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Archive for December, 2010

CNN posts lowest total viewership ratings in more than a decade

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Deadline.com is reporting what we already knew: CNN had a tough year in the ratings.

The story, using preliminary Nielsen numbers, says CNN’s overall and 25-54 ratings will be its lowest at least since 1997, when Fox News was barely out of the gate. (With two weeks left in the year, that’s unlikely to change.)

To make matters worse, MSNBC beat CNN in primetime for the first time overall and second year in a row 25-54.

Fox News drew more viewers than CNN, MSNBC and HLN combined.

Every network lost viewers from 2009 but CNN saw the steepest drops with a 34 percent reduction in primetime audience. HLN also saw sharp drops. MSNBC and Fox only fell off in single digits.

In a press release, CNN tried its best to look on the bright side. CNN said it reaches more viewers than the other networks, with 96.4 million monthly viewers vs. 85.7 million for Fox and 83.3 million for MSNBC (through November.) But obviously, its viewers don’t spend as much time with the network as viewers of …

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The Old Spice commercial guy hosting TBS’s ‘Funniest Commercials of the Year 2010′ Thursday

Isaiah-Mustafa

Amazing what one really cool commercial can do for one’s career. Welcome to the world of Isaiah Mustafa. You may not know his name (yet) but you may recognize him as that Old Spice guy, the smug shirtless dude with the hot bod who keeps telling you to look “back at me!”

The visually enticing and wittily written 30-second ad, which ends with the funny non sequitur “I’m on a horse!” propelled him into pop culture sainthood. (You know, just like that actress who yelped “Where’s the Beef?”)

“It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve gotten a lot of work from it,” said Mustafa earlier this week. He is hosting Thursday night’s annual “Funniest Commercials of the Year” on TBS, which has been hosted by Kevin Nealon in recent years. But you can’t blame TBS for latching on to this rising star. Plus, his ad could very well win as funniest ad of the year.

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“I’ve seen the show every year,” said Mustafa. “I love Kevin Nealon, been watching him since ‘SNL.’ To do something he’s done is pretty …

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Can’t get rid of Bruno Mars’ ‘Just the Way You Are,’ now in its 7th week on top of Atlanta radio

He has a new single "Grenade" but only one station (Q100) is playing it.

He has a new single "Grenade" but only one station (Q100) is playing it.

Clearly, listeners are not getting tired of the lovely ballad “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars. It tops  the Atlanta radio charts for seven non-consecutive weeks (sandwiched by a couple of No. 1 weeks for Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream”)

This is what’s called serious staying power! Q100 (90 spins), Wild (100) and Star 94 (68) yet again have the song in their respective top rotations. For Q100, it has been in top rotation for a whopping 11 weeks in a row. (Only five songs at a time get top rotation on most stations.)

Thirty spins behind is Rihanna’s latest “What’s My Name,” which is getting top rotation spins on Wild (97) and mid-level spins from Hot (56), V-103 (39) and Q100 (26). It could potentially take over next week.

Upcoming, I anticipate Katy Perry’s “Firework” will soon be a No. 1 song in town. It’s now at mid-level rotation on Star (49), Wild (38) and Q100 (61) but on the rise. It’s now at …

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Former Atlantan Parvati Shallow first person inducted into Survivor Hall of Fame

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Out of 320 players over 21 cycles, former Atlantan and UGA grad Parvati Shallow was the first person inducted into the “Survivor” Hall of Fame, created by Fancast.com.

“If I were in high school, I’d hate her guts,” said Gordon Holmes, xfinityTV.com assistant managing producer who put the Hall of Fame together. “But you can’t argue with the success she’s had. Having spoken with her, I absolutely understand why people fall in line when she starts doing her moves.”

[UPDATE: I apologize about the poll. I omitted two obvious candidates: Rupert and Colby. Sorry!]

Who are your top 5 people who best deserve to be in the “Survivor” Hall of Fame? (Pick up to 5)

  • Ozzy Lusth
  • Jenna Merasco
  • Stephenie LaGrossa
  • Richard Hatch
  • “Boston Rob” Mariano
  • Sandra Diaz-Twine
  • Parvati Shallow
  • Jonny Fairplay
  • Ethan Zohn
  • Russell Hantz
  • Cirie Fields
  • Tom Westman
  • Amanda Kimmel
  • Yul Kwon
  • Brian Heidik
  • Tina Wesson
  • Todd Herzog
  • Rob Cesternino
  • Danni …

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1160/WCFO-AM cuts off Dr. Laura two weeks early

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Jeff Davis, the general manager at 1160/WCFO-AM, was listening to Dr. Laura Schlessinger on his own station last Friday, knowing she was leaving terrestrial radio for Sirius/XM in three weeks.

He said she was pimping satellite radio and that did not please him at all. So on Monday, he sent an email to Dr. Laura’s syndication company and said he was cutting her short two weeks early. Today was her last day on WCFO.

“It won’t be soon enough,” Davis said. For now, he will put Lou Dobbs in daytime from 2 to 4 p.m. and will give Laura Ingraham an extra hour from 10 to 2 p.m. “I just got sick of her extolling the virtues of satellite radio which is by implication a huge knock on her many terrestrial radio clients over the years.”

Some other stations, he said, have already bailed.

When Dr. Laura announced her move two weeks ago, Davis was much more sanguine about the situation.

