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Archive for September, 2010

CNN anchor Don Lemon said he was sexually abused as a child

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While interviewing three members of Bishop Eddie Long’s congregation over the weekend, CNN anchor Don Lemon said he was abused as a child.

“I have never admitted this on TV,” he said Saturday. “I’m a victim of a pedophile when I was a kid. Someone who was much older than me.”

While an expert explained how religious figures use particular language to get minors to engage in sexual activity, Lemon added, “Those are the things that they do,” he said. “The language, ‘This doesn’t make you gay, if you do this.’ ”

“I had no idea I’d say that on national TV. It just came out,” Lemon said in a Tweet Saturday evening. “Sadly, it’s the truth for so many young men.”

Based in Atlanta, 44-year-old Lemon anchors the weekend prime-time program CNN Newsroom. He joined the network in 2006.

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Continue reading CNN anchor Don Lemon said he was sexually abused as a child »

‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ season three preview

Kim_Zolciak_fullIt’s been nearly a year since we watched Sheree Whitfield pull Kim Zolciak’s weave, Nene Leakes and Kim battle over an alleged choking incident and Kim sing her way onto the dance charts with “Tardy for the Party.” Ahh… the memories!

But the women many people love to hate are back for a third season of “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” starting October 4 on Bravo. Lisa Wu Hartwell is no longer a regular cast member and will be reduced to cameo appearances.

Two newbies are coming aboard: model Cynthia Bailey and lawyer Phaedra Parks. For folks who complain the show lacks housewives, the married Hartwell is replaced by Parks, who is also married. Cynthia recently got married. Sheree and Kim are not married and there are no signs either are going to be stepping down the aisle anytime soon.

NeNe_Leakes_fullBravo sent a preview of the first episode. Without giving away too much, here are some notable observations:

-  Sheree’s hair is far thicker than it was last season. She’s no longer working on her …

Continue reading ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ season three preview »

TV best bets with Britney Spears on ‘Glee,’ returns of ‘CSI: Miami’ and ‘The Good Wife’

Britney Spears on the set of "Glee" with Heather Morris

Britney Spears on the set of "Glee" with Heather Morris

Most of the fall season shows debuted last week but a trickle arrive this week as well, most notably ABC’s “No Ordinary Family” on Tuesday. It blends family drama with science fiction, a kind of live action “Incredibles.”

“CSI: Miami,” in its ninth season, moves to a new night on Sunday while “The Good Wife” returns Tuesday for a sophomore year.  On Wednesday, NBC also introduces its latest “Law & Order” spinoff based out of Los Angeles, just like “NCIS.”

And hit that baby Britney Spears on “Glee” Tuesday where all the songs will be Spears tunes.

If that is too 1990s for you, go further back in time with Tony Danza on A&E in a reality show Sunday. And yes, he is teaching actual 10th grade high school students. And no, not to tap dance – but English.

MONDAY

“House” 8 p.m. Fox — A seemingly healthy skateboarder collapses.
“Best Thing I Ever Ate” 9 p.m. Food (fourth season debut)  — Yummy bargains from Alton Brown and others …

Continue reading TV best bets with Britney Spears on ‘Glee,’ returns of ‘CSI: Miami’ and ‘The Good Wife’ »

Kandi Burruss prepping new album, new RHOA season

kandi-burussThe publicist for the Atlanta Football Classic at the Georgia Dome Saturday was kind enough to put Kandi Burruss on the phone with me just two weeks before season 3 of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.”

Kandi will be singing the National Anthem there so check her out!

Kandi, hands down, has been the most “real’ of the housewives on the show (though I have yet to talk to the two newbies yet so I’m not counting them yet). She is incredible normal and unaffected by the fame, unlike some of the others. And she actually has talent and a track record of success.

So talking to her is always a treat.

“I think I’m in a great place,” she said. “I’m happy. The music I’ve been coming up with, I’m really excited about. My relationships with my daughter and my mom are strong. My family supports me 110 percent. Everything is going well where business is concerned. The only thing is to get the relationship life together. Then I’ll be totally together!”

Kandi said she has no nerves about doing …

Continue reading Kandi Burruss prepping new album, new RHOA season »

‘Drop Dead Diva,’ shot in Peachtree City, gets a third season

Not surprisingly, Lifetime has awarded “Drop Dead Diva” a third season.

lifetime-newest-show-drop-dead-divaThe dramedy, shot in Peachtree City and starring Brooke Elliott, will return in 2011. The show normally shoots from March through July or so.

The 13 episodes of season one in 2009 averaged 2.83 million viewers. The 13 episodes this past season attracted 2.59 million, down 8 percent. That’s not a good trend but nothing too alarming. The ratings were relatively consistent from the first to the last episode.

Margaret Cho, a star on the show who now lives in Peachtree City part time and is currently on “Dancing With the Stars,” tweeted the news earlier today.

Continue reading ‘Drop Dead Diva,’ shot in Peachtree City, gets a third season »

‘The Amazing Race’ features intriguing local duo

Birth mom and Cumming resident Andie DeKroon with her daughter, UGA student Jenna Sykes

Birth mom and Cumming resident Andie DeKroon with her daughter, UGA student Jenna Sykes

Over nine years, CBS’s “The Amazing Race” has cast plenty of parent-child combos. None have won the million dollars.

