• Doc rediscovers Bing Crosby's triumphs, tragedies

    Updated: 18 min ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — An upcoming PBS documentary seeks to remind younger generations there was so much more to Bing Crosby than crooning "White Christmas" — from media master to philanthropist to difficult dad. "It's an unprecedented career in the history of show business," says Robert Trachtenberg, director of "American Masters: Bing Crosby Rediscovered," debuting Tuesday. "He really was the first multimedia star of the 20th century." Crosby established his name on radio and stage throughout the 1920s. By the early 1930s, he was a superstar and for more than two decades, placed at or near the top of record charts, radio ratings and movie box office. He won an Academy Award as best actor for his performance in 1944's

  • Nielsen: Plenty of holiday programming last year

    Updated: Wed, Nov 26, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — If it's anything like last year, television viewers won't have to look very hard for holiday-themed programming this season. The Nielsen company said on Wednesday that some 875 hours of such shows were on broadcast and cable networks in late 2013. That includes both specials and holiday episodes of regularly-schedules series, the company said. A cable network like the Hallmark Channel, which was the second highest-rated network in prime-time last week, does a good business at the end of the end of each year with its constant stream of holiday movies. Nielsen said that 84 percent of women and 79 percent of men said they watched at least a minute of holiday programming last year.

  • Singer John Mayer among 'Late Late Show' subs

    Updated: Wed, Nov 26, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Singer John Mayer, filmmaker Judd Apatow and comic Drew Carey will be among the guest hosts that will fill in on CBS's "The Late Late Show" before new host James Corden takes over in March. The network on Wednesday announced its plans for the 12:37 a.m. time slot for the winter months after current host Craig Ferguson leaves. Ferguson's last show will be Dec. 19. Carey will host the first week of January and the last week before Corden starts. In between, actors Will Arnett, Wayne Brady, Jim Gaffigan, Billy Gardell, Sean Hayes, Thomas Lennon and Kunal Nayyar will take turns as host. CBS will also air special late-night editions of its daytime chat show, "The Talk," for a week in January.

  • Garth Brooks cites Ferguson for cancellation

    Updated: Wed, Nov 26, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Singer Garth Brooks has canceled a Thanksgiving appearance on NBC's "Tonight" show because he said it "seemed distasteful" given the reaction to the decision not to prosecute Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting of Michael Brown this summer. NBC on Wednesday confirmed the postponement, saying Brooks was being replaced on the show by Whoopi Goldberg and Tom Colicchio. Brooks wrote on his Facebook page that he landed in New York on the night the grand jury's decision was announced "to the news of the civil unrest that was going on in our nation. To spend the day promoting our stuff like nothing was wrong seemed distasteful to me." He offered to reschedule.

  • NFL might not flex any Sunday night games in 2014

    Updated: Wed, Nov 26, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — For the first time since flexible scheduling came to "Sunday Night Football" in 2006, the NFL could go an entire season without needing it. No way Cowboys-Eagles gets swapped out in Week 15. NFC East showdowns are huge ratings draws even if both teams are struggling, and this one might decide the division title. Seahawks-Cardinals in Week 16 keeps getting juicer with Arizona's unexpected run to the league's best record and the defending Super Bowl champs' uncertain playoff hopes. Those two matchups were slotted in prime time back in April after high-powered computers and high-ranking executives spent weeks paring down millions of possible schedule combinations.

  • The science of setting the NFL schedule

    Updated: Wed, Nov 26, 2014

    The NFL runs dozens of computers for 24 hours a day for 12 weeks to evaluate its millions of possible schedule combinations. Each team's opponents are set at the end of the previous season based on records and the rotation of interdivision matchups. The puzzle is determining which week each game will be played, and which TV slot it will slide into. Close to 20,000 "rules" are programmed in to let the machines know which outcomes should be avoided — everything from dates that stadiums aren't available to keeping a team from playing four straight road games. Undesirable options are inevitable, though, with some worse than others. So "penalties" of varying values are assigned to help the software minimize the unhappy teams.

