Chad Spencer
Chad Spencer
The Morning Buzz
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Entertainment News

Country Music Television (CMT) Awards Held

According to CMT.com, Keith Urban won Video of the Year and Male Video of the year with "Blue Ain't Your Color". Urban also took home the "CMT Social Superstar of the Year" award. Urban rounds off his awards in his work with Carrie Underwood for Collaborative Video of the year for "The Fighter." 


The duo also performed that song. 




Female Video of the year went to Underwood for "Church Bells"


Group video of the Year went to "Better Man" the song by Little Big Town.


Florida Georgia Line's "H.O.L.Y." took home the Duo Video of the Year title.


Breakthrough Video of the Year went to Lauren Alaina for her hit "Road Less Traveld" Alaina is set to perform at the Hardin County Fair this fall.


CMT Performance of the Year went to the collaboraive effort between Jason Derulo and Luke Bryan for "Want to Want Me" peroformed at CMT Crossroads.




Will.i.am Confirms Fergie's Leaving Black Eyed Peas

E! News reported that the lead singer of the "Black Eyed Peas" who joined in 2002 has left the band to concentrate on her solo career.


Fergie is credited with helping in the group's rise to fame, and making it one of the most famous pop/hip-hop bands.


The singer has not commented after band front man Will.i.am confirmed the rumors. Fergie hasn't recorded new music with the band in over five years, and last performed live at Coachella in 2015.




Jurors Selected for Bill Cosby Trial

ABC News reports that ten jurors have been selected for the upcoming trial of American Actor Bill Cosby.


Three white women, one black woman, and six black men have been chosen to sit on the 12-person total jury. Four alternate jurors will also be selected by attourneys.


The actor faces ten years in prision after charges of sexual assault stemmed from an alleged 2004 incident with accuser Andrea Constand. Cosby has entered a 'not guilty' plea.






Chris Cornell's family thinks medication may have played part in suicide

In a statement through their attorney, Chris Cornell's family does not believe the Soundgarden and Audioslave singer knew "what he was doing" when he took his own life earlier this week in Detroit.


"Chris, a recovering addict, had a prescription for Ativan and may have taken more Ativan than recommended dosages.


The family believes that if Chris took his life, he did not know what he was doing, and that drugs or other substances may have affected his actions," family attorney Kirk Pasich stated early Friday morning in a press release.

The family attorney couldn’t verify if the drug Cornell’s wife said the singer took was Ativan or its generic version, lorazepam.


The medications belong to the class of drugs called benzodiazepines. A review of research by the National Center for Biotechnology Information concluded that in the majority of studies in a controlled environment, the risks for attempting suicide went up for those using benzodiazepines like Ativan and lorazepam, coupled with a pre-existing condition of depression.


ABC news reports that After news broke early Thursday of the rocker's death at the age of 52, the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office determined that "the "cause of death [was] hanging by suicide."

Cornell's wife Vicky added in the new statement that Chris spoke with her before his Detroit show on Wednesday night and "discussed plans for a vacation over Memorial Day and other things we wanted to do."

She said that later, after the show, he was "slurring his words; he was different," when she spoke to him. She said she wants to wait on the results of toxicology tests before drawing any conclusions.


"When he told me he may have taken an extra Ativan or two, I contacted security and asked that they check on him," she said. "What happened is inexplicable, and I am hopeful that further medical reports will provide additional details. I know that he loved our children and he would not hurt them by intentionally taking his own life."


Detroit police officer Jennifer Moreno told ABC News on Thursday that the singer was found at midnight in his hotel room at the MGM Grand in Detroit after being checked on by a family friend, as stated by Vicky Cornell.


"Chris's death is a loss that escapes words and has created an emptiness in my heart that will never be filled. As everyone who knew him commented, Chris was a devoted father and husband. He was my best friend. His world revolved around his family first and of course, his music, second," Vicky added. "The outpouring of love and support from his fans, friends and family means so much more to us than anyone can know. Thank you for that, and for understanding how difficult this is for us."


"13 Reasons Why" Renewed for 2nd Season

According to USA Today: Netflix's 13 Reasons Why has yet another reason for getting noticed.

The series, which controversially centers on the suicide of a teenager, announced on social media Sunday that it has been renewed for a second season.

The story is about Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford), who has left behind cassette tapes explaining 13 reasons why she took her life. Season 1 had 13 episodes and was executive produced by Selena Gomez, who said last week that "maybe" there would be another season of the series.

She also told the Associated Press that she was proud of the project.

"We stayed very true to the book," Gomez said. "What Jay Asher created was a beautifully tragic, complicated yet suspenseful story and I think that's what we wanted to do. We wanted to do it justice and, yeah, (the backlash is) going to come no matter what. It's not an easy subject to talk about, but I'm very fortunate with how it's doing."


Psychologists, educators and parents have widely criticized13 Reasons' potential to be interpreted as glamorizing suicide, prompted Netflix to add warnings to episodes.

Season 2 was announced via Twitter by the official account for 13 Reasons and was retweeted by the account for Netflix US. There are no details yet on the new season's premiere date.


First Lady Celebrates Birthday

According to E! News: The First Lady of the United States turns 47 today, and she's celebrating in Washington D.C.
President Donald Trump's wife is in the nation's capital to attend a luncheon for Senate spouses at the National Gallery of Art, where she is set to make remarks. According to a White House official, FLOTUS will also be meeting with members of her staff on a variety of issues throughout the day.
Later this evening, the Trumps have a private celebration planned in the White House residence, per the official.
She received well wishes from President Trump, who tweeted, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our @FLOTUS, Melania!" alongside a photo of the couple from the 2017 Presidential Inauguration. 


‘American Ninja Warrior’ coming to Ohio

CLEVELAND, OH (WCMH) — “American Ninja Warrior” is coming to Ohio, and you can go watch the show for free!

The series summer 2017 season will make a stop in Cleveland on May 8th and 9th. Filming is slated at begin at 8:00pm both days.


On Camera Audiences, a website that distributes tickets for TV tapings, is giving away free tickets to watch the show. You can sign up now by clicking here to join the wait list.


While the tickets are free, you do have to be at least 12-years-old to attend. Fans on the wait list will then be notified on a first-come, first-served basis.


The action-packed series follows competitors as they tackle a series of challenging obstacle courses in both city qualifying and city finals rounds across the country. The top 15 competitors from each city move onto the national finals round in Las Vegas, where they face a stunning four-stage course modeled after the famed Mt. Midoriyama course in Japan. The winner will take home a grand prize of $1 million.


Based on the global hit “Sasuke,” from the Tokyo Broadcasting System Television, the original series is now in its 31st season in Japan.


The winner of the American series will take home a grand prize of $1 million.


Box Office: 'Fate Of The Furious' Racing Past $600 Million Worldwide

Forbes.com reports that Fate of the Furious snagged a solid $8.6 million on its first domestic Monday. That's down a reasonable 60% from its $21.5m Sunday gross. For reference, Furious 7 earned $14m on its first Monday, which was a drop of 57% from its $33.15m Sunday gross. On the plus side, the Monday gross is actually larger than the $7m first Monday (-76%) for Walt Disney's The Jungle Book and the $6.2m (-73%) first Monday for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, albeit without the advantage of a school holiday. In fact, Fate of the Furious snagged the second-biggest April Monday gross ever behind Furious 7's day four gross.


This brings the picture's four-day domestic cume to $107.46 million. If this follows accordingly, we're looking at a week-long cume of between $125m and $128m domestic heading into its second weekend. And it if ends up with an over/under $40m second weekend (-60%), then we're looking at a 10-day total of around $164m-$170m. That'll put it over/under the $168m (and counting) gross of Jordan Peele's Get Out to make Fate of the Furious the biggest domestic hit ever from a black filmmaker.


F. Gary Gray's action sequel has already surpassed the $330 million worldwide gross of Tim Story's Fantastic Four (in 2005) to snag the biggest global gross for such a picture. By the by, for what it's worth, the last three such champions (F. Gary Gray's Straight Outta Compton, Get Out and Fate of the Furious) all came from Universal/Comcast Corp. and only the latter was arguably a case of a respected director-for-hire being given a plum franchise gig.
By the end of the weekend, it'll be over/under Get Out on the 2017 charts to sit behind only The LEGO Batman Movie ($171 million), Logan ($221m) and Beauty and the Beast. As well as it's doing overseas, there is a (very slight) chance that it won't catch up to Logan  in North America, but that's an if/when conversation and may be just trivia considering the global picture. Speaking of overseas, the Vin Diesel/Dwayne Johnson/Michelle Rodriguez/Jason Statham//Charlize Theron/etc. adventure actually earned $437.2m overseas during its record-setting debut for a worldwide opening of $536m.


And with yesterday's domestic and overseas figures added in, we're looking at a $492.1m foreign cume and a $599.4m worldwide total. Actually, when you include updated China numbers for Tuesday ($17m Tuesday/$234m total), that brings the film's worldwide cume to around $616.5m. And yeah, it's roaring past Logan's $603m-and-counting worldwide cume to become the second-biggest global grosser of the year behind Walt Disney's Beauty and the Beast. And it's about to pass Fast Five's $623m (in 2011) worldwide cume as well.


April the Giraffe's Calf Meets His Dad!


According to E! News:


Talk about a hallmark moment!

Just a few days after joining the world, April the Giraffe's long-awaited calf has met his dad, Oliver! Thanks to April's Twitter feed, a snap of the precious moment was shared wonline Tuesday morning. While they were separated by a pen wall, the father and son managed to come face to face in perfect time for someone to capture the introduction on camera. All together now: awwww!

The tweet also teased a morning calf weigh-in for 8:45 a.m. Tuesday "if you wish to watch!" Reminder: he weighed 129 pounds when he was born!


Astronaut Buzz Aldrin to take flight with the Thunderbirds


MELBOURNE, Fla. (AP) — Astronaut Buzz Aldrin will take flight once again, this time with the world-renowned Thunderbirds at the Melbourne Air and Space Show in Florida on Sunday.

Aldrin was the second man on the moon, piloting the Apollo 11 and following Neil Armstrong onto the lunar surface in 1969. Now 87 years old, the retired Air Force colonel will be the oldest person to fly with the Thunderbirds, known for their rigorous physical requirements.

His flight comes as the Air Force celebrates its 70th year.


CBS renewing 18 series for fall, including 5 freshman shows

NEW YORK (AP) —      CBS says it's bringing back 18 of its current series for the 2017-2018 season.

Announced Thursday, those pickups include six comedies, nine dramas, the reality series "Survivor," and newsmagazines "60 Minutes" and "48 Hours."


