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    Candidate buys ads on Sinclair TV stations to blast company

    April 20, 2018

    HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Democratic candidate for Montana's U.S. House seat is buying ads on Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned television stations that blast the company for forcing reporters to read conservative-leaning corporate statements on air.

    John Heenan's ad will air starting Monday on stations in Missoula, Bozeman and Butte. In it, he calls Sinclair "a corporation using its power to take advantage of journalists, our democracy and the people of Montana."

    Heenan said Friday that he wanted to take on Sinclair over its own airwaves to support its employees and viewers.

    Sinclair-owned KECI-TV general manager Tamy Wagner says the station does not turn down candidate ads. She declined further comment.

    Earlier this month, a video by the website Deadspin showed dozens of news anchors from Sinclair-owned stations reading the same statement about a troubling trend of one-sided news stories.

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    This combination photo shows Colin Jost, left, and Michael Che at the Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special in New York on Feb. 15, 2015. NBC says that Michael Che and Colin Jost of "Saturday Night Live" will co-host this year's Emmy Awards. The 70th prime-time Emmy Awards will air Sept. 17. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    Michael Che, Colin Jost of "SNL" to host Emmy Awards

    April 26, 2018

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — NBC says that Michael Che and Colin Jost of "Saturday Night Live" will co-host this year's Emmy Awards.

    Che and Jost anchor the "Weekend Update" segment of "Saturday Night Live" and are head writers on the long-running sketch show.

    The Emmy ceremony rotates from the major broadcast networks, allowing them to use the host's job to highlight a show or performers. "SNL" has enjoyed a ratings resurgence with its sharp-edged jabs at President Donald Trump and his administration.

    Alumni of the late-night show have hosted the Emmys, including Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers. But the last current "SNL" cast member to serve as host was Eddie Murphy in 1983.

    The 70th prime-time Emmy Awards will air Sept. 17.

    AP Editorial Categories: 
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    Members of Japan's pop group Tokio, from left, Tomoya Nagase, Taichi Kokubun, Shigeru Joshima and Masahiro Matsuoka bow during a press conference on another member's sexual harassment in Tokyo Wednesday, May 2, 2018. Tatsuya Yamaguchi of the group, who acknowledged last week he had sexually harassed a teenage woman, tendered his resignation. Tokio leader Joshima said Yamaguchi apologized to the other members and submitted his resignation Monday night, but there was no immediate decision whether to accept it and the group won't disband. (Muneyuki Tomari/Kyodo News via AP)

    Member of Japan pop band Tokio quits over sexual misconduct

    May 2, 2018

    TOKYO (AP) — Tatsuya Yamaguchi of Japan's star pop band Tokio, who acknowledged last week that he had sexually harassed a teenage girl, says he's quitting the group.

    The other four band members appeared at a news conference Wednesday that was broadcast live on national television, making the Tokio scandal one of the most high-profile #MeToo cases to rivet Japan in recent weeks.

    Tokio leader Shigeru Joshima said Yamaguchi apologized to the other members, getting on his knees in repentance, and submitted his resignation Monday night, but there was no immediate decision whether to accept it.

    The group won't disband and the other members will continue with any work offered, seeing it as their duty "as professionals," Joshima and the others said.

    "We have a responsibility first as Tokio," Joshima said, after bowing deeply with the other members. Dressed in dark suits and ties, they appeared solemn and tense before flashing cameras at a packed Tokyo hotel room.

    Joshima said the group decided to apologize publicly to the victim and her family, the fans and other people who were shocked and hurt by the scandal.

    Yamaguchi acknowledged he had forced a kiss on a high school student in February. She reported it to police. Authorities decided not to pursue charges against 46-year-old Yamaguchi after the parties settled out of court.

    Tokio is one of the leading groups under Johnny & Associates, a major Japanese entertainment company, with megahits such as "Ambitious Japan" and "Love You Only." Its members also appear as actors on TV shows and in movies, and also serve as talk show hosts.

    Tokio was tapped as "special ambassadors" for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, though it's unclear if the scandal will change that. The group has also been promoting the revival of Fukushima in northeastern Japan, which was devastated in 2011 by an earthquake followed by a tsunami and a nuclear reactor meltdown.

    Awareness about sexual misconduct has been relatively slow to take off in Japan, where gender equality lags behind other developed economies.

    But the public attention the Tokio case has attracted is helping to draw attention to the #MeToo movement in the country. Sexual misconduct of a government bureaucrat has also grabbed headlines in recent weeks. The Finance Ministry official, accused of making lewd remarks to a reporter, has resigned.

    The comments by Tokio's Masahiro Matsuoka seemed to underline a new kind of sensitivity.

    Yamaguchi has long had serious personal problems, including excessive drinking, Matsuoka said, often appearing tearful. He said he urged Yamaguchi to seek professional help.

    "I've told him, 'You are sick,'" he said.

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    Follow Yuri Kageyama on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

    Her work can be found at https://www.apnews.com/search/yuri%20kageyama

    AP Editorial Categories: 
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    Congressional candidate says 'F--- the NRA' in TV ad

    May 11, 2018

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A Democratic congressional candidate in New Mexico used an expletive in a television ad Friday to condemn the National Rifle Association and inaction by U.S. lawmakers on gun control, beginning a 15-second spot with the words "F--- the NRA."

