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CBS is television's most popular network for 15th straight year

CBS most popular network

CBS claimed the distinction of most-watched television network for the 15th straight year, even as those bragging rights don't mean what they used to.

The network averaged just under 6 million viewers on a typical moment in prime time for the season that just concluded, the Nielsen company said on Friday. NBC was the second most popular, followed by Fox and ABC — the same pecking order as last year.

All of the networks lost viewers from the year before, with NBC's 13% decline the steepest and Fox's 1% drop the smallest, Nielsen said.

CBS' winning streak began in a different era, back when the mention of streaming or cord-cutting would earn a quizzical look. Its viewership average during that 2008-09 season was 11.75 million, nearly double what it was this year.

In comparison, ABC and Fox both lost more than half of their live viewers from the 2008-09 season, while NBC was down 33% from that time, when it was at an ebb, Nielsen said.

Quite simply, viewers have far more choices today and are accustomed to creating their own entertainment schedules. The broadcast networks also benefit from that; CBS said that within 35 days, a typical episode of “CSI: Vegas” more than doubles its viewership from the night it first airs.

But, increasingly, live events like sports are what brings viewers to network television. NBC's “Sunday Night Football” was the most popular program this past season, averaging 18.5 million live viewers, Nielsen said.

“Sunday Night Football” first aired on NBC in 2006. Longevity was a key component in other popular shows. The most-watched drama on the night it first airs, CBS' “NCIS,” has been on the network's schedule since 2003. The most popular comedy, CBS' “Young Sheldon,” first aired in 2017, but it was a spinoff from “The Big Bang Theory,” which began a decade earlier.

The most-watched news program in prime time, CBS' “60 Minutes,” has been on the air since 1968. The most-watched reality show, NBC's “The Voice,” began in 2011.

All but two of the 10 most-watched scripted shows were dramas. “Young Sheldon” and CBS' “Ghosts” were the two exceptions.

CBS had seven of the 10 most popular scripted shows. The others were producer Dick Wolf's “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago Med” and “Chicago P.D.” trilogy on NBC.

Tina Turner wished she’d treated her kidney problems with conventional medicine: ‘I believed I was indestructible’

Tina's kidneys failed her

Tina Turner wished she had treated her kidney problems with “conventional medicine.”

The ‘We Don’t Need Another Hero’ singer, whose death aged 83 was announced on Wednesday after her decades of health woes that included a life-saving kidney transplant operation, told fans of her regret weeks before her passing.

Tina – born Anna Mae Bullock – said on Instagram to mark International World Kidney Day on March 9: “Today is International World Kidney Day. Why is it important? Because kidneys fail without pain. And that’s why I’m telling you today: Show your kidneys love! They deserve it.

“My kidneys are victims of my not realising that my high blood pressure should have been treated with conventional medicine. I have put myself in great danger by refusing to face the reality that I need daily, lifelong therapy with medication.

“For far too long I believed that my body was an untouchable and indestructible bastion.

“I am therefore delighted to be able to support a new international campaign for kidney health. You can read the whole story of my disease on the website www.showyourkidneyslove.com.

“Here you can find out how your kidneys work, what the risk factors are and how you can keep these important organs healthy. Let’s show our kidneys some love!”

Tina, who was diagnosed with hypertension in 1978, signed off using the hashtags WorldKidneyDay, ShowYourKidneysLove and KidneyCare.

Her kidney transplant using an organ donated by her husband Erwin Bach, 67, took place in 2017 a year after she was diagnosed with intestinal cancer.

Tina admitted she was considering assisted suicide seven years before she died due to her kidney issues.

She said in her memoir ‘Tina Turner: My Love Story’: “By December 2016, my kidneys were at a new low of 20 per cent and plunging rapidly… I began to think about death. If my kidneys were going, and it was time for me to die, I could accept that. It was OK. When it’s time, it’s really time… one of the benefits of living in Switzerland is that assisted suicide is legal, though the patient has to inject the lethal drug herself.

“There are several organisations that facilitate the process, including Exit and Dignitas. I signed up to be a member of Exit, just in case.

“I think that’s when the idea of my death became a reality for Erwin. He was very emotional about not wanting to lose me, not wanting me to leave.”

