accessAtlanta

City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Archive for September, 2011

‘X Factor’ auditions, ep 2: listen – or not!

Melanie Amaro was incredible in her Miami audition. CREDIT: Fox

Melanie Amaro was incredible in her Miami audition. CREDIT: Fox

These two hours, night two, were enervating. I feel weaker and less of a person after way too many bad singers and deluded human beings. At least there were two great singers in the mix who I won’t forget.

The first hour of “The X Factor” in Miami was an utter waste of time except for the last five minutes when Melanie Amaro, a sweet 18 year old, showed up. She looked utterly unassuming but when she opened her mouth, it was a revelation.

I actually saw her in the advance screener Fox sent out a few days back. I didn’t realize it would be shown tonight, not night one. Amaro’s evocative singing gave me goosebumps. That almost never happens. Even Simon Cowell give a standing ovation?

Assuming she can replicate this with other songs, she is surely someone who I could see win this competition. I also like her sweet, aw-shucks personality and I didn’t even need a back story.

There were a few other promising singers who …

Continue reading ‘X Factor’ auditions, ep 2: listen – or not! »

Lifetime’s ‘Drop Dead Diva’ (based in Peachtree City) gets a fourth season

CREDIT: Lifetime

CREDIT: Lifetime

Lifetime’s “Drop Dead Diva” has found life for a fourth season, according to Deadline.com, which seems to break almost every cancellation or renewal on TV nowadays.

The lighthearted drama, which shoots in studios in Peachtree City when not on location around metro Atlanta, saw a bit of a ratings slide this season, averaging about 2.3 million compared to 2.6 million a year ago. But obviously, Lifetime didn’t think the drop-off merited a cancellation.

The show has brought in its usual array of guest stars, including Mario Lopez, Clay Aiken, Wendy Williams, Brandy and Kathy Griffin.

The third-season finale airs this Sunday at 9 p.m.

“Diva” stars Brooke Elliott as a plus-sized attorney who has the soul of a dead model in a bit of a “Heaven Can Wait” twist.

The show wrapped over the summer. If the past schedule is followed from previous years, the show will return in March, 2012 and come back on air with fresh episodes in June.

I heard a rumor of a possible …

Continue reading Lifetime’s ‘Drop Dead Diva’ (based in Peachtree City) gets a fourth season »

‘X Factor’ debut underwhelming in ratings

x-factor-logo_0

Given all the hype over the past months, “The X Factor” debut last night didn’t exactly blow anybody away: 12.5 million viewers and a 4.4 share among 18 to 49 year olds. (Those are early numbers. Finals should be out soon and I will update with those.)

In this day and age, those are excellent numbers, but “Idol” first episodes still draw around 26 to 28 million viewers.

“Criminal Minds” on CBS and “Modern Family” on ABC drew more viewers and “Modern Family” eclipsed “X Factor” among 18 to 49 year olds with a huge 6.0 rating.

Competition tonight will be just as tough for night two.

I have no clue what Fox executives were expecting but personally, I would have predicted 18 to 20 million and at least a 6 share 18-49.

The over-arching question has always been: do we need an “Idol” clone all that badly? And sure, there are differences, but the differences have been usurped by other shows. The different age groups? See “America’s Got Talent.” Coaches? See “The Voice.” Simon and …

Continue reading ‘X Factor’ debut underwhelming in ratings »

Pandora lifts 40-hour-a-month limit, goes essentially unlimited

pandora-radio-640

Pandora, the popular music site around that is very close to a replacement for traditional radio for millions out there, has decided to drop its 40-hour-a-month limit for free usage on its ad-supported site.

In the past, Pandora would limit free listening to 40 hours a month. Now, it’s 320 hours, which is a rather generous 80 hours a week. In other words, that’s practically unlimited.

Previously, if you wanted unlimited listening, you’d have to subscribe for a rather modest $36 a year and you’d get no ads to boot. You can still do that now and get no ads.