Returning scripted shows include "The Big Bang Theory," ''Blue Bloods," ''Hawaii Five-O," ''Life in Pieces," ''Madam Secretary," ''Mom," ''Scorpion" and all three editions of "NCIS" — Los Angeles, New Orleans and the original.


In addition, five freshman series made the cut. They include "Bull," ''Kevin Can Wait," ''MacGyver," ''Man with a Plan" and "Superior Donuts."


The network's full 2017-18 schedule will be unveiled in May. CBS is on pace to finish the season as the most-watched network for the 14th time in 15 years.


No Scrubs' writers get added to Sheeran hit 'Shape of You'

NEW YORK (AP) — The songwriters behind TLC's 1999 megahit "No Scrubs" are now listed as co-writers of Ed Sheeran's No. 1 hit "Shape of You."

On the website for performance rights organization ASCAP, Kandi Burruss, Tameka Cottle aka Tiny and Kevin Briggs have been added as co-writers of "Shape of You," co-written by Sheeran, Steve Mac and John McDaid.

"Shape of You" is currently on top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Representatives for Sheeran and ASCAP didn't immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

Burruss and Tiny were members of the R&B group Xscape.

In the last two years, Robin Thicke and Pharrell ("Blurred Lines"), Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars ("Uptown Funk"), Sam Smith ("Stay With Me") and the Chainsmokers ("Closer") have extended writing credit to older songs after some complained about similarities.


CBS reaches deal to keep 'Big Bang Theory' on air


NEW YORK (AP) - CBS says it has reached a deal with producers of "The Big Bang Theory" to keep the show on the air for two more years.


Big Bang Theory

The network said Monday it agreed with Warner Brothers Television to extend the show that debuted in 2007. Along with the drama "NCIS," it is consistently one of the two most popular shows on television when original episodes are aired.

No details about the agreement were released. Producers have agreements with actors Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar to continue for two more years, and are negotiating similar deals with Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch.

CBS will also premiere a prequel, "Young Sheldon," next year about the character as a 9-year-old. Parsons will help narrate the series.


'Saturday Night Live' to air live to all, not taped for some



NEW YORK (AP) — After 42 seasons, "Saturday Night Live" is trying something new: airing live to everybody.


For the first time, "SNL" will broadcast live simultaneously across the U.S. for its final four shows of the season, NBC announced Thursday. Until now, viewers in the Mountain and Pacific time zones have seen the show not as it aired "live from New York," but on tape delay.


The new live-for-all policy will apply to episodes telecast April 15, May 6, May 13 and May 20. Each show will air at 11:30 p.m. (Eastern), 10:30 p.m. (Central), 9:30 p.m. (Mountain) and 8:30 p.m. (Pacific). In the Mountain and Pacific time zones, the show will repeat at 11:30 p.m.


Hosts for these editions will be, respectively, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Pine, Melissa McCarthy and, for the season finale, Dwayne Johnson.



Trump tweets dig at Snoop Dogg over mock shooting in video


WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is firing back at Snoop Dogg days after the release of a music video in which the rapper points a toy gun at a clown dressed like Trump and pulls the trigger.


Snoop Dog


Trump tweeted Wednesday morning: "Can you imagine what the outcry would be if @SnoopDogg, failing career and all, had aimed and fired the gun at President Obama? Jail time!"


The video is for a remixed version of the song "Lavender," by Canadian group BADBADNOTGOOD featuring Snoop Dogg. In it, Snoop Dogg shoots the Trump clown with a gun that releases a flag with the word "bang."


The rapper was also criticized over the video by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who lost to Trump in last year's Republican presidential primary campaign.



Rick Yancey plans a new '5th Wave' novel


NEW YORK (AP) — Best-selling author Rick Yancey is ready to make new waves.


G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Yancey had a three-book deal, including at least one that continues his "5th Wave" science fiction series. The next "5th Wave" book, currently untitled, is scheduled for the spring of 2018. In a statement Tuesday, Yancey promised "new characters, surprising twists" and "non-stop action."


According to the publisher, the first three works of the series have sold more than 3 million copies. A film adaptation, called "The 5th Wave," came out last year and starred Chloë Grace Moretz as teen protagonist Cassie Sullivan.




Mozart manuscript fails to sell; $200,000 bid was expected


BOSTON (AP) — A fragment from a Mozart manuscript for the third movement of his Serenade in D Major has failed to sell at a Boston auction.


It had been expected to sell Wednesday for more than $200,000.


The one-page handwritten "Allegro" musical manuscript is unsigned and has no date but is from around 1773.


Auction house RR Auction says it's also known as "Antretter." The auction house says it contains 13 precisely penned measures in an eight-staff system, scored for an orchestra of two oboes, two horns, strings and a solo violin.


Auction house executive vice president Robert Livingston says the music "shows off the virtuosity of the solo violinist" and likely was written to be played by Mozart himself.


It's believed Mozart was 17 when he composed the serenade to celebrate a family friend's university graduation.



Actor Bill Paxton Dead at 61


Paxton’s films include The Terminator, Weird Science, Aliens, Predator 2, True Lies, Apollo 13, Twister and Titanic


Bill Paxton


American actor and director Bill Paxton has passed away due to surgery complications, according to a statement from his family.


Paxton was 61-years-old.


He leaves behind two children and his wife of 30 years, Louise Newbury.


Paxton is most remembered for his involvement with hits “Twister,” “Titanic” and “Aliens.”

He won an Emmy for “Hatfields and McCoys.”


At the time of his death he was on a CBS series, “Training Day.”



'Lego Batman' stays No. 1, conquers 'The Great Wall'


NEW YORK (AP) — "The Great Wall" was a hit in China. In North America, it was a dud.


The most expensive film ever made in China and with a budget of $150 million, "The Great Wall" was intended to prove that the world's no. 2 movie marketplace could produce Hollywood-sized blockbusters of its own. Though it ran up $171 million in ticket sales in China, "The Great Wall" pulled in $18.1 million in its North American debut over Presidents Day weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday.


That was good enough for third place, falling behind last weekend's top two films, "The Lego Batman" and "Fifty Shades Darker." The Warner Bros. animated release easily led the box office again with $34.2 million in its second week, sliding only 35 percent. Universal's "Fifty Shades Darker" sold $21 million in tickets in its second week. The erotic sequel continues to play well overseas, where it led international business with $43.7 million over the weekend.


Slammed by critics, "The Great Wall" didn't measure up to its initial ambitions. It was produced by Legendary Entertainment, which has since been acquired by Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group. The film, directed by Zhang Yimou, originated with an idea by Legendary chief executive Thomas Tull, who exited the company last month.


But "The Great Wall" isn't a bomb. It has made $244.6 million overseas and performed over the weekend in North America slightly better than some pundits expected.


"This is absolutely a strategy that's worldwide," said Nick Carpou, distribution chief for Universal. "Worldwide, we are one of many markets."


Universal could still claim four of the top 10 films, the other two being "A Dog's Purpose" ($5.6 million in its fourth week) and "Split" ($7 million in its fifth week), so far the top film of 2017.


More East-West productions like "The Great Wall" are sure to follow. Studios already regularly partner with Chinese film companies on everything from "Transformers: Age of Extinction" to "Warcraft," a flop in the U.S. and Canada with $47.4 million, but a $220.8 million hit in China.


Films like "The Great Wall" and "Warcraft," however, prove that finding the right balance between American and Chinese tastes remains a difficult balancing act.


For Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore, the more significant factor for "The Great Wall" wasn't its multi-national origins but its Rotten Tomatoes rating: a dismal 36 percent "fresh."


"Just like every movie irrespective of country of origin, reviews matter," said Dergarabedian. "Audiences only care about the movie. They don't necessary care where it came from."


Two other new releases, both from 20th Century Fox, also failed to catch on. The comedy "Fist Fight," starring Ice Cube and Charlie Day as feuding high-school teachers, opened with $12 million.


And Gore Verbinski's gothic horror "A Cure for Wellness" — his follow-up to the box-office bomb "The Lone Ranger" — made just $4.2 million, a result that won't help the director's standing in the industry. On Friday, Fox apologized for using fake news stories to promote the film.


Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers also are included. Final four-day domestic figures will be released Tuesday.


1. "The Batman Lego Movie," $34.2 million ($21.5 million international).

2. "Fifty Shades Darker," $21 million ($43.7 million international).

3. "The Great Wall," $18.1 million ($19 million international).

4. "John Wick: Chapter 2," $16.5 million ($15.6 million international).

5. "Fist Fight," $12 million.

6. "Hidden Figures," $7.1 million ($7.3 million international).

7. "Split," $7 million ($8.9 million international).

8. "A Dog's Purpose," $5.6 million.

9. "La La Land," $4.5 million ($31.7 million international).

10. "A Cure for Wellness," $4.2 million ($4.5 million international).


Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to comScore:


1. "Fifty Shades Darker," $43.7 million.

2. "La La Land," $31.7 million.

3. "xXx: The Return Of Xander Cage," $27.6 million

4. "Kung Fu Yoga," $23.3 million.

5. "The Lego Batman Movie," $21.5 million.

6. "The Great Wall," $19 million.

7. "Sing," $18.9 million

8. "John Wick: Chapter 2," $15.6 million.

9. "Split," $8.9 million.

10. "Hidden Figures," $7.3 million.




'Rogue One' Stars Among Academy Awards Presenters


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Stars of "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" are heading to the Academy Awards.

Oscar telecast producers announced Thursday that Felicity Jones and Riz Ahmed will serve as presenters at the Feb. 26 ceremony.


Rogue one


Past Oscar winners Javier Bardem and Charlize Theron are also set to take on presentation duties at the show. Last year's Oscar winning actors — Brie Larson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Rylance and Alicia Vikander — will also appear on the telecast.


They will join previously announced presenters including Samuel L. Jackson, Shirley MacLaine, Gael Garcia Bernal, "Fifty Shades of Grey" stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, and Kate McKinnon of "Saturday Night Live."


Jimmy Kimmel is hosting the show, which will air on ABC.



400 NYC Public School Teachers to See Broadway's 'Hamilton'


NEW YORK (AP) — Hundreds of public school teachers in New York City have landed tickets to the hottest show on Broadway.




Some 400 teachers from schools in all five boroughs will attend Wednesday night's performance of the sold-out, Tony Award-winning musical "Hamilton."


The teachers were selected by the city's Department of Education and via a lottery held by Teach For America-New York, a nonprofit educational organization. Barclays is also involved in the performance for educators through a partnership with the organization and the Education Department.


