City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Archive for September, 2009

‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ recap, episode 9: Bring it on down, Kandi!

That vaunted fight between Kandi Burruss and NeNe Leakes was much ado about… not much of anything.

NeNe seemed to pick the argument out of the stratosphere.

Here’s the background: Kandi became friends with Kim Zolciak. NeNe got oddly jealous about it and badmouthed Kandi’s music skills behind her back. Their relationship seemed okay at the Alter Ego shoot when Kandi directed NeNe on her photo. But then NeNe heard Kim wanted to do the “Tardy for the Party” song by herself and not with NeNe.

At Sheree Whitfield’s “independence” party at Door 44, a Midtown club, Kim (in crutches from the fall she had from the Alter Ego party in last week’s episode) breaks the news to NeNe that she wants to do the song on her own.

NeNe goes all passive aggressive. “I have no problem if you want to sing the song by yourself,” she said, when in fact she does have a problem with it. “My opinion is you can’t sell the song without me because of who I am, my personality, everything that has to do with …

Continue reading ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ recap, episode 9: Bring it on down, Kandi! »

TBS cancels ‘The Bill Engvall Show,’ renews ‘My Boys’

Bill engvall show

Atlanta-based TBS has nixed “The Bill Engvall Show” after three seasons and 30 episodes.

Engvall’s sitcom was moved to Saturdays this summer and did okay but my guess it drew too old of an audience, given the old-fashioned nature of the humor and the time slot.

TBS just sent me a statement:

TBS has cancelled The Bill Engvall Show after three seasons. We had a great experience working with Bill and the cast. Bill is a terrific comic, and we have tremendous respect for him. While the show didn’t attract the audience we need to renew it for another season, we’re proud of the work of everyone involved.

‘The Bill Engvall Show’

  • Loved the show. Shame it’s going.
  • Didn’t care for it.

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TBS did recently announce a fourth season of “My Boys,” which pulls in relatively modest ratings but skews younger and has grown its 18 to 34 year old demo.

The beer will continue flowing at Crowley’s Tavern as TBS orders up a
fourth season of its …

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Profile of Neal Boortz


After Neal Boortz was named to the National Radio Hall of Fame, the print folks assigned a profile story about the radio host to my colleague John Kessler. Kessler is one of our best writers but he isn’t a talk radio listener. Nonethless, he did a great job capturing the basic essence of Boortz with quick, neat brushstrokes. I just spoke with Royal Marshall, his show engineer, and he said Neal was cool with the story but was wondering why it didn’t make it online. I have no clue. But belatedly, here it is Neal!

You see the name, and you hear that voice. That clear-as-a-bell baritone with its flat intonation and ever-present edge of barely contained … what? Irony? Exasperation? Contempt?

He makes you laugh out loud. He makes your blood boil. He tells the painful truth.

Neal Boortz. The name says it all. Boor? Perhaps. Bore? Never.

After 40 years on the air and answering more than 180,000 callers, the WSB (AM 750) radio host will be inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame …

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CNN’s Sanjay Gupta gets swine flu in Afghanistan


Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN got the swine flu while in Afghanistan and was knocked out for a few days. But he’s fine now. Here’s an excerpt from his blog:

I am not someone who gets sick, really ever. And this was the sickest I have ever been. I would’ve much preferred my own bed with all the comforts of home – including a wife who would’ve taken great pity on me and allowed me lots of rest and relaxation. Still, I am here to blog about it, after taking the requisite few days to stay at home and not spread my gift from Afghanistan to all my colleagues at work. In case you are curious, there wasn’t much the doctors could really do for me. Some Tylenol and a sinus decongestant (the same my wife would’ve given me). We also got IV fluids, given our inability to keep anything down. Within a couple days, I felt a lot better, and a few days after that – I was back to normal. It was a lot like… the flu – with a different name. A lot of people will get the exact symptoms I …

Continue reading CNN’s Sanjay Gupta gets swine flu in Afghanistan »

A talk with Derek Blanks, Atlanta alter ego photographer for ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’


Derek Blanks, a local photographer, got some great publicity courtesy of “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” in which his “alter ego” photos were taken of each housewife.

Not only did his photos get great feedback from the ladies, he avoided any real drama.

Bravo, he said, didn’t twist the events related to him.

He first met NeNe last year for some photos and they became friends. He suggested to her that they all do portratis for him. And alas, it became a two-episode story arc for the show.

The concept of the photos are to take shots of the same person in two opposing personas (angel-devil, sweet-bitter, et. al), then merge them together into a seamless photo. He has also done alter egos for the likes of Ciara , Akon, Monica and Jennifer Hudson and hopes to turn it all into a coffee table book.