    In the ad, Albuquerque City Council member Pat Davis goes on to the say that NRA policies have "resulted in dead children, dead mothers and dead fathers," and that "if Congress won't change our gun laws, we're changing Congress."

    The ad was broadcast on KRQE-TV in Albuquerque, where General Manager Bill Anderson said the station was not permitted by law to censor or edit Davis' commercial and must provide equal access to candidates. The station ran a brief warning about profanity immediately before the ad.

    Jennifer Baker, a spokeswoman for the NRA, said Davis' profanity doesn't reflect a serious effort to address public safety concerns.

    "We would hate to dignify this with a response because it's just crass language and a desperate attempt to get attention," Baker said.

    Davis, a former Washington, D.C. police officer, is competing in a six-way race for the Democratic nomination for an open congressional seat based in Albuquerque.

    He told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that the ad seeks to reflect the frustration he has encountered from voters and others over inaction on gun control. "People are more frustrated than common decency allows," he said, conceding that he opted for indecency to get his point across.

    He said the reaction nationally to the ad has been swift, and that his campaign has seen an uptick in contributions from donors around the country since it aired. "People around the country are mad," about gun violence, he said.

    The winner of the Democratic primary will face Republican Janice Arnold Jones and Libertarian Lloyd Princeton in the November general election. The congressional seat is open because U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham of Albuquerque is running for governor.

    Debra Haaland, a former chairwoman of the state Democratic Party who is running against Davis, said in a statement that she also believes the NRA and the arms industry are responsible for preventable deaths and understands "the anger many people are expressing."

    "I share it — even if I might use different words" than Davis, she said.

    New Mexico was shaken by a December shooting at Aztec High School that killed two students. An August 2017 shooting at a public library in Clovis left two dead and four wounded.

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    FILE - In this June 22, 2016, file photo, Terry Crews, left, and Andy Samberg attend "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" FYC Event held at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles. NBC is turbo-charging the trend of reviving canceled comedies with its pickup of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine." The network quickly swooped in after Fox dumped it, adding it to NBC's midseason schedule. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

    NBC speeding up trend of revived comedy series

    May 13, 2018
    Categories: 

    NEW YORK (AP) — NBC is turbo-charging the trend of reviving canceled comedies with its pickup of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine."

    The network quickly swooped in after Fox dumped it last week, adding it to NBC's midseason schedule. While the fan outcry was heartening, NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt said Sunday that because of business considerations, the pickup already was in the works. The show is made by an NBC Universal-owed studio.

    Greenblatt said if he had known earlier in the series' development that Andy Samberg was going to star in "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," NBC's studio never would have sold it to Fox in the first place.

    "It was a missed opportunity for us from the beginning," he said. "We jumped on it really quickly, and we're thrilled to have it."

    He said he believes it's a better fit for NBC's brand of comedy than it ever was for Fox.

    NBC succeeded this past season with a reboot of "Will & Grace," while ABC's revival of "Roseanne" has been an even more spectacular success. That's left network executives scouring old cast lists for shows that can be brought back.

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    SEASON KICKOFF

    NBC says it will introduce five new dramas and two new comedies next season. It's the only one of the four biggest broadcast networks with more viewers than last season, although that would not have been the case without the Winter Olympics and Super Bowl.

    Broadcast television's schedule week is a whirlwind of star-studded presentations and parties for advertisers, who will use what they see to decide where to buy billions of dollars' worth of commercial time.

    It is, however, becoming less significant for consumers. Twenty-five years ago, the decisions announced influenced the evening habits of millions more people.

    In those days, 71 percent of televisions in use during prime time were tuned to either ABC, CBS, NBC or Fox, the Nielsen company said. Today, it's roughly half that. During last season, 40 percent of the TVs were watching those channels, along with other broadcasters like the CW, Univision and Telemundo, Nielsen said.

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    SIMON AND THE ROCK

    NBC was admittedly "treading water" in the winter between editions of "The Voice," during the last few years, Greenblatt said.

    He's taken steps to rectify that and will start a winter edition of the summer hit "America's Got Talent," with judge Simon Cowell on board. The format will be a championship tournament of past favorite performers and winners from international editions of the show.

    Dwayne Johnson also will be a part of "The Titan Games," a competition from the producers of "American Ninja Warrior." Ellen DeGeneres also will return with "Ellen's Game of Games."

    The drama "Blacklist," said to be on the fence to return, is on the midseason schedule.

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    CHICAGO: WEDNESDAY

    NBC is taking viewers to the Midwest on Wednesdays, where the dramas "Chicago Med,"''Chicago Fire" and "Chicago P.D." will fill out the network's prime-time schedule. All are products of television veteran Dick Wolf's production studio.

    Wolf's long-running "Law & Order: SVU" will launch its 20th season on Thursday nights.

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    CHEERS

    The midseason comedy "Abby," centered around a bar in San Diego, can boast of one thing unique. It's believed to be the first sitcom to be shot outdoors in front of a live audience.

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    NEW THIS FALL

    NBC's schedule includes three series that will premiere in the fall.

