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Archive for December, 2010

Liza Minnelli reminisces about her parents on TCM’s ‘Private Screenings’ Saturday night

*Dec 10 - 00:10*

Liza Minnelli is getting her second major appearance on TV in four days thanks to TCM and its host extraordinaire Robert Osborne.

On Thursday, she headlined a Donald Trump fundraiser that was the basis of the “Apprentice” finale. She is back Sunday evening to reminisce about her parents actress Judy Garland and producer/director Vincente Minnelli.

Osborne has known Minnelli for more than 40 years. He has wanted to do this “Private Screenings” for a long time but there were some challenges. TCM,  for instance, doesnt have a lot of Garland’s films in the library and it costs money to screen them, he said. And he said he’s sometimes shy asking friends to talk to him on camera. “I don’t want people to avoid me!” he said. “That’s always been a hang up of mine. I was delighted she was willing to come on.”

He wanted to show the Minnelli he knows, the more down to earth, bright person.

She remembers growing up watching her father work.

“I knew my way around the sets,” Minnelli …

Continue reading Liza Minnelli reminisces about her parents on TCM’s ‘Private Screenings’ Saturday night »

Kyra Sedgwick says: “The Closer” closes out in 2011

the-closer-kyra-sedgwick_300If TNT had its druthers, Brenda Leigh Johnson will be shaking down criminals with that odd Southern drawl for another decade or two.

But the actress Kyra Sedgwick is shutting down the candy factory in 2011 after seven seasons.

She didn’t cite a reason in a press release. This means 15 more episodes next year, not counting the current five-episode winter run.

The drama was the breakthrough original hit for TNT as it built up its “We Know Drama” imaging.

It typically draws six to seven million viewers a week, sometimes hitting eight. (Counting DVR use, it would exceed eight.) Most of its other dramas (”Hawthorne,” “Leverage,” “Memphis Beat”) are lucky to bring in three to four million. The only original drama so far to approach “The Closer” has been “Rizzoli & Isles,” which debuted last summer and one week even beat “The Closer,” a first.

Sedgwick, after four years of losing, won her first Emmy for best female actress in a drama this past September.

“Kyra blazed a new trail …

Continue reading Kyra Sedgwick says: “The Closer” closes out in 2011 »

Life after radio: Rhubarb Jones becomes a teacher


It was near the end of the semester so Rhubarb Jones shared eight pizza pies with his media management class at Kennesaw State University late last month as a reward. But he also announced a quiz for the next class. “It’ s going to be fun!” he promised.

Fun? For Jones, fun is waking up in the morning and teaching college students. Nearly three years ago, Citadel Broadcasting shut down Eagle 106.7, replacing it with an oldies station. Jones’ impressive 23-year run there as morning host was over. At age 56, future radio prospects looked grim.

Not that it was a surprise. “I had braced myself for it,” he said. “The fun factor was gone. I could see them just slowly phasing me out.” But taking a tenet he learned from his favorite film, “The Godfather,” he didn’t take it personally.

Instead, he had prepared a Plan B. In 2005 and 2006, he took masters degree classes at Shorter University majoring in leadership and graduated with a 4.0 GPA. He was ready to teach.

Better yet, when …

Continue reading Life after radio: Rhubarb Jones becomes a teacher »

Ted Turner celebrates 20th anniversary of his Captain Planet cartoon

splashimageTed Turner, who on Wednesday told MSNBC that he was down to his last few million dollars after giving away so much, last month sat with Buzz to reminisce about his beloved Captain Planet cartoon, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The Captain Planet foundation is holding its annual fund-raising banquet at the Georgia Aquarium Friday night.

“There were all these superheroes – Spider-Man, Batman,” he said. “There was no ecological superhero. And it just hit me. There should be one! What a wonderful opportunity to fill that space.”

He came up with the name Captain Planet and his Cartoon Network aired 113 episodes over five years. The cartoon featured kids from around the world who solved ecological disasters like oil spills, calling on Captain Planet (replete with a classy mullet) when they needed extra help. It featured famous voices such as Whoopi Goldberg, Ed Asner and LeVar Burton. (Burton is scheduled to be at the banquet Friday night with Ed …

Continue reading Ted Turner celebrates 20th anniversary of his Captain Planet cartoon »

Neal Boortz gets lifetime achievement award at March of Dimes fundraiser

Neal Boortz with his wife Donna

Neal Boortz with his beloved wife Donna.

Neal Boortz Wednesday night took home a lifetime achievement award from the March of Dimes Achievement in Radio Awards  at the Ansley Golf Club.

Boortz, a syndicated talk show host who is heard locally on AM750 and now 95.5FM News/Talk WSB, was feted by former University of Georgia football coach Ray Goff and retired Channel 2 Action News sportscaster Chuck Dowdle.

The self-proclaimed “talk master” was a recipient of the National Radio Hall of Fame earlier this year.

Boortz, after he hit the dais, gave kudos to his loyal support team in the audience: Royal Marshall, Belinda Skelton (below, with her husband Clark) and Christina Gonzalez. He then repeated the classic story of him taking over a radio show in 1969 the morning after the regular host had died. Yes, Boortz, was a proud opportunist!

Belinda Skelton with her husband Clark

Boortz, who tends to riff in these situations,  spent a couple of minutes roasting Clark Howard, in the audience to support his old buddy. …

Continue reading Neal Boortz gets lifetime achievement award at March of Dimes fundraiser »

Did Atlantan Nona Sivley land in the finals of ‘Hell’s Kitchen’?

