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Mystery Solved: ‘Dateline’ Finds Path From TV to Podcast Stardom

Of course, true crime and podcasts go hand in hand. The Hulu comedy “Only Murders in the Building” is explicitly a parody of the ubiquitousness of the genre. And there are plenty of other podcasts on the charts that center on bloody mysteries, with titles like “Morbid,” “Crime Junkie” and “My Favorite Murder.”

Still, the “Dateline” podcasts are helping the genre reach a new audience. The median age of viewers of the Friday night edition of “Dateline” is 63, according to Nielsen. On Spotify, the median age of a “Dateline” podcast listener is 41, according to data from Chartable, which was supplied by NBC News.

The network declined to disclose revenue figures for the podcasts, but they appear to be helping the company’s bottom line. The “Dateline” series command an advertising rate on a par with the podcast version of the popular public radio show “Fresh Air,” according to Standard Media Index, which collects advertising data.

It has been quite a turn of events for a 30-year-old television show.

The show, which premiered in 1992 with Stone Phillips and Jane Pauley as co-anchors, began as a traditional TV newsmagazine — with three to five segments that typically included interviews, features and investigations.

In the 1990s, during network television’s newsmagazine craze, “Dateline” could occupy as much as five hours of NBC’s prime-time schedule each week. Over the past 20 years, the show has remained a mainstay of the NBC schedule, filling in gaps whenever called upon in addition to holding its usual Friday night slot.

“Those of us within the hallways of NBC News have always understood the value of ‘Dateline,’” said Noah Oppenheim, the president of NBC News. “Historically, to many regimes past, whenever a fall entertainment lineup would start to wobble, we would always get the call to fill those open slots with additional ‘Dateline’ hours on the broadcast network.”


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Defending Super Bowl Champion Rams Open NFL Season Against The Bills

By Associated Press

and Newsy Staff
September 8, 2022

The Los Angeles Rams will kickoff the 2022 NFL Season against the Buffalo Bills Thursday night at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC.

Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald and the Los Angeles Rams will raise their Super Bowl banner Thursday night before kicking off the NFL season at home where they became the second straight team to hoist the Vince Lombardi trophy in their own stadium.

Somehow, they’re underdogs against the Buffalo Bills.

“It’s going to be fun,” Rams All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald said. “I’m pretty sure it’s going to be loud. … We definitely got to go out there and play a good team and try to find a way to win.”

The Bills are preseason favorites to win the Super Bowl after falling short in the AFC divisional round against the Kansas City Chiefs last January. Josh Allen leads a dynamic offense and the Bills had the league’s stingiest defense in 2021.

“Going to play the defending Super Bowl champs and watching them raise their banner, that’ll be an interesting feeling for sure,” Allen said. “And I’ve talked to a few people who have played and coached in this game before, and just really the unanimous thing that they were talking about was it feels like playoff atmosphere. So, we got to understand that going in, not get too high, not get too low. Understand the flow of the game and just try to put our best foot forward.”

Under Sean McVay, the Rams are 5-0 in season openers. Defending champions are 19-3 in Week 1 since 2000.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.



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Bernard Shaw, CNN’s 1st Chief Anchor, Dies At 82

By Associated Press

and Newsy Staff
September 8, 2022

Shaw was a former U.S. Marine who worked as a reporter at CBS and ABC News before taking on the chief anchor role at CNN in 1980.

Bernard Shaw, CNN’s chief anchor for two decades and a pioneering Black broadcast journalist best remembered for calmly reporting the beginning of the Gulf War in 1991 as missiles flew around him in Baghdad, has died. He was 82.

He died of pneumonia on Wednesday at a hospital in Washington, according to Tom Johnson, CNN’s former chief executive.

Shaw was at CNN for 20 years and was known for remaining cool under pressure. That was a hallmark of his Baghdad coverage when the U.S. led its invasion of Iraq in 1991 to liberate Kuwait, with CNN airing stunning footage of airstrikes and anti-aircraft fire in the capital city.

