Capaldi gets NYC welcome at 'Who' debut

NEW YORK - Peter Capaldi knew he was in New York on Thursday the minute he stepped out of a classic yellow cab that drove him to the premiere of "Doctor Who."

Capaldi is the 12th actor to play the Doctor in six decades. At 56, he is also the oldest since the first, William Hartnell.

Show runner Steven Moffat is not concerned that younger viewers will be turned off by the elder time-and-space traveling Time Lord.

"Look, I hate to tell you this, but to kids, (previous 31-year-old Doctor) Matt Smith was ancient, right? I mean we're all ancient to them so (I'm) not remotely (worried.)"

Although the Doctor has changed, his companion has not. Jenna Coleman returns as Clara Oswald, who also was Smith's sidekick.

"I think Clara's the only person that can tell the Doctor what to do and he's very bonded to her and has a very deep affection for her, so although she drives him crazy sometimes, he can't stop inviting her to travel with him," Capaldi said.

'Nashville' goes live in new season premiere

- Actor Charles Esten has more at stake in the new season of the ABC drama "Nashville" than resolving the cliffhanger that left his character, singer-songwriter Deacon Claybourne, in the midst of a lyricist love triangle.

During the season-three premiere, Esten, who sang in a band and stage productions long before becoming an actor, will perform a song he co-wrote with Grammy-nominated country singer Deana Carter, "I Know How to Love You Now."

Esten and actor Chris Carmack will perform in the Sept. 24 show live from the show's Bluebird Cafe set. The studio versions of the songs will be available for download on iTunes after the show.

Lane: Straight actors can play gay roles

- Gay actors shouldn't have a monopoly on gay roles, award-winning stage and screen actor Nathan Lane said.

Lane, who is gay and has played both straight and gay characters, was asked the question at a recent TV critics' meeting. He was there to discuss PBS' presentation of the Broadway play "The Nance," in which he stars.

"We just had `The Normal Heart' (with) Mark Ruffalo, fantastic job. I think who's right for the part and most talented" should be hired, Lane said. Ruffalo, who is straight, starred as a gay man in the AIDS drama for HBO.

"That way only madness lies. ... I wouldn't have played Nathan Detroit or Max Bialystock" if casting followed such rigid rules, Lane said.

"The Nance," which earned Lane another Tony bid this year, is about a gay burlesque performer in 1930s New York. It airs Oct. 10 on PBS' "Live From Lincoln Center" as part of the series 40th anniversary season.

Associated Press