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PBS' "Poldark" is back: Flawed hero, satisfied star

Before starting an interview, Aidan Turner checks that he won't be a bother.

"If I need to shut up a bit, let me know, OK?" the Irish actor called out to others using a hotel conference area. "You don't mind if I smoke this vapor thing?" Turner then inquired of a reporter sitting opposite him.

Very considerate, much like Ross Poldark, the 18th-century soldier-turned-mine-owner he plays in PBS' "Poldark." The remake of the 1970s drama series begins its second season Sunday on "Masterpiece" with a two-hour episode (8-10 p.m. EDT; check local listings for time).

The reincarnated Poldark struck some viewers as more of a "do-gooder" than Robin Ellis' portrayal of a moral but willful man in the original series, Turner acknowledges. But he says change is ahead for the Revolutionary War veteran engaged in new fights on his home turf of Cornwall, England.

When the series first began, Turner said, he realized that a sweeping dramatic arc was needed to reveal Poldark's character, for better and worse. After betrayals, a wrenching family death and criminal charges that could cost him his life, Ross isn't Mr. Perfect anymore.

"I knew we were going to have to crash him down, and he makes huge blunders and mistakes, unforgivable kind of actions this season," Turner said. While his "heart is there," he said, Poldark thrashes opponents and cruelly confronts his lost love, Elizabeth, played by Heida Reed.

Sporting a black leather jacket and a beard nearly as dark, the actor himself looks a bit dangerous. But he's affable, smiles freely and is far more engagingly talkative than his character.

Turner's grin is especially notable when he discusses scenes in which his character guides a galloping horse along the Cornish cliffs. They're a staple of the series and always "thrilling" to shoot, he said.

"You finish a take and think, 'This is my job? How lucky am I to do this?'" he said.

But his favorite season-two scene takes place in a courtroom, with Poldark defending himself against murder and other crimes.

"These days, you don't have a lot of time to learn the lines and prep. You might give yourself a week ahead or a few days. I gave myself a month or five weeks of learning the dialogue and playing with it," he said. "I was quite happy with how it turned out. It reminded me of the old theater days, with four or five pages of really chunky stuff."

He also enjoys the domestic turns in which Poldark and wife Demelza, played by Eleanor Tomlinson, simply talk. "She's such a wonderful performer. She's so real, so truthful," Turner said of his co-star.

Between "Poldark" seasons, Turner is making movies and in impressive company.

One is the upcoming "Loving Vincent," about the last days of Vincent van Gogh and including characters from the painter's works (Turner plays one, the Boatman). Saoirse Ronan, Chris O'Dowd and Turner's "Poldark" spouse, Tomlinson, also star.

Another is "The Secret Scripture," directed by fellow Irishman Jim Sheridan ("My Left Foot," ''In the Name of the Father"). The film, shown recently at the Toronto film festival, includes Rooney Mara, Eric Bana and Vanessa Redgrave.

Sheridan is "a hero of mine. He's crazy brilliant," Turner said. "I would have taken any job. I would have worked with the catering guys to see what he was like."

The filmmaker didn't let him down, proving himself a true "actor's director" who sets the bar high and helps his cast stretch to reach it, Turner said. That mirrors how he's pursuing his career as he's become an established name, thanks to projects including "The Hobbit" franchise and "Poldark."

"I'm just picking, if I can, these interesting projects, trying to pick and choose a little more," he said, something he knows is a gift. "At the beginning, to get any job is a privilege — and it still is. That will never disappear because you're only as good as your last job."

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Lynn Elber is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. She can be reached at lelber@ap.org and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lynnelber.

Parsons, fellow 'Big Bang' actors top Forbes' best-paid list

"The Big Bang Theory" does a bang-up job of making its stars rich.

The CBS comedy claims TV's four best-paid actors, according to the annual list released Thursday by Forbes .

