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'Will & Grace' stars reunite for pro-Clinton video

The stars of "Will & Grace" are back together in a video that delivers punchlines and a political message: Vote for Hillary Clinton.

Debra Messing, Eric McCormack, Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes reunite in character for a nearly 10-minute video released Monday. It arrived online before the first debate between the Democratic candidate and GOP contender Donald Trump.

The video opens with McCormack's Will and Messing's Grace trading quips and fretting over the prospect of a Trump presidency. Mullally's Karen comes flouncing in with a pro-Trump sticker on her handbag, followed by Hayes' undecided Jack.

He becomes the target of a tug-of-war between the two sides after he drops the fact he's registered to vote in a battleground state.

"How can one unemployed white fella registered in Pennsylvania make a difference?" Hayes says, cluelessly.

Mullally warns about the dangers the country will face without Trump and Messing lists her reasons to vote for Clinton. But Hayes replies that he hasn't heard the one thing that will make him chose one candidate over the other.

"Katy Perry likes Hillary," McCormack tells him.

'Madam Secretary' star Carradine: 1 of many TV presidents

The president, impeccable in his blue suit, strides into the Oval Office in fine spirits. He's got a paper cup of coffee, a bit unpresidential but in keeping with his casual style.

He takes his seat at his impressive desk, facing a camera where he will deliver an address about a foreign-affairs flare-up.

Now looking grave, he is about to begin speaking when he glances at his desktop and sees his coffee cup still sitting there.

"You don't want THIS," he chuckles to the man behind the camera, and sets the cup out of camera range.

Welcome to the Oval Office of Keith Carradine, who plays President Conrad Dalton on the CBS political drama "Madam Secretary," which returns for its third season Sunday at 9 p.m. EDT, as they film a scene for a future episode not at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., but on Stage F at Silvercup Studios East in Queens, New York.

It's one of many Oval Offices for TV presidents: They are sprinkled from just beyond the Beltway in Baltimore (where Kevin Spacey holds office on Netflix's "House of Cards" as conniving Francis Underwood) and just beyond the border in Toronto (where Kiefer Sutherland presides on ABC's new "Designated Survivor") all the way to Hollywood's Sunset Gower Studios (where Tony Goldwyn is bad boy President Fitzgerald Grant on ABC's "Scandal") and, just a few blocks away, the Paramount lot (home to HBO's zany "Veep," with Julia Louis-Dreyfus as addled President Selina Meyer).

Thus does television offer viewers something real-life democracy could never provide: a president for every taste.

Carradine is proud of his Oval Office. No wonder. Since the first Oval Office was installed a century ago for President William Howard Taft, it has reigned as a symbol of the president's business.

But President Dalton didn't have an Oval Office the first season of "Madam President." As a recurring cast member, Carradine performed his presidential duties in scenes located elsewhere (including White House corridors that actually belonged to Manhattan's Waldorf Astoria hotel).

His Oval Office set, introduced for Season 2, is appropriately elegant.

"The desk is a replica of the one that JFK used," Carradine tells a reporter between shots, "made from the timbers of a famous frigate in the 1850s."

The 67-year-old Carradine is no stranger to playing real-life American heroes. In the HBO series "Deadwood," he was Wild Bill Hickok. On Broadway, he portrayed the rope-twirling, wisecracking title character in "Will Rogers Follies."

But, plopping himself in a wing chair near the Situation Room once the scene is finished, he says he has no president in mind in his depiction of Dalton.

"I'm just looking at the elements that I'm given," he explains, "and then imagining myself in each situation to find the truth of how this character would behave.

"One of the essentials of good drama is conflict," he adds, "and on this show you have to understand that our Madam Secretary is the driving force. What makes the show compelling is the obstacles that she has to face and overcome — and one of those obstacles is me!"

But even if President Dalton is a supporting character to Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord (Tea Leoni), he's a leader with presidential gravitas thanks to Carradine.

