TV briefs: CNN/Facebook Live, Alpha Trivette/Tyler Perry, Food Network Star

The CNN main newsroom in Atlanta in September, 2014. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/ rho@ajc.com

The CNN main newsroom in Atlanta in September, 2014. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/ rho@ajc.com

By RODNEY HO/ rho@ajc.com, originally filed Wednesday, June 22, 2016

According to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook is taking its Facebook Live video platform so seriously, it’s invested more than $50 million in the coming year for media outlets and celebrities to use it. It’s an early beta test so Facebook can figure out what works and what doesn’t.

The highest-paid publisher on the document reviewed by the Journal is BuzzFeed, slated to receive $3.05 million for broadcasting live between March 2016 and March 2017. Just behind BuzzFeed is the New York Times, which is to receive $3.03 million for a 12-month deal. CNN is third, with a $2.5 million contract.

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Alpha Trivette, formerly a radio host but now a full-time actor. CREDIT: Alpha Trivette

Alpha Trivette, formerly a radio host but now a full-time actor. CREDIT: Alpha Trivette

Remember former morning show host Alpha Trivette, part of B98.5 Kelly & Alpha morning show from the 2000s?

He has since pivoted to TV and has landed a regular role on Tyler Perry’s first scripted series on TLC called “Too Close to Home.”

Production began this week at Tyler Perry Studios’ new lot on the former Fort McPherson army base.

The eight-party drama is about a Anna (Danielle Savre), who escaped her working class upbringing to discover success in the fast-paced D.C. political circuit.  Heather Locklear and Matt Battaglia join the cast as guest stars.

The TLC press release didn’t say what character Trivette will play.

“I can say that I’m a prominent person is a very small Alabama community that holds many secrets,” Trivette said via Facebook Messenger. “You saw the synopsis, I’m sure. The show has elements of ‘House of Cards,’ ’24,’ ‘Justified,’ ‘Rectify’ and ‘Outsiders.’ Every episode will be leave you anxious to see what happens next. I love my character.”

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Jernard wells 2016
We are almost at the halfway point of “Food Network Star” and two Atlanta contestants are still alive: Tregaye Fraser and Jernard Wells.

Both have had plenty of ups and a few downs. But overall, they’ve survived thanks to their very powerful, often engaging Southern personalities.

In this past Sunday’s episode, the locals shined.

The first challenge was about cooking utensil hacks followed by a one-minute Snapchat video. (Yes, trendy, they are!)

Tregaye’s hack: using a pan to flatten out a steak. Her video goes well. She jokes that it’s a way to let out aggression if, say, the husband forgot your anniversary. “You were so authentic and in one minute, I felt like I know you,” said Katie Lee, host of “The Kitchen.” Unfortunately, Giada de Laurentiis said her dish was “a tad salty and a little too heavy.”

Jernard (who goes by the “chef of love” with his nine kids) created Cajun barbecued fried chicken. He used a martini shaker as a double boiler. “You have that Jernard swagger,” said Bobby Flay.

The main challenge is about tailgating dishes. Each had to pick a protein, based on the order they finished in an XBox 1 racing game. Jernard came in second and chose chicken wings. Tregaye came in fifth and had hamburger beef.

Jennard created tipsy tequila chicken wings. “Tequila, tequila and more tequila!” he said. “Someone going to make a baby tonight!”

The results were positive.

Bobby: “Finger lickin’ good!”

Guest Robert Irvine: “That’s a winner!”

Giada: “You feel happiness pouring out of him and it draws you in. That’s a gift!”

Tregaye created an inside-out cheeseburger, meaning cheese inside the burger. She used a hot-dog bun instead of a regular hamburger bun. “Good favored, well seasoned,” said Bobby. “Tregaye grabs your attention!” Giada said.

So with seven out of 13 finalists remaining, Tregaye and Jernard have about an equally legitimate shot at the finals based on their performances to date. Although “lunch lady” Rob was strong out of the gate, he has lost steam as the competition has moved forward. Fellow southerner Joy has been building a solid resume. And you never know with Italian dessert chef Damiano.  His accent is so strong, I’m not sure that he would work on a show long term. But he’s engaging.

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