Takeoff shooting suspect indicted on murder charge

Indicted in rapper's murder

A man accused of fatally shooting rapper Takeoff has been indicted on a murder charge by a grand jury in Texas.

The 28-year-old hip-hop star - real name Kirsnick Khari Ball - was gunned down outside a bowling alley in Houston in November last year and Patrick Xavier Clark, 33, was arrested in December on suspicion of firing the fatal shows and he is now facing a trial.

Clark's attorney, Carl Moore, has insisted his client will be found innocent by a jury, saying: "Today’s action by the grand jury is not unexpected. We would ask people to remember that getting an indictment requires meeting a very, very minimal standard of proof.

"When we get inside a courtroom and in front of a jury, where we will be able to put on our evidence and cross-examine the state’s witnesses - where the standard of proof is guilt beyond a reasonable doubt - we expect the jury will come back with a verdict of not guilty."

The Migos rapper was partying with his uncle and bandmate Quavo before he was fatally shot in the head and back outside the Houston bowling alley on November 1 at around 2.30am,

Police later stated the star was unarmed and was an innocent bystander when he was hit by gunfire. Two other people were injured in the shooting, but they survived.

Clark was released from the Harris County Jail in January after posting a $1 million bail bond. He has since been under house arrest after being fitted with a GPS ankle monitor.

Dave Grohl cries playing My Hero in memory of Taylor Hawkins

Grohl cries during tribute

Dave Grohl burst into tears while performing 'My Hero' in honour of late drummer Taylor Hawkins at Foo Fighters' first concert with his replacement Josh Freese.

The Grammy-winning rockers kicked off their tour at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion on Wednesday night, where they welcomed their new sticksman to the band and thanked him for "saving" the group following the tragic loss of Taylor - who was found dead in his hotel room in Colombia, in March 2022, aged 50.

Speaking to the crowd, frontman Dave, 54, said: "Would you please welcome the man behind the drums Josh Freese, who has helped save the band.

"We would not be here tonight if it weren't for Josh, so everybody give Josh a big f***ing round of applause please."

During the emotional performance of 'My Hero', a hawk lit up the stage in Taylor's memory, and Dave struggled to hold back the tears.

Later in the show, Dave's daughter Violet, 17, joined the group to perform 'Shame Shame' from their 2021 LP 'Medicine At Midnight'.

Before their first proper concert, Josh was unveiled as their new drummer at their 'Foo Fighters: Preparing Music For Concerts' livestream on Sunday.

Josh is known for playing for the likes of Guns N’ Roses, Nine Inch Nails and Paramore.

He was among several drummers to pay tribute to Taylor at a pair of tribute concerts in Los Angeles and London.

The Foos have dedicated their upcoming album to Taylor, and Dave's late mother Virginia Hanlon Grohl.

The 'Walk' rockers will release 'But Here We Are' on June 2, and they've shared that the record is in honour of their beloved bandmate, and the frontman's parent, who passed away the same year.

Sharing the minimalist white cassette and album cover for the LP, which is designed by Morning Breath INC, the Grammy winning-group tweeted the album dedication: "For Virginia and Taylor."

The follow-up to 2021's 'Medicine at Midnight' is described as: "A brutally honest and emotionally raw response to everything Foo Fighters endured over the last year."

In a letter to fans, the 'Best of You' hitmakers vowed to be "a different band going forward" following the devastating loss of Taylor.

They wrote: "As we say goodbye to the most difficult and tragic year that our band has ever known, we are reminded of how thankful we are for the people that we love and cherish most, and for the loved ones who are no longer with us.

"Foo Fighters were formed 27 years ago to represent the healing power of music and a continuation of life. And for the past 27 years our fans have built a worldwide community, a devoted support system that has helped us all get through the darkest of times together. A place to share our joy and our pain, our hopes and fears, and to join in a chorus of life together through music. Without Taylor, we never would have become the band that we were — and without Taylor, we know that we're going to be a different band going forward.

"We also know that you, the fans, meant as much to Taylor as he meant to you and we know that when we see you again — and we will soon — he'll be there in spirit with all of us every night."

Britney Spears reunites with mother after years apart

Britney reunites with mom

Britney Spears has met with her mother.

