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Pat DiNizio, singer for The Smithereens, dies at 62

Pat DiNizio, frontman for alt-rock-pop band The Smithereens, has died at the age of 62.

The band posted the news on its Facebook page shortly after midnight Wednesday:

>> PHOTOS: Notable deaths 2017

"It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Pat DiNizio, lead singer and songwriter of the influential New Jersey rock band, The Smithereens – America’s Band," the post said.

"Pat was looking forward to getting back on the road and seeing his many fans and friends. Please keep Pat in your thoughts and prayers."

>> See the post here

New Jersey native DiNizio, with bandmates Jim Babjak, Dennis Diken and Mike Mesaros, buzzed around the rock charts in the late '80s and early '90s with stinging yet melodic songs including “Only a Memory,” “A Girl Like You” and “Blood and Roses.”

>> Read more trending news 

On Saturday, DiNizio posted a lengthy update on Facebook and assured fans that he was receiving “the best medical care and attention possible to repair the damage done to my neck and back in my recent falls.” He also said his treatment was helping him get in shape for the band’s upcoming shows.

Monkey selfies, eclipse, bitcoin, Lauer top Google in 2017

Matt Lauer. Bitcoin. DACA. Monkey selfies. Jeremy Lin's hair. Do-it-yourself eclipse glasses. Tom Petty's death. National anthem protests in the NFL. And "Cash Me Outside."

These were some of the people, topics and memes that trended to the top of Google searches in 2017. The search terms reflected the United States in upheaval over sexual misconduct allegations against powerful men, reeling from the tumultuous presidency of Donald Trump (What is "covfefe," by the way?), and people around the world searching for information about the latest iPhone and how to make slime.

Three of the top 10 TV shows in the U.S. debuted on Netflix, the same as last year.

April the Giraffe made news by giving birth live on YouTube.

And the world grooved to Luis Fonsi singing "Despacito."

Here are some of the terms Google says had the highest sustained spike in traffic compared to 2016, filtered for spam, repeat queries and adult keywords. The full list is here .

UNITED STATES

Searches

1. Hurricane Irma

2. Matt Lauer

3. Tom Petty

4. Super Bowl

5. Las Vegas Shooting

6. Mayweather vs. McGregor Fight

7. Solar Eclipse

8. Hurricane Harvey

9. Aaron Hernandez

10. Fidget Spinner

People

1. Matt Lauer

2. Meghan Markle

3. Harvey Weinstein

4. Michael Flynn

5. Kevin Spacey

6. Bill O'Reilly

7. Melania Trump

8. Kathy Griffin

9. Milo Yiannopoulos

10. Gal Gadot

Losses

1. Tom Petty

2. Aaron Hernandez

3. Chris Cornell

4. Bill Paxton

5. Hugh Hefner

6. Chester Bennington

7. Charlie Murphy

8. Lil Peep

9. Jim Nabors

10. David Cassidy

How to

1. How to make slime

2. How to make solar eclipse glasses

3. How to watch the solar eclipse

4. How to watch Mayweather vs. McGregor

5. How to buy Bitcoin

6. How to freeze your credit

7. How to solve a Rubix Cube

8. How to make a fidget spinner

9. How to cook a turkey in the oven

10. How to screen record

What is

1. What is DACA?

2. What is Bitcoin?

3. What is a solar eclipse?

4. What is antifa?

5. What is net neutrality?

6. What is covfefe?

7. What is the antikythera mechanism?

8. What is a fidget spinner?

9. What is the Paris Climate Agreement?

10. What is a hurricane?

GLOBAL LISTS

Searches

1. Hurricane Irma

2. iPhone 8

3. iPhone X

4. Matt Lauer

5. Meghan Markle

6. 13 Reasons Why

7. Tom Petty

8. Fidget Spinner

9. Chester Bennington

10. India National Cricket Team

Songs/Lyrics

1. Despacito

2. Shape of You

3. Perfect

4. Havana

5. Look What You Made Me Do

6. HUMBLE.

7. Versace on the Floor

8. Closer

9. Bad and Boujee

10. Rockstar

Memes

1. Cash Me Outside

2. United Airlines

3. Elf on the Shelf

4. What in Tarnation

5. Spongebob Mocking

6. Romper

7. IT

8. Joe Biden

9. Game of Thrones

10. Hot dog

Elections

1. French election

2. German federal election

3. UK election

4. Uttar Pradesh election

5. Georgia special election

6. Montana special election

7. British Columbia election

8. BMC election

9. Sicilian regional election

10. Dutch election

'Three Billboards' tops SAG noms, 'Big Sick' bounces back

"Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" has landed a leading four Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations, including best ensemble.

