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Archive for November, 2011

‘The X Factor’ top 7 recap: did you feel it, Michael Jackson?

Rachel Crow could be in danger Wednesday night. CREDIT: Rick Mickshaw/FOX

Rachel Crow could be in danger Wednesday night. CREDIT: Rick Mickshaw/FOX

Who did you like the best tonight? (Pick up to three)

  • Marcus Canty
  • Melanie Amaro
  • Astro
  • Chris Rene
  • Drew
  • Josh Krajcik
  • Rachel Crow

View Results

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It’s more than two years since Michael Jackson died, but his music lives on. “X Factor” chose him as a theme, the same one “Idol” did season 8. But there’s nothing wrong with reprising it. M.J. has such a deep playlist of potential songs, he is worthy of the spotlight.

They even brought Michael Jackson’s kids to the show. Unfortunately, they sat stiffly in the audience, looking like they’d rather be playing their Wii at home or texting their friends. Blanket looked downright traumatized in front of the cameras. “It was a well put-together show,” Prince said, with some level of enthusiasm, at the end when Robo-host forced a comment out of him. (My DVR cut off before we got to Blanket’s comments.)

And nobody dared …

Continue reading ‘The X Factor’ top 7 recap: did you feel it, Michael Jackson? »

Steve Harvey ending stand-up tours next year to focus on talk show

Steve Harvey at a Mableton K-Mart in August, 2011. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Steve Harvey at a Mableton K-Mart in August, 2011. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

With his daily talk show set to debut in the fall of 2012, Atlanta-based entertainer Steve Harvey recently told listeners he will suspend stand-up touring after his summer  Hoodie Awards.

Harvey’s associate Terrance Mohammad confirmed that Harvey will be taking a break from stand up because of a lack of time. No word yet on where his talk show will be based though Harvey hopes it will be in Atlanta since this is his home.

Harvey is already a busy man. He is currently host of “Family Feud” and heads his own morning radio show, which airs on about 60 affiliates nationwide, including Majic 107.5/97.5 locally.  He also has a new movie coming out March 9, 2012 based on his best-selling book, “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.” The romantic comedy includes Gabrielle Union, Jerry Ferrara, Meagan Good, Michael Ealy, Regina Hall, Taraji P. Henson and Kevin Hart.

Currently, Harvey books about two …

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Local TV production executives charged with securities fraud

Hanh Hoa, a new actress playing a grandmother in "The Chin Chens" works with Bright Ideas CEO Will Hollins in October, 2010. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Hanh Hoa, a new actress playing a grandmother in "The Chin Chens" works with Bright Ideas CEO Will Hollins in October, 2010. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

A colleague of mine, J. Scott Trubey , reported last week that executives at Norcross-based Bright Eyes Entertainment were charged with securities fraud and other related infringements, costing investors at least $2 million. The company created two sitcoms, “My Parents, My Sister & Me,” featuring actress Robin Givens, and “The Chin Chens.” Neither program made it on a major network.

William Hollins, chief executive of Bright Ideas Entertainment LLC; the firm’s president, Daniel High; and a lawyer, Tene Davis, are accused of soliciting investments in the company by making false assertions in contracts to convince investors their money was fully guaranteed against loss.

The Georgia Secretary of State said more than 30 investors had invested in the original project.

Ric Reitz, an actor who played the dad in ten …

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Falcons’ Matt Ryan cites Oprah during ‘audible’ on Sunday

AP photo of Matt Ryan during the Falcons-Vikings game. In this place, he fumbled but recovered the ball.

AP photo of Matt Ryan during the Falcons-Vikings game. In this place, he fumbled but recovered the ball.

How about this for a strange Oprah reference?

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was caught yelping “”Four-Oprah!” to his offense during the team’s 24-14 victory over the Vikings on Sunday.

He said this during an “audible.” In football terms, an “audible” alerts a quarterback’s teammates that he’s changing a play at the line of scrimmage when he notices something different in the other team’s defensive coverage.

James Duthie, a broadcaster for Canada’s The Sports Network, overheard Ryan’s “Oprah” call.

“I thought I was hearing things, but the guys on the broadcast [Brian Billick and Thom Brennaman] mentioned it briefly in passing,” Duthie told the New York Post. “And a couple of plays later I heard it again. It was bizarro.

“I actually like the fact that they have a little creativity. They can really say anything they want at the line [during an audible] and it’s …

Continue reading Falcons’ Matt Ryan cites Oprah during ‘audible’ on Sunday »

Bill Pullman channels Harrison Ford (again) in TNT’s ‘Presumed Innocent’ sequel Nov. 29

Bill Pullman plays Rusty Sabrich in "Scott Turow's Innocent." CREDIT: TNT

Bill Pullman plays Rusty Sabrich in "Scott Turow's Innocent." CREDIT: TNT

Back in 1986, Bill Pullman played a Han Solo-type parody character in Mel Brooks’ “Spaceballs.”

A quarter century later, Pullman is back playing yet another Harrison Ford character: Rusty Sabitch in a sequel to the 1990 movie “Presumed Innocent” on TNT Nov. 29 dubbed “Scott Turow’s Innocent.”

“I’ve inherited a few opportunities to pick up after Mr. Ford,” said Pullman, with a chuckle during a recent phone interview.

