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Will Smith, 'Fresh Prince' cast enjoy brief reunion

Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Smith's Tom Jones-loving cousin Carlton on the 1990s sitcom, posted a picture on Instagram on Monday of the cast getting together. Joined by Smith and Ribeiro were Tatyana Ali, Karyn Parsons, Daphne Reid and Joseph Marcell. James Avery, who had the role of Smith's Uncle Phil, died in 2013.

Ribeiro writes in the caption that it's "always amazing to spend an afternoon with my Fresh Prince family." He says he wishes that Avery were there "to make this complete."

Fans of the show may not want to get their hopes up for a series revival. Smith told E! News last year that a reboot of the series that aired for six seasons on NBC will happen "pretty close to when hell freezes over."

Hannity angry at treatment by CBS in interview

Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity is calling on CBS News to release the full tape of his interview with Ted Koppel for "Sunday Morning," in which the veteran "Nightline" anchor answered "yes" when Hannity asked if Koppel thought he was bad for America.

The exchange between two different generations of television news personalities continued to resonate Monday: It was the lead "hot topic" that hosts of "The View" kicked around on their talk show.

Hannity was interviewed for the Sunday show's cover story about partisan media, and sensed some unease by Koppel when he discussed his role as an opinion host. Hannity is a fervent supporter of President Donald Trump and has attacked his opponents and traditional media outlets for how they report on the president.

"You're cynical," Hannity said.

"I am cynical, Koppel replied.

"Do you think we're bad for America? You think I'm bad for America?" Hannity asked.

"Yeah," Koppel said.

Koppel said he lumped Hannity in with other opinion shows and that while he thought Hannity was "very good at what you do," his audience feels ideology is more important than facts.

It was one of two excerpts of Koppel's interview with Hannity that was included in the broader 10-minute story, and it quickly attracted attention. CBS News fanned it, breaking out a 45-second clip of their exchange for its website and writing a story about it.

Hannity, in a series of tweets, criticized the report as "fake edited news. I did about a 45-minute interview with CBS. They ran less than two. Why did Ted cut out my many examples of media bias?" He called on CBS to release the unedited interview so people could see the "games" being played by editors.

Hannity didn't indicate that his words were edited to make them appear misleading; he just seemed upset that so much got left on the cutting-room floor.

CBS News didn't respond to Hannity's request Monday. Koppel said he was content to let the story speak for itself.

Koppel has expressed similar opinions before. In an appearance on Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor" last year, Koppel told host Bill O'Reilly that he had changed the television landscape by taking news from being objective and dull to subjective and entertaining. When O'Reilly said that Koppel believed that "people like me have ruined the country," the former ABC newsman answered, "That's right."

In 2012, Koppel also took MSNBC's liberal host Rachel Maddow to task in a speech at the National Press Club.

"I don't want to know what she thinks about these issues," he said. "I really don't. I want to hear her informed reporting. I want to hear her interview people with that sharp mind of hers."

CBS News released a lengthier outtake of Koppel's interview with Hannity online Saturday, before the television report aired. Hannity discussed his working class background, criticisms of former President Barack Obama and his attitudes toward liberals and journalism.

"We are stuck in an ideological rut and programs like yours, popular as you are, haven't helped," Koppel said.

Barry Jenkins' next project? 'The Underground Railroad'

"Moonlight" director Barry Jenkins will follow up his Oscar-winning film with a drama series for Amazon based on Colson Whitehead's "The Underground Railroad."

Amazon announced Monday that it will develop the TV series, with Jenkins writing and directing the adaptation of the 2016 National Book Award winner. Whitehead's "The Underground Railroad" is a part-historic, part-surrealistic novel about a slave who escapes on an actual railroad.

"Going back to The Intuitionist, Colson's writing has always defied convention, and The Underground Railroad is no different," said Jenkins in a statement. "It's a groundbreaking work that pays respect to our nation's history while using the form to explore it in a thoughtful and original way. Preserving the sweep and grandeur of a story like this requires bold, innovative thinking and in Amazon we've found a partner whose reverence for storytelling and freeness of form is wholly in line with our vision."

Jenkins has already been at work on the series, though how many episodes are planned was not announced. He is to write and direct.

