• NYC mayor declares 'Al Roker Appreciation Day'

    Updated: 32 min ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Al Roker didn't have this honor in his forecast. Mayor Bill de Blasio surprised the beloved "Today Show" weatherman on his 60th birthday Wednesday and declared it Al Roker Appreciation Day across the city. De Blasio presented Roker with a mayoral proclamation featuring a photograph of the home where Roker grew up in St. Albans, Queens. De Blasio's appearance came during the second hour of the NBC morning show. The program aired a retrospective on Roker's life and career and had other surprises planned to mark the start of his seventh decade. ___ Online: http://www.today.

  • NYC mayor declares 'Al Roker Appreciation Day'

    Updated: 36 min ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Al Roker didn't have this honor in his forecast. Mayor Bill de Blasio surprised the beloved "Today Show" weatherman on his 60th birthday Wednesday and declared it Al Roker Appreciation Day across the city. De Blasio presented Roker with a mayoral proclamation featuring a photograph of the home where Roker grew up in St. Albans, Queens. De Blasio's appearance came during the second hour of the NBC morning show. The program aired a retrospective on Roker's life and career and had other surprises planned to mark the start of his seventh decade. ___ Online: http://www.today.

  • South Africa: Soap opera cast is fired

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    JOHANNESBURG (AP) — "Generations," a hugely popular soap opera in South Africa, first aired in 1993, a year before the nation's first all-race elections ended apartheid. Now the future of this television staple followed by millions is up in the air. The producers fired the star-studded cast this week after they went on strike for more pay. Sixteen actors had complained they were "struggling actors" while the production house and state broadcaster SABC raked in big profits from a show that has been compared to the American soaps, "The Bold and the Beautiful" and "Days of our Lives.

  • And the Emmy winners are...? We're happy to guess!

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    Truth be told, we're both perplexed about which Emmy nominees will carry trophies home from Monday's ceremony. Allow us to explain. There was so much great TV last season that standout prime-time shows including "The Good Wife" and "Scandal" and stars Michael Sheen ("Masters of Sex") and James Spader ("The Blacklist") didn't even make the cut as nominees. Those who did are, for the most part, richly deserving. But now how to choose among them? Then there's this year's notable trend of shape-shifting, with programs squeezed into categories that could give them better odds of winning — even if the fit might raise viewers' eyebrows.

  • Seth Meyers prizes his new role as Emmycast host

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Seth Meyers is no stranger to live television. For years he anchored "Weekend Update" on "Saturday Night Live." Nor is playing host on TV an alien experience. Since February, he has occupied NBC's "Late Night" host chair. So Meyers isn't sweating his new role as master of ceremonies when "The Prime-Time Emmy Awards" airs Monday at 8 p.m. EDT on NBC. "Butterflies tend to go away with the first laugh," he said brightly, "so you try to make that happen as early as you can." Speaking by phone from Los Angeles, where he was prepping for Emmy night, he reported, "We've written our first pack of jokes. But the best stuff will come later in the week.

  • Don Pardo: a link to TV's birth, says 'SNL' boss

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Don Pardo was a timeless classic, and in selecting him as the announcer for the brand-new "Saturday Night Live," Lorne Michaels must have known it. "When they gave me a list of NBC staff announcers and I saw his name, there was no hesitation," Michaels, who remains "SNL" executive producer, recalled on Tuesday. On Monday, Pardo died at age 96, having served as an "SNL" mainstay and through-line from its debut in October 1975 up through the close of its 39th season in May (apart from a year in the early 1980s when the show, under short-lived different management, rudely sidelined him). Michaels, just 30 when "SNL" premiered, masterminded a brash, counter-culture brand of comedy show.

  • Longtime 'SNL' announcer Don Pardo dies at 96

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Few would recognize his face, but most knew his voice: the booming baritone that for nearly four decades heralded "Saturday Night Live." Don Pardo, the eras-spanning radio and TV announcer whose resonant voice-over style was celebrated for its majesty and power, died Monday in Arizona at the age of 96. "He became our link to the beginnings of television on NBC — and radio," said Lorne Michaels, who, as creator of "SNL" (and who remains its executive producer) hired Pardo.

