Contract dispute delays 'Big Bang' production

NEW YORK - Production on a new season of "The Big Bang Theory" is being delayed because of a contract dispute with its top actors.

The Warner Brothers Television studio, which makes television's most popular comedy, said that Wednesday's scheduled first day of work after the summer hiatus was postponed. There's no word on when "The Big Bang Theory" team will be back at work.

The CBS series is heading into its eighth season, and the studio is trying to hammer out new deals with actors Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar.

It's considered far too early for such a dispute to affect the timing of a show's season premiere. "The Big Bang Theory" opens its new season on Sept. 22. The show is moving temporarily to Mondays for the beginning of the new season with CBS airing NFL football games on Thursdays for the first half of the season.

Vieira looks to connect with viewers on show

- Meredith Vieira is looking to connect.

"Authenticity," she said, "is the key word" for what she hopes to bring to her new daytime talk show, "The Meredith Vieira Show," which premieres in syndication Sept. 8.

Speaking of the daytime audience, she said, "They want real, and they want to connect with somebody. They feel a connective tissue (with daytime personalities) that I don't think you find other times of the day.

"That's the power of television," she added - "you can do so much to help people."

Speaking to reporters at the summer TV critics' gathering, Vieira said she'll tape at NBC headquarters at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, also home to such programs as "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," "Late Night with Seth Meyers" and "Saturday Night Live." She said she'd welcome drop-ins from any stars from those shows who might be roaming the halls.

She'll have a house band led by Everett Bradley, a percussionist with the E Street Band.

And her set will be an exact replica of her own living room with an easy chair actually lifted from her home.

The 60-year-old Vieira presides over her own daytime talk show after accumulating a varied resume including "60 Minutes," the "Today" show, "The View" and "Who Wants to be a Millionaire."

Musician Nas finds roots in PBS series

- When Nas became the first rapper invited to trace his family tree through the PBS series "Finding Your Roots," he welcomed the opportunity.

But it hit him hard when he saw 1859 documentation of an ancestor being sold as a slave, he said during a panel discussion recently.

"First I was enraged when I looked at the bill of sale," Nas said. "I was like, that guy that owned property owes me some cash. My people made him really wealthy, so maybe I should find his family and talk."

The unearthed information made him think about his ancestors' contribution to America, he said, "and now I'm on a mission to find out more."

His family's story is among those told on season two of "Finding Your Roots," hosted by Harvard University scholar, Henry Louis Gates Jr. and debuting Sept. 23.

The 10-part series that traces celebrities' ancestry will focus on, among others, Ben Affleck, Jessica Alba, Tina Fey, Sting, Stephen King, Billie Jean King, Derek Jeter and chef Ming Tsai.

Others taking part include Courtney Vance, Khandi Alexander and Anna Deavere Smith. They joined Nas and Gates on the Television Critics Association panel.

Moore to return to `Young and Restless'

LOS ANGELES - Shemar Moore is returning to his daytime roots with a two-day guest appearance on "The Young and the Restless."

During his return on Sept. 10-11, Moore will reunite with Kristoff St. John, who plays his on-screen brother Neil Winters. Moore's character, Malcolm Winters, returns to Genoa City after leaving two years before without a proper goodbye. He comes back for a family visit to make amends and catch up.

Moore says he's excited about returning to the CBS show where he got his start. He was a "Young and Restless" regular from 1994-2002, left the show and returned in 2004-05. Moore won a Daytime Emmy for supporting actor in 2000.

'Supernatural' stars energized at season 10

- "Supernatural" stars Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki say the TV series they started nine years ago remains just as fun today as it did at the beginning.

"We still get excited about it," Ackles told journalists Friday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour.

"I remember getting the last script of season nine, I got all giddy about it. I was excited to see what happens in season 10. As long as there's still that fulfillment ... we will keep going."

Padelecki added, "I think we know the show enough and our characters enough that if there's an end coming I think we'll all see it."

"Supernatural" follows Ackles and Padalecki as brothers who battle the supernatural.

Burns turns his lens on Roosevelt dynasty

- For 30 years, Ken Burns has found the Roosevelt family "irresistible."

Various members of the political dynasty have popped up in the filmmaker's projects on America's national parks, Prohibition and the Civil War. Now, Burns shines a spotlight on the family itself in "The Roosevelts: An Intimate History," a 14-hour film debuting Sept. 14 on PBS. It will run for seven consecutive nights.

The series covers Theodore's birth in 1858 to Eleanor's death in 1962. In between, Theodore was elected president and his niece Eleanor married her fifth cousin, Franklin, who became president.

"I don't know a film that has been more satisfying to me," Burns said recently at the summer TV critics' press tour. "This is a fairly complex narrative. We're asking questions: What is the role of government, what is the nature of leadership?"

For the film, Burns interviewed his longtime collaborator Geoffrey Ward, an authority on Franklin Roosevelt. Ward was emotionally invested in the topic, having had polio when he was 9, like FDR.

Each episode will be repeated the night of its original airing, and there will be a daytime marathon on the weekend of Sept. 20-21. All episodes will be available for streaming the day after the first episode airs.

Associated Press