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Guest lineups for the Sunday news shows

Guest lineups for the Sunday TV news shows:

ABC's "This Week" — Reince Priebus, incoming chief of staff to President-elect Donald Trump; Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.; Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah

___

NBC's "Meet the Press" —Priebus; Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif.; Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.

___

CBS' "Face the Nation" — Vice President-elect Mike Pence; Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

___

CNN's "State of the Union" — Denis McDonough, chief of staff to President Barack Obama; Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.

___

"Fox News Sunday" — Pence; CIA Director John Brennan

Katie Couric's evolution, Legend on Trump, Perry on Kennedy

A roundup of news Friday from the Television Critics Association winter meeting, at which TV networks and streaming services are presenting details on upcoming programs.

____

UNDERGROUND RAILROAD

President-elect Donald Trump has two more Hollywood critics: singer John Legend and the creator of a television series on history's Underground Railroad where slaves were led to freedom.

"This country was built on racism and sexism, and I think our soon-to-be-president is again going to be racist and sexist," Misha Green, a creator of "Underground" on WGN, said on Friday.

She and Legend, a producer for the series who also appears as abolitionist Frederick Douglass, were asked about whether their show had adjusted anything for its upcoming second season with the election results in mind.

Green said she hoped the heroes in the series who were fighting injustice would be an inspiration for people today.

Legend said the lesson of the election — and the television series itself — is that even when people see progress, it's not guaranteed to remain.

"We're going through a period where Donald Trump has promised to make us a less just and less free country, and those who believe in justice and freedom are going to have to stand up for it," he said.

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COURIC'S EVOLUTION

Katie Couric, slammed three years ago as insensitive during an interview with transgender women Carmen Carrera and Laverne Cox, says she has evolved.

"We can't be afraid to make mistakes on our journey to educate ourselves," said Couric, host and executive producer of "Gender Revolution," a two-hour National Geographic special airing next month.

On an episode of Couric's former talk show in 2014, she asked model Carrera if her "private parts" were different now. The model said she was uncomfortable with the personal topic.

When Couric raised the question with Cox ("Orange is the New Black"), the actress called it unhelpful given the problems of anti-transgender discrimination and violence.

In a Q&A session with TV critics Friday, Couric said the exchanges could have been edited out of the taped show but she chose to leave them in as a "teachable moment" on appropriate or inappropriate ways to have such conversations.

The critical reaction didn't make her shy away from the topic but instead compelled her to become better informed, Couric said.

"Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric," airing 9 p.m. EST Feb. 6, is described by the channel as an exploration of the changing concept of gender in the realms of science, society and culture.

Couric interviewed scientists, activists, families and others to delve into the role of genetics, brain chemistry and modern attitudes on gender identity.

She said the "personal stories are what make this documentary."

Among those featured in the special are JR and Vanessa Ford, parents of a transgender child who was being raised as a boy but who told her parents at age 4 that she was "'a girl in my heart and my brain,'" Vanessa Ford said.

She said she hoped the project would help people get to know her family and relate to them.

"'Hey, here we are. My kid won't eat vegetables either,'" is part of the message, Ford said.

___

MENZEL AT THE BEACH

Idina Menzel prefers creating roles rather than following in someone else's footsteps. Yet when it came to a remake of "Beaches," the Broadway veteran couldn't turn it down.

Menzel tackles the role played by Bette Midler in the 1988 theatrical film for the Lifetime TV version co-starring Nia Long that airs Jan. 21. She also recorded Midler's No. 1 hit from the movie "Wing Beneath My Wings," a 1990 Grammy Award winner.

"I have been singing this song my whole life, ever since I was a wedding singer and bar mitzvah singer," she told a television critics gathering on Friday. "Every single 13-year-old boy danced with his mother to 'Wind Beneath My Wings.' I was trying to find my own spin on it."

Menzel first gained fame for Tony-nominated roles she originated in "Rent" and "Wicked," for which she won a best-actress Tony. After leaving those shows, Menzel was replaced by other actresses.

"I have learned that the show goes on without you; that people are very talented, and that if something is written beautifully, you can be great, but there's always somebody right there that's just as good," she said. "Sometimes that's hard for me."

____

PERRY ON KENNEDY

Between a dialect coach who told him to exaggerate the accent and recent experience in a London play that required him to loudly project his voice onstage, Matthew Perry was a little over-the-top when he began filming his role as Sen. Edward Kennedy in a new television miniseries.

