• Polly Bergen, versatile actress, singer dies at 84

    Updated: Sat, Sep 20, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Emmy-winning actress and singer Polly Bergen, who in a long career played the terrorized wife in the original "Cape Fear" and the first woman president in "Kisses for My President," died Saturday, according to her publicist. She was 84. Bergen died at her home in Southbury, Connecticut, from natural causes, said publicist Judy Katz, surrounded by family and close friends. A brunette beauty with a warm, sultry singing voice, Bergen was a household name from her 20s onward. She made albums and played leading roles in films, stage musicals and TV dramas. She also hosted her own variety series, was a popular game show panelist, and founded a thriving beauty products company that bore her name.

  • Craig Ferguson plays it loose with new game show

    Updated: Sat, Sep 20, 2014

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Craig Ferguson approached his first TV game show host's job with a subversive attitude. Then came the simple matter of his wardrobe for "Celebrity Name Game." "I thought, 'I'm not going to wear a suit. I'm going to break that rule,'" Ferguson said. Wrong decision, he quickly realized, after taping the first few episodes of the syndicated daytime show debuting Monday. "When I watched the shows back, I couldn't tell who was in charge," he said. On came the business suit, fitted over the sly, irreverent style that his nighttime fans know from CBS' "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson," which began airing in 2005. He wouldn't have tackled a game show without the opportunity of making it his own

  • E! says 'Fashion Police' will continue

    Updated: Fri, Sep 19, 2014

    The E! TV channel says that "Fashion Police" will continue without Joan Rivers. In a statement Friday, the channel said it "thought long and hard" about what Rivers would have wanted for the show. The decision was made that the late comedian would have hoped that "Fashion Police" continue, E! said. Rivers' daughter, Melissa, who is the show's executive producer, agreed and gave her "blessing," the channel said. The 81-year-old Joan Rivers died Sept. 4, a week after going into cardiac arrest during a procedure at an outpatient surgery facility in New York. "Fashion Police" will return next January, starting with Golden Globes coverage, E! said. No further details about the show, including whether Rivers would

  • Daughter calls Utah doctor a monster at sentencing

    Updated: Fri, Sep 19, 2014

    PROVO, Utah (AP) — A Utah doctor convicted of murdering his wife in a case that became a true-crime cable TV obsession was sentenced Friday to 17 years to life in prison at a hearing in which his daughter called him a monster. The long-awaited sentence came seven years after prosecutors say Martin MacNeill knocked out his wife with drugs prescribed following cosmetic surgery and left her to die in a bathtub so he could begin a new life with his mistress. "My father's facade has now crumbled," said Alexis Somers, who asked the judge to give MacNeill the maximum penalty. "My father is a monster. He has never shown remorse for any of his crimes. He must be held accountable for his actions.

  • TV special puts Stonehenge in spotlight

    Updated: Fri, Sep 19, 2014

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — President Barack Obama pronounced England's Stonehenge "cool" during a side trip there earlier this month. TV viewers can check it out for themselves with Smithsonian Channel's two-hour special on the ancient stone circle. "Stonehenge Empire" focuses on the results of a five-year, high-tech effort to map the site and surroundings — including evidence of other monuments and burial mounds. Using the new data, "Stonehenge Empire" employs computer-generated imagery and dramatic reconstructions to illustrate the area's prehistoric culture. Archeologists discuss why and how Stonehenge developed, the channel said, as well as evidence that it was the center of a civilization that had mastered astron

  • Fallon to pay up, broadcast show in Chicago

    Updated: Fri, Sep 19, 2014

    CHICAGO (AP) — "Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon says he'll keep his word to bring his show to Chicago, thanks to local students making good on their promise to read millions of words this summer. Fallon announced Thursday on his late-night NBC show that he would make good on his deal with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to host the show from Chicago if the city's public school students read 2.4 million books over the summer. The students did even better, according to the mayor, by reading 2.7 million books as part of his Readers Summer Learning Challenge. The handshake wager was made in June, when Emanuel appeared on Fallon's show in return for Fallon jumping into frigid Lake Michigan with the mayor in March during Chicago's Pol

  • 'Gotham' actor's Penguin inspired by DC Comics

    Updated: Fri, Sep 19, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Robin Lord Taylor remembers seeing the "Batman" film starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson on its opening night in 1989. But the film Penguin isn't the one he's channeling in the Batman prequel "Gotham" that premieres Monday on Fox (8 p.m. EDT). Instead, he says, the comic version of Oswald Cobblepot — yes, that's The Penguin's real name — inspired his performance. "I'm definitely influenced by Danny DeVito's performance and even Burgess Meredith's performance (in the 1960s "Batman" TV series), but since we're starting with him as a younger kid, it was just (DC Comics) in particular that were incredibly valuable," Taylor says.

