CBS looks back for its reboot-heavy new TV season
By LYNN ELBER and DAVID BAUDER
Associated Press Writers
Thursday, May 17
NEW YORK (AP) — Glance at next season’s schedule for CBS and you could be forgiven for wondering what decade it is.
The network is adding remakes of 1980s series “Murphy Brown” and “Magnum, P.I.” to a line-up that already includes blasts-from-the-past “Hawaii Five-0” and “MacGyver.”
CBS executives said Wednesday that the “Murphy Brown” reboot, which again stars Candice Bergen, moves TV anchor Murphy out of prime-time. She hosts a morning cable show with the snappy title of “Murphy in the Morning,” and is facing off against her son on a competing network.
A change that “Magnum” fans should watch for, beside a missing comma in the revamp’s title: The private detective has a goatee instead of the signature moustache of original star Tom Selleck. Jay Hernandez plays the new Thomas Magnum.
While ABC and NBC have found comedy reboot success with, respectively, “Roseanne” and “Will & Grace,” CBS Entertainment President Kelly Kahl acknowledged it’s not a slam-dunk. That’s why “Murphy Brown” is getting a supportive Thursday berth, airing after established comedy hits including “The Big Bang Theory” and “Mom.”
Bergen’s show is “going to get a lot of attention, we expect people (viewers) to come. But we want to make sure it doesn’t kind of fade out after the buzz of the premiere,” Kahl told reporters as the network unveiled its 2018-19 schedule.
MOVING TOWARD DIVERSITY
New “Magnum” star Hernandez, who is of Latino descent, is among the actors of color joining the CBS line-up, long criticized for a lack of inclusion.
A number of freshman shows feature African-Americans leads, including “God Friended Me,” a comedy-drama with Brandon Micheal Hall as an atheist who does God’s work after they become Facebook friends. In the sitcom “The Neighborhood,” Cedric the Entertainer stars as an opinionated man who has to adjust to new white neighbors, and Damon Wayans Jr. and Amber Stevens West play young marrieds in another comedy, “Happy Together.”
Midseason will bring the comedy “Fam,” starring Tone Bell, and “The Red Line” from producers Ava DuVernay (“Selma,” ”Queen Sugar”) and Greg Berlanti, about the mistaken shooting of an African-American doctor by a white police officer. Along with Noah Wyle, the series stars include Howard Charles and Emayatzy Corinealdi.
The change in CBS’ approach to casting was apparent when cast members of the fall series were introduced at the network’s presentation to advertisers, taking the spotlight that had rarely gone to non-white actors.
“The Big Bang Theory” enters its 12th year this fall, and is still a draw: This season’s finale, in which the Amy and Sheldon characters wed, was the most-watched show last week. Kahl and programming chief Thom Sherman said they see no end in sight, as long as the producers feel they still have stories to tell.
It’s in “peak form” and CBS hopes to get a few more years out of it, the executives said.
LOX WITHOUT LES
Back in 1996 when he ran CBS’ entertainment division, Leslie Moonves started an annual breakfast meeting with reporters on the day CBS presented its fall schedule to advertisers. He continued coming to the session, informally known as “lox with Les,” even when he ascended to the role of corporate chieftain and underlings presented the schedule. He loved to kibbitz and take shots at rivals.
But with Moonves in the midst of a corporate battle over control over CBS Corp., even he was convinced that showing up to a roomful of reporters wasn’t a particularly good idea.
“When the number of questions he couldn’t answer outnumbered the number of questions he could, he felt it was better to sit this one out,” said Kahl.
Moonves didn’t have to sweat his reception by advertisers and CBS staffers gathered at Carnegie Hall for the network’s new season pitch. Moonves, who has long and successfully steered CBS, got a standing ovation from many in the auditorium.
“So, how’s your week been?” a droll Moonves said to the crowd, drawing laughs.
SMOKING HIM OUT
Snoop Dogg should be used to smoke.
But it was amusing to watch the rap star and host of the TBS game show “The Joker’s Wild” get a little lost in a cloud of it. Snoop briefly performed some of his best-known songs before an audience of advertisers attending the Turner Networks’ schedule presentation at Madison Square Garden’s theater.
An onstage smoke machine did its job efficiently as Snoop was about to make his exit, and as he became enveloped in the smoke, he was heard to mutter some concern about the door where he had to make his exit. A stagehand with a flashlight showed him the way.
Ohio-based entrepreneur who has a big problem with the snack industry — and, after experiencing life in the Peace Corps in South America, he resolved to do something about it.