  • Ferguson officer says he never wanted to kill

    Updated: Wed, Nov 26, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson says he "never wanted to take anybody's life" and feels sorry about the death of Michael Brown. But Wilson says in an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America" that aired Wednesday that he followed his training when he shot the unarmed black teenager. During their confrontation, he says, "The only emotion I ever felt was fear and then it was survival and training." Wilson says he only fired at Brown when Brown was facing him, and never when his back was turned. And he says he saw in the teenager a high level of aggression and anger that was "almost unfathomable." Wilson says he understands Wilson's parents' anger because they are grieving their son. He says, "I

  • Nielsen's top programs for Nov. 17-23

    Updated: Tue, Nov 25, 2014

    Prime-time viewership numbers compiled by Nielsen for Nov. 17-23. Listings include the week's ranking and viewership. 1. NFL Football: various teams, CBS, 26.36 million. 2. NFL Football: Dallas at N.Y. Giants, NBC, 22.38 million. 3. "NCIS," CBS, 18.1 million. 4. "60 Minutes," CBS, 17.19 million. 5. "NCIS: New Orleans," CBS, 16.86 million. 6. "Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick," NBC, 14.67 million. 7. "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 14.61 million. 8. "Dancing With the Stars," ABC, 14.3 million. 9. "The Walking Dead," AMC, 13.33 million. 10. NFL Football: Pittsburgh vs. Tennessee, ESPN, 12.77 million. 11. "Madam Secretary," CBS, 12.41 million. 12. "Blue Bloods," CBS, 11.62 million

  • Rough week for Fox in Nielsen ratings

    Updated: Tue, Nov 25, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — If Fox launches a comeback over the next couple of years, the network may very well look upon the week before Thanksgiving 2014 as its low point. The Nielsen company said the struggling network finished fifth in prime-time viewership behind Spanish-language network Univision last week. Univision was helped by coverage of the Latin Grammy Awards last week. The highest-ranked Fox show in Nielsen's weekly ratings was the "Batman" prequel "Gotham," the network's biggest success of the fall. Still, Nielsen said 45 other programs had a bigger audience than the 6.5 million people who watched "Gotham." On ABC, "The American Music Awards" saw its ratings go down slightly from last year, but it was easily respon

  • ABC's Stephanopoulos interviews Darren Wilson

    Updated: Tue, Nov 25, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — ABC News' George Stephanopoulos landed the much-sought first television interview with Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, speaking to him for an hour Tuesday in Missouri. The network interrupted its afternoon programming Tuesday for Stephanopoulos to talk about the interview, even before excerpts were available. ABC News plans to feature portions of the discussion on "World News Tonight," ''Nightline" and "Good Morning America" and promised to post the full interview on its website. Stephanopoulos said no questions were off-limits for the interview, which took place less than 24 hours after a grand jury decided not to indict the 28-year-old officer in the shooting death of Michael Brown this summer.

  • MLS player rues slow acceptance of gays in sports

    Updated: Tue, Nov 25, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Los Angeles Galaxy soccer star Robbie Rogers wants some company, now that he's the last man standing as an openly gay athlete in a U.S. professional league. Jason Collins recently retired from the NBA, and Michael Sam is without an NFL team. That leaves Rogers, the first openly gay player in Major League Soccer, hoping for a bigger fraternity. "To be honest, I thought when I came out and Jason and Michael, I thought there'd be a chain reaction," Rogers said in a recent phone interview with The Associated Press. "It's been a lot slower. I guess that just reminds me how big a problem it is in sports culture with homophobia. They don't feel comfortable.

  • New Tina Fey-created sitcom headed to Netflix

    Updated: Tue, Nov 25, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Netflix has picked up two seasons of a new sitcom from Tina Fey. Titled "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," it focuses on a woman who escapes from a doomsday cult and starts life over in New York. It was co-created by Fey and Robert Carlock, who collaborated on "30 Rock." It stars Ellie Kemper of "The Office." Fey isn't scheduled to appear in the series. Netflix says the 13-episode first season will premiere in March. The series had originally been bound for NBC, but that network passed. Universal Television, NBC's corporate sibling, will remain the show's producer.

  • A new documentary explores the life of Kurt Cobain

    Updated: Tue, Nov 25, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Kurt Cobain is the focus of a new documentary that probes the life and untimely death of the Nirvana singer-guitarist. It will be released in theaters next year and air exclusively on HBO, the network said Tuesday. Co-produced by HBO Documentary Films, "Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck" is the first documentary made with the cooperation of Cobain's family. It draws on home movies, journals and other personal archives. It features Nirvana songs and performances and previously unheard Cobain originals. The film's director-producer, Brett Morgen, has previously made the documentaries "Crossfire Hurricane," about the Rolling Stones, and "The Kid Stays in the Picture.

