TV briefs: Beth Keener in top 10 of ‘Live With Kelly’ contest, Gabrielle Union sues BET, Soulja Boy

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This was posted on the AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

By RODNEY HO/ rho@ajc.com, originally filed Thursday, October 13, 2016

Actress and host Beth Keener of Atlanta has made it into the top 10 of Kelly Ripa’s “Live With Kelly” co-host contest thanks to voters who pared down a list of 20 down to 10.

Now the producers pick five of those 10 finalists on Friday to fly up next week to compete in a bunch of contests day by day so on Friday, October 21, the show will have one person left to co-host with Ripa.

“I’m praying to the Good Lord they choose me,” said Keener, who has had aspirations to be a big-time TV host for many years.

She said the show producers interviewed her by phone for a few minutes Wednesday; “I hope those five minutes were the coolest five minutes of my whole life. I’m never cool. I wanted to be cool right then!”

My original interview with her when she was in the top 20. 

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Gabrielle Union, the lead on BET’s “Being Mary Jane,” has sued BET for breach of contract over how many episodes she tapes any given season.

In the filing, she said she is not supposed to do more than 13 episodes any season but BET requested she do back to back 10-episode seasons in one calendar year. To her, that constitutes 20 episodes. But by BET’s definition, the network is following the contract by separating the episodes into two seasons.

She likes to have time in a given year to shoot movies and believes her contract is set up so she gets time off between seaseons. She is seeking $3 million in damages. She gets paid $150,000 per episode for season four and $165,000 per episode for season five.

“While we hold Gabrielle Union in the highest esteem, we feel strongly that we are contractually well within our rights and are committed to reaching a swift and positive resolution in this matter,” a BET Network said in a statement Wednesday.

Union, who plays a cable anchor with her fair share of personal problems, has shot the show in Atlanta the past three seasons.

Read her complaint here. 

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soulja-boy

Former Atlanta rapper Soulja Boy said on social media he has quit VH1’s “Love and Hip Hop Hollywood” after three seasons.

But show creator Mona Scott Young claimed in response that he announced he’s leaving on his own volition to cover up the fact he was fired.

Indeed, Soulja Boy was a full cast member his first two seasons, then found his airtime greatly reduced during the third season.

“I’ve decided to quit Love and hip hop. I feel my brand is too big for the show now. It’s too ratchet. I have my own new tv show coming soon!,” he tweeted, without details on the new show.

Later, after Young’s comments, he briefly insulted her with a juvenile “suck my” you know what insult that he later deleted.

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ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 09: Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump listen to a question during the town hall debate at Washington University on October 9, 2016 in St Louis, Missouri. This is the second of three presidential debates scheduled prior to the November 8th election. (Photo by Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images)

ST LOUIS, MO – OCTOBER 09: Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump listen to a question during the town hall debate at Washington University on October 9, 2016 in St Louis, Missouri. This is the second of three presidential debates scheduled prior to the November 8th election. (Photo by Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images)

Not surprisingly, the second debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton drew fewer viewers than the first. That’s pretty typical. It still brought in 60 million viewers among multiple networks, down from 84 million. CBS, boosted by an earlier NFL game, drew the most viewers at 16 million. ABC brought in 11.5 million, followed by CNN at 11.3 million and Fox News at 10 million. (NBC aired an NFL game and brought in about 16 million.)

Curiously, CNN saw its ratings rise from 9.9 million from the first debate while Fox News fell from 11.4 million.


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