The other nominees for best ensemble at the 24th annual SAG Awards are: "Lady Bird," ''Get Out," ''Mudbound" and "The Big Sick." As one of the steadiest bellwethers of the Academy Awards, the SAG Awards have considerable sway on the Oscar race.

Wednesday's nominees offered swift redemption for "The Big Sick," which the Golden Globes completely overlooked on Monday.

Nominated for best actress are: Judi Dench, Sally Hawkins, Frances McDormand, Margo Robbie and Saoirse Ronan.

The best actor nominees are: Timothee Chalamet, James Franco, Daniel Kaluuya, Gary Oldman and Denzel Washington.

Winners will be announced during a January 21 telecast hosted by Kristen Bell.

Photos: Notable deaths 2017

Lindsey Vonn opens up about backlash after Trump-Olympics comments

After pledging to represent the United States but not President Trump at the 2018 Winter Olympics, skier Lindsey Vonn is opening up about some of the backlash she’s been receiving since.

>> Read more trending news

“I’ve received a tremendous amount of feedback, both positive and negative, about my recent CNN interview,” she explained in a long Instagram post. “The point that I was trying to articulate is that all Olympic athletes represent their nation as a whole, and are not representatives of their government or any specific political figure or party. None of us work tirelessly for years on end to compete in the Olympics on behalf of Democrats or Republicans. The Olympics are a non-political event, a chance for everyone to put aside their differences and be on the same ‘team.’ That does not mean that Olympic athletes don’t have political opinions.”

>> Related: ‘Fox & Friends’ hosts give ‘un-American’ Lindsey Vonn a mouthful after her remarks on Trump and the Olympics

“As for myself, my recent comments opened up my eyes as to how divided we are right now,” she continued. “It is hurtful to read comments where people are hoping I break my neck or that God is punishing me for being ‘anti-Trump.’ We need to find a way to put aside our differences and find common ground in communicating. Is it wrong to hope for a better world?”

Vonn made headlines last week when she told CNN, “I hope to represent the people of the United States, not the president. I take the Olympics very seriously and what they mean and what they represent, what walking under our flag means in the opening ceremony. I want to represent our country well. I don’t think that there are a lot of people currently in our government that do that.”

>> Related: U.S. Olympic skiing legend Lindsey Vonn voices harsh words for President Trump

The skier was immediately criticized for the remarks and was even branded “un-American” by one of the president’s favorite news programs “Fox & Friends.” Now, she’s insisting that she is indeed “proud to be an American.”

“As an American, I am extremely proud that our great nation was founded on principals and ideals where citizens can express our opinions openly. It is a privilege that some others around the world don’t have,” she wrote in her post. “I am proud to be an American, and I want our country to continue to be a symbol of hope, compassion, inclusion and world unity.”

Happy 94th birthday, Bob Barker. Here’s why you rock!

Come on down, Bob Barker, and accept a hearty Happy Birthday wish on behalf of a grateful nation!

>> Read more trending news

You turn 94 years young on December 12 and if all you ever accomplished in that time was to beat up Adam Sandler, that would be more than enough (sadly, it was a fictitious fight, in a movie).

>> Related: Angelina Jolie talks Brad Pitt, says last film together may have mirrored relationship

But no, you hosted “The Price Is Right” right into TV’s all-time record books, went vegetarian before vegetarianism was cool and even made it safe for other game show hosts to -- gasp! -- stop dying their hair.

Somewhere, Wink Martindale is saluting you.

And so are we, as we run down this list of reasons you deserve to be celebrated. Not 94 reasons, because that would way take too much commitment and stamina.(Who do you think we are, Bob Barker?!)

Nope, there’s only one of you. Here’s why:

Nothin’ but net. Born on Dec. 12, 1923 in Darrington, Washington, young Bob attended Drury College in Springfield, Mo., on a basketball scholarship. Meanwhile, has Michael Jordan hosted TV’s longest running game show? Point made.

Patriotic brainiac. During World War II, Barker served in the U.S. Navy as a fighter pilot. Then he returned to college and graduated summa cum laude with a degree in economics.