"On the set, I don't necessarily put that on, as much as I have it put on me," he insists. "This is a really fun work place for the actors and the crew, with Tea setting the tone and everybody playing make-believe."

That includes giving their proxy president a show of hail-to-the-chief respect.

"It adds immeasurably to my sense of who I am as this character," Carradine says.

Meanwhile, he keeps his distance from his fellow pseudo presidents.

"There are a lot of us out there, and I don't seem to have the time to catch what everybody else is doing," he says. "But I do think it would be fun to have all of us engaging in a presidential debate."

He grins at the thought.

"But maybe it's best to leave well enough alone and stay in my own universe. My own Oval Office."

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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

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Online:

http://www.cbs.com

Transgender child actor to guest star on 'Modern Family'

A transgender child actor will guest star on Wednesday night's "Modern Family."

Director Ryan Case has posted a picture of herself alongside 8-year-old Jackson Millarker on Instagram . She writes that Millarker will play Lily's friend, Tom. Lily is the daughter of Cam and Mitchell, played on the show by Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson. A spokeswoman for ABC has confirmed Millarker's appearance.

Case says that Millarker is "just wonderful" and one of many reasons she loves being a part of the show.

A synopsis of the episode titled "A Stereotypical Day" says Cam and Mitchell overhear Lily insulting Tom and use the moment to teach her a lesson about acceptance.

Moderator Lester Holt worked to keep control of debate

After initially taking a hands-off approach to the two strong-willed presidential candidates before him, NBC's Lester Holt more aggressively challenged Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as the general election's first debate wore on and he warmed to the often-thankless role of moderator.

Holt asked questions about job creation and home-grown terrorism in Monday's first debate, and also hit on specific issues regarding the birther controversy, Trump's decision not to release his tax returns and Clinton's email scandal. The sole journalist onstage, Holt was responsible for the questions asked and for steering the conversation.

While some Republicans rushed online to accuse the NBC News veteran of being unfair to their candidate, Trump himself praised Holt for his work.

"I thought it was great," Trump said, adding that he thought Holt had done a very good job.

It was the NBC "Nightly News" anchor's first general election debate, after doing a Democratic forum during the primaries. Holt has been NBC's top anchor for more than a year, taking over from Brian Williams after Williams was caught lying about his role in news stories.

With an initial discussion about the economy and trade practices, Holt let the conversation flow and the candidates go after each other. It's a strategy many debate moderators prefer but left him vulnerable to charges that he had lost control of the action. The first subject area that Holt introduced, intended to last for 15 minutes, stretched for nearly 45 minutes.

He constantly needed to remind the candidates to stick to time limits, which was tough when they decided to steamroll over him. At one point he said, "20 seconds" when Trump tried to make a point, but it stretched to 55 seconds before Holt could get in another question.

Later in the debate, Holt interjected some fact-checking, raising Trump's ire in the process. That had been a major issue going into Monday evening, with the Clinton campaign arguing that fact-checking should be part of a moderator's job and the Trump campaign saying it should be left up to the candidates.

Holt's NBC colleague, Matt Lauer, was criticized for not challenging Trump at a forum earlier this month when the candidate said he had opposed the war in Iraq — when there is interview footage from 2002 that shows otherwise. The issue came up again Monday, with Trump saying it was "wrong, wrong, wrong" that he initially supported the war.

"I was against the war in Iraq," Trump said.

Replied Holt: "The record shows otherwise."

"The record shows that I'm right," Trump argued.

When Trump advocated for the "stop-and-frisk" police policy, Holt told him that it was declared unconstitutional in New York largely because it singled out black and Latino young men.

"No, you're wrong," Trump said, adding that he believed the court decision would have been overturned on appeal.

Holt later brought up the issue of Trump's questioning whether President Barack Obama had been born in the United States, and asked him what made him conclude this month that Obama was indeed a legitimate citizen. Trump twice did not address the question, and cut Holt off when he tried a third approach.

"What do you say to American people of color..." Holt started asking.

