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Archive for January, 2013

Clermont Lounge featured on Jan. 14’s ‘The Layover’ with Anthony Bourdain on Travel Channel

Anthony Bourdain samples Fat Matt's Rib Shack. CREDIT: Travel

Anthony Bourdain samples Fat Matt's Rib Shack. CREDIT: Travel

I previewed a portion of tonight’s Travel Channel edition of “The Layover” with Anthony Bourdain focused on Atlanta. Unfortunately, most of the first 11 minutes are shrouded in silence: the sound didn’t work. But the point is he spends 48 hours in a city and samples some of its wares.

Bourdain first visits Fat Matt’s Rib Shack. I hope he liked it. He also does some skeet shooting.

Later, he meets up with Sean Brock at popular high-end Southern eatery Holeman & Finch Public House in Buckhead, where only 24 burgers are available a night at 10 p.m. He name drops (but doesn’t have time to stop by) HD1, Richard Blais‘ church of the hot dog, and Empire State South, Hugh Acheson’s Midtown pad.

There are bits of advice about Atlanta from residents, who name drop neighborhoods such as Reynoldstown and Cabbagetown.  They talk about sweet tea, the art of tailgating and southern hospitality.

After Holman & Finch, Bourdain …

Continue reading Clermont Lounge featured on Jan. 14’s ‘The Layover’ with Anthony Bourdain on Travel Channel »

TV best bets with ‘Fringe’ series finale, season finale of ‘Project Runway,’ returns of ‘Anger Management,’ ‘American Idol’ return,

"Fringe" ends with its 100th episode Friday. CREDIT: Fox

"Fringe" ends with its 100th episode Friday. CREDIT: Fox

There are plenty of beginnings and ends this week, plus the beginning of the possible end of “American Idol,’ which returns Wednesday, a bit ragged and weary after 12 seasons with hopes that Nicki Minaj can spice things up.

Another aging show, Lifetime’s “Project Runway” finishes its second all-star edition while Atlanta-connected shows abound this week.

Oxygen’s 10th season of “Bad Girls Club” returns Tuesday and was shot in Atlanta last year, for better or worse. On Wednesday, Style tries out spin-off “Big Rich Atlanta” on for size. On Wednesday, two younger Wayans and an actor who used to play a fictional Wayans will arrive on BET with a fictionalized version of themselves in “Second Generation Wayans,” shot in Atlanta. On Thursday, FX brings back the fourth season of Atlanta-animated series “Archer.”

And on Saturday, two Atlanta podcasters get all geeky on us on the Science Channel with “Stuff You Should Know.”

Oh, …

Continue reading TV best bets with ‘Fringe’ series finale, season finale of ‘Project Runway,’ returns of ‘Anger Management,’ ‘American Idol’ return, »

‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’ (’This Donkey Kicks’) recap: season 5, episode 11

Kenya Moore may have lost Walter but she has no trouble finding her hundreds of insecurities. CREDIT: Bravo

Kenya Moore may have lost Walter but she has no trouble finding her hundreds of insecurities. CREDIT: Bravo

In the real world, as opposed to reality TV, “Real Housewives of Atlanta” cast member Phaedra Parks would never ever do business with Kenya Moore knowing that Kenya has the hots for her husband.

But since these characters have to interact and since Kenya does video production, the producers surely “suggested” Phaedra use Kenya to produce her “donkey booty” exercise video.

No shock: it doesn’t go smoothly.

We clearly do not see the entire negotiation process. Kenya offers a $100,000 budget but I don’t know if she includes a “fee’ for herself or simply pads the budget to ensure some profit. She also appears to spring a back-end (no pun intended) fee on the profits of the video sales well into the process. She asks for what appears to be a reasonable 10 percent cut, especially since she sealed a distribution deal for them.

Phaedra, who felt the $100,000 budget was too high, …

Continue reading ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’ (’This Donkey Kicks’) recap: season 5, episode 11 »

Friends, fans fete Neal Boortz at sold-out Fox Theatre

Here are photos from last night’s sold-out Fox Theatre farewell “Happy Ending” party for Neal Boortz, who is retiring January 18 after more than four decades as a radio talk-show host:

Neal Boortz was sentimental, sardonic and sweet at his farewell party Saturday night. PHOTO CREDITS: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Neal Boortz was sentimental, sardonic and sweet at his farewell party Saturday night. PHOTO CREDITS: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Boortz performed “Prime the Pump’ with his friends and favorite band Banks & Shane. “I remembered all the words!” he said afterwards.

