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'Will and Grace' returning to television

Hit television series "Will and Grace" will return to television for a 2017-2018 season.

>> Read more trending stories  

NBC announced the show's 10-episode revival Wednesday.  

THEY'RE BACK! Your favorite foursome is returning to NBC!#WillAndGrace pic.twitter.com/Xoz4lSHSgM— NBC (@nbc) January 18, 2017

"We're thrilled that one of the smartest, funniest and most defining comedies in NBC history is coming back," said NBC entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt. "This groundbreaking series for everything from gay rights to social and political commentary -- all disguised as a high-speed train of witty pop culture -- is coming back where it belongs."

"All four of the original stars were excited about getting back into production ... a testament to the joyful experience they had doing nearly 200 episodes for eight seasons," said Jennifer Salke, president of NBC Entertainment.

According to Entertainment Weekly, "Will and Grace" was one of the highest-rated sitcoms for adults aged 18-49 from 2001-2005 and attracted more than 18 million total viewers for its series finale in 2006.

Cast members Debra Messing, Eric McCormack and Sean Hayes shared their excitement about the Emmy-winning show on social media. 

<iframe src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/will-and-grace-returns/embed?header=none&amp;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe> <script src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/will-and-grace-returns.js?header=none&amp;border=false"></script> [View the story "Will and Grace returns" on Storify]

'Orange is the New Black' actress denies quitting show

"Orange Is The New Black" star Taryn Manning and Netflix are shooting down a report that the actress quit the show.

In Touch magazine reported Wednesday that Manning was leaving the show because she needed to get away from her character and was planning to move from New York, where the show is filmed, to Los Angeles.

Manning responded to the report on Instagram on Wednesday , writing "quit never maybe fired but No."

A Netflix spokesperson tells The Associated Press that the story is not true and Manning remains on the show.

In Touch has removed the story from its website.

Manning plays inmate "Pennsatucky" on the prison dramedy.

Kevin O'Leary to run for Conservative leadership in Canada

Canada is getting its own reality show politician.

"Shark Tank" cast member Kevin O'Leary announced Wednesday that he is running for the leadership of Canada's opposition Conservative Party.

O'Leary is a businessman and television commentator who has drawn comparisons to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump. He said the party needs a candidate who can beat Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and bring jobs back to Canada.

"Shark Tank" is an American reality show in which entrepreneurs try to convince a cast of tycoons to invest in their ideas. Mark Burnett, who created "The Apprentice" with Trump, also produced "Shark Tank."

O'Leary is best known in Canada as a former bombastic judge on CBC's "Dragons' Den," a Canadian equivalent of "Shark Tank."

"We need a leader that can actually deal with Trump," O'Leary told CTV television.

O'Leary declined to hold a news conference for his leadership announcement, preferring social media and interviews with select media.

He's competing against 13 lower-profile candidates. Former Conservative ministers such as Peter MacKay and Jason Kenney have declined to run for the leadership.

O'Leary has no political experience. He gained marketing experience at Nabisco before founding software company Softkey in the mid-1980s. The company was eventually acquired. He also ran a mutual fund company, O'Leary Funds Inc, until it was sold in 2015.

O'Leary said he differs with Trump on immigration.

"I'm being compared to Donald Trump on this issue all the time and it's true that we both got famous on reality television," O'Leary said. "I'm the son of an immigrant of from Ireland and Lebanon. There are no walls in my world. I wouldn't exist if Canada had walls."

Trudeau remains popular in polls, though O'Leary said Trudeau is "destroying" Canada with debt. He said he needs to rid Canada of Trudeau and said there will be an "exorcism" in the 2019 election.

"It was a big surprise when Donald Trump got elected in the U.S. He's changed all the rules with Canada's largest partner. I would have expected that Justin Trudeau would have waited to find out what the policies were going to be," O'Leary said.