"Moonlight," which last month won best picture, was Jenkins' second film following 2008's well-regarded but little-seen "Medicine for Melancholy." Made for just $1.5 million, "Moonlight" has grossed more than $56 million worldwide. It also won Academy Awards for Jenkins' screenplay, based on Tarell Alvin McCraney's play, and for Mahershala Ali's supporting performance.

"The Underground Railroad" will reunite much of the team behind "Moonlight." Like that film, it will be produced by Adele Romanski and Brad Pitt's Plan B.

Will Cabinet follow Tillerson's lead in media access?

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who has famously declared himself "not a big media press access person," isn't alone in President Donald Trump's Cabinet. But it's too early to call him a trendsetter, either.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, both with extensive private sector backgrounds, have similarly been press-averse at the beginning of their tenures. Others seem to be following the leads of predecessors. In some cases, it's just too early to tell.

Tillerson's decision not to make room for reporters on the plane for his first major overseas trip earlier this month drew scrutiny because his job is generally considered the most important in the Cabinet and there's a rich tradition of secretaries of state keeping the public informed of foreign policy objectives. He's had little visibility so far and the plane decision is more than symbolic; many of his predecessors and their staffs used that time to answer reporters' questions.

In an interview with the one journalist allowed on the trip, from the right-leaning web site Independent Journal Review, Tillerson said he personally doesn't need media attention.

"I understand it's important to get the message of what we're doing out," the former Exxon Mobil CEO said, "but I also think there's only a purpose in getting the message out when there's something to be done."

With attention paid to Trump's declaration of some media organizations as enemies of the American people, and reporters' jousting with White House press secretary Sean Spicer a near-daily television event, access to Cabinet-level officials can be overlooked.

Precisely because they don't get as much attention, it's important for journalists to understand and explain the work being done, said Nikki Usher, a professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University.

"These offices have tremendous power and most people don't know what goes on in there," she said.

Cabinet secretaries with a private sector background need to understand that they now work on behalf of the people, who have a right to know what these officials are doing in their names, she said.

"Corporate folks are used to not having to account for any kind of public conversations or talk to reporters with the exception of crisis communications or quarterly earnings calls with assessments of the health of their corporations," Usher said. They're used to being insulated.

The billionaire philanthropist DeVos' background is more private sector than public. She was the chairman of Michigan's Republican Party and her husband is the co-founder of Amway. Her lack of education background and support of school choice made her the most controversial Cabinet pick, and she needed the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Mike Pence to be confirmed.

Perhaps as a result, she's not been shy about avoiding the media.

The department did not announce it when she visited her first school as education secretary. Reporters showed up anyway, tipped by advocacy organizations, but were not allowed in the school. DeVos does not take reporters' questions after speeches and her few interviews were with conservative news outlets. Her public schedule is often not released ahead of time.

Chao has both a public and private sector background, as a banker, former Labor Secretary, director of the Peace Corps and CEO of United Way. She hasn't held a meeting or news conference with reporters since her Jan. 31 Senate confirmation, and hasn't spoken to reporters following public appearances.

Ray LaHood and Anthony Foxx, the two transportation secretaries under former President Barack Obama, met frequently with reporters.

How the Trump appointees interpret their boss' attacks on the press will be watched closely. "The press is not the enemy," said Peter Cook, a former reporter and spokesman for the Department of Defense during the Obama administration.

It's also common for top executives in many fields, for reasons of ego or message control, to keep a tight rein on underlings. Requests to speak to agency heads in the administration of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, have to go through the governor's office.

Here's how some of the other Cabinet offices have been working:

— Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and other senior defense and military leaders continue to take media contingents with them overseas. Mattis and the others hold media availabilities on the trips, although Mattis has not yet gone to the Pentagon briefing room.

—Trump's Homeland Security Department has operated the way others have in the early stages. Its Immigration and Customs Enforcement branch uses Twitter to defend enforcement actions; under Obama, the feed was largely confined to news releases.

—Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs manager, took reporters on his plane to the Group of 20 meeting with finance officials in Germany earlier this month. He's done interviews with business news networks, the Wall Street Journal and the news site Axios.

— The Justice Department under Jeff Sessions, a U.S. senator before his appointment, has handled media interactions much like prior administrations. Sessions' public events are disclosed ahead of time to reporters, and he usually takes questions afterward. He appeared before reporters on the most significant day of his tenure, when he recused himself from any investigation into Russia's influence on the presidential election.

