Eric Deggans

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This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action. Find more at NPR.org/Anthem.

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The debates between the Democratic presidential contenders were always going to be dramatic, and from the start, it took on the feel of a sporting event or reality show.

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And winter is coming to the Emmy Awards one last time.

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This was the toughest TV show for me to watch in a long while.

When They See Us is director/writer/producer Ava DuVernay's searing, four-part drama about five black and Latino boys who were railroaded into falsely confessing to the most notorious gang rape in New York City history. But it wasn't difficult viewing for its violence—in fact, the Netflix series is very careful in how it presents many instances of assault, with the most grisly details left to viewers' imagination.

There was a bittersweet quality to ABC's triumphant two-hour live sitcom special on Wednesday night. At least, for me there was.

On the sweet side, watching talented stars like Jamie Foxx and Woody Harrelson re-create classic scripts from All in the Family and The Jeffersons was a shot of pure, uncut nostalgia. There are few spectacles as entertaining as these guys mugging their ways through impressions of classic characters like George Jefferson and Archie Bunker — in live performance.

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Tim Conway built a career playing goofballs who rarely took center stage — but he often helped turn good television shows into TV classics. The comic actor, who appeared on shows ranging from The Carol Burnett Show to SpongeBob SquarePants, died Tuesday morning, May 14. The cause was complications from a long illness, according to his representative, Howard Bragman. He was 85.

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Many people were introduced to the classic "Les Miserables" through the Tony Award-winning musical version.

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Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey - those are just some of the big-name celebrities called in to help Apple announce new products yesterday. Among those products - a long-awaited streaming TV service called Apple TV Plus. NPR TV critic Eric Deggans has been taking a look.

ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: Oprah Winfrey made Apple's presentation sound less like a list of new products and more like a social renaissance.

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Many a movie begins with this brass fanfare.

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