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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.

'SNL' star doesn't back away from Boston racism comment

"Saturday Night Live" star Michael Che (CHAY) is not backing away from comments he made about Boston, when he called it the "most racist city" he has ever visited.

The Boston Globe ( reports that the co-anchor of "Weekend Update" told a Boston University crowd Thursday about how he received angry messages on social media after he made the comment on "SNL" the night before the Super Bowl.

He responded to one woman by urging her to "talk to your closest black friend and ask them to explain it to you." He says the woman responded by answering, "Touche."

Che, who often jokes about President Donald Trump on the NBC show, told the audience he never apologizes for language or controversial statements because he's "just trying to be more presidential."

Cher drops from Flint water crisis movie, cites family issue

Cher will no longer appear as planned in “Flint,” a Lifetime original movie about contaminated river water that became a main water source in the Michigan city in 2014.

The announcement came weeks after news was released that the 70-year-old singer would star in and produce the film.

>> Read more trending news

Cher, who has helped donate more than 100,000 bottles of clean drinking water to the residents of Flint, cited “a serious family issue” as the reason for dropping out.

“This has been a project so near and dear to my heart, and I was truly looking forward to helping tell this story,” she said in a statement. “Unfortunately, I will be unable to leave Los Angeles during the scheduled filming as I am dealing with a serious family issue that prevents me from going on location for the April filming. I’m so glad that [producers] Craig [Zadan] and Neil [Meron] plan to move ahead, and I know that this Lifetime movie will be done beautifully.”

According to Deadline, producers have been in the process of casting other roles for “Flint,” but the film is still on track to begin production in Toronto next month.

The film is based on Time magazine’s February 2016 cover story by Josh Sanburn titled, “The Toxic Tap.”

Cher’s role was a Flint resident whose family was impacted by the crisis.

“Flint” is described as “a hard-hitting, fact-based drama that will explore the events that led to the toxic crime and shed light on politics of the poor management and the human element of residents who suffered and were ignored,” according to Variety magazine.

Katie Couric will also serve as an executive producer for the Sony TV-produced film.

This week, comedian Amy Schumer announced she will no longer star in another Sony-produced film as previously planned.

>> Related: Amy Schumer drops out of live-action ‘Barbie’ movie

Guest lineups for the Sunday news shows

Guest lineups for the Sunday TV news shows:

ABC's "This Week" — Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.; Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C.; Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency; Roger Stone, former Trump campaign adviser.


CBS' "Face the Nation" — Reps. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Trey Gowdy, R-S.C.; Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ariz.; George Shultz, former secretary of state.


NBC's "Meet the Press" — Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.; Gov. Jerry Brown, D-Calif.


"Fox News Sunday" — Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi; Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio; White House chief of staff Reince Priebus.


CNN's "State of the Union" —Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.; Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio; Reps. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., and Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y.

Guest lineups for the Sunday news shows

Guest lineups for the Sunday TV news shows:

ABC's "This Week" — To be announced.


CBS' "Face the Nation" — Reps. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Trey Gowdy, R-S.C.; Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ariz.; George Shultz, former secretary of state.


NBC's "Meet the Press" — Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.; Gov. Jerry Brown, D-Calif.


"Fox News Sunday" — Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi; Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.


CNN's "State of the Union" —Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.; Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio; Reps. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., and Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y.


Trump delivers his news to newspaper reporters

President Donald Trump went old school on Friday, calling reporters from The Washington Post and The New York Times to announce that he had ordered a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare pulled from consideration in the House when it became clear there weren't enough votes for passage.

One of those reporters — Robert Costa of the Post — tweeted news from the surprise phone call a minute after getting it while the president was still talking.

Trump's phone calls came amid a day of drama that played out on television screens leading up to an anticipated afternoon vote on one of the Republicans' enduring campaign promises, to get rid of the insurance law enacted by former President Barack Obama. Congress was debating the measure when it was taken back before a vote.

The calls to Costa and Maggie Haberman of the New York Times were surprising given the newspapers' aggressive coverage of the president. He has consistently derided their "fake news" and mocked the "failing" Times, which has been seeing an increase in subscriptions.

