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Archive for September, 2012

HLN adds new show today at 4 p.m. with Vinnie Politan ‘Making It in America’

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Vinnie Politan. CREDIT: HLN

Atlanta-based HLN is gradually adding more personality-based shows to its lineup, as it continues to try to keep its core female audience interested in news from a more personal perspective.

Today, it debuts a 4 p.m. show called “Making It In America” hosted by Vinnie Politan, an attorney who hosts TruTV’s “In Session” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and was a regular fixture on HLN during the Casey Anthony trial.

Politan’s show, he said in an interview today, will have a positive spin. Despite the rough economy, there are people out there with good ol’ American entrepeneurial spirit and gumption. He also wants to highlight folks who are struggling but in an empathetic light. Today, on the first show, he will talk to experts and focus on the various stages of emotions when someone is unemployed. And the show will talk to folks who hired people to wait in line for them to buy the iPhone.

“Times are tough,” Politan said. “What are people doing to respond to …

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‘Idol,’ Seacrest snubbed by Emmys as usual, Kris Allen parts ways with RCA

Kris Allen is seeking a new label. CREDIT: AP

Kris Allen is seeking a new label. CREDIT: AP

Glad to see “Modern Family” and “Homeland” win Emmys. And “The Amazing Race” won best reality competition series for the ninth time in 10 tries.

“American Idol”? What’s that. It wasn’t even nominated in the category “The Amazing Race” won for the first time. And Ryan Seacrest lost as usual for host, this time to Tom Bergeron, who thanks Jeff Probst for not being nominated. No sign of “The Voice” or ‘X Factor,” though all three shows were included in a “reality show” compilation. There was a jokey reference by presented Seth MacFarlane (who went to the wrong mic at first) to Brian Dunkleman at one point. I’m sure he appreciated that.

- The “Idols Live” tour ended with a sold-out show in the Phillipines. Now most will fade into obscurity. Let’s hope Phillip Phillips isn’t one of them.

- And in the “I really don’t care but Us Magazine does” category: Nicole Kidman will be hanging out backstage during “Idol” shows to support her …

Continue reading ‘Idol,’ Seacrest snubbed by Emmys as usual, Kris Allen parts ways with RCA »

TV best bets with returns of ‘CSI,’ ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ ‘NCIS,’ ‘Homeland,’ ‘Big Bang Theory,’ ‘Dancing With the Stars’

Showtime's "Homeland" won best drama in the Emmy's Sunday and now it's back for a second season Sunday. CREDIT: Showtime

Showtime's "Homeland" won best drama in the Emmy's Sunday and now it's back for a second season Sunday. CREDIT: Showtime

This is the “big” week for returning shows so watch your DVR fill up quickly.

Most of the big ones from the old-school broadcast networks are back, including “CSI,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “NCIS,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “Two and a Half Men,” “Dancing With the Stars,” “The Amazing Race,” “The Simpsons,” and “Castle,” to name a few.

Showtime, the pay cable network, decided to jump in and bring back its two biggest shows on Sunday, too: “Dexter” and Emmy-winning “Homeland.”

MONDAY

“Dancing With the Stars” 8 p.m. ABC (15th season debut) — Kirstey Alley and Emmitt Smith are among the all stars.

“How I Met Your Mother” 8 p.m. CBS (eighth season debut) — The creators say this is probably the last season.

“Partners” 8:30 p.m. CBS (new series) — A gay man and his friend share a business together in a show that feels very 1997.

“2 Broke Girls” 9 p.m. …

Continue reading TV best bets with returns of ‘CSI,’ ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ ‘NCIS,’ ‘Homeland,’ ‘Big Bang Theory,’ ‘Dancing With the Stars’ »

Ellie Goulding’s ‘Lights’ displaces Rihanna for top spot in Atlanta radio; 97/1/The River goes deep

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Newcomer Ellie Goulding’s dance hit “Lights” is now the dominant song in Atlanta radio, spun 316 times the past week.

It’s in high rotation on four stations: B98.5 (42 spins), Star 94 (67), Q100 (76) and the new Power 96.1 (121), plus 10 more spins on Wild 105.7.

Rihanna’s “Where Have You Been” drops to No. 4 after two weeks at the top. Former No. 1, Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake,” remains at No. 2.

And for fans of Dave FM, which is sort of “Dead Radio Station Walking,” the station has greatly expanded its list of current songs in recent weeks, just basically letting loose and making the entire playlist more modern. (The average song now is 13 years old, compared to 18 years old five months ago.)

In the past two weeks, the station added 11 new songs and played 742 different tunes.

Of the top 30 songs, only three are played on other stations: Green Day’s “Oh Love” (heard on Rock 100.5) and Alex Clare’s “Too Close” and Fun.’s “Some Nights,” both top 40 crossover songs. Other tunes …

Continue reading Ellie Goulding’s ‘Lights’ displaces Rihanna for top spot in Atlanta radio; 97/1/The River goes deep »

Clarkston, the refugee melting pot, is focal point of a PBS special

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Maria Hinojosa visited Clarkston earlier this year to learn how diversity has complicated, yet enriched, the small town of Clarkston. CREDIT: Futuro Media Groupo

Maria Hinojosa, a former CNN correspondent who now works at PBS, sought a city packed with diversity for a series she was developing called “America By the Numbers.” She found diversity in abundance in Clarkston, a small town of 7,500 residents ten miles east of downtown Atlanta in the shadow of Stone Mountain.

