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Archive for April, 2012

Dick Clark (1929-2012), a true media mogul and model for Ryan Seacrest

Ryan Seacrest with Dick Clark before the 2011 "Rockin' New Year's Eve" on ABC. CREDIT: ABC

Ryan Seacrest with Dick Clark before the 2011 "Rockin' New Year's Eve" on ABC. CREDIT: ABC

In an interview I did with Ryan Seacrest back in the early days of “Idol,” he had very specific ambition: to emulate Dick Clark on camera and behind the camera.

Sadly, Clark has died of a heart attack. He was 82. TMZ broke the story and the news has been confirmed by other outlets.

Clark is truly a pop culture institution. He was the perpetually youthful host of “American Bandstand” and various incarnations of the game show “Pyramid.” His nickname: “America’s oldest teenager.” As a producer and host, he turned “Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve” into an annual rite and turned “Bandstand” into the go-to place for pop music fans.

He was always calm and collected, the consummate host who never overshadowed the stars. He brought top 40 music to the masses in a way that didn’t offend the parents and gave many an artist much needed TV exposure before MTV and the Web took over. Sure, acts …

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Kevin Hart sees his star rising with ‘Think Like a Man’ Friday

Kevin Hart is the comedic heartbeat of "Think Like a Man," out April 20. CREDIT: AP

Kevin Hart is the comedic heartbeat of "Think Like a Man," out April 20. CREDIT: AP

Kevin Hart, at the Buckhead St. Regis Hotel earlier this month, was visibly tired. He had just spent the previous night partying at local hotspots the Gold Room and Velvet Room. “Premiere parties. Afterparties. Hosting special events,” he said.

But he wasn’t complaining. His career is on the rise, and he’s excited about being such a central character in “Think Like a Man,” a romantic comedy which hits theaters nationwide Friday and is based on Atlanta comedian Steve Harvey’s best-selling advice book.

“This,” Hart said, “could potentially be my breakout role.”

Within an ensemble cast which includes Gabrielle Union, Taraji B. Henson and Michael Ealy, Hart brings a brash, Chris Tucker-like sensibility to his role as Cedric, a recently divorced man on the prowl.

Hart said his own recent divorce helped inform him about his character.  He said he and his ex Torrei, who have two kids, are working …

Continue reading Kevin Hart sees his star rising with ‘Think Like a Man’ Friday »

Who is out fourth on ‘Dancing With the Stars’?

Kym Johnson and Jaleel White survived the fourth elimination round. CREDIT: ABC

Kym Johnson and Jaleel White survived the fourth elimination round. CREDIT: ABC

Gavin leaving

  • No way! It should have been someone else
  • No surprise. It was time.

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To paraphrase Gavin DeGraw’s current hit song, the “Dancing With the Stars” audience is over him.

He had the lowest vote total on Monday night and even admitted that his samba was a bit all over the place. (He received two 6s, which is pretty low at this stage of the competition.)

What was a bit shocking was Jaleel White’s place at the bottom two, requiring the “Family Matters” star to do a simultaneous dance duel with DeGraw. But the judges had an easy decision. Even a half-blind amateur could easily tell White is a better dancer than  DeGraw. Watching them side by side only accentuated the difference.

DeGraw ultimately lasted longer than I expected. He came across as a super nice guy in a cute hat with modest dance skills who had zero chance of winning.

White is not one …

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Video: talking Joe Rogan, Kevin Hart, Mark Hayes

Cinestars’ Brittany Umar and I today discussed my interviews with Joe Rogan and Kevin Hart, plus the departure of Mark Hayes from “Good Day Atlanta” to Dallas.

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

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Joe Rogan will tape online comedy special at Tabernacle Friday, April 20

Joe Rogan is coming to Atlanta Friday and taping two shoes he'll turn into a comedy special he's planning to sell online to fans for $5 a pop, following the Louis C.K. model.

Joe Rogan is coming to Atlanta Friday and taping two shoes he'll turn into a comedy special he's planning to sell online to fans for $5 a pop, following the Louis C.K. model.

The return of “Fear Factor” on NBC in December with Joe Rogan as host was short lived. The culprit in Rogan’s mind: donkey sperm.

Advance negative buzz that contestants were going to drink donkey sperm spurred NBC to pull the episode, never to be aired. Rogan said some advertisers balked and despite decent ratings for the eight-episode run, the stench of that controversy killed off a show that lasted six seasons its first go around.

Rogan said the producers felt pressured to up the ick factor but even he felt queasy about the sperm bit. At the same time, he find what is okay and what isn’t bewildering. “We’ve made people eat bull testicles before,” he said. “That was okay.”

As for “Fear Factor” being cancelled, Rogan was surprisingly copacetic. “Quiet honestly, I wasn’t bummed out,” Rogan said. “I was …

Continue reading Joe Rogan will tape online comedy special at Tabernacle Friday, April 20 »

‘Idol’ bits: Power 7, Kelly Clarkson returns to Atlanta in August with the Fray

AMERICAN IDOL: Top 7 (with save): L-R: Holly Cavanaugh, Josh Ledet, Colton Dixon, Jessica Sanchez (saved), Elise Testone, Phillip Phillips and Skylar Laine. CR: Michael Becker / FOX.

AMERICAN IDOL: Top 7 (with save): L-R: Holly Cavanaugh, Josh Ledet, Colton Dixon, Jessica Sanchez (saved), Elise Testone, Phillip Phillips and Skylar Laine. CR: Michael Becker / FOX.