“In all of the years of preparing to being anchor, one of the things I strove for was to be able to control my emotions in the midst of hell breaking out,” Shaw said in a 2014 interview with NPR. “And I personally feel that I passed my stringent test for that in Baghdad.”

Shaw was a former U.S. Marine who worked as a reporter at CBS and ABC News before taking on the chief anchor role at CNN when the network began in 1980.

He moderated a presidential debate in 1988 between George W. Bush and Michael Dukakis. His first question to the Democrat Dukakis, an opponent of the death penalty, was whether he would want that sentence applied to someone who raped and murdered the candidate’s wife.

His striking on-the-scene work in Baghdad, with correspondents Peter Arnett and John Holliman, was crucial in establishing CNN when it was the only cable news network and broadcast outlets at ABC, CBS and NBC dominated television news.

“He put CNN on the map,” said Frank Sesno, a former CNN Washington bureau chief and now a professor at George Washington University.

On Twitter, CNN’s John King paid tribute to Shaw’s “soft-spoken yet booming voice” and said he was a mentor and role model to many.

“Bernard Shaw exemplified excellence in his life,” Johnson said. “He will be remembered as a fierce advocate of responsible journalism.”

Johnson said Shaw always forcefully resisted any compromise of news coverage or lowering of ethical standards.

CNN’s current chief executive, Chris Licht, paid tribute to Shaw as a CNN original who made appearances on the network as recently as last year to provide commentary.

Shaw left the business at age 61. He told NPR that despite everything he did in journalism, because of all of the things he missed with his family while working, “I don’t think it was worth it.”

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.



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Streaming Is Changing How Companies Make Money, For Better Or Worse

By Newsy Staff
September 1, 2022

Streaming companies are prioritizing how to get and keep subscribers, but the risk in producing new or buying old shows is much higher.

Over the summer, Nielsen reported that streaming viewership surpassed cable usage for the first time in the U.S. It’s worth noting Nielsen only records on TVs and internet-connected TVs; it’s not even measuring mobile or desktop, which means their share of the market is probably even higher.

This new landscape is changing the ways streamers are trying to make money, for better or worse.

As more and more people are signing up for streaming platforms like Netflix, HBO Max or Disney+, companies are starting to roll out new ad-supported models.

In the past, one of Netflix’s co-chief executives repeatedly stated how there was “no advertising coming onto Netflix — period.” But after a huge loss of subscribers and a difficult quarter, that same executive told investors Netflix is looking into ad models “over the next year or two.”

Netflix’s woes aren’t exactly good news for its competitors that raced to make streaming platforms of their own. The news highlights a wider conversation about how these massive platforms are actually making money and how stable the new streaming model really is.

That model first includes original content.

Big blockbuster hits like “Stranger Things” on Netflix or “Wandavision” on Disney+ can definitely draw new subscribers, but it seems the threshold for a new show to survive is pretty high. Even popular shows like “The OA,” “Sense8” or “The Baby-Sitters Club” can get canceled after only a season or two. Netflix is particularly notorious for this.

Unlike with cable, streaming services are prioritizing how many new subscribers a show can bring in, not just how popular a show is within the existing subscribers. Netflix has also stated it focused on the first 28 days of release to see how many viewers began the show and how many finished a season within a month. 

Compare that to a show like “The Office.” Today, it’s one of the most popular modern sitcoms, but it was at risk of cancellation due to poor ratings on NBC for its first two seasons.

There’s a reason the risk of hoping a show will grow and build an audience is much higher for streaming than it used to be for cable. Part of that is because platforms now pay production companies all production fees up front, in exchange for more control over distributing the show. So, there are much bigger losses if a show doesn’t take off. Unfortunately, as it’s been widely reported, shows with diverse stars and casts seem to be on the chopping block more often.

But while streaming services churn out original shows hoping for a breakout hit, the real competition is actually in the battle over old shows and movies that already come with fanbases.

Sky Moore, an entertainment lawyer, explained why.

“Streamers: the winner is whoever has the most content,” Moore said. “So what is happening is consolidation. Everybody is attempting to be the last man standing. There’s only probably going to be four players when the party is over in a couple of years, and whoever has the most content wins.”

