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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 November, 2010

‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ recap, episode 8: ready to drop a major load of something…

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Kim Zolciak sang her new song “Google Me” Sunday night on the live Bravo show “Watch What Happens” and didn’t embarrass herself.

Sheree Whitfield, in the episode that aired right before,  forgot to Google her boyfriend Tiy-E Muhammad and, well, embarrassed herself.

Muhammad had dubbed himself  “The Love Doctor” earlier this decade, landing on “The Ricki Lake Show” and Hot 107.9 locally as a relationships expert. He also taught at Clark Atlanta University. But he was not a psychologist, as he claimed. Clark Atlanta subsequently dismissed him. In an AJC story in 2005  that exposed his lies, he changed his title to “life coach,” which requires no actual licensing.

But he clearly was still portraying himself as a real doctor to Sheree on this reality show. He also claimed on the show last night that he had gotten a PhD from an online operation. He sounds like he said Ashford University, an online operation which does not offer PhDs and may or may not be legitimate. He may have …

Continue reading ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ recap, episode 8: ready to drop a major load of something… »

Senoia’s Rutledge Wood co-hosting U.S. version of ‘Top Gear’ starting Nov. 21 on History

top-gear-rutledge-wood‘Top Gear” is a hugely popular show in the U.K. on the BBC about three car  enthusiasts doing wacky stunts in vehicles of all stripes.

The show does well for BBC America, too. But attempts to create an Americanized version has been a bumpy ride.

After at least three tries, the History Channel has created a new “Top Gear” debuting this Sunday at 10 p.m.

And one of the three hosts is from Senoia, Rutledge Wood.

Wood, who has done regular segments for the Speed Channel, is kind of a “hillbilly meets a car salesman,” said fellow host and stunt driver Tanner Foust in a promo video.

“He’s an idiot savant without the savant,” added the other host Adam Ferrara, the standup comic who was on FX’s “Rescue Me.”

A University of Georgia graduate, Wood is besides himself with excitement as the show debut approaches. “We are doing ‘The Today Show,’ ” he said earlier this week. “It just cracks me up. I keep laughing about it. I wake up every morning and watch ‘The Today Show!’ ”

For a time …

Continue reading Senoia’s Rutledge Wood co-hosting U.S. version of ‘Top Gear’ starting Nov. 21 on History »

Rickey Smiley brings Hot listeners a smile

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When Rickey Smiley finds something funny, he’ll emphatically clap his hands. When he finds something really funny, he’ll leap from his seat and run around his downtown Atlanta studio.

Nowadays, Smiley has plenty of reasons to laugh.

His three-year-old syndicated morning show, heard locally on Hot 107.9,  is one of the fastest growing targeting blacks. This year alone, he has added 20 stations and is now heard in 47 markets, including Baltimore, Detroit and Dallas.

“I just want to make sure the show is fun and entertaining,” said Smiley earlier this month. “We have competition everywhere. We have to fight for our listeners.”

Indeed, in Atlanta, he faces off against leaders Frank and Wanda on V-103 and syndicated rivals such as the first successful syndicated black morning host Tom Joyner on Kiss 104.1 (who Smiley idolizes) and Smiley’s mentor, Atlanta-based comic Steve Harvey on sister station Majic 107.5/97.5.

After Hot dumped the local A Team in 2008 and inserted …

Continue reading Rickey Smiley brings Hot listeners a smile »

Talk with Bill Carter, author of ‘The War For Late Night’

carter-war-for-late-night_212The brouhaha the past 18 months over NBC’s late-night shenanigans doesn’t mean much in a country roiling over a lack of jobs and structural economic problems.

But for decades, late night comedy has been an ointment, a comfy blanket we fall asleep under with a chuckle or a smile.  Johnny Carson. David Letterman. Jay Leno. Conan O’Brien. It’s a pantheon of greats and a profitable alcove for NBC, generating billions in profits over the past half century. It also makes for great soap opera.

Sixteen years ago, New York Times reporter Bill Carter garnered a huge best-seller chronicling the messy Carson-Letterman-Leno transition in 1992-93 with “The Late Shift.”  He managed to keep it both gripping and balanced.

Now Carter is back to follow the latest twists and turns in what is a much broader late-night landscape that includes Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Craig Ferguson, Chelsea Handler, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Oh, and Conan, too, now on Atlanta-based TBS.

It’s a …

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Former Atlantan Raven Symone in ABC Family pilot called ‘The Great State of Georgia’

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ABC Family is considering a show called “The Great State of Georgia,” according to Deadline.com.

Indeed, Georgia is a great state, isn’t it? And that name alone is fine subliminal marketing.

But the show isn’t based here. And unlike a lot of shows nowadays, this one is not going to be shot here either, that I know of.  Rather, former Atlantan Raven Symone plays a curvy Southern character named Georgia trying to break into the acting world in New York City.

The pilot was written by author  Jennifer Weiner (In Her Shoes) and Jeff Greenstein (Desperate Housewives). (Weiner graduated with me from college, class of 1991!)

One of the producers and co-creators is a former Atlantan Jeff Greenstein, according to his Twitter. His credits include “Friends,” “Will & Grace,” “Parenthood” and “Desperate Housewives.”

Symone was last seen over the summer in an ABC Family film “Revenge of the Bridesmaids.”