Jim Parsons led with a $25.5 million take between June 2015 and this June, Forbes said, followed by cast-mates Johnny Galecki ($24 million), Simon Helberg ($22.5 million) and Kunal Nayyar ($22 million).

In fifth place: Mark Harmon, star of CBS' drama "NCIS," was paid $20 million (as with all these actors, before management fees and taxes).

Forbes' list of TV actresses, released last week, reaffirms the generous salaries for "Big Bang" stars: Leading lady, Kaley Cuoco placed second on that list, with $24.5 million.

In that top spot: ABC's "Modern Family" bombshell Sofia Vergara, with $43 million.

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Online:

http://www.forbes.com

UK quiz show champ arrested on suspicion of Amsterdam murder

A quiz-show champion who appeared on the long-running BBC show "Eggheads" has been arrested over an alleged murder, after writing in a memoir that he might have killed a man in Amsterdam almost 30 years ago.

Joseph Connagh, whose professional name is C.J. de Mooi, was arrested at Heathrow Airport on Wednesday on a Dutch-issued European Arrest Warrant, London's Metropolitan Police said.

He appeared Thursday at Westminster Magistrates' Court, where a prosecutor said he was wanted over allegations of murder, manslaughter and assault.

"It relates to an incident said to have taken place in 1988 in Amsterdam," prosecutor Brian Gibbons said.

De Mooi, 46, appeared for a decade on "Eggheads," which pits a team of quiz show champions against a different group of challengers each time.

In a 2015 autobiography, he wrote about his troubled youth, and said he might have killed a man while he was homeless in Amsterdam in 1988. He said he punched a knife-wielding mugger and threw him into a canal.

"I fully suspect I killed him. I've no idea what happened to him," de Mooi wrote.

Defense lawyer Chris Stevens said there was a "lot of missing information" from the arrest warrant.

"There doesn't appear to be a named victim in the warrant, date of birth or even an address where this matter took place," he said.

De Mooi was released on bail until an extradition hearing on Nov. 28.

Mary Berry quits 'Great British Bake Off' to stay at BBC

"The Great British Bake Off" is losing one of its main ingredients.

Cookery writer Mary Berry announced Thursday that she will quit as a judge on the hit TV baking competition when it leaves the BBC next year for another channel. Her co-judge, bread expert Paul Hollywood, said he would stay.

Berry, an 81-year-old baking expert, has become one of Britain's more unlikely TV stars as a judge on the contest, famed for her kindly perfectionism and dislike of "soggy bottoms." She has also appeared on a U.S. version of the program for ABC.

"My decision to stay with the BBC is out of loyalty to them, as they have nurtured me, and the show," Berry said.

The BBC announced last week it had lost the rights to "Bake Off," which it has broadcast since 2010, after rival Channel 4 offered more money to program maker Love Productions.

The news upset some of the program's millions of fans, because the publicly funded BBC developed and supported the show, taking it from niche curiosity to cultural phenomenon. "Bake Off" — in which amateur bakers compete to create elaborate cakes, tortes, trifles and flans — is broadcast in dozens of countries and has spawned similar local shows in several countries.

Hollywood said the show "has been a huge part of my life in the past few years, and I just couldn't turn my back on all that."

Co-hosts Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, who set the show's tone of gentle but saucy humor, also are leaving.

Despite the loss of three-quarters of its stars, Love Productions said the show "will remain wholly familiar."

"'Bake Off' will be produced by the same team, in the same tent, with the same recipe," the company said in a statement.

Bee says she likes Fallon, but couldn't take Trump interview

Comic Samantha Bee insists she's a Jimmy Fallon fan. But she said Wednesday that her caustic attack this week on Fallon's now-infamous hair mussing appearance with Donald Trump came because she'd had it with the "continued normalization of deplorable."

The fallout from Trump's "Tonight" show appearance last Thursday is the most serious faced by the genial Fallon since he replaced Jay Leno in 2014 and instantly became the nation's most popular late-night host.

