
Texas Entertainment News was created by media producer Fred Miller in 1996. Hosted by Tom McConnell and Leisa Hart (of Total Fitness "Buns of Steel" fame), its goal was to provide a weekly look into entertainment production and events throughout Texas. Airing on Sunday nights at 10:30pm, it was anchored at WFFA in Dallas and carried by 15 affiliates statewide. In addition to the television broadcast, TEN had an online component- a fairly unique experience in 1996. A total of 33 episodes were made before the show was canceled at the end of its first season.
Carlos Ray "Chuck" Norris is a martial artist and actor born in Ryan, Oklahoma in 1940. Norris first began his martial arts training in South Korea while serving with the United States Air Force. Defeating the likes of Joe Lewis and Skipper Mullins, Norris held the Professional Middleweight Karate champion title for six consecutive years during the late 1960s. He would later found his own form of martial arts known as Chun Kuk Do and become the first man from the Western Hemisphere to be awarded an eighth degree Black Belt Grand Master ranking in the Tae Kwon Do tradition.
Chuck Norris launched his acting career with the 1972 Bruce Lee film, Way of the Dragon. He continued to star in action flicks throughout the 1980s before transitioning to television with his leading role in Walker, Texas Ranger in 1993. The CBS show was primarily shot in Texas, and had a successful run for eight years. Norris continues to make cameo appearances in films as well as television endorsements for products such as the Total Gym home fitness equipment.
Currently residing at his ranch in Navasota, Texas, Norris is an outspoken Christian Republican. He has penned two Christian novels and promotes spiritual Christian living through his website. Norris and his wife also founded the KICKSTART KIDS Foundation, which provides martial arts training to at-risk youth. Furthermore, he is a strong advocate for the National Rifle Association and The Veterans Association.
In 2010, Norris was named an honorary Texas Ranger by Texas Governor Rick Perry.