Here’s my top 7 this week. The theme is interesting: a recent song from the past 12 years and a soul song from any previous decade. Very broad.

1) Colton Dixon – I never imagined I’d ever put him here at the top but Phillip forced me into this position. He has been performing with far more guile than Phillip, who comes off as a bit less complex in his mindset. While Colton’s vocal skills still don’t impress me on the whole, he emotes well on the lighter pop-rock performances such as the Skylar Grey song last week. He is picking smart songs for himself and now minus the skunk hair, actually doesn’t look so ridiculous either. (last week: 3) TWITTER FOLLOWERS: 198,000

2) Jessica Sanchez – Sure, she had the fewest votes last week, but I don’t think she’s toast. In fact, I’m keeping her at No. 2 right …

Continue reading ‘Idol’ bits: Power 7, Kelly Clarkson returns to Atlanta in August with the Fray »

Former Fox 5 ‘Good Day Atlanta’ anchor Mark Hayes joins NBC affiliate in Dallas

Mark-Hayes-mug-214x300

Now we know why Mark Hayes so willingly stepped away from his gig at “Good Day Atlanta” on Fox 5 earlier this month: he has a new gig in Dallas as a morning anchor for the NBC affiliate, KXAS-TV. He will start in May, anchoring from 4:30 a.m. to 7 a.m.

“When a viewer turns on the news in the morning, Mark is the kind of person they want to see,” said Susan Tully, NBC 5 Vice President of News, in a press release. “He has a warm delivery and makes the early wake-up just a little more enjoyable. Mark had a deeply loyal following in Atlanta because of his personable approach to giving viewers their first news of the day.”

Tully declined to be interviewed.

Hayes, who was at “Good Day Atlanta” for ten years, hasn’t returned a phone call or text yet. He did emote in the press release using all sorts of big adjectives:

Their extraordinary vision and passion for journalistic excellence was what attracted me to this opportunity and I can’t wait to be part of such an outstanding news …

Continue reading Former Fox 5 ‘Good Day Atlanta’ anchor Mark Hayes joins NBC affiliate in Dallas »

PBS’s ‘Antiques Roadshow,’ grand-daddy of ’stuff’ shows, Atlanta edition, starts April 16

Kathie Hicks Fuston, who now lives in Columbia, Tenn. but grew up in Peachtree City, will be featured in an upcoming episode of "Antiques Roadshow." CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Kathie Hicks Fuston, who now lives in Columbia, Tenn. but grew up in Peachtree City, will be featured in an upcoming episode of "Antiques Roadshow." CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Paul Brown runs the Gallery 63 antiques consignment shop in Buckhead. He calls a particular genre of television “stuff” shows.

“American Pickers.” “Hardcore Pawn.” “Pawn Stars.” “Cajun Pawn Stars.” “Storage Wars.” “Storage Wars Texas.”

Over the past three years, they’ve infiltrated the basic cable universe, feeding a seemingly insatiable appetite for programs that focus on buying and selling second-hand goods. Brown himself is star of “Auction Kings,” which is starting its third season later this month on the Discovery channel.

But the granddaddy of “stuff” shows in the United States is Public Broadcasting Service’s “Antiques Roadshow,” which debuted in 1997, 18 years after the original British version launched and two years after eBay turned the entire world into a local flea market.

For the …

Continue reading PBS’s ‘Antiques Roadshow,’ grand-daddy of ’stuff’ shows, Atlanta edition, starts April 16 »

TV best bets with season finales of ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta,’ ‘Raising Hope,’ ‘Ringer’

ABC's "Private Practice" moves to Tuesday to make room for another Shonda Rimes vehicle "Scandal." CREDIT: ABC

ABC's "Private Practice" moves to Tuesday to make room for another Shonda Rimes vehicle "Scandal." CREDIT: ABC

This week, you get a double dose of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” featuring part two and three of the reunion shows shot last month at the Biltmore. That means a six-month break!

Fox on Tuesday is wrapping up the second season of “Raising Hope,” which has been renewed for a third season. I expect the CW’s “Ringer” will return in the fall as well with its season ending Tuesday. And Discovery’s “Sons of Guns” will return as well after a successful third season ends Wednesday.

Also note that ABC has moved “Private Practice” out of its cushy post-”Grey’s Anatomy’ spot to the 10 p.m. position on Tuesday. But that’s not a bad place to be because it follows “Dancing With the Stars.”

Fox is also celebrating its 25th anniversary Sunday. Don’t expect much love for “Terra Nova,” “Action!” or “M.A.N.T.I.S.,” but copious bits from hits such as “In Living Colour,” “Glee,” …

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‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ recap, season 4, reunion, part 1

RHOA_s4reunion1Scarily, we don’t have just two reunion shows this season but THREE.

Oh, yes. That means a bonus episode this Thursday at 9 p.m., followed by the finale next Sunday.

Hour one actually was fairly lively, mostly because of NeNe Leakes.

As expected, NeNe spent a godly amount of the hour acting like she was not only better than the other women, but richer and smarter and well, just more famous than them.

This included rolling her eyes and acting as if she had something very large up her you know what (but no, not a sex toy, as she said.) She appeared as if she’d rather be  fighting rebels in Afghanistan, hiking the Arctic or having slivers of glass shoved up her nose than sitting at the Biltmore in Midtown with these women.

And yet she plans to come back next season. The money must be that good, eh?

Bottom line: she hates Kim Zolciak. She hates Sheree Whitfield. She can barely stand Kandi Burruss or Phaedra Parks. That leaves Cynthia Bailey as her only friend on the cast. Who …

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