The service, which blossomed the past couple of years as an app on mobile phones, has faced more competition than ever from the likes of Spotify, Mog and Google Music Beta.

Pandora has also overhauled its website, speeding up the interface. Each station now has its own URL, making it easier to share on Facebook and the like. Coincidentally (or not), Facebook is expected to launch its own music service soon.

Pandora in July …

Continue reading Pandora lifts 40-hour-a-month limit, goes essentially unlimited »

Stone Mountain siblings, local former NFL player and wife part of ‘Amazing Race 19′

Pine Mountain residents Amani and Marcus Pollard will compete for $1 million on "The Amazing Race" starting Sunday, Sept. 25. CREDIT: CBS

Pine Mountain residents Amani and Marcus Pollard will compete for $1 million on "The Amazing Race" starting Sunday, Sept. 25. CREDIT: CBS

For the first time ever, Georgia will have not just one – but two – teams in “The Amazing Race” for season 19 starting Sunday at 8 p.m.

The two teams are:

- Amani and Marcus Pollard: husband-wife team with four kids from Pine Mountain. Marcus had a solid 14-year career as a tight end in the NFL, retiring in 2008 after one game with the Atlanta Falcons. He now coaches high school football. Amani owns a boutique.

tar19_justin_jenny

- Jennifer and Justin Young – A brother-sister team from Stone Mountain. He’s a medical resident. She’s a special education teacher.

I interviewed both couples though as standard with these shows, restricted by what we could talk about related to the show itself.

Marcus, 39, and Amani, 36, hope their strong marriage will guide them to victory and the $1 million. “We may not be the fastest or strongest or smartest,” Amani said in …

Continue reading Stone Mountain siblings, local former NFL player and wife part of ‘Amazing Race 19′ »

EUE/Screen Gems studios at Lakewood in expansion mode

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed touts the positive net impact tax credits for film and tV production has had on the state. COO Chris Cooney of EUE/Screen Gems accompanies him. PHOTO CREDITS: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed touts the positive net impact tax credits for film and tV production has had on the state. COO Chris Cooney of EUE/Screen Gems accompanies him. PHOTO CREDITS: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

A little more than a year old, the EUE/Screen Gems TV and film production site on the former Lakewood Fairgrounds is already in expansion mode.

Executives said demand for studio space has exceeded expectations so the company has broken ground on a new 30,000-square-foot sound stage on the Atlanta property. Chris Cooney, chief operating officer for EUE/Screen Gems, said it will be ready early next year, in time for “pilot” season. That’ s when broadcast networks will shoot dozens of potential new shows for possible airing during the 2012-13 TV season.

Already, EUE/Screen Gems has worked with the BET cable network on three shows: “Let’s Stay Together,” “Sunday Best” and “The Game.” USA Network also used a 37,500-square-foot sound stage that opened in April to shoot its first …

Continue reading EUE/Screen Gems studios at Lakewood in expansion mode »

Britney Spears tops Atlanta radio airplay with ‘I Wanna Go’

110828_otrc_ap_vmas_show_spears_win

Britney Spears has the most popular song in Atlanta this week. CREDIT: AP

A couple years ago, Britney Spears’ career was in serious jeopardy, but her comeback has been impressive. She now has the most popular song in Atlanta radio this week with “I Wanna Go.”

She is relying on heavy airplay, though, on just two stations: Wild 105.7/96.7 (118) and Q100 (87). Star 94 has chosen not to spin the song.

In comparison, a few weeks ago, former No. 1 Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” was played on five stations. Lil Wayne’s “How To Love” lasted just two weeks and has fallen off sharply the past few days.

There are very few consensus big hits period at the moment across more than two or three stations.

