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Last Update on September 19, 2014 07:07 GMT

DARRELL HAMMOND TO TAKE OVER SNL ANNOUNCER'S ROLE FOR LATE DON PARDO

NEW YORK (AP) -- It's a new gig -- and an old one -- for Darrell Hammond. The former "Saturday Night Live" cast member is now the show's new announcer, taking over the job Don Pardo had until he died earlier this year. Hammond says his goal is to get viewers to recall Pardo's voice -- without doing an impersonation of it. That wasn't the approach Hammond took some years ago -- when he occasionally filled in for Pardo. Hammond went behind the mic six times when Pardo couldn't go. NBC didn't announce the replacement -- and few people figured it out. Hammond is already the longest-running cast member of SNL. And he suggests his role may get even larger. He says he doesn't know if he will revive his impersonation of former president Bill Clinton -- should his wife Hillary decide to run for president.

AP Entertainment Editor Oscar Wells Gabriel reports Darrell Hammond will be the new announcer for NBC's "Saturday Night Live."

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Archive audio

Sound of the opening theme for "Saturday Night Live."

KEVIN SPACEY-CYBERSTALKING

BOSTON (AP) -- A Massachusetts woman who pleaded guilty to stalking Kevin Spacey will get some time behind bars for her trouble -- and have to cough up a huge chunk of change as a result. Linda Louise Culkin of Quincy was sentenced yesterday to more than four years in prison -- and must pay Spacey $124,000 for bodyguards he brought on because of the stalking. Prosecutors say she took part in a "persistent and malevolent" cyberstalking pattern. She claims she's mentally ill.

CHER-DANCERS

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Is Cher a racist? That's what three backup dancers are suggesting in a lawsuit. The singers claim that Cher complained her "Dressed to Kill" tour had "too much color" -- and told the choreographer not to hire any more dark-skinned dancers. Choreographer Kevin Wilson -- who is black and danced in the tour -- was fired in July. A second black dancer claims she was let go -- also for racial reasons. A publicist for Cher says the accusations against the veteran performer are "ridiculous" and "couldn't be further from the truth." The lawsuit seeks more than $10 million in damages. Cher had to postpone three weeks of shows because of a viral infection earlier this month.

Three backup dancers are suing Cher. The AP's Jamie Friar reports the dancers charge racial and age discrimination

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Excerpt of Cher

Excerpt of Cher, performing "Believe."

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Excerpt of Cher

Excerpt of Cher performing "If I Could Turn Back Time."

NICKI MINAJ-WIG SUIT

ATLANTA (AP) -- Hair today -- gone tomorrow. A federal judge in Atlanta has yanked off a lawsuit filed against Nicki Minaj. The suit was laid down by the rapper's former wig designer. Terrence Davidson sued Minaj and her company for, among other things, flipping out on launching a reality TV show and a wig line. The suit also claims Minaj swiped his design for hairpieces. Lawyers for Minaj filed a motion to dismiss, claiming the suit's roots weren't solid in that the plaintiff failed to state a viable claims. The judge agreed -- and shook the case out of court.

DOWNTON ABBEY-NEW SEASON IN U.K.

LONDON (AP) -- The good news for "Downton Abbey" fans: the show's new season begins this weekend. The not-so-good news: it will be January before the season begins airing in the U.S. It airs in the U.K. first. Not to cough up any spoiler alerts, but the members of the cast say the tough economic times are starting to take their toll. Elizabeth McGovern says "all of the characters are adjusting to a changing world" -- with some being more successful at doing so than others.

Elizabeth McGovern says the economic crisis is putting a strain on her character's marriage. ((Note length of cut))

JOAN RIVERS-COOKBOOK

NEW YORK (AP) -- "What does a Jewish woman make for dinner? Reservations." If you thought that sounds like a joke Joan Rivers would tell -- you'd be right. It's one of several the late comedian agreed to contribute to a book about Jewish food. Her brand of comedy is featured in "Eating Delancey: A Celebration of Jewish Food." The book is due out in December and features foodie memories from people like Don Rickles and Itzhak Perlman. Rivers died earlier this month a week after suffering cardiac arrest during a medical procedure at a New York City outpatient surgery center.

MICHAEL SHEEN-MASTERS

NEW YORK (AP) -- Michael Sheen says it's easier playing Dr. Williams Masters on "Masters of Sex" than it is playing other real, but more famous people like British Prime Minister Tony Blair or TV interviewer David Frost. Sheen says he feels more freedom in playing Masters because --"very little is known about" his inner life.

Rewind Time

September 21, 2014 07:05 GMT

Today is Sunday, Sept. 21, the 264th day of 2014. There are 101 days left in the year.

