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Archive for August, 2012

Katy Perry’s ‘Wide Awake’ takes over top of Atlanta radio charts

Katy-Perry-Wide-Awake-900-600-600x400Katy Perry has bumped Maroon 5 off the top of Atlanta radio with her latest single “Wide Awake.”

Maroon 5’s “Payphone” lasted two weeks on top. Both songs are played on the four pop stations in town but Wild cut back on airplay this past week, giving Perry the edge.

Perry was heard on Star 94 (67 spins), B98.5 (33 spins), Wild 105.7/96.7 (92 spins) and Q100 (73 spins).

The fastest rising song this week is Trey Songz‘ “Heart Attack,” heard on V-103, Hot 107.9 and Wild.

The most intriguing add the past two weeks is Taylor Swift’s “We are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” It was a rare single that was added by Wild, Q100, Star, the Bull and Kicks the same week. While airplay rose on Q100, Star and Kicks the second week, Wild dropped it immediately, while the Bull cut back significantly. The first week, the Bull played it 42 times, then quickly dropped it to eight. Wild spun it 23 times, then zero the past week.

This tells me the song is creating quite a stir among listeners. …

Continue reading Katy Perry’s ‘Wide Awake’ takes over top of Atlanta radio charts »

CNN’s domestic ratings woes mask underlying strengths

CNN headquarters in Atlanta. CREDIT: Vino Wong/ajc.com

CNN headquarters in Atlanta. CREDIT: Vino Wong/ajc.com

When he announced his departure from CNN last month, President Jim Walton said the Atlanta-based news network needed “new thinking” and a plan for change.

But can CNN remake itself?

The answer transcends one company’s bid for a fresh start. Rivaling Coca-Cola as a worldwide corporate symbol of Atlanta, the network founded by maverick Ted Turner employs thousands of metro residents, is a cornerstone in the city’s drive for a permanently vibrant downtown and has become a must-visit attraction for tourists from around the globe.

But questions about CNN’s health, as well as its influence, are growing louder. Interviews with two dozen industry experts and former and current staffers of the cable news pioneer paint a picture of an entrenched organization struggling to connect with viewers and deeply wedded to a domestic news format that hasn’t retained its popularity.

In some ways, those experts say, CNN has become a victim of …

Continue reading CNN’s domestic ratings woes mask underlying strengths »

GMC’s ‘Somebody’s Child’ written by local Delta employee

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Atlanta-based GMC has focused its energies on inspirational films for the whole family.

No gratuitous violence, no histrionics, no sexual innuendo.

Siddeeqah Powell, who works at Delta Air Lines as a supply attendant and moved to Atlanta from Brooklyn at age 7, followed the GMC model when penning the script for “Somebody’s Child,” starring Lynn Whitfield and Michael Jai White, which airs tonight (August 25) at 7 p.m., 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. on GMC.

She entered it for The American Black Film Festival’s GMC Faith and Family Screenplay competition. “Somebody’s Child” came in second out of 131 submissions. But in this case, coming in second was still a victory because GMC turned her writing into a film, which airs tonight at 7 p.m., 9 p.m. and 11 p.m.

Powell, who graduated from Mays High School and Georgia Tech and ran track, said she has written much edgier stuff (such as missionary work after the Haiti earthquake) but was simply following the dictums of the competition. “I’ve been …

Continue reading GMC’s ‘Somebody’s Child’ written by local Delta employee »

Jeff Foxworthy garners biggest hit ever for GSN with ‘American Bible Challenge’

American-Bible-ChallengeGSN hit a jackpot with a game show about the world’s most popular book the Bible hosted by the family-friendly Alpharetta stand-up Jeff Foxworthy. The result: the network’s most popular show in its 17-year history by a huge margin.

On Thursday, “American Bible Challenge” drew 1.7 million viewers, obliterating the previous record by a half million – the March 2003 documentary “Big Bucks: The Press Your Luck Scandal.”

“The best-selling book of all time is now GSN’s most viewed program of all time, which proves that consumers are yearning for fun, family- friendly entertainment,” said Amy Introcaso-Davis, Executive Vice President of Programming and Development, GSN, in a press release.  “We are incredibly proud of this show and are happy that it connected with so many viewers.”

Never under-estimate the appeal of Foxworthy, a man who walks the walk when it comes to the Bible and found his game-show chops a few years ago with Fox’s “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” (See my story …

Continue reading Jeff Foxworthy garners biggest hit ever for GSN with ‘American Bible Challenge’ »

B98.5 host Kelly Stevens victim of a wrong-way driver on GA-400

Kelly Stevens sent this picture of himself at Grady Hospital earlier today.

Kelly Stevens sent this picture of himself at Grady Hospital earlier today.

B98.5 morning host Kelly Stevens’ car was hit by a wrong-way driver Friday morning, but he survived.

The driver, 22-year-old Carly Royball died, when her vehicle hit his. (Details about why she was driving the wrong way is still being investigated.)

“I was in the left lane, then all of a sudden I looked up and there was headlights, it was a wrong-way driver. I heard the person who hit me didn’t make it,” Stevens said when he called into the radio station from the hospital.

Stevens’ co-host Vikki Locke wrote on a blog that he broke his left arm and leg and is being treated at Grady Hospital. He will have additional surgery next week. A Channel 2 Action News report said Stevens was fortunate to survive despite not wearing a seat belt.  When the authorities found him, he had been knocked into the backseat.

