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Archive for June, 2009

BET Awards get record ratings thanks to Michael Jackson

Sunday night’s BET Awards drew 10.7 million viewers, the most ever for a cable awards show and more than even the “Jon & Kate” divorce announcement episode earlier in the week.

With Michael Jackson on people’s minds and an array of tributes for the late singer, viewers flocked to BET for some catharsis. Locally, the show did even better, drawing a whopping 558,000 viewers, comparable to a typical “American Idol” episode this past season.

This despite complaints online that the show dragged on way too long, save for Janet Jackson’s emotional appearance at the end.

The post-show drew another 5.4 million and the preview episode of “Tina & Toya,” featuring T.I.’s baby’s mama Tiny and Lil Wayne’s ex Toya, brought in 3.8 million.

The only broadcast programs last week that did better than the BET Awards show were a repeat of CBS’s “NCIS” and NBC’s debut of “America’s Got …

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Tyler Perry eyeing another “House of Payne” spinoff

Remember “All in the Family” spawned multiple spinoffs including “Maude” and “The Jeffersons”?

Tyler Perry is trying the same thing with his TBS sitcom “House of Payne.” Already, it has led to a successful “Meet the Browns” spinoff. Now, according to Hollywood Reporter, he’s considering a spinoff with a minor character on “Payne” starring Gary Owen, who plays a barber on the original show.

Owen’s stint on “Payne” stems from a chance meeting with Perry last year on radio’s “The Tom Joyner Morning Show,” according to the trade publication.

Owen, the only white man to host BET’s “ComicView,” has appeared in such films as “Daddy Day Care” and “Little Man.”

Over the past decade, spinoffs were more common among reality shows (think Flavor Flav and New York on VH1) and dramas (CSI’s and Law & Order are the prime examples.). But Perry is in a league of his …

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Idol-like “Gospel Dream” features three Georgia finalists

The top 10 finalists for the “American Idol”-style show on Atlanta-based Gospel Music Channel’s “Gospel Dream” includes three Georgia finalists:

Ashli Marie Pritchett
Hometown: Thomaston, GA
Audition city: Atlanta
Sixteen-year-old Ashli Marie counts Natalie Grant, Martina McBride, Rascal Flatts, and Carrie Underwood as her musical influences. For Ashli Marie, music is a family affair. She sings at churches with her brother, who plays guitar and piano, and she receives plenty of encouragement from her mom who is also a singer. Ashli Marie takes voice lessons weekly, and hopes to attend Hillsong College in Australia (if she doesn’t win Gospel Dream)!

Tim Stylez
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Audition city: Atlanta
Tim, 27, has recently made some big changes in his life. He recently dealt with some pretty big things… but his mother’s faith and encouragement helped him through. He’s now doing musical theater, auditioning for movies and reaching for his Gospel Dream! Tim is single and …

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Radio airplay of Michael Jackson tracks exploded last week

No surprise that radio stations in all sorts of formats played plenty of Michael Jackson the moment reports of his death came out Thursday evening.

On Wednesday, the day before his death, according to Mediabase 24/7 and a report from radio-info.com, 511 Michael Jackson or Jackson-related tracks were played nationwide. On Thursday, with just six hours in which stations knew about his death, that exploded to 15,413. The most-played songs: “Billie Jean” (1,168 spins), “Rock With You” (909), “Thriller (894), “Man in the Mirror” (799) an d”Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough” (708).

Locally, at least four stations played nonstop MJ that evening: Majic 107.5, Kiss 104.1, Hot 107.9 and V-103.

Several others sprinkled in some MJ. B985 didn’t play its first cut til 9:05 (”You are Not Alone”) while Delilah was on. True Oldies 106.7 played “I Want You Back” at 6:57 p.m. that night and “ABC” at 7:09 p.m., according to yes.com, but didn’t play another cut (”Ben”) til 1:16 a.m. early Friday …

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TLC’s Chilli has VH1 reality show coming

CREDIT: Ben Evans

CREDIT: Ben Evans

The Atlanta reality shows just keep on comin’ on. Keyshia Cole. Frankie & Neffie. Tiny and Toya. T.I.. That thing called “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.” Now it’s TLC’s Chilli. Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas, one third of TLC, is working with VH1 on a reality show, according to Broadcasting and Cable.

The Chilli Project (working title) will feature the former TLC star searching for love with the help of relationship expert Tionna Smalls. The network has ordered eight half hour episodes of the program, which is from FremantleMedia North America.

Atlanta-based Chilli, 38, has done reality before with a 2005 UPN show called “R U The Girl,” which was kind of a bogus search for a “replacement” for Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes. Really, the winner O’so Krispie only got to sing with them on one song and do one concert with them, hardly a “replacement.” (See the YouTube video at the bottom of this entry.)

Launch date has not set. I don’t even think taping has started.

Her …

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CBS Kennesaw Wall reality show to debut Aug. 9

Gideon Gyamfi guards the Kennesaw homes behind the monstrous TV-made wall for "There Goes My Neighborhood" on CBS. The wall has steel girders but the exterior is not concrete. It's a facade made of canvas. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc/com

Gideon Gyamfi guards the Kennesaw homes behind the monstrous TV-made wall for

Based on the description here, would you do a show like “There Goes the Neighborhood” for $250,000?

