'BIG BANG THEORY' GETS SHOUT OUT TO NOBEL PRIZE ANNOUNCEMENT

STOCKHOLM (AP) — "The Big Bang Theory" has made its way into the annals of Nobel history.

Tuesday's announcement that a trio of scientists had won the physics Nobel Prize started off with the opening lines of "Big Bang Theory."

The top official at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences says the reference seemed appropriate because of the show's legacy of bringing the "world of science to laptops and living rooms around the world."

One Canadian-American and two Swiss scientists won the prize Tuesday for their work in understanding how the universe has evolved from the Big Bang and the blockbuster discovery of a planet outside our solar system.

"The Big Bang Theory" ended its run earlier this year with a story line in which two main characters won the Nobel Prize.

LAVERNE COX IS AT SUPREME COURT FOR LGBT CASES

WASHINGTON (AP) - Transgender actress Laverne Cox says she was “so incredibly honoured and overwhelmed” to be at the U.S. Supreme Court as it heard two landmark LGBT cases.

The justices are considering whether federal civil rights law protects LGBT people from job discrimination. The issue is whether a key provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that bars discrimination in employment because of sex covers LGBT people.

Cox told reporters that the cases got that far because of “everyday people who have the courage to stand up, who can make a difference.”

A decision is expected by early summer 2020.

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ALEC BALDWIN FALLS FOR STATUE OF LIBERTY TOUR 'SCAM'

NEW YORK (AP) — Alec Baldwin says he fell for a "scam" Statue of Liberty tour.

The actor shared his experience on Instagram Sunday. He says he bought $40 tickets for a boat tour of the Statue of Liberty for his family. But they were instead escorted to a shuttle bus to New Jersey.

The Daily News reports the shuttle bus transports passengers from downtown New York to New Jersey, where they get on a boat that offers views of the Statue of Liberty.

A message was left with the tour operator that apparently sold Baldwin the tickets.

Baldwin says his family ultimately ended up taking the Staten island Ferry, which is free and passes the Statue of Liberty.

SOUTH PARK, GAMES COMPANY SWEPT UP IN CHINA CENSORSHIP FURY

TV show South Park and a major video game studio are the latest businesses to get swept into a controversy over how to handle China's censorship efforts.

Video games maker Activision Blizzard said Tuesday it kicked a Hong Kong esports pro out of a tournament and seized his prize money after he voiced support for Hong Kong's pro-democracy protest movement.

Chinese video streaming sites apparently scrubbed all episodes of South Park after an episode about U.S. businesses kowtowing to Beijing.

Creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone issued a faux apology, saying, "Like the NBA, we welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts."

They were referring to a rapidly deleted tweet by the Houston Rockets general manager supporting the Hong Kong protests that sparked a Chinese backlash.

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EAGLES PLAN MASSIVE 'HOTEL CALIFORNIA' PERFORMANCES ON TOUR

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Eagles are planning massive performances of their album "Hotel California" during their 2020 tour.

Performances of the band's 1976 album will include a 46-piece orchestra and a 22-voice choir. Organizers announced Tuesday that in total, 77 musicians are expected to be onstage while Eagles perform hits from the album including "New Kid in Town" and "Life in the Fast Lane."

The band's 2020 tour will kick off Feb. 7 in Atlanta and end April 18 in Los Angeles. Stops will include New York, Dallas, Houston and San Francisco.

The band recently performed the album in its entirety at shows in Las Vegas, the first time in its history that it had played the whole album in concert.

Tickets go on sale Friday on Ticketmaster.

ATLANTA TV STAR: $750,000 IN JEWELRY STOLEN FROM LAMBORGHINI

ATLANTA (AP) — The reality television star who is married to rapper T.I. says more than $750,000 in jewelry was stolen from her Lamborghini outside an Atlanta bar.

Tameka "Tiny" Harris told Atlanta police she left wedding rings, watches and stud earrings in a blue velour bag on the centre console of her 2019 Lamborghini SUV.

Atlanta police investigator James H. White III said Harris told officers she parked her car around 8:45 p.m. Sunday and discovered the items missing about an hour later. A preliminary police report says the estimated value of the stolen items exceeds $750,000.

Officials told WSB-TV that security near the bar didn't see anything suspicious.

Harris was part of the R&B group Xscape and starred in "The Family Hustle" alongside Clifford "T.I." Harris.

PROSECUTOR LOOKS FOR LONGER PRISON SENTENCE FOR LORI LOUGHLIN THAN FELICITY HUFFMAN

BOSTON (AP) _ The lead prosecutor in the college admissions bribery scandal said he plans to recommend longer prison sentences for "Full House" star Lori Loughlin (LAWK'-lin) and other parents contesting the charges against them.

Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said in a Sunday interview with Boston's WCVB-TV that the longer Loughlin fights the charges, the longer her recommended sentence will be.

Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, are accused of paying $500,000 to get their two daughters into the University of Southern California as fake athletes. They have pleaded not guilty.

Lelling added that actress Felicity Huffman's sentence of 14 days in prison was "reasonable." The "Desperate Housewives" star was sentenced Sept. 13 after she admitted to paying $15,000 to rig her daughter's SAT score.

Lelling said Huffman was “probably the least culpable of the defendants.” He said she took responsibility almost immediately, was contrite, and “handled it in a very classy way."

