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  • Family tragedy shapes some Miss America platforms Sep 9, 2014 6:00 AM
    Raeanna Johnson, who’s representing Wisconsin in this year’s Miss America pageant, and the rest of her family didn’t know her 18-year-old brother Tyler was addicted to methamphetamine until after he committed suicide and his toxicology report came back. She’s one of several contestants whose family tragedies have determined the public-service platform they chose for the competition. Miss Kansas Amanda Sasek’s father committed suicide when she was 17. Miss Delaware Brittany Lewis is still waiting for an arrest in her sister’s slaying.

  • New trainer on 'Biggest Loser' grew up in Lisle Sep 9, 2014 8:51 AM
    Usually it's the contestants who cry on “The Biggest Loser,” but trainer Jennifer Widerstrom, who grew up in Lisle and attended Naperville North, was tearing up, too, during the first few days of filming. “There's so much emotion that surrounds them,” Widerstrom said of this season's contestants, who include Addison's Toma Dobrosavljevic. “There are going to be incredible results this season. That I can promise.”

  • Fox host: We’re not taking domestic abuse lightly Sep 9, 2014 11:35 AM
    Fox News Channel host Brian Kilmeade insists the network’s morning show isn’t making light of domestic abuse after it was criticized for comments made about the video showing football player Ray Rice hitting his future wife. Kilmeade, on Monday’s show, had said the lesson to be learned from the incident was — quote — “take the stairs.”

  • Meredith Vieira back in daytime TV Sep 8, 2014 5:45 AM
    Meredith Vieira took the microphone and addressed the audience before cameras were turned on at a recent taping of her daytime talk show. She had a mock confession to make. “It’s really scary starting a new show,” she said. “I’ve been doing a lot of drinking.” Just like that, the audience was in her lap. “The Meredith Vieira Show” premieres Monday.

  • Judge Judy offering book for free Sep 8, 2014 8:08 AM
    Judge Judy is offering advice to women free of charge. Television’s most popular judge is celebrating the 19th season opening of her syndicated show Monday by offering her new book, “What Would Judy Say: Be the Hero of Your Own Story,” for free to anyone who wants it. The book offers plainspoken advice primarily for women. It is filtered through stories of the charmed life of retired New York Family Court Judge Judy Sheindlin.

  • CBS names James Corden to replace Craig Ferguson Sep 8, 2014 10:41 AM
    British actor James Corden will replace Craig Ferguson as host of “The Late Late Show” on CBS next year, part of a complete overhaul of the network’s late-night talk show lineup put in motion by the impending retirement of David Letterman. The network said Monday it had picked Corden, who won a Tony Award in 2012 for his role in the play “One Man, Two Guvnors” and appears in the movie “Begin Again.” He hosts a sports-oriented game show in Britain, and also acts in and writes the BBC series “The Wrong Mans.”

  • Fox execs banking on a new gamble: ‘Utopia’ Sep 7, 2014 6:45 AM
    It appears as if almost anything might be possible in “Utopia.” Whether its ensuring participants can legally hunt, readying for wildfires or accounting for an impending pregnancy, the masterminds behind the new Fox unscripted society-building series have prepared for every possible situation at the rural compound where they’re filming “Utopia.” Except for one: What if nobody watches?

  • Former firefighter Steve Buscemi shares 'Stories of the FDNY' Sep 7, 2014 5:45 AM
    These days, everyone knows Steve Buscemi from his movie and TV roles. But back in the early 1980s, the 56-year-old Brooklyn, N.Y., native was a member of “New York's Bravest,” a firefighter with Engine 55 in Manhattan's Little Italy. And he used his connections with the New York Fire Department to produce “A Good Job: Stories of the FDNY,” premiering Monday, Sept. 8, on HBO.

  • Netflix, again, can’t win any major Emmy awards Sep 6, 2014 7:43 AM
    For the second year in a row, Netflix racked up nominations and buzz before the Emmy Awards but then went home nearly empty-handed. While the online streaming behemoth got all the chatter leading up to the ceremony, thanks to the political thriller “House of Cards” and the first year of “Orange is the New Black” eligibility, Netflix was completely shut out of the big awards.