    The Monday night drama "Manifest" is a time-traveler series about passengers who get off a bumpy plane flight only to find it's five years later and all of their friends and relatives assumed they were dead.

    "New Amsterdam," on Tuesday, is a medical series based in New York's Bellevue Hospital.

    "I Feel Bad"— not a medical series — is a comedy about a working mom who is "perfectly OK with being imperfect," according to NBC's description. Amy Poehler is one of the behind-the-scenes figures on the Thursday night show.

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    BYE-BYE

    Hope you didn't get too attached to series like "The Brave,"''Law & Order True Crime,"''Rise" or "Great News." All landed on the scrap heap. Greenblatt said decisions are due soon on the fate of "Timeless" and "Champions."

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    Cumming: important to portray gay character in time of Trump

    January 6, 2018

    PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Actor Alan Cumming will portray what is believed to be the first gay lead character in a broadcast network drama and he says it's particularly important that the milestone is happening during President Donald Trump's administration.

    His crime procedural "Instinct" arrives at a time when Cumming said "the president is actively condoning, by his silence, violence and persecution against the LBGT community."

    The show premieres on CBS March 11. Cumming plays an author who is an expert on serial killers who gets drawn into helping New York police track down a killer who models his behavior on one of his books.

    Cumming says it's a perfect time to have a married same-sex couple portrayed on network TV.

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    In this image from video run by China's CCTV shows the Panama-registered tanker "Sanchi" is seen ablaze after a collision with a Hong Kong-registered freighter off China's eastern coast, Monday, Jan. 8, 2017. The U.S. Navy has joined the search for 32 crew members missing from the oil tanker that caught fire after colliding with a bulk freighter off China's east coast. (CCTV via AP Video)

    Oil tanker burning off China's coast at risk of exploding

    January 8, 2018

    BEIJING (AP) — An oil tanker that caught fire after colliding with a freighter off China's east coast is at risk of exploding and sinking, Chinese state media reported Monday, as authorities from three countries struggled to find its 32 missing crew members and contain oil spewing from the blazing wreck.

    State broadcaster China Central Television, citing Chinese officials, said none of the 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis who have been missing since the collision late Saturday had been found as of 8 a.m. Monday. Search and cleanup efforts have been hampered by fierce fires and poisonous gases that have engulfed the tanker and surrounding waters, CCTV reported.

    The Panama-registered tanker Sanchi was sailing from Iran to South Korea when it collided with the Hong Kong-registered freighter CF Crystal in the East China Sea, 257 kilometers (160 miles) off the coast of Shanghai, China's Ministry of Transport said.

    China, South Korea and the U.S. have sent ships and planes to search for the Sanchi's crew, all of whom remain missing. The U.S. Navy, which sent a P-8A aircraft from Okinawa, Japan, to aid the search, said late Sunday that none of the missing crew had been found.

    All 21 crew members of the Crystal, which was carrying grain from the United States to China, were rescued, the Chinese ministry said. The Crystal's crew members were all Chinese nationals.

    It wasn't immediately clear what caused the collision.

    Kwon Yong-deok, a Korea Coast Guard official, said thick black smoke was still billowing from the ship on Monday afternoon and bad weather was worsening visibility at the scene.

    The Sanchi was carrying 136,000 metric tons (150,000 tons, or nearly 1 million barrels) of condensate, a type of ultra-light oil, according to Chinese authorities, who have dispatched three ships to clean the spill.

    By comparison, the Exxon Valdez was carrying 1.26 million barrels of crude oil when it spilled 260,000 barrels into Prince William Sound off Alaska in 1989, badly damaging local ecology and the area's fishing-based economy.

    But the size of the oil slick from the Sanchi — and the scale of the environmental toll — may be smaller. Unlike the thick crude that gushed out of the Valdez, much of the light, gassy condensate from the Sanchi may have evaporated or burned immediately, Kwon said.

    The Sanchi's own fuel that leaked during the collision will be more difficult to clean, officials said.

    South Korean petrochemical company Hanwha Total Co., a 50-50 partnership between the Seoul-based Hanwha Group and French oil giant Total, said in an email to the AP it had contracted the Sanchi to import Iranian condensate to South Korea.

    A Hanwha Total spokesman, who asked not to be named citing office policies, said there is "little possibility" that condensate would leave traces in the ocean after it burned. He added the losses would be covered by an insurance company. The Sanchi's cargo was estimated to be worth more than $60 million.

    The tanker has operated under five different names since it was built in 2008, according the U.N.-run International Maritime Organization. The IMO listed its registered owner as Hong Kong-based Bright Shipping Ltd., on behalf of the National Iranian Tanker Co., a publicly traded company based in Tehran. The National Iranian Tanker Co. describes itself as operating the largest tanker fleet in the Middle East.

    An official in Iran's Oil Ministry, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters, said the tanker was owned by the National Iranian Tanker Co. and confirmed that 30 of the tanker's 32 crew members were Iranians.

    "We have no information on their fate," he said Sunday. "We cannot say all of them have died, because rescue teams are there and providing services."

    It's the second collision for a ship from the National Iranian Tanker Co. in less than a year and a half. In August 2016, one of its tankers collided with a Swiss container ship in the Singapore Strait, damaging both ships but causing no injuries or oil spill.

