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Megyn Kelly apologizes for suggesting blackface OK

NBC's Megyn Kelly swiftly apologized Tuesday for a morning show segment that questioned why dressing up in blackface for a Halloween costume is wrong.

Following a social media backlash, Kelly wrote in an email to NBC News colleagues that she realized such behavior is wrong, that the history of blackface in culture is abhorrent.

On her morning show, the 47-year-old news host said that dressing up in blackface was OK when she was a kid as long as you were impersonating a character. She questioned why it had been considered racist when a character on "The Real Housewives of New York" darkened her skin for a Diana Ross costume.

"I felt like, 'Who doesn't love Diana Ross?'" she said.

On social media, several critics drew comparisons to Kelly's insistence while at Fox News Channel that Santa Claus was white. "I was born in the same decade as Megyn Kelly and do not recall blackface being acceptable anywhere, anytime," tweeted Alex Wagner of CBS News.

In her email, Kelly said that she'd never been a "PC" person, "but I understand that we do need to be more sensitive in this day and age. Particularly on race and ethnicity issues which, far from being healed, have been exacerbated in our politics over the past year.

"This is a time for more understanding, love, sensitivity and honor, and I want to be part of that," she wrote.

Kelly's transition from Fox News to her own 9 a.m. hour as part of the "Today" show has been anything but smooth, and Tuesday's incident doesn't help.

She had an edge from the beginning of the offending segment, where she discussed Halloween costumes with a panel that included Jenna Bush Hager, Melissa Rivers and Jacob Soboroff.

"The costume police are cracking down like never before," she said, ridiculing a college that suggested wearing a cowboy outfit was inadvisable. She noted that one safe suggestion was to go dressed as a letter of the alphabet, and that she had discussed that with her husband.

"I'm going to go as 'F' and he's going to go as 'U,' she said.

Amy Schumer announces she's pregnant with help of White House journalist Jessica Yellin

Amy Schumer took an unconventional route to announce that she was expecting her first child with her husband, Chris Fischer.

UsWeekly reported that, on Monday, the comedian directed fans to CNN White House correspondent Jessica Yellin’s Instagram page to share the news.

>> Read more trending news 

“About to announce some exciting news on @jessicayellin insta page. Please follow her for up to the minute #newsnotnoise she breaks down what’s really going on,” Schumer said on Instagram. “She agreed to post a lil noise today for me! Follow her and VOTE!!”

The caption went with a Photoshopped image of Schumer and her husband as Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.

On Yellin’s Instagram story, she posted a screenshot of a list of Democratic candidates in the midterm elections.

At the bottom of the list, it read, “I’m pregnant -Amy Schumer.”

This is the first child for Schumer and Fischer. They married in a secret ceremony in February.

Tracy Chapman sues Nicki Minaj for copyright infringement

Rapper Nicki Minaj is being sued for sampling a Tracy Chapman song without permission.

Chapman filed a copyright infringement lawsuit Monday in a Los Angeles federal court. The Grammy-winning singer says Minaj's unreleased track "Sorry" incorporates the lyrics and vocal melody from her 1988 single "Baby Can I Hold You."

The lawsuit states the "Fast Car" singer repeatedly denied multiple requests to sample her song for Minaj's fourth album "Queen."

Minaj's representatives did not respond to emails seeking comment.

"Sorry" was not included on Minaj's album but Chapman alleges the rapper gave it to a popular New York disc jockey who played the song on the radio and posted it to his social media accounts in August.

Chapman is suing for unspecified damages and wants to prevent Minaj from releasing "Sorry" commercially.

CBS is the week's top TV network, but faces more competition

CBS was television's most popular network last week, but that status is no longer the slam-dunk that it has been for the last decade and a half.

It was CBS' second weekly victory of the young television season, matching NBC's two victories, the Nielsen company said Tuesday. NBC handily won among viewers aged 18 to 49, the demographic group that it cares the most about.

Sunday night football gives NBC a big boost in the fall, but series like "This Is Us," ''Manifest" and Dick Wolf's "Chicago" dramas make the network more competitive with scripted series than it has been in the past.

The premiere of ABC's Roseanne-less sitcom "The Conners" reached more than 10.5 million viewers last week, and it was the most popular scripted series of the week among the youthful demographic. It will likely get fewer viewers this week; how big the drop is will be an important clue about the series' long-term prospects.

For the week, CBS averaged 7.6 million viewers in prime time. NBC had 7.2 million viewers, ABC had 4.7 million, Fox had 4.3 million, Telemundo had 1.3 million, ION Television and Univision were tied with a 1.2 million viewer average and the CW had 1.1 million.

TBS was the week's most popular cable network with the help of baseball playoffs, averaging 2.69 million viewers in prime time. ESPN had 2.57 million, Fox News Channel had 2.54 million, MSNBC had 1.43 million and TNT had 1.41 million.

ABC's "World News Tonight" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8 million viewers, NBC's "Nightly News" had 7.8 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 5.8 million.

For the week of Oct. 15-21, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: NFL Football: Cincinnati at Kansas City, NBC, 16.02 million; "60 Minutes," CBS, 14.07 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 12.23 million; NFL Football: San Francisco at Green Bay, ESPN, 12.17 million; "NCIS," CBS, 11.87 million; "Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick," NBC, 11.3 million; "Young Sheldon," CBS, 11 million; "The Conners," ABC, 10.57 million; "The Voice" (Monday), NBC, 9.99 million; "FBI," CBS, 9.31 million.