IMPOSTOR SHOWS UP AT COMEDIAN LAMPANELLI'S HOME

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (AP) — Lisa Lampanelli can be forgiven if she didn't laugh when she found out an impostor showed up at her home.

Police in Fairfield, Connecticut, say they responded to the comedian's home last week after her sister said she got a phone call from a woman claiming to be Lampanelli.

The woman said she was at her house but was locked out and couldn't remember where the spare key was.

Police say the real Lisa Lampanelli was out of state at the time.

Officers found 56-year-old Anna Dominguez, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in a car in the driveway.

Police say Dominguez had the same hairstyle as the comedian and was wearing similar clothing.

Dominguez was charged with attempted burglary. A court clerk said Tuesday she had not posted a $500 bond and does not yet have an attorney.

She is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 7.

LA OPERA ELIMINATES PLACIDO DOMINGO'S OLD JOB TITLE

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Opera has announced that the company's president and CEO, Christopher Koelsch, will take over the duties of Placido Domingo, who resigned last week as general director amid allegations of sexual harassment.

LA Opera's board of directors said in a statement Monday it was "consolidating the duties" of general director with Koelsch's current jobs.

Domingo resigned as general director, a job he held since 2003, saying his ability to continue at LA Opera was compromised by the accusations against him.

In reports published by The Associated Press, more than 20 women accused the legendary tenor of sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct. Domingo has denied any wrongdoing.

Koelsch has held various positions at LA Opera since 1997 and was appointed president and chief executive in 2012.

JUDD NELSON: NO MISGIVINGS ABOUT 'THE BREAKFAST CLUB'

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — Actor Judd Nelson says he doesn't share the misgivings about "The Breakfast Club" that co-star Molly Ringwald expressed in a first-person column.

In April 2018, Ringwald wrote a column for The New Yorker about watching the movie a few years earlier with her then 10-year-old daughter. Her discomfort focuses on interactions that her character had with a "bad boy" portrayed by Nelson.

In an interview with The StarNews of Wilmington , Nelson says he thinks the 1985 movie is "a product of its time" and that he doesn't "see those problems that Molly sees."

The 59-year-old Nelson is in Wilmington to star in the play "Love Letters," which will be performed Saturday at Kenan Auditorium. His co-star in the two-person drama is Sheryl Lee, who played Laura Palmer in "Twin Peaks."

OPRAH TO GIVE $13 MILLION MORE FOR AID AT BLACK COLLEGE

ATLANTA (AP) — Oprah Winfrey says she's giving $13 million to increase a scholarship endowment at a historically black college.

Winfrey announced her plan Monday at Morehouse College in Atlanta, adding to the $12 million she gave to the all-male college 30 years ago. She was meeting with 47 students already benefiting from the existing endowment.

Morehouse President David Thomas says Winfrey's endowment has paid to educate almost 600 students over the past three decades.

Winfrey's announcement came weeks after Morehouse announced it would cut some employee salaries and retirement contributions to increase student aid, and eliminate some jobs. Billionaire Robert Smith won wide notice earlier this year when he promised to repay all student and family loans accumulated by Morehouse's class of 2019. That one-time gift will be worth $34 million.

TONY HALE ON PLAYING FORKY AND THE LONELY LESSON OF 'VEEP'

NEW YORK (AP) — Tony Hale is known for getting big laughs for his hilarious facial reactions and physical antics in TV comedies. But for his animated role in the latest "Toy Story" installment, he had to be funny using only his voice.

Hale has earned many fans by playing a morally questionable man-child in both "Arrested Development" and "Veep." He switched gears to play the lovable and innocent "Forky," who embarks on a road trip with Woody, Buzz and the gang in "Toy Story 4," which is available on digital, 4K Disc and Blu-Ray this week.

Hale says he was thrilled to get the call to play the handmade, talking utensil. Just being asked was enough.

Says Hale: "I felt very much like Forky, because Forky walks around like he's overwhelmed."

JOSH GROBAN PLANS TO 'LET GO' IN UPCOMING SHOW SERIES

NEW YORK (AP) — Josh Groban has a date for Valentine's Day — with 6,000 or so of his fans.

The singer-songwriter said Tuesday he has booked New York City's massive Radio City Music Hall for a Feb. 14 show that he promises will be a night of music with special guests and plenty of spontaneous, off-the-cuff segments.

In addition to Valentine's Day, Groban has also booked Radio City for April 18 and hopes he will return to the venue for a new show every few months.

While details are still being worked out, the show will have an orchestra, band and choir plus guests and impromptu interaction with fans. He promised that no two shows will be the same.

HBO ORDERS 2 NEW SEASONS OF AXIOS NEWS SERIES

NEW YORK (AP) — HBO says it has ordered two new seasons of its Sunday night news program modeled after the Axios website, which has produced newsmaking interviews with presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner and business leaders Elon Musk and Tim Cook.

The decision, announced on Tuesday, means 12 episodes each year in 2020 and 2021.

"Axios on HBO" wraps up its second season with four new episodes that begin on Oct. 20.

Axios' daily newsletter concentrates on politics, business and technology with an emphasis on brevity, which producers Matthew O'Neill and Perri Peltz use as models for the TV show.

O'Neill and Peltz both have a background in documentary work with HBO. O'Neill made "Baghdad ER" for the pay cable service and Peltz made "Warning: This Drug May Kill You."

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