CBS looks back for its reboot-heavy new TV season

NEW YORK (AP) — Glance at next season’s schedule for CBS and you could be forgiven for wondering what decade it is.
The network is adding remakes of 1980s series “Murphy Brown” and “Magnum, P.I.” to a line-up that already includes blasts-from-the-past “Hawaii Five-0” and “MacGyver.”
CBS executives said Wednesday that the “Murphy Brown” reboot, which again stars Candice Bergen, moves TV anchor Murphy out of prime-time. She hosts a morning cable show with the snappy title of “Murphy in the Morning,” and is facing off against her son on a competing network.
A change that “Magnum” fans should watch for: The private detective has a goatee, not the trademark moustache of original star Tom Selleck. Jay Hernandez plays the new Thomas Magnum.

Taylor Swift gives surprise show at fan’s wedding reception

 

LONG BEACH TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey newlyweds got an unexpected gift at their wedding reception: a performance by Taylor Swift.

The superstar played a stripped down version of her song “Blank Space” at Max Singer and Kenya Smith’s reception in Long Beach Township on Saturday as amazed guests looked on and sang along.

Swift agreed to attend after getting a letter in April from the groom’s sister.

She wrote about how her brother was a huge fan and how he and their ailing mother had danced to Swift’s song after the newlyweds were married in a hospital room. Singer’s mother died shortly thereafter.

Swift had contacted Singer’s sister and they planned the surprise visit.

Swift also presented the couple a special card that stated: “So It’s Gonna Be Forever,” a lyric from “Blank Space.”

Would teens be slimmer if Katy Perry hawked kale & quinoa?

LINDSEY TANNER, AP Medical Writer

CHICAGO (AP) — Would U.S. teens be any slimmer if Katy Perry hawked kale and quinoa?

New research doesn’t prove a link, but its authors think music stars popular with teens may be contributing to the obesity epidemic by endorsing fatty fast food, snacks and soda.

The study shows that 20 of the hottest teen-music heartthrobs have done TV ads or other promotions for products nutritionists consider unhealthy.

Of 107 food and drink endorsements included in the study, few were for nutritious foods, the researchers said. Lead author Marie Bragg, a food policy and obesity researcher at New York University, singled out one “natural whole-food product.” That was South Korean pop star Psy’s “crackin’ gangnam-style” TV ad for Wonderful pistachios, shown during the Super Bowl in 2013.

About 80 percent of celebrity-endorsed food ads were high-calorie products including snack chips and chocolate, or fast-food restaurants including McDonalds, Chili’s and A&W. Most of the beverage ads were for sugary sodas.

The list includes Perry endorsements for Pepsi and Popchips; Justin Timberlake ads or promotions for Chili’s, McDonald’s and Pepsi; and will.i.am ads or campaigns linked with Coca-Cola, Doritos, Dr. Pepper and Pepsi.

The study was published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

Ads can influence behavior, and the researchers say the results have important implications, given the nation’s high obesity rates. Government statistics show that about 20 percent of U.S. teens are obese and even more are overweight.

“Celebrities should leverage their influence to promote more healthful messages,” the researchers said.

They selected music performers who have appeared on Teen Choice Award shows and who had hits on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts in 2013 and 2014. They included ads from 2000 to 2014.

They cited previous studies linking food and beverage marketing with excess eating and childhood obesity. Bragg noted a 2013 study from Australia that found sports celebrity endorsements influenced 11-year-old boys to buy fast food.

Bragg said it would be unrealistic to expect teens to only eat healthy foods, or to ask celebrities to only endorse those products. She said “moderation” and “a better balance” of ads would be ideal.

Miss California USA laughs off flubbed economic gap answer

 

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Miss California USA is poking some fun at herself after flubbing a question about the nation’s economic gap during the Miss USA pageant.

Nadia Mejia was widely mocked on social media after stumbling, closing her eyes and pausing when answering the question Sunday about economic inequality.

Mejia answered her critics on Instagram , writing that she was praying to God for the right words and he answered, “It’ll take longer than 30 seconds to answer that babe.” She also posted a video of her singing “I don’t know about the economy” to the tune of the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way.”

The 20-year-old model is the daughter of 1990s one-hit-wonder singer Gerardo, known for “Rico Suave.”

Miss Hawaii Chelsea Hardin, who came in second to winner Deshauna Barber of the District of Columbia, punted when asked who she would vote for among the likely presidential candidates, Republican Donald Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton. The question was framed with Clinton’s likely status of being the first woman nominated by a major political party in the race for the White House.

