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ABC says 'Roseanne' will concentrate on family, not politics

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NEW YORK — Expect “Roseanne” to cool it on politics and concentrate on family stories when it returns for the second season of its revival next year.

That was the word from ABC Entertainment chief Channing Dungey as she introduced the network’s plans for next year on Tuesday. The show’s return exceeded all expectations this spring, with the support of Roseanne Barr’s character for President Donald Trump attracting attention.

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Dungey noted that as the first season went on, the focus shifted away from politics.

“I think they’re going to continue on the path that they were on toward the latter part of this season, which is away from politics and more focused on family,” she said.

There may be good business and creative reasons for that. Asked if she was concerned that Barr’s opinions might affect how viewers perceive the show’s content, Dungey replied, “I do think there is a little bit of that, yes.”

Last year, ABC’s cancellation of Tim Allen’s “Last Man Standing,” another comedy with a conservative-leaning star, provoked social-media protests. Channing said Tuesday that the decision was solely based on ABC’s inability to come to contract terms with their studio partner — and she wished the show well in its new home at Fox, which picked it up for next season.

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SO WHAT’S NEW?

A whopping total of eight new series will roll out on ABC’s schedule next fall and midseason, including five dramas and three comedies.

One of the hour-long shows, “A Million Little Things,” is about a group of friends who get a “wake-up call” to embrace life after one of them dies. It sounds on paper like an interconnected-lives show akin to NBC’s new drama, “The Village,” about residents in a New York apartment building. And that seems to echo NBC’s hit “This Is Us.” Must be a coincidence.

One new show stars a familiar ABC face: Nathan Fillion, formerly of “Castle.” This time around, he plays a small-town, middle-aged man with a dream of becoming a Los Angeles police officer in “The Rookie.”

Another ex-ABC star, Eva Longoria of “Desperate Housewives,” is producing, not acting, for “Grand Hotel,” about a luxurious, family-owned hotel in Miami Beach. Mexican film star and Oscar nominee Demian Bichir leads the ensemble cast.

Two distinctly different non-scripted shows will debut this fall: “Dancing with the Stars: Juniors,” which will pair celebrity kids with young ballroom dance professionals, and “The Alec Baldwin Show,” a talk show featuring the actor and Donald Trump impersonator.

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CUE THE PROTESTS

A slew of shows got the axe from ABC, which will undoubtedly prompt fans to call for another network or streaming service to give them a second chance at life. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” quickly found new life at NBC after Fox cancelled it, and “Last Man Standing” was resurrected — could any of the following?

ABC’s dearly departed are “Marvel’s Inhumans,” ”10 Days in the Valley,” ”Designated Survivor,” ”Quantico,” ”Deception,” ”The Crossing,” ”Kevin (Probably) Saves the World,” ”The Mayor” and “Alex, Inc.”

One of them, “Alex, Inc.,” starring Zach Braff of “Scrubs” fame, barely had a chance to introduce itself since its March debut. A groundswell of audience support is unlikely.

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DESIGNATED HIT

The Kiefer Sutherland political thriller “Designated Survivor” attracted a lot of attention when it debuted a year ago. Ratings plummeted for its second season. Still, it was a little surprising that ABC gave up on it so quickly.

Backstage turmoil among the show’s creative team played a part, Dungey said.

“We were less confident about the creative path forward as we were about the other shows” on the schedule, she said.

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Politics podcast: Anthony Albanese on Labor's National Conference

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Labor is facing tough tests in coming byelections in its narrowly held seats of Longman in Queensland and Braddon in Tasmania.

Later on, managing the ALP national conference will be a challenge for Bill Shorten who will be anxious to avoid damaging displays of division over controversial issues.

Labor Frontbencher Anthony Albanese is putting on a confident face about the byelections. On the conference, he predicts there will not be a “substantial change” in Labor’s refugee policy. On the issue of recognition of Palestine, another sensitive issue within the party, he says “if you support a two-state solution then by definition one of those states will be Palestine.”

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Hindu hardliners criticize archbishop for talking politics

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NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s governing Hindu nationalists on Wednesday criticized the archbishop of New Delhi for saying that a turbulent political atmosphere is posing a threat to the country’s democratic principles.


The president of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, Amit Shah, accused the archbishop of trying to divide people on the basis of religion.


“I personally believe that no one should say things like this, for a religious person to make such comments cannot be accepted and appreciated,” Shah said.


A top party lawmaker, Subramanian Swamy, demanded the scrapping of diplomatic ties with the Vatican because of the archbishop’s remarks.






Archbishop Anil Couto, in a May 8 letter sent to New Delhi’s Catholic churches, urged members to pray for democracy and for marginalized people ahead of national elections next year.


He included a prayer to be read during Masses that asked “May the ethos of true democracy envelope our elections with dignity.”


The prayer also called for marginalized people to be “brought into the mainstream of nation-building.”


Minorities have complained of rising attacks by Hindu hardliners against them since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in 2014.


Christians make up just 2 percent of India’s population, which is overwhelmingly Hindu but has a sizable Muslim minority. Church leaders normally avoid getting too deeply involved in politics.


The archbishop’s letter angered Hindu nationalists as it came at a time when Modi and his party are preparing for next year’s national polls.


K.J. Alphons, India’s tourism minister and a BJP leader, said the archbishop’s comments were unfair and that “godmen” should stay away from politics.


The archbishop was, however, supported by opposition politicians.


Mamta Banerjee, the top elected official in West Bengal state and a member of the All India Trinamool Congress party, said, “I think whatever he has said was correct. It is a fact.”


Sitaram Yechury, general secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), defended the archbishop, saying the only protection for minorities is the constitution’s promise of equality.

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Brexit ministers give evidence to MPs on EU withdrawal talks – Politics live

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  1. Brexit ministers give evidence to MPs on EU withdrawal talks – Politics live  The Guardian (blog)
  2. Full coverage



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