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Archive for July, 2011

Rafael Cox of Atlanta joins ‘Project Runway,’ season 9, starting July 28, 2011

Rafael Cox of Atlanta competes on 'Project Runway" this season. CREDIT: Lifetime

Rafael Cox of Atlanta competes on 'Project Runway" this season. CREDIT: Lifetime

Atlanta gets a representative during the ninth season on “Project Runway”: Rafael Cox, 27.

Past notable contestants include season three finalist Mychael Knight and the always entertaining Anthony Williams from season seven.

There’s a twist this year. The show starts with 20 people but gets quickly cut to a more typical 16 after each person makes a presentation before the judges, including Tim Gunn, Nina Garcia, Michael Kors and Heidi Klum.

During Cox’s intro during the 20, we don’t hear any comments from the judges but they seem impressed. “Nina and I are clearly talking sex with our eyes,” he said as an aside on the show.

Without spoiling too much, it’s fair to say Cox makes it through and is part of the cast of 16. How does he do during the first challenge? Well, let’s just say Kors references the Flintstones during his critique of Cox’s first outfit. You’ll know Thursday whether that’s a good …

Continue reading Rafael Cox of Atlanta joins ‘Project Runway,’ season 9, starting July 28, 2011 »

Ryan Stewart talks ‘Stripped,’ shortened hours at 790/The Zone

Former Georgia Tech and Detroit Lion Ryan Stewart, Corinne Van Ryck de Groot, and Arle Michel rehearse a scene from "Torn," a Christian drama, last year during Stewart's last play. CREDIT: Bita Honarvar

Former Georgia Tech and Detroit Lion Ryan Stewart, Corinne Van Ryck de Groot, and Arle Michel rehearse a scene from "Torn," a Christian drama, last year during Stewart's last play. CREDIT: Bita Honarvar

I caught up with Ryan Stewart, half of the 2 Live Stews on 790/The Zone, Saturday at the Whole World Theatre while he prepped for this week’s play “Stripped” on July 27 to 31 at the Ferst Center for the Arts.

Stewart told me that as of today, his hours are cut 33%. Instead of 1 to 4 p.m., they will now get to work on air from 1 to 3 p.m. To match up Mike Bell and David Pollack against Matt Chernoff and Chuck Oliver over at rival 680/The Fan, Pollack & Bell will now work four hours from 3 to 7 p.m.

The Stews, who have had their hours changed frequently over the years, recently ended their syndicated show with Sporting News. The show is now only heard locally.

Chuck & Chernoff, who had been on air during mid-days, were moved earlier this month to drive-time because their …

Continue reading Ryan Stewart talks ‘Stripped,’ shortened hours at 790/The Zone »

Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” holds seventh week on top of Atlanta radio

Adele. AP photo/Peter Kramer

Adele. AP photo/Peter Kramer

Adele, who postponed her recent tour due to vocal problems, has moved her date from the Tabernacle to a venue twice the size, the Fox Theatre Oct. 16. Ticket prices doubled, too, but sold out almost instantly Friday so if you want them, you’ll have to shell out quite a bit more on the secondary market.

In the meantime, her single “Rolling in the Deep” keeps rolling along in its seventh week at the top of Atlanta radio with 261 spins the past week.

Katy Perry, who has had No. 1 songs in Atlanta the past year with “California Gurls,” “Teenage Dream” and “E.T.,” is on the verge of taking over the top spot with yet another smash, “Last Friday Night.” The song added 89 spins the past week to 237, with maximum spins at Q100 (92) and Wild (109) and near maximum at Star (36). (Her last song “E.T.” fell out of the top 10 losing 71 spins)

Adele’s song continues to be spun on five stations (B98.5, Star, Dave, Q100 and Wild) but V-103 dropped it after a few …

Continue reading Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” holds seventh week on top of Atlanta radio »

TV best bets with return of ‘Project Runway,’ season finale of ‘Deadliest Catch’

projectrunway-season8-lifetime

Lifetime brings back “Project Runway” for a ninth season, the fourth on Lifetime with a record 20 contestants, up from 17 last year and 16 most recent seasons. I’m not clear if this means this round will be stretched out longer or not.

If biting designers are not your scene, Discovery’s annual Shark Week begins Sunday with “Great White Invasion.”

And only one major program ends its season this week: Discovery’s “Deadliest Catch” on Tuesday.

MONDAY

“The Bachelorette” 8 p.m. ABC — Cumming’s own Constantine got the last rose last week, landing among the three finalists for Ashley’s heart.
The Closer” 9 p.m. TNT — Flynn and Provenca try to make extra cash serving court papers for a lawyer.
“HGTV Design Star” 9 p.m. HGTV — The contestants revamp underused rooms in real homes.
“Single Ladies” 9 p.m. VH1  — A magical night with Jerry raises Val’s hopes.
“The A List” 10 p.m. Logo (second season debut) — Nyasha Zimucha, a former beauty queen, …

Continue reading TV best bets with return of ‘Project Runway,’ season finale of ‘Deadliest Catch’ »

Catching up with Lisa Wu Hartwell, former ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ cast member

Lisa Wu Hartwell rehearses "Stripped" with Dorsey Levens, who plays a former NFL player struggling to adjust to life after the fame and fortune. Hartwell plays Brooklyn, the resentful wife. This was shot at Whole World Theatre on July 23, four days before the play's debut at the Ferst Center. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Lisa Wu Hartwell rehearses "Stripped" with Dorsey Levens, who plays a former NFL player struggling to adjust to life after the fame and fortune. Hartwell plays Brooklyn, the resentful wife. This was shot at Whole World Theatre on July 23, four days before the play's debut at the Ferst Center. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Some folks with short memories may already be saying “Lisa Who?”

