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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Archive for June, 2010

TV best bets with 4th of July celebrations, return of ‘Rescue Me,’ ‘Meet the Browns,’ ‘Real World’

Rescue me

Besides a raft of 4th of July celebrations this weekend, it’s a relatively quiet week in TV land.

On Tuesday, FX brings back the sixth season of “Rescue Me,” which ended last year with Tommy being shot by Uncle Teddy, who believes Tommy contributed to Ellie’s death. All this turmoil threatens the future of the fire house, a target of budget cuts.

MTV’s “The Real World” is back, too, in its 24th season on Wednesday. And with a return to New Orleans, the debauchery will continue unabated.

One of the more interesting shows is ABC Family’s “Huge,” which has an entire cast of overweight teens at a weight-loss camp. Although weight-loss shows are all the rage, addressing this issue head on in a scripted series is unusual.

Tyler Perry’s “Meet the Browns” is back, too, on Wednesday, while USA’s “In Plain Sight” closes shop for its third season.

VH1, which has been choking on dating and rehab shows in recent years, still runs music specials, including two “Behind the Music” specials …

Continue reading TV best bets with 4th of July celebrations, return of ‘Rescue Me,’ ‘Meet the Browns,’ ‘Real World’ »

CNN’s Jonathan Klein defends Spitzer hire

Spitzier parker

Jonathan Klein’s CNN is doing just fine from a revenue standpoint. But its most high-profile real estate – prime time – has been in a bit of a free fall lately. He needed to shake things up, give CNN some buzz, try to create appointment viewing.

His solution at 8 p.m.? Hiring a once respected Wall Street prosecutor and New York governor who took a major fall in 2008 after cavorting with prostitutes: Eliot Spitzer. He’s paired with Kathleen Parker, who calls herself a “rational conservative.”

“When you’re in a room with Eliot Spitzer,” Klein said, “he’s in high def while everyone else is in standard def. He’s so smart, so locked in, the energy he throws into it, he synthesizes all of that. He sinks his teeth into issues and not in a surface way. Kathleen Parker is a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist. She’s clever and insightful and provoking. Together, they make a compelling team.”

Eliot Spitzer

  • A smart, compelling CNN hire
  • A desperation move

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Gallery 63’s new Discovery show ‘Bidder Rivals’ to debut with 14 episodes this fall

Paul Brown, who runs Gallery 63, with employees Cindy Shook and Jon Hammond.

Paul Brown, who runs Gallery 63, with employees Cindy Shook and Jon Hammond.

I wrote about Gallery 63, a local auction site in Atlanta, in March when Discovery was shooting a pilot for the network. The reality program (along the line of “Pawn Stars” or “Miami Ink”) has gotten a thumbs up for 14 episodes to air this fall and it has a new name. Originally “Auction King,” it now has the more pun-tensive name “Bidder Rivals.”

The cable network is now back at Gallery 63 shooting episodes all summer. So if you have something oddball or unusual you’d like to auction off (and also want to get on TV), come on in any time between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. The cameras will be rolling. And no worries: if you just want to bring stuff in to auction and don’t want to be filmed, you have that option as well.

“We are stoked,” said owner Paul Brown. Business is up significantly since word got out and he’s thinking of adding staff.

Here’s the address and contact number:

4577 Roswell Road …

Continue reading Gallery 63’s new Discovery show ‘Bidder Rivals’ to debut with 14 episodes this fall »

Jeff Hullinger is back on the air. Check out one of his first pieces

Jeff Hullinger this past Monday began his career as a political reporter on WXIA-TV after eight years off the air in local Atlanta broadcasting. He spent most of his time at WAGA-TV doing sports but has always aspired to do more. At WSB-AM radio most recently, he did broader based news.

Here is one of his first reports as one of the station’s “Bullfighters,” focusing on the Democratic Lt. Governor’s race.

Continue reading Jeff Hullinger is back on the air. Check out one of his first pieces »

Eliot Spitzer joins CNN, said he hopes people will look beyond the call-girl scandal

Spitzer-parker-updated

Disgraced former New York governor Elliot Spitzer and Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Kathleen Parker will take over the 8 p.m. prime-time spot on CNN.

The show is set to start this fall. Spitzer’s name has been floating around as a possibility for weeks. Parker has conservative leanings as a syndicated columnist. The show, based on the initial press release, sounds a bit like “Crossfire,” which CNN dumped in 2005 in a deliberate effort to get away from loud, opinion shows, the very shows that have helped bolster its competitors Fox News, MSNBC and sister station HLN.

“Other cable news channels force-feed viewers one narrow, predictable point of view; in contrast, CNN will be offering a lively roundup of all the best ideas – presented by two of the most intelligent and outspoken figures in the country,” said Jon Klein, president of CNN/U.S. in a press release. “Eliot and Kathleen are beholden to no vested interest – in fact, quite the opposite: they are renowned …

Continue reading Eliot Spitzer joins CNN, said he hopes people will look beyond the call-girl scandal »

Photos from Real Men Cook event: John Lewis, Jovita Moore, Jason Ellis

I posted my Ruben Studdard interview from the Real Men Cook event Sunday over on the “Idol” blog almost immediately. Held at the Georgia Railroad Depot near Underground Atlanta, several thousand people sampled food by dozens of professional and amateur male cooks for charity.

Here are some leftover photos I took from the event as well.

Here is Sam Crenshaw, the sports anchor at WXIA-TV with cook Esther Caspino.

sam-crenshaw

And Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga) in a chef’s cap.