The numbers don’t lie. In 1980, Clarkston was 90 percent white. That number, based on the 2010 census, is 14 percent. Thanks to a massive influx of refugees, the city now boasts residents from more than 40 countries. While some citizens welcome the energy and courage of the new arrivals, others say they create an undue strain on resources and tension with existing residents.

Hinojosa, in a recent phone interview from her office in Harlem, says she knew the largest multicultural growth in the United States is in …

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Preview of ‘Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me!’ live show at Fox Theatre, airing Sept. 22

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Peter Sagal is the mastermind and toastmaster on "Wait, Wait… Don't Tell Me!" CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

A news junkie who finds “The Daily Show” a wee too sharp can take comfort in NPR’s “Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” a humorous news quiz show taped before a live audience each week. Host Peter Sagal is sardonic but rarely nasty. He can be sarcastic and ironic but not really bitter or derisive. His rotating panel of comics fit that mold as well.

For the 4,000 fans who saw the show live this past Thursday night at the Fox Theatre (to air Saturday morning locally at 11 a.m. on 90.1/WABE-FM), they got to see a lot more show. In fact, they taped more than 90 minutes to be trimmed to 60. Plus, Sagal gave a warm-up monologue, spent several minutes re-taping comments he made earlier to make them sound clearer and had judge and scorekeeper Carl Kasell offer a special limerick just for the Fox crowd, which each took home a tape measure from the sponsor Angie’s List as a parting …

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CBS Atlanta adds ‘Better Mornings” on weekends with Paul Ossmann, Jocelyn Connell

Jocelyn paul ossmanTV executives are not always known for patience. But CBS Atlanta has been impressively patient with “Better Mornings.”

The early morning program for years generated very modest ratings after it debuted in 2007, at times pulling in less than one-tenth of the audience of what WSB was attracting from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m.

But over the past 18 months, the show – which is rigorously promoted on billboards and promotes itself as a looser, more fun-loving crew compared to many of its cohorts – has shown more signs of life. In fact, it has generated strong enough numbers to merit adding a weekend version for the first time.

The weekend shows will feature two hosts: reporter Jocelyn Connell and Paul Ossmann. It starts the weekend of Sept. 29 and 30.

Ossmann, who worked at WXIA-TV and WAGA-TV over 24 years, is currently serving as the weekend meteorologist for CBS Atlanta. He used to host “Good Day Atlanta” on WAGA-TV from 1992 to 1998.

The pair do not know each other well but Ossmann, who …

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Idol bits: ‘X Factor’ highlights, Kelly Clarkson goes platinum

Go Panda! CREDIT: Fox

Go Panda! CREDIT: Fox

Just sped through three hours of “X Factor” this morning.

Here are some of my favorites:

- Vino Alan. The dude with the tattoos and 15 year old son has soul and sang “Trouble” with conviction.

- Tate Stevens. The country guy has a warm voice and joy in his heart. He looks a little rough around the edges from a marketing standpoint, though.

- Ally Brooke. She sings a Jaci Velaquez Christian song beautfully. I liked it.

Great harmonies here with Sister C:

Panda Ross is a character, with panache and that’s what the “X Factor” is about. And she can sing, too. She was easily the most memorable from Wednesday night:

Jessica Espinoza (”Nobody Knows” Pink) looks a bit like Kelly Clarkson. She does sing with conviction and ends Wednesday’s relatively strong night on a high note.

Thursday night was much less edifying but there was a lot of lightning – literally.

Julia Bullock (”Pumped Up Kicks” Foster the People) has the look and a good style. Oh, yah. And a …

Continue reading Idol bits: ‘X Factor’ highlights, Kelly Clarkson goes platinum »

‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ return date: Nov. 4

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Reality shows – like scripted shows – have lives. Some shine brightly, then get tired quickly. (See “Jersey Shore,” “The Hills”) Others, with the proper nurturing, seem to go on forever (See “Survivor”).

Bravo’s “The Real Housewives” franchise is no longer the fresh news ladies on the block yet it has been sturdier than many people expected as it enters middle age. “Orange County” is entering its seventh year. “New York” is in its fifth season. And the third and most successful of the lot – “Atlanta” – has announced its season five launch date of November 4 with two new cast members and one out  – Sheree Whitfield.

Although the general idea of all these shows remain the same, the ways to keep them fresh is to change out cast members – the reality show equivalent of Botox. “Real Housewives of Atlanta” only has two original players left and they are the two biggest names: Kim Zolciak and NeNe Leakes. Kim had a successful spinoff earlier this year and will spend much of this …

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Ratings update: ‘The Rickey Smiley Show’ breaks records for TV One

Rickey Smiley has a reason to feel good after strong ratings for his new sitcom on TV One Tuesday. CREDIT: Getty Images

Rickey Smiley has a reason to feel good after strong ratings for his new sitcom on TV One Tuesday. CREDIT: Getty Images

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Atlanta-based “The Rickey Smiley Show” sitcom drew about 900,000 viewers for its debut appearance on TV One Tuesday night over its first two episodes.

That isn’t all that impressive compared to shows like VH1’s “Love & Hop: Atlanta” or TLC’s “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.” But for TV One, these are big numbers, the biggest debut in the history of the network.

Atlanta’s Roger Bobb, who produced the show and used to work with Tyler Perry, said oin an interview today that TV One has never gotten this type of market share before. “They’re extremely happy, as am I,” Bobb said.

He notes that these numbers aren’t as large as Perry’s sitcoms on TBS, but TBS is in nearly twice as many households. (TV One is seen in 57 million households vs. 100 million for …

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