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    Last Update on September 19, 2014 07:07 GMT

    DARRELL HAMMOND TO TAKE OVER SNL ANNOUNCER'S ROLE FOR LATE DON PARDO

    NEW YORK (AP) -- It's a new gig -- and an old one -- for Darrell Hammond. The former "Saturday Night Live" cast member is now the show's new announcer, taking over the job Don Pardo had until he died earlier this year. Hammond says his goal is to get viewers to recall Pardo's voice -- without doing an impersonation of it. That wasn't the approach Hammond took some years ago -- when he occasionally filled in for Pardo. Hammond went behind the mic six times when Pardo couldn't go. NBC didn't announce the replacement -- and few people figured it out. Hammond is already the longest-running cast member of SNL. And he suggests his role may get even larger. He says he doesn't know if he will revive his impersonation of former president Bill Clinton -- should his wife Hillary decide to run for president.

    AP Entertainment Editor Oscar Wells Gabriel reports Darrell Hammond will be the new announcer for NBC's "Saturday Night Live."

    <<CUT ..003 (09/19/14)>> 00:46 ""

    Archive audio

    Sound of the opening theme for "Saturday Night Live."

    KEVIN SPACEY-CYBERSTALKING

    BOSTON (AP) -- A Massachusetts woman who pleaded guilty to stalking Kevin Spacey will get some time behind bars for her trouble -- and have to cough up a huge chunk of change as a result. Linda Louise Culkin of Quincy was sentenced yesterday to more than four years in prison -- and must pay Spacey $124,000 for bodyguards he brought on because of the stalking. Prosecutors say she took part in a "persistent and malevolent" cyberstalking pattern. She claims she's mentally ill.

    CHER-DANCERS

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Is Cher a racist? That's what three backup dancers are suggesting in a lawsuit. The singers claim that Cher complained her "Dressed to Kill" tour had "too much color" -- and told the choreographer not to hire any more dark-skinned dancers. Choreographer Kevin Wilson -- who is black and danced in the tour -- was fired in July. A second black dancer claims she was let go -- also for racial reasons. A publicist for Cher says the accusations against the veteran performer are "ridiculous" and "couldn't be further from the truth." The lawsuit seeks more than $10 million in damages. Cher had to postpone three weeks of shows because of a viral infection earlier this month.

    Three backup dancers are suing Cher. The AP's Jamie Friar reports the dancers charge racial and age discrimination

    <<CUT ..008 (09/19/14)>> 00:30 ""

    Excerpt of Cher

    Excerpt of Cher, performing "Believe."

    <<CUT ..009 (09/19/14)>> 00:35 ""

    Excerpt of Cher

    Excerpt of Cher performing "If I Could Turn Back Time."

    NICKI MINAJ-WIG SUIT

    ATLANTA (AP) -- Hair today -- gone tomorrow. A federal judge in Atlanta has yanked off a lawsuit filed against Nicki Minaj. The suit was laid down by the rapper's former wig designer. Terrence Davidson sued Minaj and her company for, among other things, flipping out on launching a reality TV show and a wig line. The suit also claims Minaj swiped his design for hairpieces. Lawyers for Minaj filed a motion to dismiss, claiming the suit's roots weren't solid in that the plaintiff failed to state a viable claims. The judge agreed -- and shook the case out of court.

    DOWNTON ABBEY-NEW SEASON IN U.K.

    LONDON (AP) -- The good news for "Downton Abbey" fans: the show's new season begins this weekend. The not-so-good news: it will be January before the season begins airing in the U.S. It airs in the U.K. first. Not to cough up any spoiler alerts, but the members of the cast say the tough economic times are starting to take their toll. Elizabeth McGovern says "all of the characters are adjusting to a changing world" -- with some being more successful at doing so than others.

    Elizabeth McGovern says the economic crisis is putting a strain on her character's marriage. ((Note length of cut))

    JOAN RIVERS-COOKBOOK

    NEW YORK (AP) -- "What does a Jewish woman make for dinner? Reservations." If you thought that sounds like a joke Joan Rivers would tell -- you'd be right. It's one of several the late comedian agreed to contribute to a book about Jewish food. Her brand of comedy is featured in "Eating Delancey: A Celebration of Jewish Food." The book is due out in December and features foodie memories from people like Don Rickles and Itzhak Perlman. Rivers died earlier this month a week after suffering cardiac arrest during a medical procedure at a New York City outpatient surgery center.

    MICHAEL SHEEN-MASTERS

    NEW YORK (AP) -- Michael Sheen says it's easier playing Dr. Williams Masters on "Masters of Sex" than it is playing other real, but more famous people like British Prime Minister Tony Blair or TV interviewer David Frost. Sheen says he feels more freedom in playing Masters because --"very little is known about" his inner life.

    Rewind Time

    September 19, 2014 07:07 GMT

    Today is Friday, September 19, the 262nd day of 2014. There are 103 days left in the year.

    Today's Highlight in History:

    On September 19, 1777, the first Battle of Saratoga was fought during the Revolutionary War; although British forces succeeded in driving out the American troops, the Americans prevailed in a second battle the following month.

    On this date:

    In 1796, President George Washington's farewell address was published.