This explains the jaw-dropping amounts some platforms have paid for old sitcoms like “Friends,” “Seinfeld” and “The Office,” or for intellectual property like Amazon’s record-breaking purchase of rights to “Lord of the Rings” source material.

When networks used to buy syndication rights to a show, the number was based on available ad and viewership data for that network. In the subscriber model, it’s actually unclear what these numbers are really based on.

All that is clear is that these huge purchases and mergers show how important it is to consolidate big libraries. Companies are betting massive libraries stocked with old favorites are what will keep subscribers around, and it’s part of the reason why even more mergers and buyouts between big entertainment companies are likely.

“If you look on a broad scale of entertainment, which is really who they’re competing against, it’s no longer, for example, the studios,” Moore said. “It’s studios against streamers, and broadly, it’s studios and streamers against Facebook and against YouTube and against Instagram. It’s a much broader universe of entertainment than it used to be, so they’ve got to consolidate.”



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Do Voters Care About The Committee’s Effort To Investigate Trump?

A recent poll found 21% of registered voters said “threats to democracy” are now their top issue.

It’s no secret that former President Donald Trump looms large in the 2022 midterms, punishing the Republicans who defied him and rewarding his most faithful supporters.  

“Obviously we are all very grateful to President Trump,” said Harriet Hageman, who is running for election to the U.S. House to represent Wyoming.

But a key question heading into November is whether the former president’s many controversies could hurt Republicans in a year that history suggests should be good for them.

“I talk to people in Pennsylvania, where I’m from, I talk to people from Ohio, where I worked for the local congressman for a while, and people just aren’t that interested in what’s going on, you know, on these partisan run committee hearings, I think, right now, and we hear it again, and again, it’s inflation, inflation, inflation,” said Christopher Krepich, a former Republican Congressional Communications Director and Communications Strategist.

But a recent NBC News poll found 21% of registered voters said “threats to democracy” are now their top issue, overshadowing concerns about the economy, inflation and immigration.

Additionally, the poll found that 57% say they want investigations into the former president to continue. But this has come at a price for some in the GOP.

Of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, most will not be returning in the 118th Congress next year.

Of the eight not returning, four are retiring, including January 6th Committee Member Adam Kinzinger, and four have lost their primaries; including January 6th Committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney, who earlier this month lost to a Trump-backed challenger.

Just two were successful in their primaries against challenges to the Right earlier this year.

The one Republican Senator to vote to convict Trump and face voters in 2022, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, survived her primary but will still face off against a Trump-backed challenger in the general election.

“I think really what the November elections are going to come down to is how local each candidate is able to make their race. You know, I think of when most candidates are out there on the ground, talking to voters, they’re talking about kitchen table issues, they’re not necessarily litigating what the former president may or may not have been accused of,” said Krepich.

But just a few months out from the 2022 midterms, some Republican Senate candidates are struggling.  

Trump endorsed Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, Hershel Walker in Georgia and Ron Johnson in Wisconsin — but they are all lagging in recent polls behind their Democratic challengers.  

But over in the House of Representatives, Republicans could still be poised to win and are likely to get rid of the January 6th Committee, should they take control of the Chamber next January.



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Chiefs Hall Of Fame Quarterback Len Dawson Dies At 87

Dawson’s family announced his death in a statement through KMBC, the Kansas City-based TV station where he worked as a broadcaster.

Hall of Fame quarterback Len Dawson, whose unmistakable swagger in helping the Kansas City Chiefs to their first Super Bowl title earned him the nickname “Lenny the Cool,” died Wednesday. He was 87.

Dawson’s family announced his death in a statement through KMBC, the Kansas City-based television station where he starred in his second career as a broadcaster. No cause was given, though Dawson had been in declining health for years.

AP / File

“With wife Linda at his side, it is with much sadness that we inform you of the passing of our beloved Len Dawson,” the family’s statement read. “He was a wonderful husband, father, brother and friend. Len was always grateful and many times overwhelmed by the countless bonds he made during his football and broadcast careers.”