"I say nothing," Trump replied.

Republicans criticized Holt after the debate for bringing up more issues that were damaging to Trump and ignoring issues that would have reflected more poorly on Clinton.

"Lester Holt clearly heard cries of his colleagues in the liberal media to be tough on Trump and ease up on Hillary loud and clear," tweeted Brent Bozell, president of the conservative media watchdogs Media Research Center.

One media observer, columnist Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times, tweeted that "Lester Holt has done a fine job as moderator. Not too intrusive, moving things along, fact-checking when necessary."

In a reflection of the attention paid to Holt, his voter registration became an issue last week.

"Lester is a Democrat," Trump said in a Fox News Channel interview. "It's a phony system. They are all Democrats."

Holt, however, is a registered Republican, according to New York state voting records.

Asked about the misstatement on Monday, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said on MSNBC that it wasn't a lie because Trump didn't know Holt's voter registration.

CNN's Anderson Cooper and ABC's Martha Raddatz will team up to moderate the second presidential debate, with Chris Wallace of Fox News in charge of the third.

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Follow David Bauder at twitter.com/dbauder. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/david-bauder

Moderator Lester Holt works to keep control of debate

NBC's Lester Holt struggled to keep control of the first debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, learning the dangers of fact-checking in the midst of a tense confrontation being viewed by tens of millions of people.

The NBC News veteran was moderating his first general election debate Monday night, making him solely responsible for the questions asked each candidate and for steering the conversation. He asked tough questions on the birther controversy, Donald Trump's decision not to release tax returns and Clinton's e-mail scandal.

His tensest confrontations came with Trump, and some of the Republican's supporters rushed to defend their candidate online.

At first, Holt let the conversation flow and the candidates go after each other. It's a strategy many debate moderators prefer but left him vulnerable to criticism that he had lost control of the action. The first subject area that Holt introduced, intended to last for 15 minutes, stretched for nearly 45 minutes.

He constantly needed to remind the candidates to stick to time limits, which was tough when they decided to steamroll over him. At one point he said, "20 seconds" when Trump tried to make a point, but it stretched to 55 seconds before Holt could get in another question.

Later in the debate, Holt interjected some fact-checking, raising Trump's ire in the process. That had been a major issue going into Monday evening, with the Clinton campaign arguing that fact-checking should be part of a moderator's job and the Trump campaign saying it should be left up to the candidates.

Holt's NBC colleague, Matt Lauer, was criticized for not challenging Trump at a forum earlier this month when the candidate said he had opposed the war in Iraq — when there is interview footage from 2002 that shows otherwise. The issue came up again Monday, with Trump saying it was "wrong, wrong, wrong" that he initially supported the war.

"I was against the war in Iraq," Trump said.

Replied Holt: "The record shows otherwise."

"The record shows that I'm right," Trump argued.

When Trump advocated for the "stop-and-frisk" police policy, Holt told him that it was declared unconstitutional in New York largely because it singled out black and Latino young men.

"No, you're wrong," Trump said, adding that he believed the court decision would have been overturned on appeal.

Holt later brought up the issue of Trump's questioning whether President Barack Obama had been born in the United States, and asked him what made him conclude this month that Obama was indeed a legitimate citizen. Trump twice did not address the question, and cut Holt off when he tried a third approach.

"What do you say to American people of color..." Holt started asking.

"I say nothing," Trump replied.

Republicans criticized Trump after the debate for bringing up more issues that were damaging to Trump and ignoring issues that would have reflected more poorly on Clinton.

"Lester Holt clearly heard cries of his colleagues in the liberal media to be tough on Trump and ease up on Hillary loud and clear," tweeted Brent Bozell, president of the conservative media watchdogs Media Research Center.

In an interview after the debate, however, Trump said he thought Holt "did a really good job. I thought it was great." He said he thought a lot of good and important topics were brought up.

One media observer, columnist Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times, tweeted that "Lester Holt has done a fine job as moderator. Not too intrusive, moving things along, fact-checking when necessary."