And none have a story quite like Georgia residents Andie DeKroon and Jenna Sykes.

Cumming resident DeKroon had an unplanned pregnancy at age 22. Unmarried, she elected to give Sykes to an adoptive family. Over the next two decades, she had ten kids she is raising with her husband Joe, an IT consultant.

In 2008, University of Georgia student Sykes decided she wanted to know her birth mom. DeKroon agreed.

For the next 18 months, they wrote old-fashioned letters. No emails or phone calls.

“Jenna’s mom knew her child,” DeKroon said. “She needed to be eased into a relationship.”

“I was very overwhelmed just knowing her name,” Sykes said. “Taking it slow by letter worked for me.”

On September 27, 2009, Jenna posted a seemingly innocuous Twitter feed: “Watching The Amazing Race… …

Continue reading ‘The Amazing Race’ features intriguing local duo »

Former Mariettan Dan Byrd talks about life in ‘Cougar Town’

Dan Byrd with Courteney Cox on "Cougar Town." (ABC/DANNY FELD)

Dan Byrd with Courteney Cox on "Cougar Town." (ABC/DANNY FELD)

Former Marietta resident Dan Byrd realizes his role on “Cougar Town” as Courteney Cox’s son isn’t to be a deep, caring person who can help his mom move forward in her life.

No. He’s there to get laughs. Quickly. “It’s important whatever I say is funny,” he said. “Or at least see someone else be funny, as opposed to being true to Travis’ character.”

The show runs at break-neck speed. It’s the opposite, in a sense, of “Mad Men.” No extended pauses. Not longing glances. It’s line-line-punchline. Pow!

“They squeeze a lot of humor into 22 minutes,” he said. “Typically, we run five minutes long. Then they have to trim it down and make this crazy piece of dynamite. We’ve all calibrated our performances to fit this type of pacing. It’s almost like fast forward.”

Entering their freshman season last year, “Cougar Town,” with Cox and the gimmicky name, got more press. But in the end, ABC’s “Modern Family” on the same night …

Continue reading Former Mariettan Dan Byrd talks about life in ‘Cougar Town’ »

Latest ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ features Atlanta Nona Sivley

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Fox loves Gordon Ramsay so much, he now stars in three shows on the network. And his longest-running show “Hell’s Kitchen” loves Atlantans (though none have won.)

Nona Sivley is the latest Atlanta resident to enter the gates of “Hell.”

She’s had a brief sous chef job and catering gigs. But otherwise, her resume is relatively threadbare in terms of becoming a head chef.

This isn’t unusual for “Hell’s Kitchen.” My favorite local cast member was Julia Williams in 2007. Her most notable gig was a Waffle House cook yes still ended up in fourth place. (If anybody knows what happened to her, please email me at rho@ajc.com.  I’d love to catch up with her!)

Fox seems to deliberately cast at least a few people with minimal restaurant cooking backgrounds to virtually ensure bad services in the first few weeks. Ramsay hurling insults at incompetent cooks is the reason the show has lasted into its eighth season.

Sivley grew up in Virginia, went to college in Texas but didn’t finish. She …

Continue reading Latest ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ features Atlanta Nona Sivley »

Frank Ski does not address Bishop Long allegations but said he will stay loyal as a friend

Frank-Ski-closeup-at-mikeV-103 morning host Frank Ski this morning expressed his loyalty and faith for Bishop Eddie Long after lawsuit allegations that the bishop had coerced sex from two men in exchange for gifts. He is close friends with Long and a long-time member of Long’s New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. On air,at about 8:50 a.m.,  here’s what he had to say:

I think there are several trains of thought people are having when it comes to this. There are people who will see a lawsuit as detailed as this one and say it’s got to be true. It’s written too well. There’s too much in there. We’ve seen that to be true and false in very famous cases before. I have to remind people we are just where we are. They are allegations. None of this has been argued or proven in court yet. For myself, as not only a member of New Birth, which I became first before I became a personal friend of Bishop Eddie long and his family, yes, we are very close. We talk often. So I have to give you two different answers.

As a …

Continue reading Frank Ski does not address Bishop Long allegations but said he will stay loyal as a friend »

Who was the first off ‘Dancing With the Stars’?

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Host Tom Bergeron earlier today tweeted that the producers were flummoxed by who got nixed.

Well, I’m sure most of the viewers are, too: the Hoff is off!

The first dancer out is usually some lower-level has-been celebrity such as Shannen Doherty or Ashley Hamilton.

Was it right for David Hasselhoff to leave first?

  • Yes. He was awful.
  • No. There were others far worse than him and far less interesting.

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Former Atlantan and “Baywatch” star David Hasselhoff is cheesy for sure and he certainly danced poorly last night. Yet it’s still a shock he didn’t have enough voters to keep him around even a second week over the likes of Audrina Patridge and Margaret Cho. He is arguably the best known of the 12 contestants.

Maybe Hasselhoff should have competed in the German version of the show.

Another former Atlantan, Disney star Kyle Massey was paired with Hasselhoff for elimination but wasn’t necessarily in the bottom two. He had one of the higher …

Continue reading Who was the first off ‘Dancing With the Stars’? »