>> Related: Furious Rose McGowan blasts old friend Alissa Milano on Twitter over Weinstein’s wife

The Price is Right . . . there in all the record books. After a brief (cough, cough!) 18-year warmup stint as host of the televised game show, “Truth or Consequences” starting in 1956, Barker began hosting the daytime version of “The Price Is Right” in September 1972. By the time he finally called it quits in June 2007, “Price” had entered the record books as the longest continuously running game show in North American television history; Studio 33 at CBS Television City in Los Angeles (the show’s longtime taping location) had been renamed “The Bob Barker Studio” in honor of show 5,000 in 1998, and Barker’s head made headlines when he renounced the use of hair dye and began going gray on the air in 1987. Comedian Drew Carey has been “Price’s” host since Barker’s retirement, but as one admirer tweeted on Tuesday, birthday boy Bob is “The Price is Right OG.”

Man’s Best Friend’s best friend. Barker’s support of animal rights is legendary, but he credits his late wife, Dorothy Jo, with making him “woke” about the cause. Like her, he became a vegetarian in 1979; when she died two years later, he threw himself into publicly advocating for animal rights."Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered” became his signature signoff to every episode of “The Price is Right” with the catch phrase. And he doesn’t just talk the talk. He also walks the walk, donating $2.5 million to PETA in 2010 to help open a new L.A. office and funding an adjunct professorship in animal rights law at Columbia University School of Law to the tune of $1 million. Most dramatic , perhaps, he stepped down from his 20-year gig as host of the Miss USA/Miss Universe pageants in 1987 when organizers refused to stop giving out furs as prizes. 

Did we mention he beat up Sandler? A very occasional actor (his 10 credits on IMDB are bookended by a 1960 episode of “Bonanza” and a 2015 episode of “SpongeBob SquarePants”), Barker became a pop culture icon when he played himself in the 1996 hit movie “Happy Gilmore.” In one scene, he pummeled his Pro-Am partner, Gilmore, played by Adam Sandler. What qualified as a case of wish fulfillment for many non-fans of the San-man wound up winning the duo the inaugural prize for "Best Fight Scene” at that year’s MTV Movie Awards.

Terfel, like others, exits troubled Met Opera 'Tosca'

The Metropolitan Opera could retitle its troubled new production of Puccini's "Tosca," calling it "And Then There Were None."

Bass-baritone Bryn Terfel has withdrawn from the role of Scarpia due to vocal fatigue, the Met said Tuesday. The staging, which opens on New Year's Eve, previously lost its original soprano, tenor and conductor, plus its first replacement conductor.

Terfel has not sung at the Met since 2012. He will be replaced by Zeljko Lucic.

David McVicar directs the production, which takes over from a maligned 2009 staging by Luc Bondy that had trouble attracting spectators and was retired after just 59 performances over five seasons.

The Jan. 27 matinee will be televised to movie theaters worldwide.

Tenor Jonas Kaufmann, scheduled to sing Cavaradossi, withdrew in March, deciding he did not want to leave his home in Europe and spend the holiday season rehearsing in New York. He was replaced by Vittorio Grigolo.

Soprano Kristine Opolais was to have sung the title role but withdrew in June, with the company citing personal reasons. She was replaced by Sonya Yoncheva. That decision was announced a month after her mediocre rendition of "Vissi d'arte" ("I lived for art") — Tosca's signature aria — during a gala commemorating the 50th anniversary of the company's move to Lincoln Center.

Conductor Andris Nelsons, music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Opolais' husband, was replaced in July by Met music director emeritus James Levine.

Levine was replaced by Emmanuel Villaume, an announcement made on Dec. 5, two days after the Met suspended its relationship with Levine pending an investigation by the company of multiple allegations of sexual misconduct from the 1960-80s. Levine later denied the allegations.

CNN's Acosta complains of White House threat

CNN's Jim Acosta says he was warned by the White House press secretary Sarah Sanders not to ask a question during President Donald Trump's bill signing ceremony on Tuesday, further evidence of sour relations between the network and administration.

Acosta said Sanders told him that if he asked Trump a question, "she could not promise that I would be allowed into a pool spray again."

Sanders did not immediately return a request for comment on Tuesday.

He was one of a handful of reporters allowed into the event, which has limited space, as part of a "pool" where they act as surrogates for the entire press corps. He asked a question anyway, about a Trump tweet in which the president claimed New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand begged him for campaign contributions and would "do anything" for them. Acosta's question went unanswered.

"We don't respond to threats," he said on CNN later. "We're not going to be intimidated."