In a reflection of the attention paid to Holt, his voter registration became an issue last week.

"Lester is a Democrat," Trump said in a Fox News Channel interview. "It's a phony system. They are all Democrats."

Holt, however, is a registered Republican, according to New York state voting records.

Asked about the misstatement on Monday, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said on MSNBC that it wasn't a lie because Trump didn't know Holt's voter registration.

CNN's Anderson Cooper and ABC's Martha Raddatz will team up to moderator the second presidential debate, with Chris Wallace of Fox News in charge of the third.

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Follow David Bauder at twitter.com/dbauder. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/david-bauder

Martin Bashir returning to BBC as religion correspondent

The BBC says journalist Martin Bashir is rejoining the broadcaster as religion correspondent after many years in the United States.

Bashir said Monday he was "delighted" to return to the BBC as religious affairs correspondent, covering the major issues affecting different faiths in Britain and around the world.

Bashir gained fame for a 1995 BBC interview with Princess Diana in which she discussed the breakup of her marriage to Prince Charles.

His 2003 documentary "Living With Michael Jackson" aired on ABC in 2003 to a huge audience.

Bashir joined ABC in 2004 and in 2010 moved to NBC as an MSNBC anchor and a correspondent on the "Dateline" program. He resigned from MSNBC in 2013 after graphically disparaging a comment former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin made about slavery.

Dustin Hoffman & Judi Dench receive Int'l Emmy nominations

Dustin Hoffman and Judi Dench received International Emmy nominations Monday for their roles in the BBC One TV movie "Roald Dahl's Esio Trot."

Brazil had a leading seven nominations, followed by Britain with six, including best actor and actress for Hoffman and Dench.

The two Oscar-winning acting veterans were honored for their roles in "Esio Trot," based on Dahl's children's novel about a lonely aging bachelor who tries to woo the widow in the flat below, who is overly fond of her pet tortoise.

Germany had five nominations, including best TV movie/miniseries and best actor (Florian Stetter) for "Nackt Unter Wolfen (Naked Among Wolves)," an adaptation of the novel by East German author Bruno Apitz about prisoners in the Buchenwald concentration camp who risk their lives to hide a Polish-Jewish boy.

Canada and South Korea each had three nominations, while Argentina, France and the Philippines had two apiece.

The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences said 40 nominees from 15 countries will be competing in 10 categories for the International Emmys, which honor excellence in TV programming outside the U.S. The awards will be presented Nov. 21 at a gala at the Hilton New York Hotel hosted by Alan Cumming.

Brazilian nominees include Alexandre Nero (best actor) for "A Regra do Jogo (Rules of the Game)" and Grazi Massafera (best actress) for "Verdades Secretas (Hidden Truths)," ''Zorra (The Mess)" in the comedy category and "Adotada" for non-scripted entertainment.

The other British nominees are "Hoff the Record" (comedy), "My Son the Jihadi" (documentary), "Gogglebox" (non-scripted entertainment), and "Capital" (TV movie/miniseries).

Taiwanese actor James Wen was the only other best-actor nominee for "Echoes of Time" (Singapore). Other best-actress nominees are Jodi Sta. Maria of the Philippines for "Pangako Sa'yo (The Promise)" and Germany's Christiane Paul for "Unterm Radar (Under the Radar)."

Also competing in the comedy category are France's "Dix Pour Cent (Call My Agent)" and South Africa's "Puppet Nation ZA."

Nominees for best drama series are Canada's "19-2," Argentina's "La Casa Del Mar," Germany's "Deutschland 83" and the United Arab Emirates' "Waiting for Jasmin."

Shonda Rhimes, writer, executive producer and creator of hit TV series such as "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal," will be presented the honorary International Emmy Founders Award. Maria Rorbye Ronn, CEO and director general of the Danish Broadcasting Corp., will receive the honorary International Emmy Directorate Award.

