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Archive for January, 2011

‘So You Think You Can Dance’ holds tryouts in Atlanta for a third time Feb. 19

Nigel Lythgoe in 2009 at the last "So You Think You Can Dance" auditions in Atlanta. CREDIT: Rodney Ho

Nigel Lythgoe in 2009 at the last "So You Think You Can Dance" auditions in Atlanta. CREDIT: Rodney Ho

Atlanta has had plenty of representation on shows such as “Dancing With the Stars,” “The Amazing Race,” “Project Runway,” “Top Chef,” “Survivor,” “The Apprentice” and “American Idol.”

But there’s one show where locals can’t seem to get a break: “So You Think You Can Dance.” Over seven seasons and about 130 finalists, not a single one has hailed from metro Atlanta.

Twice before, the show has even hosted auditions in Atlanta (once at the Fox Theatre in 2007, another time at Woodruff Arts Center in 2009.) That didn’t even help.

But those Fox producers sure are optimistic about our fine city because they are coming back a third time for season eight this summer. They are scheduled to show up at the Fabulous Fox Theatre Feb. 19. The press release said the original audition site for this region was Charlotte but that was changed for unknown reasons.

More details from the press …

Continue reading ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ holds tryouts in Atlanta for a third time Feb. 19 »

Decatur sculptor Sam Cobb in Syfy’s reality show ‘Face Off’

Samantha "Sam" Cobb of Decatur on "Face Off." CREDIT: Syfy

Samantha "Sam" Cobb of Decatur on "Face Off." CREDIT: Syfy

While close to 70,000 people tried out for “American Idol” this past year, I’d say Syfy would be hard-pressed to find 700 viable and willing candidates for its show “Face Off,” which is a battle for best special effects make-up artist.

Yes, that’s a specialty! But it’s a cool specialty. These are folks who can turn humans into convincingly scary-looking creatures, be it an elephant man or a life-sized insect.

And one of the 12 contestants vying for $100,000 is from Decatur:  Samantha “Sam” Cobb, a commercial sculptor by trade who has dabbled in movie-making special effects on low-budget zombie and werewolf films.

She didn’t do “Face Off” to necessarily get a job on “The Walking Dead” or “Green Lantern.” Rather, she took it more as a lark.

In fact, the “Face Off” production company sought her out to try out for the show in Orlando last fall.  “I’m an experientialist,” she said. “When life throws something my way, I go …

Continue reading Decatur sculptor Sam Cobb in Syfy’s reality show ‘Face Off’ »

Jill Becker retiring at 11 Alive in August after 23 years

CREDIT: WXIA-TV

CREDIT: WXIA-TV

Jill Becker, a fixture in the Atlanta TV market for three decades, announced today that she’s going  to retire in August when her contract is up.

“It was a surprise to the staff,” said news director Ellen Crooke. “She’s the heart of our morning news team. She will be very hard to replace.”

By giving seven months notice, Becker is giving 11 Alive plenty of time to find a replacement.

“After more than two decades, I am leaving a news team and a news show that I truly love,” Becker said in a press release. “I am however, looking forward to volunteering and to catching up on 30 years of sleep!”

In an interview later in the day, she said she had been thinking about retirement the past year but only recently told management. She wants to work more with Cure Childhood Cancer, a charity group. (She has a son who had T-Cell Lymphoma at age three. He is now 23 and cancer free.)

“I’m so incredibly grateful that I’ve had this long a run,” she said. “I don’t think …

Continue reading Jill Becker retiring at 11 Alive in August after 23 years »

TV Guide: Larry Hagman signs on to ‘Dallas’ remake on TNT

2008 AP file photo

2008 AP file photo

Larry Hagman, star of the original “Dallas,” told TV Guide that he is willing to join a TNT remake of the show.

“I haven’t signed any contract but I gave them my commitment verbally,” says 79-year-old Hagman to TV Guide. “I just told them I’d do it and my word’s good!”