O'Leary said Trudeau should have changed course and made Canada competitive on taxes and regulation, but instead is charging ahead with a carbon tax that will make Canadian companies uncompetitive compared to American companies.

"It shows he doesn't understand what the driving force is of Canada, its jobs," O'Leary said.

"We can't provide all the things we have promised in education, health care, in the military, unless we have growth in our economy and its ground to a halt."

O'Leary also said Canada should be paying more to support NATO — something Trump has said America's allies should do.

He also said Canada's needs to reduce its reliance on oil from Saudi Arabia.

"We spend $12 billion a year on Saudi oil coming up the St. Lawrence because we can't get our oil to from the west coast to east coast," O'Leary said. "We're giving $12 billion to a country that beats women with a stick."

O'Leary said he can win the leadership because he can attract young voters who know him for his celebrity.

"Those are the people that voted for Justin. They are disappointed that they are still in their parents' basements looking at the ceiling, no jobs. I'm going to win them all back for the Conservative Party because that's my army of entrepreneurs. That's who know me from 'Dragon's Den' and 'Shark Tank,'" he said.

Former "Dragon's Den" colleague Arlene Dickinson, a Canadian businesswoman, said O'Leary is in the race for fame and attention and never saw O'Leary show compassion in the years she worked with him. She sees a lot of similarities to Trump including bravado and narcissism.

"What's different is the countries in which they are trying to exert themselves in," Dickinson told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. "I believe Canadians are much smarter and are looking for something far different."

Ex-'Apprentice' contestant Summer Zervos files defamation lawsuit against Trump

On Tuesday, former “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos held a press conference with lawyer Gloria Allred to announce that she is filing a defamation lawsuit against President-elect Donald Trump.

One month before Election Day, Zervos claimed that she was subjected to “unwanted sexual touches” by Trump during a business meeting in 2007. While she did not immediately go public with the information or take legal action against him at the time, she claimed she did tell family members about the encounter soon after it occurred.

“In October 2016, that all changed,” read Zervos’ lawsuit, indicating that she decided to come forward with her accusation after hearing the leaked audio tape of Trump’s conversation with Billy Bush, in which he describes grabbing women in a sexual manner without their permission. Soon after, Trump said he had never actually done the things he described during a presidential debate.

>> Read more trending stories

It was then that Zervos saw Trump’s behavior “for what it was” for the first time, saying that she realized what happened to her was “not a mistake or an isolated incident.” Trump, however, denied her claims, calling them “made up events that never happened,” “100 percent fabricated and made up charges” and “totally made up nonsense.”

As a result, Zervos is filing a defamation lawsuit against him for using his “national and international bully pulpit” to denigrate and verbally attack her and several other women who had made similar accusations, saying she has even received threats since going public. She indicted during the press conference that she is willing to dismiss the lawsuit without monetary compensation, should Trump retract his statements about her claim and admit that she “told the truth about him.”

“I want to make it clear that even though it is hard and painful to speak up against the world’s most powerful man, I will continue to speak the truth and I refuse to be intimidated into silence,” Zervos said.

“Truth matters. Women matter. Those that allege they were victims of sexual assault or sexual misconduct by Donald Trump matter,” Allred said.

Andy Cohen's near-clash: Joan Rivers, Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Andy Cohen revels in his free-wheeling talk show, but Joan Rivers' last appearance on his Bravo series almost led to a clash with another guest.

About six weeks before her death, Rivers and Maksim Chmerkovskiy of "Dancing with the Stars" were to appear together on "Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen," the host told a TV critics' meeting Tuesday.

But Rivers told Cohen that, after meeting with Chmerkovskiy before going on air, she made it clear that "it wouldn't be fun for her," Cohen said, without elaborating.

Despite her reservations, the Ukrainian-born dancer "turned it around" with Rivers, he said. The guests found common ground discussing Israel, series executive producer Deirdre Connolly said.

The 81-year-old comedian died in September 2014, days after she stopped breathing during a routine medical procedure.

