Radio and TV Talk 

Rodney Ho covers TV and radio, from Atlanta’s stations to the hottest “American Idol" news.
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Former Grant Park man Ty Pennington hosting new TNT cooking competition show ‘On the Menu’

  • 9:41 am Friday, August 29th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Ty Pennington will be hosting a new TNT show "On the Menu" debuting in early October. CREDIT: Getty Images

Former Atlanta resident Ty Pennington is returning to TV this fall as host of TNT’s first cooking competition show “On the Menu,” debuting October 3.

In each episode, home cooks are challenged to make a signature dish for a restaurant chain, stadium concession stand or other American food business. They will work with professional chefs from concept to execution. Winning dishes will land on the menus of those chains the very next day. Emeril Lagasse will be chief judge.

Pennington is best known for his stint on TLC’s “Trading Spaces” when he was based in Atlanta and lived for a time in [More]

TBS/TNT/TCM programming chief Michael Wright out

  • 8:49 am Friday, August 29th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14:  Michael Wright speaks onstage at the TBS / TNT Upfront 2014 at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on May 14, 2014 in New York City.  24674_002_1009.JPG  (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Turner)

Atlanta-based Turner Entertainment, in the throes of unprecedented changes, lost its TNT/TBS/TCM programming chief Michael Wright Thursday. Deadline.com broke the story.

Wright, who is based in Los Angeles,  is stepping down just as the company prepares for buyouts and layoffs.

The well-respected executive with strong creative chops came to Turner in 2002 and ran programming for TNT starting in 2004, adding TBS in 2005 and TCM in 2007. He helped in the rebranding of both TNT and TBS and revenues at both networks skyrocketed over the past decade.

TNT and TBS are the two biggest revenue generators among the Turner brands and [More]

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]

Radio briefs: #SaveWRAS rally today, Rhubarb Jones, Jason Goff, Steve & Vikki

  • 12:45 pm Thursday, August 28th, 2014 by Rodney Ho

Today, opponents of the Georgia Public Broadcasting day-time takeover of 88.5/WRAS-FM is holding a rally at Hurt Park at 4 p.m. as students return to campus.

“Because the agreement between GSU President Mark Becker and GPB CEO Teya Ryan was announced during finals week at the end of the school year in May of this year, many students have not had the chance to voice their anger and frustration at this one-sided agreement which gives GPB everything they want, and gives GSU students nothing but empty promises in return,” said Zachary Lancaster, president of Album 88 Alumni, in a press release. [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]

92.9/The Game becomes a Falcons affiliate

  • 1:39 pm Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 by Rodney Ho

I was out last week on vacation and am reporting some stuff late. But in case you missed it:

92.9/The Game, in a mutually beneficially move with Lincoln Financial, has become an Atlanta Falcons FM affiliate.

As an affiliate, the Game simulcasts whatever 790/The Zone airs regarding the Falcons and they will air both pre and post-game analysis as well. The Game aired the Falcons pre-season game this past Saturday.

Lincoln Financial owns rival 790/The Zone on the AM dial and has been airing the FM simulcast of the games on its only FM signal Star 94, a pop station. Lincoln picked [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]

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