  • Heck yah! This sounds like fun and I could use the cash.
  • Sorry. A 1 in 8 shot of winning $250,000 isn’t worth the invasion of privacy. And I don’t like my neighbors THAT much.

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CBS has given that reality show about eight suburban families trapped behind massive prison-like walls in Kennesaw a name (”There Goes the Neighborhood”) and a launch date — August 9.

The show will air for seven weeks as the eight families vie for $250,000. This is less than CBS sister shows “Survivor” and “The Amazing Race” ($1 million each) and “Big Brother” ($500,000.)

During a press conference this morning, the show producers Jay Beinstock and Mike Fleiss (best known for creating “The Bachelor’), along with the host Matt Rogers (season three, “American Idol”) stood in the …

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TV best bets with Tiny & Toya reality show and the return of Ruby

With July 4th upon us, this is a relatively quiet week on TV.

BET has yet another Atlanta-based reality show called “Tiny & Toya,” which debuts Tuesday featuring the lady friends of Lil Wayne and jailed T.I.

And Savannah’s sweet Ruby is back again Sunday for her second season on Style Network as she continues her struggles to lose weight.

Ruby – Ruby’s Walk Across America: Philly Season: 2Watch the best video clips here

MONDAY
“The Bachelor” 8 p.m. ABC — Jillian criss-crosses the country to visit the final five’s hometowns. And Jake finks on Wes about his girlfriend.
“Shouting Fire: Stories From the Edge of Free Speech” 8 p.m. HBO — A documentary examining the precarious balance between civil liberties and national security.
“The Closer” 9 p.m. TNT — Brenda clashes with the FBI, making life a bit uncomfortable at home with her FBI hubby.
“Dance Your Ass Off” 10 p.m. Oxygen (new series) — “So You Think You Can Dance” meets “The Biggest …

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WSB-TV, Andrew Young are big winners at Southeastern Emmy Award winners

Monica Pearson with Andrew Young and his wife Carolyn after the Emmy Awards. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Monica Pearson with Andrew Young and his wife Carolyn after the Emmy Awards. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

The very presence of Andrew Young gave the seemingly endless Southeastern Emmy Awards an extra bright sheen, while host and former TBS/CNN mainstay Bill Tush kicked the nostalgia up a notch.

WSB-TV for the second year in a row took home the big “station excellence” award while grabbing the “news excellence” Emmy and best newscast. The station has been the dominant news station in town for decades.

Best news anchor was won by a Montgomery, Ala. anchor Mark Bullock, beating the Atlanta triumvirate of veteran ladies Monica Pearson (WSB-TV), Karyn Greer (WXIA-TV) and Brenda Wood (WXIA-TV.) WSB-TV’s David Chandley won the Emmy for best weather anchor. (Dagmar Midcap fans, she was not in the running.) Jerome Jurenovich from Fox Sports & Fox Sports South won best sports anchor again.

The show took more than three hours — not quite as long as the Oscars but there were no …

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Good Day Atlanta adds a third hour

The long-running morning show “Good Day Atlanta” on Fox 5 is going to add a third hour starting in September.

The syndicated “Morning Show With Mike and Juliet” goes away at 9 a.m., replaced by that third hour of GDA. At 10 a.m., two judge shows will be taken over by NY radio personality’s new talk show “The Wendy Williams Show.” (I interviewed her today and will post that talk closer to the launch date.)

Co-hosts Suchitha Vadlamani and Mark Hayes, who also work from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m., couldn’t be reached for comment but general manager Gene McHugh said he may rearrange the schedule so they don’t work the entire five hours.

McHugh said many musical artists have a hard time getting up in time for the 8 a.m. hour so adding the extra 9 a.m. will enable Fox to get more of them to show up and sing. More lighter lifestyle features will also be placed in the 9 a.m. hour, he said.

Would you watch a third hour of “Good Day Atlanta” at 9 a.m.?

  • Sure! Far better than Regis …

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Interview with “Top Chef” man Richard Blais, appearing at Variety Playhouse Saturday

Flip Boutique co-owner and “Top Chef” finalist Richard Blais Saturday is going to take a stage normally reserved for the likes of the Indigo Girls and Shawn Mullins: the Variety Playhouse in Little Five Points.

He will do an interactive cooking demonstration at 3 p.m. Tickets are $25 each here.

“I’m nervous doing this in front of the home crowd,” Blais said by phone from a festival in Gettysburg, Penn. earlier this week. “I want to make sure they get their money’s worth.”

He said a promoter approached him about doing the Variety show and he was intrigued. “It’s the whole chef as a rock star thing,” he said. “I thought it’d be neat. I live in the Little Five Points area. I do these demonstrations mostly on the road. My hometown doesn’t get a chance to see this.”

Blais said there will be a three-course meal and surely, some Blais-infused gastronomy techniques. “We’re not going to do any food from Flip,” his successful boutique burger joint that opened late last year and has …

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