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'NCIS: Los Angeles' star Miguel Ferrer dies at 61

Miguel Ferrer, who brought stern authority to his featured role on CBS' hit "NCIS: Los Angeles" and, before that, to NBC crime drama "Crossing Jordan," has died.

           CBS said Ferrer died Thursday of cancer at his Los Angeles home. He was 61.

           He had played assistant director Owen Granger on "NCIS: Los Angeles" since 2012. Before that, he played the chief medical examiner and gruff-but-supportive boss to series star Jill Hennessy for the six seasons of "Crossing Jordan."

          A native of Santa Monica, California, Ferrer was the son of Academy Award-winning actor Jose Ferrer and singer-actress Rosemary Clooney, and a cousin of George Clooney, who issued a statement Thursday afternoon.

"Today, history will mark giant changes in our world," Clooney said, "and lost to most will be that on the same day Miguel Ferrer lost his battle to throat cancer.  But not lost to his family. Miguel made the world brighter and funnier and his passing is felt so deeply in our family that events of the day ... pale in comparison. We love you Miguel. We always will."

            In his own statement, "NCIS: Los Angeles" showrunner R. Scott Gemmill called Ferrer "a man of tremendous talent who had a powerful dramatic presence onscreen, a wicked sense of humor and a huge heart."

         Ferrer began his career in the early 1980s with guest shots on many TV series. In 1990 he scored a signature role as FBI Agent Albert Rosenfield on David Lynch's smash series "Twin Peaks." He reprised that character for the 1992 movie "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me."

He will encore yet again as Agent Rosenfield for Showtime's "Twin Peaks" revival airing this spring.

          Along with TV, Ferrer appeared in more than 40 movies, including "RoboCop," where he played the villainous Bob Morton, designer of the title character, "Iron Man 3 ," where he portrayed the vice president, and "Traffic."

Voiceover credits include "Superman: The Animated Series," ''Robot Chicken" and "American Dad!"

           Before becoming an actor, he was a successful studio musician who played drums in a variety of bands, and toured with his mother and Bing Crosby.

             Survivors include his wife Lori and sons Lukas and Rafi.

Who won big at the 2017 People's Choice Awards? See the winners list

Big names from television, movies and music took the spotlight Wednesday at the 2017 People's Choice Awards in Los Angeles. 

>> PHOTOS: People's Choice Awards red carpet

>> PHOTOS: People's Choice Awards show

>> Read more trending stories

Check out the full list of winners below:

Movies

  • Favorite movie: "Finding Dory"
  • Favorite movie actor: Ryan Reynolds
  • Favorite movie actress: Jennifer Lawrence
  • Favorite action movie: "Deadpool"
  • Favorite action movie actor: Robert Downey Jr.
  • Favorite action movie actress: Margot Robbie
  • Favorite animated movie voice: Ellen DeGeneres, "Finding Dory"
  • Favorite comedic movie: "Bad Moms"
  • Favorite comedic movie actor: Kevin Hart
  • Favorite comedic movie actress: Melissa McCarthy
  • Favorite dramatic movie: "Me Before You"
  • Favorite dramatic movie actor: Tom Hanks
  • Favorite dramatic movie actress: Blake Lively
  • Favorite family movie: "Finding Dory"
  • Favorite thriller movie: "The Girl on the Train"
  • Favorite movie icon: Johnny Depp
  • Favorite year-end blockbuster: "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them"

Television

  • Favorite TV show: "Outlander"
  • Favorite network TV comedy: "The Big Bang Theory"
  • Favorite comedic TV actor: Jim Parsons
  • Favorite comedic TV actress: Sofia Vergara
  • Favorite network TV drama: "Grey's Anatomy"
  • Favorite dramatic TV actor: Justin Chambers
  • Favorite dramatic TV actress: Priyanka Chopra
  • Favorite cable TV comedy: "Baby Daddy"
  • Favorite cable TV drama: "Bates Motel"
  • Favorite cable TV actor: Freddie Highmore
  • Favorite cable TV actress: Vera Farmiga
  • Favorite TV crime drama: "Criminal Minds"
  • Favorite TV crime drama actor: Mark Harmon
  • Favorite TV crime drama actress: Jennifer Lopez
  • Favorite premium drama series: "Orange Is the New Black"
  • Favorite premium comedy series: "Fuller House"
  • Favorite premium series actor: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
  • Favorite premium series actress: Sarah Jessica Parker
  • Favorite network sci-fi/fantasy TV show: "Supernatural"
  • Favorite cable sci-fi/fantasy TV show: "The Walking Dead"
  • Favorite premium sci-fi/fantasy series: "Outlander"
  • Favorite sci-fi/fantasy TV actor: Sam Heughan
  • Favorite sci-fi fantasy TV actress: Caitriona Balfe
  • Favorite competition TV show: "The Voice"
  • Favorite daytime TV host: Ellen DeGeneres
  • Favorite daytime TV hosting team: "Good Morning America"
  • Favorite late-night talk show host: Jimmy Fallon
  • Favorite animated TV show: "The Simpsons"
  • Favorite actor in a new TV series: Matt LeBlanc
  • Favorite actress in a new TV series: Kristen Bell
  • Favorite new TV comedy: "Man With a Plan"
  • Favorite new TV drama: "This Is Us"