In the original movie (and 1987 best-selling book), Rusty was an attorney accused of a murder he did not commit. Now, 22 years later, he is now a judge accused of murdering his wife, the woman who had murdered his mistress in the first film. The new TNT film has some great actors besides Pullman: Marcia Gay Harden is his unstable wife. Alfred Molina is Pullman’s feisty attorney. And Richard Schiff plays the weary prosecutor who tries to pin a murder on Rusty again.

Pullman said he had never …

Continue reading Bill Pullman channels Harrison Ford (again) in TNT’s ‘Presumed Innocent’ sequel Nov. 29 »

‘The Walking Dead’ finishes fall run with 6.6 million viewers

CREDIT: AMC

CREDIT: AMC

How do you like “The Walking Dead” so far this season?

  • So far, so good. Will keep watching.
  • I’m frustrated by the pacing but will stick with it.
  • I’ve thrown in the towel.
  • I have never seen it but feel this deep need to answer this survey anyway

View Results

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The final fall episode of AMC’s “The Walking Dead”, with its sad and somewhat surprising ending, drew a solid 6.6 million viewers, the most since the season debut of 7.3 million.

The horror/drama, which was shot primarily on the southside of metro Atlanta for season two, has averaged more than 6 million viewers on Sunday nights, by far the most for any AMC show and the best of any scripted cable show this fall.

Critics have griped at times that the show hasn’t moved quickly enough, doesn’t involve enough zombies and hasn’t fully developed all its major characters. The Atlantic also says scenes are repeated too often, the writers should fill in blanks by using more …

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J93.3 becomes The Joy FM Dec. 1 with new morning show

Morning cruiseContemporary Christian station J93.3 becomes The Joy FM on Thursday, Dec. 1.

The music format remains the same, but the station will attach itself to a national syndicated format which includes a syndicated morning show called The Morning Cruise.

Jerry Williams, who has been manning mornings  solo in recent months since Sheila Richards passed, will take over the afternoons from 3 to 7 p.m. Shannon Steele, who comes from EMI Christian Music Group, joins Williams for the new live show.

Thirty years ago, Atlanta businessman Bill Watkins and his wife Joyce created Provident Broadcasting Company and later purchased WVFJ-FM, the station which is now J-93.3. The station went on the air as a Christian music station in May of 1982. On March 1, 2011, Radio Training Network, a not-for-profit organization, purchased J93.3 from the Watkins Family.  RTN was founded by Jim and Ruth Campbell in 1989.

J93.3 has since gone non-commercial, which means it is supported by listener support …

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CBS hires new evening anchor Guy Rawlings to join Stephany Fisher

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Since anchor Bill Gaines abruptly quit CBS Atlanta in May, 2009, the station has left Stephany Fisher as the solo anchor at 11 p.m.

But more than three years later, the station (WGCL-TV) has finally found its man: Guy Rawlings from the NBC affiliate WESH-TV in Orlando.

(Is that a broadcaster name or what? Old-timers in this town will remember another notable “guy”: the late great WXIA meteorologist Guy Sharpe. “People don’t believe that’s my real name,” Rawling said, “but I’m actually Guy Rawlings Jr.”)

“I’m really excited and a little bit anxious,” Rawlings said in an interview today. “I wanted to try something different, look for a new challenge. A lot of my friends who are sports anchors are unemployed. Local sports seems to be shrinking. This opportunity is a hybrid of news and sports. I had to jump on it!”

Better yet, his parents live in Johns Creek. “This will be the first time we’re in the same city since high school!” he said.

According to Rawlings’ bio on WESH-TV, he …

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James Durbin releases new album, hopes to reach broad audience

51oWHXbtzjL._SL500_AA300_James Durbin was one of seaon ten’s most memorable contestants. His metal predilections were in full display. He loved being on stage. He had a good voice, and a wail that some folks hated but regardless, he did get better as the show went along. He proved mild Tourette Syndrome weren’t an obstacle. And he showed refreshing honesty on stage and in interviews.

In the end, Durbin took full advantage of his time on “Idol,” educating the world about Judas Priest and quickly nabbing a record deal.

His first record “Memories of a Beautiful Disaster” came out last week and will sell an estimated 20,000 to 25,000 copies, according to HitsDailyDouble.com.

I spoke with him before the album came out. Some work was done before the tour began but he squeezed any free moment he could to refine it. “We were able to reach out to people to get songs written,” he said. “Even if it wasn’t written by me, I was looking for something I could connect iwth on a different level.” Topics at hand: …

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Shaq hopes to be called ‘Dr. O’Neal’ next year

Shaq-book3

Shaquille O’Neal may be retired, but at age 39, he’s hardly twiddling his big thumbs.

He still has a brand to burnish.

Sure, his new gig as analyst on TNT’s “Inside the NBA” in Atlanta is on hold, at least until Christmas. But he’s finishing up his dissertation to receive a doctorate in psychology at Barry University in Miami. His memoir “Shaq Uncut” hit stores Nov. 15. Ane his branded “Shaq All Star Comedy Jam” tour is traveling the nation, coming to the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre Dec. 2.

We spoke to the legendary center last week before a Q&A and book signing at Morehouse College before the tentative agreement between the players and owners this past weekend:

Q: You’ve owned a place in Buckhead for 15 years. What made you decide to get a place here?

A: I always loved Atlanta. I’d come here and people have been so nice to me. I used to own a restaurant on Peachtree. I’ve owned other businesses, too. It’s a nice place to come to play and it’s only a six-hour drive …

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