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NBC denies Kenan Thompson departure report on TMZ

Kenan Thompson (Getty)

(Credit: Kenan Thompson (Getty))

Kenan Thompson -- king of "Saturday Night Live" if royalty is measured in terms of seasons (eleven and counting) -- is leaving the show at the end of next season, according to a report on TMZ that suddenly got quite a few people's attention.

Except..he's not. Or nothing has been decided. Or, to be precise: NBC is denying the report.

SNL's top spokesperson just told me via email: "This...

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'The Blacklist' what, for Red, Berlin, Lizzy...?

James Spader is the star of NBC's hit

(Credit: AP / NBC)

"The Blacklist," the most successful new drama across all four major broadcast networks last season, returns Monday to a second season and lots of questions. Can the momentum continue? (Yes.) Will the show even add more viewers/fans this season? (Yes, and yes, especially after the Super Bowl next year, which it will follow.) Will the brief hiatus -- "The Blacklist" will go off the schedule this...

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'The Big Bang Theory' on Mondays: Expect a big bang

"The Big Bang Theory," TV's most popular comedy

(Credit: Michael Yarish / Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)

Of all the fall 2014 season moves -- dozens -- this may be the one that has the greatest chance of changing commercial network viewing habits, expressed in four little words: "The," "big," "bang," and "theory."

Yes, fans, "The Big Bang Theory," TV's most popular comedy, has a new night and time (Monday, 8), and suddenly television faces a significant re-ordering of the apple cart. "Bang" will...

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Polly Bergen has died at 84; star of 'Winds of War'

Actress Polly Bergen, in a 2012 photo. She

(Credit: Getty Images / Larry Busacca)

Polly Bergen, an incandescent talent of stage, screen and television, has died. Reports say she was 84 and had been living at her home in Southbury, Connecticut. Natural causes were cited.

While she began as a popular singer, became a studio contract player, worked alongside Martin and Lewis in a few films, and had considerable success on Broadway over a few decades -- including "Love Letters,"...

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E!'s 'Fashion Police' to return in 2015; Friday special to celebrate Rivers

Joan Rivers and daughter Melissa Rivers attend the

(Credit: AP / Evan Agostini)

E! says the show will go on: "Fashion Police" will return in 2015. Meanwhile,  the series Friday will celebrate the one woman who so commandingly dominated this show — and in the process wrote another chapter in a long career full of new chapters, left turns, right turns and any other metaphor you can think of that designates "reinvention." Yes, Joan Rivers reinvented often, and "Fashion Police"...

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Billy Crystal on 'Tonight Show' recalls Robin Williams

Billy Crystal, left, with Robin Williams prior to

(Credit: AP / Alex Brandon)

Billy Crystal -- who gave a reasonably perfect tribute to his friend Robin Wiliams during the 66th Annual Primetime Emmys telecast -- spoke Thursday to Jimmy Fallon during "The Tonight Show" about his own feelings during and before the speech.

Among them: "I was afraid I wasn't going to get through it ..." In this clip, he and Fallon share memories of a bus trip to Washington, and Williams' comment to him during a speech by a former presidential candidate. (It's all very funny, but some of the language here is a little blue -- a warning to those who might be offended.) Readers on mobile devices can find the clip here:

Review: 'Boardwalk Empire' episode 3, 'What Jesus Said'

Steve Buscemi in "Boardwalk Empire" season 5, episode

(Credit: HBO / Macall B. Polay)

Just eight episodes long and two episodes in, “Boardwalk Empire” has already made a compelling case for another Best Drama nod for this, its fifth and final season. Sunday's third episode — “What Jesus Said” — continues to make the case, only less slightly. All in all, this remains a particularly fine season so far. 

Quickly, an overview without spoilers: Chalky (Michael K. Williams)...

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Darrell Hammond named Don Pardo's replacement on 'Saturday Night Live'

Darrell Hammond appeared on "Saturday Night Live" from

(Credit: AP / Wilfredo Lee)

Darrell Hammond, the veteran "Saturday Night Live" cast member whose world famous impressions have ranged from Donald Trump to Bill Clinton, will soon fill one of TV's most iconic roles — as the man who will replace Don Pardo. 

The news broke earlier Thursday morning, on USA Today's website, and "The Today Show" just confirmed the appointment. Hammond, 58, will become the voice of "SNL" when the new season begins — a job that essentially means the recitation of cast members' names at the show's open, along with various other in-show announcements throughout. Pardo, who died recently at the age of 96, held the job of announcer for 39 seasons; the baton, so to speak, will be handed to Hammond for the 40th which begins Sept. 27.

Hammond's appointment was certainly expected — he's almost literally part of the set at Studio 8H: A nearly continual presence there for many years, and where he set the record for the longest tenure of any repertory player (14 seasons) when he left at the end of the 34th season. Hammond, arguably, was the best-known cast member of the '90s.

Bill Hader - maybe Stefon - back to 'SNL' Oct. 11

Bill Hader (2005-13): Notable characters include flamboyant "Weekend

(Credit: AP / Victoria Will)

Bill Hader - gone from "Saturday Night Live" since 2013, and yes, the absence has been keenly felt - is coming home, for a day.  He'll host the Oct. 11 edition of "Saturday Night Live," with Hozier as musical guest. Hader has had a successful post-"SNL" run, currently starring in the well-reviewed "The Skeleton Twins," with Kristen Wiig, Ty Burrell, and Luke Wilson. Will Stefon make an appearance on Oct. 11? (Please . . . do we really have to ask?) 

'Joan Day' celebrates Joan Rivers on E! Friday

E! will devote its entire schedule to Joan

E! will clear its decks Friday to devote a full day of programming to Joan Rivers, the network just announced. It's been dubbed "Joan Day," and the news release does indicate All-Joan-all-the-time. It starts at 7 a.m.

 To the news release: 

E!’s “Joan Day” programming will include an all-day marathon that showcases some of Joan’s best jokes from “Fashion Police” beginning at...

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