Music icon pays tribute to life of long-time lawmaker
DETROIT (AP) – Stevie Wonder was among the celebrities, sports stars, politicians and civil rights leaders who honored former Michigan Rep. John Conyers at a funeral Monday in Detroit.
Conyers was cited for forming the Congressional Black Caucus, working against South African apartheid, being an advocate for civil rights and working to establish the Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday. Conyers was praised by former President Bill Clinton.
The Detroit Free Press says Stevie Wonder performed his hit “My Cherie Amour” and said that Conyers had asked to be taught the song’s chords. Wonder said he last visited the church for a memorial service for Aretha Franklin.
Carol Burnett returning to ‘Mad About You’ revival
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Carol Burnett will be among the familiar faces gracing the “Mad About You” revival.
Sony Pictures Television announced Monday that Burnett will reprise her Emmy-winning role as the mother of Helen Hunt’s character. “Mad About You” is returning for a limited run on the Spectrum Originals streaming service later this month.
Hunt and Reiser play the Buchmans, a New York married couple, in the NBC series that aired 164 episodes before its finale in May 1999. The revival will focus on the Buchmans and their marriage after their daughter leaves for college.
“Mad About You” won 12 Emmy Awards, including four for Hunt and one for Burnett in 1997.
The revival debuts on Nov. 20 and will conclude its season on Dec. 18.
Geoffrey Rush fights appeal in Australian defamation court
SYDNEY (AP) – Geoffrey Rush’s lawyer has told an Australian appeals court that a judge was “well and truly justified” in concluding Rush was unable to work after he was defamed in newspaper articles in 2017.
The actor’s lawyer rejected a publisher’s submission to the three Federal Court judges hearing an appeal that the defamation trial judge heard no evidence that Rush had been unable to work and had fewer job offers as a result of the articles.
The publisher is appealing the ruling that Rush had been defamed by newspaper reports that he had been accused of inappropriate behavior by an actress.
The publisher is also appealing against the size of Rush’s a 2.9 million Australian dollar payout.
NBC’s Bell, producer for Fallon and Olympics, departs
NEW YORK (AP) – NBC executive Jim Bell, who has produced the last four Olympics for the network and been in charge backstage at Jimmy Fallon’s “Tonight” show for the past year, says he’s leaving NBC.
Bell says in a statement that the timing was perfect to forge a new path that would build on his experience in news, sports and entertainment.
He was a longtime producer of the “Today” show before moving to the Olympics, where he was in charge of NBC’s prime-time telecasts. Since 2017, Bell had been in charge of all Olympics content across all platforms.
At “Tonight,” he steered Fallon into more live shows. But the show hasn’t gained ground against ratings leader Stephen Colbert (kohl-BEHR’) at CBS.
NBC says a former “Tonight” producer, Gavin Purcell, will fill in at the show.
TV-THIS IS US
‘This Is Us’ takes on race, class and teenage love in Philly
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Two high schoolers are testing their fledgling relationship with a day on the town, a classic start to a screen romance.
But when the story is playing out on the NBC TV drama “This Is Us,” there’s nothing simple about it. The boy and girl playing hooky are a teenage dad from a blue-collar household, and Deja, the daughter of affluent parents.
When their families find out the teenagers skipped school, it sets up a clash that highlights working- and middle-class tensions. In a flashback story, the young Randall’s exploration of his African American identity tests his white adoptive father, Jack Pearson.
The writer of the episode airing Tuesday on NBC says it seeks to make it OK to talk about race.
“This Is Us” airs at 9 p.m. Eastern.