The 'Toxic' singer hasn't seen Lynne Spears for years amid tensions with her family over her 13-year conservatorship - which came to an end in November 2021 - but her mom flew from Louisiana to Los Angeles on Wednesday and the pair spent around two and a half hours together.

Sources told TMZ that Lynne was driven from LAX airport to the home of Britney's manager, Cade Hudson, and from there took an Uber to her daughter's home.

The 41-year-old singer didn't know exactly when to expect Lynne but knew she was in town to see her, and let her into the house - where her husband Sam Asghari was also present - for a few hours to catch up.

Insiders told the outlet that "the ice between mother and daughter is thawing" and the pair had exchanged text messages before Lynne came to visit.

The source added: "Lynne is committed to making it right with her daughter."

After her mom left, Britney and her husband took a short drive before returning home.

Lynne apologised to her daughter in October for "anything and everything."

She said online to Britney in October about the conservatorship: “I am soooo sorry for your pain! I have been sorry for years!

“I love you so much and miss you! Britney, deep down you know how much I love and miss you! I apologize for anything and everything that’s hurt you!”

Lynne also begged the singer to unblock her so they could speak in person – prompting Britney to tell Lynne to “go f***” herself.

Britney ranted on Instagram: "For 13 years, I had to meet doctors weekly to bring up my past which made it worse !!! As for my whole family including my brother, sister, cousins, aunts, uncles, and well damn the whole audience… were either stoned or drunk of their a**** !!!

"I was the mother f****** Saint who was scared to move or I knew my dad would put me somewhere if I didn’t cooperate … even in America, the land of the free!!!! Years go by and he still puts me in a psych ward !!!! Not one mother f****** person stood up for me !!!"

Following her more general rant about her family, Britney then directed her ire to Lynne.

She wrote: "Mom take your apology and go f*** yourself !!! And to all the doctors for f****** with my mind … I pray you all burn in hell !!! Kiss my mother f****** a**!!!!"

Céline Dion cancels 'Courage' world tour dates citing medical condition

Céline cancels tour dates

Céline Dion has cancelled her "Courage" world tour due to ongoing health woes related to a rare neurological disorder. 

The Quebec-born songstress says she's not ready to return to the stage for European and U.K. tour dates that had been set to run from August through October, and in March and April 2024. 

The 55-year-old Canadian icon postponed and cancelled some shows last December when she announced she had been diagnosed with "stiff person syndrome," a condition commonly marked by severe muscle rigidity and spasms.

In a statement posted to her social media, Dion says "even though it breaks my heart, it's best that we cancel everything now until I'm really ready to be back on stage again." 

The statement says Dion's medical team continues to evaluate and treat her condition. 

Dion closed her statement saying, "I'm not giving up... and I can't wait to see you again." 

Court says Hugh Grant's lawsuit alleging illegal snooping by The Sun tabloid can go to trial

Grant suit can go to trial

A London court on Friday rejected an attempt by the publisher of The Sun tabloid to throw out a lawsuit by actor Hugh Grant alleging that journalists and investigators it hired illegally snooped on him.

Justice Timothy Fancourt said a trial in January will have to determine whether The Sun had carried out unlawful information gathering that included tapping his landline and bugging his car and breaking into his home.

News Group Newspapers, which owns The Sun, had argued that Grant didn't bring his claims within a six-year time limit. The judge dismissed Grant's phone hacking claims on time limitation grounds, but said the case could proceed on the other allegations.

“It was only on seeing invoices disclosed ... in 2021 that Mr. Grant believed that private investigators (PIs) had been instructed by The Sun to target him in various ways, particularly in 2011," Fancourt wrote.

The case was argued during a hearing last month that also included phone hacking allegations by Prince Harry against News Group, Rupert Murdoch's British newspapers.

Fancourt's ruling didn't address the Duke of Sussex's case because he wants to hear more about Harry's allegations that he was prevented from bringing his claims much sooner because of a “secret agreement” between Buckingham Palace and Murdoch's papers.

Harry alleged that the royal family had agreed to settle their cases with NGN, publisher of the defunct News of the World, out of court after related litigation died down. He said the deal called for an apology from the newspapers.

In court papers, Harry said that he only brought his lawsuit when efforts to expedite that settlement failed. He said his brother, Prince William, heir to the throne, subsequently received a “huge” settlement over phone hacking allegations against News Group.