    ___

    Associated Press writers Amir Vahdat in Tehran, Iran, Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Youkyung Lee in Seoul contributed to this report.

    AP Editorial Categories: 
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    Clune Arena was empty two hours before the game as the Air Force Academy had canceled all athletic events due to a federal government shutdown on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018 in Colorado Springs, Colo. Hours after the partial shutdown took effect, the academy said both home and away events have been postponed. The academy's online sports calendar lists seven competitions that had been set for Saturday: men's and women's basketball games at Fresno State, men's and women's swimming at UNLV, men's hockey against Sacred Heart at the academy and men's gymnastics against Oklahoma at the academy. (Dougal Brownlie/The Gazette via AP)

    Shutdown grounds Air Force sports, upends NFL viewing

    January 20, 2018

    AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) — The federal government shutdown prompted the Air Force Academy on Saturday to call off sports events and upended plans for military outside the U.S. wanting to follow the NFL's conference playoff games on TV and radio.

    Games involving the Army and Navy men's basketball teams were played as scheduled.

    Hours after the partial shutdown took effect, the Air Force Academy said both home and away events have been postponed. Among them were the men's and women's basketball games at Fresno State

    The American Forces Network, which broadcasts American radio and television programming in Europe and other locations outside the U.S., put a message on its Facebook page that said its services would not be available "due to the government shutdown."

    The notice sparked angry reactions from viewers, with several noting the timing couldn't have been worse. The two NFL conference championships are Sunday — Minnesota vs. Philadelphia and Jacksonville vs. New England.

    "During NFL PLAYOFFS?!" one post read. "AFN, start a GoFundMe & broadcast these games! Make it happen!"

    The Air Force Academy's online sports calendar lists seven competitions that had been set for Saturday. In addition to the basketball, there men's and women's swimming at UNLV, men's hockey against Sacred Heart at the academy and men's gymnastics against Oklahoma at the academy.

    The rifle team was scheduled to compete against TCU, the Coast Guard and Ohio State at TCU.

    On Sunday, the academy has tennis and wrestling events scheduled.

    AP Editorial Categories: 
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    FILE - In this image released by ABC, Roseanne Barr, left, and John Goodman appear in a scene from the reboot of "Roseanne." The Nielsen company said viewership for the show's premiere shot up to 25 million people when you count people who watched the three days after last Tuesday's premiere. Never before has a show gained that many viewers via time shifting within three days. (Adam Rose/ABC via AP, File)

    'Roseanne' wasn't just a hit on its first night

    April 3, 2018

    NEW YORK (AP) — "Roseanne" wasn't just a hit on opening night. The revived ABC comedy had legs.

    The Nielsen company said Tuesday that viewership for the show's premiere shot up to 25 million people when delayed viewing for the three days after last Tuesday's first showing is added. The increase of 6.6 million people sets a record for the biggest lift ever for a show in the three days after a premiere, Nielsen said. A lot of programs would be happy to get 6.6 million viewers, period.

    "Roseanne" was helped by the extent to which it became part of the cultural conversation once its first-night ratings of 18.45 million people were reported, likely drawing in others who were curious about the fuss. President Donald Trump even congratulated star Roseanne Barr for the success of the show, in which her character supports him politically.

    Discussion of the unusually strong "Roseanne" ratings tended to overshadow CBS' ratings for "60 Minutes" two days earlier, where an interview with adult film star Stormy Daniels about her alleged affair with Trump before he became president reached 22.1 million viewers. Trump has denied her story.

    Unlike "Roseanne," people weren't likely to watch the Daniels interview if they didn't see it live. Adding in people who watched during the three days after its initial airing, and the "60 Minutes" audience increased to just under 22.8 million. News programs generally have little delayed viewing compared to scripted entertainment, and the "60 Minutes" audience is among television's oldest, and less accustomed to time shifting.

    The reach for these two programs was a fresh reminder that for all of the attention received by streaming services, there's still no matching broadcast television's ability to entice a large number of people to look up from their personal devices. On a more modest note this week, NBC's "Jesus Christ Superstar Live" drew 9.6 million viewers for the network's most watched Easter in a dozen years.

    CBS won the week in prime time, averaging 6.9 million viewers. ABC was second with 5.9 million viewers, NBC had 5.4 million, Fox had 2.6 million, Univision had 1.5 million, ION Television had 1.3 million, Telemundo had 1.1 million and the CW had 1 million.

    The NCAA men's Final Four led TBS to the top of the cable news prime-time rankings, with the network averaging 2.47 million viewers for the week. Fox News Channel had 2.03 million, MSNBC had 1.69 million, HGTV had 1.45 million and ESPN had 1.44 million.

    ABC's "World News Tonight" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8.6 million viewers. NBC's "Nightly News" had 8.3 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 6.1 million.

    For the week of March 26-April 1, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: "Roseanne," ABC, 18.45 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 13.27 million; "NCIS," CBS, 11.94 million; "Young Sheldon," CBS, 11.92 million; NCAA Men's Final Four: Loyola-Chicago vs. Michigan, TBS, 10.75 million; NCAA Men's Final Four: Kansas vs. Villanova, TBS, 10.7 million; "Bull," CBS, 10.65 million; "The Voice" (Monday), NBC, 10.51 million; NCAA Men's Final Four: "Bridge Show," TBS, 9.86 million; "Jesus Christ Superstar Live," NBC, 9.61 million.

