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Archive for January, 2011

Si Man Baby celebrates 30 years in radio with a roast

Si Man at his roast at Uptown Comedy Corner. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Si Man at his roast at Uptown Comedy Corner. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Majic 107.5/97.5 gave its night jock Silas “Si Man Baby” Alexander a night to remember Sunday with a roast that celebrated 30 years on radio and raised a few bucks for March of Dimes to boot.

Among those who honored/roasted him at Uptown Comedy Corner  included several V-103 expats: Majic jock Carol Blackmon, former V-103 night host Joyce Littel, Radio One’s Magic Man and Si Man’s boss Derek Harper. Others on board included stand-up pros Special K (heard on sister station Hot 107.9 with Rickey Smiley), legendary comic Don “D.C.” Curry and former UniverSoul Circus ringmaster Tony Tone.

Si Man, an Eatonton native and radio journeyman, has worked at V-103, Kiss 104.1, Classic Soul 102.5 .and now Majic 107.5/97.5, among others. He’s never become a big star along the lines of Ryan Cameron or Frank Ski, but he’s well respected and well liked by fans and colleagues alike.

In his signature white suit, Si Man …

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Billy Gardell embraces lovable cop role on hit CBS sitcom ‘Mike & Molly’

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As the plus-sized dude, Billy Gardell has often been cast as the best friend, the neighbor, the criminal. His resume features supporting and guest characters on shows such as “Yes, Dear,” “My Name is Earl” and “The Practice.”

But last year, the 300-pound Pittsburgh native landed a lead role on CBS sitcom”Mike & Molly,” placed in the cushy post-”Two and a Half Men” spot on Mondays.

“We hit the lottery!” said Gardell in a recent phone interview. “I’m really proud of the show. People identify with it because not everybody is perfect. It’s a combination of ‘Roseanne’ and ‘The Honeymooners.’ ”

Gardell plays Chicago cop Mike who meets teacher Molly (Melissa McCarthy) at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting. They begin to date. While the sitcom is lighthearted at its core, it’s not family friendly. Besides requisite fat jokes, the characters often opine about sexual and gastronomical issues.

“Those are two corn dogs fighting for kennel space,” Mike told Molly after his ample stomach …

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UPDATE: TNT plans a ‘Closer’ spinoff with Kyra Sedgwick bowing out

TNT publicity photo

TNT publicity photo

Deadline.com, in an exclusive Jan. 25, said TNT isn’t willing to throw out “The Closer” now that Kyra Sedgwick said she’s done after a seventh and final season.

(UDPATE: Jan. 31, 2011) A few days later, EW.com found out the specific details: the season will be expanded from 15 to 21 episodes. Sedgwick will stay on for all 21 episodes but a new character will likely be introduced for a spinoff. First, there will be 10 episodes this summer, five in the winter, then six more in the summer of 2012. Details of the spinoff are still a bit sketchy. )

You can’t blame TNT. The show was a huge breakout hit from day one and has drawn more viewers  than any other basic cable scripted series. Sedgwick’s decision to leave was her own. Then again, Sedgwick is such an integral part of the show, it’s like trying to sustain “House” without Hugh Laurie.

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

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

Continue reading UPDATE: TNT plans a ‘Closer’ spinoff with Kyra Sedgwick bowing out »

‘Real Housewives of Atlanta,’ third season finale: you big dummy!

 The t-shirt Cynthia wore the morning of her wedding. Was she talking about herself?

The t-shirt Cynthia wore the morning of her wedding. Was she talking about herself?

This was the episode which had no big arguments, fewer than normal absurd moments and relatively few interesting quotes. Instead, there was an air of actual sincerity, reconciliation and warmth.

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And the big question mark the producers milked almost to the end: would Cynthia Bailey actually go through with her marriage to Peter Thomas?

Regulars to this blog already knew the answer from last July, thanks to an over-enthusiastic publicist. Shockingly, the press wasn’t invited.

Here’s a brief recap of the 90-minute finale episode:

Cynthia is talking to her sister about her dire financial situation. They can’t pay the $3,000 guarantee for the bar at the Fernbank Museum, the site of the wedding. She doesn’t have the cash because it all went into the …

Continue reading ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta,’ third season finale: you big dummy! »

TV best bets with the Super Bowl, ‘Glee’

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The Super Bowl, the most popular single program any given year, may break records this year in ratings thanks to two popular franchises  – the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers. The NFL has been surging all year as well.

Fox gets the honors this year to air the game and is giving its powerhouse show “Glee” the coveted post-Super Bowl spot. Naturally, “Glee” has created a football-themed episode.

Given that at least 105 million people will be watching the Super Bowl, “Glee” will  likely pull in at least 30 million, double its usual number. Normal weeks, “Glee” draws a very young audience, relatively speaking. It is the type of show, though, that will cause many older viewers to switch to anything else.

The counter-programming options are limited. Most rival networks are airing repeats, though you will be ale to get original episodes of “Californication” and “Shameless” on Showtime and “Big Love” on HBO.

MONDAY
“The Bachelor” 8 p.m. ABC — Brad and the 11 remaining …

Continue reading TV best bets with the Super Bowl, ‘Glee’ »

Mark Ballas (’Dancing With the Stars’ with Bristol Palin) can sing – at Hard Rock Cafe Sunday

Bristol Palin with Mark Ballas. SOURCE: ABC publicity photo

Bristol Palin with Mark Ballas. SOURCE: ABC publicity photo

I got this call last second, but since Mark Ballas is one of the most successful “Dancing With the Stars” pro dancers, I was intrigued: he’s also a singer! He’s promoting his upcoming new album “HurtLoveBox,” performing this Sunday at 8 p.m. at Hard Rock Cafe in downtown Atlanta.