He received widespread criticism for being too chummy with the Republican candidate — Democrat Hillary Clinton jokingly presented Fallon with a bag of softballs — and Bee cited that appearance and Trump's week hosting "Saturday Night Live" last fall in a segment on her TBS show on Monday. She accused NBC of tacitly condoning a demagogue.

"It was not really a Jimmy thing," Bee said on Wednesday. "It was more of an NBC thing. Coming on the heels of the Matt Lauer interview (of Trump, at a national security forum), we were just done ... with these gossamer-light interviews of this person and the continued normalization of deplorable."

NBC hasn't responded to the fallout.

In the TBS segment, Bee said that at a time some opponents compare Trump to Adolf Hitler, "maybe don't invite him into your house to play with your adorable children."

She then showed clips of Fallon asking Trump whether he had ever played the board game "Sorry" and messing up the candidate's elaborate hairstyle.

"Aw. Trump can be a total sweetheart with someone who has no reason to be terrified of him," Bee said on TBS.

Fallon's interview may have been a case of exquisitely bad timing, coming just as polls reflected a tightening presidential race and Clinton's supporters were becoming nervous. And it contrasted with some of Fallon's late-night brethren, particularly Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert, who brutalized Trump this week for his statement on the birther controversy he nurtured.

To a certain school of comics, one criticism may have stung the most: Vulture's assertion that Fallon had "become Jay Leno." Of course, Leno did strong business for NBC for two decades.

Trump and NBC have been linked since he hosted "The Apprentice" for the network. NBC cut business ties to Trump's Miss Universe pageant following Trump's description of some Mexican immigrants as rapists in 2015, even though some found the later "SNL" hosting slot inconsistent with that decision. NBC's chief entertainment executive was caught this summer bashing Trump in a private Facebook post.

The Trump appearance on Fallon wasn't much different from when other politicians are on his show; it was the context that was different. When interviewing Clinton on Monday, Fallon jokingly donned a surgical mask (ostensibly to protect himself from exposure to the Democrat's pneumonia) and asked whether her husband, former President Bill Clinton, "is a good nurse."

"Anyone who knows Jimmy Fallon knows that what he offered up in the Trump interview was par for the course," said Dannagal Young, a University of Delaware professor and expert on late-night comedy. "It's consistent with his style and consistent with the point of his show. He's not a satirist. He's like your playful little brother."

Fallon echoed that thought when a reporter from TMZ caught up to him over the weekend: "Have you seen my show? I'm never too hard on anyone."

"I completely understand it if Jimmy is saying, 'Who are these people? Who do they think I am?'" Young said. But he should be mindful of the fact that with less than two months until the election, it's a much different atmosphere, Young said.

The tone has been completely different if you click your remote over to Fallon's CBS competitor, Colbert, and even if you stay up later to watch Meyers on NBC.

Both comics minced no words in attacking Trump this week. Like Bee, they went beyond the role of late-night comics to offer pointed commentary. Their segments felt like news reports where they showed extensive film clips of Trump questioning whether President Barack Obama had been born in the United States and contradicting his own words in the news conference.

"You don't get to flog this issue for five years and act like you were correcting everybody else," Colbert said. "We're not crazy. We were there. We all saw you do it. Even the people who support you saw you do it. It's why they support you."

Meyers, who has banned Trump from appearing on his show, compared Trump's false assertion that Hillary Clinton had started the birther controversy to Bruce Springsteen saying he wrote "Born to Run" because he heard Bon Jovi say the phrase once.

Plastic surgeon who has been guest on TV faces drug charges

A Massachusetts plastic surgeon who's been a guest on several national television programs is facing drug charges.

Police say 70-year-old Sheldon Sevinor was arrested Sunday when officers conducting surveillance on a suspected drug dealer witnessed what appeared to be a drug transaction involving Sevinor.

