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Archive for August, 2009

“Project Runway” opens with best-ever season debut of 4.2 million viewers

Project Runway’s return

  • So glad it’s back, even if it’s on Lifetime!
  • We waited all this time for that???

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Lifetime’s borderline manic campaigning to ensure Bravo fans knew to go to their network for “Project Runway” worked: the Emmy-nominated reality show had its highest debut ever Thursday night with 4.2 million viewers.

That compares to 2.9 million for season five’s debut on Bravo in 2007.

It’s not the biggest actual ratings show for the show, which has hit 5 million for a finale.

The 8 p.m. “All Star Challenge” sewed up 2.9 million viewers and the “Models on the Runway” at 11 p.m. sashayed home with 1.9 million viewers.

I haven’t heard what Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta” ratings were last night at the same time, but I anticipate the show took a hit.

Continue reading “Project Runway” opens with best-ever season debut of 4.2 million viewers »

Former 99X host Steve Barnes in an AirTran ad, his “High Rise” show gets picked up by WAGA-TV

Former 99X and DaveFM host Steve Barnes was recently seen in a “Drop Dead Diva” episode playing a corrupt contractor.

And in this AirTran ad below, Barnes plays some dude sleeping in coach in a middle seat. Barnes in coach in a middle seat? And yes, the host is Peter Graves, reprising his role from “Airplane” 29 years ago.

“It was fun doing the ad and there are actually some versions where I wake up,” he wrote to me. “Actually, when I auditioned for the ad I was auditioning for a totally different AirTran ad. When they cast me in this one I was thrilled because I thought it was very funny.”

Barnes has worked with AirTran at 99X, Dave FM and for his current online series “High Rise.”

And good news for him: “High Rise” is coming back in 2010 with 30-minute episodes instead of the five-minute snippet season one. And he won’t be working with Comcast On Demand anymore. Instead, he’s got a deal with WAGA-TV. I’ll post more details later in the year as the date gets closer. …

Continue reading Former 99X host Steve Barnes in an AirTran ad, his “High Rise” show gets picked up by WAGA-TV »

The Bull drops “Sounds of Faith” on Sundays

Jim Hutto, who has hosted and produced “Sounds of Faith” on Sunday mornings for 37 years, has lost the Atlanta affiliate again.

Back in 2006, when Peach became the Bull, the country station dropped “Sounds of Faith” on Sundays. But the station brought it three weeks later after some protests from fans.

Hutto in an email wrote:

Their reasons [why they dropped "Sounds of Faith"] were based on ratings. However….some of the sponsors and listeners have told us their biggest complaint was that the program had and undependable start time, and the program management system they used was chopping off songs in mid-message. Also….they admit that they removed SOF from their website and stopped cross-promotion.

I left a message with PD Scott Lindy.

Hutto said he hopes another station in this market will pick it up.

“Right now…we are working on ways to make the program more interesting to hear, and more valuable to Sunday morning audiences before church hours, and for those who cannot …

Continue reading The Bull drops “Sounds of Faith” on Sundays »

New WGST morning host Michael Smerconish meets Obama

President Barack Obama speaks during a radio interview with Michael Smerconish in the Diplomatic Room at the White House in Washington Thursday, Aug. 20, 2009. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Barack Obama speaks during a radio interview with Michael Smerconish in the Diplomatic Room at the White House in Washington Thursday, Aug. 20, 2009. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

I spoke briefly this morning with the new WGST morning host Michael Smerconish for the first time. The syndicated host out of Philadelphia was riding the high of interviewing Pres. Barack Obama for 30 minutes yesterday.

“It was a huge coup for me,” he said. “I was thrilled.”

Read the transcript here.

GST just added Smerconish a few weeks ago, replacing local man Randy Cook.

The man sounds philosophically like Neal Boortz. (Smerconish admitted not knowing much about Boortz.) He’s pretty liberal (or Libertarian) on social issues. He has nothing against gay marriage or legalization of pot. But he’s a hawk on foreign issues including terrorism and is pro death penalty.

Is that enough to give him an edge in the mornings? It’s tough given how few people are now listening to GST pre-Glenn Beck and …

Continue reading New WGST morning host Michael Smerconish meets Obama »

Bad buzz: Real Housewives of Atlanta recap, season 2, episode 4

NeNe, shown here at her recent book signing in Buckhead, in episode four is not impressed with new castmate Kandi Burruss.

NeNe, shown here at her recent book signing in Buckhead, in episode four is not impressed with new castmate Kandi Burruss.

NeNe Leakes is the Queen Bee of the “Atlanta Housewives.” So when a newbie enters the hive, she’s going to get the once over by the Queen.

That newbie is Kandi Burruss, who finally gets together with the other four castmates, courtesy of Bravo producers. Okay, the show makes it appear as if it were NeNe’s idea to get everyone together to meet at a V.I.P. party at the King Tut exhibit at the Atlanta Civic Center. NeNe is such the Egyptian historian, right?

Anyway, Kim is the most reluctant to show up, of course, since she’s on the outs with both Sheree and Lisa. But NeNe convinces her to show up since it’s “for the kids.” Well, it’s for the show, too, because if Kim doesn’t show up, she may not get a paycheck from the network — or the camera time she so desperately needs. She does provide a salvo to NeNe: “Three strikes and you’re out!”

Empty threats …

Continue reading Bad buzz: Real Housewives of Atlanta recap, season 2, episode 4 »

Project Runway: Intro to the red carpet

Heidi Klum returns for Season 6 of 'Project Runway,' now on Lifetime.