  • Britain wins 3 International Emmys

    Updated: Mon, Nov 24, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Britain's Stephen Dillane and the Netherlands' Bianca Krijgsman received the top acting prizes Monday night at the 42nd International Emmy Awards in which the honors were spread among eight countries. The highlight of the awards gala at the Hilton New York came when "Mad Men" stars Christina Hendricks and John Slattery presented the honorary International Emmy Founders Award to the show's creator and executive producer Matthew Weiner who's preparing the final episodes of the advertising agency saga to air in spring 2015. British TV productions received three International Emmys at the ceremony hosted by British comedian Matt Lucas, creator of the comedy series "Little Britain.

  • Miller puts own spin on longtime 'GH' character

    Updated: Mon, Nov 24, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — So far playing a recast character has worked to Billy Miller's advantage. He was the fourth actor to play Billy Abbott on CBS' "The Young and the Restless" and earned three Daytime Emmy Awards. Now, the 35-year-old actor is playing Jason Morgan on ABC's "General Hospital" (airing Monday through Friday at 3 p.m. EST). Steve Burton played Jason for 20 years until 2012, when the character was presumed dead. Recently, Jason was hit by a car, wiping away his memory (and giving Miller a clean slate to work with in the role). "It would be ridiculous for me to mimic (the way Burton played him)," Miller said in a recent interview. What he's brought to the character so far is levity.

  • Bill Weir's new CNN series to begin in 2015

    Updated: Mon, Nov 24, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Bill Weir's new series on CNN will entail a lot of travel. CNN said Monday the former ABC newsman will host "The Wonder List" starting next year. The series will be about people, places and cultures at a crossroad. The last person to see a Bengal tiger in the wild or hike a glacier in Montana may actually be alive today, given the rate of planetary change. Weir said the series will examine the reasons for that and also take viewers to places like the Dead Sea; Venice, Italy; and Africa. CNN said "The Wonder List" will debut with eight episodes in prime time early in the year.

  • 'Today' looks to rebound from tough week

    Updated: Mon, Nov 24, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — It's rarely a good sign when morning television hosts are painfully bantering about whether they are keeping their jobs. That's where Willie Geist and Natalie Morales found themselves during the most difficult week for NBC's "Today" show in two years. At its end, an NBC News executive was fired after two months on the job and the network was tamping down reports of mutinies, firings and transfers at the lucrative morning franchise. It was an unwanted reminder of the ugly removal of Ann Curry from "Today" in 2012, which helped ABC's rival "Good Morning America" fly past NBC to the top of the morning heap. "It's reopening the same wound," said Shelley Ross, a veteran producer who ran morning shows at ABC

  • Foxwoods Resort postpones Bill Cosby appearance

    Updated: Mon, Nov 24, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Foxwoods Resort Casino says it has indefinitely postponed Bill Cosby's concert appearance that was scheduled for January. The announcement Monday by the Connecticut resort adds to several cancellations last week for the embattled comedian amid a growing number of sexual assault allegations. No reason was given by Foxwoods for postponing the Jan. 31 performance. Cosby has issued a statement discrediting decades-old accusations and his attorney has denied four of the allegations. At least 29 dates remain on Cosby's touring calendar through May 2015.

  • Shifting attitudes at play in Cosby allegations

    Updated: Sat, Nov 22, 2014

    Tamra Wade struggled mightily over whether to go to the police more than a decade ago, when, she says, a trusted professor forced himself on her in an empty classroom. Ultimately she couldn't bring herself to do it. But if it happened now, she says, she'd be a lot bolder — not just because she's older, but because she feels there's less of a stigma connected to being a victim of sexual assault. And this, say advocates for sexual assault victims, may be one reason why the allegations against Bill Cosby have exploded into public consciousness now so much more than they did when they emerged a decade ago: an evolving cultural understanding of the crime of sexual assault, and increased empathy toward those claiming to be victim

  • Woman on "My Five Wives" accuses father of abuse

    Updated: Sat, Nov 22, 2014

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A woman featured in a reality TV show about a polygamous family is going public about sex abuse she claims she suffered as a child in hopes of changing a culture of secrecy plaguing plural families in Utah. Rosemary Williams says she was molested more than two decades ago by her father, Lynn A. Thompson. He is the leader of one of the largest organized polygamy groups in Utah, the Apostolic United Brethren, or AUB. Thompson says the allegations are not true. A spokesman for the AUB didn't return phone calls from The AP. A search of criminal charges available online show no record of any criminal convictions for Thompson. The Williams family is featured in the TLC reality show, "My Five Wive