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    ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.

    ___

    Online:

    http://www.nielsen.com

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    In this March 2, 2017 photo, Moderator Jamie Allman, host of Allman in the Morning, sits at a City of St. Louis Mayoral Debate filmed at Vue 17, in Richmond Heights, Mo. The conservative commentator who tweeted that he would use "a hot poker" to sexually assault a survivor of a Florida high school shooting resigned from KDNL-TV, a St. Louis TV station. (Cristina M. Fletes/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

    Conservative TV host resigns after Parkland survivor threat

    April 10, 2018

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — A conservative commentator who sent a tweet saying he would use "a hot poker" to sexually assault an outspoken 17-year-old survivor of the Florida high school shooting has resigned from a St. Louis TV station and been taken off the radio after several advertisers withdrew from his shows.

    KDNL-TV accepted Jamie Allman's resignation and canceled "The Allman Report," according to a brief statement from Ronn Torossian, a spokesman for the Sinclair Broadcast Group, which operates the TV station. Before the show's launch in January 2015, KDNL-TV touted it as a nontraditional newscast with a conservative spin.

    Allman's radio show on KFTK-FM has been taken off the air while the company "looks into the matter," said Esther-Mireya Tejeda, a spokeswoman for Entercom, which began operating the station last month.

    Allman hasn't responded to messages from the Associated Press seeking comment.

    Several businesses pulled advertising from Allman's shows after he sent the March 26 tweet targeting David Hogg, who has strongly advocated for stricter gun control since 17 people were killed in the Feb. 14 mass shooting at his school in Parkland, Florida.

    Allman's Twitter account was "locked" shortly after he sent the tweet, restricting access to his account, but a screenshot of it has been widely circulated on social media.

    Hogg's willingness to take on the gun-control cause has made him a target for some conservatives. Fox News Channel's Laura Ingraham took a week's leave after apologizing via social media for her tweet that Hogg had "whined" about not getting in to some colleges.

    Ingraham hasn't discussed that episode specifically but promised upcoming stories about conservatives who she says are fighting attempts to silence them. Hogg, meanwhile, said it's "time to love thy neighbor, not mudsling at children." Their social media spat came to symbolize the debate over how youthful advocates for gun safety should be treated by political opponents. Another student, Emma Gonzalez, has been falsely depicted in a doctored photo tearing up the Constitution.

    In Missouri, state Rep. Stacey Newman, a Democrat from Richmond Heights, led calls for a boycott by Allman's sponsors after he sent his tweet.

    "We've had people all over Missouri (and) all over the country weighing in on this ... it's heartwarming to know that tons of people throughout the state understand this is not acceptable," Newman told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Monday. "Even though we hadn't asked for his removal or resignation, (Sinclair) took it upon themselves. People know where the line is."

    Sinclair is a conservative-leaning company that owns nearly 200 local TV stations, making it one of the largest such companies in the U.S.

    President Donald Trump last week defended the company after a video showing dozens of Sinclair news anchors reading a script expressing concern about "fake stories" and "one-sided news stories plaguing the country" appeared on TV news reports and circulated online. Trump said rival TV stations were merely "worried about the competition and quality of Sinclair Broadcast."

    Sinclair also has pushed for regulation of the broadcast industry to be eased and is trying to buy Tribune Media in a move that would dramatically increase the company's reach.

    Allman also served a six-month stint in 2004 and 2005 as chief spokesman for then-St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke and executive director of communications for the archdiocese. Archdiocese spokesman Gabe Jones didn't immediately respond to a phone call and email message seeking comment.

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    Candidate buys ads on Sinclair TV stations to blast company

    April 20, 2018

    HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Democratic candidate for Montana's U.S. House seat is buying ads on Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned television stations that blast the company for forcing reporters to read conservative-leaning corporate statements on air.

    John Heenan's ad will air starting Monday on stations in Missoula, Bozeman and Butte. In it, he calls Sinclair "a corporation using its power to take advantage of journalists, our democracy and the people of Montana."

    Heenan said Friday that he wanted to take on Sinclair over its own airwaves to support its employees and viewers.

    Sinclair-owned KECI-TV general manager Tamy Wagner says the station does not turn down candidate ads. She declined further comment.

    Earlier this month, a video by the website Deadspin showed dozens of news anchors from Sinclair-owned stations reading the same statement about a troubling trend of one-sided news stories.

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    This combination photo shows Colin Jost, left, and Michael Che at the Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special in New York on Feb. 15, 2015. NBC says that Michael Che and Colin Jost of "Saturday Night Live" will co-host this year's Emmy Awards. The 70th prime-time Emmy Awards will air Sept. 17. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    Michael Che, Colin Jost of "SNL" to host Emmy Awards

    April 26, 2018

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — NBC says that Michael Che and Colin Jost of "Saturday Night Live" will co-host this year's Emmy Awards.

    Che and Jost anchor the "Weekend Update" segment of "Saturday Night Live" and are head writers on the long-running sketch show.