TNT has given the green light to a pilot of a “Dallas” remake. The original CBS show, which aired from 1978 to 1991, remains one of the most beloved prime-time soap operas in television history.

TV Guide says the pilot script has Hagman’s oil tycoon character J.R. Ewing in a mental asylum.

The Atlanta-based network is best known for its dramas focused on crime such as “The Closer” and “Rizzoli & Isles.” It doesn’t have a “soapy” drama in its current line up.

Hagman visited Atlanta last September for an “I Dream of Jeannie” reunion at DragonCon. He also recently guest starred on ABC’s soap-driven “Desperate Housewives.”

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

By Rodney Ho, rho@ajc.com, …

Continue reading TV Guide: Larry Hagman signs on to ‘Dallas’ remake on TNT »

Catching up with… Crash Clark (formerly of 99X, now at Dave FM)

Christopher "Crash" Clark, Jimmy Baron, Yvonne  Monet. CREDIT: Dave FM

Christopher "Crash" Clark, Jimmy Baron, Yvonne Monet. CREDIT: Dave FM

Dave FM traffic reporter Christopher “Crash” Clark was feeling frustrated during the winter storm earlier this month that crippled the city for days.

When Clark got on the air with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed on air, Clark dug into him as if he were Mike Wallace of ”60 Minutes.”

“I was all fired up,” Clark admitted the day after. “I was speaking on behalf of all the Southerners as a former Northerner. It just boiled over.”

Normally, Clark is known for his happy-go-lucky demeanor, the dude you’d hang out with at the bar and throw back a beer or three. He was an integral part of the 99X Morning X team back in the 1990s into the early 2000s. After four years in Boston working with two other 99X alums Fred Toucher and Rich Shertenlieb, he was let go for budgetary reasons last year.

Dave FM, which already employs former 99X jocks such as morning hosts Jimmy Baron and Yvonne Monet, hired him last September, …

Continue reading Catching up with… Crash Clark (formerly of 99X, now at Dave FM) »

‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ recap, episode 15: Unwelcome to Miami?

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“Slaves don’t get paid, dumb***.” – Sweetie, in response to NeNe’s criticism.

If NeNe Leakes’ goal was to cause more people to hate her, the past two episodes have worked like a charm.

The drama last week instigated by NeNe for what appeared to be no apparent reason continues in episode 15. After they arrive in Miami, NeNe is still angry at Kim Zolciak.

“I’ll toss you out the window!” Nene says. Then she inexplicably adds, “You need to have a conversation like an adult!” Later, she threatens: “I will snap your neck and pop your eyeballs out.”

Was NeNe out of line?

  • Heck yah! The devil was working her brain!
  • No. She had perfectly good reasons to be upset.

View Results

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For the first time, all six cast members are  in the same place at the same time for the cameras.

Sheree Whitfield, Cynthia Bailey and Phaedra Parks fly down to Miami for the bachelorette party before Cynthia gets married. They meet Kandi Burruss, Kim and NeNe at Kim’s buddy and …

Continue reading ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ recap, episode 15: Unwelcome to Miami? »

TV best bets with season finale of ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta,’ Joan Rivers, Tiffany & Debbie Gibson

Joan Rivers. CREDIT: AP

Joan Rivers. CREDIT: AP

If you’re in the mood for pure cheesiness, this week is for you.

RuPaul, the drag queen supreme, starts seeking others of his ilk on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” on Logo Monday.

Joan and Melissa Rivers get their own reality show (because who doesn’t?)  on WE Network Tuesday. If you like Joan, she camps it up as always.

Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman reminisces about his past chases on Wednesday on A&E in a special 200th episode..

Tempestt Bledsoe (of “Cosby Show” fame) takes over for Niecy Nash on  “Clean House” on Style.

“Jersey Shore,” which keeps breaking ratings records with 8.9 million viewers last week (6.9 million 12 to 34), is back on Thursday, of course.