Music

  • Favorite male artist: Justin Timberlake
  • Favorite female artist: Britney Spears
  • Favorite group: Fifth Harmony
  • Favorite breakout artist: Niall Horan
  • Favorite male country artist: Blake Shelton
  • Favorite female country artist: Carrie Underwood
  • Favorite country group: Little Big Town
  • Favorite pop artist: Britney Spears
  • Favorite hip-hop artist: G-Eazy
  • Favorite R&B artist: Rihanna
  • Favorite album: "If I'm Honest," Blake Shelton
  • Favorite song: "Can't Stop the Feeling," Justin Timberlake

Digital

  • Favorite social media celebrity: Britney Spears
  • Favorite social media star: Cameron Dallas
  • Favorite YouTube star: Lilly Singh
  • Favorite comedic collaboration: Ellen DeGeneres and Britney Spears' "Mall Mischief"
  • Favorite digital obsession: Mannequin Challenge

Nicole Richie is new kid on block in Tina Fey TV comedy

Nicole Richie is the new kid on the comedy block in an upcoming NBC workplace comedy from Tina Fey.

The reality star and jewelry designer co-stars with Andrea Martin and Horatio Sanz of "Saturday Night Live" fame in "Great News," set in a television newsroom. The show debuts April 25.

"I auditioned a few times. I had no idea what I was walking into," Richie told a TV critics gathering on Wednesday. "They all kind of knew each other and I was the new kid on the block. They welcomed me with open arms."

Fey, who serves as executive producer along with her former "30 Rock" cohorts Robert Carlock and Jack Burditt, was supportive of Richie, having watched her years ago on the reality show "The Simple Life" with her childhood friend Paris Hilton.

"She has an instant likeability," Fey said. "The kind of instincts she has you cannot teach."

Most of Richie's scenes are with John Michael Higgins. She is 35; he is 53.

"The cool part about our characters is there's such a generational gap," Richie said. "We celebrate it off-screen but it's still very much there because you are old."

Higgins responded, "It's not just that I'm old, but I'm seriously out of touch. I'm always turning to Nicole and saying, 'Here's a joke these idiots wrote and what does it mean?'"

Jennifer Lopez: NBC's 'Bye Bye Birdie' evokes stage roots

Jennifer Lopez says NBC's version of "Bye Bye Birdie" will bring the musical back to its stage roots.

The story was somewhat "watered down" in the 1963 movie in which Janet Leigh played the role originated by Chita Rivera on Broadway in 1960, Lopez told a TV critics' meeting Wednesday.

In the play, Rivera's Rose encounters resistance from her boyfriend's mother because she doesn't want her son marrying someone with Puerto Rican roots, Lopez said.

That dynamic will be part of the live TV musical airing later this year, Lopez said. So will her character's assertiveness about trying to steer her partner toward marriage, the actress said.

Lopez, who's called "Bye Bye Birdie" a childhood favorite, said it's a "great part for me to do. So here we go."

She's a busy woman, both on and off camera. Lopez stars in and is a producer for NBC's police drama "Shades of Blue" and is a producer-judge on the network's upcoming competition series, "World of Dance."

"Bye Bye Birdie Live!" is the latest in what has become an annual live-musical holiday tradition for NBC, with last December's "Hairspray Live!" the most recent production.

"Birdie" is an homage to circa-1950s rock 'n' roll mania and centers on the character Conrad Birdie, who is reminiscent of a young Elvis Presley. He was played on stage by Dick Gautier, who died last week at age 85.

ABC aired a 1995 TV-movie version starring Jason Alexander and Vanessa Williams.

Ray Liotta finds career on upswing with TV police series

Ray Liotta knows that he's firmly cemented in the public's mind as the real-life mobster he played in the 1990 movie "Goodfellas."