UPDATE on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012, 3:41 p.m.: his girlfriend Katie Buser said Kelly had surgery …

Continue reading B98.5 host Kelly Stevens victim of a wrong-way driver on GA-400 »

Angela Bassett to play Coretta Scott King in Lifetime movie

Angela Bassett will play Coretta Scott King in an upcoming Lifetime film. CREDIT: AP

Angela Bassett will play Coretta Scott King in an upcoming Lifetime film. CREDIT: AP

Oscar-nominated actress Angela Bassett has been cast to play the late Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King Jr.’s wife, in a film on Lifetime featuring Coretta Scott King and Malcolm X’s wife Betty Shabazz tentatively called “Betty and Coretta.”

Shabazz will be played by R&B songstress Mary J. Blige. The film will focus on their lives after their husbands were assassinated. (Malcolm X in 1965; King in 1968.)

The casting news was broken by The Hollywood Reporter.

A spokeswoman for Lifetime confirmed the news and said the show will be shot in Montreal, starting next month, although it certainly could have been shot in Atlanta given the King connection.

The story said civil rights activist Ruby Dee “will appear onscreen as a historical witness to narrate the duo’s story as someone familiar with the events of both their lives.”

Bassett played Shabazz in the 1992 feature film “Malcolm X” starring …

Continue reading Angela Bassett to play Coretta Scott King in Lifetime movie »

‘Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta’ season four starts Aug. 24 with Miranda Lambert

Miranda Lambert will be on "Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta" tonight critiquing a friend's gown choice. CREDIT: AP

Miranda Lambert will be on "Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta" tonight critiquing a friend's gown choice. CREDIT: AP

When shows get older, they sometimes opt for celebrity guests galore (see “Will & Grace,” “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”).

TLC’s popular show “Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta,” which debuts its fourth season Friday, August 24, at 9 p.m., hasn’t gotten to that point, but the producers certainly didn’t balk when country star Miranda Lambert applied to be on the show. She appears on tonight’s first episode.

Lambert, of course, is already married to Blake Shelton. She actually wanted to help out her Pistol Annies mate Angaleena Presley with her wedding gown choice at Bridals by Lori in Atlanta. “They were great girls,” said Bridals by Lori owner Lori Allen. “We had a fun time. I love her music. She’s very down to earth.”

Allen said Lambert greeted her like Allen was the big star: “It was a mutual admiration society.”

She works on both “Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta” and …

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Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj signing on ‘Idol’? Alanis Morrisette in running, too

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Who should be on the panel besides Mariah Carey? (Pick up to three)

  • Randy Jackson
  • Alanis Morissette
  • Brad Paisley
  • Kanye West
  • Lenny Kravitz
  • Adam Lambert
  • Nicki Minaj
  • Keith Urban
  • Pharrell Williams
  • Nick Jonas
  • Enrique Iglesias
  • Sean “Diddy” Combs
  • Anybody else who’s name has been thrown out there

View Results

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UPDATE: Hollywood Reporter on Friday afternoon says Keith Urban and Minaj are close to deals. We shall see.

I’m insulted that I haven’t been asked to be on the “Idol” panel yet because it seems everyone else has!

The latest to confirm: Alanis Morrisette. She told CNN “Yes, I have been in conversations about it, and that’s the degree to which I can share the info right now,” Morissette told CNN. But, she added, she is open to the idea of being an “Idol” judge.

She seems very zen nowadays compared to her mid-1990s “You Oughtta Know” days. Would she be able to really give constructive critiques on the judges’ …

Continue reading Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj signing on ‘Idol’? Alanis Morrisette in running, too »

BET’s ‘Reed Between the Lines,’ shot in Atlanta, loses Tracee Ellis Ross

[Malcolm-Jamal Warner as Alex Reed, right, a New York University professor and stay-at-home dad. Tracee Ellis Ross plays the role of Carla Reed, a successful psychologist. Carla and Alex Reed get some alone time before the kids impinge on their quiet time in a scene from BET's first season of "Reed Between the Lines." CREDIT: BET

Malcolm-Jamal Warner as Alex Reed, right, a New York University professor and stay-at-home dad. Tracee Ellis Ross plays the role of Carla Reed, a successful psychologist. Carla and Alex Reed get some alone time before the kids impinge on their quiet time in a scene from BET's first season of "Reed Between the Lines." CREDIT: BET

BET’s “Reed Between the Lines,” a family-friendly sitcom which has just begun production of season two at EUE Screen Gems in Atlanta, has lost a key member of the show: Tracee Ellis Ross, best known as a star on “Girlfriends.”

The show did surprisingly poorly its first season, barely drawing 1.2 million viewers per episode, a far cry from the numbers of its other sitcoms “Let’s Stay Together” and “The Game,” also shot in Atlanta.

But BET, hearing enough positive feedback, gave it a second season anyway.

Ross’ surprise departure will force a major restructuring of the show.

In a story in the Los Angeles Times:

Ross said “Reed Between the Lines” was a …

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CNN adds a Morgan Spurlock (’Super Size Me’) series ‘Inside Man’

MORGAN-SPURLOCK_240Atlanta-based CNN has added a second “non-fiction” series to its weekend lineup led by documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, best known for his Oscar-nominated 2004 film “Super Size Me,” featuring Spurlock consuming McDonald’s meals for 30 straight days.

Called “Inside Man,” the series will debut in April 2013 alongside the previously announced series starring foodie and international traveler Anthony Bourdain.

“They were the place that said we could do smart, challenging television,” Spurlock said in an interview today. “We talked to a lot of other networks trying to do the show. Everyone wanted to dumb it down a bit. When we started having a conversation with CNN, they said, ‘This is exactly the type of stuff we wanted to make.’ ”

CNN this spring said it had decided to work with outside production companies, the same ones that create shows for the History Channel, NatGeo and A&E, in an effort to develop appointment TV series during the weekends. MSNBC already does so with …

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