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Archive for February, 2011

‘Dancing With the Stars’ season 12 cast announced: UGA’s Hines Ward, Kirstie Alley, Wendy Williams, Sugar Ray Leonard

AP photo of Kirstie Alley

AP photo of Kirstie Alley

ABC announced the 11 celebrities on the 12th season of “Dancing With the Stars” tonight. Unfortunately, there isn’t a water-cooler personality such as Bristol Palin or Kate Gosselin in sight this time to boost buzz and ratings.

There are three people who were A listers back in the 1980s (boxer Sugar Ray Leonard, “Karate Kid” actor Ralph Macchio and “Cheers” star Kirstie Alley). There’s the sassy talk show host (Wendy Williams). There’s a pro wrestler (Chris  Jericho) and a two-time Super Bowl winning NFL player and former University of Georgia player (Hines Ward). There’s a former rap star (Lil Romeo, son of Master P), a Disney child entertainer (Chelsea Kane), a reality show star (Kendra Wilkinson), a supermodel (Petra Nemcova) and some radio personality few in Atlanta would know (“Psycho” Mike Catherwood).

This is arguably the weakest crew since season nine, which at least included Donny Osmond and Kelly Osborne.

On the surface, Alley and Williams …

Continue reading ‘Dancing With the Stars’ season 12 cast announced: UGA’s Hines Ward, Kirstie Alley, Wendy Williams, Sugar Ray Leonard »

EW: Cee Lo Green and Adam Levine sign on for ‘The Voice’

FILE - In this Sept. 4, 2008 file photo, Cee-Lo Green arrives at the 8th annual BMI Urban Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, file)

FILE – In this Sept. 4, 2008 file photo, Cee-Lo Green arrives at the 8th annual BMI Urban Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, file)

Entertainment Weekly has exclusively gotten the news that Atlanta’s own Cee Lo Green and Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine have officially signed on as judges to the new NBC competitive reality program “The Voice.”

“I am so happy that Adam Levine and Cee Lo Green have joined the coach panel for The Voice,” executive producer Mark Burnett tells EW. “Aside from being incredible voices, they bring years of experience in the music industry and a really cool vibe that has never been seen before on a music competition series.”

EW leaked the names, on top of Christina Aguilera, who is still in play as a possible third judge/coach.

The story also noted the debut date: Tuesday at 9 p.m. on April 26. So it won’t go head to head against “Idol,” its obvious inspiration. The show will shift to its regular time period on Tuesday, May 10 at 8 …

Continue reading EW: Cee Lo Green and Adam Levine sign on for ‘The Voice’ »

Ben Bailey, host of ‘Cash Cab,’ coming to Punchline March 11-12

Ben Bailey CREDIT: Discovery

Ben Bailey CREDIT: Discovery

Ben Bailey, a stand-up comic for 17 years, found his calling as a game-show host a few years ago in an unusual venue: a cab.

Discovery’s “Cash Cab” ended up becoming an Emmy winning program, thanks in part to Bailey’s wry sense of humor and blue-collar cabbie persona. Fans can check out a more unexpurgated version of Bailey at the Punchline Comedy Club on March 11 and 12.

“It’s pretty limited” for him to stretch his comedy chops in the show, Bailey said in a phone interview last week. “That’s why I started making funny faces while I wait for their answers. I need to be funny somehow. They’ll edit around the questions. The game has to keep moving.”

He said a ton of comics auditioned for the show. “I got insanely lucky,” Bailey said. “It was a good fit for me. I’d been a driver. I used to drive limousines. One audition, four callbacks later, taxi school and a major background check and I was in. It almost didn’t happen. A friend asked me to go to a …

Continue reading Ben Bailey, host of ‘Cash Cab,’ coming to Punchline March 11-12 »

TV best bets with ‘Celebrity Apprentice,’ ‘Taking on Tyson,’ ‘Army Wives’

CREDIT: Animal Planet

CREDIT: Animal Planet

It’s a fairly quiet week until Sunday, when networks throw out a bunch of new shows and season debuts of a few existing ones.

That night, ABC tries out its hope for the next feel-good reality show. Evoking “Undercover Boss,” “Secret Millionaire” features rich folks working surreptitiously with groups that help poor folks, then deciding who to dole out their cash to.

NBC not only carts out another season of “Celebrity Apprentice” with the likes of LaToya Jackson, Jose Canseco and Mark McGrath but it launches “The Next Great Restaurant” as folks try to come up with the next P.F. Chang’s or Olive Garden.

Lifetime that night brings back its popular “Army Wives” while Bravo returns the sixth season of its original “Housewives” series, “The Real Housewives of Orange County.”

A&E is going for its latest scripted offering, a potentially fun drama called “Breakout Kings.”

And Animal Planet carts out the strangest reality program concept in recent memory: Mike …

Continue reading TV best bets with ‘Celebrity Apprentice,’ ‘Taking on Tyson,’ ‘Army Wives’ »

Kathleen Parker steps down from CNN after five months

250px-Parker-spitzerCNN announced the departure of Pulitzer-Prize winning columnist Kathleen Parker from the network, leaving former New York governor Eliot Spitzer to host a new show dubbed “In the Arena.”

“We will be adopting an ensemble format with several newsmakers, guests and contributors joining Eliot Spitzer each night,” CNN Executive Vice President Ken Jautz wrote to staff today.

The original show “Parker Spitzer,” which debuted last October at 8 p.m., was supposed to be a daily debate hashing issues in a substantive, analytical manner with Parker leaning right and Spitzer leaning left. Ratings, however, remained relatively anemic.

Last week, the show drew about 500,000 viewers a night, according to Nielsen ratings. That’s about half of what Lawrence O’Donnell pulled in at MSNBC and one-sixth the numbers Bill O’Reilly received on Fox News.