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Online:

www.iemmys.tv

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This story has been corrected to Judi Dench from Judy Dench in overlines and story.

Matt LeBlanc signs 2-series deal to host BBC's 'Top Gear'

The BBC says former "Friends" star Matt LeBlanc has signed a two-series deal to host its popular car show "Top Gear."

The broadcaster announced Monday that LeBlanc will front the program when it returns for a 24th series in 2017.

LeBlanc was one of two hosts when "Top Gear" was relaunched in May after the loss of its longstanding team of presenters. His co-host, Chris Evans, quit in July after the show drew lackluster ratings and lukewarm reviews.

A mix of humor, stunts and automotive advice, "Top Gear" became a global hit under presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.

The trio left last year after an off-set dustup in which Clarkson punched a producer. They are hosting a new car show, "The Grand Tour," on Amazon Prime.

VIEWER'S GUIDE: Trust and temperament key themes in debate

The most telling moments in presidential debates often come out of the blue — an offhand remark or unrehearsed gesture that helps to reveal the essence of a candidate who's already been poked, prodded and inspected for years.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have competing missions heading into Monday night's leadoff debate of the general election campaign: Hers to overcome the trust questions that have bedeviled her for decades. His to convince voters that he has the good judgment and restraint required of a president.

Plenty of subtexts will play out as well over 90 minutes of must-see TV before an estimated audience of 75 million or more viewers — an outsized share of them disenchanted with both candidates.

Some things to watch for Monday night:

___

CLINTON vs. INTERNATIONAL MAN OF MYSTERY

Just who will show up to debate Clinton? Will it be the say-anything Trump who roiled the primary debates by dishing out a stream of insults and provocations? Or the rein-it-in Trump who's been trying to demonstrate of late that he has the maturity and measured temperament to be president? One possible clue: Watch to see whether Trump trots out the "crooked Hillary" nickname or puts it on ice for 90 minutes.

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TAKE A DEEP BREATH

Expect Clinton to try to goad Trump into losing control, perhaps by questioning the size of his wealth and the success of his businesses or by highlighting his past incendiary statements about minorities, women and others. Trump is promising to "stay cool." But 90 minutes could be a long time for the master of improv and theatrics to hew to a script.

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POLICY PITFALLS

Both candidates have policy gaps to fill in and changes in position to explain. At its best, the debate could help flesh out details of both candidates' platforms, highlighting similarities and differences. There are pitfalls here for Trump in particular: Weak on policy, he's vulnerable to slip-ups that could feed into the not-ready-to-govern line that Clinton is pushing. Trump has been studying up: You can bet he now knows what the nuclear triad is. (During the primary debates, he seemed not to understand that it represents weapons in silos, submarines and bombers.)

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THOSE 'DAMN EMAILS'

Clinton largely got a pass during the Democratic primary debates on her use of a private email system when she was secretary of state. Primary rival Bernie Sanders, in their first debate, did Clinton a favor when he declared that "people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails." Don't expect Trump to cut Clinton a similar break. She also has more to answer for since the FBI concluded that she was "extremely careless" in her handling of classified material in the emails. Clinton has been struggling to find an effective explanation: Now would be a good time for her to nail it.

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PUSH-UPS ANYONE?

They can't exactly drop to the floor for a one-armed pushups contest. But look for both candidates to more subtly project health and stability. After her much-publicized coughing fits and recent bout of pneumonia, Clinton will be out to show she's got the strength and stamina the White House job demands. As for Trump, critics have speculated he has any number of psychiatric disorders. It would be a good time to show a level head and solid grounding.

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POINTERS AND PINCERS

He shrugs. She bobs her head. He waves his arms. She pinches her thumb and index finger. Every wink, nod and fidget on Monday will be analyzed for silent messages that can speak volumes. President George H.W. Bush caught grief for stealing a look at his watch during a 1992 debate. Al Gore's audible sighs in a 2000 debate were seen as discourteous to George W. Bush.