Costa wrote in a first-person piece posted on the Post's web site that when his cell phone rang at 3:31 p.m. EDT, he thought it was a reader complaint because it was a blocked number.

"Hello, Bob," came the president's voice. "So, we just pulled it."

Costa multi-tasked, interviewing Trump while posting several updates on Twitter.

"President Trump just called me, still on phone," he posted at 3:32. "'We just pulled it,' he tells me."

Costa, a national political reporter for the Post, tweeted a stream of updates: "I don't blame Paul, Trump tells me" and "What a convo. I'll type it up quick."

CNN ran a screen grab of Costa's Twitter feed, even though he's nominally a competitor: Costa also works as an NBC News analyst.

Before 5 p.m., he had posted a first-person account of the conversation under the headline: "Hello, Bob: President Trump called my cellphone to say that the health care bill was dead."

Haberman's first tweet came at 3:52 p.m.: "TRUMP tells me in interview this is now the Democrats' fault, and that he anticipates that when Obama 'explodes,' they will be ready to deal." She quickly corrected her typo, meaning Obamacare instead of Obama.

She wrote on Twitter that Trump had shown uncharacteristic discipline in saying it was the Democrats who had let him down. Besides Twitter, a quote from her interview appeared in the Times' online coverage of the events. Trump spoke before cameras in the Oval Office about an hour after the phone conversations.

It wasn't Haberman's first phone interview with the president. She wrote a piece shortly after his inauguration about life in the White House.

Later, Haberman offered a Twitter observation about the president: "Trump is not going away this weekend. He was deeply disciplined in phone interviews. The big question is what happens now when he sits in the White House residence and watches television coverage of the bill's failure."

Based on the media coverage, it won't be an easy aftermath.

"Is there a sense of how ignominious this defeat is?" CNN's Jake Tapper asked correspondent Dana Bash, calling it an embarrassment for House Republicans and the White House.

"The president just suffered a terrible defeat," said MSNBC's Brian Williams.

Fox News Channel's Bret Baier said "the president took a hit today," and batted away colleague Eric Bolling's attempt to pin blame on House Speaker Paul Ryan and Congress, noting Trump had pushed hard for the bill.

"When you can't tell the elevator story about what's good about the bill for middle America," Baier said, "you've lost."

E!'s 'The Arrangement' evokes Cruise and Holmes comparisons

"The Arrangement" may remind viewers of rumors about the effect of Scientology on the marriage of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.

The drama series, which airs Sunday on E! Entertainment, stars Christine Evangelista as Megan Morrison, an up-and-coming actress who meets A-list actor Kyle West (Josh Henderson) on an audition. He's instantly smitten, and a lunch date leads to an overnight in Mexico.

Everything seems to be progressing until Kyle offers Megan a marriage contract arranged by his self-help group, The Institute of the Higher Mind. She's offered an Insta-relationship and the money and perks of being with one of Hollywood's biggest stars.

"When I first read the script I was very intrigued by the premise and it caused me to ask myself what I would do and I found that to be interesting," Evangelista said.

"I also liked how this young girl, her life, changes overnight and she's faced with situations and decisions and tests and is she able to endure them, and I think it posed a lot of moral questions ... for her and I thought that was very interesting. In one way her life changes in a very exciting way overnight. With the other it's like at what cost? What's the expense? And it definitely comes at a price."

That price includes the glare of the spotlight, jealous friends and a loss of freedom, thanks to Kyle's self-help group.

"The Institute helps "people find what's been holding them back, search for their own happiness," Evangelista said. "How they go about that is in a very manipulative way. It sort of makes people almost ... a prisoner to them."

Evangelista, who appeared on "The Walking Dead," is aware of comparisons to Scientology and Cruise and Holmes, who divorced in 2012 after five years of marriage, but emphasizes that the show is fiction.

"Of course we want people to be intrigued by what we're doing, but The Institute is a totally fictionalized group," she said. "These are fictional characters. Megan is a waitress when we meet her. You know that's not really like anyone we know.

"People want to know what happens behind closed doors and behind the curtain in Hollywood and it's intriguing."