His take on each person–

Kim Zolciak (Stepford Wife/ Mistress) : “I’m not sure she got the entire concept. I would have liked to have seen more expression on her face.” (A colleague of …

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The first two axed from ‘Dancing With the Stars’

The first guy cut tonight on the double elimination of “Dancing With the Stars” was no surprise: the dullish Ashley Hamilton. Sorry, George. He may have your good looks but not your charisma.

I figured either Kathy Ireland (pretty but stiff) and Debi Mazar (mediocre, forgettable) would go. But instead, it was Macy Gray (awful dancer, kinda weird). I figured the eccentricity could help her skate through this week but I was wrong.

Funny bits tonight with the “Loser’s Club” and Adam Corolla’s “pep talk.” And anybody who loves “Dirty Dancing” had a lump in their throat watching the dance dedication to the late great Patrick Swayze.

Continue reading The first two axed from ‘Dancing With the Stars’ »

Football, Jay Leno have big Atlanta ratings week; Daughtry, Toby Keith big on Atlanta radio

Jay Leno, with all the hype, had a big opening week but the dropoff has already happened this week. The first show brought in a whopping 18.4 million viewers last Monday and 411,000 in Atlanta on WXIA-TV. But the numbers had fallen more than 50 percent by Friday.

In the meantime, the Georgia football game Saturday night more than doubled the numbers of the Tech game last Thursday. The thrilling Giants/Cowboys game Sunday also brought in one of the biggest non-playoff numbers in years, drawing nearly 25 million nationally and 549,000 locally.

In fact, that football game trounced the Emmys on CBS Sunday, which brought in 13.5 million viewers nationally and 341,000 locallly.

“America’s Got Talent,” which crowned Kevin Skinner last week, drew 15.8 million viewers nationally, that show’s best ever. Locally, it attracted 347,000.

Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” held steady from a week earlier with 3 million national viewers and 206,000 local ones. Another show set in …

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Jeff Foxworthy interview for syndicated ‘Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?’

Jeff Foxworthy

Alpharetta’s Jeff Foxworthy thought he’d forever be saddled with fans coming up to him and asking him about being a redneck.

Now, thanks to “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader,” which started in syndication this week on WAGA-TV, MyATL-TV and CMT, people now ask him if he’s smarter than, well, you know.

“It’s really not that different,” he mused to me by phone Tuesday. “Both involve me being an idiot!”

But as his fans know, he’s no idiot.

Over six weeks during the summer, Foxworthy taped 170 episodes that will air over the next year. Some days, he taped seven episodes. “Someone had a piece of paper marking off each episode from 1 to 170,” he said. “It was like chiseling away at Stone Mountain!”

“Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?”

  • Still nutritionally entertaining as cable/syndication fare
  • Stale and should be scrapped, not syndicated

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Doesn’t it ever get boring? “No. When I’m doing something like this, I’m all in,” he said. It helped …

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Radio/TV winners in Creative Loafing poll

Mara at the Falcons game from her blog

Mara at the Falcons game from her blog

Here are this year’s winners for the Creative Loafing poll among radio and TV personalities:

Critics picks
Best slice of primetime schadenfreude: The Real Housewives of Atlanta

Readers picks
Best local hero: Clark Howard
Best local rabble-rouser: Neal Boortz
Best people you hate to love: The Real Housewives of Atlanta
Best radio DJ: Mara Davis, Dave FM
Best overall radoio station: WRAS-FM/88.5
Best radio show: Bert Show, Q100
Best morning drive show: Bert Show, Q100
Best rock station: 99X at 97.9
Best urban radio station: V-103
Best country radio station:” Kicks 101.5
Best jazz station: 91.1/Clarik
Best non-com: WABE-FM
Best local sports radio show host: Steak Shapiro, 790/The Zone
Best local TV anchor: Monica Pearson, WSB-TV
And congrats to my colleague David O’Brien for best local tv, magazine or newspaper reporter!

Continue reading Radio/TV winners in Creative Loafing poll »

Ken Burns interview espousing ‘National Parks’ for PBS starting 9/27


This was an interview with Ken Burns I did for print, in case you missed it. He’s passionate and erudite. Expect to learn a lot about American history watching this:

In this day of instant analysis, lightning-quick news cycles and Tweets, Ken Burns is refreshingly old school.

He spent six years working on his latest PBS documentary series, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” and a leisurely 17 months promoting it. His crews visited 53 of the 58 designated national parks. His six-part, 12-hour series finally starts airing Sunday on PBS stations (including GPB locally).

Burns has earned the luxury of time thanks to his groundbreaking work over the past 30 years exploring topics ranging from the Civil War to jazz to baseball.

The parks series follows a chronological history of American national parks from 1851 to 1980, from Yosemite to the Grand Canyon, from Yellowstone to the Everglades. It uses Burns’ signature blend of archival music, footage, historian …

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