“Parker’s a very talented writer, but I don’t think anyone had a whole lot of specific praise for her on air,” said former CNN anchor Bobbie …

Continue reading Kathleen Parker steps down from CNN after five months »

Atlanta-based TBS cancels ‘Glory Daze’ after one season

"Glory Daze" focused on four guys navigating college life in the mid-1980s.

"Glory Daze" focused on four guys navigating college life in the mid-1980s.

So much for the memories. The 1980s-based comedy “Glory Daze” was nixed by Atlanta-based TBS after just one season.

TBS has had some success with half-hour comedies in recent years, but its latest attempt at an hour-long one-camera show failed to gain any traction.

Opening at 1.8 million viewers last November, it slipped to 1.1 million viewers by the fifth episode and remained in that zone.  The show, which aired nine episodes, apparently did well with younger viewers (median age about 25) and DVR users, but that was not enough to merit a second season, according to deadline.com.

TBS is not giving up on one-hour shows: it has two more in production: “Hound Dogs” about the travails of a minor-league baseball team from the creator of “Bull Durham” and “The Wedding Band,” which is exactly about what the title says.

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

Continue reading Atlanta-based TBS cancels ‘Glory Daze’ after one season »

‘Two and a Half Men’ production over for the year after Charlie Sheen’s rants

CREDIT: AP

CREDIT: AP

CBS released a statement today saying production of “Two and a Half Men” is over for the year.

And the way things are going, if the show ever comes back, it may have to do so without Charlie Sheen.

Sheen, who has been in private rehab for his sundry addictions, said he’d be ready to come back by next week. But his recent rants against his boss Chuck Lorre and others to media outlets such as TMZ and syndicated radio show “The Alex Jones Show” must have inflamed management to the point they sent out this message:

“Based on the totality of Charlie Sheen’s statements, conduct and condition, CBS and Warner Bros. Television have decided to discontinue production of Two and a Half Men for the remainder of the season,” says producer Warner Bros. Television and the network that broadcasts the program, CBS.

He then told Radaronline.com in a text message that the move to stop production was “crazy” and “sad.”

He is in talks with HBO to do his own show called “Sheen’s …

Continue reading ‘Two and a Half Men’ production over for the year after Charlie Sheen’s rants »

Royal Marshall benefit at Punchline March 6

SOURCE: Team Georgia

SOURCE: Team Georgia

The late Royal Marshall left behind a wife and two little girls. A special memorial fund has been set up in his name to help them out.

The Punchline Comedy Club, where Marshall dabbled in stand-up comedy over the years, will be holding a benefit in his name at 5 p.m. March 6. Tickets are $50 each and 100 percent of the proceeds will go to the memorial fund.

Among those scheduled to speak: Marshall’s boss Neal Boortz, traffic reporter Mark Arum, Dave FM’s Mara Davis and Jimmy Baron, 680/The Fan’s John Kincade, Rock 100.5’s Eric Von Haessler and 94.9/The Bull’s Kristen Gates.

Marshall spent about 17 years at AM750 and now 95.5FM News/Talk WSB, most of that working with Boortz. He died unexpectedly last month of a heart attack.

You can buy tickets at www.punchline.com.

To mail a donation the address is: “Royal Marshall Memorial Education Fund“, Wells Fargo, 1601 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, Ga. 30309.

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By Rodney Ho, …

Continue reading Royal Marshall benefit at Punchline March 6 »

Kim Zolciak poses pregnant and in a bikini in Life & Style Magazine

Kim-Zolciak-Life-and-Style-Magazine“Real Housewives of Atlanta” cast member Kim Zolciak clearly loves Life & Style magazine. It’s where she broke the news of her brief lesbian relationship with DJ Tracy Young last year.

Last fall, the 32-year-old posed for the cover of the magazine showing off her baby bump. Now that she’s six months pregnant, she has posed again for the magazine, this time in a bikini.

The baby’s daddy is 25-year-old Kroy Biermann of the Atlanta Falcons, who she met during a charity event filmed during the third season of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” last year.

Check out a bigger photo of her here if your heart can bear it. The photo was taken Feb. 20.

Together for nearly 10 months, Kim reveals to Life & Style that she and Kroy are finally shacking up together in Atlanta, just in time for their newborn’s June arrival! “We’ll be moved in before the baby is born,” she says.

They are not engaged, the story said.

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By Rodney Ho, rho@ajc.com, …

Continue reading Kim Zolciak poses pregnant and in a bikini in Life & Style Magazine »

Local rapper Mike Bigga helps bullied Athens student on MTV’s ‘Made’

Bigga's MySpace page

Bigga's MySpace page

Local Grammy-winning artist Mike Bigga, formerly known as Killer Mike, will be mentoring a young Athens musician on MTV’s “Made” in an episode scheduled to air at 4 p.m. today (Feb. 24.

In the episode, Bigga turns James Padgett into rapper JZP to help build up his confidence in himself and constructively battle bullying.

Bigga brings a couple of Grammy Award‐winning friends to help: Big Boi of Outkast and Chamillionaire.

According to his press release, Bigga is a “community activist and youth advocate who attended Morehouse College, Bigga is signed to T.I.’s Grand Hustle Records label. His latest album, Pl3dge, is scheduled for a spring release.”

In an interview, Bigga said Padgett was a victim of cyber-bullying. Bigga helped Padgett create raps not only about “girls and ballin’ ” but about issues Padgett cares about like alternative energy. This helped improve Padgett’s standing at his high school and build his confidence. Bigga admitted he was a bit of a …

Continue reading Local rapper Mike Bigga helps bullied Athens student on MTV’s ‘Made’ »