The MVP of the Chiefs’ victory over the Vikings in January 1970, Dawson had entered hospice care on Aug. 12.

“He loved Kansas City,” his family said, “and no matter where his travels took him he could not wait to return home.”

Dawson personified the Chiefs almost from the start, when the suave standout from Purdue lost out on starting jobs in Pittsburgh and Cleveland and landed with the nascent franchise, then located in Dallas. There, Dawson reunited with Hank Stram, who had been an assistant with the Boilermakers, and together they forever changed the franchise.

The coach and quarterback won the AFL championship together in 1962, their first year together, and became bona fide stars the following year, when club founder Lamar Hunt moved the team to Kansas City and rechristened it the Chiefs.


They proceeded to win two more AFL titles, one in 1966 when they lost to the Packers in the first Super Bowl, and the other in ’69, when Dawson came back from an injury to help beat the Vikings at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans.

“Looking back on my career, I’ve been blessed for what I had the opportunity to do,” Dawson told The Associated Press in 2017, shortly after he announced his retirement from his second career as a Hall of Fame broadcaster.

“I could not have accomplished so much without my teammates and colleagues, and I’m grateful for each of them.”

Dawson always remained a beloved figure in Kansas City, even though he cut back on public appearances several years ago when his health began to fail him. But he always had time for fans, whether it be a photograph or signature, the latter often on an iconic black-and-white photo from halftime of that first Super Bowl: the exhausted quarterback, white uniform caked with mud, sitting on a folding chair with a cigarette in his mouth and a bottle of Fresca at his feet.

It perfectly captured a time and place. And it perfectly captured a man who embodied poise and self-assurance.

“Next to my father, few people have had a more lasting impact on the Kansas City Chiefs than Len Dawson,” Chiefs owner Clark Hunt said a few years ago. “Over the course of a legendary career, first as a player and later as a broadcaster, Len has been a part of every major moment in franchise history.”

Dawson was born June 20, 1935, the ninth of 11 children who filled the house of James and Annie Dawson in the blue-collar manufacturing town of Alliance, Ohio. He was a three-sport athlete at Alliance High School, setting records in both football and basketball, and turned his success on the gridiron into a scholarship offer from Purdue.

There, Dawson led the NCAA in passing efficiency as a sophomore while also playing defense and kicking, and he helped lead a memorable upset of Notre Dame during that 1954 season. By the end of his college career, Dawson had thrown for more than 3,000 yards, despite playing in an era that favored ground-and-pound football.

Dawson was chosen by the Steelers in the first round of the 1957 draft, but he wound up riding the bench behind Earl Morrall as a rookie and then failed to beat out Bobby Layne for the starting job the following season. The Steelers ultimately traded him to the Browns, where Dawson was unable to beat out Milt Plum for the job and was released.

One of the great disappointments of Dawson’s career wound up being one of the best things to ever happen to him.

Robert Scott / AP

With newfound freedom to sign anywhere, Dawson jumped to the upstart AFL and the Texans, lured in part by the chance to play for one of his old coaches at Purdue. Stram was able to finally tap into his talent, helping Dawson to quickly become one of the league’s prolific passers as the Texans went 11-3 and won the first of three championships.

The second came in 1966, when Dawson led the Chiefs to an 11-2-1 record and a 31-7 blowout of the Bills in the AFL title game. That earned the Chiefs the chance to face the powerhouse Green Bay Packers — and coach Vince Lombardi — in the inaugural Super Bowl, where Dawson threw for 210 yards and a touchdown in a 35-10 defeat.

It was the 1969 season that proved to be the most memorable of Dawson’s career, though. He sustained a serious knee injury against the Patriots in Week 2, forcing him to miss the next five games, but went on a tear once he returned to the field. Dawson led the Chiefs to victories over the defending champion Jets and bitter rival Raiders to reach what would be the final Super Bowl before the AFL-NFL merger, where he threw for 142 yards and a score in a 23-7 triumph.

“It was overwhelming,” Dawson said afterward. “It’s just, you know how that relief comes with you know it’s over with, and we’ve been successful? That’s the feeling that I had when I came off the field.”