Heidi Klum returns for Season 6 of 'Project Runway'

Welcome to another season of ‘Project Runway’! My name is Faith Dawson. Thanks to Rodney Ho, whose Radio and TV Talk blog will play host to the fashion crowd on Friday mornings.

Episode 1
The winner: Christopher, designer of a generic two-tone strapless party dress
The loser: Ari, lover of Space Age soccer-ball hoodies

Season 6 of ‘Project Runway’ was worth the wait, with a diverse cast (age, ethnicity, size, POV),  but I was disappointed that right away the judges booted the designer with the far-out aesthetic, Ari Fish. Ari could have provided some truly artistic (if not necessarily wearable) designs this season. I really thought they would have sent Qristyl packing without a second thought.

The winning design, a froth of black skirt with layers of taupe ruffles underneath, failed to excite me, though it was pretty enough. Speaking of a pretty froth, I hope Lindsay Lohan does not return as a guest judge.

Georgia …

Continue reading Project Runway: Intro to the red carpet »

Clark Howard interviews… Kandi Burruss!

Clark Howard is the anti-Ryan Seacrest.

He wouldn’t know Speidi from Spidey.

But his wife Lane loves “The Real Housewives” series on Bravo. And she roped him into “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.” Yes, Clark is watching that trashy show and finds it just as appalling of a train wreck as the rest of us.

So he had new cast member and R&B singer/songewriter Kandi Burruss on air at 1:35 p.m. (heard locally on 750/WSB-AM) to talk about her finances. Howard said he chose her because she seems to be the only sane one of the bunch in terms of her spending habits.

“She actually earns a living,” Clark said today. “She saves the money she’s earned. The other women just live off the fat of the land and everything is flash and no cash. These women drive me bonkers. But it’s very entertaining.”

The consumer guru taped the interview on Tuesday and found her charming and down to earth. “I think they’re going to have to write her out of the script,” he said. “She’s too normal!”

In fact, …

Continue reading Clark Howard interviews… Kandi Burruss! »

Lifetime’s “Drop Dead Diva,” shot in Peachtree City, renewed for second season

Brooke Elliott and Margaret Cho are coming back to Peachtree City next year.

Brooke Elliott and Margaret Cho are coming back to Peachtree City next year.

To no surprise, Lifetime has given “Drop Dead Diva” a second season and will be back in Peachtree City next year. The network leaked the news to Hollywood Reporter.

The show has done well, averaging 2.7 million viewers a week after six episodes. That’s not quite up there with Lifetime’s top show “Army Wives,” which averages about 3.8 million viewers. And “Project Runway,” which debuts tonight, will likely eclipse “Drop Dead Diva” in audience size as well.

Your take on “Drop Dead Diva” so far

  • Fun show with plenty of personality
  • Too whimsical for its own good

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But for Lifetime standards, 2.7 million is plenty good enough. The dramedy features breakout star Brooke Elliott as a model who dies and ends up in the body of a plus-sized lawyer (plus sized at least by Hollywood standards.)

The show’s biggest name among its regulars is comedienne Margaret Cho, who …

Continue reading Lifetime’s “Drop Dead Diva,” shot in Peachtree City, renewed for second season »

Slimmed down “Good Eats” Alton Brown celebrating 10th anniversary with live show at Cobb Energy Centre August 29

Atlanta’s popular food scientist Alton Brown is celebrating 10 years of his sturdy Food Network show “Good Eats” with two lives shows August 29 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

Foodie and TV personality Ted Allen will host. He’ll interview Brown, show favorite moments on a big screen, test Brown’s own knowledge of his show vs. super fans and do interviews with show players such as local puppeteer Lucky Yates and actor Bart Hansard. They’ll even be live music from Patrick Belden, who creates the tunes on the show.

“Good Eats,” now a primetime staple on the network, has aired an incredible 220-plus episodes. “I think it’s a testament to the subject matter,” Brown said in a phone interview last month during a break from taping his commentaries for “Iron Chef America” in New York City. “Food is interesting. It’s one of the last common things people can talk about anymore as our society has gotten more fractured into micro communities.”

He’s also finally working on a …

Continue reading Slimmed down “Good Eats” Alton Brown celebrating 10th anniversary with live show at Cobb Energy Centre August 29 »

“Real Housewives of Atlanta,” Mike Vick interview hot in Atlanta TV ratings, Mario, Dave Matthews Band big acts in Atlanta radio

The “60 Minutes” interview with former Falcon Mike Vick, which happened after a dramatic conclusion to the PGA Championships, landed at No. 1 among local viewers last week, with 321,000 viewers, far more than normal. Nationally, the program came in No. 2 behind “America’s Got Talent” with 12.1 million viewers.

“The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” featuring part two of the Sheree/NeNe/Kim battle, garnered its biggest ratings to date with 3.3 million viewers nationally August 13. Locally, the show ranked No. 6 for the week in Atlanta primetime with 202,000 viewers, up slightly from a week earlier.

“Tiny & Toya,” the Atlanta-based reality show on BET, is picking up steam in its sixth outing. On August 11, it pulled in 1.85 million viewers, the show’s best outing since episode two.

CBS’s “There Goes the Neighborhood” based in Kennesaw dipped 10 percent in its second outing Sunday, which isn’t awful. It drew 4.45 million viewers, down from 4.84 million. But among younger viewers, …

Continue reading “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” Mike Vick interview hot in Atlanta TV ratings, Mario, Dave Matthews Band big acts in Atlanta radio »