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

By Rodney Ho, rho@ajc.com, AJCRadioTV …

Continue reading Former Atlantan Raven Symone in ABC Family pilot called ‘The Great State of Georgia’ »

Katy Perry’s ‘Teenage Dream’: second week at top of Atlanta radio

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It’s another week for Katy Perry at the top of Atlanta radio with “Teenage Dream.”

Her lead over Nelly’s “Just a Dream” this week is 71 spins, with 284 spins: 62 with Star, 130 with Wild (was the Groove until Monday), 92 at Q100.

The song that gained the most spins in one week was Ke$ha’s “We R Who We R,” which is being played on Wild and Q100, going from 33 to 77 spins.

The songs added the past week or so:

Hot 107.9: Nothing obvious but Fabulous’ “You Be Killin’ Em” six times since Nov. 6

V-103: Bugatti Boyz “Another One”

Groove (now Wild): most recent ad is from Nov. 3: Ke$ha’s “We R Who We R”

Star 94: no new ads

Q100: Bruno Mars’ “Grenade”

94.9/The Bull: Easton Corbin’s “I Can’t Love You Back”

Kicks 101.5: Darius Rucker “This,” Sugarland “Little Miss,” Taylor Swift’s “Back to December,” Jason Aldrean/Kelly Clarkson “Don’t You Wanna Stay”

Dave FM: Jenny & Johnny “Scissor Runner” (added Nov. 9)

Project 9-6-1: Avenged Sevenfold “Welcome to the Family (added Nov. 9)

1. Katy …

Continue reading Katy Perry’s ‘Teenage Dream’: second week at top of Atlanta radio »

Jesse James Dupree revved up for 2nd season of TruTV’s ‘Full Throttle Saloon’

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Last year, the Full Throttle Saloon, part of the annual bike rally at Sturgis, S.D., was barraged by the bad economy and a hail storm that caused tens of thousands in damages. That one-two punch might have meant curtains for Michael Ballard’s operation.

But thank goodness for reality TV. The show last year averaged 1.3 million viewers for Atlanta-based TruTV, good enough for a second season. And that popularity certainly spurred attendance to the bike rally, which runs for nine days in August every year.

Atlanta rock star Jesse James Dupree, lead singer of Jackyl and head of entertainment for Full Throttle, said rally attendance nearly doubled this year from 2009 to 700,000. To even open his doors this year, Ballard had to take out a second mortgage and found some “creative financing” to keep things open this year, Dupree said. And the show’s presence on TruTV certainly helped him get that financing.

“Television changes a lot of dynamics and builds awareness,” Dupree said in …

Continue reading Jesse James Dupree revved up for 2nd season of TruTV’s ‘Full Throttle Saloon’ »

Who just missed the finals on ‘Dancing With the Stars’?

brandiThis is truly democracy in action. Bristol Palin’s voting bloc helped her fend off a bevy of better dancers.

Tonight, it was Brandy’s turn to go home, missing the final four. Some in the crowd could be heard booing.

“I don’t know how to feel right now,” said a visibly crushed Brandy. “It hasn’t processed yet for me.”

And though voting is limited per email address and phone number, abc.com makes it easy to create fake email addresses and vote unlimited amount of times, according to this FoxPhilly report.

Brandy, from day one, was a favorite to make it next week for obvious reasons. She has danced before in concert and videos (though she was never akin to Britney Spears.) She’s in great shape with a natural lithe dancer’s build. She clearly works hard. For four weeks running, she was at the top of the leaderboard. While she could be playful at times, she could also be chilly and morose. She didn’t always connect with the audience.

So was Brandy the right one to go home?

Continue reading Who just missed the finals on ‘Dancing With the Stars’? »

TBS debuts ‘Glory Daze’ Nov. 16, a talk with Tim Meadows

imageTBS likes Tim Meadows. He was Bill Engvall’s best friend on that comic’s run on TBS from 2007 to 2009.

Soon after “The Bill Engvall Show” was canceled, Atanta-based TBS approached Meadows to join another comedy but not a traditional 30-minute sitcom. Rather, it’s an hour-long single camera comedy focused on four freshmen entering a Midwest college in 1986 and joining a fraternity.

Meadows is not the main star, but he’s arguably the only known name. He plays a very liberal professor who is a bit lonely after getting divorced and bonds with some of his students, eventually helping out the frat in question.

“I actually get advice from the students,” he said.

Meadows own college experience was brief. He dropped out and ended up working as an assistant manager at a Kentucky Fried Chicken. “I promptly quit,” he said, “after I realized I was an assistant at Kentucky Fried Chicken.”

“I moved back to Detroit and started improv. The rest is on Wikipedia,” he said.

Era-explicit humor is …

Continue reading TBS debuts ‘Glory Daze’ Nov. 16, a talk with Tim Meadows »

The trailer for new MTV version of ‘Teen Wolf,’ shot in Atlanta

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Metro Atlanta is already overrun by vampires and zombies.

How about some werewolves, too?

MTV is taking the old “Teen Wolf” concept that Michael J. Fox played for laughs in the 1980s and turned it into a more serious version starring Tyler Posey (”Brothers and Sisters,” “Lincoln Heights”).

The pilot was shot earlier in the year and got a green light over the summer. Last month, the teen drama started filming multiple episodes here in metro Atlanta. There have been no set visits yet, but a trailer is floating around the Web, which indicates a more earnest approach than the 1985 version. And he’s now a lacrosse player instead of a basketball player. (Lacrosse?)

Here’s the trailer from the original film:

Continue reading The trailer for new MTV version of ‘Teen Wolf,’ shot in Atlanta »