Samberg has advice for anyone fired from 'SNL'
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - Andy Samberg wants ousted "Saturday Night Live" cast members to know there is life after the comedy show.
Brooks Wheelan tweeted earlier this week that he had been fired from the NBC sketch comedy series.
A source familiar with casting but not authorized to speak on the record told The Associated Press that he would not be returning in the fall.
Talking to journalists Wednesday at a Television Critics Association set visit for Fox's "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," Samberg said, "If you were hired ... there's something good going on with you."
Samberg was a featured cast member on "SNL" from 2005 to 2012.
The 35-year-old returned to guest host earlier this year after winning the Golden Globe Award for best actor in a television series musical or comedy for "Nine-Nine."
He said the only difference about hosting was that he didn't worry about being cut from the episode.
He joked, "When I order a coffee, it comes sooner because I don't have to wait for 30 other people's coffees. Other than that it's almost exactly the same."
Samberg is happy to be back in California to film "Nine-Nine" because he was raised in Berkeley. He also says it's better for his marriage (he wed musician Joanna Newsom last September).
"The schedule (now) is much better. ... 'SNL' is notoriously bad for a relationship," he said.
'How I Met Your Dad' may still be in works
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - "How I Met Your Dad" may not be dead yet.
CBS Entertainment Chairman Nina Tassler said Thursday the network wants "very much to stay in business" with the show's creators Craig Thomas, Carter Bays and executive producer Emily Spivey.
She also said, "We'd love the opportunity to take another shot."
"How I Met Your Dad" was a spin-off of "How I Met Your Mother," which aired its series finale in March.
So what went wrong with "Dad?" Tassler hinted to journalists at the Television Critics Association summer press tour that the cast didn't jibe.
"Some things about this worked, some things didn't," she said. "As I said many, many times 'Big Bang' would not be 'Big Bang' without having redone that pilot."
Tassler went on to say she couldn't imagine Kaley Cuoco not being on "Big Bang." The actress was cast in the show's second pilot.
"Dad" didn't have any connection to "Mother" except for the story format. The lead character explains to her kids the events that led her to meet their dad.
Greta Gerwig had the star-ring role with Meg Ryan as a narrator.
Tracee Ellis Ross: 'Black-ish' role is life
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - Tracee Ellis Ross says her upcoming role on the ABC comedy "Black-ish" allows her to be who she really is: a biracial woman.
"I am both (black and white) and yet I identify as a black woman," said the 41-year-old actress Tuesday at the Television Critics Association annual summer press tour. Ross' parents are singer Diana Ross and music executive Robert Ellis Silberstein.
"It's really fun for me to actually play a mixed girl on television. I am actually out (pause) as a mixed woman," she laughed.
On "Black-ish," Ross is the wife of Anthony Anderson's character, who worries they've lost touch with their ethnicity.
She said their TV marriage is rare because it's a happy, healthy relationship, rather than dysfunctional.
"The comedy between this couple does not come from them hating each other," Ross said.
"Black-ish" also stars Laurence Fishburne, who has a role on NBC's "Hannibal." Fishburne says he won't do a full season of either series so he has time for both.
"Black-ish" premieres in September.
Leoni gets go-ahead from kids for TV return
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - Tea Leoni got the go-ahead from her kids to get back to work.
The 48-year-old actress has worked sparingly in recent years while being at home with 15-year-old daughter Madelaine and son Kyd, whose father is actor David Duchovny.
"I turned to my 12-year-old son and I said, 'It's going to be a little tricky. I'm not going to be around as much. Are you cool with that?' " Leoni said Thursday at the summer TV critics' meeting.
"He said, 'Yeah, I was getting kind of sick of you,' " she said. "So I'm back."
Leoni plays the U.S. secretary of state with Tim Daly as her husband in the upcoming CBS show "Madame Secretary." Her last movie role came in "Tower Heist" in 2011, and she starred in TV's "The Naked Truth" in the 1990s.
Morgan Freeman serves as an executive producer of the new show. The 77-year-old actor said there are no plans for him to appear on camera, but he noted that Daly's character is a professor of religion.
"I have a little experience playing God," joked Freeman, referring to his role in the film "Bruce Almighty."
Creator and executive producer Barbara Hall said former Secretary of State Madelaine Albright is excited about the show and has met with Leoni and Daly.
"She's very eager to weigh in and help us," Hall said.
She said the show was inspired by actual events and will attempt to "pull back the curtain on how the State Department works."
Gruffudd has revealing role in 'Forever'
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - Ioan Gruffudd is used to playing extraordinary characters, but his latest comes with a special challenge.
In the "Fantastic Four" movies, he was the brainy shapeshifter Mister Fantastic. In ABC's upcoming series "Forever," the Welsh actor plays a man who is fated to die and be reborn over and over - and each time he comes back he's in the buff.
"It made me appreciate the fact that I had a muscle suit on as Mister Fantastic," Gruffudd, 39, told a TV critics' summer meeting Tuesday. "I'm not getting younger, so there's a commitment to the cause that one has to make" with diet and exercise.
He plays a New York City medical examiner who's keeping his immortality a secret, with Judd Hirsch playing his sole confidante. Alana De La Garza stars as a police detective who shares cases and chemistry with Gruffudd's Dr. Henry Morgan.
Asked if they would welcome the chance to live forever, Gruffudd and De La Garza had quick replies.
"It just feels too painful," he said.
"Outliving your children would just be ...." she said.
"Too much," Gruffudd said, finishing the sentence.
Laurence Fishburne (from left), Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson will star in the ABC comedy “Black-ish.”×
Executive Producer Morgan Freeman and Tea Leoni talk about “Madam Secretary.”×
Ioan Gruffudd (from left), Alana De La Garza and Judd Hirsch will star in the ABC drama “Forever.”×