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FACTIVISM

The candidates won't be the only ones under the microscope. Moderator Lester Holt of NBC News will be under enormous pressure to maintain control and act as an objective referee. In the lead-up to the debate, Trump maintained that it would be improper for Holt to try to fact-check the candidates' statements in real time. Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon tweeted that if debate moderators don't fact-check the candidates, "it is an unfair advantage to Trump, who is a congenital liar."

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GENDER DYNAMICS

Gender politics will be afoot in the first general-election debate to feature a woman. Trump had trouble navigating this terrain in the primaries, when he tried to back away from a derogatory comment about rival Carly Fiorina's looks by declaring in one debate that she had a "beautiful face." Clinton will be ready. She said earlier this year: "I have a lot of experience dealing with men who sometimes get off the reservation in the way they behave and how they speak."

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WHAT TO WEAR

Call it frivolous, but people will check out what the candidates wear, especially Clinton. When comic Zach Galifianakis recently asked Clinton what she was going to wear, Clinton said she had no idea and scolded him for "this thing called the double standard." As for what Trump will wear, Clinton said: "I assume he'll wear that red power tie." Alluding to questions about whether Trump is a racist, Galifianakis replied: "Or maybe a white power tie."

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POST-MORTEM

Even if you watch the whole debate, its impact may not be completely clear until the post-debate pontificating plays out. The analysis and selected clips that are highlighted after the debate can have a big influence on the millions of people who didn't tune in — or who watched Monday Night Football instead. And why wait for the debate to end? Your Twitter feed will be filled with significant moments before you've even had time to digest them.

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Follow Nancy Benac on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/nbenac

Jane Pauley replacing Osgood at 'Sunday Morning'

Jane Pauley is becoming a morning television host again — this time at a much more relaxed pace. CBS said Sunday she will replace Charles Osgood as anchor of the "Sunday Morning" telecast.

The bow-tied Osgood told viewers at the end of his last telecast after 22 years that Pauley would replace him. She's been a contributor to the show since 2014.

Pauley will be only the third host of the program since its 1979 start with Charles Kuralt. "Sunday Morning" averages nearly six million viewers a week, the most popular morning news program on the weekend, heavy on features and a quiet, cultured vibe. Osgood leaves on a high note; ratings have increased for four straight years and this past season was his most-watched ever as host.

"Sunday Morning" devoted its program Sunday to a send-off for the 83-year-old Osgood, who will be an occasional contributor in the future and continue his radio work.

"It's a great honor to be given the chance to further our show's legacy on excellence," Pauley said. "I look forward to bringing loyal viewers the kind of engaging, original reporting that has made the broadcast so irresistible for so long."

Pauley, 65, was host of NBC's "Today" show for 13 years, ending in 1989. She spent a decade as an anchor at "Dateline NBC" and tried her own syndicated talk show in 2004.

She's written two books, and the second — about people over age 50 learning new careers and skills — drew at the attention of "Sunday Morning."

The show did a story about Pauley's book, and viewers responded so positively she was invited to become a contributor, said Rand Morrison, the show's executive producer.

Stories she's worked on for "Sunday Morning" include a profile of Hillary Clinton, a report on educators who lived through the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting and are trying to change gun laws, and an interview with David Letterman when he left late-night TV.

"A worthy successor and a perfect fit," Morrison said.

CBS honored Osgood with a tribute that delved into his signatures: a fashionable bow tie, his love of telling stories in verse and piano playing. He sat at the piano to sing a song of farewell.

"I can't think of anything that has given me more pleasure professionally than Sunday Morning," Osgood said during the show.

It featured cameos from Tom Brokaw, who tried futilely to tie his own bow tie; Ted Koppel, who noted that Osgood's real last name, Wood, was abandoned professionally because ABC had another newscaster named Charles Wood; and David Letterman, whose beard is approaching Santa Claus lengths.

Pauley begins as full-time host on Oct. 9, after the show takes a week off for a football game.

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