The Broadway show's organizers hope the musical's message of diversity and inclusiveness will resonate with educators and their students.


The teachers going to the show are educators who teach a variety of subjects in schools across the city.




Britney Spears' niece visits school after ATV crash


NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The 8-year-old niece of pop star Britney Spears, who was injured in an all-terrain vehicle accident, still isn't well enough to return to school but was able to take Valentine's Day treats to her class in Louisiana Tuesday.




Eight-year-old Maddie Spears-Aldridge is the daughter of Spears' sister, actress and singer Jamie Lynn Spears.


According to a post on Jamie Lynn Spears' Instagram account, the girl was happy to see her friends again. Jamie Lynn Spears wrote that her daughter still isn't ready to go back to school but doctors cleared her for the Valentine's Day visit.


The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office says Maddie was submerged in a pond inside the all-terrain vehicle Feb. 5 and nearby family members couldn't free her. An ambulance service arrived and pulled her out.


She was released from the hospital last Friday.



Fox Draws Audience of 111.3 Million for Super Bowl


NEW YORK (AP) — Fox drew an audience of 111.3 million viewers for the first Super Bowl to go to overtime, falling just shy of the audience for football's ultimate game over the last three years.



The Nielsen company said that the top Super Bowl audience — and the biggest for any American TV show — was the 114.4 million who saw the New England Patriots beat the Seattle Seahawks in 2015.


That 2015 game also had a last-minute ending, but couldn't match this year, when the Patriots beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime. The late rally may actually have handicapped Fox: The Falcons led 28-3 at one point and the game was looking like a rout.


Last year's Denver-Carolina game reached an audience of 111.9 million.




Actress Mary Tyler Moore is Dead at Age 80, Publicist Says


NEW YORK (AP) — Mary Tyler Moore, the star of two of TV's best-loved sitcoms, has died.



Her publicist, Mara Buxbaum, says Moore died with her husband and friends nearby. She was 80.


Moore gained fame in the 1960s as the frazzled wife Laura Petrie on "The Dick Van Dyke Show." In the 1970s, she created one of TV's first career-woman sitcom heroines in "The Mary Tyler Moore Show."


She won seven Emmy awards over the years. She also was nominated for an Oscar for her 1980 portrayal of an affluent mother whose son is accidentally killed in "Ordinary People."



Oscars Go Gaga For 'La La Land' With Record-Tying 14 Nods


The candy-colored love letter to musicals "La La Land" has landed a record-tying 14 Academy Awards nominations, matching it with "Titanic" and "All About Eve" for most nominations ever.


La La Land


"La La Land" has earned nods for best picture, its stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, its songs and its 32-year-old writer-director, Damien Chazelle.


The other nominees for best picture are: "Moonlight," ''Arrival," ''Manchester by the Sea," ''Hell or High Water," ''Lion," ''Fences," ''Hidden Figures" and "Hacksaw Ridge."


Following two years of "OscarsSoWhite" furor, the Academy of Motion Pictures fielded a notably more diverse field of nominees, led by Barry Jenkins' luminous coming-of-age portrait "Moonlight," Denzel Washington's "Fences" and Theodore Melfi's "Hidden Figures."




Piano Guys say inaugural performance isn't Trump endorsement


NEW YORK (AP) — The Piano Guys are saying their decision to perform at an event marking the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump is not a political endorsement.


The Utah-based group, which first found fame on YouTube, is among the few acts to agree to play for the Republican's inaugural celebration.


Numerous musicians have said they turned down offers or changed their minds after initially accepting. Jennifer Holliday was among those who backed away, citing intense criticism from the LGBT community. Others expected to play include the country stars Lee Greenwood and Toby Keith.


Trump will be sworn in Friday.


In a statement issued Monday, the Piano Guys said they weren't honoring an individual politician but hoping to spread "love, joy and hope." They added that they hoped "understanding" and "goodwill" would prevail.




'Hidden Figures' Keeps Orbit at Top; Affleck, Scorsese Flop


NEW YORK (AP) — The crowd-pleasing NASA drama "Hidden Figures" has topped the box office for the second straight week, while a pair of high-priced prestige releases sputtered.


Hidden Figures


Estimates on Sunday say "Hidden Figures," a tale about African-American mathematicians in the 1960s space race, sold $20.5 million in tickets in North American theaters over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. Fox anticipates it will make $25.3 million when Monday is included.


In a crowded field that included the "Star Wars" hit "Rogue One," the Oscar favorite "La La Land" and the surprisingly strong supernatural thriller "The Bye Bye Man," several big-name directors flopped.


Ben Affleck's period crime thriller "Live By Night" earned a mere $5.4 million. Martin Scorsese's Christian epic "Silence" took in just $1.9 million.



Mariah Carey bungles her New Year's Eve show, stops singing


NEW YORK (AP) — Mariah Carey has ushered in 2017 with a botched performance on "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest" on ABC.



The singer appeared to have technical difficulties during her live performance Saturday night in Times Square. She even stopped singing her song "Emotions," paced the stage and told the audience to finish the lyrics for her.

She told the crowd, "I'm trying to be a good sport here."


Carey headlined the festivities in Times Square, where about a million revelers jammed in to greet the new year.

A representative for the singer confirmed there were technical difficulties.


Carey took to Instagram after the performance saying, "Here's to making more headlines in 2017."



'M.A.S.H.' Star William Christopher Dies at 84


"M.A.S.H." star William Christopher has died. He was 84.


William Christopher Center


Christopher's agent Robert Malcom said the actor died at 5:10 a.m. Saturday at his home in Pasadena, California. He tells The Associated Press that Christopher's wife says her husband died peacefully.


Malcom said Christopher was diagnosed with cancer more than a year ago and had been in hospice since the beginning of the week.


He is survived by his wife, Barbara, and his two sons.


Christopher is best known for the role of Father Francis Mulcahy on "M.A.S.H.," the 1970s TV show set during the Korean War.



Actor Alan Thicke dies at age 69


A publicist says Alan Thicke, who played the likable father on the sitcom "Growing Pains," has died at age 69.

Carleen Donovan, who is a publicist for Thicke's son, singer Robin Thicke, says the actor died from a heart attack on Tuesday in Los Angeles. She had no further details.


Alan Thicke


Alan Thicke starred as Dr. Jason Seaver in the ABC series "Growing Pains," which aired from 1985 until 1992. The Canadian-born actor had a prolific career, including cameos in recent years on the comedy "How I Met Your Mother" and the Netflix series "Fuller House." He was also a frequent pitchman for ads on Sirius.


The Los Angeles County coroner's office says Thicke's death was not reported to them.


The celebrity website TMZ first reported the death.



Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson named People's 'Sexiest Man Alive'


NEW YORK (AP) — Former WWE champ Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson can add People's "Sexiest Man Alive" title to his list of accomplishments.



The wrestler-turned-actor was crowned this year's winner Tuesday morning. The 44-year-old tells the magazine that the honor means he has "pretty much reached the pinnacle." Johnson is set to discuss his new status with Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show Tuesday.


Last year's winner was British soccer standout David Beckham. Other recent winners include Chris Hemsworth, Adam Levine and Channing Tatum.


Johnson has lent his voice to a character in the animated Disney film "Moana," which hits theaters next week.



Court: Cleveland Doesn't Owe Lot Income Lost During Filming

CLEVELAND (AP) - The Ohio Supreme Court says the city of Cleveland isn't responsible for income lost by a downtown parking lot while crews filmed "Captain America: The Winter Soldier."



The lot's owner had sued over lost parking fees, saying the approval of a permit that closed streets during filming amounted to an unconstitutional seizure of property. The company said that it lost significant daily income during two weeks of filming in 2013 and that its reputation was damaged.

A district court found Cleveland responsible for the lost income, but the Ohio Supreme Court overturned that order in a 6-1 ruling Tuesday.

The high court noted that one entrance to the lot remained accessible during filming and that the production company paid for hundreds of parking spots.


Beyonce makes surprise appearance at Country Music Awards


MARK KENNEDY, AP Entertainment Writer


Pop superstar Beyonce helped celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Country Music Awards' with a secret and boisterous performance of her song "Daddy Lessons" with the Dixie Chicks.




Beyonce hit the stage unintroduced when the show was about two-thirds over Wednesday, wearing multiple strands of pearls and a sheer, champagne-colored body-hugging dress. She looked happy and comfortable, dancing and clapping. The performance got a standing ovation.


"Daddy Lessons," on her recent album "Lemonade," is as close to a country song that Beyonce's ever released. The Dixie Chicks started covering the song on tour earlier this year.


Not everyone was prepared to welcome Beyonce with open arms. "Let me have my country music in peace" wrote one critic on Twitter. Another suggested that whoever had invited her should be fired.




Spruce from New York will star as Rockefeller Christmas tree


NEW YORK (AP) — A 94-foot Norway spruce from the northern foothills of New York's Catskill mountain range has been chosen as this year's Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.


Organizers say the tree will be cut Nov. 10 at the Oneonta (oh-nee-AHN'-tuh) home of Angie and Graig Eichler (EYE'-kluhr).


The spruce will arrive in Manhattan on Nov. 12 and begin a round of intensive wardrobe fittings.


The tree's 50,000 lights will be switched on during a live television broadcast Nov. 30.



Disney to Make Live-Action 'Lion King,' Favreau Directing


NEW YORK (AP) - The animated classic "The Lion King" will be the latest Disney film to get a live-action remake.


Favreau Live Lion King

Disney announced Wednesday that Jon Favreau, who helmed the box-office hit "Jungle Book" remake, will direct the new "Lion King." He's also at work on a "Jungle Book" sequel.

The circle of life now inevitably leads to live-action remakes for Disney classics. The new "Lion King" follows in the wake of similar remakes for "The Jungle Book," "Cinderella," "Pete's Dragon" and the upcoming "Beauty and the Beast." 

The original 1994 "Lion King" grossed $968.8 million and won two Oscars, including one for the Elton John song "Can You Feel the Love Tonight." The Grammy-winning soundtrack sold more than 14 million copies. And the hit Broadway musical has been running for 19 years.


Lin-Manuel Miranda to Host 'Saturday Night Live'


LOS ANGELES (AP) - Alexander Hamilton is coming to "Saturday Night Live."


NBC said Wednesday that Lin-Manuel Miranda will host "SNL" on Oct. 8. Miranda created and starred in the Broadway sensation about the first U.S. treasury secretary.




Twenty One Pilots duo Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun will be the show's musical guests.


"SNL" opens its 42nd season this weekend with host Margot Robbie and music from The Weeknd.