Chef_Nona_Sivley.JPG.728x520_q85Sure, all attention is on Richard Blais seeking redemption on Bravo’s Emmy-winning “Top Chef: All Stars.”

But on another cooking show on Fox, Atlantan sous chef Nona Sivley could be the eighth “Hell’s Kitchen” victor. She landed into the final two last night, squaring off against Russell Kook, a sous chef from Madison, Wis.

Next Wednesday, we find out if she ends up helming the L.A. Market restaurant in Los Angeles and spokesperson for RoseMount Estate wineries.

Compared to most of her competitors, she has been a quality chef who seldom drew the ire of Gordon Ramsay. She has always come across as cheerful and upbeat, if a bit prone to the curse word. She rarely stirs up the drama, badmouths her rivals or makes aggrandizing comments about her cooking skills. Russell has been a far more arrogant presence. (Trev McGrath, eliminated last night, was even worse in that respect as most everybody disliked him.)

During last night’s challenge, each of the final four got to run the pass. …

Continue reading Did Atlantan Nona Sivley land in the finals of ‘Hell’s Kitchen’? »

Howard Stern staying with Sirius/XM for another five years

Howard_SternHoward Stern will be staying at Sirius/XM for another five years in an agreement he announced this morning on his show.

The “will he or won’t he?” buzz has been building in recent weeks. His contract was set to run out at the end of this year.

Stern, known for frank, often outrageous talk segments with celebrities and wild sex-oriented stunts, has been a major draw for many of the Sirius/XM subscribers, which now exceed 20 million.

Five years ago, Stern left terrestrial radio in a huff to go to Sirius, citing his ability to be himself and outside the reach of the Federal Communications Commission, which fined him about $3 million over the years for politically incorrect gags. By moving to a subscription service, Stern lost a lot of listeners. On AM/FM radio, during his peak, he drew 12 million viewers a week on 62 stations nationwide (though never in Atlanta.)

But going to Sirius meant Atlantans could hear him. At the time he signed on in 2006 after announcing the move in …

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Six weeks at top for Bruno Mars ‘Just the Way You Are’ on Atlanta radio

AP photo

AP photo

The most played song in Atlanta, for the sixth time in eight weeks, is yet again Bruno Mars‘ “Just the Way You Are.” Tiring? Yes. Yet it’s not even a contest with the song spun 249 times the past week.

The same three stations keep on spinning the song in their top rotations: Star 94 (68), Wild (92) and Q100 (89). That’s staying power!

No. 2, Rihanna’s “Only Girl (In the World)” was far behind with 193 spins (100 for Wild, 92 for Q100 and once on Star 94).

The fastest growing song was Keri Hilson’s “Pretty Girl Rock,” up 48 spins from 20 to 68 with V-103 and Hot upping the song in rotation.

Ke$ha’s “We R Who We R” gained 35 spins, with 60 on Wild and 83 on Q100.

Songs added this past week on various stations:

Project, Kicks and the Bull: no new songs

Dave FM: Ray LaMontagne “For the Summer,” Mumford & Sons “The Cave”

Hot 107.9: Keri Hilson “Pretty Girl Rock”

V-103: Jamie Foxx “Fall For Your Type,” Diddy-Dirty-Money “A**on the Floor.”

Q100: Chris Brown “Yeah 3X”

Star …

Continue reading Six weeks at top for Bruno Mars ‘Just the Way You Are’ on Atlanta radio »

Lucy Liu stars in Lifetime’s romantic mini-series ‘Marry Me’


Lucy Liu has played edgy and sexy tough in some of her biggest roles, from “Ally McBeal” to “Charlie’s Angels” to “Kill Bill.” She more recently tried out a a confident, ultra-successful “Sex and the City”-type persona on two short-lived TV series, “Cashmere Mafia” and ‘Dirty Sexy Money.”

She has shifted again in a two-night mini-series shot in Atlanta and airing on Lifetime starting Sunday called “Marry Me.” The New York-based actress has opted to be a more fragile, yet still beautiful and impressively stylish social worker named Rae Carter.  Her dilemma: three men all want to marry her at the same time. This clouds her image of marriage as a “fairy tale.”

Unlike most of her previous projects, Liu is in almost every frame of the movie rather than as part of an ensemble. “I’m getting killed,” she said with a smile during a break at Rhodes Hall in September during the shoot. “I’ve gone to three restaurants. Otherwise, it’s work, going home, learning my lines and going to …

Continue reading Lucy Liu stars in Lifetime’s romantic mini-series ‘Marry Me’ »

Reports: Tony Harris out at CNN; John Roberts might be coming to Atlanta

CNN mid-day host Tony Harris is leaving CNN after six years, according to the New York Post and TVNewser.

Harris, 43, worked at WGCL before coming to CNN. The story did not say where he was going next. A CNN spokeswoman confirmed he is leaving.


Also, the New York Post said “American Morning” co-host John Roberts may be leaving New York and coming to Atlanta to be a correspondent. Talks are on-going, TVNewser said. (CNN said that’s accurate.) Roberts is engaged to Atlanta host Kyra Phillips. They are expecting twins next year.

CNN recently brought in a new president Ken Jautz. This could be his first major move since he took over the network, which has seen its ratings slide the past year far more than its rivals.

Continue reading Reports: Tony Harris out at CNN; John Roberts might be coming to Atlanta »