Trump has repeatedly derided CNN as "fake news," his ire driven over the past few days over an error that CNN made during a story last week about the investigation into collusion with Russia during the presidential campaign. Acosta and Sanders had a contentious exchange during Monday's White House press briefing.

Nielsen's top programs for Dec. 4-10

Prime-time viewership numbers compiled by Nielsen for Dec. 4-10. Listings include the week's ranking and viewership.

1. NFL Football: Baltimore at Pittsburgh, NBC, 17.2 million.

2. NFL Football: New Orleans at Atlanta, NBC, 14.61 million.

3. "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 14.41 million.

4. "Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick," NBC, 12.62 million.

5. "Young Sheldon," CBS, 12.49 million.

6. NFL Football: Pittsburgh at Cincinnati, ESPN, 10.91 million.

7. "The Voice" (Tuesday), NBC, 10 million.

8. "60 Minutes," CBS, 9.996 million.

9. "The Voice" (Monday), NBC, 9.87 million.

10. "Blue Bloods," CBS, 9.4 million.

11. "Hawaii Five-O," CBS, 9.07 million.

12. "The Good Doctor," ABC, 9.04 million.

13. "Survivor," CBS, 8.97 million.

14. "Mom," CBS, 8.78 million.

15. "NCIS," CBS, 8.42 million.

16. "Football Night in America, Part 3," NBC, 8.07 million.

17. "The Walking Dead," AMC, 7.89 million.

18. "The Big Bang Theory" (Monday, 8 p.m.), CBS, 7.75 million.

19. "Thursday Night NFL Pre-Kick," NBC, 7.54 million.

20. "NCIS: Los Angeles," CBS, 7.53 million.

___

ABC and ESPN are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; CBS is a division of CBS Corp.; Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox; NBC is owned by NBC Universal.

NBC's 'Today' in ratings lead after Matt Lauer's firing

Matt who? NBC's "Today" show was the most-watched morning program for the first full week after long-time host Matt Lauer was fired because of sexual misconduct charges.

The Nielsen company said it was the first time in a year that "Today" had beaten its rival "Good Morning America" at ABC for two consecutive weeks.

The show's victory the previous week wasn't very surprising. With all of the attention given to Lauer's firing, it was to be expected that more viewers than usual would tune in to see how people on the show would react to the news.

Maintaining that lead for the week after Lauer's exit was more interesting. "Good Morning America" generally gets the most viewers in the morning, although NBC's advantage among younger viewers makes it the more lucrative show.

NBC hasn't said anything about Lauer's replacement, but the ratings have to be considered good news for Hoda Kotb, who has filled in as Savannah Guthrie's co-host since the morning Lauer's firing was announced. NBC currently has no one else scheduled for a fill-in week.

"Today" averaged 4.58 million viewers last week to 4.38 million at "Good Morning America." ''CBS This Morning" was third at 3.57 million.

The CBS ratings illustrate virtually no change since that show's co-host, Charlie Rose, was also fired for sexual misconduct on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. For the four last weeks when Rose was on the show, "CBS This Morning" averaged 3.61 million viewers, Nielsen said. During that same period, "Good Morning America" had 4.34 million viewers and "Today" had 4.22 million.

Behind two football games, NBC won the week in prime time, averaging 8.1 million viewers. CBS had 6.8 million viewers, Fox had 4.6 million, ABC had 4.1 million, Univision had 1.7 million, the CW had 1.3 million, ION Television had 1.27 million and Telemundo had 1.1 million.

Fox News Channel was the week's most popular cable network, averaging 2.53 million viewers to nose out Hallmark, which had 2.52 million. ESPN had 2.34 million, MSNBC had 1.87 million and Freeform had 1.55 million.

ABC's "World News Tonight" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 9.5 million viewers. NBC's "Nightly News" had 8.9 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 7.1 million for new anchor Jeff Glor's first week.

For the week of Dec. 4-10, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: NFL Football: Baltimore at Pittsburgh, NBC, 17.2 million; NFL Football: New Orleans at Atlanta, NBC, 14.61 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 14.41 million; "Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick," NBC, 12.62 million; "Young Sheldon," CBS, 12.49 million; NFL Football: Pittsburgh at Cincinnati, ESPN, 10.91 million; "The Voice" (Tuesday), NBC, 10 million; "60 Minutes," CBS, 9.996 million; "The Voice" (Monday), NBC, 9.87 million; "Blue Bloods," CBS, 9.4 million.

___

ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.

___

Online:

http://www.nielsen.com

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