NGN has denied there was a “secret agreement.” The palace hasn't responded to messages seeking comment on that or William's alleged settlement.

A spokesperson for News Group issued a statement Friday saying that it was pleased that the court threw out Grant's phone hacking allegations.

“NGN strongly denies the various historical allegations of unlawful information-gathering contained in what remains of Mr. Grant’s claim,” the statement said.

Jully Black, Bret Hart among Canada's Walk of Fame inductees getting their stars

Walk of Fame's new names

Movie star Keanu Reeves, singer Jully Black and retired professional wrestler Bret Hart are among the famous Canadians expected to be immortalized on Canada's Walk of Fame today.

The special ceremony for the new sidewalk stars is also set to recognize actor Graham Greene, entrepreneur Ajay Virmani, singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn, track and field athlete Damian Warner and retired senator Lt.-Gen. Romeo Dallaire. 

Posthumous Walk of Fame stars are also planned for Canada's "first lady of blues" Salome Bey, media mogul Allan Slaight and members of the team that discovered insulin a century ago: Frederick Banting, Charles Best, John Macleod and James Collip. 

Black, Hart, Virmani and Greene were scheduled to attend the ceremony in Toronto's Entertainment District.

Bey's family members, along with descendants of Banting and Best, were also set to attend. 

They are all inductees from the Walk of Fame's class of 2020/2021.

Canada's Walk of Fame, which celebrates the impact of Canadians' accomplishments, has inducted more than 200 people over the past 25 years. 

Earth, Wind and Fire member Sheldon Reynolds dies aged 63

Earth, Wind & Fire death

Earth, Wind and Fire guitarist and co-vocalist, Sheldon Reynolds, has died aged 63.

The revered musician's bandmate, Philip Bailey, confirmed the news on Wednesday.

The cause of death is not known at this time.

Philip, the legendary R'n'B group's lead singer, recalled how former frontman Maurice White - who died in 2016 aged 74 - was wowed by Sheldon's vocals, as he hailed him an "excellent addition" to the group

In a touching tribute, he wrote on Facebook: "This news of Sheldon Reynolds transition is very sad for all of us who knew and worked with him. Sheldon vocally had Reese down. That’s what Maurice said when he hired Sheldon to share vocals and play guitar. Sheldon was an excellent addition to the band, a great writer and producer, and a genuinely kind and loving person. He will be missed. Our condolences to his family."

Sheldon started learning the guitar when he was eight, and by the age of 12 was considered a prodigy.

After studying at The University of Cincinnati, he set his sights on music.

He first toured with the singer Millie Jackson, before joining the R'n'B group Sun, with whom he recorded three albums.

He's also known for his four-year stint in The Commodores, which began in 1985.

Sheldon sang on their 1985 LP 'Nightshift' and played guitar on their 1986 album 'United'.

Then started his tenure with Earth, Wind and Fire.

He featured on four of their albums, starting with 1987's 'Touch The World', and ending with 1997's 'In The Name of Love'.

With his bandmates, Sheldon received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1995.

The Grammy-nominated band also received a nod for Best R'n'B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for their 1993 classic 'Sunday Morning'.

As a solo performer, Sheldon featured on Maurice's 1985 self-titled album and Philip's 1989 LP Family Affair'.

He also appeared on Smokey Robinson's 1990 LP 'Love'.

Sheldon was previously married to Janie Hendrix, the adopted sister of guitar icon Jimi Hendrix, between 2001 and 2006.

Saved by the Bell star Gerald Castillo dead at 90

Saved by the Bell star dies

Gerald Castillo has died at the age of 90.

The actor was best known for playing Major Slater - the father of Mario Lopez's character A.C - on the NBC sitcom 'Saved by the Bell' and in his latter years had turned to a career in directing theatre but passed away on May 4 at his home in Houston.

After confirming his death on Wednesday, his widow Dayna Quinn-Castillo told The Hollywood Reporter: “Many of the actors he worked with remember him as a charismatic and insightful director who would jingle the change in his pocket while he pondered a scene, then leap onto the stage to work out the blocking or whisper in an actor’s ear. He was revered for providing the support and guidance that allowed actors to fully develop their characters on stage."