Miranda has a bit more time on his hands: He wrapped his run in the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical "Hamilton" in July.  He will star opposite Emily Blunt in Disney's sequel to "Mary Poppins" and he wrote music for the upcoming "Moana," an animated film with a Polynesian princess at its heart.


Tom Hanks Returning to Cleveland to Headline Film Benefit

CLEVELAND (AP) - Tom Hanks is returning to Cleveland in December to headline the Greater Cleveland Film Commission's annual fundraiser, "Behind the Camera."


Tom Hanks

Hanks started his professional acting career in Cleveland as an intern at the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival. He has made a habit of giving back to the city.

The Plain Dealer reports he's donated money and talent to the theater and returned to the city in June for a reunion of Great Lakes interns.

The Dec. 2 benefit brings Hanks in for one night to talk about his years in the film industry.

Tickets for the event start at $500 for individual tickets.


Backstreet Boys Taking Up Residency; Performing in Las Vegas


LAS VEGAS (AP) — Backstreet will be back — and back and back and back — in Las Vegas.


Backsteet Boys


The pop group Backstreet Boys confirmed reports Friday they will begin a Planet Hollywood residency next year.

"Backstreet Boys: Larger Than Life" will feature members Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, AJ McLean and Kevin Richardson.


Littrell says in a statement the show will be like a typical Backstreet Boys concert "on steroids."


The group's first performance will be March 1. Tickets go on sale Oct. 1.


The show will be held in the same theater where Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez perform their Vegas residencies.


Backstreet Boys


The Backstreet Boys formed in 1993 and are best known for such hits as "I Want It That Way," ''As Long as You Love Me" and "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)."



Billy Eichner and Ephraim Sykes of 'Hamilton' Joins NBC's 'Hairspray Live!'



(AP) — Billy on the Street is moving to the Baltimore -- of "Hairspray Live!" Entertainment Weekly reports comedian and actor Billy Eichner is joing NBC's live production of the musical, as local Baltimore newscaster Rob Barker. 




It was announced earlier this month that Broadway performers Ephraim Sykes and Shahadi Wright Joseph are also joining the cast of NBC's "Hairspray Live!"




Sykes, an original company member with the hit musical "Hamilton," will play Seaweed J. Stubbs in "Hairspray Live!"

Wright Joseph will play Seaweed's sister, Little Inez, NBC said Wednesday. The actress' credits include the musicals "The Lion King" and "School of Rock."


Previously announced cast members for "Hairspray Live!" include Harvey Fierstein, Jennifer Hudson, Ariana Grande and Martin Short.


The musical is scheduled to air Dec. 7 on NBC.



Hamilton Original Cast Performances to Appear on PBS This October

NEW YORK (AP) — Time has ran out to see the original “Hamilton” cast on Broadway, but a PBS special this October on the Tony Award-winning musical will feature at least 15 minutes of performance footage with creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and his team.
PBS announced its “Great Performances” series episode featuring “Hamilton” many months ago, but time has only increased its resonance. Since then, the show has won 11 Tonys, a Pulitzer Prize and a Grammy.
Tony winner Miranda, who wrote the show’s book, music and lyrics and also has the starring role, left the show on July 9th. Cast members Leslie Odom Jr., the Tony-winning actor who plays Aaron Burr, and Tony nominee Phillipa Soo, who portrays Eliza Schuyler have also left the show.
All three, however, will be part of the Oct. 21 show, said Beth Hoppe, PBS’s chief programming executive.
The documentary “Hamilton’s America” will feature an abbreviated performance. The network is contractually limited to showing only 15 minutes of performance clips that were filmed early in the Broadway run by Radical Media. It remains unclear whether producers will try to push that limit. There are no plans as yet to televise the entire show, on PBS or anywhere else.
The show also contains backstage footage taken during the two years leading up to the show’s Broadway premiere.
PBS aired the program “In the Heights: Chasing Broadway Dreams,” about Miranda’s previous Tony-winning show, in 2009.
“The reason we have this opportunity is because we were there then,” Hoppe said. “Everybody knows Lin’s name now, but they didn’t back when he did ‘In the Heights.’ That’s why I think he’s loyal to PBS and why he brought it to us.”
PBS hopes the booking can be an attention-getting show along the lines of “Downton Abbey” or its Ken Burns documentaries. The show will kick off a series of arts programs for the network this fall, including performances from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and pianist Lang Lang. Claire Danes will host an eight-part series on how technology combined with artistry to create modern recorded music.
“It’s an opportunity for us to talk about our commitment to the arts and the fact that PBS is about the only outlet doing arts on television,” Hoppe said.


Angelina Jolie files for divorce from Brad Pitt


NEW YORK (AP) — Brangelina is no more. Angelina Jolie Pitt has filed for divorce from Brad Pitt, bringing an end to one of the world's most star-studded, tabloid-generating romances.


An attorney for Jolie Pitt, Robert Offer, said Tuesday that she has filed for the dissolution of the marriage. Offer said the decision was made "for the health of the family."


The couple has six children together: Maddox, Pax, Zahara, Shiloh, and twins Knox and Vivienne.


Though together for 12 years, Pitt and Jolie only wed in August 2014. They married privately in the French hamlet of Correns in Provence with their children serving as ring bearers and throwing flower petals. They announced the ceremony days later.



'Step Up All In's' Trish Sie to Direct 'Pitch Perfect 3'


LOS ANGELES (AP) — "Step Up All In" director Trish Sie is stepping up to direct "Pitch Perfect 3." Producer and "Pitch Perfect 2" director Elizabeth Banks tweeted the news Thursday.


Pitch Perfect 3


Banks, who has produced the "Pitch Perfect" films since the beginning, in addition to playing a small part in the a cappella series, was originally slated to direct the third installment after the latest performed so well at the box office. Earlier this year Banks backed away from the role.


Sie has a background in music and dance and is also known for her innovative music videos, including the Grammy-winning video for OK Go's "Here It Goes Again."


Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson will reprise their roles in "Pitch Perfect 3," which Universal Pictures has slated for release in December 2017.



Fan-made 'Star Trek' Sets Become Tourist Attraction in NY

MICHAEL HILL, Associated Press

TICONDEROGA, N.Y. (AP) — Sets mimicking those of the 1960s TV series "Star Trek" have become a tourist attraction in upstate New York.

They were lovingly built by fans in recent years for an internet film series produced in the town of Ticonderoga (ty-kahn-dur-OH'-gah).

Now that the series called "Star Trek: New Voyages" has run its course after 11 full-length episodes, the sets including Capt. Kirk's bridge and engine room are open to paying customers who just can't get enough of the 50-year-old franchise.

The attraction was licensed by CBS Consumer Products and opened this month. Adult admission is $24.30.



Beam Me to Beantown: Capt. Kirk Headlining Boston Comic Con

BOSTON (AP) — Capt. James Tiberius Kirk is beaming down to Beantown for this weekend's Comic Con.




The Boston edition of the popular entertainment and comic arts festival gets underway Friday and runs through Sunday at the Seaport World Trade Center.


This year's celebrity guests include "Star Trek's" William Shatner, best known for his role as Capt. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise, and Gillian Anderson of "The X-Files."


Costumed role players brandishing light sabers and engaging in what's become known as "cosplay" got an early start by visiting young patients to cheer them up Thursday at Spaulding Rehabilitation Center's Pediatric Unit.


Organizers say the three-day gathering is expected to draw 45,000 people, many dressed as Batman, Hello Kitty, Sailor Moon and a host of other characters.




New Hotel Being Built at Graceland Set to Open in October


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Elvis Presley dreamed of building a guest house at his Graceland property for friends visiting the rock 'n' roll icon in Memphis.




Presley didn't get to see his dream come true, but his fans will. The Guest House at Graceland is a 450-room hotel, opening Oct. 27 just steps from Presley's former home.


Presley died in 1977 and Graceland was eventually turned into a museum. Priscilla Presley, the singer's former wife and caretaker of his legacy, said Elvis had planned to build a guest house at Graceland as far back as 1960. But it was never built, so when people visited, they'd stay at a Howard Johnson's down the street.


Priscilla Presley called the hotel "the most significant enhancement to Graceland" since it opened to tourists in 1982.



NBC Says Rio Olympic Viewership Reaches Parity with London


NBC says Rio Olympic viewership reaches parity with London

NEW YORK (AP) — NBC said its Olympic audience reached parity with the London Games for the first time on the third night of competition. But there's an asterisk involved in the claim.


The network said that its "total audience delivery" was 31.5 million for the Olympics on Monday night in prime time, compared to the virtually identical 31.6 million who watched on the corresponding night in London in 2012.


The "total audience delivery" figure is a statistic NBC hurriedly invented when it saw sharp declines in its traditional ratings for the first couple of nights of the Rio de Janeiro Games. The Nielsen company said the television audience on NBC on Monday was 28.9 million — strong, but short of London levels.


But NBC is adding the viewership for prime-time telecasts on cable's NBCSN (1.6 million) and Bravo (720,000) and people who streamed video online (about 300,000) to boost the number to 31.5 million — its "total audience delivery."


NBC says the comparison is valid because even though the cable viewers weren't watching the same thing as people tuned in to NBC, they were still watching the Olympics. There's no comparable number from 2012, because the company didn't allow its cable affiliates and website to compete with the prime-time NBC telecast four years ago.


"One of the indicators of changing viewer habits, especially with these Olympics, is that our digital consumption has more than tripled from London in each of the first three days of full competition," NBC Sports Group chairman Mark Lazarus said. "We've also been pleasantly surprised that our multi-platform strategy is paying big dividends."


The new calculation is about more than bragging rights. NBC will use "total audience delivery" to convince advertisers that they're reaching more viewers than the traditional Nielsen figures indicate




'Happy Days' Creator and 'Pretty Woman' Director Garry Marshall Dies at 81




LOS ANGELES (AP) — Writer-director Garry Marshall, whose TV hits included "Happy Days" ''Laverne & Shirley" and box-office successes included "Pretty Woman" and "Runaway Bride," has died. He was 81.


Gary Marshal




Publicist Michelle Bega says Marshall died Tuesday in at a hospital in Burbank, California of complications from pneumonia after having a stroke.


Marshall also had an on-screen presence, using his New York accent and gruff delivery in colorful supporting roles in movies that included "Lost in America" and "Soapdish."


Marshall, brother of actress-director Penny Marshall, earned a degree in journalism from Northwestern University and worked at the New York Daily News. But he found he was better at writing punchlines.