Evan did what many only daydreamed about in their youth. He joined the Peace Corps and worked every day for two years to make an impact on people’s lives in the Amazon rainforest. Living in the Suriname jungle, he worked jointly with indigenous tribes to build systems to preserve independence and sustainability. You can read more about it here: https://www.peacefulfruits.com/peace-corps-roots
It was here that Evan first tasted the acai berry — which grows naturally in the rainforest — and he decided to take the first step in helping to make advances in the food industry.
As the founder of Peaceful Fruits (www.peacefulfruits.com), an Akron, Ohio-based company specializing in whole fruit snacks, Evan speaks to this generation’s pursuit of nutrient-friendly, label-accurate and eco-sensitive food. And with childhood obesity skyrocketing, it’s a great time to revisit which snacks our kids are eating on a daily basis. “The snack industry is slowly lurching forward because of increased consumer demand for healthier and more responsible options — and this is an opportunity to teach the next generation of kids that everyday food can be tasty, healthy and sustainable.”
Can We Have It All?
Evan dared to ask: What if we could have it all? Healthier kids, more sustainable food production, and increased well-being for those that help to create the food and preserve the environment. “I’m looking to continue the positive spiral toward wellness and sustainability. Fruit snacks are a great place to start because there’s a lot of room for improvement and both kids and adults love the taste.”
His goal beyond changing the food industry is to educate and empower young people to pursue big goals that have big consequences. “Sure, I’m in the healthy fruit snacks business, but I’m really in the business of promoting wellness, sustainability and a cultural shift in how we think about what we put in our bodies.”
Millennials have different attitudes about food. For starters, they want facts about what they’re consuming. It’s also true that more than three-quarters of young people report they’re willing to pay more for a sustainable product. And food marketers are waking up to this cultural shift. For example, in 2015, 81% of S&P 500 companies published “sustainability reports” (up from 20% just a few years before).
Evan appeared on Shark Tank in order to gain visibility for the brand and the mission. In partnership with The Blick Center in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, Peaceful Fruits employs folks with developmental disabilities. For more information, please visit www.peacefulfruits.com.
Humans just 0.01% of all life but have destroyed 83% of wild mammals – study
Groundbreaking assessment of all life on Earth reveals humanity’s surprisingly tiny part in it as well as our disproportionate impact
Mon 21 May 2018
Humankind is revealed as simultaneously insignificant and utterly dominant in the grand scheme of life on Earth by a groundbreaking new assessment of all life on the planet.
The world’s 7.6 billion people represent just 0.01% of all living things, according to the study. Yet since the dawn of civilisation, humanity has caused the loss of 83% of all wild mammals and half of plants, while livestock kept by humans abounds.
The new work is the first comprehensive estimate of the weight of every class of living creature and overturns some long-held assumptions. Bacteria are indeed a major life form – 13% of everything – but plants overshadow everything, representing 82% of all living matter. All other creatures, from insects to fungi, to fish and animals, make up just 5% of the world’s biomass.
Another surprise is that the teeming life revealed in the oceans by the recent BBC television series Blue Planet II turns out to represent just 1% of all biomass. The vast majority of life is land-based and a large chunk – an eighth – is bacteria buried deep below the surface.
“I was shocked to find there wasn’t already a comprehensive, holistic estimate of all the different components of biomass,” said Prof Ron Milo, at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, who led the work, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“I would hope this gives people a perspective on the very dominant role that humanity now plays on Earth,” he said, adding that he now chooses to eat less meat due to the huge environmental impact of livestock.
The transformation of the planet by human activity has led scientists to the brink of declaring a new geological era – the Anthropocene. One suggested marker for this change are the bones of the domestic chicken, now ubiquitous across the globe.
The new work reveals that farmed poultry today makes up 70% of all birds on the planet, with just 30% being wild. The picture is even more stark for mammals – 60% of all mammals on Earth are livestock, mostly cattle and pigs, 36% are human and just 4% are wild animals.
“It is pretty staggering,” said Milo. “In wildlife films, we see flocks of birds, of every kind, in vast amounts, and then when we did the analysis we found there are [far] more domesticated birds.”
The destruction of wild habitat for farming, logging and development has resulted in the start of what many scientists consider the sixth mass extinction of life to occur in the Earth’s four billion year history. About half the Earth’s animals are thought to have been lost in the last 50 years.