And Henderson, who plays West, fits the bill of a charming, complex mega-star.

"He is a wonderful guy, very charismatic and I think that's what Megan sees," Evangelista said. "They have this undeniable chemistry between the two of them and I think that's what she's looking at."



Hamas TV channel builds Jerusalem set in Gaza

Quiet on the set! Surrounded by militant training sites on uprooted Jewish settlement lands, the first movie set in the Gaza Strip is growing, depicting the history-rich, volatile alleyways of Jerusalem's Old City.

The set is the latest effort by the al-Aqsa channel, run by Gaza's Islamic militant Hamas rulers, to kick-start its drama production in the territory and release another series slated to air in the month of Ramadan.

In Gaza, filming footage of Jerusalem and other central locations from the conflict is a challenge.

Gaza's population of about 2 million live in mostly cramped conditions in the coastal sandy territory compared to the rugged mountain terrain of the West Bank, so crews have struggled to film the twisting ancient alleyways of Jerusalem's Old City. And that is how the idea to create a set depicting Jerusalem was born.

The fate of Jerusalem is an emotional issue at the heart of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Israel captured east Jerusalem, home to the Old City with its holy sites sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims, in the 1967 war. Palestinians want the territory for their future state.

Much of the wave of Palestinian attacks that erupted in 2015 originated from tensions surrounding the most sensitive holy site in Jerusalem's Old City.

The hilltop compound is revered by Jews as the Temple Mount, where the two biblical Jewish Temples stood and is the most sacred place in Judaism. It is home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the gold-topped Dome of the Rock, the third-holiest site in Islam after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.

Mohammed Thoraya, the channel's manager, described how the Old City was depicted on set. "We brought something simple of the wall decorations there and — thank God — we could simulate something small of what is there," he said.

On a recent day, actors divided into two groups. One portraying ultra-Orthodox Jews and the other Arab residents of Jerusalem trying to prevent the Jews from entering the holy site compound that is still under construction.

Clashes were staged, and actors playing Israeli policemen in riot gear and wielding M16 assault rifles struggled with those depicting the Arabs. Occasionally, an actor would smile or forget their lines, prompting the director to reshoot the scene, sometimes over 10 times. Actors are paid between $US 4 and $US 9 a day.

The series being filmed is set to be aired in the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which begins in late May this year. It's the fifth such production by the al-Aqsa channel. Some watchdogs have considered previous productions of the channel anti-Semitic. Hamas is sworn to the destruction of the Jewish state. After winning the 2006 legislative elections, Hamas seized Gaza from forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in bloody street battles in 2007, and has since fought three wars with Israel.

The series, Heaven's Gate, shows "the steadfastness of Jerusalemites and their sticking to their land and properties in the face of Zionist settlement," said the director, Zouhir al-Efrengi.

Most of the film crew has never been to Jerusalem. They secured footage of Jerusalem and the West Bank separately.

The location features an alleyway, cafe and homes with green doors. Boards painted brown simulate the ancient stone of Jerusalem's Old City's walls.

Thoraya, the manager, said an expansion of the location would see building al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. It will also be open for visitors "and those who long for Jerusalem."

For three months, the crew has been spending 15 to 18 hours daily shooting. "I cried when I first came here and saw it," said Ali Nasman, 32, an actor in the film "It ignited the nostalgia of Jerusalem from when I was a child."

Producers would not reveal production costs, but cranes and some expensive state-of-the-art cameras were deployed.

'Love Connection' to reconnect with viewers as Fox revival

"Love Connection" is reconnecting with viewers. A new version of the match-making game show will air on Fox starting May 25, the network announced.

The one-hour series will amp up the original dating show for today's audiences, featuring single men and women looking for romance. Its host is Andy Cohen, of Bravo's "Watch What Happens Live," who will bring his personal brand of audacious fun to the series, Fox said on Wednesday.

This edition revives one of TV's most popular syndicated game-show hits. The original "Love Connection" aired from 1983 to 1994, with Chuck Woolery hosting.


This story has been corrected to show the announcement was made Wednesday, not Thursday.

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