Prosecutors say Sevinor's arraignment is scheduled for Oct. 11. Police say he's charged with possession of crack cocaine.

Sevinor's attorney tells The Daily Item of Lynn that his client "has never been accused of any type of inappropriate behavior" in 40 years as a surgeon. He declined to comment on the specifics of the charges.

Sevinor lives in Nahant and has offices in Lynn, Boston and Florida. He has been a featured guest on "Good Morning America," ''The Oprah Winfrey Show," ''The View" and "Inside Edition."

Fox News: Sean Hannity won't appear in any more Trump videos

Fox News says Sean Hannity won't be appearing in any more campaign videos for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Hannity touts what he sees as the benefits of a Trump presidency in a video titled "#HEARTLAND4TRUMP" posted on the candidate's YouTube channel Sunday. Hannity's appears in about 30 seconds of the 8-minute long video.

In a statement, Fox News said Hannity "will not be doing anything along these lines for the remainder of the election season." Fox said it did not know in advance that Hannity would be making the appearance.

In the video, Hannity is identified as a "TV personality." Conservative rocker Ted Nugent and several hunters appear to express the belief that Trump will protect their rights. Hannity says that he has been a marksman since he was 11 years old, so "protecting our Second Amendment rights is paramount to me."

A Fox spokeswoman had no immediate answer Wednesday when asked whether Hannity would be disciplined for the campaign appearance. In 2010, Hannity was ordered by his Fox bosses to cancel an appearance at a Tea Party rally in Cincinnati. He was to headline a fundraiser for the political organization and planned to broadcast the rally on his show.

Hannity has made no secret of his support for Trump and acknowledged to The New York Times last month he gives the candidate campaign advice. He maintains that as an opinionated talk show host, he should not be held to the same impartiality standards as reporters.

As Trump has cut back on opportunities for reporters to question him, Fox News — and particularly Hannity's show — has been a favored venue. A Trump town hall in Ohio on Wednesday morning, with Hannity's participation, is to be aired on Hannity's prime-time show at 10 p.m. EDT.

Nielsen's top programs for Sept. 12-18

Prime-time viewership numbers compiled by Nielsen for Sept. 12-18. Listings include the week's ranking and viewership.

1. NFL Football: Green Bay at Minnesota, NBC, 22.75 million.

2. "NFL Pre-Kick," NBC, 16.74 million.

3. NFL Football: N.Y. Jets at Buffalo, CBS, 15.39 million.

4. "America's Got Talent" (Wednesday), NBC, 14.41 million.

5. "America's Got Talent" (Tuesday), NBC, 13.97 million.

6. NFL Football: Pittsburgh at Washington, ESPN, 12.96 million.

7. "60 Minutes," CBS, 12.7 million.

8. "Dancing With the Stars," ABC, 12.19 million.

9. "Football Night in America" (Sunday, 7:55 p.m.), NBC, 11.86 million.

10. "Emmy Awards," ABC, 11.38 million.

11. "JonBenet Ramsey: Part 1," CBS, 10.42 million.

12. NFL Football: Los Angeles vs. San Francisco, ESPN, 10.25 million.

13. "NFL Pre-Kick," CBS, 9.26 million.

14. "Better Late Than Never," NBC, 7.64 million.

15. "Blindspot," NBC, 7.1 million.

16. "Thursday Night Kickoff," CBS, 6.89 million.

17. "NCIS," CBS, 6.37 million.

18. "Big Brother" (Tuesday), CBS, 6.35 million.

19. "Football Night in America" (Sunday, 7:30 p.m.), NBC, 6.3 million.

20. "Big Brother" (Wednesday), CBS, 6.12 million.

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ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co.; CBS is a division of CBS Corp.; Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox; NBC is owned by NBC Universal.

8. "Dancing With the Stars," ABC, 12.19 million.

9. "Football Night in America" (Sunday, 7:55 p.m.), NBC, 11.86 million.