  • MAC Commissioner: ESPN deal brings stability

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    Mid-American Conference Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher says the league's new 13-year media rights agreement with ESPN provides long-term stability to the conference at uncertain time for college athletics. The MAC and ESPN officially announced the new deal, which runs through the 2026-27 season, on Tuesday. The contract reworks the final three years of the current eight-year deal that MAC has with the network, and adds 10 years. The deal ensures a continuation of the weeknight football games in November that have become the conference's niche — and gave birth to the Twitter hashtag #MACtion.

  • 'Canadian Idol' contestant acquitted on terrorism

    Yesterday

    OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — A former "Canadian Idol" contestant was acquitted Tuesday of conspiring to facilitate terrorism, with the judge finding insufficient evidence that he intended to join a plot. Khurram Syed Sher, an Ontario doctor whose 2010 arrest got international attention because of his appearance on the contest show, had pleaded not guilty to the charges. Prosecutors had accused Sher of agreeing with two other men to raise money, send cash abroad, take paramilitary training, make and use explosives, and scout targets in Canada. Superior Court Justice Charles Hackland said that while Sher probably harbored jihadist sympathies, he was not convinced the doctor genuinely intended to join a conspiracy.

  • Somalia TV sales grow as many avoid public places

    Yesterday

    MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Inside the small office, the line of sweating clients waiting to renew their satellite TV subscriptions keeps growing. Technicians crimp wires and test signal strength of boxes while others go to homes across the Somali capital to install new systems or fix faulty ones. The TV business is booming in Somalia, in part because of fears by people of gathering in public places like restaurants that are targeted for deadly attacks by the al-Qaida-linked militant group al-Shabab. Movie theaters, long a source of entertainment for Mogadishu residents, have been shuttered following a wave of terrorist attacks. Many Somalis consider restaurants and hotels too dangerous to visit.

  • Nielsen's top programs for Aug. 11-18

    Yesterday

    Prime-time viewership numbers compiled by Nielsen for Aug. 11-18. Listings include the week's ranking and viewership. 1. "America's Got Talent" (Wednesday, 9 p.m.), NBC, 10.0 million. 2. "America's Got Talent" (Tuesday), NBC, 9.7 million. 3. "NCIS," CBS, 8.1 million. 4. "60 Minutes," CBS, 7.9 million. 5. "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 7.7 million. 6. "20/20: Robin Williams," ABC, 7.4 million. 7. "Under the Dome," CBS, 6.90 million. 8. "Big Brother" (Sunday), CBS, 6.8 million. 9. "Big Brother" (Wednesday), CBS, 6.7 million. 10. "Big Brother" (Thursday), CBS, 6.4 million. 11. "Unforgettable," CBS, 6.3 million. 12. NFL Preseason: Kansas City at Carolina, Fox, 6.22 million.

  • Fresh reality programming was last week's big draw

    Yesterday

    NEW YORK (AP) — Nielsen says fresh reality fare remained a big draw last week in prime time, where otherwise reruns dominated. A double whammy of "America's Got Talent" gave NBC the week's two most-watched shows, and three installments of CBS' "Big Brother" rounded out the bottom of last week's Top 10, according to Nielsen figures released Tuesday. A special edition of ABC's "20/20" focusing on the death of Robin Williams ranked sixth. Meanwhile, CBS scored with new episodes of its scripted summer thriller "Under the Dome," which ranked seventh, and its crime drama, "Unforgettable," which ranked 11th. CBS won for the week overall, followed by NBC, ABC, Univision and Fox. In cable, Disney was the most-watch

  • Smithsonian adds LGBT history to museum collection

    Yesterday

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Hundreds of photographs, papers and historical objects documenting the history of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are being added to the Smithsonian Institution's collection Tuesday, including items from the popular TV show "Will and Grace." Show creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick along with NBC are donating objects to the National Museum of American History. The collection includes original scripts, casting ideas, political memorabilia surrounding the show and the series finale. The network agreed to donate props, including a pill bottle and flask, a sign from "Grace Adler Interior Design" and Will Truman's framed college diploma.