Neal Boortz didn’t delve into politics Saturday at his sold-out farewell party at the Fox Theatre, his topic of choice for more than four decades on the radio, from the Vietnam War to the current gun-control debate.

Rather, he absorbed gentle ribbing and kind words from his friends, reminisced about his favorite pranks and jokes he played on his colleagues and thanked his staff and late sidekick Royal Marshall, who died unexpectedly two years ago.

“I loved that man more than anybody I’m not related to,” Boortz said. “I would sit in …

Continue reading Friends, fans fete Neal Boortz at sold-out Fox Theatre »

Atlanta’s Lil Jon returns again for ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ March 3; Walton High School Malcolm Freberg returns to ‘Survivor’

Lil Jon returns to NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice' March 3. CREDIT: NBC

Lil Jon returns to NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice' March 3. CREDIT: NBC

Atlanta rap star Lil Jon will get crunk again with Donald Trump on his sixth “Celebrity Apprentice,” all star edition.

Others returning include actor Stephen Baldwin, country artist Trace Adkins, magician Penn Jillette, musician La Toya Jackson, “Poison” star Bret Michaels and nutty actor Gary Busey.  Plus, notorious Omarosa is back for a third round since she is the only non-celebrity “Apprentice”  who became more or less an actual “celebrity,” loosely speaking.

The “all star” concept can sometimes be interesting (see “Top Chef All Stars” or “Survivor All Stars”), but sometimes a pure dud (”Dancing With the Stars All Stars”).

Lil Jon (biggest hit: “Get Low”) during season four raised $80,000 for the Decatur United Methodist Children’s Home. He made it to the final four but ultimately lost to country star John Rich.  A class act, Lil Jon was competitive but laid back during the show, getting along with …

Continue reading Atlanta’s Lil Jon returns again for ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ March 3; Walton High School Malcolm Freberg returns to ‘Survivor’ »

A talk with Big Tigger, new V-103 afternoon host

Big Tigger is enjoying life in Atlanta so far. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Big Tigger is enjoying life in Atlanta so far. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

I spoke with new V-103 afternoon host Big Tigger last week right before I talked to Ryan Cameron. Here are bits and pieces of what I gleaned:

Real name: Darian Morgan (”People who know me call me Darian. If you call me that and you don’t know me, I get a little peeved. You don’t call Ne-Yo Shaffer!”

Raised in: The Bronx

Age: 40

Hosted: BET’s “Rap City” and “106 & Park”

Previously: Afternoon and morning host at WPGC-FM. “My talents and their vision went separate directions,” he explained.

Opening party: At Reign nightclub January 1, Ne-Yo, Young Jeezy, Nelly and T.I. swung by. “It was awesome,” he said. “I feel like I’m here already. It was the first time I didn’t have a daily job since 1994. I still had a local TV show, a syndicated countdown show and a DJ job or the Washington Wizards.”

GPS is his friend: “I’ve been coming her for years but I don’t know my way around. I have awesome navigational …

Continue reading A talk with Big Tigger, new V-103 afternoon host »

Conan O’Brien taping his TBS show at The Tabernacle April 1-4 before the NCAA Championships

Conan O'Brien will be coming to Atlanta for a week to tape his TBS show. CREDIT: AP

Conan O'Brien will be coming to Atlanta for a week to tape his TBS show. CREDIT: AP

Conan O’Brien occasionally takes trips to other cities for his talk show. This year, he will be in Atlanta to tape four of his TBS shows leading up to the Final Four and championship NCAA tournament games at the Georgia Dome.

He’ll do the shows April 1 to 4  at the Tabernacle right near the Dome.

TV Guide was given the exclusive on the news. (No, I am rarely given exclusives like that. National publications usually get them, even if it has an Atlanta angle.)

This is the first time a late-night talk show has visited Atlanta, Atlanta-based TBS noted. (”The Mo’Nique Show” was taped at Turner Studios for BET in 2010 and 2011.)

