Radio and TV Talk

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

TV briefs: 'MacGyver' gets back nine, Stevie J facing prison, Ali Velshi at MSNBC, Beth Keener

This was posted by Rodney Ho on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog on Tuesday, October 28, 2016

CBS's "MacGyver," which is shot in Atlanta, was given a guaranteed full season of 22 episodes. (New shows are typically given just 13 episodes up front and then a "back nine" if viewership look promising.)

So far, overnight ratings started strong but have fallen off steadily, indicating waning interest over four episodes.

This revamped 'MacGyver" starring Marietta's Lucas Till and CSI's George Eads opened at 10.9 million viewers but fell to 7.4 million by this past Friday. DVR usage might salvage some of those numbers and it's clear CBS thinks the show has enough potential to give it a 22-episode run.

Critics, thus far, have found the new version of the show in dire need of some duct tape, based primarily on the pilot, which had to be re-shot. (The Metacritic score is a rather poor 38 out of 100 among critics. And viewers scored it even lower at 2.9 out of 10.)

The only real positive review that Metacritic found was from the Boston Herald:  "This reboot looks to be a pleasant way to start the [CBS Friday] lineup and the weekend."

More representative was the Los Angeles Times: "Ironically, this “MacGyver’s” biggest problem is that it ignores the significance of the original. Zlotoff started a revolution that has affected every spy thriller from “Jason Bourne” to “Scorpion.” The reboot adds nothing to the archetype, which makes it less nostalgic than archaic."

"MacGyver" airs Friday nights at 8 p.m.

CBS also gave newbies 'Kevin Can Wait" and "Bull" full seasons.


Sometimes, I go to red carpets to get photos of people who might end up in the news later. That is the case with Stevie J, who was at the BMI R&B Hip Hop Awards at Atlanta Symphony Hall in September, 2016. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/

Bossip reports that Stevie J of "Love and Hip Hop Atlanta" fame may be headed for prison after acknowledging he hasn't been paying child support for two of his kids for many many years.

The reality star pled guilty Monday to one count of misdemeanor failure to pay child support in Manhattan Federal Court, copping to not paying through the court’s for his two kids from 2001 to 2014. Stevie, whose real name is Steven Jordan, signed a waiver of indictment, which stopped the case from going forward.

The music producer by 2014, the government alleged, owed his two children more than $1 million. He faces up to six months in prison and will be sentenced in January.

TMZ also reported that last week Stevie J sued his ex Joseline Hernandez for defamation, calling him a child molester, a devil worshiper and gay.


NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 24: Ali Velshi, Al Jazeera America anchor during a news conference at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) meeting on September 24, 2013 in New York City. Timed to coincide with the United Nations General Assembly, CGI brings together heads of state, CEOs, philanthropists and others to help find solutions to the world's major problems. (Photo by Ramin Talaie/Getty Images)

Ali Velshi, who worked at Atlanta's CNN from 2001 to 2012, has joined MSNBC.

“Ali’s sharp economic analysis will be a valuable asset to MSNBC as we dig deeper into every angle of the news and build on our ratings momentum in all dayparts,” MSNBC president Phil Griffin wrote in a memo, distributed to MSNBC staff.

After CNN, he worked for three years at Al Jazeera America, which shut down earlier this year.

CNN, by the way, is enjoying strong ratings this election season. It beat Fox News among 25 to 54 year olds for the third week in a row.


Atlanta's Beth Keener is now in the top 4 competing to co host with Kelly Ripa on "Live With Kelly." Today, she competed with three others by answering rapid-fire questions in 30 seconds. She is the last remaining female, competing with a former TMZ correspondent, a music theater director and a teacher. (You can vote here here.) The winner will co host on Friday.



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About the Author

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

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