  • Color lines are blurred in ABC comedy 'black-ish'

    Updated: Fri, Sep 19, 2014

    BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Tracee Ellis Ross delivers perhaps the funniest line you'll hear on a sitcom this fall. The character she plays on ABC's comedy "black-ish" is, like Ross, an appealing mix of beauty, smarts and zaniness. She is totally plausible as a savvy mother of four and the loving wife of an up-and-coming ad exec (co-star Anthony Anderson), not to mention a busy anesthesiologist. In this upscale African-American family, Dr. Rainbow Johnson also happens to be biracial. This occasionally spurs Andre, her hubby, who's forever fretting about the family's black cred, to question whether she is certifiably "black.

  • Wig designer's suit against Nicki Minaj dismissed

    Updated: Thu, Sep 18, 2014

    ATLANTA (AP) — A federal judge in Atlanta has tossed out a lawsuit filed against rapper Nicki Minaj by her former wig designer. In a lawsuit in February, Terrence Davidson accused Onika Maraj, who uses the stage name "Nicki Minaj," and Pink Personality LLC of breaking implied contracts, reneging on discussions to launch a reality TV show and a wig line, and misappropriating his designs. Lawyers for Minaj filed a motion in May to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that Davidson failed to state a valid claim. U.S. District Judge Harold Murphy on Tuesday did just that. He agreed that Davidson did not state viable claims against Minaj and Pink Personality. A lawyer for Davidson did not immediately respond to an email seek

  • Jeter going out his way, to sound of Sinatra

    Updated: Thu, Sep 18, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Derek Jeter is going out his way. On the first day of the final regular-season homestand for the New York Yankees' captain, Gatorade began running a 90-second advertisement showing Jeter walking around the Bronx neighborhood outside Yankee Stadium. Shot in black and white, the ad is accompanied by Frank Sinatra's recording of "My Way." Before the Yankees played Toronto on Thursday night, Jeter said he picked the music. "I've always liked the song. I thought it was fitting," he said. "I'm happy we were able to use it." The ad was created by TBWA(backslash)Chiat(backslash)Day. Jeter said it took about 30 minutes to record him interacting with surprised fans. "It's sort of a way to thank them

  • New 'NCIS' spinoff sets up shop in New Orleans

    Updated: Thu, Sep 18, 2014

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The newest members of the successful "NCIS" TV franchise understand the importance of their family roots. But the stars and producers of "NCIS: New Orleans" also are betting that the crime drama's setting, one of America's most distinctive cities, will exert its own magic with viewers. The series debuts at 9 p.m. EDT Tuesday on CBS, drafting on TV's top-rated drama "NCIS" that airs at 8 p.m. "It's really about the DNA of the city and the whole Gulf Coast," said executive producer Jeffrey Lieber.

  • Darrell Hammond takes over for Don Pardo on 'SNL'

    Updated: Thu, Sep 18, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — A familiar face — former cast member Darrell Hammond — is taking over for a familiar voice at "Saturday Night Live." Hammond, who acted on the long-running comedy show from 1995 to 2009, is replacing announcer Don Pardo. He spent three hours in the announcing booth practicing on Thursday for the Sept. 27 season opener. For all but one year of the NBC show's 40-year history, it was Pardo's voice that would announce the host, musical guest and cast members every week, and the veteran broadcaster continued the job even after he retired to Arizona. Pardo died at age 96 on Aug. 18. Pardo's role, and his link to the show's storied history, is so important at Rockefeller Plaza that Hammond is walking a de

  • MTV to air documentary about transgender youths

    Updated: Thu, Sep 18, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Laverne Cox will host a documentary on MTV and Logo next month that profiles seven young transgender people. The special, "Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word," will air simultaneously on the two channels on Oct. 17. Cox, a transgender actress, was nominated for an Emmy Award for her role in Netflix's "Orange is the New Black." After the documentary, Logo and MTV's web site will air a forum where Cox and the documentary's cast members answer questions from viewers about their lives. MTV personality SuChin Pak will help lead the "Trans Forum" discussion. MTV said Thursday that the people profiled in the documentary range in age from 12 to 24.