Today's Highlights in History:

On Sept. 21, 1989, Hurricane Hugo crashed into Charleston, South Carolina (the storm was blamed for 56 deaths in the Caribbean and 29 in the United States). Twenty-one students in Alton, Texas, died when their school bus, hit by a soft-drink delivery truck, careened into a water-filled pit.

On this date:

In 1792, the French National Convention voted to abolish the monarchy.

In 1893, one of America's first horseless carriages was taken for a short test drive in Springfield, Massachusetts, by Frank Duryea, who had designed the vehicle with his brother, Charles.

In 1897, the New York Sun ran its famous editorial, written anonymously by Francis P. Church, which declared, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus."

In 1912, magician Harry Houdini first publicly performed his "Water Torture Cell" trick at the Circus Busch in Berlin.

In 1938, a hurricane struck parts of New York and New England, causing widespread damage and claiming some 700 lives.

In 1948, Milton Berle made his debut as permanent host of "The Texaco Star Theater" on NBC-TV.

In 1957, Norway's King Haakon VII died in Oslo at age 85. The legal mystery-drama "Perry Mason," starring Raymond Burr, premiered on CBS-TV.

In 1964, Malta gained independence from Britain.

In 1970, "NFL Monday Night Football" made its debut on ABC-TV as the Cleveland Browns defeated the visiting New York Jets, 31-21.

In 1982, Amin Gemayel, brother of Lebanon's assassinated president-elect, Bashir Gemayel, was himself elected president. National Football League players began a 57-day strike, their first regular-season walkout ever.

In 1987, NFL players called a strike, mainly over the issue of free agency. (The 24-day walkout prompted football owners to hire replacement players.)

In 1991, an 18-hour hostage drama ended in Sandy, Utah, as Richard L. Worthington, who'd seized control of a hospital maternity ward and killed a nurse, finally freed his nine captives, including a baby born during the siege. (Worthington committed suicide in prison in 1993.)

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush, defending his decision to invade Iraq, urged the U.N. General Assembly to stand united with the country's struggling government. Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, was taken off a London-to-Washington United Airlines flight because his name had shown up on a government "no-fly" list. (Islam's brother and business manager, David Gordon, denied the singer had any ties to suspected terrorists.) The death toll in Haiti from deluges caused by Tropical Storm Jeanne topped 700.

Five years ago: Record flooding hit the Atlanta area, leaving neighborhoods, schools and even sections of roller coasters submerged in several feet of water. Deposed President Manuel Zelaya (zuh-LY'-uh) of Honduras defied threats of arrest and returned to his country, three months after he was forced into exile. (Zelaya took shelter at the Brazilian Embassy for four months until he was allowed to fly to the Dominican Republic.)

One year ago: Days after mass shootings in Washington and Chicago, President Barack Obama urged the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation to help push stalled legislation out of Congress so dangerous people wouldn't get their hands on guns. Islamic militants attacked an upscale shopping center in Nairobi, killing at least 67 people in the deadliest terrorist attack in Kenya in 15 years. An Afghan wearing a security forces uniform turned his weapon against U.S. troops, killing three in eastern Afghanistan.

Today's Birthdays: Poet-songwriter Leonard Cohen is 80. Author-comedian Fannie Flagg is 73. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer is 71. Musician Don Felder is 67. Author Stephen King is 67. Basketball Hall of Famer Artis Gilmore is 65. Actor-comedian Bill Murray is 64. Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Delahoussaye is 63. Rock musician Philthy Animal is 60. Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is 57. Movie producer-writer Ethan Coen is 57. Actor-comedian Dave Coulier is 55. Actor David James Elliott is 54. Actress Serena Scott-Thomas is 53. Actress Nancy Travis is 53. Actor Rob Morrow is 52. Retired MLB All-Star Cecil Fielder is 51. Actress Cheryl Hines is 49. Country singer Faith Hill is 47. Rock musician Tyler Stewart (Barenaked Ladies) is 47. Country singer Ronna Reeves is 46. Actress-talk show host Ricki Lake is 46. Rapper Dave (De La Soul) is 46. Actor Rob Benedict is 44. Actor James Lesure is 43. Actor Alfonso Ribeiro is 43. Actor Luke Wilson is 43. Actor Paulo Costanzo is 36. Actor Bradford Anderson is 35. Actress Autumn Reeser is 34. TV personality Nicole Richie is 33. Actress Maggie Grace is 31. Actor Joseph Mazzello is 31. Actress Ahna O'Reilly is 30. Rapper Wale (WAH'-lay) is 30. Actors Lorenzo and Nikolas Brino are 16.

Thought for Today: "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." -- Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher (born 1788, died this date in 1860).

Copyright 2014, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.