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Archive for October, 2010

Dish, Fox resolve month-long dispute over Fox Sports, FX, NatGeo

sons_of_anarchy_season-3Dish Network and Fox finally came to an agreement today over carriage fees for Fox Sports channels, FX and the National Geographic Channel. Dish and Fox agreed to lift the black-out on programming that has affected Dish customers the past four weeks.

During that time, sports fans were left in the dark for two of Bobby Cox’s final regular season games for the Braves and several SEC football match-ups. FX fans missed several episodes of “Sons of Anarchy,” “Terriers” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” National Geographic followers had to live without “The Dog Whisperer,” among other shows.

Dish a month ago said Fox was asking for too much of an increase in its rates, mostly focused around its sports channels, which tend to be more expensive than the entertainment channels. (ESPN charges more than $4 per subscriber, for example.)

This multi-year deal, details of which were not disclosed, also means Fox won’t be pulling its Fox broadcast network, home to “Glee” and “House,” …

Continue reading Dish, Fox resolve month-long dispute over Fox Sports, FX, NatGeo »

Local producer shooting Asian-American sitcom ‘The Chin Chens’

MargaretCho_smIn 1994, Margaret Cho broke new ground by becoming the first Asian American to helm a sitcom which featured mostly Asian Americans. Though it was supposedly inspired by her stand-up act, the decidedly unfunny show was quickly subsumed by executive meddling and was axed after 19 episodes.

No show with a heavily Asian-American cast made it on air again until this past fall’s “Outsourced,” an NBC comedy set at a call center in India. Though the primary lead is a white guy, the cast is primarily of South Asian descent. Reviews have been mixed, but ratings have been good enough for NBC to give it an entire season run.

New actress Hanh Hoa plays the grandmother in a new sitcom shot in Norcross named  "Chin Chens." Will Holland (right) is creator and lead writer.

New actress Hanh Hoa plays the grandmother in a new sitcom shot in Norcross named "Chin Chens." Will Hollins (right) is creator and lead writer.

Now in Atlanta, creator and lead writer Will Hollins is trying to mine humor from Asian-American culture in a sitcom he’s calling “The Chin Chens.” It focuses on a family with three children led by a Chinese American …

Continue reading Local producer shooting Asian-American sitcom ‘The Chin Chens’ »

‘America’s Got Talent’ coming to Cobb Energy Centre Nov. 6; we talk to Prince Poppycock

Prince-Poppycock-on-Americas-Got-Talent-Audtion-Video

Viewers of NBC’s popular summer reality series “America’s Got Talent” over the years seem to prefer good old-fashioned singers, no matter how many wacky knife swallowers and magic acts the producers throw out there.

Within the singer category, they absolutely adore pop-opera acts. The 2008 winner was an opera singer. Last year, the runner-up was an opera singer. This past summer, two operatic performers landed in the top four.

One, 10-year-old Jackie Evancho, is a young prodigy with angelic vocal skills.  (She unfortunately won’t be at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center show Saturday featuring the top 10 acts. Given her age, her parents wanted her to spend less time on the road.)

But the other finalist, Prince Poppycock, went further than many people expected. Played by John Quale, an openly gay performing artist, the flamboyant character is a dandy who dons 18th century wigs and outfits and sings operettas with infectious fun, bravado and grace.

“I used to do my …

Continue reading ‘America’s Got Talent’ coming to Cobb Energy Centre Nov. 6; we talk to Prince Poppycock »

You can see ‘Sarah Palin’s Alaska’ from Atlanta

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TLC is offering Atlanta an opportunity to sample its new series “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” in a special theater screening on Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m.at the Carmike 12 in Snellville.

Tickets are free, available on a first-come, first-serve basis and can be accessed at TLC.com/SPAlaska-Atlanta.

This widely-anticipated eight-part documentary (nope, TLC is not calling it a reality series) takes viewers into the state through Palin’s eyes.

According to the press release:

In each episode, various family members join Sarah as she shares the state she knows and loves – from salmon fishing in Bristol Bay to hiking along one of our country’s most breathtaking glaciers. Along with Alaska’s great wilderness, the Palins encounter Alaska’s fascinating residents and share what it takes to thrive in the country’s largest state.

The series debuts Nov. 14 at 9 p.m.

Here’s the trailer:

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

Continue reading You can see ‘Sarah Palin’s Alaska’ from Atlanta »

Metro Atlanta publicist hopes ‘Apprentice’ gig helps her get a job

KellySmithBeaty2This fall’s “The Apprentice” has been a major ratings dud, drawing fewer than four million viewers a week on Thursday nights on NBC. The concept of watching unemployed people battle for a job with Donald Trump clearly has not resonated in this recession.

Based on what the few viewers have seen, Fayetteville-based unemployed publicist Kelly Smith Beaty didn’t get much airtime until the fourth episode. And she was axed during last week’s episode by Trump after leading her female team to defeat selling pedicab rides in Manhattan.

Her big snafu: letting Stephanie Castagnier and Mahsa Saeidi-Azcuy decide to do pedicab rides on Wall Street instead of a more heavily tourist area such as Times Square or Rockefeller Center. “I had reservations but I should have been more aggressive saying it wasn’t a good idea,” she said. The “babes on bikes” concept also lacked originality though Beaty said it was “cute. It was thematic. It worked.”

In comparison, the guys, wearing Roman gear, killed …

Continue reading Metro Atlanta publicist hopes ‘Apprentice’ gig helps her get a job »

Cee Lo Green hosting new Fuse show ‘Lay It Down’

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Atlanta’s Cee Lo Green, best known as part of Gnarls Barkley and Goodie Mob, is not just a producer and performer, he’s a music fan.

