- Associated Press - Friday, July 28, 2017

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) - A roundup of news from the Television Critics Association summer meeting, at which TV networks and streaming services are presenting details on upcoming programs.

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JUST KIDDING

“Girls Trip” breakout star Tiffany Haddish says she was just joking when she said she wanted to work with Bill Cosby.

Haddish told reporters Thursday that she made the remarks during a day of interviews and was trying to be funny while reflecting a fearless approach to her work.

She said it was “not the best joke” and clarified: “I don’t agree with what he did or anything.”

Haddish later told The Associated Press that she had done more than 20 interviews that day.

“In every interview you have to be humorous because you’re considered a comedian, right? So I was trying to be humorous and maybe it was not the best joke,” she said. “It was a joke. But at the end of the day, the whole point of it was to say I’m not afraid of the big bad wolf.”

Haddish appeared at the Television Critics Association’s summer meeting to discuss her role in Tracy Morgan’s new TBS comedy, “The Last O.G.” Morgan plays a man just released from prison after 15 years. Haddish plays his former girlfriend who has moved on.

The actress is on a high after receiving overwhelming accolades for her performance in “Girls Trip,” but says her bank account “don’t show movie star yet.”

“That’s the part I’m waiting on,” she said. “When do that happen? They say like nine months. It’s like a baby. I’m waiting for the delivery.”

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COMEDIAN’S QUEST

Sarah Silverman is out to show that Americans can bridge even their deepest differences and enjoy a laugh as well.

Speaking to a TV critics’ meeting Thursday, Silverman said that’s the goal for her fall Hulu series, “I Love You, America.”

Silverman said the show is intended to be the opposite of an echo chamber, instead allowing Silverman to connect with “un-like-minded people” across America. That’s regular people, not politicians, and no mockery will be involved, she said.

The show is intended to be intelligent and moving but also silly, Silverman said.

“Anything smart that’s in there will be served in a big, fat, bready sandwich of super, super dumb, because that’s how I like my comedy, and I don’t like to be told what to think,” she said.

The edgy comic acknowledged she knows what it’s like to be a target, sharing a few of the crude and insulting tweets she’s received.

She’s reached out to some of her detractors and found common ground, Silverman said, including with a country singer in Nashville. She said the singer, whom she didn’t identify, stays in touch and sends her his new cuts.

“I Love You, America,” which Silverman is producing with, among others, Oscar-winning screenwriter Adam McKay (“The Big Short”), is scheduled to debut Oct. 12. It will include studio and field pieces, a monologue and a regularly appearing focus group made up of people “from all walks of life,” Silverman said.

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SECOND LIFE

Tracy Morgan has a ready answer when asked about getting a second chance after his near-fatal crash three years ago.

“Thank God. That’s all I’ve gotta say,” Morgan told a TV critics’ meeting Thursday, where he was promoting his new TBS comedy “The Last O.G.”

In 2014, the former “30 Rock” and “Saturday Night Live” star suffered severe head trauma when a truck slammed into the back of the limo van he was riding in. Comedian James McNair, his friend and collaborator, was killed.

Morgan said his brush with death had a profound effect on him. That includes the kind of sitcom he’s doing. In “The Last O.G.,” Morgan plays an ex-con, Tray, who finds the life and the Brooklyn, New York, neighborhood he left behind is gone.

Morgan has surrounded himself with a strong cast, including “Girls Trip” breakout star Tiffany Haddish and Cedric the Entertainer. Why didn’t he just go with a “Tracy Morgan Show” that gave him all the laughs?

“Maybe I’m just a better man since the accident. Maybe I’m just a better man,” he said. “It ain’t about me. It’s bigger than me.”

He indicated the physical effects of the crash may not be entirely in the past, saying people around him on set makes sure he takes regular breaks during the workday.

“The Last O.G.” co-stars Haddish as Tray’s ex-girlfriend, Shay, the mother of twins he didn’t know he had. In the 15 years he was imprisoned, Shay moved on, marrying a successful man (Ryan Gaul) who is helping raise the children.

Gaul’s character is white, and Morgan said the sitcom is deliberately inclusive.

New York is home to more than black people, and all lives matter, he said.

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FAREWELL, ‘MINDY’

The producers of “The Mindy Project” say the series’ final season will provide some clarity on the main character’s key romantic relationship.

Creator and star Mindy Kaling and executive producer Matt Warburton said Thursday at a TV critics’ meeting that the show will illuminate the relationship between Mindy Lahiri and Danny Castellano (Chris Messina).

The couple’s romance has continued throughout the show’s past five seasons, and they have a child together.

The producers said the final season will focus on parenthood, love and careers.

Kaling said Julie Bowen will guest star on the final season as a rival mom. Warburton added that popular guest stars from throughout the series’ run will return for the final season.

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‘WALKING DEAD’

The AMC channel says a producers’ panel discussion for “The Walking Dead” is off because it conflicts with the funeral for a stuntman killed in an on-set fall.

In a statement Thursday, AMC said some of the five producers scheduled to appear on the weekend panel will be attending services for 33-year-old stuntman John Bernecker.

Authorities in Georgia said that Bernecker died July 12 after falling head-first onto concrete instead of on padding meant to cushion his roughly 22-foot (7-meter) fall from a balcony. The accident occurred on the show’s set south of Atlanta.

The discussion, planned Saturday with the Television Critics Association, was to mark the upcoming eighth season of the zombie apocalypse drama.

A Comic-Con panel with some stars and some producers proceeded last week in San Diego.

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AP writers Sandy Cohen, Lynn Elber and Nicole Evatt contributed to this report.

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