But Lisa Wu Hartwell, who quit “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” after season two, is moving on, pursuing a genuine acting career.

Reality TV got her name out there, but she felt she had to walk away from the shenanigans season three so directors and producers of scripted programs would take her more seriously.

Hartwell just finished a month-long shoot in Philadelphia on a murder/mystery film with actor/writer/director Charles Dutton called “Must Be the Music.”

She is starring in an upcoming play at Ferst Center on the Georgia Tech campus called “Stripped.” It debuts July 27 and runs through …

Continue reading Catching up with Lisa Wu Hartwell, former ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ cast member »

Watch ‘The Walking Dead’ season 2 trailer, show set to return Oct. 16 at 9 p.m.

AMC’s “The Walking Dead” is back to stalk the airwaves for season two Oct. 16 at 9 p.m. The one-hour drama, which is now the network’s most popular show, is moving back an hour earlier than it had been last fall during its brief six-episode first season fun.

It’s been in production in Atlanta since early June.

Here’s an extended four-minute trailer, which shows the survivors splintering as they leave downtown Atlanta. The group faces off against zombies on a highway after their vehicle breaks down. It doesn’t look too hopeful:

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

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

Continue reading Watch ‘The Walking Dead’ season 2 trailer, show set to return Oct. 16 at 9 p.m. »

Wild 105.7’s Mami Chula a rare breed in radio

Mami Chula with her lucky headset in the Wild 105.7 studio. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Mami Chula with her lucky headset in the Wild 105.7 studio. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

When radio stations invest in pricey billboard campaigns, they typically focus on the station’s slogan or its morning show.

But Wild 105.7, a station which plays dance-pop and hip hop, went a different route last fall: it gave evening disc jockey Mami Chula a starring role. Her face towered over highways, paired with key artists such as Eminem, Lady Gaga and Usher.

“It was,” said Mami Chula in an interview last week, ”a dream come true.”

The campaign seems to have helped. Wild’s ratings have climbed steadily this year. Ranked in 11th place among 18 to 34 year olds in December from 7 p.m. to midnight, Wild’s ratings have more than doubled since. Last month, in that demo, they ranked third behind rivals V-103 and Hot 107.9 in the evenings.

“We did our research,” said Melissa Forest, market manager for Clear Channel Atlanta, a hip-hop fan who will debate a song’s …

Continue reading Wild 105.7’s Mami Chula a rare breed in radio »

HLN’s Robin Meade releases country album

bndcover

Atlanta-based Robin Meade is best known as that HLN morning anchor with the chipper greeting, “Mornin’ Sunshine.”

But she’s also a country singer who released her first album last month called “Brand New Day,” available on iTunes and Target. Reviews have been kind. “Meade rises to the challenge and meets it dead on,” wrote Chuck Dauphin of Music News Nashville.

The album shows that she can actually sing with sass with songs such as “Put My High Heels On.” “Five inch heels are transformative!” she said in an interview today. Her trademark phrase “Mornin’ Sunshine” also became a song.

A couple of years ago, she was hosting a reality competition show on GAC  (Great American Country) when she met judge Victoria Shaw, who produced Lady Antebellum’s first album. Meade asked Shaw if she could teach Meade how to write music. Shaw, she said, figured this was just a notion, not a real project. But Meade kept driving up to Nashville and working with her.

“She said I stalked …

Continue reading HLN’s Robin Meade releases country album »

Did Atlantan Mitchell Kelly make it to the top 8 on ‘So You Think You Can Dance’?

Mitchell Kelly. CREDIT: Fox

Mitchell Kelly. CREDIT: Fox

Mitchell Kelly, the ethereal dancer from Atlanta, was one of the two contestants eliminated Thursday night on Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance.”

He gave Atlanta a shout out in his departing words. “I love you guys,” he said to the remaining dancers.

He has had a rough and tumble road to the top 10. During the top 20, he injured his elbow the first week and didn’t even dance. SYTYCD decided not to eliminate anybody that week. Then he messed up his foot a week later but persevered and danced anyway.  He landed in the bottom six that week but survived as four dancers were axed. Over the next three weeks, he landed in the danger zone one more time and made it. This week, he fell in the bottom again but couldn’t land on his feet a third time.

Kelly was paired Wednesday night with all star Melody Lacayanga from season one. Tyce Diorio choreographed a plane-themed Fosse-esque Broadway jazz piece that left the judges unimpressed.

“I didn’t get that …

Continue reading Did Atlantan Mitchell Kelly make it to the top 8 on ‘So You Think You Can Dance’? »

Rob Riggle makes first trip to the Punchline July 21-23

CREDIT: publicity shot

CREDIT: publicity shot

Rob Riggle is not quite a household name – yet. But he’s on the verge. He’s had modest, but memorable, roles on films and TV shows such as “The Hangover,” “The Killers,” “Step Brothers” and “30 Rock.” Producers and viewers like him. He keeps getting work.

In between, he squeezes in stand-up gigs. The Punchline has tried to get him multiple times but he has had to postpone every time a film pops up. He is finally coming this week, Thursday through Saturday.

Riggle’s spent years doing sketch and improv. He’s relatively new to stand-up, starting three years ago. While at “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” fellow correspondent John Oliver encouraged him to do stand-up. It’s just another way to flex his comedic muscle.

Fortunately, thanks to his past comedy work on live stages, the learning curve wasn’t as steep as it might have been for true neophytes. “I felt comfortable quickly,” he said.

For folks who aren’t familiar with his stand-up, Riggle said it’s …

Continue reading Rob Riggle makes first trip to the Punchline July 21-23 »