  • TV Guide Network renaming itself POP

    Updated: Thu, Sep 18, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — The TV Guide Network is rebranding itself as POP, promising to make itself a destination for hard-core pop culture fans. The network, owned by the CBS Corp. and Lionsgate, is currently in 80 million homes. Owners said Thursday the switch is planned for early next year. Owners promise one series that follows dedicated fans of New Kids on the Block and another called "The Story Behind," with stories about how some of television's biggest hits got their start. POP will also continue the TV Guide Network's red carpet coverage of various awards shows. Currently, the network shows reruns of many CBS and CW shows, and offers behind-the-scenes access to the cast of CBS' "Big Brother.

  • Zachary Quinto rules out role in 'Heroes Reborn'

    Updated: Thu, Sep 18, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Zachary Quinto got his big acting break on NBC's "Heroes," but he's ruling out any role in the "Heroes Reborn" miniseries due to air on the network next year. The 37-year-old actor, who's best known for his role as Spock on the 2009 J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek" reboot, says timing is part of the problem, but that he also felt that it wasn't right for him creatively, because he's "really interested in cultivating other experiences" for himself. "I'm not going to do it," he says. Instead, he's turning his attention to mentoring two first-time filmmakers on the unscripted series "The Chair," which airs Saturdays on the Starz network (11 p.m. EDT).

  • Actor Michael Sheen likes variety in his roles

    Updated: Thu, Sep 18, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Michael Sheen can mold himself into just about any kind of role. He's played British Prime Minister Tony Blair, interviewer David Frost and a vampire in the "Twilight" films. Sheen says that with public figures like Blair and Frost, the roles are daunting, but he feels less pressure playing sex researcher William Masters on Showtime's "Masters of Sex," now in its second season and airing Sundays (10 p.m. EDT). "Very little is known about the inner life of Bill Masters," he said. "We have the facts of what happened in his career and certain things in his life, but he was a very private man and a very sort of secretive man ... which is kind of great for me and for us because we need to invent.

  • Newport magician wins $1M on TV talent show

    Updated: Thu, Sep 18, 2014

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Newport magician wowed the audience and came home with the $1 million prize in the NBC talent competition "America's Got Talent." Mat Franco, a native of Johnston, also won the opportunity on Wednesday to headline a show in Las Vegas. Franco graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2010. He started learning magic tricks when he was a child and performed his first show as a kindergartener during show-and-tell. Franco traveled to Las Vegas at the age of 12 to study magic. After winning, he thanked all the Rhode Island fans who voted for him in the competition.

  • Directors Guild finds TV diversity hiring stalled

    Updated: Wed, Sep 17, 2014

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Women and minorities are largely shut out of the ranks of TV series directors in a stubbornly unchanged pattern of hiring, according to a Hollywood guild study released Wednesday. The Directors Guild of America report said that employers have made no significant improvement in diversity among TV directors in the last four years. White males directed the vast majority of the more than 3,500 cable, broadcast and high-budget online episodes made for the 2013-14 season, according to the study. In a statement, Directors Guild President Paris Barclay said it can be "shockingly difficult" to persuade those who control industry hiring to make even small improvements.

  • TV show helps spur arrest in 1997 Arizona killing

    Updated: Wed, Sep 17, 2014

    FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A television show that featured the nearly two-decade-old killing of an Arizona teenager and her unborn baby helped lead to the arrest of her ex-boyfriend, police said Wednesday. Cecilio Cruz is charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter. Police in the city of Cottonwood, about 100 miles north of Phoenix, said Cruz fatally shot 17-year-old Marisol Gonzalez in the face on March 25, 1997. Cruz, 34, long had been suspected in Gonzalez's death, Cottonwood police Sgt. Tod Moore said. The two dated in high school, and she found out that she was pregnant with his child after they broke up. Her body was found in an alley near her Cottonwood home the same day she was scheduled to be induced to deliver

  • Top TV doc Dempsey makes name in sports-car racing

    Updated: Wed, Sep 17, 2014

    Patrick Dempsey's character in "Can't Buy Me Love" spent all summer mowing lawns to save up for a telescope. Dempsey didn't need the science instrument to set his sights on the object he really wanted: a Porsche 356. With his first paycheck from the 1980s teen flick, Dempsey didn't go for any old beater, he went big and bought the classic 1963 Porsche. And it wasn't something he did on a whim, but with a passion for the brand. Dempsey still owns and drives the Porsche, a luxury car he planned to keep in the family, especially for his kids who love going for long rides near the family home in California. "It's fun to drive down the coast in that," Dempsey said. "That car is as so much fun to drive today as it was w