But comparison of the new estimates with those for the time before humans became farmers and the industrial revolution began reveal the full extent of the huge decline. Just one-sixth of wild mammals, from mice to elephants, remain, surprising even the scientists. In the oceans, three centuries of whaling has left just a fifth of marine mammals in the oceans.
“It is definitely striking, our disproportionate place on Earth,” said Milo. “When I do a puzzle with my daughters, there is usually an elephant next to a giraffe next to a rhino. But if I was trying to give them a more realistic sense of the world, it would be a cow next to a cow next to a cow and then a chicken.”
Despite humanity’s supremacy, in weight terms Homo sapiens is puny. Viruses alone have a combined weight three times that of humans, as do worms. Fish are 12 times greater than people and fungi 200 times as large.
But our impact on the natural world remains immense, said Milo, particularly in what we choose to eat: “Our dietary choices have a vast effect on the habitats of animals, plants and other organisms.”
“I would hope people would take this [work] as part of their world view of how they consume,” he said. ”I have not become vegetarian, but I do take the environmental impact into my decision making, so it helps me think, do I want to choose beef or poultry or use tofu instead?”
The researchers calculated the biomass estimates using data from hundreds of studies, which often used modern techniques, such as satellite remote sensing that can scan great areas, and gene sequencing that can unravel the myriad organisms in the microscopic world.
They started by assessing the biomass of a class of organisms and then they determined which environments such life could live in across the world to create a global total. They used carbon as the key measure and found all life contains 550bn tonnes of the element. The researchers acknowledge that substantial uncertainties remain in particular estimates, especially for bacteria deep underground, but say the work presents a useful overview.
Paul Falkowski, at Rutgers University in the US and not part of the research team, said: “The study is, to my knowledge, the first comprehensive analysis of the biomass distribution of all organisms – including viruses – on Earth.”
“There are two major takeaways from this paper,” he said. “First, humans are extremely efficient in exploiting natural resources. Humans have culled, and in some cases eradicated, wild mammals for food or pleasure in virtually all continents. Second, the biomass of terrestrial plants overwhelmingly dominates on a global scale – and most of that biomass is in the form of wood.”
Lesley Stahl Shares Anecdote Explaining Why Trump Keeps Attacking the Press
According to the CBS host, the president admitted what many have long suspected.
“Truth is relative”: Trump and Giuliani make the case to support MoJo’s new reporting project to combat disinformation.
May 22, 2018
President Donald Trump’s relentless attacks against the media gained some strategic context on Monday when CBS News’ Lesley Stahl shared a revealing conversation she had with Trump shortly before his first post-election interview on “60 Minutes” back in November 2016.
Stahl, who was speaking at the Deadline Club Awards in Manhattan, told the audience that she and a colleague had met with the then-President-elect at Trump Tower in order to prepare for the interview. At one point Trump started ranting against the press, and Stahl said she took the opportunity to ask him what the point of his attacks were.
“Why do you keep hammering at this?” she recounted to PBS’ Judy Woodruff.
According to Stahl, who was paraphrasing, Trump replied, “You know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all and demean you all, so when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you.”
Looking stunned, Woodruff told Stahl, “We’re all absorbing what you just said.”
The resulting anecdote has since gone viral, with many pointing to the president’s reported explanation as confirmation of the political reasons motivating his many attacks on journalists and the media.
