Stevie J keeps TV on his radar with ‘Leave it to Stevie’ spinoff’s return

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

VH1 loves Stevie J. The charismatic music producer stood out the moment he showed up on air on “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta” in 2012 with his fiery girlfriend Joseline Hernandez.

Joseline has flown the coop but Stevie J lives on. He remains the only male cast member to receive full-time credit on the show and he just returned with his spin-off show “Leave it to Stevie” which is more focused on his personal life, less as a producer.

While newcomer Erica Mena (formerly of “Love and Hip Hop New York”) and Estelita battle for his time on “Love and Hip Hop,” he seeks new love and opportunities to bond with his kids on “Leave it to Stevie.”

“Leave it to Stevie” is super contrived along the lines of “Duck Dynasty,” riding on the charm of Steven Jordan himself. During the episode which aired last Monday, Stevie “meets” an attractive attorney at Sweethut Cafe in Midtown and convinces her to have lunch at Fogo de Chao but when he peppers her with legal questions, she decides to bail. Later, he apologizes.

He also tries to get his kids to garden with him. He even drags Yung Joc to a gardening class but the yard looks like a big fat mess until Joc brings over some older women who know how to garden to make it look okay.

“It’s lighthearted,” he said, of his spin-off show, which doesn’t involve security guards the way “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta” often does. “The two shows are like apples and oranges.”

As for Estelita and Mena, he isn’t all that concerned. “Now they have a thing against each other,” he said. “At the end of the day, most artists want to get where they go sooner than putting the work to get there. And it’s okay. A lot of artists are anxious.”

Stevie J says he has four artists he’s managing at the moment, including Estelita. (He didn’t mention Mena, which makes me think that doesn’t work out.) He said he can only manage so many artists at a time. “Who doesn’t want to work next to the good guy?” he said.

He is proud of his time on “Love and Hip Hop.” “I created the blueprint,” he said, noting his love triangle with Joseline and Mimi Faust. And he loves that the show pulls in bigger numbers now than “Real Housewives.” “We’re the bullies on the block man!”

Despite Joseline’s departure and Menas arrival, he said nobody can truly replace Joseline. “Erica is exciting,” he said. “She’s entertaining. She was made for television.”

As for Joseline, he’s co-parenting with her. “She has no regrets,” he said. “She’s doing the Mommy thing. She’s a great mom. I support her.”

He also said his child custody battle in New York is nearing its conclusion. “My children know I’m a great dad,” he said. “I do my best as a father.”

ON TV
“Love and Hip Hop Atlanta,” 8 p.m. Mondays, VH1

“Leave it to Stevie,” 9:30 p.m. Mondays, VH1

 

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