John-lewis-serious

His barbecue chicken was great!

john-lewis-ribs

Jason Ellis has survived four eliminations so far on Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen.”

jason-ellis-smile

Former WAOK-AM talk show host Shelley Wynter is still hoping to get back on Atlanta radio:

shellye-winter

WSB-TV’s Jovita Moore and John Bachman did some MC work:

jovita-moore-john-bachman

Supervising producer Roger Bobb of Tyler Perry Studios served lemon pepper wings:

roger-bobb-serving-food

Chef Jamika from the 2009 edition of “Next Food Network Star” did much of the MC work:

chef-Jamika

Here were the winners:

Appetizers (Professionals): Chef Desmond Fanning (Mango Shrimp), 33 total …

Continue reading Photos from Real Men Cook event: John Lewis, Jovita Moore, Jason Ellis »

Jake Pavelka (’The Bachelor’) breaks it off with Vienna

Jake Pavelka on the set of "Drop Dead Diva" June 18, 2010. PHOTO CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Jake Pavelka on the set of "Drop Dead Diva" June 18, 2010. PHOTO CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Jake Pavelka, in town to tape a role on Lifetime’s “Drop Dead Diva,” has reportedly broken up with the gal he picked on “The Bachelor” earlier this year Vienna Girardi.

I visited the set of the show on Friday and he didn’t say anything about breaking up with her. I didn’t ask him directly but to another reporter, he skirted the issue about Vienna and marriage. He faced a lot of criticism from viewers about picking her, especially given how much the other women in the house disliked her. (And it appears ABC will take back the $42,000 ring.)

Girardi told Star magazine she dumped him and they hadn’t had sex in months.

Here’s a bit from a people.com story:

“Jake and Vienna have split,” says Janice Lee, a rep for the couple. “They appreciate the respect for their privacy at this time.”

No reason was given. After Pavelka, 32, was eliminated from “Dancing With the Stars” in late April, he …

Continue reading Jake Pavelka (’The Bachelor’) breaks it off with Vienna »

Half of Kelly & Alpha returns to B98.5

Kelly Stevens (left) and Alpha Trivette (right) CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Kelly Stevens (left) and Alpha Trivette (right) CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

This past weekend, Kelly Stevens came back to his old haunt B98.5 without long-time on-air partner Alpha Trivette. It’s not a full-time job but it’s a step back into the game after two years unemployed.

He sent me this email:

I was asked to return to B98.5 to help with voice tracking on the weekends and to do vacation fill in. It’s part time but I’m grateful for the opportunity to return to what I love. It will be odd being on the air without Alpha (first time in over 20 years!) and in many ways it’s like starting my career all over again. I have to remind myself that there are a lot of us veterans of radio that might never be able to get back on the air, so again, I must keep being grateful for the chance that I’ve been given. I still hold out hope that Alpha and I can find something together…but it’s been sometime now and I’m ready to get back to doing what I love best…just thought I’d let …

Continue reading Half of Kelly & Alpha returns to B98.5 »

Usher’s ‘OMG’ tops in Atlanta radio

Usher ft. Will.I.Am - OMG

Usher has upended fellow Atlantan B.o.B. from the top spot on Atlanta radio with “OMG.”

The song is on six stations with 312 spins: The Beat (95), Hot 107.9 (58), Groove (65), V-103 (55), Q100 (40), Majic 107.5/97.5 (2).

B.o.B.’s stay at the top with “Nothin’ On You” lasted three weeks.

Lady Gaga’s “Alejandro” is runner up, 21 spins behind, which is impressive considering she is only on four stations (Hot and V-103 aren’t touching Lady Gaga.)

1. Usher “OMG” 312 (+29)
2. Lady Gaga “Alejandro” 291 (+26)
3. B.o.B. “Nothin’ on You” 271 (-45)
3. (tie) Rihanna “Rude Boy” 271 (+13)
5. Ke$ha “Your Love Is My Drug” 269 (-16)
6. Taio Cruz “Break Your Heart” 265 (-1)
7. Katy Perry “California Gurls” 231 (+12)
8. Jason DeRulo “In My Head” 184 (-3)
9. Alicia Keys “Unthinkable” 175 (+9)
10. Drake “Find Your Love” 174 (+27)

Source: Mediabase 24/7

Top 5 songs on select country and pop stations. (Next week: Hip/hop and rock)

Kicks 101.5
1. Brad Paisley “Water”
2. Carrie Underwood “Undo …

Continue reading Usher’s ‘OMG’ tops in Atlanta radio »

Jason Lee (’My Name is Earl’) plays cop in TNT drama ‘Memphis Beat’

Jason Lee plays a cop with a boss played by Alfre Woodard

Jason Lee plays a cop with a boss played by Alfre Woodard

Last we saw Jason Lee, he and his signature 70s’-era ’stache ended the fourth season of “My Name is Earl” last year with “To be continued” embossed on the screen.

Instead, NBC canceled the sitcom, which saw its ratings drop off sharply in the 2008-09 season. Other networks (including TBS and TNT) considered keeping it alive, but the creators couldn’t justify the budget cuts they were being asked to make.

“I was surprised to have it canceled like that,” said Lee in a phone interview earlier this month.”We still have our fans.”

Lee quickly jumped back into scripted TV, this time opting for a cop drama called “Memphis Beat” debuting tonight on TBS at 10 p.m.

“I certainly would not have been interested in a typical formulaic cop drama,” he said. “I wouldn’t do a CSI show. No offense. That’s just not really my bag. This is more character driven. It’s every much about the people involved and the relationships and the …

Continue reading Jason Lee (’My Name is Earl’) plays cop in TNT drama ‘Memphis Beat’ »