"I sounded like Foghorn Leghorn," he said Friday.

The former "Friends" star appears with Katie Holmes, who reprises her role as Jackie Kennedy in "The Kennedys — After Camelot," which premieres April 2 on the Reelz channel.

Perry said playing Kennedy was the most challenging role of his career. "I took this job because it scared me," he said.

Perry's most recent sitcom, CBS' remake of "The Odd Couple," is not likely to return. He said he's drawn to writing, which he expects to be a big part of his career moving forward. He wrote and starred in a play, "The End of Longing," in London and he expects to bring it to New York.

He describes it as a dark comedy with emotional scenes.

"One time I went to my computer to see how many times I could write the f-word," he said. "It was 138. Don't bring your children, but please come."

____

Associated Press writers David Bauder, Lynn Elber and Beth Harris contributed to this report.

Informed Katie Couric offers 'Gender Revolution' special

Katie Couric, slammed three years ago as insensitive during an interview with transgender women Carmen Carrera and Laverne Cox, says she has evolved.

"We can't be afraid to make mistakes on our journey to educate ourselves," said Couric, host and executive producer of "Gender Revolution," a two-hour National Geographic special airing next month.

On an episode of Couric's former talk show in 2014, she asked model Carrera if her "private parts" were different now. The model said she was uncomfortable with the personal topic.

When Couric raised the question with Cox ("Orange is the New Black"), the actress called it unhelpful given the problems of anti-transgender discrimination and violence.

In a Q&A session with TV critics Friday, Couric said the exchanges could have been edited out of the taped show but she chose to leave them in as a "teachable moment" on appropriate or inappropriate ways to have such conversations.

The critical reaction didn't make her shy away from the topic but instead compelled her to become better informed, Couric said.

"Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric," airing 9 p.m. EST Feb. 6, is described by the channel as an exploration of the changing concept of gender in the realms of science, society and culture.

Couric interviewed scientists, activists, families and others to delve into the role of genetics, brain chemistry and modern attitudes on gender identity.

She said the "personal stories are what make this documentary."

Among those featured in the special are JR and Vanessa Ford, parents of a transgender child who was being raised as a boy but who told her parents at age 4 that she was "'a girl in my heart and my brain,'" Vanessa Ford said.

She said she hoped the project would help people get to know her family and relate to them.

"'Hey, here we are. My kid won't eat vegetables either,'" is part of the message, Ford said.

___

Lynn Elber can be reached at lelber@ap.org and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lynnelber.

Idina Menzel tackles Bette Midler role in 'Beaches' remake

Idina Menzel prefers creating roles rather than following in someone else's footsteps. Yet when it came to a remake of "Beaches," the Broadway veteran couldn't turn it down.

Menzel tackles the role played by Bette Midler in the 1988 theatrical film for the Lifetime TV version co-starring Nia Long that airs Jan. 21. She also recorded Midler's No. 1 hit from the movie "Wing Beneath My Wings," a 1990 Grammy Award winner.

"I have been singing this song my whole life, ever since I was a wedding singer and bar mitzvah singer," she told a television critics gathering on Friday. "Every single 13-year-old boy danced with his mother to 'Wind Beneath My Wings.' I was trying to find my own spin on it."

Menzel first gained fame for Tony-nominated roles she originated in "Rent" and "Wicked," for which she won a best-actress Tony. After leaving those shows, Menzel was replaced by other actresses.

"I have learned that the show goes on without you; that people are very talented, and that if something is written beautifully, you can be great, but there's always somebody right there that's just as good," she said. "Sometimes that's hard for me."

Guest lineups for the Sunday news shows

Guest lineups for the Sunday TV news shows:

ABC's "This Week" — Reince Priebus, incoming chief of staff to President-elect Donald Trump; Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.; Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah

___

NBC's "Meet the Press" — Reince Priebus, incoming chief of staff to President-elect Donald Trump; Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif.; Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.

___

CBS' "Face the Nation" — Vice President-elect Mike Pence; Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

___

CNN's "State of the Union" — Denis McDonough, chief of staff to President Barack Obama; Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.

