Radio and TV Talk 

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

NeNe Leakes’ blood clot issues nixes ‘Real Housewives’ Philippines trip

  • 1:46 pm Thursday, October 30th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Go Red For Women - The Heart Truth Red Dress Collection 2014 Show Made Possible By Macy's And SUBWAY Restaurants - Backstage

TMZ reports that NeNe Leakes can’t join “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” trip to the Philippines for the show, which typically has the ladies travel overseas at least once during the season.

A year ago, she landed in the hospital due to potentially life-threatening blood clots in her lungs. She has problems when she spends too much time in an airplane so the long trip to the Philippines could cause her serious health issues.

The other ladies on the show are overseas now taping what will likely be the climactic season-ending dramatics, whatever that may entail. We likely won’t see [More]

Preview of ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ season 7 debut

  • 8:35 am Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
The new cast of "Real Housewives of Atlanta" features Claudia Jordan, with Porsha Williams bumped down to "friend" status, which means she won't be in every episode. CREDIT: Bravo

Bravo was kind enough to provide me the first episode of season 7 of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” which returns Nov. 9.

I don’t think anything in the episode will be terribly shocking to anybody who followed the women during the off season.

Here is a quick teaser, without giving away the store but including links to prior stories I’ve already written on the topics in the episode:

- The show opens in early July when Apollo Nida is sentenced for bank, ID and mail fraud that landed him in federal prison for eight years. (Details here.) We find out why [More]

Wendy Williams is tired of the ‘ratchetness’ of ‘Real Housewives’

  • 3:24 pm Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 29:  Wendy Williams attends The Match Bachelor Showcase benefiting The American Heart Association hosted by Wendy Williams on September 29, 2014 in New York City.  (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Match)

Wendy Williams is the Pied Piper of Pop Culture. Her daily ‘Hot Topics” segment is what has driven her talk show to new ratings heights this season, seen locally at 10 a.m. on Fox 5.

Bravo’s “Real Housewives” franchise is like one of the necessary food groups for Williams to talk about, be it Theresa Guidice’s legal troubles or that Kenya Moore/Porsha Williams fight earlier this year. But when I asked her last week about the upcoming season 7 debut of “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” she said she no longer watches. She also skips the “Love and Hip Hop” shows.

Instead, Williams [More]

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 newbies Demetria McKinney and Claudia Jordan

  • 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]