— Former presidential candidates Rick Perry, the new energy secretary, and Ben Carson, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, also are accustomed to dealing with the media. It remains to be seen how being used to — or needing — media attention will play into their new roles.

—Trump imposed a media blackout on the Environmental Protection Agency after taking office that has since been lifted. Top administrator Scott Pruitt has generally tightened media access, although he made news in a CNBC interview this month when he questioned the scientific consensus that human activity is the primary driver of climate change.


Associated Press reporters Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Lolita C. Baldor, Michael Biesecker, Alicia Caldwell, Martin Crutsinger, Maria Danilova, Sadie Gurman, Laurie Kellman, Josh Lederman, Joan Lowy and Paul Wiseman in Washington, and David Klepper in Albany, N.Y. contributed to this report.

'American Horror Story' stars discuss potential Trump plot

The cast of "American Horror Story" is opening up about rumors of a season of the series centered on President Donald Trump.

Series creator Ryan Murphy told Bravo's Andy Cohen last month that the seventh season of the FX drama would be focused on the presidential election and mentioned the possibility of a Trump character.

When asked ahead of Sunday's "AHS" event at the Paley Center in Los Angeles, Sarah Paulson told The Associated Press a Trump-themed season doesn't fit what the show has done so far, but "anything is possible if it's what the audience craves."

Cuba Gooding, Jr. adds that he doesn't know for sure, but thinks the rumors are a "red herring."

Kathy Bates says she's OK with it, as long as she's not cast as the president.

Former White House press secretary Josh Earnest joins NBC

Former White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest has joined NBC News as an analyst, making his debut Monday on the "Today" show.

Earnest was the last of former President Barack Obama's press secretaries, serving in the role from 2014 until the end of Obama's presidency. He worked in Obama's press office throughout his two terms as president.

He joined Obama's campaign as the communications director for his Iowa campaign in 2007.

Earnest will also appear on MSNBC, and was on "Morning Joe" on Monday morning.

Holly Taylor shines as Russian spies' all-American daughter

Learning and keeping secret that your parents are Russian spies would be a lot for any teenager to handle. That's been the heavy burden for Paige Jennings on FX's Cold War-era thriller "The Americans."

The responsible, good-hearted Paige strikes a stark counterpoint to Elizabeth and Philip, her mom and dad, who, behind their masquerade as modern circa-1980s Americans, are Soviet-born KGB officers doing their undercover best to help bring down the U.S.

   This powerful series, which airs Tuesday at 10 p.m. Eastern, has no shortage of action, intrigue and wig disguises as the cloak-and-dagger couple (Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys) carry out their subterfuge right under the nose of FBI counterintelligence agent Stan Beeman (Noah Emmerich), who, as luck would have it, lives across the street in their Washington suburb.

But it's Paige who has emerged as the show's pivotal figure. Propelled by Holly Taylor's winsome portrayal, she has blossomed as the series' moral center. And she represents the series' biggest question mark as "The Americans" races toward its sixth and final season next year: What path will this all-American girl choose as, more and more, she becomes implicated in her parents' mission to make Russia great again? (This week's episode offers a new clue.)

   Now 16, Paige was first seen on the premiere of "The Americans" typing a theme for class on a topic that made her mother seethe: How the Russians cheat on arms control.

   "In season one, I was just kind of sitting there," says Taylor, a fresh-faced young woman with sparkling eyes who, at 19, scarcely looks older than the character she plays. "It was good the part wasn't really big in the beginning. As they amped it up, that gave me the chance to learn."

Then, two seasons ago, an increasingly suspicious Paige forced the issue.

"I'm not stupid," she said as she confronted her parents in a memorable scene. "I know there's something going on."

   "We serve our country," her mother said. And that didn't mean the USA.

At her insistence, Paige increasingly has been taken into her parents' confidence. At the same time, she clashes with them — in particular, over her choice of boyfriends. A puppy-love romance has sparked between Paige and the anyone-but-him boy across the street: the son of FBI agent Beeman.

   The relationship between Paige and Matthew Beeman (played by Danny Flaherty) is sweetly innocent thus far. But it could always go further. "Some of the things, I had a stand-in for," Taylor volunteers, with no details. "I have to do the kiss itself because you see my face. But anything that goes past the kiss is not me. I'm not comfortable doing that, for now, and the producers respect my boundaries."