Even if the 62-year-old actor has moved on, working steadily over the years, he found out not everyone else has done so. "I've done a lot of independent movies that I thought were very good, but it's hard to get people to see them," he told a TV critics gathering on Wednesday.

Liotta has found his profile rising again with his role as a dirty cop opposite Jennifer Lopez on NBC's drama "Shades of Blue," which returns for its second season on March 5. It's the first extended TV role of his career.

"It reminded people that I know how to do this," Liotta said. "I've definitely had an up-and-down career, and this has definitely put me back in the public eye."

Carlson starts strong at Fox News Channel

In his first week, Tucker Carlson moved seamlessly into Megyn Kelly's time slot at Fox News Channel without skipping a beat in the ratings.

Carlson averaged just under 3 million viewers for his first week of shows in Fox's prime-time lineup, or 10 percent more than the 2.72 million viewers that Kelly averaged all of last year, the Nielsen company said.

Fox's numbers are strong in general as many of its viewers eagerly await the start of the Trump administration. Carlson's lead-in, Bill O'Reilly, averaged 3.5 million last week, or 7 percent more than what he averaged last year. Sean Hannity, Fox's other prime-time personality, was up 16 percent last week in the same measurement, Nielsen said.

Kelly announced on Jan. 3 that she was leaving Fox News Channel for a new job at NBC News, where she will host a daytime hour that hasn't been defined yet, a once-weekly newsmagazine and participate in political coverage. Her start date at NBC hasn't been determined.

Carlson, who has hosted shows on CNN, MSNBC and PBS, earned his shot at Fox's prime-time lineup by doing well as a replacement for Greta Van Susteren earlier in the evening on Fox. Van Susteren has now taken a job at MSNBC.

Football dominated television last week, with the Pittsburgh Steelers' NFL playoff win in Kansas City seen by 37.1 million viewers and Clemson's late victory over Alabama for the NCAA championship reaching 24.4 million.

CBS won the week in prime time, averaging 10.3 million viewers. NBC had 9.1 million, Fox had 7.6 million, ABC had 4.7 million, Univision had 1.9 million, Telemundo had 1.6 million, ION Television had 1.3 million and the CW had 900,000.

With college football's premier game, ESPN led the cable networks with a prime-time average of 3.97 million. Fox News Channel had 2.48 million, USA had 1.62 million, HGTV had 1.6 million and TBS had 1.38 million.

NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 9.6 million viewers. ABC's "World News Tonight" was second with 9.2 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 7.6 million viewers.

For the week of Jan. 9-15, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: NFL Playoffs: Pittsburgh at Kansas City, NBC, 37.11 million; NFL Playoffs: Houston at New England, CBS, 29.82 million; NFL Playoffs: Green Bay at Dallas, Fox, 28.86 million; College Football Championship: Clemson vs. Alabama, ESPN, 24.42 million; "NFL Pre-Game," NBC, 23.08 million. College Football Championship Pre-Game," ESPN, 14.48 million; "NFL Post-Game," Fox, 13.95 million; "This is Us," NBC, 10.48 million; "Blue Bloods," CBS, 10.475 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 10.26 million.

___

ABC and ESPN are owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.

___

Online:

http://www.nielsen.com

NBC renews hit drama 'This Is Us' for 2 more seasons

NBC's hit freshman drama "This Is Us" will be sticking around for at least a couple more years.

The network said Wednesday's that the show's success has earned it a two-season pickup, with at least 18 episodes per season.

The family drama is proving a success with the advertiser-favored young adult demographic and has drawn critical praise.

"This is Us," about the intersecting lives of a variety of characters, includes Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia and Sterling K. Brown in its ensemble cast.

Actor dishing up laughs, not roast beef, on new NBC show

Nick D'Agosto was truly working for the man before he found success on the small screen.

The 36-year-old actor spent seven years toiling at Arby's in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, where his father Alan D'Agosto is the fast-food chain's major franchisee. Starting at 15, D'Agosto worked in his dad's restaurants and returned during summers when he was attending Marquette University.

"I had a ponytail, and I used to tuck it in my cap," said D'Agosto, whose close-cropped hair and fresh-faced appearance belies his age. "He put us to work on some greasy dishes. I've still got burns on my hands from some fryers, and it was a good lesson."

Now, D'Agosto is dishing up laughs in the upcoming NBC series "Trial & Error," starring John Lithgow and Sherri Shepherd.

Shepherd kidded D'Agosto about not providing any free roast beef to the cast and crew.

"I can get you free Arby's," he said at a TV critics gathering on Wednesday. "My dad still sends me gift cards."

D'Agosto's TV credits include "Masters of Sex," ''Gotham" and "Heroes."

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