Top 10 songs
1. Britney Spears “I Wanna Go” 205 (-4)
2. Katy Perry “Last Friday Night” 199 (-5)
3. Pitbull “Give Me Everything” 177 (+11)
4. LMFAO “Party Rock Anthem” 158 (-16)
5. Maroon 5 f/Christina Aguilera “Moves Like Jagger” 164 (+20)
6. OneRepublic “Good Life” 152 (-4)
7. Foster the …

Continue reading Britney Spears tops Atlanta radio airplay with ‘I Wanna Go’ »

Two Atlanta teens in Hub’s new ‘Majors & Minors’

Austin Crute of Marietta is on the new Hub show "Majors & Minors." CREDIT: the Hub

Austin Crute of Marietta is on the new Hub show "Majors & Minors." CREDIT: the Hub

When dealing with kids 16 and under, reality TV has tended to treat them with a certain level of kid gloves.

It can get knotty. CBS learned this when it aired “Kid Nation” in 2007 and fielded complaints of exploitation and treatment over the concept of kids fending for themselves in a tamed down “Survivor” set up. Once it aired, the controversy ultimately died on the vine, but the show’s low ratings really doomed it.  In 2003, Fox also tried “American Juniors,” a younger version of “Idol” that went nowhere fast with viewers.

Then again, TLC has managed to draw viewers with “Toddlers & Tiaras.” Blecch.

The Hub has decided to air its own band-camp style music show but made it clear that there would be no eliminations. Called “Majors & Minors,” it debuts this Friday.  Not that competition is completely scrubbed away. One kid (they range from 10 to 16 years old) will win a record deal with RCA. …

Continue reading Two Atlanta teens in Hub’s new ‘Majors & Minors’ »

Who is out first on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ season 13?

Ron Artest was up first Monday night and first out Tuesday night. CREDIT: ABC

Ron Artest was up first Monday night and first out Tuesday night. CREDIT: ABC

Do you agree with Ron Artest getting voted off first?

  • Yes. He was a bad dancer and deserved it.
  • Nope. It should have been Elisabetta Canalis
  • Nope. It should have been Nancy Grace
  • Nope. It should have been Rob Kardashian
  • Nope. It should have been someone not referenced above

View Results

Loading ... Loading …

For the first time in the 13 seasons of “Dancing With the Stars,” an athlete was ousted first. In this case, it’s Ron Artest, who inexplicably changed his name to Metta World Peace.

The Los Angeles Laker with the blonde hair and clompish moves had the lowest judges’ score of 14 and obviously couldn’t generate the votes to make up the difference.

Although Atlantan Nancy Grace was paired with Artest at the bottom, she wasn’t necessarily the celebrity with the second-lowest votes.

Surprisingly, George Clooney’s ex Elisabetta Canalis made it past the first week despite a tepid …

Continue reading Who is out first on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ season 13? »

The Charlie Sheen effect: ‘Two and a Half Men,’ Comedy Central Roast break records

Charlie Sheen, shown here at his roast, helped fuel record ratings directly or indirectly for both CBS's "Two and a Half Men" and Comedy Central's roast franchise. CREDIT: Comedy Central

Charlie Sheen, shown here at his roast, helped fuel record ratings directly or indirectly for both CBS's "Two and a Half Men" and Comedy Central's roast franchise. CREDIT: Comedy Central

CBS’s’ “Two and a Half Men” killed off Charlie Sheen’s character with laughs and not a tear in sight, roping in a whopping 28.7 million viewers in the process, by far the largest ever for the show.

Among 18 to 49 year olds, it pulled in a 10.7 share, which is comparable to “American Idol” during its better days.

Charlie Harper, Sheen’s character, died in Paris when he fell in front of an oncoming train, according to his stalker, who may or may not have pushed him. Ashton Kutcher’s character enters as an Internet billionaire distraught that his girlfriend broke up with him and buys Harper’s home (since Alan is broke and can’t afford to stay there.)

TV reviewers were generally kind toward Kutcher, even if his character evokes a bit of his Kelso days on “That 70s Show.”

Plus, it will be …

Continue reading The Charlie Sheen effect: ‘Two and a Half Men,’ Comedy Central Roast break records »