Radio and TV Talk

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

TV briefs: HGTV Urban Oasis Home at Mandarin Oriental; 'Dish Nation;' 'Beyond Scared Straight'; Katie Couric

HGTV's annual Urban Oasis contest has picked the Residences at Mandarin Oriental in Buckhead to give away an apartment valued at more than $1 million.

Last year's contest drew 21 million entrants. Past years have featured residences in cities such as Miami and Boston. This is the first time HGTV has targeted Atlanta.

The 2,000-square-foot residence is now under construction on the 37th floor of a 42-story building, with a stunning view of Atlanta pointing east toward Stone Mountain. The sweepstakes opens for entries on August 28 and ends October 10.

Karen Rodriguez, associate broker for Dorsey Alston Realtors, said she is thrilled that the Residences was selected given the bonanza of publicity it will generate. Not that the locale is doing badly. It sold $16 million worth of homes the first half of 2014 at $700 to $750 per square feet. Prices start at $2.2 million.

More details here.

About half the building is hotel, half residences. The residences have access to all the amenities the hotel guests get including room service and the spa. But they get a separate entrance and elevator, with biometric security.

The winning apartment is actually smaller than the others at the Residences, which range from 3,000 to 5,100 square feet. Rodriguez can't reveal all the details of the design just yet but it will have two bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths and floor-to-ceiling windows.  And so far, HGTV has "been phenomenal," she said. "They are very very respectful of the other owners living here," she said, "as well as the interaction with the Mandarin Hotel company."

According to a fact sheet provided to me:

"The new units, designed by Buckhead’s top architectural firm Harrison Design Associates, are currently being built-out with contemporary, ultra high-end finishes and sleek, built-in fireplaces with marble surrounds. Each unit will feature a 36-inch Viking gas grill as well as a gas fireplace on its private outdoor terrace. The common areas include modern color palettes and sleek flooring. Both full- and half-floor condominiums include over-sized windows and sweeping downtown views. The Residences are the only condo residences in Atlanta to feature Miele appliances."

The winner will have to be able to afford the monthly homeowner fees, the taxes and the property insurance. (Other option: pocket the cash equivalent value.)


Dish nation rickey smiley

Nationally, "Dish Nation" is up 12 percent in viewers from the same week a year ago: 1.52 million vs. 1.36 million.

In Atlanta, the show pulled in a 1.9 rating the first half of 2014, up from a 1.8 rating in the first half of 2013. That ranked it third behind Jimmy Kimmel on Channel 2 and Jimmy Fallon on 11 Alive.


Katie's final original show aired in most markets on July 30 but Channel 2/WSB-TV is choosing to hold it until Sept. 5. CREDIT: ABC

Katie Couric's farewell original show didn't air yesterday at 3 p.m. on Channel 2/WSB-TV. Instead, the network has chosen to air it Friday, Sept. 5, her final air date on the channel. "Katie,"  which was cancelled earlier this year after two seasons, will air repeats until early September.

On Monday, Sept. 8, WSB-TV will replace her with "The Dr. Oz Show," which had previously aired on Fox 5.

According to Huffington Post:

The farewell episode included surprise visits from special guests like Josh Groban, Martina McBride, and one of Couric's own inspirations, actress and cancer survivor Valerie Harper. ABC News' Robin Roberts also sent a video message thanking Couric for being "a great colleague and a great friend." Audience members then received "Katie's Ultimate Swag Bag" of gift giveaways.

Couric will now be working for Yahoo News.


A previous episode of "Beyond Scared Straight," which has used Fulton County four times. CREDIT: A&E

A&E's "Beyond Scared Straight" will feature the Youth Intervention Program at the Fulton County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, July 31 at 10 p.m.

The program will also be available at and iTunes at a later date.

The public information officer sent me this summary:

There are a few surprises in this episode that you will not want to miss:  a deputy makes a connection with a child from her homeland, a t-shirt a child wore received a lot of attention, and staff members and inmates take on a “wannabe gang member”.  All staff members involved in the program worked very hard to make a difference in the lives of these children and the deputies/officers should be commended for their sincere efforts.


Johns Creek's Jasmine Flower made the top 48 on "America's Got Talent." CREDIT: NBC

The top 10 shows the week of July 21 during prime-time 8 to 11 p.m.

1. "America's Got Talent," Tuesday, July 22, NBC, 220,000

2. "Love and Hip Hop Atlanta," Monday, July 21, VH1, 183,000

3. 'America's Got Talent" results show Wednesday, July 23, NBC, 172,000

4. "Fox 5 News at 10," Monday, 10 p.m., July 21, Fox, 170,000

5. "Big Brother," Sunday, July 27, CBS, 161,000

6. "The Bachelorette," Monday, July 21, ABC, 161,000

7. "Fox 5 News at 10," Wednesday, July 23, Fox, 150,000

8. "Shark Tank," Friday, July 25, ABC 148,000

9. "The Haves and the Have Nots," Tuesday, July 22, OWN, 148,000

10. "Masterchef," Monday, July 21, Fox 145,000

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About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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