    The Emmy ceremony rotates from the major broadcast networks, allowing them to use the host's job to highlight a show or performers. "SNL" has enjoyed a ratings resurgence with its sharp-edged jabs at President Donald Trump and his administration.

    Alumni of the late-night show have hosted the Emmys, including Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers. But the last current "SNL" cast member to serve as host was Eddie Murphy in 1983.

    The 70th prime-time Emmy Awards will air Sept. 17.

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    Members of Japan's pop group Tokio, from left, Tomoya Nagase, Taichi Kokubun, Shigeru Joshima and Masahiro Matsuoka bow during a press conference on another member's sexual harassment in Tokyo Wednesday, May 2, 2018. Tatsuya Yamaguchi of the group, who acknowledged last week he had sexually harassed a teenage woman, tendered his resignation. Tokio leader Joshima said Yamaguchi apologized to the other members and submitted his resignation Monday night, but there was no immediate decision whether to accept it and the group won't disband. (Muneyuki Tomari/Kyodo News via AP)

    Member of Japan pop band Tokio quits over sexual misconduct

    May 2, 2018

    TOKYO (AP) — Tatsuya Yamaguchi of Japan's star pop band Tokio, who acknowledged last week that he had sexually harassed a teenage girl, says he's quitting the group.

    The other four band members appeared at a news conference Wednesday that was broadcast live on national television, making the Tokio scandal one of the most high-profile #MeToo cases to rivet Japan in recent weeks.

    Tokio leader Shigeru Joshima said Yamaguchi apologized to the other members, getting on his knees in repentance, and submitted his resignation Monday night, but there was no immediate decision whether to accept it.

    The group won't disband and the other members will continue with any work offered, seeing it as their duty "as professionals," Joshima and the others said.

    "We have a responsibility first as Tokio," Joshima said, after bowing deeply with the other members. Dressed in dark suits and ties, they appeared solemn and tense before flashing cameras at a packed Tokyo hotel room.

    Joshima said the group decided to apologize publicly to the victim and her family, the fans and other people who were shocked and hurt by the scandal.

    Yamaguchi acknowledged he had forced a kiss on a high school student in February. She reported it to police. Authorities decided not to pursue charges against 46-year-old Yamaguchi after the parties settled out of court.

    Tokio is one of the leading groups under Johnny & Associates, a major Japanese entertainment company, with megahits such as "Ambitious Japan" and "Love You Only." Its members also appear as actors on TV shows and in movies, and also serve as talk show hosts.

    Tokio was tapped as "special ambassadors" for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, though it's unclear if the scandal will change that. The group has also been promoting the revival of Fukushima in northeastern Japan, which was devastated in 2011 by an earthquake followed by a tsunami and a nuclear reactor meltdown.

    Awareness about sexual misconduct has been relatively slow to take off in Japan, where gender equality lags behind other developed economies.

    But the public attention the Tokio case has attracted is helping to draw attention to the #MeToo movement in the country. Sexual misconduct of a government bureaucrat has also grabbed headlines in recent weeks. The Finance Ministry official, accused of making lewd remarks to a reporter, has resigned.

    The comments by Tokio's Masahiro Matsuoka seemed to underline a new kind of sensitivity.

    Yamaguchi has long had serious personal problems, including excessive drinking, Matsuoka said, often appearing tearful. He said he urged Yamaguchi to seek professional help.

    "I've told him, 'You are sick,'" he said.

    ___

    Follow Yuri Kageyama on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

    Her work can be found at https://www.apnews.com/search/yuri%20kageyama

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    Congressional candidate says 'F--- the NRA' in TV ad

    May 11, 2018

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A Democratic congressional candidate in New Mexico used an expletive in a television ad Friday to condemn the National Rifle Association and inaction by U.S. lawmakers on gun control, beginning a 15-second spot with the words "F--- the NRA."

    In the ad, Albuquerque City Council member Pat Davis goes on to the say that NRA policies have "resulted in dead children, dead mothers and dead fathers," and that "if Congress won't change our gun laws, we're changing Congress."

    The ad was broadcast on KRQE-TV in Albuquerque, where General Manager Bill Anderson said the station was not permitted by law to censor or edit Davis' commercial and must provide equal access to candidates. The station ran a brief warning about profanity immediately before the ad.

    Jennifer Baker, a spokeswoman for the NRA, said Davis' profanity doesn't reflect a serious effort to address public safety concerns.

    "We would hate to dignify this with a response because it's just crass language and a desperate attempt to get attention," Baker said.

    Davis, a former Washington, D.C. police officer, is competing in a six-way race for the Democratic nomination for an open congressional seat based in Albuquerque.

    He told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that the ad seeks to reflect the frustration he has encountered from voters and others over inaction on gun control. "People are more frustrated than common decency allows," he said, conceding that he opted for indecency to get his point across.

    He said the reaction nationally to the ad has been swift, and that his campaign has seen an uptick in contributions from donors around the country since it aired. "People around the country are mad," about gun violence, he said.

    The winner of the Democratic primary will face Republican Janice Arnold Jones and Libertarian Lloyd Princeton in the November general election. The congressional seat is open because U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham of Albuquerque is running for governor.

