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Archive for July, 2011

NBC’s ‘The Voice’ auditions August 5 and 6 in Atlanta

CREDIT: NBC

The judges are all set to go for season two after the Super Bowl. CREDIT: NBC

For season one, NBC primarily found talent themselves for “The Voice,” getting ideas from people in the music industry and sifting through MySpace and YouTube for hidden gems.

This year, they are continuing to take that route but are adding open auditions as well. This Friday and Saturday, you can try out for the NBC hit show in Atlanta.

Here’s how the publicists are promoting it:

WHAT: NBC’s new hit show “The Voice,” will be holding auditions for the best vocal talent to appear in season 2. The producers are looking for all musical styles. If selected, singers will be mentored by music industry professionals and compete weekly in front of a panel of celebrity coaches Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton. America will decide which singer is worthy of the grand prize. Singers should be prepared to share personal stories and explain why they are a star in the …

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In Atlanta, Pandora as big as Q100, Hot 107.9 among younger listeners

pandora_logo

Pandora, the most popular on-line only “radio”-style  option, is now as popular as some of the biggest stations in Atlanta among younger listeners, according to data compiled by Edison Research.

This is the first time such information has ever been released for Pandora publicly.

The ratings were very similar across the top 10 markets Edison studied.

Atlanta garnered a 0.7 average quarter hour rating for 18 to 34 year olds and a 0.5 AQH rating for 18 to 49 year olds.  That’s the same as New York, Chicago and Philadelphia. San Franciso, D.C. and Los Angeles had the highest ratings of 0.9 and 0.6 respectively in those two demos.

This would place Pandora in the same league as Hot 107.9 and Q100 for that 18 to 34 demographic.

AQH is different from the share numbers I normally get.  It represents the percentage of people listening to that station during any 15-minute period. If you listen 5 minutes out of those 15, you get credit. A 0.7 AQH is equivalent in Atlanta to about a 9 …

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Gettin’ jiggy with the ’90s on Star 94, MTV, VH1, TeenNick

pop video logoWho let the ’90s out?

Star 94 did in February, launching a weekly all-’90s weekend. Nirvana, Sir Mix-A-Lot and Alanis Morissette fueled a break-out success. The station in June was No. 2 among 25 to 54 year olds on weekends, only behind V-103. In June, 2010, with its regular mix of music, Star ranked in a tie for 17th.

“For our target audience in their late 20s and 30s, it’s their own personal nostalgia,”  said Scott Lindy, Star’s program director. “And while we are targeting women, our male listening has gone through the roof, too.”

For experts who watch demographics, a ’90s movement now is predictable. In the early 1990s, “classic rock” stations focused on the 1970s were in vogue (and are still hot to this day). Around 2001 and 2002, 1980s stations were briefly the rage (Atlanta had 105.3/The Max for two years). In 2011, the cycle begins again – with an eye toward social media.

Over on TV, VH1 this October is reviving “Pop Up Video,” a snarky program …

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‘Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids’ gets greenlit for a second season

"Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids" returns for a second season in 2012. CREDIT: TLC

"Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids" returns for a second season in 2012. CREDIT: TLC

Bridesmaids are just as capable as brides to generate drama. And wedding-obsessed fans love it.

TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids,” set at Bridals for Lori in Atlanta, will be back next season after a successful test run of six episodes this past month. Season two  will feature 18 episodes, set to debut in March, 2012.

TLC hasn’t officially said so, but a third season of the original “Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta” will return, too.

The five episodes of “Bridesmaids” that have aired so far have done even better than the original Atlanta bridal-focused version. The most recent original show this past Friday at 10 p.m. drew 1.65 million viewers, improving upon the “Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta” episode at 9:30 p.m., which brought in 1.56 million viewers. The “Bridesmaids” finale airs Friday July 28 at 10 p.m.

“The bridesmaids appeal to more people,” said Bridals By Lori owner Lori …

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Key man behind ‘The Walking Dead’, Frank Darabont, steps away as showrunner

Publicity shot for the upcoming season. CREDIT: AMC

Publicity shot for the upcoming season. CREDIT: AMC

Frank Darabont, the mastermind behind “The Walking Dead” TV series, has stepped down as showrunner, the equivalent of the baseball manager quitting, according to Deadline.com

It’s not clear what his role may be now for this critical and popular zombie drama set in Atlanta season one and shot here. Deadline.com speculates that Darabont, who has done feature films in the past such as “The Shawshank Redemption,” may have not adjusted well to the fast pace of TV. If this is true, it was not obvious when he appeared a few days ago at Comic Con.

AMC is bringing on Glen Mazzara, a veteran of “The Shield,” to take his place. He has been working with “Dead” since late 2010. We’ll see whether Darabont’s departure will impact the quality of the show.

Darabont was considered the heart and soul of the show, who worked tirelessly for years to get Robert Kirkman’s graphic comic onto the TV screen. I’ll update this once Mazzara speaks at …

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Former 99Xers Leslie Fram, Steve Craig look back on three years at WRXP-FM in New York

Leslie Fram and Steve Craig at WRXP when I visited the studios in New York City in September, 2008: CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Leslie Fram and Steve Craig at WRXP when I visited the studios in New York City in September, 2008: CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Two key players from 99X’s heyday, Leslie Fram and Steve Craig, landed in New York in 2008 to build an adult-leaning rock station from scratch. Called 101.9/WRXP-FM, Craig compared it to the early days of 99X: using mostly word of mouth, guerrilla marketing and the programming smarts of Fram, the station grew steadily.