He began his entertainment career in the 1960s selling jokes to comedians, then moved to writing sketches for "The Tonight Show" with Jack Paar in New York.




'POKÉMON GO' Is a Big Hit, But It Has Drawbacks


LOS ANGELES (AP) — It's fair to say people are falling for the new game 'Pokémon Go.' Not to mention tripping, getting robbed and trespassing because of it. The augmented reality game went live a week ago today. And it's been a hit — one of the most popular downloads ever.


Pokemon Go


But the popularity has its drawbacks. In St. Louis, police say robbers perched near digital spots have robbed people who show up to collect Pokémon. One man says his home has been overrun with players, who block his driveway and halt traffic as they stare at their phones.


And a 21-year-old player in Oregon shrugged off a stab wound to keep playing. He asked a stranger on the street if he was playing and the other guy stabbed him. Police say the player described his attacker, refused treatment — and continued on his Pokémon hunt.


The museum on the site of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz says 'Pokemon Go' is not welcome there. Pokemon Go is a reality game that people play on their smartphones as they look for virtual creatures while visiting real-life locations. There have been reports of people playing the game at Auschwitz and other memorial sites around the world. That's being denounced as disrespectful.


Chicago 'Hamilton' Cast to be Led by Veterans; Diggs Leaving


NEW YORK (AP) — Broadway veterans Miguel Cervantes and Karen Olivo will lead the cast of "Hamilton" in Chicago, while new Tony Award-winner Daveed Diggs will soon leave the Broadway company.


Hamilton Chicago


Cervantes, whose Broadway credits include "If/Then" and "American Idiot," will play Alexander Hamilton this fall when the Chicago production opens. Olivo, who won a Tony playing of Anita in the 2009 Broadway revival of "West Side Story," will play Angelica Schuyler.


Diggs, who plays both the Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson, will leave the Broadway show July 15, joining the recently departed creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr. and Phillipa Soo.




Behind Famed Hot Dog Contest, a Whopper of a Legend


NEW YORK (AP) — For decades, the showmen behind the Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contest on July Fourth have said the tradition dates back to 1916 as a showdown between patriotic immigrants on the Coney Island boardwalk.


Nathans Hot Dog Contest


That would make this Monday's contest a centennial of sorts. But the backstory was actually invented by PR men in the 1970s to get the hot dog chain and the gluttonous spectacle on the map.


Former Nathan's Famous president Wayne Norbitz says the first recorded contest actually happened in 1972.


The chowdown has grown into a sports-like competition with more than 30,000 people attending in person and hundreds of thousands more watching on television.





Facebook's Latest News Feed Tweak: This Time, It's Personal


NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook has once again tweaked the formula it uses to decide what people will see in their news feed — and this time, it's personal.




The social media giant says it updated the news feed so that people will see more posts from their friends and family and not, say, the New York Times or Buzzfeed.


Facebook says it will now put posts from friends and family that users are "likely to care about" at the top of their news feed. Over time, the algorithm adapts and learns from your behavior. So if you "like" or comment on your sister's posts often, you'll see more posts from her.


Facebook regularly updates the algorithm that decides what posts users see. How much users interact with the posts help influence the changes.




JK Rowling's Latest Tale of Wizardry is Set in Massachusetts


BOSTON (AP) — J.K. Rowling's latest tale of wizardry is set atop the mountains in Massachusetts.


JK Rowlings


The second installment in a collection called "Magic in North America" describes a secret wizarding school located at the peak of Mount Greylock in the Berkshires. The story was published Tuesday on Rowling's Pottermore site.


The tale, "Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry," provides the backstory for the North American school of magic, founded in the 17th century. An orphaned Irish girl sails across the ocean on the Mayflower to Massachusetts, where the school is established.


The story is a tie-in to the upcoming film "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," scheduled for release Nov. 18. The film is an adaptation of Rowling's book by the same name and is the author's screenwriting debut.




'ALF' Actor Michu Meszaros Dies

     NEW YORK (AP) - The man who portrayed "ALF" in the popular NBC sitcom has died.
Alf Actor
His name was Michu Meszaros, a former circus performer who slipped into the orangey alien costume as the central character of the sitcom. Meszaros has died, several days after being found unconscious at his home. He was 76.  


Larry David Returning with More 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'


NEW YORK (AP) — No need to curb your enthusiasm at this news: Larry David is bringing back his HBO comedy series for a ninth season.


Larry David


No further details were announced by HBO on Tuesday, but word that "Curb Your Enthusiasm" will live again should be enough to thrill its fans for now.


The eighth season aired in 2011, and, since then, David has remained tight-lipped over whether there would be more.


Premiering in 2000, the series was created by and stars David in a fictionalized version of himself as he stumbles into socially awkward situations. "Curb" has logged 80 episodes to date, which makes it HBO's longest-running scripted series.


Among David's projects since curbing his series: a hit Broadway play, "Fish in the Dark," which he wrote and starred in last year.





The Latest: Implosion Levels Tower of Vegas' Riviera Casino


LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Latest on the demolition of the tower of the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas Tuesday morning (all times local):


3 a.m.


The tallest tower of the Riviera Hotel and Casino has crumbled in a controlled demolition that brought an end to one of the last relics of Las Vegas' mobster past.




The implosion early Tuesday of the 24-story Monaco Tower comes 61 years after it opened on the Las Vegas Strip.

"The Riv" joins other storied properties like the Dunes, Sands, Desert Inn and Stardust as only a memory.


It opened in 1955, and closed last year.


Liberace was the first headliner. Dean Martin was once part-owner.


It was a backdrop for the Rat Pack original "Ocean's 11" in 1960; the James Bond film "Diamonds Are Forever;" and the 1995 movie "Casino."


It was also featured in "The Hangover" in 2009.


The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is clearing the 26 acres to make room to expand the Las Vegas Convention Center.


The Monte Carlo Tower is scheduled to be imploded in August.



12:30 a.m.


LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Riviera Hotel and Casino will officially exit the scene early Tuesday with a cinematic implosion.


"The Riv" was the Las Vegas Strip's first high-rise that was as famous for its mobster ties as its Hollywood personification of Sin City's past.


It closed a year ago after 60 years on the northern end of the Strip.


The shuttered casino's owners, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, are spending $42 million to level the 13-building campus.


Officials estimate that the Monaco Tower will go down before dawn Tuesday, and the Monte Carlo Tower will be imploded in August.


The Riviera's 15-to 20-seconds-long implosion will mark the latest kiss goodbye to what's left among the relics to Vegas' mobster past.





Bill Murray to Receive Top US Comedy Prize at Kennedy Center


WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite his move into serious roles, Bill Murray never stopped making people laugh. Now he's being honored with the nation's top prize for comedy.


Bill Murray


The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced Monday that Murray will be this year's recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.


The 65-year-old Murray is one of several "Saturday Night Live" alumni to receive the Twain Prize. He joined the cast in 1977, replacing Chevy Chase, and he won over audiences by creating the iconic character Nick the Lounge Singer.


His first big movie hit was "Caddyshack" in 1980. He went on to become the nation's most bankable comedy star, playing the lovable smart aleck to perfection in "Ghostbusters" and "Groundhog Day."




'Hamilton' Takes 11 Tony Awards, Falls Short of Tying Record


NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the Tony Awards (all times Eastern Daylight Time):


11:15 p.m.


The Broadway smash "Hamilton" — to the surprise of no one — has won the Tony Award for best new musical.




Lin-Manuel Miranda's hip-hop-flavored biography about the first U.S. treasury secretary was a virtual lock on the award, having earned a record-breaking 16 nominations going into the evening.


"Hamilton" has burst through the Broadway bubble like few shows. It has been praised by politicians and rap stars, influenced the debate over the nation's currency and the show has become a cultural phenomenon.


The Tony-winning show has previously won the Pulitzer Prize for drama, a Grammy, the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History and Miranda earned a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant.


"Hamilton" beat out "Shuffle Along," ''Bright Star," ''Waitress" and "School of Rock — The Musical."


Legend Barbra Streisand did the honors, in the wake of the Orlando shootings:

"Tonight our joy is tinged with sorrow but we're here to celebrate Broadway and the beauty that artistry can bring into this world."


Art, she said, can "at times like these console us."


11:09 p.m.


English actress Cynthia Erivo has won a Tony Award for best actress in a musical for Broadway debut in "The Color Purple."


The musical is a stage version of Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel set in rural Georgia that covers a lifetime of events observed by Celie, a homely, uneducated farm woman whose dreams are repeatedly shattered by the cruelty of men until she stands up for herself at the end.


It's Erivo's second bite of the apple, having starred in the Menier Chocolate Factory production of the show in London in 2013. She is a self-described "fitness fiend" who once ran a half-marathon only a few hours before starring in the first of the day's two shows.


Erivo, a 2010 graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, got her first big break with a production of "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" followed by the lead role of in the UK tour of "Sister Act."


She becomes the second actress to win a Tony for playing the role. LaChanze won for playing Celie in 2006.

Erivo beat Carmen Cusack, Laura Benanti, Jessie Mueller and Phillipa Soo.


11:05 p.m.


Leslie Odom Jr. has won the Tony Award for best actor in a musical Hamilton for his energetic turn in "Hamilton."


Odom, who was on TV in "Smash" and "CSI: Miami," on film in "Red Tails," and on Broadway in "Leap of Faith," plays Aaron Burr, a rival to Alexander Hamilton, played by Lin-Manuel Miranda.


The New York native became the youngest person ever cast in the Broadway company of "Rent" at 17 and has said he hopes to surf a similar wave of youthful energy this time with "Hamilton."


Odom walks to the theater each day from the apartment he shares with his actress wife Nicolette Robinson.


He beat Danny Burstein, Alex Brightman, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Zachary Levi.


10:55 p.m.


"The Color Purple," which failed to beat "Jersey Boys" for the best musical Tony Award in 2006, has won the best musical revival award in 2016.


The musical adaptation of Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning tale of female empowerment opened Thursday. It's the John Doyle-directed revival that premiered at London's Menier Chocolate Factory in 2013.


The musical primarily focuses on Celie's journey from abuse to independence and self-esteem, an arduous trek that takes some four decades, from 1909 to 1949. It stars Cynthia Erivo as Celie and Jennifer Hudson as Shug Avery.


Doyle is known for his minimalist techniques, stripping away production elements and cutting bloat. True to form, the set here consists mostly of wooden chairs, which are used to create a bathtub, a juke joint, a jail and much more.


"The Color Purple" beat out "Fiddler on the Roof," ''She Loves Me" and "Spring Awakening."


10:50 p.m.


