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Archive for July, 2012

‘Dancing With the Stars All Stars’ includes Bristol Palin, Pamela Anderson, Kirstie Alley

Bristol Palin in 2010 with her dance partner then Mark Ballas. CREDIT: AP

Bristol Palin in 2010 with her dance partner then Mark Ballas. CREDIT: AP

Who are you most looking forward to seeing on “DWTS: All Stars” this fall of the 12 named? (Pick up to 3)

  • Helio Castroneves
  • Shawn Johnson
  • Kirstie Alley
  • Bristol Palin
  • Pamela Anderson
  • Emmitt Smith
  • Joey Fatone
  • Drew Lachey
  • Gilles Marini
  • Kelly Monaco
  • Apolo Anton Ohno
  • Melissa Rycroft

View Results

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This fall, ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” is jumping on the “All Stars” bandwagon previously ridden by the likes of “The Amazing Race,” “Survivor,” “Project Runway” and “Top Chef.”

The network convinced the likes of reality star Bristol Palin (third place, season 11), vixen Pamela Anderson (sixth, season 10) and actress Kirstie Alley (second, season 12) to return.

Overall, six previous winners and three runner-ups are competing. Anderson is the celebrity who finished the lowest. Two seasons are missing for sure: seasons 6 and 9.

Though Atlanta has had …

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With poor ratings and its chief quitting, what’s next for CNN?

CNN chief Jim Walton steps down at the end of the year after a decade at the helm. CREDIT: AP

CNN chief Jim Walton steps down at the end of the year after a decade at the helm. CREDIT: AP

CNN chief Jim Walton said Friday he is quitting, saying the company needs new leadership at a time its flagship U.S. network is suffering through some of its poorest ratings ever.

AJC business writer Kristi E. Swartz is following the story.

What’s your reaction to this latest setback for the Atlanta-based network? How can this network be saved?

(Keep it above the gutter, folks, and on-topic.)

Note: Commenting has been disabled on this post.

– For the AJC’s Radio & TV Talk blog

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Style Network launching ‘Big Rich Georgia’ out of Buckhead for 2013

"Big Rich Texas" at Style Network is leading to a spinoff in Georgia.

"Big Rich Texas" at Style Network is leading to a spinoff in Georgia.

We know them affectionately as “Buckhead Betties.” They are wealthy women who lunch and organize big charity functions. The local play “Peachtree Battle” has gently mocked them over the past decade. HBO considered a pilot for a scripted show about them a few years back that never got off the ground.

But Style Network will take them on in a new reality series it just announced called “Big Rich Georgia,” set to air in 2013. The press release provides this descriptive:

The latest installment of the franchise, “Big Rich Georgia” enters the exclusive world of Buckhead Country Club, where outrageously wealthy mothers and daughters do whatever it takes to stay on top of the social scene and in control of the action. It’s hot, it’s humid, and it’s full of drama.

The big stickler for me: what the heck is Buckhead Country Club? There is no such thing. The publicist did not know but will check later today to get me the …

Continue reading Style Network launching ‘Big Rich Georgia’ out of Buckhead for 2013 »

How do critics like the ‘Idols Live’ tour coming to Atlanta August 5?

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"Idols Live" contestants pose last month before the tour launch. CREDIT: AP

The “Idols Live” tour is always the cherry on top of the sundae that was the previous “Idol” season.

This year, despite being the lowest rated one since season one, had arguably the deepest bench of talent to date. So I am expecting a solid show.

It’s tightly scripted so whatever is seen in other cities will be replicated almost word per word, song by song, when the tour arrives at Gwinnett Arena August 5 for a sold-out performance. (The show has not sold out many of its dates.)

Reviews from other cities have been mixed. What says a lot about journalism today (or perhaps the waning popularity of “Idol”),  I could not find reviews for several of the concert dates, including Portland, Ore. and Kansas City.

From the Hollywood Reporter on the L.A. stop:

If you want to know what the audience for Fox’s American Idol looks like, just show up at the annual American Idols Live tour that hits town every summer. …

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‘Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta’ is now a monster hit for VH1

Joseline has become a stand-out reality-show "star" on "Love and Hip Hop Atlanta." CREDIT: VH1

Joseline has become a stand-out presence and focal point of controversy on "Love and Hip Hop Atlanta." CREDIT: VH1

Take that, “Real Housewives of Atlanta”!

America now has a new trashy local show critics can complain makes Atlanta look bad:  “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” on VH1.

The reality show – which focuses on local hip-hop musicians and their twisted love lives – is now pulling in more viewers than “Real Housewives of Atlanta” did in its fourth season.

This past Monday’s episode hit a series-high of 3.5 million viewers, with another 2.1 million who caught the repeat at 10 p.m. The show has seen steady growth after opening at 1.9 million in its first airing in June. The 18-49 rating has jumped from 1.1 to a 2.0 over five weeks.

Through six episodes, the show has averaged 2.9 million viewers, comparable to the original “Love and Hip Hop.” In metro Atlanta, the show draws around 150,000 viewers.

The show is also lifting the fortunes of “Single Ladies,” the Atlanta-based …

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Paula Deen 4th best paid food personality, according to Forbes

paula

What next, Forbes? Top 10 best-paid ukelele players?