Hardin said there was no way to correctly answer the question during the beauty pageant and that gender doesn’t matter when deciding the president.

Many on social media criticized the question from Harper’s Bazaar editor Laura Brown, saying that asking a contestant to reveal who she is planning to vote for is inappropriate.

Brown defended herself on Twitter, saying that she asked the question she was given. She says Miss Hawaii “answered beautifully.”

Couric takes blame for ‘misleading’ pause in gun documentary

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Katie Couric has reversed course and taken responsibility for an edit that misrepresents the response of gun rights activists to a question she poses in a new documentary.

The segment in “Under the Gun” shows nearly 10 seconds of silence after Couric asks the activists how felons or terrorists could be prevented from purchasing a gun without background checks.

Audio of the exchange leaked last week reveals an almost immediate response to the question.

Couric writes in a message on the film’s website that she regrets not raising her initial concerns about the segment “more vigorously.”

Director Stephanie Soechtig told The Washington Post last week that the pause was so viewers could consider the question.

Couric said then that she supported Soechtig’s statement and was “very proud of the film.”

“Under the Gun” showed at the Sundance Film Festival in January and premiered on EPIX earlier this month. The film is now available for rent or purchase on various digital platforms, including iTunes, Amazon and Google Play.

Mark Salling dropped from miniseries after child porn charge

 

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The “Glee” actor charged with receiving and possessing child pornography has been dropped from his latest project.

The writer-director of “Adi Shankar’s Gods and Secrets” says actor Mark Salling is being removed from the miniseries, which stars Denise Richards and Jane Seymour.

Adi Shankar decried the victimization of women and children in a lengthy statement Tuesday announcing Salling’s dismissal. Shankar also said he will fund the necessary reshoots himself and plans to donate a portion of the series’ proceeds to “a charity for abused children.”

Federal officials charged Salling last week with using the internet to obtain pornographic images of underage girls and possessing other child porn videos. If convicted, he could face as much as 20 years in prison for each of the charges.

‘The Sims’ removes gender barriers in video game

DERRIK J. LANG, AP Entertainment Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The creators of “The Sims” are opening up gender customization options for the first time in the history of the popular life simulation video game.

“The Sims” publisher Electronic Arts and developer Maxis says a free update available Thursday for “The Sims 4” will remove gender boundaries and allow players to create Sims with any type of physique, walk style or voice.

“The Sims 4” and earlier installments in the 16-year-old series previously restricted specific clothing, hair styles and other aesthetic options to either male or female characters.

EA and Maxis say over 700 pieces of content previously available to only male or female Sims will now be accessible regardless of their gender in “The Sims 4” and its expansion packs.

The gaming medium rarely depicts or allows players to create transgender characters.

 

B-52s, Jennifer Hudson, Marcus Mumford to honor songwriters

 

NEW YORK (AP) — Presentations and performances from the B-52s, Jennifer Hudson, Marcus Mumford and Sister Sledge will be featured at the Songwriters Hall of Fame induction and awards dinner in New York City on June 9.

The event will also feature comedian James Corden, songwriters Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, the Byrds’ Roger McGuinn, singer Rachel Platten, actors Jussie Smolette and Jon Voight, the organization announced Thursday.

This year’s inductees are Elvis Costello, Marvin Gaye, Tom Petty, Nile Rodgers, Bernard Edwards and Chip Taylor. Special award recipients include Lionel Richie, Nick Jonas and Seymour Stein.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Emily Blunt board ‘Mary Poppins’ sequel

 

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

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.

Couric takes blame for ‘misleading’ pause in gun documentary

WASHINGTON (AP) — Katie Couric has reversed course and taken responsibility for an edit that misrepresents the response of gun rights activists to a question she poses in a new documentary.

The segment in “Under the Gun” shows nearly 10 seconds of silence after Couric asks the activists how felons or terrorists could be prevented from purchasing a gun without background checks.

Audio of the exchange leaked last week reveals an almost immediate response to the question.

Couric writes in a message on the film’s website that she regrets not raising her initial concerns about the segment “more vigorously.”

Director Stephanie Soechtig told The Washington Post last week that the pause was so viewers could consider the question.

Couric said then that she supported Soechtig’s statement and was “very proud of the film.”

“Under the Gun” showed at the Sundance Film Festival in January and premiered on EPIX earlier this month. The film is now available for rent or purchase on various digital platforms, including iTunes, Amazon and Google Play.