___

"Fox News Sunday" — Pence; CIA Director John Brennan

'Melrose Place' actress won't do more time for fatal crash

A former "Melrose Place" actress convicted in a fatal drunken driving accident won't have to go back to prison, a judge ruled Friday at a resentencing spurred by an appeals court's concerns that her original sentence may have been too lenient.

Amy Locane-Bovenizer served about two and a half years of a three-year sentence for the 2010 accident in Montgomery Township that killed 60-year-old Helene Seeman and seriously injured Seeman's husband, Fred. She was released in 2015.

The actress was convicted of vehicular manslaughter, assault by auto and other offenses and faced a sentencing range of five to 10 years on the most serious count. Her defense had argued the crash was an accident.

A state appeals court last July ordered the judge to offer a more detailed justification for why he downgraded Locane-Bovenizer's sentence to three years. State Superior Court Judge Robert Reed later conceded he erred and should have sentenced her to an additional six months.

Prosecutors had sought a seven-year sentence.

On Friday, the judge said Locane-Bovenizer's conduct since her release shows she isn't a threat to society.

The Seemans' family and friends had harshly criticized the original sentence, and they repeated those criticisms in court Friday.

Locane-Bovenizer appeared in 13 episodes of TV's "Melrose Place" and in movies including "Cry-Baby," ''School Ties" and "Secretary."

According to trial testimony and statements by prosecutors, Locane-Bovenizer drank alcohol at two parties on the afternoon of the crash and was driving with a blood-alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit when her SUV slammed into Fred Seeman's Mercury Milan as he turned into his driveway.

Locane-Bovenizer's lawyers argued that a third motorist, whose car the actress had bumped into at a traffic light in the minutes before the accident, distracted her by honking at her and chasing her after being rear-ended.

Locane-Bovenizer still faces a federal lawsuit stemming from the crash.

'Quantico' star Priyanka Chopra 'resting' after injury

ABC says "Quantico" star Priyanka Chopra is "home resting comfortably" after being injured on the set of the action-thriller series Thursday night.

The network released no details on the injury, which it termed "a minor incident" during filming of the New York-based show.

Chopra was examined by a doctor and released from the hospital, ABC said.

There was no word on how long she will be sidelined from production.

On "Quantico," now in its second season, Chopra plays Alex Parrish, a former FBI agent pulled into a deadly conspiracy involving the CIA.

Matthew Perry's second act: writing and Ted Kennedy

Between a dialect coach who told him to exaggerate the accent and recent experience in a London play that required him to loudly project his voice onstage, Matthew Perry was a little over-the-top when he began filming his role as Sen. Edward Kennedy in a new television miniseries.

"I sounded like Foghorn Leghorn," he said Friday.

The former "Friends" star appears with Katie Holmes, who reprises her role as Jackie Kennedy in "The Kennedys — After Camelot," which premieres April 2 on the Reelz channel.

Perry said playing Kennedy was the most challenging role of his career. "I took this job because it scared me," he said.

Perry's most recent sitcom, CBS' remake of "The Odd Couple," is not likely to return. He said he's drawn to writing, which he expects to be a big part of his career moving forward. He wrote and starred in a play, "The End of Longing," in London and he expects to bring it to New York.

He describes it as a dark comedy with emotional scenes.

"One time I went to my computer to see how many times I could write the f-word," he said. "It was 138. Don't bring your children, but please come."

Jude Law stars as a disruptive pontiff in HBO's 'Young Pope'

In HBO's absorbing new drama "The Young Pope," Jude Law plays the title character, American-born Lenny Belardo, who, through divine intervention or woeful human error (this will be hotly debated), is made Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church at the tender age of 47.

A disruptive, puzzling presence who describes himself as "intransigent, irritable and vindictive," Pope Pius XIII from the start of his papacy is at cross-purposes with the Vatican's appalled establishment. Swiftly, efforts by the College of Cardinals to bring him down catch fire.

The 10-episode series also stars Diane Keaton and James Cromwell among its international roster.

"The Young Pope" was created, directed and written by Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino (whose 2013 film, "The Great Beauty," won the Oscar for best foreign language film). This week, he and Law, whose credits include "The Talented Mr. Ripley," ''Cold Mountain" and Guy Ritchie's "Sherlock Holmes" films, sat down in New York to talk about their bold collaboration, which premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. EST.

