AURORA SURVIVORS URGE ‘JOKER’ STUDIO TO SUPPORT GUN CONTROL
DENVER (AP) – Alarmed by violence depicted in trailers for the upcoming movie “Joker,” some survivors of the 2012 Aurora movie theater shooting are asking distributor Warner Bros. to commit to gun control causes.
Sandy Phillips’ daughter, Jessica Ghawi, was one of 12 people killed during a midnight showing of the Batman film, “The Dark Knight Rises,” also distributed by Warner Bros.
Phillips and four other Aurora survivors sent a letter to Warner on Tuesday asking the studio to lobby for gun control.
Phillips says she was compelled to act after seeing a trailer for “Joker,” the Batman villain portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix in the film being released Oct. 4.
A Warner Bros. representative didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
BILL COSBY HIT WITH $2.75M LEGAL BILL AFTER LOSING DISPUTE
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Bill Cosby has been hit with a $2.75 million legal bill as he marks the end of his first year in prison.
The 82-year-old Cosby had challenged a California arbitration award that upheld nearly $7 million of a $9 million bill submitted by just one firm in the run-up to his first sexual assault trial in Pennsylvania in 2017.
A judge sided Friday with Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, of Los Angeles, rejecting Cosby’s claim that the bill was “egregious.”
Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt isn’t commenting on the fee dispute.
But he says the actor is holding up well in a suburban Philadelphia prison, mentoring other inmates as he marks a year in prison Wednesday.
Cosby is serving three to 10 years for drugging and molesting a woman in 2004. The Pennsylvania Superior Court is weighing his appeal of the 2018 conviction.
SARA GILBERT: ‘THE CONNERS’ WORKS BECAUSE IT’S RELATABLE
NEW YORK (AP) – TV revivals are usually met with fanfare, but some like “Murphy Brown” failed to click with the audience. An exception is the sitcom “The Conners,” a spinoff of “Roseanne.”
Ratings for its first season exceeded ABC’s expectations.
Sara Gilbert plays sarcastic single mom Darlene Conner. She thinks “The Conners” works because it’s relatable.
The Conner family struggles to make ends meet, squabbles, and grieves the loss of its matriarch who died from an opioid overdose.
ABC canceled “Roseanne” in 2018 because of Roseanne Barr’s racist tweet about former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett. The network dismissed Barr.
Season two of “The Conners” premiered last night.
RENEE ZELLWEGER ON HER EMPATHY & ADORATION FOR JUDY GARLAND
TORONTO (AP) – For Renee Zellweger, the task of becoming Judy Garland was too daunting to contemplate all at once.
Such a character needed to be assembled piecemeal: a bit-by-bit metamorphosis starting with the voice, followed by workshopping the songs and then building in the mannerisms, the hair, the make-up, the stage presence, and so on.
Zellweger says crafting the character for the film “Judy” was “a series of experiments.”
“Judy” is the apotheosis of a resurgence for the 50-year-old Zellweger, who earlier this decade took a six-year hiatus away from acting. Her performance as Garland has so bowled over festival audiences that she’s widely considered this year’s front-runner for the best actress Oscar.
“Judy” opens in select theaters Friday.
FILMMAKER KEN BURNS TALKS ABOUT CYCLICAL NATURE OF COUNTRY MUSIC
BRISTOL, Va. (AP) – PBS documentarian Ken Burns took on a gargantuan task of chronicling the history of country music in his latest series that runs in eight parts through tonight.
Burns said they intentionally didn’t venture far into the present-day genre.
Burns said he does what Mark Twain is supposed to have said: “History doesn’t repeat itself but it rhymes.” He said at the finish of the series, he and his crew realized “the extent to which it rhymes in the present.”
Burns said the series stops with Garth Brooks in the mid-1990s. He said he’ll let everyone argue about country music over the last twenty years, but he’s content to stop there.
NFL LEADS NIELSEN RATINGS
NEW YORK (AP) – Here are the prime-time viewership numbers compiled by Nielsen for Sept. 16-22.
1. NFL Football: L.A. Rams at Cleveland, NBC, 18.59 million.
2. “Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick,” NBC, 13.17 million.
3. NFL Football: Cleveland at N.Y. Jets, ESPN, 12.22 million.
4. “America’s Got Talent” (Wednesday), NBC, 10.22 million.
5. “Football Night in America,” NBC, 10.06 million.
6. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 9.93 million.
7. “America’s Got Talent” (Tuesday), NBC, 9.88 million.
8. College Football: Notre Dame at Georgia, CBS, 9.29 million.
9. “Dancing With the Stars,” ABC, 8.08 million.
10. “Emmy Awards,” Fox, 6.98 million.
ABC’S MUIR HITS FIVE-YEAR MARK AT ‘WORLD NEWS’ ON THE TOP
NEW YORK (AP) – David Muir hits the five-year mark at “World News Tonight with a milestone that’s increasingly rare in television. His average audience is actually larger than it used be.
The Nielsen company says the ABC newscast finished its year-long season last week with an average of 8.6 million viewers a night.
ABC is finishing the season with its largest lead over NBC in 23 years, and 27 years for CBS. It’s the third consecutive year that ABC has won the ratings competition.
The evening news may not be trendy in a media world where everyone is staring at their phones, but the networks’ three programs collectively usually reach more than 20 million people each night.
“SHARK TANK” STAR KEVIN O’LEARY’S WIFE CHARGED IN BOAT CRASH
TORONTO (AP) – The wife of “Shark Tank” star Kevin O’Leary has been charged with careless operation of a vessel in a fatal boat crash in Canada, authorities said Tuesday.
Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Carolle Dionne said 56-year-old Linda O’Leary of Toronto is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 29.
Two boats crashed Aug. 24 on Lake Joseph near Seguin, Ontario, killing 64-year-old Gary Poltash of Florida and a 48-year-old woman identified as Susanne Brito, a mother of three.
Kevin O’Leary said after the crash that he wasn’t piloting the boat at the time.
Police have also charged 67-year-old Richard Ruh of Orchard Park, New York, with failing to exhibit navigation lights while underway. Ruh was the operator of the other boat.
Dionne declined to give specifics on why O’Leary was charged with careless operation of a vessel because the matter is now before the courts.
O’Leary’s agent didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment. Linda O’Leary’s lawyer also did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
Dionne said the maximum penalty Linda O’Leary faces is 18 months imprisonment or a $1 million fine.