It Looks Like Trump Got Playmate Shera Bechard Pregnant After All
By Ursula Faw
May 24, 2018
Purportedly, GOP fundraiser Elliot Broidy got Playmate Shera Bechard pregnant and paid her a settlement of $1.6 Million for her silence, in a deal that was negotiated by none other than Michael Cohen. Now a bit of digging has unearthed the fact that most likely Broidy took the fall for Donald Trump in gratitude for getting $600 Million from the Saudis and the UAE. This bounty in Broidy’s life occurred when Broidy and George Nader were pushing anti-Quatar policies to the government, on behalf of the Saudis, in order to secure huge consulting fees. Trump came through for them and Broidy’s company got a five year contract worth $600 Million. Broidy owed Trump big time and so he agreed to fall on his sword and claim that he impregnated Shera Bechard. Paul Campos, New York Magazine:
Here is some additional context that now seems especially noteworthy: Just two days before that meeting, [with Trump] on November 30, Broidy wired $200,000 from his Bank of America account to Real Estate Attorneys’ Group, a California firm. On December 5, REAG transferred that money to attorney Keith Davidson. Davidson was at the time supposedly representing the legal interests of Shera Bechard, a Playboy model with whom Broidy now claims to have had an affair. (Bechard fired Davidson shortly afterward, when she became convinced that Davidson was actually working in concert with Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s personal attorney, to protect Cohen’s client’s interests rather than hers.) That $200,000 was supposed to be the first of eight quarterly payments that “David Dennison” agreed to make to Bechard, in order to buy her silence about an affair and a subsequent abortion. All this was laid out in an NDA recovered from Michael Cohen’s office when it was raided last month. […]
But as I argued at length and in detail in this space two weeks ago, Broidy’s account raises a lot of questions — and I believe a more plausible explanation of all the facts at hand is that he agreed to pay Bechard seven figures as a favor to Donald Trump, who actually impregnated Bechard, and then needed to hush her up about their affair and her subsequent abortion. […]
The AP exposé only strengthens the evidence for my hypothesis: The first payment from Broidy came two days before the meeting that apparently helped him ink a nine-figure deal with a foreign country — a deal based in no small part on his access to, and influence on, Trump. If it’s difficult to imagine Broidy being willing to take the fall for Trump’s affair with Bechard and then paying her a seven-figure sum, it’s much simpler to imagine it simply as a perfectly timed and fantastically profitable bribe.
Campos points out that Trump is precisely the kind of man who has affairs with Playmates, whereas Broidy’s track record shows him to have a history of bribing public officials to get further his business interests. Given the timing of what occurred and the character of the parties involved, this theory is plausible.
Ursula Faw is a former radio newscaster and talk show host. She’s a law school graduate and did legal writing and trial preparation the last twenty years of her career. Ursula Faw (ursulafaw) is a top recommended writer on the blogging site Daily Kos.
“Putin Publicly Praises Trump, Blames Democracy For Trump’s Problems.” A great endorsement from one Dictator to another!
Trump signs three executive orders taking aim at unions and gutting them!
Record Bust In NE. Nebraska State Patrol seized nearly 120 pounds of the drug fentanyl — enough to kill about 26 million people.
“#TrumpLeaks: Hundreds of Docs Found, Money Trail to RNC, McConnell, and Others.”
Concentration camps for immigrant children? Appears the constitutional crisis has arrived. Trump is blaming all this on Democrats. https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/f8103356-584e-11e8-b656-a5…
Gulliani admits WH is using the power of the presidency to discredit justice. I believe that’s called obstruction.
Operation Wetback in the 50’s was a roundup and deportation of immigrants. It ended when human rights violations were made public. The disappearance of 1,500 children, by far, exceeds any of those violations. It also exceeds the kidnapping by the terrorist group Boko Haram of 276 Nigerian girls in 2014. Our own ICE, Homeland Security, and Housing and Human Services has exceeded the evil of a terrorist group.
Mitch McConnell says a ‘blue wave’ won’t be coming in 2018
By Mary Kay Linge
May 26, 2018
New York Post
The “blue wave” that Democrats hope to ride to midterm glory has ebbed to a blue trickle, gleeful Republicans say.
Buoyed by a surging economy and President Trump’s rising approval numbers, the long-expected tsunami of Democratic victories in this year’s congressional elections has all but evaporated, says Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
The GOP could even pick up six or eight Senate seats, he told The Hill on Saturday, and has a chance to topple powerful Democratic incumbents like Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown — once in the running to be Hillary Clinton’s 2016 veep running mate and now said to be mulling a 2020 presidential run.
“I saw a survey within the last week in Ohio indicating that race is very competitive,” said McConnell. “I would certainly add Ohio to the list” of states where Democrats are suddenly vulnerable.
The party in the White House typically loses some seats in midterm elections — an average of 31 seats since 1976. And the figures are worse when the president has an approval rating under 50 percent, as Trump’s numbers have been.
The GOP’s narrow majorities in both houses mean that either or both of them could flip to the Dems if historical norms hold.
In December, generic-ballot polls gave Democrats as much as an 18-point advantage over Republicans in the 2018 elections. That spurred a record number of GOP retirements, with four senators and 27 representatives — including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan — throwing in the towel.
But in the last five months, positive economic news has revived Republican hopes. A Reuters poll last week saw the GOP with a slim one-point lead on the generic ballot.
The anti-Trump resistance movement could backfire in states like Nebraska and Pennsylvania, where last week’s primaries handed nominations to candidates who might be too left-leaning for their districts.
“They nominated some extreme people,” Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) told The Washington Post. “We nominated pretty mainstream folks that will be great candidates in the general election.”