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Archive for July, 2009

“Real Housewives of Atlanta” opens to big ratings

Clearly, viewers are not bored yet. “Real Housewives of Atlanta” brought home 2.7 million viewers Thursday night, the most for any “Real Housewives” franchise debut.

And that’s far more than the first episode of last fall, which attracted just 656,000 viewers, though interest grew steadily until the finale. That tension-packed special took in 2.8 million viewers.

In comparison, the season two premiere of ‘The Real Housewives of New York” opened at 1.6 million and the season two premiere of “The Real Housewives of Orange County” took in 1.1 million viewers.

The show also drew more than 1 million page views on bravo.com.

Including the 11 p.m. rerun, nearly 4 million people watched Sheree Whitfield’s little outburst with so-called party promoter Anthony Shorter.

I’ll have local numbers next week. I’m sure the show landed in the top 20 in Atlanta.

Continue reading “Real Housewives of Atlanta” opens to big ratings »

Parkview high school grad Corri English spars with Cybill Shepherd in new Hallmark film

Corri English was already a minor acting star at Parkview High School when she attended the school in the 1990s. She had two shows on TBS: “Kidsbeat,” a news break during the morning cartoons, and “Feed Your Mind,” in which she travelled the world.

And like many actresses, she said she was “kind of shy” in high school.

“I moved there and all these little cliques had already formed,” she said Friday to promote her new Hallmark film Saturday at 9 p.m. starring Cybill Shepherd called “Mrs. Washington Goes to Smith.” “They nicknamed me ‘Kidsbeat.’ I was totally embarrassed by that!”

She said she recalled how much angst she had between doing TV and, say, cheerleading practice. “Now it seems like a no brainer,” she mused. “Gotta scoot out of cheerleading!”

English, a University of Georgia grad, is one of those working actresses just trying to make an impression. Since moving to Los Angeles six years ago, she’s nabbed guest roles on “Joan of Arcadia,” “Without a Trace,” ‘CSI: …

Continue reading Parkview high school grad Corri English spars with Cybill Shepherd in new Hallmark film »

Fox’s “America’s Most Wanted” focusing on Vernon Forrest Saturday

Fox’s “America’s Most Wanted” is going to present two Georgia-related cases on Saturday’s episode, to air at 9 p.m.

The show will explore the murder of Atlanta boxer Vernon Forrest (left, credit: AP) last weekend. It will also return to a case it first aired in March about a female escort service owner from Milton, GA who is still at large after having a customer murdered.

Angeline Hartmann, who was known for a time on Fox 5 as Angeline Correa before she got married, produced both pieces. She will often do stories in Georgia because of her past ties here.

“The Vernon Forrest case has national interest,” she said.

As of Friday, she admits AMW doesn’t have any major revelations on the Forrest story, but they will be able to give it more exposure. “AMW” frequently draws 5 to 6 million viewers.

“I’m surprised it has not been a bigger story,” she said. “He’s not only a national champion but he did so many great things for the community.”

Cops have surveillance video of one …

Continue reading Fox’s “America’s Most Wanted” focusing on Vernon Forrest Saturday »

Real Housewives of Atlanta recap, season two, episode one

They’re baaaack. And given how much press “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” have gotten over the past eight months since the first season ended, it’s as if they’ve never left.

The highlight of this first episode is not drama between the five housewives. No, it’s between Sheree Whitfield and her party promoter Anthony.

At first, things are hunky dory as he pitches her a concept for her post-divorce “independence party.” He wants it to be themed around Hollywood and Cleopatra. Somehow he makes this sound like it’s original.

Sheree tells him she wants something “grand, grand grand” for her independence party. “The party is all about me,” she said. But of course. Question: Who’s paying for this? Who knows?

But later, Anthony gets annoyed when Sheree starts asking her questions. They meet face to face and it gets ugly fast. She feels out of the loop. He becomes defensive. Then they start yelling.

She also portrayed her ex husband Bob as evil for not paying child support for 19 …

Continue reading Real Housewives of Atlanta recap, season two, episode one »

WSB-TV’s Chuck Dowdle retiring at the end of year

Veteran WSB-TV sports anchor Chuck Dowdle is retiring at the end of the year.

“He’s the fabric of WSB,” said news director Marian Pittman. “He was going to retire last year and we had to beg him to stay another year.”‘

Dowdle, an Atlanta native who has been with WSB for 24 years, will continue to work with UGA on a weekly coach’s show with Mark Richt and will do post-game UGA football radio work on WSB-AM.

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“The biggest adjustment will be not being around David [Chandley], Glenn [Burns,] John [Pruitt] and Monica [Pearson],” Dowdle said. “They aren’t just my coworkers. We are really good friends. I truly love these people. They are part of my family.”

He decided it was time to do other things and relax a bit.

Not that he hasn’t enjoyed himself. He said he has been part of some great Atlanta sports moments. His favorite: the Braves …

Continue reading WSB-TV’s Chuck Dowdle retiring at the end of year »

Wanda Sykes concerts July 30-31 cancelled at Uptown Comedy Corner

Actress and comedienne Wanda Sykes cancelled her concerts tonight and tomorrow at Uptown Comedy Corner, citing food poisoning.