Asked to recall the toughest question he's asked on his show, Cohen said it was his query to Selena Gomez about Justin Bieber, with whom she'd been linked romantically. "I don't think she loved it," he said.

CNN's documentary 'The End' tracks end of Obama presidency

Less than 48 hours before President Barack Obama leaves office, CNN will air an intimate tribute told through the workdays and accounts of key White House staff members.

          But however worthy it may be, this two-hour documentary, airing Wednesday at 9 p.m. EST, may face a wary reception.

          For those who have disagreed with Obama's policies and even questioned his citizenship the past eight years, this film is unlikely at such a late date to stir a reappraisal of his legacy or character.

         Meanwhile, for others, the film will be yet another painful reminder of what will soon be over and what might have been.

         Presumably without meaning to plumb the depths of despair gripping Obama's supporters, the program strikes an elegiac chord with its title: "The End: Inside the Last Days of the Obama White House."

         Spanning the past two months, "The End" ends, fittingly, with Obama's farewell address last week in Chicago.

         It begins on election day, as Hillary Clinton's electoral-college defeat by Donald Trump is received at the White House with shock and grief.

         But then we see Obama bucking up his thunderstruck staff.

         "Everybody is sad when their side loses an election," the president says. "But we all have to remember we're all on one team."

           Chief speechwriter Cody Keenan, one of the figures followed through the documentary, crafted the president's magnanimous remarks. In his windowless office in the White House basement, he concedes those words are "obviously not the ones I wanted to be writing."

           Another recurring character, press secretary Josh Earnest, gathers his crew to prep for a news conference as they scramble for grounding in the flood of events.

           "Just don't look at Twitter," cracks one of his fellow writers and they all laugh.

           Nothing in particular is cited from the tweets Trump has made part of his routine.

           "That's a good rule for life," Earnest replies instead.

           Along with tying up the many loose ends of Obama's presidency, these busy last weeks are devoted to arranging an efficient, secure handoff to his successor.

           "Our job is to turn it over to them in as good a shape as possible," says Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett. (All agree that the transition team of President George W. Bush set a high standard for cooperation and comity that the Obama administration aspires to meet as it vacates.)

        But there are other, less weighty tasks. Keenan and his staff must hatch a collection of puns for Obama's eighth annual pardoning of the Thanksgiving turkeys (the Chief Executive can't be expected to wing it).

         Then, in a welcome antic moment, the fortunate fowl — Tater and Tot — are seen prior to the ceremony in their luxe DC accommodations: a suite at the Willard Intercontinental hotel.

         As the days count down, the film's participants reflect on what they've experienced in bittersweet terms.

         Keenan recalls the nation's crisis state in 2009 when Obama took office. He confides that many White House newbies were alarmed.

         "The president was the one with the cool head who told us all, 'Read some FDR (whose administration confronted the Great Depression and World War II, among other challenges). See what he told people when it was bleak and when they were scared.'"

         Counting their victories, the film's subjects note with pride the Affordable Care Act — and think back on the brawl that nearly derailed it.

         "What I learned," says Jarrett, "was how willing people in this town were to put their short-term political interests far ahead of what's good for the country."

         Of course, even as this show premieres, the President-elect and other foes of Obama's health care law are already rallied as never before to carry out their vendetta.

         Little wonder that "The End," despite its good intentions, will strike some of its viewers as being less about the Obama era it recognizes than about the two-month run-up to a change they dread that starts with Friday's swearing-in.

          For those viewers, "The End" spells the end of the Obama presidency, and the end of so much more.

          _____

EDITOR'S NOTE — Frazier Moore is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. He can be reached at fmoore@ap.org and at http://www.twitter.com/tvfrazier. Past stories are available at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/frazier-moore

_____

Online:

http://www.cnn.com/shows/last-days-of-the-obama-white-house

Betty White celebrates 95th birthday, offers advice on long, happy life

Beloved actress Betty White is 95 today, and in a charming Yahoo interview with Katie Couric, the "Golden Girl" looks back and shares her thoughts on living a long, happy life.