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

Cosby judge rejects new trial bid; Camille Cosby sees bias

A judge on Tuesday rejected Bill Cosby's bid for a new trial or sentencing hearing, leading the comedian's wife, Camille, to again accuse the judge of bias against her husband.

The ruling by the same judge that presided over Cosby's trial also led the entertainer's lawyers to file their appeal with the state Superior Court, the next step in trying to reverse his felony sex assault conviction.

Cosby is serving a three- to 10-year state prison term after a jury this year found he drugged and molested a woman in 2004. The defense wants the legally blind, 81-year-old actor released on bail while he appeals over alleged trial errors.

Cosby, in the meantime, is living in a single cell near the infirmary at the State Correctional Institution-Phoenix in suburban Philadelphia and has access to a day room, where he can watch television or eat meals, a state prisons spokeswoman said.

For now, he is the only person using that day room, spokeswoman Amy Worden said. Several inmates are assigned to help him as part of their prison jobs, she said. He has also had several visitors.

Camille Cosby continued to issue searing attacks against Montgomery County Judge Steven O'Neill, as she has done since the first trial ended in a jury deadlock in June 2017. In the latest missive Tuesday, she again said he should have stepped down from the case because his wife has advocated for sex assault victims. O'Neill has heard the argument before and said his wife's work has no bearing on his legal rulings.

The defense also renewed attacks on the judge over what they call his feud with a key pretrial witness, former county District Attorney Bruce Castor.

Castor had declined to arrest Cosby when the accuser first came forward in 2005 and said he'd promised Cosby he would never be charged. When a successor did, O'Neill ruled that any verbal promise Castor made wasn't legally binding. In an affidavit attached to Tuesday's appeal, Castor said he believed O'Neill's ruling was influenced by a long-ago feud between them.

"Mr. Cosby had a right to have his petition reviewed and decided by a judge who could make a decision free of bias, or even the perception of bias, where the ability to prosecute hinged on the testimony of the 2005 district attorney," his new lawyers, the latest of about 20 to work the criminal case, wrote in the appeal.

The defense also challenged O'Neill's decisions to let five other accusers testify; let the jury hear portions of Cosby's damaging deposition in the accuser's related lawsuit; and declare Cosby a sexually violent predator who remained a threat to the community.

Photos: Meghan Markle, Prince Harry tour Australia

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex began their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018.

Gun charge dismissed against 'Meet the Putmans' father

A federal gun charge has been dismissed against a Michigan man who appeared with his family as the central figure in the TLC show "Meet the Putmans."

An indictment unsealed in April against William Putman II accused him of illegally possessing an AR-15 rifle that was converted to operate as a machine gun. A judge last week, however, signed an agreement to dismiss the charge if he agreed to "waive any and all claims for monetary or equitable relief" against the United States.

The indictment came after Putman's son Brandon Putman was charged after authorities say he tried to get copies of a component to convert an AR-15 into an automatic weapon that could shoot multiple bullets with a single squeeze of the trigger.

"Meet the Putmans," which aired last year, followed three generations of the Michigan family living under one roof.

'Black Panther' costume designer to receive career award

Ruth E. Carter, the creator of the stunning costumes of "Black Panther" and numerous other Hollywood films, will receive the career achievement award at next year's Costume Designers Guild Awards.

The guild announced Tuesday that the two-time Academy Award nominee will receive the honor at the 21st annual ceremony held Feb. 19 in Beverly Hills.

Carter's costumes for the blockbuster "Black Panther" earned widespread praise for how they incorporated African culture.

Her designs for 1993's "Malcolm X" and 1998's "Amistad" earned her Oscar nominations. She is currently working on the Paramount Network show "Yellowstone."

The awards ceremony will also include a new category for costume designs for variety, live television or reality competition shows.

Films created for television and streaming services will also now be eligible for recognition.

MoviePass to be jettisoned by parent company

MoviePass, the struggling discount movie ticket subscription service, is being spun off by the company that owns it.

Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc. did not try to obscure the reasons why on Tuesday. MoviePass has become a burden.

MoviePass drew in millions of subscribers, luring them with a $10 monthly rate. But that proved costly. Because MoviePass typically pays theaters the full cost of tickets — $15 or more in big cities — a single movie can put the service in the red. At one point Helios and Matheson had to take out a $5 million emergency loan to pay its payment processors after missed payments resulted in service outages.

Then, last week, the company acknowledged that it is being investigated by the New York Attorney General on allegations that it misled investors.

Helios and Matheson, based in New York, says it does not believe it has misled anyone, and has filed all public disclosures in a timely and truthful manner.

"Since we acquired control of MoviePass in December 2017, HMNY largely has become synonymous with MoviePass in the public's eye, leading us to believe that our shareholders and the market perception of HMNY might benefit from separating our movie-related assets from the rest of our company," said Chairman and CEO Ted Farnsworth in a prepared statement.

Shares of Helios and Matheson, which is a data company, have been punished all year long.

MoviePass Entertainment is expected to list on the Nasdaq or an alternate trading market.

Former 'Price Is Right' host Bob Barker hospitalized

Bob Barker, best known as the TV host of “The Price Is Right,” was hospitalized Monday for back pain, his business manager said.

USA Today reported that, according to manager William Prappas, Barker’s back was hurting from an earlier injury and he went to the hospital as the best course of action.

>> Read more trending news 

TMZ reported that the Los Angeles Fire Department got to 94-year-old Barker’s home around 1 p.m. Monday and immediately took him to the hospital.

“He’s still being evaluated. He’s awake, alert and more comfortable than he was,” Prappas said. “Hopefully, he’ll be back home soon.”

Barker hosted “The Price Is Right” from 1972 to 2007.

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