Dawson continued to play for six more seasons in Kansas City, setting many franchise records that stood until a youngster named Patrick Mahomes came along, before hanging up his helmet after the 1975 season.

Along the way, Dawson parlayed what began as a publicity stunt into a second career in broadcasting.

In 1966, then-Chiefs general manager Jack Steadman wanted to drum up support for the franchise in Kansas City and convinced Dawson to anchor a sports segment on the nightly news. His natural charisma and folksy style made Dawson a natural, he turned his attention to TV and radio on a full-time basis after his playing career had finished.

Dawson continued to work in local TV for several decades, adding game analysis for NBC from 1977-82 and hosting HBO’s iconic “Inside the NFL” from 1977-2001. He also served more than three decades on the Chiefs’ radio broadcast team.

After going into the Hall of Fame as a player in 1987, Dawson was inducted as a broadcaster in 2012.

“It’s been a true privilege and honor to have Len at the center of our broadcast team for the last 33 years,” said Dan Israel, the executive producer of the Chiefs’ radio network, upon his retirement a few years ago. “His contributions to not only this sport, but our industry, are incredibly profound.”

Dawson was married to his high school sweetheart, Jackie, from 1954 until her death in 1978, and together they had two children. His second wife, Linda, remained by his side even when Dawson was forced to enter hospice care.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.



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Federal Appeals Court Delays Sen. Graham Testimony In Georgia Probe

By Maura Sirianni
August 21, 2022

Graham was initially set to appear in an Atlanta court room Tuesday.

Consider this a temporary win for Senator Lindsey Graham, who has been trying to avoid appearing in front of a special grand jury in Georgia since the subpoena was issued last month.

A panel of federal appeals court judges granted him the opportunity to challenge the subpoena, based on protections for lawmakers under the Constitution’s “Speech or Debate” clause.

The South Carolina Republican won his first victory in the legal battle surrounding allegations that key Donald Trump allies sought to change the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.

Graham was initially set to appear in an Atlanta court room Tuesday.

But on Sunday, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sent proceedings back to the District Court Judge, asking her to consider whether the subpoena should be partially quashed or modified on grounds that the local grand jury is intruding on legal protections Graham is granted.

As a federal lawmaker, the Fulton County probe centers around a January 2021 phone call during which former President Trump put pressure on Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to secure his victory in the state. In court filings, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said the grand jury needs to hear from Senator Graham about at least two calls he placed to Raffensperger and his staff in the days following the election.

Reporter: Why is a Senator from South Carolina calling the Georgia Secretary of State anyway?

Graham: Because the future of the country hangs in the ballots.

Reporter: Does it though?

Graham: Yes, it really does.

Graham said at the time he was trying to figure out how signatures were verified on absentee ballots. Lawyers for the senator argue his comments are protected because they relate to legislation.

“If the special grand jury is allowed to ask Senator Graham about questions relating to what he talked about with former President Trump, then that could conceivably get into legislative matters,” said Constitutional Law Attorney Page Pate.

Graham is among a handful of key Trump allies that the Atlanta-area Special Grand Jury has subpoenaed.

“This is not a single voter fraud in one state. This pattern repeats itself in a number of states,” said Rudy Giuliani.

The Georgia election probe is among several legal battles facing the former president, whose Florida home was searched by federal agents earlier this month, and whose role in the January 6 attack on the capitol is being investigated separately by a congressional panel.

The biggest issue on the minds of voters right now is threats to democracy. That beat out nine other issues in a new poll from NBC News, including cost of living, the economy, climate change, guns, and abortion.

The poll also stated that a whopping 74% of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction.



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Major News Outlets File Motion To Unseal FBI Trump Search Warrant

Scripps — along with CNN, NBC and The Washington Post — believe the public interest outweighs any argument in favor of keeping the records sealed.

Newsy’s parent company, E.W. Scripps, joined other major media organizations in filing a motion seeking to unseal all the documents related to the FBI search warrant of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence Monday. 