>> Watch the interview here

“Be mean with people. That’s what you do,” she deadpanned, adding a growl for effect.

Actually, she suggests people stay active mentally and physically.

>> PHOTOS: Betty White through the years

“Keep busy,” she said. “Don’t focus everything on you. That wears off pretty fast.”

White's IMDB page reads like a history of television, as her career stretches from the 1940s to the present with roles on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “Mama’s Family,” “Hot in Cleveland” and many others.

Her most fun gig, she said, was hosting “Saturday Night Live,” but of course her role as Rose on the iconic sitcom “The Golden Girls” remains near and dear to her.

“She was so innocent,” White said. “Not the brightest nickel in the drawer, but she was fun to do.”

>> Read more trending stories

Couric surprised White with a little birthday cake and asked her what her days are like. A renowned animal lover, White said she wakes up early each morning and plays with her dog. And she loves crossword puzzles.

As sweet as the interview is, it’s also inspiring. White clearly is still sharp as a tack.

“You know, seriously, I keep thinking, ‘Betty, you’re 95.’ I don’t feel it,” she said. “I am so blessed with good health and faculties. You can’t really expect that at 95. I am the luckiest old broad on two feet.”

Photos: Betty White through the years

WATCH: 7-year-old wows with spot-on Taylor Swift impression

A tiny Taylor Swift-in-training is making headlines with her fearless impression of the pop diva.

According to Us Weekly, Xia Vigor, 7, wowed the judges and the audience on a recent episode of "Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids," a Filipino reality competition. 

>> Read more trending stories

The video quickly went viral on YouTube, raking in more than 1.4 million views since it was posted Sunday.

>> Watch the adorable clip here

<iframe width="390" height="219" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/-FQs_FkDOds" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Amazing Xia as Taylor!#YFSFAmazingKids pic.twitter.com/sXfGya1NQV— FaceSoundsFamiliarPH (@YourFacePH) January 15, 2017 <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Steve Harvey reveals more details about Trump meeting, possibly working with Ben Carson

Comedian, author and broadcaster Steve Harvey discussed in greater detail his meeting last week with President-elect Donald Trump and says that moving forward he may work with Ben Carson, Trump’s nominee to be secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, on inner-city issues.

“I walked away feeling there might be a real chance for some positive to come out of what many feel is doom and gloom,” Harvey said on his radio show Monday morning.

>> Steve Harvey meets with Donald Trump

Harvey and Trump’s meeting was set up by members of the incoming president’s transition team.

“When we met, it was a very cordial meeting,” Harvey said. “He was very warm, friendly and very sincere. We talked about golf, our favorite golf courses. We talked about the election.”

Harvey said he was inspired by President Barack Obama’s farewell address.

“The only way we can heal the divide in this country is through conversation,” Harvey said. “When I listened to President Obama’s final speech in Chicago, one of the things that stuck in my mind was when he told people to get out from behind our computers and get involved. I took that to mean, get from behind the microphone.”

>> Read more trending stories

After an initial exchange of pleasantries, Harvey said he and Trump talked about initiatives to help inner-city communities. Trump got Carson on the phone to continue the conversation.

“Dr. Carson and I talked briefly about Chicago, his hometown of Detroit. I mentioned I was from Cleveland,” Harvey said.

Harvey was dismayed at the backlash he experienced from some and hopes people understand his motivations in meeting with the president-elect.

“On a personal note, a lot of y’all hurt me,” Harvey said. “I didn’t expect the backlash to be so fierce. I also understand if I’m going to keep getting stabbed at, at least while you’re stabbing me, you should understand my intent. I’m from the 'hood. I’ve been putting in the work for years. I care about these inner cities because that’s where I’m from.”

Listen to the clip here.

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