   Growing up in New Jersey, Taylor started dance lessons when she was 3, and at age 11 began a two-year stint dancing in the kid-centric Broadway musical "Billy Elliot."

   After that, she decided to try performing for the camera.

   "That seemed like a logical next step," she says. "But I was so shy. So I took a few acting classes and began to have more fun with it. I thought, 'I can actually do this.'"

   After a round of auditions, she landed the part of Paige.

   "I'm so proud to play her," Taylor says. "Usually the teenage girl on a TV show just butts into everything and gets everyone annoyed. But I think Paige is complex, and her story line makes sense."

   As everybody knows, it's the teen who typically rebels on TV. But in this case it's Paige who tries to follow the rules while her parents, in their own highly regimented way, run wild.

  This sets off highly charged moments between Taylor and her co-stars Russell and Rhys.

"After the scene where they told Paige they were spies, all three of us sat at the table and couldn't even talk, we were just so exhausted from bringing out those emotions.

  "But I never feel uncomfortable or nervous doing a really emotional scene in front of them," she says. "When you have to break down and cry, they're there to help you. They're so open and generous and welcoming. I'm really lucky to have that."

   This season "The Americans" has gained an unsought burst of relevance as America suffers a relapse into Cold War-style heebie-jeebies.

   Even so, Taylor's show remains laser-focused on the long-ago '80s. And despite her not having been born until 1997, so is she.

   "All the writers are so talented, just reading the script I feel like I'm THERE," she says. "And once I get into wardrobe and get on set, I'm in the character who lives at that time."

  "Still, as a viewer, you relate 'The Americans' to yourself and what you see going on around you," she allows. "That's what people are finding out about our show now. And that's cool."


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




Tomi Lahren booted permanently from The Blaze, report claims

The New York Post’s Page Six reports that Tomi Lahren has been booted off Glenn Beck’s The Blaze for good.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Is Tomi Lahren getting ousted from The Blaze?

The news comes after the contentious commentator and her show caught a weeklong suspension from The Blaze following her appearance on “The View,” in which Lahren took a pro-abortion stance. She said it was “hypocritical” for conservatives who believed in limited government to also believe it right for a government to intrude on something as personal as an abortion.

“Glenn is reminding the world of his conservative principles by sidelining Tomi after she insulted conservatives by calling them hypocrites,” one source told Page Six.

>> Read more trending news

“He just couldn’t sit by and watch as Tomi Lahren said there’s no way for conservatives to justify anything other than being pro-choice.”

The news comes as Lahren, 24, appears to be accepting the inevitable, spending time with friends and planning a next step.

Over the weekend, she posted a photograph on Instagram with the caption, “Thanks Houston for showing 2 Dallas girls some good times after a rough week.” She added the caption #gonnabeokay.

>> See the post here

Actress, producer-writer of 'Orange Is The New Black' marry

An actress and producer-writer from "Orange Is The New Black" have married.

Actress Samira Wiley, who plays the character Poussey Washington on the Netflix show, and Lauren Morelli wedded Saturday in Palm Springs, where they were engaged. Publicist Scott Boute says both women wore gowns designed by Christian Siriano.

Wiley, 29, will also appear in the upcoming series "The Handmaid's Tale," based on the 1985 novel by Canadian author Margaret Atwood that depicts New England under a totalitarian theocracy.

Morelli, 34, has worked as a writer, story editor and producer of "Orange Is The New Black," which depicts life inside a women's prison, since 2014.

Koppel says Hannity is 'bad for America'; Hannity fires back

Veteran newsman Ted Koppel told Fox News host Sean Hannity that he is "bad for America" in an interview that aired on CBS' "Sunday Morning" that quickly became a trending topic on social media Sunday.

Hannity fired back on Twitter alleging that his interview had been cut significantly from 45 minutes to less than two. The Fox news host said he provided many examples of media bias in the cut footage and challenged the network to air the full segment.

The CBS Sunday Morning segment examined the polarization of the country and the phenomenon of "fake news" and how conservative pundits like Hannity may be contributing to broad societal confusion and the inability to distinguish between ideology and fact.

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