Here are highlights from that conversation (with assistance from Sorrentino's translator):

SORRENTINO: The idea for 'The Young Pope' really stems from my high school years with Catholic priests as teachers. I was able to observe the solitude of those priests, and how much their lives were structured. And also how their universe marginalized the feminine aspect in the service of the masculine. I was able to draw on memories of those five years.

But although the film is incidentally about the Catholic Church, it's also about a wider circle, which is the issue of faith — the question of believing or non-believing — which sooner or later affects us all.

LAW: At the core of our series is its humanity. We penetrate the layers of curiosity and intrigue surrounding the very human institution of the Catholic Church, and explore how people interact within it.

Preparing for my role, I initially felt it was necessary to look at papal history and the history of the Vatican. But answers really lay more in the character I was playing, which I think says an awful lot about where the heart of this show lies. I had to understand the backstory of the orphaned Lenny — who he was, what got him to the position of pope, and what motivated him as a human being, not as a religious strategist.

SORRENTINO: The most challenging part of making a film is the writing. I started writing this when I was finishing my previous film, 'Youth' (2015). But it's hard for me to quantify how long it took, because I wrote whenever I had time on my hands — even in between going to the bathroom and getting dressed.

With a fully realized script in hand, Sorrentino and his actors could tackle "The Young Pope" as a single 10-hour movie more than as 10 separate episodes. But that didn't make the project's magnitude any less daunting.

LAW: I underestimated how hard-wired I was to playing a part for a two-hour period. Keeping the arc of your character's journey as subtle and measured as possible, and also sustaining the necessary level of intensity, was quite a challenge over 10 hours.

SORRENTINO: When you make a movie, often you have the feeling that the result is due to luck or enthusiasm. But in this case, you needed a lot more than enthusiasm — you needed dedication. To be able to keep that level of attention and concentration for a seven-month (production) period — that is an accomplishment in and of itself. I presume I succeeded in it, which I think is connected to this fact: I finally learned the job. For the first time, I had the awareness that I've learned to be a filmmaker!

Asked how he chose Law as his pope, Sorrentino replied there were many reasons. Then he shared one.

SORRENTINO: I'm always very interested in an actor's way of walking. This is one of my parameters for whether I like an actor or not. In 'Road to Perdition' (a 2002 crime drama also starring Tom Hanks and Paul Newman), Jude did something that I thought was genius: He came off as BORED while he was walking to kill somebody. He wasn't excited, he didn't have guilt about what he was going to do. I really liked that. It was a lot of fun to watch. After that, I thought it would be a great idea to work with Jude.

LAW: It was a very rewarding and happy time. I felt safe with Paolo. Maybe it was partly me maturing as an actor, but it seemed wonderful to be able to come to (the) set and just think about what I had to do, rather than: 'Are we getting this?' In the hands of Paolo, I knew that he wasn't just going to GET it, he was going to elevate anything we did.

And, odds are, they aren't finished with their happy partnership.

LAW: When we went into this, the idea was: 'This is it, in its entirety.' But then the ideas grew.

SORRENTINO: I would love to do a second season. I am writing it now!

_____

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.hbo.com/the-young-pope

UK's Sky scraps show with Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson

A British broadcaster said Friday it was canceling a TV comedy starring Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson after the program was condemned by the late musician's family.

Sky Arts said it has decided not to broadcast the program "in light of the concerns expressed by Michael Jackson's immediate family." It said Fiennes "fully supports our decision."

Sky had been criticized for casting the white "Shakespeare in Love" star as the King of Pop in "Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon." The half-hour program also features Stockard Channing as Elizabeth Taylor and British actor Brian Cox as Marlon Brando.

Jackson's daughter Paris tweeted that she felt angry after watching a trailer for the show, which was due to be broadcast next week.

"I'm so incredibly offended by it, as I'm sure plenty of people are as well, and it honestly makes me want to vomit," she wrote.

"It angers me to see how obviously intentional it was for them to be this insulting, not just towards my father, but my godmother Liz as well."

The show is an episode in the "Urban Myths" series, which Sky says looks at "remarkable stories from well-known historical, artistic and cultural figures, which may or may not have happened in real life."

It centers on a possibly apocryphal cross-country road trip taken by Jackson, Taylor and Brando after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Sky said it was intended as "a light-hearted look at reportedly true events and never intended to cause any offense."

Fiennes defended his casting to The Associated Press last year, saying the project does not promote stereotyping.

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