    Debra Haaland, a former chairwoman of the state Democratic Party who is running against Davis, said in a statement that she also believes the NRA and the arms industry are responsible for preventable deaths and understands "the anger many people are expressing."

    "I share it — even if I might use different words" than Davis, she said.

    New Mexico was shaken by a December shooting at Aztec High School that killed two students. An August 2017 shooting at a public library in Clovis left two dead and four wounded.

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    FILE - In this June 22, 2016, file photo, Terry Crews, left, and Andy Samberg attend "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" FYC Event held at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles. NBC is turbo-charging the trend of reviving canceled comedies with its pickup of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine." The network quickly swooped in after Fox dumped it, adding it to NBC's midseason schedule. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

    NBC speeding up trend of revived comedy series

    May 13, 2018
    Categories: 

    NEW YORK (AP) — NBC is turbo-charging the trend of reviving canceled comedies with its pickup of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine."

    The network quickly swooped in after Fox dumped it last week, adding it to NBC's midseason schedule. While the fan outcry was heartening, NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt said Sunday that because of business considerations, the pickup already was in the works. The show is made by an NBC Universal-owed studio.

    Greenblatt said if he had known earlier in the series' development that Andy Samberg was going to star in "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," NBC's studio never would have sold it to Fox in the first place.

    "It was a missed opportunity for us from the beginning," he said. "We jumped on it really quickly, and we're thrilled to have it."

    He said he believes it's a better fit for NBC's brand of comedy than it ever was for Fox.

    NBC succeeded this past season with a reboot of "Will & Grace," while ABC's revival of "Roseanne" has been an even more spectacular success. That's left network executives scouring old cast lists for shows that can be brought back.

    ___

    SEASON KICKOFF

    NBC says it will introduce five new dramas and two new comedies next season. It's the only one of the four biggest broadcast networks with more viewers than last season, although that would not have been the case without the Winter Olympics and Super Bowl.

    Broadcast television's schedule week is a whirlwind of star-studded presentations and parties for advertisers, who will use what they see to decide where to buy billions of dollars' worth of commercial time.

    It is, however, becoming less significant for consumers. Twenty-five years ago, the decisions announced influenced the evening habits of millions more people.

    In those days, 71 percent of televisions in use during prime time were tuned to either ABC, CBS, NBC or Fox, the Nielsen company said. Today, it's roughly half that. During last season, 40 percent of the TVs were watching those channels, along with other broadcasters like the CW, Univision and Telemundo, Nielsen said.

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    SIMON AND THE ROCK

    NBC was admittedly "treading water" in the winter between editions of "The Voice," during the last few years, Greenblatt said.

    He's taken steps to rectify that and will start a winter edition of the summer hit "America's Got Talent," with judge Simon Cowell on board. The format will be a championship tournament of past favorite performers and winners from international editions of the show.

    Dwayne Johnson also will be a part of "The Titan Games," a competition from the producers of "American Ninja Warrior." Ellen DeGeneres also will return with "Ellen's Game of Games."

    The drama "Blacklist," said to be on the fence to return, is on the midseason schedule.

    ___

    CHICAGO: WEDNESDAY

    NBC is taking viewers to the Midwest on Wednesdays, where the dramas "Chicago Med,"''Chicago Fire" and "Chicago P.D." will fill out the network's prime-time schedule. All are products of television veteran Dick Wolf's production studio.

    Wolf's long-running "Law & Order: SVU" will launch its 20th season on Thursday nights.

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    CHEERS

    The midseason comedy "Abby," centered around a bar in San Diego, can boast of one thing unique. It's believed to be the first sitcom to be shot outdoors in front of a live audience.

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    NEW THIS FALL

    NBC's schedule includes three series that will premiere in the fall.

    The Monday night drama "Manifest" is a time-traveler series about passengers who get off a bumpy plane flight only to find it's five years later and all of their friends and relatives assumed they were dead.

    "New Amsterdam," on Tuesday, is a medical series based in New York's Bellevue Hospital.

    "I Feel Bad"— not a medical series — is a comedy about a working mom who is "perfectly OK with being imperfect," according to NBC's description. Amy Poehler is one of the behind-the-scenes figures on the Thursday night show.

    ___

    BYE-BYE

    Hope you didn't get too attached to series like "The Brave,"''Law & Order True Crime,"''Rise" or "Great News." All landed on the scrap heap. Greenblatt said decisions are due soon on the fate of "Timeless" and "Champions."

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    This image released by HBO shows Peter Dinklage in a scene from "Game of Thrones." Dinklage was nominated Thursday for an Emmy for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series. The 70th Emmy Awards will be held on Monday, Sept. 17. (HBO via AP)

    'Game of Thrones' slays with a leading 22 Emmy nominations

    July 12, 2018

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — "Game of Thrones" roared back onto the Emmy battlefield, topping Thursday's nominations with 22 bids but with a formidable opponent in last year's winner "The Handmaid's Tale," while a streaming platform made history by earning the most bids for the first time.

    Netflix's 112 nominations took away the front-runner title that HBO held since 2001, giving cable and broadcast networks more reason to fear their future with viewers as well as honors.

