Radio and TV Talk 

Rodney Ho covers TV and radio, from Atlanta’s stations to the hottest “American Idol" news.

TV briefs: HGTV Urban Oasis Home at Mandarin Oriental; ‘Dish Nation;’ ‘Beyond Scared Straight'; Katie Couric

  • 3:46 pm Thursday, July 31st, 2014 by Rodney Ho
The Residences at Mandarin Oriental will be giving away a $1 million apartment as part of an HGTV Urban Oasis contest starting August 28.

HGTV’s annual Urban Oasis contest has picked “Dish Nation,” which features Atlanta-based Rickey Smiley‘s morning show, is doing so well in the ratings on Fox 5 that it’s being moved Monday to 7 p.m. A repeat of “TMZ” (which airs on weekdays at 7:30 p.m.) will take its place at midnight instead of 11:30 p.m. while original airings of “Access Hollywood” move from 7 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Nationally, “Dish Nation” is up 12 percent in viewers from the same week a year ago: 1.52 million vs. 1.36 million.

In Atlanta, the show pulled in a 1.9 rating the first half of [More]

Jon Lovitz (‘SNL’) coming to Atlanta Improv July 31-Aug 2

  • 11:45 am Thursday, July 31st, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Jon Lovitz is ready to party in Atlanta starting July 31 through August 2 at Atlanta Improv. CREDIT: publicity photo

Jon Lovitz has warm memories of Atlanta going back two decades, when he starred in “City Slickers 2,” which hosted a big red carpet event at the Fox Theatre to screen the movie. (Ted Turner had just purchased Castle Rock at the time so he had a little sway.)

“It was the biggest premiere I’ve ever been to,” he said. “Ted Turner and Jane Fonda and the mayor were there. Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn were there. They had a parade. All 4,600 seats were filled. The people were just roaring laughing at everything. It was incredible!”

His arrival this weekend, he admits, [More]

Will the Regular Guys and the Bert Show add new members any time soon?

  • 5:14 am Thursday, July 31st, 2014 by Rodney Ho
The current trio on the Bert Show: Jeff Dauler, Bert Weiss, Kristin Klingshirn.

Meanwhile, the Regular Guys have not added any major on-air talent since Eric Von Haessler was unceremoniously dismissed ten months ago.

Their website shows the trio – Larry Wachs, “Southside” Steve Rickman and Tim Andrews.

Sebastian Davis, known on the show as “Sebas,” was promoted in April to executive producer, taking that job from Andrews, who remains as a Regular Guy. For many years, Sebas has provided the show with comic relief, taping many interviews of, say, drunks at bars or Dragon Con attendees.

Wachs, in a text, considers Sebas a Regular Guy in a sense, but he has not been [More]

Charter near deal w/ SEC Network. Remaining hold out: DirecTV

  • 3:49 pm Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
SEC network logo

Charter is the latest cable/satellite operator on the verge of signing the SEC Network, which debuts in two weeks.

It joins AT&T UVerse, Comcast XFinity, and DishTV. Among local providers, the one hold out remains DirecTV.

This season, the new network will air 45 SEC football games starting August 28. Its first University of Georgia game will be against Troy on Sept. 20.

Other sports covered on the network include softball, baseball, basketball and volleyball. Several SEC talk shows and original programs are set to air as well.

The network, which essentially caused the demise of Comcast Sports South, is owned by ESPN [More]

CNN briefs: Jon Stewart mocks network by trying to ‘buy’ it; John Walsh’s new CNN show nabs first fugitive

  • 2:17 pm Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
A facetious slogan for CNN, suggested by those lovely writers on "The Daily Show." CREDIT: Comedy Central

Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show” over the past 15 years has beat up on CNN with the regularity of the Globetrotters demolishing the Washington Generals. And with Rupert Murdoch circling CNN’s masters Time Warner, the word is that if he did pick up the company, he’d have to sell off CNN.

CNN in play!

While big media companies such as Disney and CBS might be interested in picking up the Atlanta-based (more or less) network, Stewart figured facetiously that he and his fans could buy it and do a better job.

CNN, in the meantime, has found early success with John [More]

‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ briefs: Phaedra Parks, Kandi Burruss, NeNe Leakes

  • 9:24 am Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Popeyes

Her “Mother’s Love” stage tour rider, which TMZ obtained, shows she likes her fast food but very particular fast food: Popeyes chicken – not Church’s or KFC. The rider, notes, “we know the difference.”

She also is very specific on the types of toilet paper (Cottonelle) and soap (Dove). Plus, she does not like her butt to meet those of others because she wants a new toilet seat at whatever venue she’s at. Ironically, she demands a police escort to events so she wouldn’t be late to her shows.

Her 29-city tour includes Columbus, Savannah and Albany. She debuted the [More]

Bert Show’s Jeff Dauler lands in hospital over an abnormal heartbeat

  • 11:36 pm Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Jeff Dauler in 2012. CREDIT: Q100

The Bert Show’s Jeff Dauler posted on Facebook and Twitter that he landed in the hospital Tuesday evening over an abnormal heartbeat called atrial fibrillation.

He spent about 24 hours at Northside Hospital.

According to WebMD, “atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat that increases the risk of stroke and heart disease. Signs include dizziness, weakness, and fatigue. Treatment involves medication and lifestyle changes, and sometimes procedures such as cardioversion, ablation, pacemakers, or surgery.” It says 2.7 million Americans live with it.

A Facebook follower Susanne Snider Smith posted this. “I work in cardiology. I know its scary. It happens more [More]

Interview with ‘Bachelorette’ Andi Dorfman and fiance Josh Murray

  • 3:43 pm Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Andi chose Josh as her man on "The Bachelorette." CREDIT: ABC

Atlanta’s Andi Dorfman and fiance Josh Murray were able to keep the flames alive over the past ten weeks by sneaking into each other’s homes wearing disguises and trying their darndest to be discreet to friends and family.

Finally, they can be open about it now that their engagement has been officially announced on “The Bachelorette” last night.

On both a press conference and a separate interview today while they were doing press in New York City, I learned that after all those exotic dates on the beach and in foreign lands, they plan to do more mundane Atlanta-centric activities like having [More]

Video: Talking Neighborhood Awards, DragonCon, Walking Dead

  • 11:17 am Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 by Rodney Ho

CineStars’ Brittany Umar and I discuss Steve Harvey’s Neighborhood Awards, Dragon Con coming to Atlanta and the latest trailer from “The Walking Dead.”

‘Love & Hip Hop Atlanta’ recap: season 3, episode 14

  • 1:11 am Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Recucring character Ariane has clashed with Mimi over her sex tape. CREDIT: VH1

“Are you Thor or Mighty Mouse?”

Benzino poses a very good question to Stevie J about his relationship with Joseline Hernandez. Who’s wearing the pants here?

He has three recent strikes against him: Joseline saw the naughty nudies on his phone that were not of her. She thinks Stevie J slept with Althea, Benzino’s fiance. And now she’s mad because Benzino placed his ex Mimi on the cover of Hip Hop Weekly with Joseline in the centerfold.

How does he make it up to her? He does a video for her! She is suddenly much happier and is even considering opening up her [More]