Scripps — along with CNN, NBC and The Washington Post — believe the public interest outweighs any argument in favor of keeping the records sealed, noting “the historic importance of these events.” 

“Before the events of this week, not since the Nixon Administration had the federal government wielded its power to seize records from a former President in such a public fashion,” the outlets said in the filing. 

The companies filed the request Thursday through the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, shortly after the Justice Department submitted its own request to unseal some warrant materials, like the release of the “search warrant and property receipt” from the FBI’s search.

However, the outlets are looking to obtain more; this includes the actual search warrants, the warrant application, “all probable cause affidavits filed in support of the search warrant” and any motion to seal the “warrant-related records,” and any other additional records filed with the court. 

In order to petition for access to files, the outlets invoked their First Amendment rights. 

“Both the First Amendment and the common law protect the media and the general public’s right of access to judicial proceedings and records,” the outlets said in the filing. 

In response to the DOJ’s request to unseal documents Thursday, Trump called for the “immediate” release of the federal warrant the FBI used to search his home. 

“Not only will I not oppose the release of documents … I am going a step further by ENCOURAGING the immediate release of those documents.” He continued to assail the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago as “unAmerican, unwarranted and unnecessary.” 

“Release the documents now!” Trump wrote on his Truth Social account. 

The Mar-a-Lago search warrant, served earlier this week, was part of an ongoing DOJ investigation into the discovery of classified White House records recovered from Trump’s home earlier this year, after the National Archives had asked officials to investigate. 

Trump has yet to comment on the motion filed by the outlets.



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Actress Anne Heche In Coma After Fiery Car Crash

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Actress Anne Heche is in critical condition and in a coma after a fiery car crash Friday in Los Angeles. 

Heche's friend and podcast partner Heather Duffy Boylston originally said the star was in stable condition on Saturday following the accident.

"Anne is currently in stable condition. Her family and friends ask for your thoughts and prayers and to respect her privacy during this difficult time,” Boylston said in a statement.

Heche's speeding car came to a T-shaped intersection and ran off the road and into a house in the Mar Vista section of Los Angeles' westside shortly before 11 a.m. Friday, Los Angeles police Officer Tony Im said.

The car came to a stop inside the two-story house and started a fire that took nearly 60 firefighters more than an hour to douse, the Los Angeles Fire Department said.

Television news video showed a blue Mini Cooper Clubman, badly damaged and burned, being towed out of the home, with a woman sitting up on a stretcher and struggling as firefighters put her in an ambulance.

No other injuries were reported, and no arrests have been made. Police detectives are investigating.

A native of Ohio, Heche first came to prominence on the NBC soap opera "Another World" from 1987 to 1991. She won a Daytime Emmy Award for the role.

In the late 1990s she became one of the hottest actors in Hollywood, a constant on magazine covers and in big-budget films. She co-starred with Johnny Depp in 1997's "Donnie Brasco"; with Tommy Lee Jones in 1997's "Volcano"; with Harrison Ford in 1998's "Six Days, Seven Nights"; with Vince Vaughn and Joaquin Phoenix in 1998's "Return to Paradise"; and with an ensemble cast in the original 1997 "I Know What You Did Last Summer."

Her relationship with Ellen DeGeneres from 1997 to 2000 heightened her fame and brought immense public scrutiny.

In the fall of 2000 soon after the two broke up, Heche was hospitalized after knocking on the door of a stranger in a rural area near Fresno, California. Authorities said she had appeared shaken and disoriented, and spoke incoherently to the residents.

In a memoir released the following year, "Call Me Crazy," Heche talked about her lifelong struggles with mental health and a childhood of abuse.

She was married to camera operator Coleman Laffoon from 2001 to 2009. The two had a son together. She had another son during a relationship with actor James Tupper, her co-star on the TV series "Men In Trees."

Heche has worked consistently in smaller films, on Broadway, and on TV shows in the past two decades. She recently had recurring roles on the network series "Chicago P.D." and "All Rise," and in 2020 was a contestant on "Dancing With the Stars."

"Better Together," the podcast hosted by Heche and Boylston, is described online as a celebration of friendship.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press.



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