10. "Emmy Awards," ABC, 11.38 million.

11. "JonBenet Ramsey: Part 1," CBS, 10.42 million.

12. NFL Football: Los Angeles vs. San Francisco, ESPN, 10.25 million.

13. "NFL Pre-Kick," CBS, 9.26 million.

14. "Better Late Than Never," NBC, 7.64 million.

15. "Blindspot," NBC, 7.1 million.

16. "Thursday Night Kickoff," CBS, 6.89 million.

17. "NCIS," CBS, 6.37 million.

18. "Big Brother" (Tuesday), CBS, 6.35 million.

19. "Football Night in America" (Sunday, 7:30 p.m.), NBC, 6.3 million.

20. "Big Brother" (Wednesday), CBS, 6.12 million.

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ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co.; CBS is a division of CBS Corp.; Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox; NBC is owned by NBC Universal.

Charlie Sheen to star in comedy feature for Crackle network

Winning? Famously rambunctious former sitcom star Charlie Sheen will star in and executive produce a movie for Crackle, the streaming network said Tuesday.

The film, "Mad Families," is described as a multi-generational comedy starring Sheen as a lovable man-child with a heart of gold.

It also features Leah Remini and Clint Howard, and was written by actor-comedian David Spade with Fred Wolf, who is directing. No premiere date was disclosed.

Sheen starred in the hit CBS sitcom "Two and a Half Men" for eight seasons before being dismissed in 2011 after a heated clash with the show's producers and studio.

He made headlines last November when he publicly revealed that he was HIV-positive, while insisting he was healthy and that his partying days were over.

'America's Got Talent' gives season-ending win to NBC

The 12-year-old singing sensation Grace VanderWaal's $1 million prize capped a successful season for summer's favorite television show, "America's Got Talent," and helped NBC to victory last week in the television ratings.

VanderWaal's feel-good story and the return of Simon Cowell to a judge's table led to a strong season for the summer favorite, which will now be shelved with the onset of television's fall season. Last Wednesday's season finale reached 14.4 million viewers, the Nielsen company said.

It was not such good news for the Emmy Awards, which brought 11.4 million viewers to ABC on Sunday. It was the smallest audience ever recorded for the TV awards show.

The Emmys were hurt by a NBC's football game, which had 22.8 million viewers, and a CBS special on JonBenet Ramsey, with 10.4 million. Broadcasters once cleared the decks and left little competition for the Emmys. There's little incentive to do that now, with cable networks and streaming services dominating the awards.

Nielsen's top 20 last week was clogged with 9 football games or football-related shows.

NBC averaged 8.7 million viewers for the week in prime-time. CBS had 7.6 million, ABC had 5.1 million, Fox had 2.8 million, Telemundo had 1.8 million, Univision had 1.5 million, ION Television had 1.3 million and the CW had 1 million.

ESPN was the week's most popular cable network, averaging 3.24 million viewers in prime-time. Fox had 2.39 million, TBS had 1.49 million, HGTV had 1.48 million and USA had 1.4 million.

NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 7.8 million viewers. ABC's "World News Tonight" was second with 7.7 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 6.3 million viewers.

For the week of Sept. 12-18, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: NFL Football: Green Bay at Minnesota, NBC, 22.75 million; "NFL Pre-Kick," NBC, 16.74 million; NFL Football: N.Y. Jets at Buffalo, CBS, 15.39 million; "America's Got Talent" (Wednesday), NBC, 14.41 million; "America's Got Talent" (Tuesday), NBC, 13.97 million; NFL Football: Pittsburgh at Washington, ESPN, 12.96 million; "60 Minutes," CBS, 12.7 million; "Dancing With the Stars," ABC, 12.19 million; "Football Night in America" (Sunday, 7:55 p.m.), NBC, 11.86 million; "Emmy Awards," ABC, 11.38 million.

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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.

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Online:

http://www.nielsen.com

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