“Conan,” which is shot in Los Angeles, has visited O’Brien’s old haunt of New York, as well as Chicago.

The show will have AT&T (whose wireless division is here) as a sponsor.

“Conan” consistently pulls in about 1 million viewers a night, about one-third what Leno and …

Continue reading Conan O’Brien taping his TBS show at The Tabernacle April 1-4 before the NCAA Championships »

How did the Atlanta radio stations rank in ratings in 2012?

v103

Despite all the changes in the Atlanta radio market in 2012, the most-popular stations remained at the top of the heap.

The rest of the picture, though, isn’t as clear, as shown by recently released year-end audience metrics.

R&B/hip-hop station V-103 remained the top radio station in Atlanta last year, a dominance it has sustained for the past decade.

R&B station Kiss 104.1 came in a solid second with its best performance since Arbitron began people meter measurements in 2009. News/talk AM750 and 95.5 FM came in third, followed by R&B station Majic 107.5/97.5 and hip-hop station Hot 107.9.

Closely clustered after that are three pop stations: B98.5, Star 94 and Q100. They now have a fourth player in the hotly contested current hits battle: Power 96.1.

For folks wondering how some of the new stations are doing, four-month-old Power has opened strong, already in a tight race with Star 94 and Q100 from mid-September through early December. In the final pre-holiday four-week …

Continue reading How did the Atlanta radio stations rank in ratings in 2012? »

‘Idol’ pre screening in Atlanta included Bo Bice, Vanessa Olivarez

Vanessa Olivarez (season 2) and Bo Bice (season 4) came by the AMC Sugarloaf Mills pre-screening of 'American Idol," season 12. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Vanessa Olivarez (season 2) and Bo Bice (season 4) came by the AMC Sugarloaf Mills pre-screening of 'American Idol," season 12. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

‘American Idol,” for the first time, decided to do a pre screening of the show a week before its debut and brought out the judges for a satellite Q&A session with Ryan Seacrest out of Los Angeles.

They held screenings in several major ciites, including Chicago, Boston, Dallas and Atlanta, where we landed at Sugarloaf Mills AMC with a few hundred “Idol’ acolytes, plus two former ‘Idol” contestants who live locally: season 2’s Vanessa Olivarez and season 4’s Bo Bice. Oliveraz is currently in two bands: Granville Automatic and country quartet Mama’s Blue Dress. Bice is leaving in two weeks from Conyers to spend a possible year-long stint in the starring role on Broadway for “Pump Boys & Dinettes.”

We saw a 45-minute cut-down version of what will be the debut next week in New York (two hours on Wednesday) and Chicago …

Continue reading ‘Idol’ pre screening in Atlanta included Bo Bice, Vanessa Olivarez »

Ratings update: Leno beats Kimmel in first face-to-face; soft opening for TBS’s ‘Cougar Town’

Jimmy Kimmel moves to 11:35 a.m. on ABC. CREDIT: ABC

Jimmy Kimmel moves to 11:35 a.m. on ABC. CREDIT: ABC

Jimmy Kimmel’s first 11:35 p.m. show on ABC last night opened at a solid 3.1 million viewers but fell short of NBC “Late Night With Jay Leno” by 200,000 viewers. He did beat his childhood late-night hero David Letterman on CBS by 200,000 viewers.

As noted in this Wall Street Journal story, one night hardly tells the story. This will be a long-term battle. Kimmel is two decades younger than Leno and Letterman and has been growing audience while the two elders have been gradually shedding viewers.

Kimmel’s show was moved back 25 minutes, as he swapped spots with “Nightline,’ which now airs at 12:35 a.m.

He also now competes fully or partly with Stephen Colbert on Comedy Central at 11:30 p.m. (1.54 million Tuesday night), Chelsea Handler on E! at 11 p.m. and Conan O’Brien on TBS at 11 p.m. (1.01 millon Tuesday)
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TBS’s opening of “Cougar Town” last night fell a little flat: 2.2 million viewers, less than the openings …

Continue reading Ratings update: Leno beats Kimmel in first face-to-face; soft opening for TBS’s ‘Cougar Town’ »