  • Don Pardo, iconic TV announcer, dies at 96

    Yesterday

    NEW YORK (AP) — Don Pardo, the durable television and radio announcer whose booming baritone became as much a part of the cultural landscape as the shows and products he touted, including "Saturday Night Live," died Monday in Arizona. He was 96. Pardo died at his home in Tucson, where he moved after retiring from "SNL," said his daughter, Dona Pardo. Executive producer Lorne Michaels asked him to continue with the show, so he flew back and forth to New York for many years. In recent years, he recorded his introductions from his Tucson home. Few recognized the face of Pardo, a handsome man with a strong chin and confident smile. But Pardo's majestic delivery, with its swoops in pitch and pregnant pauses, graced newscasts, ga

  • Don Pardo, 'Saturday Night Live' announcer whose voice was part of cultural fabric, dies at 96

    Updated: Mon, Aug 18, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Don Pardo, 'Saturday Night Live' announcer whose voice was part of cultural fabric, dies at 96.

  • NFL games taking over Thursday nights on CBS

    Updated: Mon, Aug 18, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — "The Big Bang Theory" is one of the few television shows that can approach the NFL in viewership. CBS executives still didn't hesitate to temporarily move TV's top-rated comedy to a different night to make room for football. Already dominating Thursdays in prime time, CBS outbid its competitors when the league offered up games that had aired on NFL Network. "The highest priority for this corporation at that time was acquiring 'Thursday Night Football,'" CBS Sports Chair Sean McManus said Monday. Thursdays conjure up memories of "Must See TV." But viewers' habits are now very different from the NBC heyday of "The Cosby Show" or "Friends." So many more options abound: cable, Netflix, DVRs, on-deman

  • Actor Jon Hamm honored to get Cardinals bobblehead

    Updated: Mon, Aug 18, 2014

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jon Hamm joked that the bobble head the St. Louis Cardinals honored him with was "probably repurposed" from a Matt Carpenter model. "It's great, it's fantastic. It's amazing how many people I've had ask me to get them one," Hamm said before throwing the first pitch Monday night for the Cardinals' game against the Cincinnati Reds. "That was the weird thing — aunts and uncles and friends of all stripes, so I'll probably need about 40 of them." The "Mad Men" star, a lifelong Cardinals fan who grew up in the suburbs, is starring in the baseball movie "Million Dollar Arm." Bearded and wearing a white Cardinals cap at the podium, Hamm remembered watching the 1982 World Series at age 11.

  • Simms, Dungy likely not to use 'Redskins' on TV

    Updated: Mon, Aug 18, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Two influential NFL voices — including CBS lead analyst Phil Simms, who will handle Washington's Week 4 game — said Monday they likely won't use the term "Redskins" when discussing the franchise. "My very first thought is it will be Washington the whole game," Simms told The Associated Press on Monday. Simms will work the Thursday night package the network acquired this season and will have Giants-Redskins on Sept. 25. He isn't taking sides in the debate over whether Washington's nickname is offensive or racist. But he says he is sensitive to the complaints about the name, and his instincts now are to not use Redskins in his announcing. "I never really thought about it, and then it came up and it m

  • K. Michelle links with Idris Elba for VH1 musical

    Updated: Mon, Aug 18, 2014

    ATLANTA (AP) — When Idris Elba agreed to direct K. Michelle's TV musical, the R&B singer thought he was kidding. "I'm really good friends with Idris, and when I told him about it, he said he wanted to do it. I thought he was joking at first," Michelle said in a recent interview. The rising singer is pairing with the Golden Globe winner for "Rebellious Soul: the Musical," which premieres Tuesday on VH1. The 30-minute special features songs from Michelle's album "Rebellious Soul," which debuted at No. 2 and No. 1 on Billboard's Top 200 albums and R&B/Hip-Hop albums charts last year. "I told him about what I wanted to do, and he held his word," she said. "He never did judge me.

  • Source: Craig Ferguson to launch new talk show

    Updated: Mon, Aug 18, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Craig Ferguson is close to a deal to launch an early-evening talk show starting in fall 2015. The outgoing host of CBS' "The Late Late Show" would introduce his half-hour syndicated series on stations in a slot just before prime time, according to a source with knowledge of the deal who spoke on the condition of anonymity because that person wasn't authorized to comment publicly. Ferguson is expected to bring along his robot skeleton "sidekick," Geoff, as well as executive producer Michael Naidus. A Ferguson representative didn't immediately respond Monday to a request for comment. Ferguson, who has held a late-night berth on CBS for a decade, will step down in December.