Ed Asner co-stars in his first sitcom in ages, this time on CMT on Friday.

And in a case of bizarro casting, Debbie Gibson and Tiffany, the two ’80’s teen pop idols, get down and dirty  in a Syfy film called “Mega Python vs. Gatoroid” on Saturday night.

That may even beat the season finale …

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Royal Marshall honored at funeral services, 1967-2011

The photo of Royal Marshall used on  the cover of  the funeral program from a Team Georgia roast in his name back in 2005. SOURCE: Team Georgia

The photo of Royal Marshall used on the cover of the program from a Team Georgia roast in his name back in 2005. SOURCE: Team Georgia

To listeners, Royal Marshall was a likable foil for talk-show host Neal Boortz.  To his colleagues, he was a perpetual breath of fresh air, a man who could turn a frown into a smile, grumpiness into laughter. To his family, he was a doting father to his two daughters.

Marshall, a crucial component on Boortz’s nationally syndicated radio show heard in Atlanta on AM750 and now 95.5 FM News/Talk WSB, was given an emotional and spiritual sendoff Saturday at Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur where he had been a parishioner for 18 years. More than 1,000 family members, friends, colleagues and fans attended. Boxes of Kleenex were in high demand.

He died Jan. 15 of a heart attack at his Atlanta home. He was 43.

“He was supposed to come to my service,” said the 65-year-old Boortz during his remarks at the church, as he choked up, “maybe 25 …

Continue reading Royal Marshall honored at funeral services, 1967-2011 »

ABC Family’s ‘Mean Girls 2′ airing Sunday, shot in Atlanta

abc8-650x296-0007Atlanta was home to “Mean Girls 2,” the sequel to the 2004 film starring Lindsay Lohan and Tina Fey. But this time, it’s a lower-budget, direct-to-TV affair like the sequels to “Bring It On.”

“Mean Girls 2″ airs Sunday on ABC Family at 8 p.m. and will be available on DVD Feb. 1.

Lohan and Fey are gone. The only major actor left is Tim Meadows, who plays the beleaguered principal in both cases.

A transfer student, Jo (Meaghan Martin) buddies up with an outcast Abby (Jennifer Stone). In exchange, Abby’s dad will pay for Jo’s college. They take on the “mean girls,” now made up of Mandi (Maiara Walsh), Hope (Nicole Anderson) and Chastity (Claire Holt).

The film was shot in July of 2010 in Atlanta. Sutton Middle School near Chastain Park is the sight of most of the movie. They also used Decatur High School and a couple of Buckhead mansions. “It was a fairly contained movie,” said Mark Cottrell, the locations manager.

Here’s the …

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Jeff Foxworthy reunites with Bill Engvall, Larry the Cable Guy at Philips Arena Jan. 29

CREDIT: Parallel Entertainment

CREDIT: Parallel Entertainment

Already a big star, Alpharetta’s Jeff Foxworthy in 2000 thought it would be fun to bring some of his close buddies together on a tour he dubbed “The Blue Collar Comedy Tour.”

The incredible success of that tour, which went on for years and yielded multiple DVD movies and a TV series, propelled Bill Engvall, Larry the Cable Guy and Ron White into the comedic stratosphere.

None of them have anything to prove anymore. But they’re still friends. Foxworthy convinced Engvall and Larry the Cable Guy to join him for some mini reunion dates, including Philips Arena Saturday night. (White passed, saying his act has gotten too randy.)

We caught up with the trio by phone:

Jeff Foxworthy

On doing a show in Atlanta: “I always write a few things just for the home crowd. It’s fun.”

On bringing back the Blue Collar Comedy Tour: “I’ve been hesitant. I didn’t want to bring it back just for the sake of doing it and it not being as good. We were all at a …

Continue reading Jeff Foxworthy reunites with Bill Engvall, Larry the Cable Guy at Philips Arena Jan. 29 »