Tonys host James Corden took a few pokes at presumptive presidential nominees Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, introducing some new fictitious openings on Broadway.

Andrew Rannells, in Trump hair, walked out as Trump from the musical "The Book or Moron."


"Hello, my name is Donald Trump and I would like to build a wall that goes straight through your house," he sang.


He was followed by Glenn Close in blue Clinton pantsuit and wig, fake star of "A Clinton Line," riffing on "A Chorus Line."

She belted: "I really need this job. Oh God, I need this job. I've got to get this job."


10:35 p.m.


"The Humans," a play about a fractious family's get-together, has won the best play crown at the Tony Awards.

Stephen Karam's play is composed entirely of a single 90-minute, real-time scene set during a Thanksgiving dinner in a run-down New York apartment. Members of a family arrive putting on brave faces but resentments soon rise to the surface.


What makes the drama so visceral is Karam's soundscape. There are odd noises throughout the play — mechanical rumbles, click-clacks, running footsteps, the crashes of pots and pans.


"The Humans" beat out "The Father," ''Eclipsed" and "King Charles III."


10:30 p.m.


President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama offered a special remote message at the Tonys in introducing a performance from "Hamilton."


They recalled when creator Lin-Manuel Miranda took the mic during a poetry jam at the White House and explained his piece was about the life of somebody who embodies hip hop — America's first treasury secretary.


"I confess we all laughed, but who's laughing now," the president said.


Michelle Obama chimed in: "It's a musical about the miracle that IS America."


And she said the country can remain strong if we remember to stay "young, scrappy and hungry" like Hamilton himself.


10:20 p.m.


A bold, pared-down version of "A View From the Bridge" has won the Tony Award for best play revival.


The Arthur Miller revival led by director Ivo van Hove, who won a Tony on Sunday for its direction, has few props and no shoes. During nearly two tense hours without intermission, the barefoot cast members warily circle one another under bright lights, while a dissonant soundtrack increases the tension and unease.


This new version of Miller's 1955 play about working-class Italian-Americans in Brooklyn previously won three Olivier Awards, including best revival and best director.


"A View from the Bridge" beat another Miller revival in "The Crucible," as well as "Blackbird," ''Long Day's Journey into Night" and "Noises Off."


10:05 p.m.


Frank Langella has won a fourth Tony Award for playing a man who has begun his slide down the slippery slope of dementia in "The Father."


An astrologer told him when he first arrived in New York that his greatest successes would come later in life, he said.

"I thought she meant 30," said the 78-year-old.


Langella offered kind support for those struggling in Orlando on behalf of the greater theater community.


"I urge you, Orlando, to be strong," he said.


In "The Father," French playwright Florian Zeller — with a translation by Christopher Hampton — tells the story of a retired Parisian engineer whose mind is breaking, illustrated by the same characters in his life turning up played by different actors and the disappearance of physical items from his home.


During his long career on stage and in TV and film, Langella has specialized in meaty heroic parts, including Zorro, Leonardo da Vinci, Valmont, Shakespeare and Sherlock Holmes. He won perhaps his greatest praise for portraying the 37th president, first on stage in the 2006 play "Frost/Nixon" by Peter Morgan and then in a 2008 film adaptation directed by Ron Howard.


For the Tony, Langella beat out Gabriel Byrne, Mark Strong, Tim Pigott-Smith and Jeff Daniels.


9:50 p.m.


The 9th Tony for "Hamilton' came during a commercial break, for choreography.


9:45 p.m.


Jessica Lange has won her first Tony Award for playing a drug-addled mother in the Broadway revival of the monumental "Long Day's Journey Into Night."


"This is a dream come true and it fills me with such happiness, even on such a sad day as this," she said, referring to the Orlando shootings.


Eugene O'Neill's semi-autobiographical masterwork about the disintegrating Tyrone family is familiar to the actress: Lange previously played the role of Mary Tyrone in a 2000 production in London, receiving an Olivier Award nomination.


Lange, 67, is a two-time Academy Award winner and three-time Emmy winner who has lately connected with millennials, thanks to four seasons aboard "American Horror Story," playing a washed-up Southern belle, a freak show ringmaster, a nun and a witch.


Lange beat out Laurie Metcalf, Lupita Nyong'o, Sophie Okonedo and Michelle Williams.


9:35 p.m.


Blink once and it's another Tony for "Hamilton," taking best book of a musical during another commercial break. It was No. 8.


It was the same break when host James Corden went into the audience in search of people to join him in a singalong.

He called up Sean Hayes and Jake Gyllenhaal, who was chewing gum.


Only Corden could get away with what happened next: He took the gum and put it into his own mouth, then ran out of time and they couldn't sing their song — until the next break, that is, when they worked it in.


9:15 p.m.


What we didn't see on TV: "Hamilton" won another Tony, for orchestrations, beating out "Bright Star," ''She Loves Me," ''Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed."


9:05 p.m.


Thomas Kail has won the Tony Award for directing the smash hit "Hamilton."


He thanked "my dear Lin," adding:

"When I don't have the words you do. When I don't know where to go, I look on the page and it's always there."

The award caps a busy year for Kail, which included directing two off-Broadway plays, a triumphant "Grease: Live" for 14.6 million people and transferring that little musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda about Alexander Hamilton to Broadway.


Kail, 38, grew up as a rabid sports fan in Alexandria, Virginia, and attended Wesleyan University in Connecticut, but didn't study theater. That happened when he joined the American Stage Company in Teaneck, New Jersey, doing eight shows in 18 months, working his way up to being a director.


He has a reputation for directing shows that are accessible to the traditional and nontraditional theatergoing audiences alike: "In the Heights," also by Miranda, introduced salsa flavors and Latin characters to Broadway, while he also attracted sports fans with the plays "Lombardi" and "Magic/Bird."


He beat George C. Wolfe, Scott Ellis, Michael Arden and John Doyle.


9:02 p.m.


Dutch visionary Ivo Van Hove has won his first Tony Award for directing an imaginative revival of Arthur Miller's "A View from the Bridge."


For almost two decades, van Hove has been reinventing modern theater by peeling it down to its core, ignoring conventions and making it emotionally charged. This season he also directed a revival of Miller's "The Crucible" and a new show co-written by David Bowie called "Lazarus."


His actors are expected to have memorized their lines before the first day of rehearsal. Then he methodically goes scene-by-scene through the work from start to finish, working both collaboratively and by instinct.


For "A View from the Bridge," van Hove put it in stark set that resembles a boxing ring. During nearly two tense hours without intermission, the barefoot cast members warily circle one another under bright lights, while a dissonant soundtrack increases the tension and unease.


He beat Rupert Goold, Joe Mantello, Liesl Tommy and Jonathan Kent.


8:50 p.m.


Lin-Manuel Miranda has won the 2016 Tony Award for best score for the music to the hit "Hamilton."


He read a sonnet, breaking down in tears as he spoke of "love is love is love is love ..." and was among the few who spoke of Sunday's Orlando shooting in his acceptance speech.


Miranda, who previously won the same award for the score to his "In the Heights," has been praised for the music, which ranges from pop ballads to sexy R&B to rap battles over fiscal policy, with lyrical nods to Gilbert and Sullivan, Jason Robert Brown, "South Pacific" and the Notorious B.I.G.


"Hamilton," the groundbreaking, biographical hip-hop show about the life of Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton has taken Broadway by storm.


Not surprisingly, the cast album debuted as the No. 1 Broadway Cast Album, but it also debuted as the No. 3 Rap Album and No. 9 on the Top Current Albums chart, something cast recordings rarely do. The album features 46 songs over 2½ hours.


The "Hamilton" score beat the songs by "Bright Star," ''Waitress" and "School of Rock — The Musical."


8:45 p.m.

Daveed Diggs took the Tony for featured actor in a musical for his dual roles as Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette, leaping off a table while employing a thick French accent at one moment and facing off against a Founding Father in a rap duel in the next.


"I cannot thank you all enough. This is so crazy," he said when he picked up his award.


Renee Elise Goldsberry won best featured actress in a musical for her role as Angelica Schuyler in "Hamilton."

8:15 p.m.


Jayne Houdyshell, a mainstay of the New York stage, has won her first Tony Award for playing a gossipy, gently needling mom in "The Humans."


In Stephen Karam's powerful play "The Humans," she plays a woman desperate to hold onto her marriage and give a semblance of normalcy as things fall apart during a Thanksgiving dinner. Houdyshell wins for best featured actress in a play.


She was previously Tony-nominated for "Well" by Lisa Kron, an intimate drama in which she played a chronically ill woman. She played Madame Morrible in "Wicked," Mae Peterson in "Bye Bye Birdie" and Miss Prism in "The Importance of Being Earnest." Houdyshell received a Career Achievement Drama Desk Award in 2013.


Regional roles include Martha in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" Linda Loman in "Death of a Salesman" and Lady Bracknell in "The Importance of Being Earnest." Her latest Broadway credits include "Follies," singing — what else? — "Broadway Baby" and "Fish in the Dark," written by and starring Larry David.


8 p.m.


Host James Corden opened Broadway's biggest night with a message for the fallen in Orlando:


"Our hearts go out to all of those affected by this atrocity. All we can say is you're not on your own right now. Your tragedy is our tragedy," he said in part, adding:

"Hate will never win. Together we have to make sure of that. Tonight's show stands as a symbol and a celebration of that principle. This is the Tony Awards."


The evening then kicked off with a riff from front-runner "Hamilton."


7:59 p.m.


The "Hamilton" train may still run through the Tonys but it won't break the record of 13 statues. It lost for scenic design of a musical to "She Loves Me."


In Tonys math, that means it can only rack up 12 wins.


7:55 p.m.


Andrew Lloyd Webber, nominated for best original score for "School of Rock," said a show about teaching music to kids takes him back to his roots, in U.S. theater anyway.


The first show to performed in America to feature his music was "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," back in 1970.


"It was performed in a college, in New Jersey," he said on the red carpet. "So to do something about a school and about a teacher teaching kids to play music is very, very close to my heart," he said.


He, too, extended condolences to the victims of the Orlando shooting.


7:35 p.m.


The man of the night, "Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, said from the red carpet he learned of the Orlando tragedy after Tony rehearsals were completed so working condolences into any stage presentations may not happen, but the victims were clearly on his mind.


"It's just heavy in my heart and heavy on my mind. Today's a day of tragedy. At the same time, I'm in a room of people who made new art and new music this year and I'm happy to be celebrating that. I feel like we need it more than ever."


Miranda confirmed he will be leaving the smash hit sometime this summer but doesn't know exactly when.


