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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

‘Idol’ returns today for 12th season

Ryan Seacrest is the glue that holds "Idol" together. CREDIT: AP

Ryan Seacrest is the glue that holds "Idol" together. CREDIT: AP

Nigel Lythgoe told TMZ what I believe is true; Ryan Seacrest is truly indispensable on the show.

“Ryan Seacrest drives the entire program,” he said. “He’s not on an earpiece or anything. He’s not beholden to anybody. He controls the show. He’s really important.”

I agree. I believe the moment he leaves would be the most blatant sign the show is on its last legs. It’s not there yet. But the show does return tonight at 8 p.m. Interestingly, the AJC print edition for the first time since season one did not request a story about “Idol.”

But the Los Angeles Times did the obligatory piece here.

“Yes, there are too many of these shows on the air, and they are taking each other down a little bit, but this is still the king of the shows,” said Mike Darnell, president of alternative entertainment at Fox. “This is the one, and only one, that makes stars. Period.”

***

I was quoted in the USA Today story about “American …

Continue reading ‘Idol’ returns today for 12th season »

No “All My Babies’ Mamas’ after all on Oxygen

ATLANTA - JUNE 19:  Recording Artist Shawty Lo backstage at Magnum Live Large Project at Phillips Arena on June 19, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Trojan)

ATLANTA – JUNE 19: Recording Artist Shawty Lo backstage at Magnum Live Large Project at Phillips Arena on June 19, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Trojan)

Oxygen dumping “All My Babies’ Mamas”

  • Took them long enough! Why did this even pass the idea stage?
  • This would have been epic! Someone post it on YouTube!

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Oxygen backed down on airing a special featuring Atlanta rapper Shawty Lo called “All my Babies’ Mamas” after a torrent of protests about the content and title of the show.

The network just released this statement:

“As part of our development process, we have reviewed casting and decided not to move forward with the special.  We will continue to develop compelling content that resonates with our young female viewers and drives the cultural conversation.”

Shawty Lo was placed in a house with 10 women he had babies with, along with 11 of the kids. Many bloggers began petitions, protesting …

Continue reading No “All My Babies’ Mamas’ after all on Oxygen »

Interview with Jonathan Murray, creator of “Bad Girls Club Atlanta’ on Oxygen Jan. 15

BadGirlsClubAtlantaSome shows don’t try to pretend they have any redeeming value beyond entertainment.

Based on its title, Oxygen’s “Bad Girls Club” is one of them. The concept is “Real World” simple: gather seven smack-talking women in their early 20s who typically have anger/respect issues, plant them in a mansion with copious amounts of free liquor  and watch the inevitable dust fly. There’s no $1 million prize.There are no rose ceremonies or tribal councils. There are no judges or quick-fire challenges.

And Atlanta is home to the 10th season debuting tonight at 8 p.m. They spend a few weeks in a tricked out Buckhead mansion with a stripper pole and party hard. The first episode features Sweet Auburn BBQ food truck and  Opera Nightclub and Mansion.

There’s some hope perhaps that the women learn better behavior ( or viewers learn to avoid such behavior) but that seems like a stretch to make something meaningful out of something that isn’t.

The women get nicknames – like they’re rollergirls …

Continue reading Interview with Jonathan Murray, creator of “Bad Girls Club Atlanta’ on Oxygen Jan. 15 »

A talk with the ‘Second Generation Wayans,’ debuting on BET Jan. 15

Damien Dante Wayans, George Gore and Craig Wayans star in BET's "Seocnd Generation Wayans," debuting Jan. 15 after "The House Husbands of Hollywood." CREDIT: BET

Damien Dante Wayans, George Gore and Craig Wayans star in BET's "Seocnd Generation Wayans," debuting Jan. 15 after "Real Husbands of Hollywood." CREDIT: BET

“I feel like the Khloe Kardashian of the family.”

Damien Dante Wayans is lamenting his fate on his new BET dramedy “Second Generation Wayans,” where he plays a somewhat similar version of his acctual self, along with Craig Wayans and George Gore, who played Damon Wayans’ son on “My Wife and Kids” from 2001 to 2005.

The show debuts Tuesday, January 15 after 10:30 p.m. after “Real Husbands of Hollywood,” a spoof featuring Nick Cannon, Kevin Hart and J. B. Smoove, among others.

Their five most famous uncles and aunts – Kenan, Damon, Shawn, Marlon and Kim - have been comedy royalty for more than two decades. But their younger brethren are only now trying to make their mark on the scene.

Craig and Damien created and starred in the 2009 spoof film “Dance Flick.” On the fictional show, they are feeling like nothing had come out …

Continue reading A talk with the ‘Second Generation Wayans,’ debuting on BET Jan. 15 »

Video: talking ‘Idol,’ ‘Bad Girls Club: Atlanta,’ ‘Second Generation Wayans’

CineStars’ Brittany Umar and I discuss the feud between new “American Idol” judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj, Oxygen’s “Bad Girls Club Atlanta” and BET’s “Second Generation Wayans.”

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter. Oh, and Google +, too!

Continue reading Video: talking ‘Idol,’ ‘Bad Girls Club: Atlanta,’ ‘Second Generation Wayans’ »

‘Idol’ bits: ‘Vote for the Worst’ closing after season 12

Sanjaya Malakar helped bring "Vote for the Worst" into the spotlight in 2006. CREDIT: Vote For the Worst

Sanjaya Malakar helped bring "Vote for the Worst" into the spotlight in 2006. CREDIT: Vote For the Worst

“Vote for the Worst” began in 2004 as a bit of lark to make fun of “American Idol.”He would encourage people to vote for the most ridiculous or entertaining (or both) contestant that given week.

But nine  years later, the founder Dave Della Terza has decided to end the site after season 12. (My “Idol” blog, which began in 2005, closed its doors in October, 2011 but I have continued to report about “Idol” here.)

Vote For The Worst’s spotlight peaked season 6 with the big push for Sanjaya Malakar, who lasted much longer than anybody expected. Howard Stern and numerous press sites tracked him. He also supported Scott Savol season four and Taylor Hicks (winner) season five.  Later on, he pushed Kristy Lee Cook (season seven), Megan (coo!!!) Joy (season eight), Tim Urban (season nine) and winners Scotty McCreery (season 10) and Phillip Phillips (season 11.).

I emailed him …

Continue reading ‘Idol’ bits: ‘Vote for the Worst’ closing after season 12 »

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 »