So when Fuse TV asked him to host a music show, he readily agreed.

“We were mixing and tweaking my album. I was able to do that in the evenings and film the television show in early morning through the afternoons.”

They had a list of acts they wanted and got the ones who could fit it in the schedule. He got a couple of Atlanta buddies, including Ludacris (last week) and Lil Jon (this week), but his favorite was Public Enemy.

He felt bad though that there were technical difficulties and the show took a lot longer to tape. He wasn’t even sure he did a good job. “Without those distractions, I would have been more comfortable,” he said. “I was just flattered to be so close to living legends.”

A couple months ago, Cee Lo released a jaunty, upbeat song which explicitly uses the F word on YouTube. It became a sensation. The official video has been …

Continue reading Cee Lo Green hosting new Fuse show ‘Lay It Down’ »

Bruno Mars gets a third week at the top of Atlanta Radio with ‘Just the Way You Are’

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Bruno Mars pulls in his third week at the top of Atlanta radio by a wide margin thanks to maximum airplay on Q100, Star 94 and Groove.

Nelly, on the comeback trail, has a shot to take over at some point with “Just a Dream.”

Hot 107.9 last week added F.L.Y.’s “Out Yo League” and T.I.’s “Get Back Up.” And Willow’s “Whip Y Hair” is now in regular rotation.

On Saturday, V-103 added Keyshia Cole’s “I Ain’t Thru.” Last week, it started playing Richgirl’s “Swagger Right,” El Debarge’s “Lay With You” and Ciara’s “Gimmie Dat.”

Groove started playing Nicki Minaj’s “Right Thru Me” on Monday and last week, Eminem’s “No Love.”

Star 94 last week added two songs: 30H!3’s “Double Vision” and Train’s “Marry Me.” (Train happens to be playing Star’s Christmas concert in December) Q100 has added Katy Perry’s latest “Firework.”

Dave FM last week added Sheryl Crow’s “Sign Your Name.” Project has not added a new song in three weeks.

Quiet week in country: neither the Bull nor Kicks has added a new …

Continue reading Bruno Mars gets a third week at the top of Atlanta Radio with ‘Just the Way You Are’ »

‘The Walking Dead’ heats up Atlanta with zombies

Andrew Lincoln, playing lead character Rick Grimes, tries to get away from zombies by the Federal Court of Appeals on Forsyth St.

Andrew Lincoln, playing lead character Rick Grimes, tries to get away from zombies by the Federal Court of Appeals on Forsyth St.

On a sweltering June day in Grant Park, a child whacks a man with a shovel.

“Daddy! Daddy!” he yells. “I got something. I’m going to smack it dead!”

Then he does it at least five more times. Fortunately, the man isn’t really getting hit. It’s a scene from AMC’s new series “The Walking Dead.” The boy in the show thinks he hit a zombie when in fact, he’s a human named Rick Grimes.

Grimes is  a small-town cop who had been shot and falls into a coma. Weeks later, he awakens to find the world overtaken by zombies. He journeys to Atlanta, thinking it’s a refuge. It’s not.

“The Walking Dead” is AMC’s first original horror series, playing off a popular comic book series. It debuts Sunday at 10 p.m. on Halloween as part of AMC’s annual Fearfest. It packs plenty of gore, guts and zombie brain mush.

But since this is AMC, home to Emmy-winning series …

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Who is sixth out on ‘Dancing With the Stars’?

Audrina Patridge with her dancing partner Tony Dovolani

Audrina Patridge with her dancing partner Tony Dovolani

Audrina Patridge, in a bit of a surprise, was ousted sixth on “Dancing With the Stars” Tuesday night.

From a technical standpoint, Patridge was quite good each week and even ended up on top of the leader board week three with her waltz. She has a dancer’s build and clearly worked hard. But she lacked charm and struggled to connect with whatever character she was playing on stage.

Was Audrina Patridge the right person to go this week?

  • Yes. She was boring.
  • No! There were others who should have gone home first.

View Results

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“I had so much fun and made such good, new friends,” she said blandly after getting eliminated.

Personally, I didn’t think she’d have much of a following and would be eliminated earlier. But she was a better dancer than expected and those MTV “Hills” fans kept her around awhile.

Although early favorite Jennifer Grey was not told until the end that she was safe, Tom …

Continue reading Who is sixth out on ‘Dancing With the Stars’? »

Gallery 63’s ‘Auction Kings’ debuts Oct. 26 on Discovery

The Gallery 63 crew, from left to right: owner Paul Brown, office manager Cindy Shook, handyman Delfino Ramos and assistant manager/picker Jon Hammond.

The Gallery 63 crew, from left to right: owner Paul Brown, office manager Cindy Shook, handyman Delfino Ramos and assistant manager/picker Jon Hammond.

In just a few hours, Discovery Channel’s “Auction Kings” debuts featuring Atlanta’s Gallery 63.

“We’re all kinds of whipped up,” Brown said today, just a few hours before the 10 p.m. debut. “It’s been a roller coaster but mostly downhill and fast.”

I wrote about this show six months ago when Discovery was beginning to shoot it. Brown said he’s gotten a ton of calls and emails already just from the promos.

I sampled the first episode and it’s a breezy 30 minutes featuring some unusual finds: a four-billion-year-old asteroid found in Russia in 1947, a Nazi handbook circa 1936, a possible “Gone With the Wind” first edition signed by Margaret Mitchell and a vampire killing kit from the late 1800s.

The sellers provide descriptions of the items. Brown finds experts to confirm or debunk a particular item’s value and/or authenticity. …

Continue reading Gallery 63’s ‘Auction Kings’ debuts Oct. 26 on Discovery »