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Archive for January, 2011

Report: NeNe Leakes not interested in a fourth season of ‘Housewives’


NeNe Leakes told that she wants to move on after this third season of “Real Housewives of Atlanta” is over.

“I’m not really interested in joining the next season,” NeNe told them. “I’m just not really interested right now.”

It sounded like a quick conversation and they were not able to dig in a little deeper to find out why.

Hopefully, Andy Cohen brings it up tonight on “Watch What Happens Live.” I’ll update this if he does.

Of all the Atlanta “Housewives,” NeNe has the biggest profile and most viable shot at a public life outside the show. She has potential to be a Wendy Williams-type talk show host and if she has a good team behind her, could build a brand along the lines of Bethenny Frankel. Frankel last year left “Real Housewives of New York,” got her own spin-off show and will be at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre March 11 to talk about her life.

NeNe has already taped “Celebrity Apprentice” on NBC, which should broaden her audience significantly when the …

Continue reading Report: NeNe Leakes not interested in a fourth season of ‘Housewives’ »

Royal Marshall, key part of Neal Boortz’s radio team, has passed

Royal Marshall, with Neal Boortz, at the Achievement in Radio Awards last month, when Boortz was given a lifetime achievement award. SOURCE:

Royal Marshall, with his boss Neal Boortz, at the March of Dimes Achievement in Radio Awards in December, 2010. There, Boortz was given a lifetime achievement award. SOURCE:

Raymond Royal Marshall, a crucial cog on  syndicated talk show host Neal Boortz’s radio team as a sidekick and engineer, has died.

Pete Spriggs, program director for AM750 and now 95.5 FM News/Talk WSB, said he collapsed at his Atlanta home and was pronounced dead at Grady Hospital at about 1 a.m. early Saturday morning.

Assistant Program Director Condace Pressley said it was too soon to pinpoint cause of death.  He was 43.

“He was a good man,” she said. “I can’t believe he’s gone.”

Marshall worked with WSB Radio for 17 years, according to the WSB Radio biography for Marshall.

Here’s the print edition story about Marshall that ran in Sunday’s paper.

UPDATE (Monday, January 17, 2010 at 10 a.m.): WSB Radio said Marshall had a fatal heart attack Saturday. His funeral service will be held at …

Continue reading Royal Marshall, key part of Neal Boortz’s radio team, has passed »

Piers Morgan confident he can lift CNN’s flagging prime-time ratings


Set to replace Larry King on CNN Monday at 9 p.m., Piers Morgan is in both a good and bad position.

Good because expectations are modest. CNN’s prime-time ratings are in the gutter. Morgan can’t do much worse.

Bad because his lead-ins “John King, USA” and “Parker/Spitzer” are doing so poorly, he’s going to have to draw new viewers in from the outside. That’s a challenge during prime time competing against the likes of “Grey’s Anatomy,” “CSI” and Fox News’ Sean Hannity.

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“We need the ratings to go up,” Morgan said in a phone interview from New York Thursday. “It’s as simple as that. It’s at around 600,000 at the moment. I’ve got to produce compelling interviews and the ratings will come.”

Indeed, he knew how important it was to nab a major A list celebrity for Monday. And he got …

Continue reading Piers Morgan confident he can lift CNN’s flagging prime-time ratings »

‘Better Mornings’ host Brandon Rudat plays anchor in ‘Green Hornet’ film

Brandon RudatBrandon Rudat, a host of CBS Atlanta’s “Better Mornings,” plays a news anchor on the new Seth Rogan/Cameron Diaz film “The Green Hornet,” out today.

Rudat told his colleague Jennifer Valdez today on air that it happened almost accidentally.

“I’m not an actor at all,” he said. “I got to play myself on the set of a movie.”

While working in Los Angeles before he came to Atlanta, he said a casting director requested him for the film. He had no idea what a Green Hornet was, learning later it was a comic-book superhero.

The film is narrated by news anchors, he said. Four actors they cast couldn’t read a teleprompter. The director fired them and looked to him and another actual journalist. He went from having three lines to 57 lines. (He has no idea how many made the final cut.)

Rudat said he didn’t have to memorize lines because everything was on  a teleprompter. “The funny thing was, us in the news business, nothing is glamorous, but when you go to a Hollywood set, everything is …

Continue reading ‘Better Mornings’ host Brandon Rudat plays anchor in ‘Green Hornet’ film »

Channel 2 WSB-TV’s storm related pre-emption make up dates


Here’s a list of the various shows pre-empted due to storm coverage this week on Channel 2 WSB-TV:

Monday’s “The Oprah Winfrey Show” will air Saturday, January 15, at 1 p.m.

Monday’s “Castle” will air Sunday, January 16, at 4 p.m.

Tuesday’s “Oprah” will air Sunday, January 16 at 1 p.m.

Tuesday’s “Detroit 1-8-7″ airs Saturday, January 15,  at 3pm.

Wednesday’s “Oprah” was also preempted, but no rescheduled date has been set.

Tonight, WSB will air “Georgia Lottery’s All Access Music Search” from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. followed by “Hot Topics” from 9:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

This pre-empts “Supernanny” and “Primetime: What Would You Do?”

“Supernanny” will air instead late night Saturday at midnight (Sat leading into Sun)

“Primetime What Would You Do” will air Sunday, January 16 at 5 p.m.

Wednesday’s Pres. Obama speech also bumped Fox’s “Human Target,” which will air tonight instead. And the “Cougar Town” that was dropped on WSB will simply be pushed back to next week.

