TNT orders up L.A. Noir pilot from Walking Dead’s Frank Darabont

Former "The Walking Dead" executive producer Frank Darabont's connections to Atlanta didn't end with his unceremonious Season Two ouster as boss on the Atlanta-shot hit zombie drama last year. "The Shawshank Redemption" director has now struck a deal with Atlanta's TNT to co-produce a pilot of "L.A. Noir" for the basic cable drama network. According to TNT reps, the show will be set in Los Angeles in the 1940s and 1950s and track "the epic battle L.A. police chief William Parker and mobster Mickey Cohen." The show will be a fictionalized account of author John Buntin's critically acclaimed non-fiction account of the era, "L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America's Most Seductive City."

The Thrashers’ New Recruits

Don Waddell sighs at the notion. “We haven’t tried to take black players just because of their race,” says the team president, who served as general manager from day one through last season. “I could have ten Spanish, ten black, and ten white players on my roster. If we don’t win, nobody comes to the games.”

Gwinnett’s Briscoe Field

A bold plan to privatize general aviation at Gwinnett’s Briscoe Field, enabling flights by commercial airlines, has sparked hot debate. The county board of commissioners is deciding whether to proceed. Here, two opposing factions sound off.  

Q&A with Pearl Cleage

This month the Alliance Theatre presents the world premiere of Atlanta playwright and author Pearl Cleage’s new romantic comedy What I Learned in Paris (9/5 to 9/30), which is actually about 1970s-era Atlanta. It promises to transport audiences back to a time when “mini skirts and bell-bottoms were on sale Downtown for $8.87.” The writer discusses why 1973 proved a transformative time for her and the city of Atlanta.The members of Oprah’s Book Club might not know this, but you moved here in 1969, graduated from Spelman, and then landed a job as a campaign speechwriter and later press secretary for the city’s new mayor Maynard Jackson. How did that experience inform the writing of this new play? It was a pivotal time, and I wanted to capture that for this play. When Maynard became the first African American mayor of Atlanta, it was truly an exciting time to be here. We knew we had turned a corner. We felt exhilarated. But working at city hall was the hardest job I ever had in my life. Maynard was a hard-working perfectionist. We had a joke about Maynard calling us in the middle of the night and asking us, “Did I wake you?” We always lied and said, “Oh, no.” But we got up out of the bed and did whatever the mayor wanted us to do. It was exciting to be a part of the next phase of the city’s life.You’re best known for your dramatic works tackling sometimes-taboo social issues. Is it a relief to write a comedy? I really love writing comedy. Writing romantic comedy is even nicer because you get to write about how insane we all act when we’re falling in love. When Maynard became mayor, he was thirty-five and I was twenty-five. Everyone we knew were newlyweds, falling in love, and having babies.How did you transport yourself back to that time period? I’ve kept journals since I was eleven years old. I went back through those, and it helps to have a husband [novelist and poet Zaron W. Burnett Jr.] who can remember every song ever recorded, who sang it, and when it was released.How do you work as a playwright? Is your work done when you turn in the script, or do you continue to collaborate with the director and the actors into the rehearsal process? I stay involved, especially when it’s a world premiere. Theater is about collaborating. When you write a novel, you write it in a room by yourself and then a reader buys the book and goes off alone to read it. I truly love the rehearsal process, those eight hours a day! I really love actors. What they bring to the process is magical. I’m always open to what they have to say. Often, as the writer of the piece, you can answer questions when they want to know “What is this woman thinking and feeling here?” or “Why does this man act this way?” I’m not one of those playwrights who says, “Show up, hit your marks, and don’t talk to me!” I always want to hear from the other artists involved, whether it’s the director, the lighting tech, or the actors.Some of your female readers are so smitten with Blue Hamilton, the R&B–singing romantic hero in two of your novels, Baby Brother’s Blues and Some Things I Never Thought I’d Do, they’ve been known to complain, “Damn that Pearl Cleage for creating the perfect man who doesn’t exist in real life!” What advice do you have for the single ladies searching for Blue Hamilton in real life? [Laughing] It’s true! Women stop me on the street corner to ask, “Does Blue have any brothers? Is he real?!” I’ll say this: He&rsq

“Squidbillies” creators pine for swine, Andy Roddick’s SRO dinner and the Q’s, Right As Rain hit a Red Light

When America's favorite (only?) animated redneck North Georgia Mountain squid Early Cuyler seemingly succumbs to a fatal exposure to asbestos in the Season Six premiere of the Adult Swim series "Squidbillies" this week, his Atlanta creators/caretakers had the perfect send off for him. The cartoon's creators Dave Willis and Jim Fortier asked Woodfire Grill chef Kevin Gillespie to lend his voice to the episode where a 'toon version of himself would prepare Early a last meal arranged by the Make a Miracle Network.

Frank Ski discusses departing New Birth, Massell on MARTA and Alton Brown hoovers up some hummus

V-103 FM morning man Frank Ski disclosed this week that he is no longer a member of Bishop Eddie Long's New Birth Missionary Church and hasn't attended services there since the details of Long's sex scandal first emerged. "I attend a different church now," Ski told Atlanta magazine during an interview at his new Frank Ski's Restaurant & Lounge at 2110 Peachtree Road. "I haven't been [back to New Birth] since all of this has been going on. It's been a while now. I think I've been waiting for things to pan out and see where they go." Ski said he and his family now attend services at Mount Bethel and at Mount Paran Church. "I like visiting different churches," Ski said. "We go to Mount Bethel and I love Mount Paran a lot too. There are so many different cultures of people represented there."

Atlanta magazine’s Real Housewives of Atlanta cover makes ASME and MPA’s “Covering the Decade” slideshow!

Looks like our controversial September 2009 cover story on the Real Housewives of Atlanta is still getting some attention. The

Georgia’s Olympic Hopefuls

Of the 760 American Olympic athletes who had made their teams by mid-June—when we went to press—twenty-one called Georgia home. That total ranked eleventh in the nation and third in the South, behind Florida (forty-four) and Texas (sixty-three). Georgia has the ninth-largest state population, approaching 10 million, so we’re slightly underperforming (proportionately). Of course, medals are what counts. We’re counting on this Georgia gang to make us proud in London.

RHOA Recap: Kim becomes a pistol-packin’ mama, NeNe seeks an AbFab nightclub

The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Episode 410: “We Come in Peace (And Packing Heat)” recap:Editor's note: On Monday, we chose to observe the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday with our own public service project. Not recapping RHOA.With the NFL lockout still in place, Kim Zolciak and her Atlanta Falcon boy toy/baby daddy Kroy Biermann opt to while away the hours at Sharp Shooters USA in Roswell. In an effort to redefine family fun, baby K.J. is with them. As they arrive with tot in tow, the sole female employee at Sharp Shooters USA is silently paraphrasing Reese Witherspoon’s dialogue from “Sweet Home Alabama” (“Look at you. You have a baby. In a firing range.”). Kim instantly makes Swiss cheese out of her paper target using a variety of lethal weapons (“She’s a great shot, a real pistol-packin’ mama,” praises her instructor). Kim is hesitant about actually owning a firearm, however, until she spots a nine millimeter with a bubble gum-hued handle. “Oh, this is adorable,” she tells Kroy. “I’m excited!”

Kathryn Stockett’s The Help coming to the big screen

Variety reports that crowd-pleasing producer Chris Columbus is fast-tracking a film adaptation of The Help, a bestselling novel by first-time Atlanta author Kathryn Stockett. Interesting back story: the director, Tate Taylor, grew up with

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