But RXP is now off the FM airwaves in New York.

Craig, in an interview last week, said he was disappointed by the change: “We committed to this wholeheartedly. We put a lot of passion into it. The listener response was absolutely amazing.”

“We were firing on all cylinders,” he added. “We had a good run.”

WRXP debuted just as the economy began to crater in 2008. As revenues and profits went south, ownersEmmis Communications could not afford to spend the millions necessary to properly promote a new station in a market the size of New …

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Atlanta-based ‘The Mo’Nique Show’ canceled

Mo'Nique has lost her talk show after two years. CREDIT: AP

Mo'Nique has lost her talk show after two years. CREDIT: AP

“The Mo’Nique Show” axed

  • What? I loved it!
  • Yawn. No loss.

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Earlier today, I heard that “The Mo’Nique Show” had been axed. I had sent an email out to various BET publicists to ask what was up. No word back. 

At about 1:30 p.m., I called Rodney Perry, who was Mo’Nique’s sidekick on the show. He said he was running into a meeting and didn’t answer my question. While I was at lunch over at the mall court, at 1:40 p.m. EST, he texted me: “I was told indefinite hiatus.”

That’s a euphemism for canceled.

[UPDATE: At 3:40 p.m., I received an email from a spokesperson at BET which included a slightly milder euphemism: "The Mo'Nique Show will be on production hiatus beginning in the fall." ... Mo'Nique Hicks and The Mo'Nique Show are important to the BET Networks family and we look forward to continuing our relationship our with her."]

In an interview I did at 2:40 p.m., the stand-up …

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Fayetteville’s Kathy Griffin swaps places with comic on CBS’s ‘Same Name’

Kathy Griffin (left) and Fayetteville's Kathy Griffin, on "Same Name" this Sunday at 9 p.m. on CBS. CREDIT: CBS

Kathy Griffin (left) and Fayetteville's Kathy Griffin, on "Same Name" this Sunday at 9 p.m. on CBS. CREDIT: CBS

ABC had a successful show called “Wife Swap” for many years where wives of very different ilk (e.g. urban/country, dictatorial/free-spirited) change households for a few days. Tension and hilarity ensue.

CBS on Sundays has taken a twist to that formula and thrown celebrities into the mix. Famous folks swap places with non-famous folks who happen to have the same name as them. Yes, it’s called “Same Name.”

Fayetteville mom and fiberglass yarn saleswoman Kathy Griffin this Sunday flips lives with “My Life on the D List” comic Kathy Griffin. Here are some comments from the local Griffin:

[UPDATE August 1: The episode can now be watched online here. The comic describes the local Griffin as resembling "Condoleezza Rice married to O.J. Simpson. Yah, we've all been thinking it. Let's cut the crap!"]

Does she ever get confused with the comedienne? “Not so much in person. I’m …

Continue reading Fayetteville’s Kathy Griffin swaps places with comic on CBS’s ‘Same Name’ »

‘America’s Got Talent’ recap, third group of 12 quarterfinalists: diving to the occasion

These cute Atlanta boys who rap are aiming for the quarterfinals. CREDIT: NBC

These cute Atlanta boys who rap are aiming for the quarterfinals. CREDIT: NBC

Which acts will make it to the semifinals from week three? (Pick up to four)

  • Summerwind Skippers
  • Sh’Boss Boys
  • Mauricio Herrara
  • Seth Grabel
  • POPLYFE
  • Ian Johnson
  • Landau Eugene Murphy Jr.
  • Purrfect Angels
  • Monet
  • Captain & Maybelle
  • Lys Agnes
  • Professor Splash

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After two surprisingly bad weeks, the producers appeared to stack the deck with too many good acts in one quarterfinal. I’m not sure this is a good thing for things to be so unbalanced. Did the producers know this ahead of time? I can’t imagine they’d do that on purpose. These acts just rose to the occasion the way others did not.

Which ones will make it through? Tough call this week. I am probably going to be way wrong on this but here are the four I think will get the votes: Professor Splash (because people might be curious to see what he does next), Lys Agnes (because …

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TNT renews ‘Franklin & Bash’ for second season

Mark-Paul Gossellaar and Breckin Meyer of "Franklin & Bash." CREDIT: TNT

Mark-Paul Gossellaar and Breckin Meyer of "Franklin & Bash." CREDIT: TNT

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How do you like ‘Franklin & Bash’?

  • Funny show, worth watching
  • Not appointment TV, but not bad if I happen to catch it
  • Disappointing, not worth keeping
  • Never bothered to see it

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“Franklin & Bash” has argued its case with the viewers and has been rewarded with a second season on Atlanta-based TNT.

The light-hearted legal dramedy starring Breckin Meyer and Mark-Paul Gosselaar isn’t a massive hit, relatively speaking, but is on par with sister shows “Memphis Beat” and “Hawthorne.” It’s averaging about 2.6 million viewers over its first eight episodes and its numbers have been fairly steady since it debuted in early June. Counting DVR usage over seven days, ratings increase to 3.9 million, a solid 50% increase.

Gosselaar tweeted the news today.

TNT taped the pilot in Atlanta but moved the show to Los Angeles for the rest of the first season. Though it’s …

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