  • Jones takes timeout from track, bobsled to tango Sep 6, 2014 5:45 AM
    Lolo Jones wrapped up her track season a little early so she could tango and two-step. She’s also putting her bobsled career on hold for a winter in order to jitterbug and jive. The Olympian is simply hearing the call of the music, even if she readily admits she has two left feet on the dance floor. Jones will join NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip, UFC legend Randy Couture and other famous personalities on the new season of “Dancing With the Stars,” which premieres Sept. 15 on ABC.

  • DVD previews: ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ Sep 6, 2014 5:45 AM
    One of the great strengths of the “Avengers” mega-franchise has been its canny casting, and “The Winter Soldier” is no exception: Chris Evans once again brings a clean-cut, straight-shooting air of simplicity to Steve Rogers’ principled parago. Happily, directors Joe and Anthony Russo have decided to make this “Captain America” installment something of a two-hander between Steve and Natasha, who as portrayed by Scarlett Johansson continually threatens to steal the entire movie with her slinky martial arts moves and sultry, smoky-voiced one-liners. The film comes to DVD Sept. 9.

  • E!’s ‘Police’ future uncertain after Rivers’ death Sep 5, 2014 5:30 AM
    The E! network says no decisions have been made about the future of “Fashion Police” in the wake of Joan Rivers’ death. The network said in a statement that its “mourning our beloved Joan, and will respond at a later date with further programming updates.” Rivers’ daughter, Melissa Rivers, is its executive producer.

  • WGN corrals six awards for Achievement in Radio Sep 5, 2014 10:44 AM
    Back on Oct. 13, 1999, Ted Cox reported on WGN 720-AM's Roy Leonard winning the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Achievement in Radio Awards at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers in Chicago. Leonard died Thursday at age 83.

  • Lea Thompson, Tommy Chong among new ‘Dancing’ pack Sep 4, 2014 8:37 AM
    Actress Lea Thompson, “Duck Dynasty” diva Sadie Robertson and NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip are making tracks for the new season of ABC's “Dancing With the Stars.” They also include talk-show host Tavis Smiley, “Pretty Little Liars” star Janel Parrish, Olympic athlete Lolo Jones, actor Antonio Sabato Jr. and fashion designer Betsey Johnson.

  • Health investigators eye Rivers' case; 'Fashion Police' on hiatus Sep 4, 2014 1:22 PM
    The New York state health department is investigating the circumstances surrounding Joan Rivers' cardiac arrest during an outpatient procedure. Spokesman James O'Hare said Thursday that the department is looking into “the whole matter.” Also, E! network says Joan Rivers' weekly “Fashion Police” series is on hiatus.

  • Perez, Wallace join ‘The View’ Sep 4, 2014 7:23 AM
    Actress Rosie Perez and Republican media operative Nicolle Wallace are joining ABC’s daytime chat show, “The View.” The network said Wednesday that the two will join Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie O’Donnell on the panel for the show’s new season, beginning Sept. 15.

  • Chicago broadcasting legend Roy Leonard dies Sep 5, 2014 10:53 AM
    Roy Leonard, the beloved radio broadcaster and host of WGN-TV’s “Family Classics,” died Thursday night, according to WGN’s Dean Richards. “I can’t believe reporting this (sic). WGN legend Roy Leonard has died," Richards wrote Thursday night on Facebook.

  • ‘Boardwalk,’ reality show begin fall TV season Sep 4, 2014 12:42 PM
    The fall TV season unofficially begins this weekend with two Sunday-night premieres. Fox kicks things off at 7 p.m. with "Utopia,” a new reality show that looks like “Survivor” by way of Sid Meier’s “Civilization” video games. HBO’s fifth and final season of the gangster epic “Boardwalk Empire” premieres at 8 p.m. and opens seven years after Season 4, setting its final eight episodes in the thick of the Great Depression.

  • Comedian Joan Rivers dead at 81 Sep 4, 2014 3:53 PM
    Joan Rivers, the raucous, acid-tongued comedian who crashed the male-dominated realm of late-night talk shows and turned Hollywood red carpets into danger zones for badly dressed celebrities, died Thursday. She was 81. Rivers was hospitalized last week after she went into cardiac arrest at a Manhattan doctor’s office following a routine procedure. Daughter Melissa Rivers said she died at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, surrounded by family and close friends.

  • Ex-Arlington Heights 'Jeopardy!' champ facing sex assault charges Sep 4, 2014 5:08 AM
    A former “Jeopardy!” champion from Arlington Heights is now facing charges for sexual assault of a minor and will not appear on the show's annual Tournament of Champions, which tapes later this month.

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