Radio and TV Talk 

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

Phaedra Parks to divorce Apollo Nida

  • 2:14 pm Friday, October 10th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Phaedra Parks and Apollo Nida on "Watch What Happens." CREDIT: Bravo

In perhaps the least surprising news in recent “Real Housewives of Atlanta” history, Phaedra Parks is planning to divorce Apollo Nida now that he’s in federal prison for bank fraud and ID theft.

Steve Honig, Parks’ spokesman, wrote to me, “I can confirm that Phaedra has retained an attorney with the intent of amicably ending her marriage.” (RadarOnline broke the story.)

The pair have been married about five years and have two young sons Ayden and Dylan.

Just over a year ago, the Feds seized Nida’s laptop and phone after his partner snitched on him. He had ripped off financial institutions and [More]

Andy Cohen explains why Porsha Williams was demoted

  • 11:58 am Friday, October 10th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Porsha on Andy's "Watch What Happens Live." CREDIT: Bravo

Andy Cohen, who oversees the “Housewives” franchise on Bravo, explained on his on-line show “Ask Andy” why Porsha Williams was reduced to “recurring” status from full-time “Housewife” mode.

For him, it was simple: she didn’t provide enough interesting story lines.

“It had nothing to do with anything that happened at the reunion last season,” Andy tells his assistant Daryn, referring to the fight Porsha had with Kenya Moore during the reunion show earlier this year. “Really, it was about the amount of story we got from Porsha this season. We went into it assuming she would be a full housewife, holding a [More]

How much is NeNe Leakes getting paid for season 7 of ‘Real Housewives’?

  • 2:19 pm Thursday, October 9th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 15:  NeNe Leakes attends the 2014 NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Upfronts at The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on May 15, 2014 in New York City.  (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

RadarOnline reports that NeNe Leakes, the last original member of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” is being paid $1.5 million to shoot season 7 of the show.

Leakes has implied it may be even more than that. To Extra, she said, “I was not offered $1.5, let’s be clear, yeah, it’s a lot nicer than that.”

With about 25 episodes airing per season, that comes out to about $60,000 per episode.

According to TV Guide, top broadcast show salaries for leads begin at $125,000 per episode and for cable shows, $75,000. But that’s for scripted programming. The top-paid actors are [More]

Porsha Williams ‘blindsided’ by ‘Real Housewives’ demotion

  • 7:49 am Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Kandi Burruss is getting a little steamed with Porsha Williams about showing up to rehearsals for her upcoming play. CREDIT: Bravo

Porsha Williams apparently was caught by surprise when Bravo announced yesterday that she was not going to be a full-time cast member of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.”

Instead, she as reduced to “recurring” status, meaning the producers were not obligated to include her in every episode. She said she was “blindsided” and found the moment “bittersweet.”

The good news for her is she is still employed – with syndicated show “Dish Nation” as part of Rickey Smiley‘s crew. The show is seen locally at 7 p.m. on the Fox affiliate WAGA-TV and ratings have been strong.

Williams was originally pegged as a [More]

‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ season 7 to debut Nov. 9 with two newcomers

  • 12:45 pm Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Claudia Jordan started on the Rickey Smiley radio show on Tuesday, July 15, 2014. CREDIT: Getty Images

“The Real Housewives of Atlanta” has been given a minor makeover for its seventh season, which returns November 9.

As reported earlier, there are two newcomers in the crew – actress Demetria McKinney and model/radio host Claudia Jordan. I was told a few weeks back that McKinney would be a full time cast member and Jordan a recurring one but in fact it’s the other way around.

Jordan, who moved to Atlanta recently to be on the Rickey Smiley morning show, has been bestowed full-time status while McKinney has been placed in recurring status, which means she won’t appear in every [More]

Lisa Wu tackles L.A. in TV One’s ‘Hollywood Divas’ Oct. 8

  • 3:01 pm Monday, September 29th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Lisa Wu Hartwell in 2009. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Six years ago, she was known as Lisa Wu Hartwell, an actress and writer without any major credits trying out this thing called reality TV with the likes of NeNe Leakes and Kim Zolciak on Bravo.

The Alpharetta resident lasted a little more than two seasons  on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” but left partway through season three after clashing with producers over story lines she wasn’t all that comfortable pursuing.

When former “Real Housewives of Atlanta” producer Carlos King offered her a chance to spend some time in Los Angeles working with four established black actresses on TV One’s latest unscripted [More]

Cynthia Bailey: Bar One moving, Ebony magazine bachelor photo shoot

  • 9:21 am Saturday, September 20th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Cynthia Bailey and her husband Peter Thomas are taping their fifth season on "The Real Housewives of Atlanta." CREDIT: Getty Images

“Real Housewives of Atlanta” cast member Cynthia Bailey said her husband Peter Thomas‘ popular Bar One lounge on Memorial Drive is moving to a new location in the Fourth Ward.

The current incarnation in Grant Park off Memorial Drive will shut down at the end of the month.

Thomas earlier this years said he got caught up in a dispute between landlords, where one alleged he owed $100,000 in back rent when he said he paid but his rent checks were never transferred to the bank.

The Bar One landlords put the property up for sale in March. Bailey, in [More]

Apollo Nida belatedly enters federal prison Sept. 11

  • 3:32 pm Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Apollo Nida has been told by federal authorities to repay $1.9 million he allegedly ripped off various individuals and financial institutions. CREDIT: Bravo TV

TMZ reports that “Real Housewives of Atlanta” hubby Apollo Nida went ballistic in front of “Real Housewives” cameras with his wife Phaedra Parks over not placing funds in his prison account and didn’t report to federal prison by the U.S. Marshal’s deadline of noon, Wednesday, Sept. 10.

As of 4:30 p.m. EST, TMZ said he was “AWOL.” Earlier, TMZ also reported that there has been tension between Parks and Nida the past couple of months. He felt she hasn’t supported her, choosing to go on book tours instead, while she feels he is focused more on partying than spending time [More]

NeNe Leakes joins final run of Broadway’s ‘Cinderella’

  • 7:09 pm Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 by Rodney Ho
NeNe Leakes from week six.

NeNe Leakes will be spending five weeks or so in New York City later this year to play the wicked stepmother Madame in the Broadway version of “Cinderella,” which concludes its run January 3, 2015.

She will take over for Sherri Shepherd on November 25, who begins Sept. 9.  The revival debuted on Broadway early last year.

According to Broadway.com:

Directed by Mark Brokaw, the production brings to the Broadway stage for the first time the tuner that originally aired as a TV special in 1957, starring Oscar winner Julie Andrews. This Cinderella features a completely re-imagined book by Douglas Carter [More]

Is ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ testing two potential cast members Claudia Jordan and Demetria McKinney?

  • 3:10 pm Sunday, August 10th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Claudia Jordan taped scenes for "Real Housewives of Atlanta." Does that mean she'll even show up on screen? Who knows? CREDIT: Getty Images

“Real Housewives of Atlanta” has not changed cast members out since season five. Why should they? The show hit record ratings this past sixth season with the existing seven.

But producers know story lines get stale fast unless new blood is thrown into the mix. So they are reportedly testing out two potential new cast members for season seven, currently in production: Rickey Smiley‘s newest radio morning show host Claudia Jordan and “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” actress and singer Demetria McKinney.

UPDATE: I have heard from a good source that McKinney has signed a contract and will become a full-time cast [More]