7:10 p.m.


Jeffrey Seller, lead producer of "Hamilton," began what is sure to be a big evening with a heavy heart, extending condolences to the shooting tragedy in Orlando.


"My heart is saddened by it. I'm reminded of the way in which tragedy and joy interweave through my life and many other lives every single day," he said. "Our celebration tonight is tempered by it."


7 p.m.


In the why, why not category: An hour before the show, host James Corden came out to quickly greet the audience, with many already in their seats, dressed in a terry cloth bathrobe, socks and a towel turban on his head.


6:50 p.m.


Laura Benanti, nominated for best actress in a musical for "She Loves Me," will perform with other cast members and Orlando will be ever-present.


Of the victims, she said from the red carpet: "There's nothing I can say that won't seem trite. All I can say is that every note that comes out of my mouth this evening will be in remembrance of these victims and their families."


That, she said, "is all I can do, offer my voice as some sort of a tribute."


6:46 p.m.


U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, showed up on the Tony Awards red carpet to express solidarity with the Orlando shooting victims and celebrate Broadway at the same time.


"Usually this is just a happy, glorious day but because of what happened in Orlando, everyone has very mixed feelings," he said.


He swapped out his usual American flag pin for an orange flag, which speaks to "rational laws on gun," adding: "It's about time. We can't have more of these killings."


6:30 p.m.


There was an obvious stepped-up security presence outside the Beacon Theatre on the Upper West Side, with explosive-sniffing dogs and a critical response team at the ready.


Bags were being checked and credentials scrutinized after a shooting that killed at least 50 people at a gay nightclub in Florida.


On a sunny but blustery day, water bottles on silver platters were being offered to guests on the red carpet.


Some nominees were wearing a silver ribbon to show their solidarity with the victims.


3 p.m.


The shooting at an Orlando nightclub has prompted the cast of "Hamilton" to drop their Revolutionary War muskets during their performance Sunday at the Tony Awards.


The musical about Founding Father Alexander Hamilton will instead pantomime the use of the rifles, according to a show's spokesman.


Lin-Manuel Miranda, the star and creator of "Hamilton" tweeted a rainbow-hued heart with "Orlando" written beneath it.


Rory O'Malley, who plays King George in the show, tweeted: "The theatre is our church and we all need church tonight."


The Tony Awards will air live on CBS at 8 p.m. EDT.

2 p.m.


Sunday evening's Tony Awards have been dedicated to those affected by the Orlando nightclub shooting that killed at least 50 people.


In a statement Sunday, the Tony Awards said "our hearts are heavy for the unimaginable tragedy." The awards, it said, will be dedicated to the friends and family of those affected by the most deadly mass shooting in U.S. history.

Organizers didn't say how the evening's broadcast would be affected. Lin-Manuel Miranda, the star and creator of "Hamilton" — expected to be the night's big winner — tweeted a rainbow-colored heart with "Orlando" written beneath it.


The Tonys are to be hosted by late-night host James Corden.





James Corden Not Interested in Replacing Stephen Colbert


NEW YORK (AP) — "Late Late Show" host James Corden says he has no interest in taking over for his lead-in on CBS, Stephen Colbert.


Colbert's "Late Show" brought in a new executive producer in April and has been running neck and neck with ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" in the ratings behind NBC's Jimmy Fallon. Of the possibility of replacing Colbert at 11:30 p.m., Cordentells Howard Stern "that's never going to happen" and that Colbert's show "is working."


Corden also touched on the origins of his wildly popular "Carpool Karaoke" skits, which feature Corden driving alongside singers like Adele and Justin Bieber belting out hits.



He tells Stern his first-ever guest on the segment, Mariah Carey, initially told him she wasn't able to sing before joining in once Corden put her songs on the stereo.



Orlando Orchestra's Leader Leaps from Cellist to Conductor


ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — As a young classical music conductor in a town known more for Mickey Mouse than Mahler, the Orlando Philharmonic's Eric Jacobsen faces a double challenge: Live up to the promise of his youth and innovative background, and somehow discover the magic formula to lure young audiences to the concert hall.




Beginning his second year as music director of the Orlando Philharmonic, the 33-year-old Jacobsen this summer is leaving one of the three boundary-breaking ensembles in which he played cello and explored new directions in an art form that cherishes tradition.


Jacobsen says he's leaving the string quartet, Brooklyn Rider, so he can concentrate on conducting.


He co-founded Brooklyn Rider a decade ago with his brother and two classmates from the Juilliard School.




Fox Apologizes for Billboard Showing Strangling from 'X-Men'


NEW YORK (AP) — Twentieth Century Fox has apologized for a billboard that features Jennifer Lawrence's "X-Men: Apocalypse" character Mystique being strangled.




The billboard has been criticized by some who are offended by the imagery of Oscar Isaac's Apocalypse choking Mystique. Actress and filmmaker Rose McGowan says there's "a major problem when the men and women at 20th Century Fox think casual violence against women is a way to market a film."


In a statement, Fox says that in highlighting the villainy of Apocalypse, "we didn't immediately realize the upsetting connotation of this image in print form."


The studio apologized and says it's removing promotional materials with the image. Fox adds that it "would never condone violence against women."



ABC Scores with NBA Finals Rating


OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Game 1 of the NBA Finals between Golden State and Cleveland was the most-watched and highest-rated opening game on ABC, with 19.2 million people tuning in for an 11.1 U.S. household rating.


Cavs Warriors


Nielsen said ABC eclipsed the previous viewership high of 17,768,000 by eight percent, a mark set last year between the two teams. The viewership number was the biggest for a Game 1 on any network since 1998. The game peaked from 10:45-11 p.m. EDT with 22,610,000 viewers and a 12.9 rating.


Game 1 was the most-watched NBA game ever on WatchESPN with an average minute audience of 347,000. ESPN drew an 0.6 Hispanic household rating with 124,000 total viewers, making it the most-watched and highest-rated Game 1 ever on the network.


In overnight ratings, the game delivered a 36.0 rating in Cleveland and 32.8 in San Francisco. Ratings represent the percentage of U.S. homes with televisions tuned to a program.


Game 2 is on Sunday in Oakland.




John Legend to Perform Anthem at Game 1 of NBA Finals


NEW YORK (AP) — Grammy-winning singer John Legend will perform the national anthem for Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers.


John Legend


The NBA says Legend will kick off the finals that will air live Thursday on ABC (9 p.m. Eastern) from the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.


The 37-year-old singer-songwriter is also an accomplished film and TV producer, philanthropist and activist. He recently won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for his song "Glory," that he wrote and performed with Common for the film "Selma."




Frank Sinatra Stage Musical in the Works for 2018


NEW YORK (AP) — A new jukebox stage musical about the life of Frank Sinatra is in the works.


Frank Sinatra


The late singer's family has teamed up with the Ambassador Theatre Group and movie producer Stewart Till to tell the story of the man nicknamed the Chairman of the Board. Backers hope it will be ready in 2018.


The musical will feature a number of songs from Sinatra's incredible catalogue, which includes "Night and Day," ''My Way," ''Young at Heart," ''Strangers in the Night," ''One for My Baby," ''How About You?" ''Day by Day," and "Come Fly With Me."


No book writer has been picked.




'Roots' is Most-Watched Cable Miniseries Premiere in 3 years


NEW YORK (AP) — Nielsen says 5.3 million viewers watched the multi-network debut of "Roots" on Memorial Day, making it the most-watched scripted miniseries premiere on cable television since 2013 when "Bonnie & Clyde" aired on A+E.




The premiere airing of "Roots" was carried on History, Lifetime, A+E and LMN.


According to Nielsen Fast National numbers, the audience totaled 8.5 million over the course of Monday's three telecasts of the initial episode.


The remaining three episodes air Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.


The miniseries is based on Alex Haley's 1976 best-seller novel, "Roots: The Saga of an American Family." It comes four decades after the original "Roots" miniseries became a national phenomenon when it aired on ABC in 1977.





'Mary Poppins' Sequel Adds Lin-Manuel Miranda, Emily Blunt to Cast


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Move over, Julie Andrews, there's a new Mary Poppins in town.


Mary Popins


Walt Disney Studios announced Tuesday that "Into the Woods" star Emily Blunt would be taking over the part of the P.L. Travers-created nanny in a sequel to the 1964 classic, with "Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda joining as a new character, Jack, the street lamplighter.


The film, entitled "Mary Poppins Returns," will center on a now-grown Michael Banks and his three children in the aftermath of a tragedy and the help they get from Mary Poppins and Jack in Depression-era London.


Rob Marshall is set to direct off of a script from "Finding Neverland" writer David Magee.


The film is scheduled to hit theaters on Dec. 25, 2018.




Tony Presenters will Include Oprah Winfrey, Cate Blanchett


NEW YORK (AP) — James Corden will have some big names helping him hand out Tony Awards: Oprah Winfrey, Cate Blanchett, Carole King, Audra McDonald, Saoirse Ronan, Patina Miller and Nathan Lane have signed up to help present.


Tony 2016


Corden, a Tony-winner and the host of CBS's "The Late Late Show" will make his debut as the emcee June 12 at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. It will be televised on CBS.


Comedy god Steve Martin and Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Edie Brickell will also help present. The pair is up for a Tony as the writers of the musical "Bright Star," a complex love story set against the American South.




Depp Asks Court to Rule he Should Not Pay Spousal Support


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Johnny Depp has asked a court to determine that he should not pay spousal support to his estranged wife Amber Heard, who filed for divorce after 15 months of marriage.




Court records show Depp filed the response Wednesday to Heard's divorce petition.


His response also requests that Heard, also an actor, pay her own attorney fees. It does not list a date of separation.

Heard filed for divorce on Monday and stated the couple separated the day before. Both actors cited irreconcilable differences for the breakup.


The actors married in February 2014. They have no children together, and the divorce filings do not indicate they have a prenuptial agreement.



Memorable Moments from the National Spelling Bee


OXON HILL, Md. (AP) — The 284 kids competing in this year's Scripps National Spelling Bee got their first opportunity to approach the microphone on Wednesday — and to hear the dreaded bell that signals an incorrect spelling. At the end of Wednesday's onstage rounds, the field was cut to 45 spellers for Thursday's finals.


Spelling Bee


Here are some highlights from the preliminary rounds, which featured more difficult words than in past years — a trend that will continue into the finals. Scripps changed the rules to make the bee more difficult after the competition ended in a tie for two straight years.




Speller No. 1 this year was Erin Howard, which meant all eyes — and extra pressure — were on her when the bee began. Scripps showed it meant business by launching the bee with "abecedarius," which she got right. She also spelled "tulipomania" correctly to open the second onstage round.