    HBO is no piker: It claimed 108 bids. "Game of Thrones" helped boost the premium cable service's total and became the most-nominated series of all time, with its 129 nods topping the 124 nominations earned by "ER."

    Donald Glover's "Atlanta" was the top comedy series nominee the with 16 bids, poised to take advantage of the absence this time around of three-time winner "Veep."''Atlanta" will face newcomers including "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,"''Glow" and "Barry." Others in the category include "black-ish,"''Silicon Valley,"''Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt."

    The newbie comedies aced out long-time Emmy favorite "Modern Family," a five-time winner and perennial nominee since it debuted in 2009 on ABC. Its absence leaves just one network contender for best comedy, ABC's "black-ish," which also earned nods for Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson, who noted his urban California roots.

    "Being a kid from Compton, one could only dream of moments like this, so it's truly a humbling experience right now," Anderson said.

    The short-lived revival of "Roseanne," canceled because of star Roseanne Barr's racist tweet, drew only one major nomination, a supporting actress nod for Laurie Metcalf. Another revival, "Will & Grace," got Emmy love for nominees Megan Mullally and Molly Shannon but the main stars and series itself were snubbed.

    "Killing Eve" star Sandra Oh made history of her own, becoming the first actress of Asian descent to be nominated for lead acting honors in a drama series. Oh had earned five supporting bids for "Grey's Anatomy."

    The TV industry has made recent strides toward inclusion, with Glover and Sterling K. Brown of "This Is Us" winning top acting awards last year and both nominated again.

    "I think we're all happy with the direction we're going. This is the most diverse class of performer nominees we've had — we're almost up to a third, which is fantastic," Maury McIntyre, TV academy president. "There's still a lot of work to be done in terms of gender" and with behind-the-camera jobs, he said.

    CNN's "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown," received a nomination in the category for best information series or special, which also includes shows with Leah Remini and David Letterman. The show featuring chef-writer Bourdain, who died in early June, has won four Emmys.

    Among the notable first-time nominees: Issa Rae for "Insecure," Darren Criss, Ricky Martin, Penelope Cruz and Edgar Ramirez for "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story," Tiffany Haddish for "Saturday Night Live," Letitia Wright for "Black Museum (Black Mirror)" and John Legend for "Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert."

    If Legend wins, he'll join the rarified club of "EGOT" performers who've won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony.

    "Saturday Night Live," riding high with its relentless pillorying of the Trump administration, was rewarded with 21 nods.

    HBO's fantasy dragons-and-swords saga is a two-time best drama winner that sat out the last year's awards because of its production schedule. Although it's up for top series honors, it drew only three supporting actor bids for cast members Lena Headey, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Peter Dinklage.

    "The Handmaid's Tale," the dystopian sci-fi series based on Margaret Atwood's novel, drew 20 bids, including one for last year's best actress winner, Elisabeth Moss, and supporting bids for Alexis Bledel, Ann Dowd, Yvonne Strahovski and Joseph Fiennes.

    "The reaction is beyond what you hoped, but in some ways it's a testament to the alchemy that comes from a lot of people working together and putting their best work into it," said "Handmaid's" series executive producer Bruce Miller. "Everybody from the composer to the makeup people to everyone, so it's such a team effort. That's the wonderful thing about being recognized.

    Other drama series contenders are "Westworld," with an impressive 21 nods; "The Americans," nominated for its final season and with nods for stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys; "The Crown,"''Stranger Things" and "This Is Us" from NBC, the only broadcast show to make the cut.

    Shawn Levy, a producer of "Stranger Things," got the good news after landing in New York following weeks of directing season three episodes in Georgia.

    "We not only faced the burden of expectation given the show's popularity, but we did want to top ourselves, we did not want to repeat ourselves," he said. "Our deepest fear was complacency."

    Competing with Moss, Oh and Russell for lead drama actress are Claire Foy for "The Crown," Tatiana Maslay of "Orphan Black" and Evan Rachel Wood of "Westworld."

    Rhys and Brown will be up against Brown's castmate Milo Ventimiglia, along with Jason Bateman for "Ozark" and Ed Harris and Jeffrey Wright for "Westworld." Brown is also nominated for comedy series guest actor for "Brooklyn Nine-Nine."

    Glover and Anderson's competitors for best comedy series actor are Ted Danson for "The Good Place," Larry David for "Curb Your Enthusiasm," William H. Macy for "Shameless" and Bill Hader for "Barry."

    "It's truly an honor to be nominated, and especially nice not to be the oldest person in the category. Thanks, Larry," Danson joked in a statement.

    Actresses competing for top comedy honors are getting a break with the temporary absence of six-time"''Veep" winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Besides Rae and Ross, the nominees are Rachel Brosnahan for "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," Allison Janney for "Mom," Pamela Adlon for "Better Things" and Lily Tomlin for "Grace and Frankie."

    The Emmys ceremony airs Sept. 17 on NBC with Colin Jost and Michael Che of "Saturday Night Live" as hosts.

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    AP National Writer Jocelyn Noveck in New York and AP Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton and AP Writers Nicole Evatt and Pablo Arauz Pena in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

    ___

    Online: http://www.emmys.com

    ___

    Lynn Elber can be reached at lelber@ap.org and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lynnelber .

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