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Archive for March, 2012

NeNe Leakes lands a role on new Ryan Murphy comedy pilot ‘The New Normal’

Nene-Leakes-on-Glee1While “Real Housewives of Atlanta” cast member Kim Zolciak landed a reality show spinoff on Bravo, her former friend NeNe Leakes has been making a heavy push into acting.

She’s had a well-received recurring role this season as a tough-talking swim coach on Ryan Murphy’s “Glee.” Now Murphy has tapped her again for another recurring role on his NBC comedic pilot “The New Normal” about a blended family of a gay couple and their surrogate, according to Deadline.com. She plays a character named Rocky, though the article provides no details of what that entails.

Broadcast networks are shooting pilots across the country for the 2012-13 season (including two in Atlanta: J.J. Abrams’ Revolution” and an untitled Kevin Williamson project starring Kevin Bacon). On average, network pilots have about a one in three shot of making it on air the next season. “The New Normal” has the pedigree of Murphy, who has also created FX’s “Nip/Tuck” and “American Horror Story.” And NBC needs hits – …

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Kenan Thompson coming to Ferst Center at Ga. Tech March 29

Kenan Thompson is now in his ninth season on "SNL." CREDIT: NBC

Kenan Thompson is now in his ninth season on "SNL." CREDIT: NBC

Nearing the end of his ninth season on “Saturday Night Live,”  metro Atlanta native Kenan Thompson has become a fixture on the sketch comedy show, a go-to person for celebrity impersonations, from Tyler Perry to Herman Cain to Al Sharpton.

During breaks on the show, he visits college campuses to talk about his life. This Thursday, he comes to the Ferst Center for the Arts at Georgia Tech. “It’s not really standup,” Thompson explained recently from New York City.  “It’s more storytelling, life stories,” he said. I talk about ‘SNL’ and my time on ‘Kenan & Kel,’ ” his hit show on Nickelodeon in the 1990s.

He’ll also do some of his characters if people request it, including his most enduring original one to date: DeAndre Cole, a self-absorbed talk show host who prefers to sing than actually interview his celebrity guests, which have included Morgan Freeman, Paul Simon and Bill O’Reilly. “SNL” has tapped this …

Continue reading Kenan Thompson coming to Ferst Center at Ga. Tech March 29 »

Did ‘The Voice’ locals Mathai and Jordan Rager make it to the live show?

Mathai will be back on "The Voice" after surviving the Battle Rounds. CREDIT: NBC

Mathai will be back on "The Voice" after surviving the Battle Rounds. CREDIT: NBC

The battle rounds are done! We now go live next week. Tonight, the two remaining metro Atlantans compete: Mathai and Jordan Rager.

Over these four weeks, many of the pairings were mismatches and you could tell based on the song choice and editing who was going to win most of the time.

James Massone vs Wade (Team Cee Lo, “True Colors” Cyndi Lauper). James has some confidence issues during rehearsal but he did a great job during the battle round. He has a more interesting voice. Wade is far smoother and more refined. It’s a toss up. But Cee Lo felt he didn’t hit his high point. So he gives it to the underdog James.

Mathai vs. Nicolle Galyon(Team Adam, “Love Song,” Sara Bareilles).  It’s fair to say Mathai, who moved to Atlanta from Dallas a year ago, is the favorite. Mathai gets Alanis Morissette as a coach. “Stretch those notes a little more,” Adam said. ‘You paint a little more,” Alanis …

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Video: talking ‘Walking Dead,’ Kim Zolciak, ‘Steel Magnolias’

Cinestars’ Brittany Umar and I talk about the upcoming “Walking Dead”/zombie tour, Kim Zolciak’s pregnancy and Lifetime’s new “Steel Magnolias” project with Queen Latifah:

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

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‘Idol’ bits: my Power 9, Daughtry at Cobb Energy Centre March 27

Daughtry, at the Gwinnett Arena in December for Star 94's Jingle Jam, returns to Atlanta at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre Tuesday night, March 27. CREDIT: RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com

Daughtry, at the Gwinnett Arena in December for Star 94's Jingle Jam, returns to Atlanta at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre Tuesday night, March 27. CREDIT: RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com

Chris Daughtry, just three months after headlining the Star 94 Jingle Jam, talked to my colleague Melissa Ruggieri about his show at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre Tuesday, March 27. He recently performed on “Idol” and told her he still gets nervous when going on that stage, even six years after the fact.

He will play a full set, of course, with more cuts from the new album. At the Star 94 concert, he did a trimmed down one hour focused on the hits. His last single ‘Crawling Back to You” peaked at No. 6 on the Hot AC chart. His harder-rockin’ “Outta My Head” is out next.

You can buy Daughtry tickets here.

- “Idol” ratings continue to lag far behind year ago numbers. Last Wednesday, the show drew 17.21 million viewers (5.1 rating 18-49) vs. 23.95 million for the comparable 2011 …

Continue reading ‘Idol’ bits: my Power 9, Daughtry at Cobb Energy Centre March 27 »

TV best bets with return of ‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘The Killing’ and a ‘Jersey Shore’ spinoff

Game of Thrones coverTwo shows that got tons of buzz last year – HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones” and AMC’s “The Killing” – return Sunday night.

“Game of Thrones” is a sexy, violent adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s fantasy series. It built a following last year throughout season one and was rewarded with a cover story of Entertainment Weekly last week.