So his publicist got him on the phone with me today.

The 24-year-old Houston native has been a pro dancer on “Dancing With the Stars” seven times, helping two celebrities, Kristi Yamaguchi and Shawn Johnson, win the mirror-ball trophy. (Each time, he got one, too. He has them both on his mantle.)

The fact he helped Bristol Palin make it into the finals this past season says a lot about his teaching skills. (Then again,  even he can only perform so many miracles. One season, Shannen Doherty lasted a mere two weeks, and Kim Kardashian, three.)

Ballas spent eight years in a music school in London so he not only received a dance background, but a …

Continue reading Mark Ballas (’Dancing With the Stars’ with Bristol Palin) can sing – at Hard Rock Cafe Sunday »

Preview of Atlanta-shot Hallmark film ‘The Lost Valentine’

Betty White, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Sean Faris in "The Lost Valentine." Photo: Erik Heinila/Courtesy of Hallmark/CBS

Betty White, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Sean Faris in "The Lost Valentine." Photo: Erik Heinila/Courtesy of Hallmark/CBS

Hallmark has made a name for itself with feel-good, tear-jerking films over the years both on its cable networks and when it has a bigger budget with bigger stars, CBS.

Atlanta is home to the latest Hallmark Hall of Fame drama “The Lost Valentine,” starring Jennifer Love Hewitt and legend Betty White. It airs Sunday at 8 p.m. on CBS.

Shot over 25 days last fall around metro Atlanta, the film features Hewitt as a TV newsmagazine host who is assigned a story about Caroline, played by Betty White. Caroline visits a train station every Valentine’s Day because it was the place where she last saw her husband during World War II six decades earlier. He was declared missing in the Phillippines.

Hewitt’s character, though dating someone else, falls for Caroline’s grandson, played by Sean Faris. She also helps Betty White’s character learn more about what happened to …

Continue reading Preview of Atlanta-shot Hallmark film ‘The Lost Valentine’ »

‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ breaks yet another franchise record in ratings

CREDIT: Bravo

CREDIT: Bravo

This past Sunday’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” which continued NeNe Leakes’ explosive argument with Kim Zolciak in Miami, gave the show its best ratings ever: 3.43 million viewers.

Locally, the show drew 228,000 viewers, one of the top 20 shows for the week in primetime, just behind WSB-TV’s “The Bachelor.”

“Real Housewives”  is now averaging more viewers than it did season two, at about 2.9 million per week, and remains the top franchise among the six “Housewives” that have aired so far. The season started a bit slow in terms of viewers while airing on Monday but since its move to Sunday, the show has far exceeded its season two numbers.

There are so many franchises, Bravo is airing two at once. “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” season finale on Jan. 20 drew 2.76 million viewers, thanks to a fracas between the two sisters.

“The Real Housewives of Atlanta” will air its season finale this Sunday at 10 p.m., followed by two weeks of “reunion” footage shot at …

Continue reading ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ breaks yet another franchise record in ratings »

Another week, more Rihanna’s ‘What’s My Name?’ on Atlanta radio

imagesFive weeks, Rihanna’s “What’s My Name?” topped Atlanta radio by a massive margin again. It’s been on top for five weeks and remains a top song at V-103, Hot 107.9, Wild 105.7 and Q100.

Wiz Khalifa’s hit “Black & Yellow” is rising, up 36 spins week over week. Keri Hilson’s “Pretty Girl Rock,” now a top spun song on Hot, breaks into the top 10.

New songs on various radio stations:

Hot 107.9: After massive shifts a week ago, this week not much happened.

V-103: “Where You At’ by Jennifer Hudson, spun four times since Tuesday. “Meet Me in the Tunnel” by Mo Pain has gotten five evening and overnight spins since Jan. 22. “Words” by Bobby V was spun 17 times. Ciara’s “Turn It Up” is new with 8 spins.

Wild 105.7: No new adds. “Black & Yellow” swapped out with Nelly’s “Just a Dream” among the station’s top 5 songs. Nicki Minaj’s “Moment 4 Life” gets a big boost from 6 spins to 42. Mann’s “Buzzin” jumps from 11 to 60 spins. New Boyz’s “Back Seat” goes from 8 to 37 spins. Songs that took …

Continue reading Another week, more Rihanna’s ‘What’s My Name?’ on Atlanta radio »

A talk with Atlantan Adam Reed, co-creator of FX’s ‘Archer,’ back for 2nd season Jan. 27

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Spoofs are hard to pull off. But with “Archer,” Atlantans Adam Reed and Matt Thompson have found a way to successfully mock the hoary spy drama circa 1966 with modern day elements.

The FX animated series begins its second season tonight at 10 p.m. While it was not a ratings smash (averaging 800,000 to 900,000 toward the end of season one last year), it brought in a young audience FX likes. And the costs are certainly not that of, say, “Rescue Me.”

“Just renting one of those fire trucks,” said Reed, “is an entire episode for us!”

“I’m actually a bit exhausted,” he added earlier this week by phone from his Atlanta offices. He writes all the scripts and had just finished the 13th. This enables the show to have a consistent voice but is also a consequence of Reed admitting to be a “control freak.”

He chooses to stay in Atlanta, which helps to “remove us from external pressures – at least until the show starts.Then, I’m obsessively nagging for numbers- unless they’re bad. Then …

Continue reading A talk with Atlantan Adam Reed, co-creator of FX’s ‘Archer,’ back for 2nd season Jan. 27 »