The magazine knows media types like me love lists. So they’ve compiled the top five best compensated food personalties. Savannah’s Paula Deen comes in fourth. The magazine estimated she pulled in $17 million between May 31, 2011 to May 31, 2012.

Although critics fried Deen after she announced she was diabetic last year, she turned that diagnosis into her financial advantage. The magazine said she is earning at least $6 million over three years from Novo Nordisk, a diabetes drug maker.

Forbes then listed many of her business deals. A sampling:

Partnerships with Walmart for baked goods, Smithfield for hams, and Harrah’s for a growing chain of Paula Deen restaurants at casinos in the South are still going strong. Deen has got her own branded line of nuts, a frozen seafood line, plus a partnership with Springer Mountain chickens. And in June, she announced a new partnership with Nanco (the firm run by the Nanula family …

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Brad Paisley the latest possible ‘Idol’

Brad Paisley, who has a good sense of humor, is being considered as a judge on "Idol." CREDIT: AP

Brad Paisley, who has a good sense of humor, is being considered as a judge on "Idol." CREDIT: AP

The names keep on coming: now Deadline.com says country star Brad Paisley is being considered for a slot on the judge’s panel.

Paisley is modern country royalty. All 30 of his singles have gone top 20 on the country charts, 27 of them have hit the top 10 and 18 landed at No. 1.

He’s approachable, down to earth and funny. Many of his tunes involve great wordplay (”Alcohol,” “Water”) and humor (”Online,” “Celebrity”).  He has hosted the CMA Awards with Carrie Underwood for several years now.

Given the success “Idol” has had with country music, this would be a smart move if they can come up with a deal. “The Voice” already has elevated Blake Shelton’s profile.

Check out Paisley playing a contestant on an “Idol”-like show from 2003 with his hit single “Celebrity” and “judge” William Shatner slagging him:

We are still awaiting Randy Jackson’s status but we should know relatively …

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Sherman Hemsley (’The Jeffersons’) has died

An Aug.11,1986 photo of Sherman Hemsley. (AP photo/Nick Ut)

An Aug.11,1986 photo of Sherman Hemsley. (AP photo/Nick Ut)

Sherman Hemsley, best known as the bombastic dry cleaner owner on the classic CBS sitcom “The Jeffersons,” has died, according to police.

He was 74. TMZ broke the news, saying he died of natural causes.

The actor first played the role of Jefferson on “All in the Family.” “The Jeffersons” was a spinoff that ran from 1975 to 1985. He later played Deacon Ernest Frye on the NBC sitcom “Amen,” which aired from 1986 to 1991.

His last guest appearance on TV in 2011 was on “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne,” playing his George Jefferson character along with Marla Gibbs, who played his sarcastic maid.

He broke the mold on broadcast TV in the mid-1970s, playing a successful, white-collar black man. George was a loudmouth, who would frequently yell at his beloved wife “Weezie,” but underneath his brash exterior, he had a soft heart.

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV …

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Alton Brown’s protege Justin Warner wins ‘Next Food Network Star’

Justin Warner hopes to have his show on Food Network by the fall. CREDIT: Food Network

Justin Warner hopes to have his show on Food Network by the fall. CREDIT: Food Network

“Next Food Network Star” winner Justin Warner could be called Food Network’s next generation Alton Brown.

The baby-faced 28-year-old Brooklyn restauranteur is cerebral, quirky and unafraid to mix it up in the kitchen. His theme on the show: “Rebel With a Culinary Cause.”

“We’re cut from the same cloth,” Warner said, comparing himself to Brown, who will produce his show. “With his camera skills and my wacky food, you’ll get something no one has ever seen.”

Brown – the mad scientist/food genius of Atlanta -  joined “Next Food Network Star” as a coach/mentor this season after his signature show “Good Eats” ended.

In its eighth season, “Next Food Network Star” changed its format this year so the contestants for the first time were split into teams.  I think it worked well. It showcased Bobby Flay, Giada de Laurentiis and Brown in a different light. Each teams reflected its respective mentor: …

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Stacey Elgin, formerly of WAGA-TV, joins WXIA-TV for Olympics coverage

424015_390202777672967_1853633263_nStacey Elgin, who was let go last year from Fox 5 (WAGA-TV) as the Road Warrior on “Good Day Atlanta,” has nabbed a new gig as an Olympics correspondent for 11 Alive (WXIA-TV) – at least locally.

The Olympics begin Friday in London and will air on NBC and affiliated networks.

Elgin broke the news on her personal Facebook page:

I’m looking forward to a busy week ahead! Probably a little anxious too since I’m starting a new job, going back on air… and leaving the boys. That’s right… I will be starting at WXIA 11Alive this week for their Olympics coverage! I’m so excited for this opportunity! Be sure to tune in. I’ll have regular updates here as well .. so stay close! (oh… no… I’m not going to London) Go Team USA!

She had twins last December. She was let go from WAGA-TV last September.

This appears to be a temporary job but naturally, if she does a good job and the money’s there, she could certainly latch onto a full-time job down the road.

Join my Facebook fan page and

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