Meanwhile, AMC last year also developed a massive fan base for “The Killing,” then peeved a bulk of them when they didn’t resolve who was the murderer during the finale. Will they come back? We’ll find out soon.

And if such scripted series aren’t your taste, the first of two “Jersey Shore” spinoffs starts on Thursday with Pauly D – just as the show itself has started to lose serious steam.

MONDAY

“Alcatraz” 8 p.m. Fox (first season finale) — Rebecca and Doc close in on a man who may be a key to why criminals keep returning.
“Dancing With the Stars” 8 p.m. ABC — Strong dance performances last week didn’t stop ratings from falling, especially …

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‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ recap, season 4, episode 18: are we done with the black baby comment… yet?

Ayden and Phaedra Parks.

Ayden and Phaedra Parks.

Did “Real Housewives of Atlanta” need to be 20 episodes this year?

  • Yes. There’s been plenty going on.
  • Ugh! It feels stretched out to the point of painful.

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As “Real Housewives of Atlanta” staggers toward the end of a seemingly endless season four, Cynthia Bailey and Kim Zolciak finally bring closure to an argument that has festered since the South Africa trip: Cynthia’s uncouth comments about Kim not holding an “African” (read: black) baby and not imagining her being at an orphanage.

Was it a racist comment? Maybe. Probably. Could have been.

As Kim noted, Cynthia is passive aggressive when she needs to be. She knew she said something derogatory about Kim. Both Sheree Whitfield and Kandi Burruss in previous arguments confirmed she had said it.

Now at Phaedra Parks’ blessing for her one-year-old Ayden, Kim, Kroy Biermann and their son AJ are placed at a table with Cynthia and her husband Peter Thomas. It’s …

Continue reading ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ recap, season 4, episode 18: are we done with the black baby comment… yet? »

Adult Swim with ‘Loiter Squad’ tries to channel ‘Jackass’ mentality

CREDIT: Adult Swim

CREDIT: Adult Swim

A decade ago, MTV created the “Jackass” nation, years before YouTube made stupid pranks and stunts available to all any time anywhere.

Atlanta-based Adult Swim, which doesn’t mind delving into things juvenile and idiotic for the young male mind, has a new show coming Sunday, March 25, at 11:30 p.m. called “Loiter Squad.”

I have only seen the trailer. Based on that, this show looks a bit like “Jackass,” with a bit of “Chappelle” thrown in.

“It’s very loose,” said Jeff Tremaine, of Dickhouse, the production company that put together “Loiter Squad” and also does MTV’s “Fantasy Factory” and “Ridiculousness.” “They are not actors. They’re a bunch of wild friends. They’re very funny.” He said he didn’t have a clear idea how it would come together but “the chaos that ensued is what you see on screen. They’re very good at going out on the streets, just sort of f**** around with people.”

“They’re fun,” Tremaine added, “if you put them in any costume. We put Tyler in …

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Adele tops Atlanta radio for seven weeks with ‘Set Fire to the Rain’

Adele apAdele’s “Set Fire to the Rain” continues to set fire to Atlanta radio, holding as the most played song on the FM dial for the seventh week in a row.

She was spun 223 times, topping B98.5 (27 spins), Star 94 (68 spins) and Q100 (93 times). Wild 105.7/96.7 has the song at a relatively modest 29 spins while Dave did so six times.

Who’s threatening Adele’s slot? Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” is only 21 spins behind with 22 spins on B98.5, 67 at Star, 33 at Wild and 80 at Q100.

Fastest growing song of the week: Rihanna’s ‘Birthday Cake,” up 47 spins.

And a song that is getting a lot of press lately, Fun.’s “We Are Young,” has joined Star, Q100 and Dave FM this past week.

Top 10 songs on Atlanta radio:
1. Adele “Set Fire to the Rain” 223 (-10)
2. Kelly Clarkson “Stronger” 202 (-8)
3. Flo Rida “Good Feeling” 197 (+6)
4. Katy Perry “The One That Got Away” 194 (+21)
5. David Guetta “Turn Me on” 189 (+3)
6. Bruno Mars “It Will Rain” 171 (-6)
7. Jessie J. “Domino” 157 (-6)
8. …

Continue reading Adele tops Atlanta radio for seven weeks with ‘Set Fire to the Rain’ »

Chris Hardwick on ‘Talking Dead,’ Variety Playhouse Nerdist show Saturday March 24

talking-dead-chris-hardwick-0

Chris Hardwick is at Variety Playhouse March 24, 2012. CREDIT: AMC

Cable networks have 168 hours a week to fill. Most of it is repeats. Original content costs money.

When a network does have a hit, there are ways to leverage that hit. Repeat it often. Create spinoffs. And now several are doing “after shows” for shows that seem to inspire “water cooler” talk. These are low-cost talk shows where the host and guests discuss what had just aired. This type of talk is what’s happening on social media and fan websites anyway. It’s smart programming with low risk and hopefully deepens a viewer’s loyalty to that program.

Bravo’s Andy Cohen had so much success with his post-”Real Housewives” shows, he recently turned “Watch What Happens Live” into a five-day-a-week talk show.

MTV for a time did after-shows after each “Jersey Shore” episode. VH1 has been doing “Mob Wives: The Sit Down” after its Sunday night episodes. Lifetime’s “Project Runway All Stars,” which concluded this past …

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