    In 1881, the 20th president of the United States, James A. Garfield, died 2 1/2 months after being shot by Charles Guiteau; Chester Alan Arthur became president.

    In 1934, Bruno Hauptmann was arrested in New York and charged with the kidnap-murder of Charles A. Lindbergh Jr.

    In 1945, Nazi radio propagandist William Joyce, known as "Lord Haw-Haw," was convicted of treason and sentenced to death by a British court.

    In 1957, the United States conducted its first contained underground nuclear test, code-named "Rainier," in the Nevada desert.

    In 1959, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, visiting Los Angeles, reacted angrily upon being told that, for security reasons, he wouldn't get to visit Disneyland.

    In 1960, Cuban leader Fidel Castro, in New York to visit the United Nations, angrily checked out of the Shelburne Hotel in a dispute with the management; Castro ended up staying at the Hotel Theresa in Harlem.

    In 1964, the family TV show "Flipper," about a dolphin adopted by a Florida family, premiered on NBC.

    In 1970, the situation comedy "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" debuted on CBS-TV.

    In 1985, the Mexico City area was struck by a devastating earthquake that killed at least 9,500 people.

    In 1989, a Paris-bound DC-10 belonging to French airline UTA was destroyed by a bomb over Niger, killing all 170 people on board. (A French court later convicted six Libyans in absentia for the bombing; Libya agreed in 2004 to pay $170 million in compensation, although it stopped short of acknowledging responsibility.)

    In 1994, the medical drama "ER" premiered on NBC-TV.

    Ten years ago: Hu Jintao (hoo jin-tow) became the undisputed leader of China with the departure of former President Jiang Zemin (jahng zuh-MEEN') from his top military post. Militants decapitated three hostages believed to be Iraqi Kurds in a videotape that surfaced hours after Iraq's prime minister said that January elections would be held on schedule. The United States suffered its biggest Ryder Cup loss in 77 years as it lost to the Europeans, 18 1/2 to 9 1/2. "The Sopranos" won best drama series at the Emmy Awards while "Arrested Development" won best comedy series. Country singer Skeeter Davis, 72, died in Nashville.

    Five years ago: Russia said it would scrap a plan to deploy missiles near Poland after Washington dumped a planned missile shield in Eastern Europe. Art Ferrante, 88, half of the piano duo Ferrante and Teicher, died in Longboat Key, Florida. (Lou Teicher had died in 2008 at age 83.)

    One year ago: Signaling a dramatic shift in Vatican tone, Pope Francis said in a published interview that the Roman Catholic church had become obsessed by "small-minded rules" about how to be faithful and that pastors should instead emphasize compassion over condemnation when discussing divisive social issues such as abortion, gays and contraception. A Texas appeals court tossed the criminal conviction of former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, saying there was insufficient evidence for a jury in 2010 to have found him guilty of illegally funneling money to Republican candidates. Hiroshi Yamauchi, 85, who ran Nintendo for more than 50 years, died in central Japan.

    Today's Birthdays: Author Roger Angell is 94. Host James Lipton (TV: "Inside the Actors Studio") is 88. Actress Rosemary Harris is 87. Former Defense Secretary Harold Brown is 87. Actor Adam West is 86. Actor David McCallum (TV: "NCIS") is 81. Singer-songwriter Paul Williams is 74. Singer Bill Medley is 74. Singer Sylvia Tyson (Ian and Sylvia) is 74. R&B singer Freda Payne is 72. Golfer Jane Blalock is 69. Singer David Bromberg is 69. Actor Randolph Mantooth is 69. Rock singer-musician Lol Creme (10cc) is 67. Former NFL running back Larry Brown is 67. Actor Jeremy Irons is 66. Actress Twiggy Lawson is 65. TV personality Joan Lunden is 64. Singer-producer Daniel Lanois (lan-WAH') is 63. Actor Scott Colomby is 62. Musician-producer Nile Rodgers is 62. College Football Hall of Famer and former NFL player Reggie Williams is 60. Singer-actor Rex Smith is 59. Actor Kevin Hooks is 56. Actress Carolyn McCormick is 55. Celebrity chef Mario Batali is 54. Country singer Jeff Bates is 51. Country singer Trisha Yearwood is 50. Actress-comedian Cheri Oteri is 49. News anchor Soledad O'Brien is 48. Rhythm-and-blues singer Espraronza Griffin (Society of Soul) is 45. Celebrity chef Michael Symon is 45. Actress Sanaa Lathan (suh-NAH' LAY'-thun) is 43. Actress Stephanie J. Block is 42. Rock singer A. Jay Popoff (Lit) is 41. "Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon is 40. TV personality Carter Oosterhouse is 38. Actress-TV host Alison Sweeney is 38. Rock musician Ryan Dusick is 37. Folk-rock singers-musicians Tegan (TEE'-gan) and Sara Quin are 34. Actor Columbus Short is 32. Rapper Eamon is 31. Christian rock musician JD Frazier is 31. Actor Kevin Zegers is 30. Actress Danielle Panabaker is 27.

    Thought for Today: "He who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god; he is no part of a state." -- Aristotle, Greek philosopher (384 B.C.-322 B.C.).

     
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