Gerald also played Judge Davis Wagner on the ABC soap opera 'General Hospital' in the early 1990s and in the years before that played Det. Michael Benedict on NBC cop drama 'Hill Street Blues' and Dr. Herrara on CBS soap opera on 'Knots Landing'.

Gerald - who is also survived by grandchildren and great-grandchildren but lost his daughter Lisa in 2022 - also appeared 'All in the Family', 'Barnaby Jones', 'M*A*S*H' , 'Dynasty', 'Night Court', 'Dallas' 'CSI: Crime Scene Investigation' throughout his career.

After studying acting and stage direction at the Goodman Theater in the 1950s, Gerald went on to perform on stages across the US opposite the likes of 'West Side Story' star Rita Moreno 'The Jeffersons' star Sherman Hemsley, who, according to reports, encouraged him to relocate to Los Angeles so he could pursue a career in film and television.

Stars pay tribute to 'ball of energy' Tina Turner

Tributes pour out for Tina

Dionne Warwick will remember Tina Turner as an "eternal ball of energy."

The Grammy-winning star passed away on Wednesday, aged 83, and Dionne has paid a glowing tribute to the music icon.

Dionne, 82, said in a statement: "Another long-time friend had made her transition. Not only will I miss that eternal ball of energy named Tina Turner but the entire world will also find this void in their lives. My condolences to her husband and other members of her family. Rest in peace my friend!"

Elsewhere, Ronnie Wood has described Turner as the "Queen Of Rock And Soul."

Alongside a series of throwback photos, Ronnie wrote on Twitter: "[prayer and heart emoji] God bless you Tina, the Queen Of Rock And Soul and a dear friend to our family. Love and prayers to all of Tina’s family, friends and loved ones #tinaturner @tinaturner."

Mariah Carey described the singer as a "diva" and a "superstar."

She wrote on Instagram: "The words legendary, iconic, diva, and superstar are often overused and yet Tina Turner embodies them all and so many more - an incredible performer, musician and trailblazer. To me, she will always be a survivor and an inspiration to women everywhere. Her music will continue to inspire generations to come. Rest in Peace, Queen [heart emoji]."

Sir Elton John has also taken to social media to hail the award-winning star, describing Turner as "untouchable".

He wrote on Instagram: "We have lost one of the word's most exciting and electric performers. A total legend on record and on stage. She was untouchable."

Meanwhile, Lionel Richie has described Turner as a "dear friend."

Alongside photos of them performing together, Lionel said: "What a life! What a show! What a talent! Your resilience was a lesson for us all. I will miss you, my dear friend! Thanks for the memories."

Julia Louis-Dreyfus: Older women are made to feel invisible

'Made to feel invisible'

Julia Louis-Dreyfus is determined to give a platform to "older women."

The 62-year-old actress believes older women have been made to feel "invisible" in modern society.

She told PEOPLE: "Older women are very much made invisible in our culture - and that's tragic."

Julia recently launched her own podcast, called 'Wiser Than Me', and she's now determined to provide a platform for older women to voice their opinions.

The comedy star explained: "I saw this documentary on HBO called 'Jane Fonda in Five Acts'. [As] I was watching it, I was thinking, 'God, you know, we just don't hear from older women. We don't do a deep dive very often into the lives of older women. They've lived, they have all this experience under their belt, and why aren't we hearing from them?'

"So I thought it would be exciting to compile a list of women and see if anybody wanted to sit down and have a pretty frank, honest conversation about life … It’s been really exciting."

Julia has already achieved a huge amount in her career. However, the actress insists she still has lots of ambitions.

Julia - who played Elaine Benes on 'Seinfeld' - shared: "I want to accomplish so much more. More, more more. I’m loving it. I want to have my health, keep doing really cool gigs, and make new friends along the way."

Meanwhile, Julia previously discussed the challenge of ageing in the public eye, describing it as an "odd" experience.

She told NewBeauty magazine: "You've seen me age! I've been in showbiz for so long. From the first time people saw me on 'Saturday Night Live' until now ... it's no secret that I've gotten older.

"I've gotten older in front of you and that is odd - it is still so strange to me that everyone has seen me age on a public stage. It's totally changing and difficult."

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