Co-owner Gary Abdo said he heard today from her agent that she was ill and couldn’t fly cross country for the show.

“We’re disappointed,” he said. “We were really looking forward to having her here. Uptown always tries to provide the best comedy shows. She was at the top of the list.”

In an interview earlier this week, Sykes said she was coming partly because her cousin Angelo co-owns Uptown. She was going to use the shows to prep for an upcoming HBO special.

Sykes, who can be seen on the CBS sitcom “New Adventures of Old Christine” and an upcoming talk show on Fox TV, last came to Atlanta for a show in 2006 and filled the Tabernacle. This venue, which fits 350, is much smaller for her. She was set to do four shows, two tonight and two tomorrow. Although she was not sold out tonight, Abdo said she was trending that way tomorrow.

Refunds can be made …

Continue reading Wanda Sykes concerts July 30-31 cancelled at Uptown Comedy Corner »

Night jock English Nick leaves Rock 100.5

English Nick, who was a long-time jock at 96rock and has been doing nights at Rock 100.5, has left the building.

The popular jock, who hosts “Metalsome Mondays” live karaoke at 10High three days a week, is more of a metal guy and when Rock 100.5 shifted to a more Dave FM-style music mix, it was clear Nick wasn’t in the right place anymore.

“We love Nick,” said operations manager Rob Roberts. “He’s one of the greatest guys. I continue to be a member of his fan club. It was a mutual change.” He acknowledged the music shift “probably factored” into the shift.

English Nick said he was willing to roll with the punches when it comes to the music. “Unless you own the radio station, you can’t choose the music,” he said.

“It’s crazy,” he added, “that live band karaoke is now the most stable thing in my life.”

He said he was a “bit miffed” being let go but he figures it was cost cutting. “The industry is so up in the air, you expect it,” he said. “It’s the nature of the …

Continue reading Night jock English Nick leaves Rock 100.5 »

ABC News hires CDC bigwig Richard Besser

ABC News this morning announced it has hired the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Dr. Richard Besser as its senior health and medical editor.

Besser, who led CDC’s response to the H1N1 influenza outbreak earlier this year, will be leaving the agency in mid August to join ABC News. He will begin contributing to ABC News in September.

He is acting director at the CDC.

Here’s his bio from the press release:

Dr. Richard Besser, M.D. currently serves as director of the Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In that role, he is responsible for all of the CDC’s public health emergency preparedness and emergency response activities. He also served as Acting Director for the CDC and Acting Administrator for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry from January to June 2009, during which time he led the CDC’s response to the H1N1 influenza outbreak.

Here is a sample …

Continue reading ABC News hires CDC bigwig Richard Besser »

“Bachelorette” biggest show in Atlanta TV ratings, Rob Thomas & Darius Rucker top Atlanta radio charts

It was a quiet week in primetime TV — five of the top 20 shows was Fox 5 News at 10.

Jillian picking Ed over Kyptin on “The Bachelorette” finale drew the most viewers in Atlanta of the week during primetime with a relatively modest 267,000 viewers Monday July 20. (It brought home 8 million nationally, ranked No. 10).

The new reality show “Dating in the Dark” held most of the audience, bringing in 227,000 viewers, better retention than nationwide where the show attracted 6.1 million people.

BET’s Atlanta reality show “Tiny & Toya,” in its third go around July 21, lost a bit of ground from 1.9 million to 1.8 million. (Of those 1.8 million viewers, 1.6 million are African American, making it the top show among blacks for the week.) Locally, it ranked in the top 20.

Lifetime’s “Drop Dead Diva,” shot in Peachtree City, in its third episode Sunday, actually matched its first-week performance of 2.8 million viewers. These are good numbers that bode well for a second season.

The …

Continue reading “Bachelorette” biggest show in Atlanta TV ratings, Rob Thomas & Darius Rucker top Atlanta radio charts »

Show renewals: USA’s “Burn Notice” and “Royal Pains,” Syfy’s “Eureka”

Four popular cable summer shows are coming back in 2010.

USA has renewed the delectable spy drama “Burn Notice” for a fourth season. It’s is one of the top summer series averaging more than 6.5 million viewers every Thursday, up about 30 percent last year when it was on Wednesday nights.

Ditto with fellow Thursday USA series “Royal Pains,” which is drawing virtually the same number of viewers. It’s by far the biggest new hit of the summer among cable shows.

Meanwhile, Syfy has already given a fourth season to its light-hearted scifi drama “Eureka.” This summer, the show has moved from Tuesdays to Fridays to no ill effect. Last Friday, the show drew 2.4 million viewers. (The show also airs in the winter.)

E!’s “Kendra,” the spinoff to “Girls Next Door” has been given a second season. There will be 12 new episodes, plus two special ones for December when she has her first child with her new hubby Hank Baskett. The show averaged about 2 million …

Continue reading Show renewals: USA’s “Burn Notice” and “Royal Pains,” Syfy’s “Eureka” »