“She never got great ratings but it was wonderful to sell,” Davis said in late November to me.  …

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‘The Walking Dead,’ Kyra Sedgwick among Golden Globe nominees with Atlanta ties

The-Walking-Dead-on-AMC-00The Golden Globes are relatively meaningless in the grand scheme of awards. But the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has made it relevant over the years, turning it into a leading indicator for Oscar nominations and a grand party for the participants.

The TV categories aren’t given nearly as much weight as those in film. TV viewers don’t seem swayed by awards the way film viewers are. (Just look at the Emmys.)

Still, it’s always nice to be recognized in Hollywood. AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” shot in Atlanta, was given a surprise spot among top TV dramas with more obvious picks “Mad Men” (also on AMC), “The Good Wife” (CBS), “Boardwalk Empire” (HBO) and “Dexter” (Showtime”).

The zombie drama, which just concluded earlier this month after a brief six-episode first-season fun,  is riding a wave of great critical acclaim and huge ratings.

Kyra Sedgwick, who just announced she is closing “The Closer” on Atlanta’s TNT after the seventh season in 2011, was nominated for the sixth …

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Rachael Ray can’t stop with the cookbooks, will sign another Friday in Atlanta

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Rachael Ray eats and breathes recipes. They seem to come out of her pores. The result: 19 cookbooks since 1999.

The daily talk-show host writes at least eight or nine recipe a week, she said in an interview last week promoting her latest cookbook “Rachael Ray’s Look and Cook.” She has a book signing set for Friday at Barnes & Noble in Buckhead at 7 p.m.

Ray always keeps a notebook handy to jot down recipes that pop into her head. Flying from her home base in New York to Chicago for a book signing last week, she conjured up recipes for stuffed red cabbage, a Spanish style fish stew and a vegetable soup, to name a few.

“I buy these little French notebooks by the dozen and I go through one a month,” Ray said. She said she typically only needs minor tweaks after the fact once she tries them out. “I’ve been working in kitchens since I was 12,” said the 42-year-old. “I don’t make complicated food.”

Despite her prolific nature, she isn’t worried about plagiarizing herself on her …

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TV best bets with finales of ‘Survivor,’ ‘Burn Notice,’ ‘Leverage,’ a third ‘Robot Chicken’ Star Wars parody

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As Christmas draws near, TV viewership falls off and nostalgia sets in with many a classic Christmas movie and animated special popping up.

But there are still new shows to check out.

A pregnant Mariah Carey sings Christmas tunes on ABC Monday while Natalie Cole works with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on GPB on Wednesday.

Three major reality shows close shop for the year: “The Biggest Loser” on NBC Tuesday, “Hell’s Kitchen” on Fox Wednesday and “Survivor” on CBS Sunday.

Two popular basic cable dramas are finishing up as well after brief forays in the late fall: USA’s “Burn Notice” Thursday and TNT’s “Leverage” on Sunday.

And Atlanta’s Adult Swim brings back a third parody edition of  “Robot Chicken” focused exclusively on Star Wars.

MONDAY

“How I Met Your Mother” 8 p.m. CBS — Alex Trebek makes a cameo.
“The Sing-Off” 8 p.m. NBC — The six final groups pick rock songs and guilty pleasures.
“Mariah Carey: Merry Christmas To You” 9 p.m. ABC — Carey sings from …

Continue reading TV best bets with finales of ‘Survivor,’ ‘Burn Notice,’ ‘Leverage,’ a third ‘Robot Chicken’ Star Wars parody »

‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ recap ep 11: the ‘Friend’ contract

real-housewives-atlanta-nene-cynthia-320Of the two new “housewives” cast members this season, Phaedra Parks has been the outrageous one, spouting a fair number of ridiculous and catty comments.

Cynthia Bailey, on the other hand, has been pretty normal and borderline dull. Until the friendship contract tonight.

After the blow-up between Peter Thomas and NeNe Leakes last week over whether he was being “cold” to her, Cynthia stops talking to NeNe for a few days. She is upset being caught in the middle with one of her best new friends in Atlanta and her fiance.

Kim Zolciak and Sheree Whitfield, who admit they know very little about Cynthia, said the times they have seen her, she talks too much about NeNe, not much about Peter.  “I think Cynthia is kind of hooked on Nene – like a little tick!” Sheree says.

Cynthia and NeNe do reconcile in person at Kim’s house while Kim is getting her cellulite “lasered” off using some bizarro contraption while unapologetically eating pizza at the same time. First, Cynthia gives her a …

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The Indigo Girls celebrate the holidays at the Tabernacle with Dave FM

Amy Ray and Emily Saliers play their classic nugget "Closer to Fine" to close out their holiday concert at the Tabernacle December 10, 2010.

Amy Ray and Emily Saliers play their classic nugget "Closer to Fine" to close out their holiday concert at the Tabernacle December 10, 2010.

The Indigo Girls are a joy at any time of the year but for Atlanta, they did something extra special at the Tabernacle: celebrate the holidays with a concert Friday packed with mostly holiday tunes, some well known, some not so much. (I’ve seen them seven times before over the past 18 years, so this one really stood out.)

Sponsored by Dave FM, the show also featured country artist Chely Wright, who recently came out, and local singer-songwriter Shawn Mullins.

With a simple backdrop of an old-fashioned home in a field covered in snow and their trusty back-up band, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers played all the cuts from their recent holiday release “Holly Happy Days” and sounded fabulous. (My colleague Melissa Ruggieri wrote about the album here.)

But they didn’t go the obvious route by larding the album with overdone nuggets such as “Jingle …

Continue reading The Indigo Girls celebrate the holidays at the Tabernacle with Dave FM »