Erin, 11, knew there was a chance she'd be batting leadoff because she's from Huntsville, Alabama, and the spellers are organized in alphabetical order by state.

"I was hoping they would mess up and put Alaska first," Erin said. "But no! Had to do it right!"

She didn't have time to settle her nerves before she was asked to approach the microphone.

"It's kind of abrupt," said Erin, who was among the finalists. "Oh, it's my turn! OK!"




Six-year-old Akash Vukoti of San Angelo, Texas, was 1 ½ when his uncle asked him to spell the word "spoon" during a trip to his parents' native India. He got it right.

A year later, his parents drove six hours from Cleveland to northern Virginia so he could compete in his first spelling bee — while still in diapers.

On Wednesday, Akash bounded up to the National Spelling Bee stage and reached well above his head to try to bend down the microphone. At one point, he tried to unscrew it.

His word was "inviscate," and when it became clear the kid would get it right, a wry smile broke across the face of veteran speller Jairam Hathwar, sitting nearby. Akash briefly put his hands over his ears when the crowd broke out into applause.

In the afternoon, Akash got a standing ovation after he was eliminated on "bacteriolytic," which he missed by a single letter.

Akash, who has also appeared on "Little Big Shots" with Steve Harvey and dreams of becoming an actor, said he knew every word during the first onstage round.

"All of those words came from the list that everybody studied," he said.

His other passion: corporate logos.

"You can show me any logo and I can tell you what company it is," Akash said.

Akash's mother, Kala Vukoti, a former engineer, home-schools him. His father, Krishna, is a pharmacist.

"He needs to be home-schooled," Krishna said. "He's very advanced. He's like five, six, seven grades higher" than his peers.




Spellers from Ghana, Jamaica, and South Korea were among the 45 finalists. The last international winner of the bee was Jody-Anne Maxwell of Jamaica in 1998.

While Jamaica has produced dozens of strong spellers, the performance of Afua Ansah of Ghana caught observers by surprise. She had the second-highest score on the written test, missing a perfect score by just one point.

"It was easier than I thought," said Afua, 14.

While many spellers say the pressure is off once they make it to the final day of the bee, Afua said she's under more stress now. Her goal is to make the top 10.

"A heavy weight on my shoulders," she said. "I want to prove that I can actually make it."

Afua isn't sure what career she wants to pursue — neurosurgeon, lawyer and accountant are all possibilities. The only African speller in the bee, she wore a jacket with a kente pattern as a symbol of national pride.

The best part of the bee, she said, has been bonding with her spellers, "and to be able to share our anxieties."




For years, spellers have come up with clever greetings for pronouncer Jacques Bailly. This year, the goal for many was to stump him by saying hello in a foreign language he didn't know.

But 10-year-old J.J. Chen of Bethesda, Maryland, took Adele as his inspiration for the drollest greeting of the day.

"Hello," J.J. said.

"Hello," Bailly said.

"It's me," J.J. deadpanned.

Later, J.J. said he came up with the idea when he was bored onstage waiting for his turn to spell. The first round was dull, he said, because he'd memorized all the words on the list.

"In the morning, I counted the number of times I clapped," he said. "This afternoon, since they were surprise words, it was more interesting."

J.J.'s parents, James and Yuesha Chen, said their son showed a gift for language at an early age and could spell "transportation" at age 3.

"At daycare, (when) his friends had trouble reading things, they went to J.J.," James said.

J.J. made the finals, the youngest speller to do so.




Last year, only four spellers got words wrong during the first onstage round. The words used during that round came from a list that spellers were able to study for months while preparing for their regional bees.

This year, spellers only got the opening-round list about 50 days in advance, and the bell rang for 33 spellers. Among the words that were misspelled: chanoyu, scarlatina, tilleul, preterition, quadrumanous and octateuch.

"This year, we upped the challenge," said Paige Kimble, the bee's executive director.

In the afternoon, it got even tougher. The bell rang for 80 spellers. But as Kimble predicted, many of the words sounded easier to the adults in the audience. The afternoon round illustrated the difference between spellers who memorize words and those who have a deeper understanding of roots and language patterns.

The list for the morning round had 400 words. For the afternoon, the only list was Webster's Third New International Dictionary, which has 476,000 words. Misspelled words included: fraudulent, illegitimate, crotchety and curmudgeon.




Arushi Kalpande is in her third straight National Spelling Bee, and she's perfected a technique that many successful spellers have used in the past. Every time she asks pronouncer Jacques Bailly about the word, she repeats it, almost like a mantra. The technique has both practical and emotional benefits.

"When you repeat the word, the judges know if you're pronouncing the word right," said Arushi, 14, of Billerica, Massachusetts, who made it to the finals. "It helps you to focus on the word."

Even if she knows a word, the more she says it, the more her confidence grows.

"It calms you down," Arushi said. "It's always been my habit."




Before Mira Dedhia of Western Springs, Illinois, made it to the national bee, she would watch the ESPN broadcast with her father. But her mother, Lakshmi Nair, had a hard time even staying in the room when the bee was on.

The reason: Nair made it to the bee three times, from 1988-1990, and watching it brings back uncomfortable emotions.

"I'm so nervous. I feel like I'm 13 years old all over again," Nair said. "I can barely stomach it. It's nerve-wracking."

While some families have created semi-dynasties with siblings competing in the bee — last year, Vanya Shivashankar became the first sibling of a past champion to win — kids following their parents into the bee have been less common. Nair said she took a hands-off approach.

"I know firsthand how much pressure it was. Once she started winning bees, I was happy to help her," Nair said. "It's so much work that you can't push your kid to do it."




Cosby Lawyers Outline Defense as Case Heads to Trial


NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Bill Cosby's lawyers have outlined the tough questions the accuser likely will face now that their client is heading to trial in a criminal sexual-assault case.


Bill Cosby


The lawyers in a suburban Philadelphia court on Tuesday asked why accuser Andrea Constand stayed in touch with Cosby in the year after the 2004 encounter.


They suggested that she was instead in a consensual relationship with the man she considered a "trusted" friend and mentor.


The questions are similar to those raised by a former prosecutor who declined to arrest Cosby a decade ago.

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele believes there's new evidence to strengthen his case.


Cosby does not yet have a trial date. The 78-year-old faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of aggravated sexual assault.




Broadway's Attendance Up, but Box Office Doesn't Keep Pace


NEW YORK (AP) — Broadway's attendance figures hit a record high this season, but box office revenue ticked upward only slightly.


Broadway Box Office


The Broadway League said Monday that box offices reported a record total gross of $1.37 billion — up 0.6 percent from the previous season. The trade association for theater owners, operators and producers said attendance was up 1.6 percent to 13.3 million ticket buyers.


The number of playing weeks — Broadway's occupancy rate — was up 1.4 percent from last season's to end at 1,648. There is a total of 2,080 total playing weeks available each year.


A total of 39 shows opened during the season, which began May 31, 2015, and ended Sunday. There were 16 musicals, 20 plays and three special events.




Madonna Responds to Critics of Her Prince Tribute


Madonna has responded to critics of her tribute to Prince at the Billboard Music Awards.


Madonna Billboard


A day after her performance of "Nothing Compares 2 U" and duet with Stevie Wonder on "Purple Rain," the pop singer took to social media Monday and posted a picture of herself in a purple boa with a flower in her teeth.


She wrote that anyone who wants to do a tribute to Prince is welcome to, "whatever your age gender or skin color. If you loved him and he inspired you then show it!!! I love Prince 4 ever." She later posed a video of her dancing with a caption that indicated the criticism didn't bother her.





Fox Baseball Drama Goes to Bat This Fall; 'Bones' Delayed


NEW YORK (AP) — Just days after unveiling its Fall 2016 schedule, the Fox network is swapping two of its shows.

Veteran series "Bones," originally set for a fall return, will instead be shelved until midseason, when this lighthearted whodunit will conclude its 12-season run.


Pitch Trailer


In its place Thursday at 9 p.m. Eastern, a new baseball drama, "Pitch," is being called up from midseason for a fall premiere.


"Pitch" is the story of Ginny Baker, who becomes the first woman to play Major League baseball under the glare of doubting fans and a media spotlight. It stars Kylie Bunbury ("Under the Dome"), along with Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Ali Larter, Mark Consuelos and Dan Lauria.




Eiffel Tower to be Turned into a Euro 2016 Rental Apartment


PARIS (AP) — Four lucky competition winners are set to be the first people in history to use the Eiffel Tower as a vacation home next month.


Eiffel Tower


Rental company HomeAway is taking over part of the first floor of the iconic 300-meter (yard) landmark for the duration of the UEFA Euro 2016 soccer tournament in Paris, and transforming it into Hausmannian-style living quarters.


The competition opens Thursday for the chance to stay in the famous monument, which provides panoramic views onto the Arc de Triomphe, the Sacre Coeur and the Seine river.


Brian Sharples, HomeAway CEO, called the move "unprecedented" and said it was "guaranteed to provide the most epic vacation memories of a lifetime."




Video Game Tetris to Become a China-US Co-Produced Movie


BEIJING (AP) — Chinese and U.S. producers say they plan to make an $80 million live-action sci-fi thriller based on the popular 1980s building block computer game Tetris.




The movie will begin shooting next year. It is the first project from the newly formed Threshold Global Studios, a joint venture between Chinese entertainment investor Bruno Wu's Seven Star Works and producer Larry Kasanoff's California-based Threshold Entertainment Group.


The pair said in a statement Tuesday that the joint venture "will make cross-cultural movies for the global market." Kasanoff added that the 32-year-old video game Tetris "is a perfect first project for this strategy."


The announcement said financing for the co-production is complete. There are plans to film the movie in China and it will feature Chinese actors.




ABC Renews Jimmy Kimmel Show for 3 More Years, to Fall 2019


LOS ANGELES (AP) — It's no prank: ABC says it has renewed late-night host Jimmy Kimmel's contract for three years.




The deal will keep "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" on the air through fall 2019, the network said Tuesday.


Kimmel's show is now in its 14th season, which makes him the longest-running host among the competitors that include NBC's Jimmy Fallon and CBS' Stephen Colbert.


Kimmel is known for pranks, including a staged twerking accident, and for encouraging others to follow suit. That includes parents who pretend they've eaten their kids' Halloween candy stash and tape the reaction for "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" to air.


Such comedy has proved a big internet draw and encouraged other hosts, including CBS' James Corden, to create skits aimed at an online afterlife.




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