If …

Continue reading Channel 2 WSB-TV’s storm related pre-emption make up dates »

Mark Harmon tops on Harris Poll of most popular TV personalities; Conan is fourth

100502075_50d10ade-7c55-44f9-92ef-dc3c216730af-1Mark Harmon, the charming lead on CBS’s “NCIS” is the most popular TV personality, based on a Harris Interactive online poll of 2,331 adults last month.

He bumped Oprah Winfrey, who is the only personality who has remained on the list for its entire 18-year history. She has been No. 1 eight times. She tied for No. 2 with “House” lead Hugh Laurie.

Conan O’Brien is ranked No. 4. He became a cause celebre among younger viewers last year after NBC tried to force him out of the 11:35 p.m. “Tonight Show” slot a year ago to bring back Jay Leno. He is now on TBS. This is O’Brien’’s first appearance in the poll’s top 10 since 2006.

Leno, who was ranked No. 3 in 2009, disappeared off the list, probably because of all the publicity that tended to make him look like the bad guy.

Negative publicity has not hurt Charlie Sheen. He is tied with Jon Stewart at No. 5, his best performance ever on the annual survey.

O’Brien is tops among 18 to 33 year olds and tops in the Midwest. Laurie is tops …

Continue reading Mark Harmon tops on Harris Poll of most popular TV personalities; Conan is fourth »

Kelly Stevens takes over Kate McCarthy’s job at 97.1/The River

kelly2_125_mKelly Stevens, who has been doing fill-in work for B98.5, has taken over the afternoon slot at sister station 97.1/The River.

He replaces Kate McCarthy, who is actually B98.5’s Jordan Graye. Graye was assigned double duty in late 2007 to work at both stations. But rather than use Jordan’ s name at them both, the program director at the time, Chris Miller, said he decided to create a new name for The River “to keep each station distinctive and not cause confusion.”

Graye was given a choice of 15 different fake names to use for the River. She liked the sound of “Kate McCarthy.”

Graye, who has been at B98.5 for about two decades, remains as the midday host at that soft-rock station.

“Jordan and Kate will never lose each other!” wrote Graye via Facebook, tongue firmly in cheek. “BFF (although, she does get on my nerves a little)…. I betcha Kate turns up somewhere.”

Stevens was part of the Kelly & Alpha team for nearly a decade on B98.5 until 2008 when Steve & Vikki took …

Continue reading Kelly Stevens takes over Kate McCarthy’s job at 97.1/The River »

‘America’s Got Talent’ casting call to Atlanta Jan. 29-30

AGTlogosmallNBC’s “America’s Got Talent” is coming back again to Atlanta this year seeking the hottest signers, dancers, jugglers and whatever you define as a “talent” that could entertain a crowd for 90 seconds.

The network is hosting a casting call Saturday January 29 and Sunday January 30 at America’s Mart in downtown Atlanta:

Saturday, January 29 and Sunday, January 30
Registration: 8 a.m.– 7 p.m.
Location: Atlanta America’s Mart
240 Peachtree Street NW #2200, Atlanta, Ga. 30303-1327
Contestant Entrance: 235 William St.

There are more details here, including auditions in New York, Tacoma, Wash., Minneapolis and Houston. Pre-register here. You can also send in video auditions here.

Atlanta has been host to auditions for several years but in five years time, the metro area has yet to generate a single top 10 finalist on the show.

In 2008 and 2009, the early judges’ rounds were held at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Last year, the show didn’t do that. If they choose to …

Continue reading ‘America’s Got Talent’ casting call to Atlanta Jan. 29-30 »

TV actors with metro Atlanta ties

This is an incomplete list of actors who have regular roles on active scripted TV shows, syndicated, game or reality shows and have lived (or still live) in metro Atlanta (or as far Athens). I’m going to omit the casts of shows who shoot their shows here such as “Vampire Diaries,” “Drop Dead Diva,” “The Walking Dead,” “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne,” “Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns,” “Let’s Stay Together” and “The Game.”

One thing’s for sure: NBC likes actors from metro Atlanta. Former Atlanta Boris Kodjoe co-starred in the just-axed NBC series “Undercovers.”


Ed Helms, "The Office"

Ed Helms, "The Office"

Brian Baumgartner: “The Office” (NBC)
Ed Helms: “The Office” (NBC)
Donald Glover: “Community” (NBC)
Kelli Giddish: “Chase” (NBC)
Jack McBrayer: “30 Rock” (NBC)
David Cross: “The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret” (IFC)
Jennifer Ferrin: “The Cape” (NBC)
Pauley Perrette: “NCIS” (CBS)
AnnaLynne McCord: “90210″ (the CW)
Alyson Hannigan: “How I Met Your Mother” (CBS)
Dan Byrd: “Cougar …

Continue reading TV actors with metro Atlanta ties »

‘The Game’ opens huge on BET Tuesday night with 7.7 million viewers


BET’s “The Game” returned with a bang Tuesday night with an impressive 7.7 million viewers, more than double the typical audience when the show aired on the CW.

It’s also by far the biggest debut for any show in BET history.

If it can hold anywhere near those numbers the rest of the season, this could effectively be a “Game” changer for BET, known until now for sitcom repeats, recycled films, music programming and reality shows.

The network has been heavily promoting the scripted comedy on billboards and on BET itself. A marathon of old “Game” episodes a few days ago drew strong numbers as well.

“The Game” was a popular spin-off of “Girlfriends” from 2006 to 2009 but its numbers drooped when the CW shunted it (and its other 30-minute sitcoms) to Friday nights in 2008-09.

The executive producers, in an interview last week,  were hoping for an opening along these lines and they got it.

Its 7.7 million was bigger than several original network shows last night, including ABC’s …

Continue reading ‘The Game’ opens huge on BET Tuesday night with 7.7 million viewers »