Radio and TV Talk 

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

Mayor Kasim Reed does ‘Rappers Delight’ on VH1 Atlanta hip-hop doc Sept. 2

  • 4:13 pm Thursday, August 28th, 2014 by Rodney Ho

I will be writing more about an upcoming VH1 documentary “ATL: The Untold Story of Atlanta’s Rise in the Rap Game,” which debuts Sept. 2 at 10 p.m., but I couldn’t resist posting this teaser clip featuring Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed doing a bit of Sugarhill Gang‘s breakthrough 1979 rap hit “Rapper’s Delight.”

And Reed, ever self-referential, joked that this clip will be used by his political opponents for the next 20 years. Brad Bernstein, the executive producer who interviewed Reed for 25 minutes for the documentary, readily admits he goaded Reed into doing it and at the end of the [More]

‘American Idol’ briefs: Clay Aiken, Danny Gokey, New Orleans auditions

  • 9:11 am Thursday, August 28th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Clay Aiken is the likely winner getting the Democratic seat in a North Carolina district that is heavily Republican. CREDIT: AP

Clay Aiken campaigned in San Francisco to raise money for his underdog effort to become a House representative in a Republican-favored district in North Carolina. He is facing off against an incumbent Renee Ellmers.

According to the San Francisco Gate,  “Aiken’s speech to the crowd at Catch lasted 15 minutes without missing a beat on education, interest-free student loans, veterans support, his pre-Idol past working with disabled children, and why he’s seeking a seat in Congress now. Clay Aiken made articulate, well-rounded points. I don’t mean to sound shocked, but this is the guy who got beat by Arsenio Hall [More]

Former Atlanta Brave John Rocker on upcoming ‘Survivor’ season

  • 11:54 am Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
John Rocker at a roast of the Regular Guys in 2011. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

“Survivor” has included a minor celebrity or two over the years. The most notable was Lisa Whelchel from “The Facts of Life” season 25. She was charming, honest and likable, finishing as a runner up.

Now former Atlanta Brave John Rocker will be part of the 29th season “Survivor: San Juan del Sur — Blood vs. Water.” The season debuts on CBS Sept. 24.

The season will feature 18 castaways, brought in as pairs. Rocker will join his girlfriend Julie McGee.

EW, which has been a dedicated follower of the show since season one, was given the exclusive and they have a video [More]

‘America’s Got Talent’ semifinals recap, part one

  • 10:28 am Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
AMERICA'S GOT TALENT -- Episode 918 -- Pictured: Emily West -- (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

The three Atlanta acts were cut in the quarterfinals of ‘America’s Got Talent.” Yet again, our city is not represented in the final 24. I don’t think Atlanta has had anyone make the semifinals in nine seasons of the show – at least I don’t recall.

But life goes on without us. The first 12 of those 24 performed Tuesday night. “AGT” backloaded the strongest acts during the second hour.

Flight Crew Jump Rope: Heidi’s wild-card pick.  They are a fun group, in a Disney theme park sort of way. What they do is clearly difficult and it’s entertaining but both Howie [More]

Althea alleges in lawsuit that Joseline used crack cocaine at ‘Love & Hip Hop Atlanta’ reunion show

  • 8:54 am Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Althea and Benzino are engaged. CREDIT: VH1

TMZ reports that “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” participant Althea Eaton filed a lawsuit against Joseline Hernandez alleging she was using crack cocaine backstage and was all drugged up on stage, leading to her attacking Eaton.

The complaint was filed Tuesday in state court of DeKalb County and I was able to get a copy of it this morning.

The lawsuit alleges that Joseline and Stevie J had “instigated numerous public conflicts” against Benzino and by March and April, “began making threats of physical violence against Plaintiff Eaton.”

Prior to the taping, there had been rising tensions between the two couples on [More]

Atlanta-shot shows renewed: ‘Finding Carter,’ ‘Rectify,’ ‘Halt & Catch Fire’

  • 9:40 am Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
MTV's "Finding Carter" is getting a second season. CREDIT: MTV

Back in the late 1990s, before DVRs and Netflix, summer TV was still a bit of a black hole. So NBC, in an attempt to get folks to watch repeats of “Friends” and “ER,” used the tagline, “If you haven’t seen it, it’s new to you.” Lame? Yes. Ahh… those were the days!

Anyway, I was on vacation last week so I wasn’t able to report on some news at the time.  If you haven’t already heard about this, it’s (ahem) “news to you.”

Three scripted shows shot in Atlanta got renewals last week:

- MTV has given “Finding Carter” a second season [More]

‘Love & Hip Hop Atlanta’ season 3 reunion part 1: Explosions! Fireworks! Pure silliness!

  • 11:30 pm Monday, August 25th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Sommore hosts the third reunion for "Love and Hip Hop Atlanta." CREDIT: VH1

Let the fireworks begin!

With Sommore as host (instead of show creator Mona Scott Young, who hosted seasons one and two), this week’s part one of the three-part “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta” teased just a bit to the crazy  Joseline attack on Benzino’s squeeze Althea and others that TMZ reported soon after this reunion was taped last month in New York City.

Before a new round of taping would start, Stevie J and Joseline both were complaining about how hot it was. Benzino and Althea said it was the cocaine but didn’t say specifically who they were targeting. (A source [More]

Jay Leno interview (Cobb Energy Centre August 27), talking Jimmy Fallon, Robin Williams, Rod Man

  • 5:43 pm Monday, August 25th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Jay Leno said he has no plans to pursue another late night talk show. CREDIT: Getty Images

Jay Leno was a hard man to nab an interview with when he was doing “The Tonight Show.” It was obvious why: he was busy doing his own show interviewing other folks and telling a gazillion jokes.

But now that he’s six months removed from doing a daily show, he’s performing more stand-up gigs, including a stop Wednesday at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, one of about 200 he’ll do this year. (

Q: You worked with Fallon on a “House of Cards” parody where you push him in front of a train to take back “The Tonight Show.” Does it [More]

TV best bets with Emmys, season finales of ‘Falling Skies,’ ‘Covert Affairs,’ ‘Pretty Little Liars’

  • 8:51 am Monday, August 25th, 2014 by Rodney Ho

The annual Emmys will air Monday night on NBC featuring Seth Meyers as host. Expect a lot of references to Netflix, Matthew McConaughey, “Veep” and “Game of Thrones.” And will “Breaking Bad” get a happy farewell with a clutch of Emmy wins?

Plus, the summer is nearing its end and the broadcast networks are about to start their traditional fall seasons.

Among summer season finales: ABC Family’s “Pretty Little Liars” and USA’s ‘Covert Affairs” Tuesday, ABC’s “Motive” and HGTV’s “Property Brothers” Wednesday, Syfy’s “Defiance” Thursday and TNT’s “Falling Skies’ Sunday.

MONDAY

“66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards” 8 p.m. NBC — Seth Meyers hosts the [More]

Turner networks, including CNN, facing buyouts, job cuts

  • 9:48 pm Sunday, August 24th, 2014 by Rodney Ho

Although Turner Broadcasting appears to be doing well financially, its parent company Time Warner is putting pressure on the Atlanta-based networks to pare costs and restructure operations for the future.

Turner CEO John Martin in a memo last week used words like “streamlined,” “nimble” and “efficient” to describe the future operations of Turner, which includes 13,000 employees across networks ranging from CNN and HLN to TBS, TNT and Cartoon Network. Half are based in Atlanta.

While CNN has gone through rounds of layoffs in the past, Turner Entertainment’s cutbacks in the past have been relatively modest. Most Turner cable networks have generally [More]