TV

Courtesy of NBC

Colorado native Mandy Harvey didn’t imagine herself competing on the NBC show “America’s Got Talent” for a variety of reasons.

There was her constant battles with stage fright and her tendency towards being an introvert -- and her complete hearing loss 10 years ago. But as an ambassador for the Fort Collins-based group No Barriers USA, a nonprofit that encourages those with disabilities to tackle adversity, the show proved to be a challenge worth taking on.

“When the opportunity came up to audition, (my friends and family reminded me) ‘Well, what’s the worst that can happen?’” Harvey said.

Courtesy of Anna Jones / Red Boot PR

Magician Nate Staniforth doesn’t put on the typical magic act.

Forget about blaring rock music, flashy costumes and fancy pyrotechnics. The host of Discovery Channel’s Breaking Magic prefers his shows to be less about what’s happening on stage and more about what’s happening in the audience.

His is not just a gentle voice; for many people, it's a very familiar one, too. For 25 years, Francois Clemmons played a role on the beloved children's program Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Clemmons joined the cast of the show in 1968, becoming the first African-American to have a recurring role on a kids TV series.

And, as it happens, it was Clemmons' voice that Fred Rogers noticed, too, when he heard Clemmons singing in church.

Andrew Cooper / SMPSP

When Colorado Film Commissioner Donald Zuckerman hears about new television shows being set in Colorado, he typically doesn’t bat an eye.

He knows that being “set” in Colorado – at least on the small screen – rarely equates to being “filmed” in Colorado. Like the new Chuck Lorre sitcom. The Big Bang Theory creator’s yet-to-be-named new show, along with Parks & Rec star Adam Scott’s new project Buds, will be set in a Colorado marijuana shop.

“They didn’t even call us,” Zuckerman said. “And the reason is, shows like this are done in a studio… They’re set up for it in LA, and they’re set up for it in New York. It’s more cost effective for them to do it there, even if there is a (tax) incentive.”

Tuesday night's Republican debate focused on economic issues. NPR reporters look at candidate claims about business creation, the minimum wage, trade and the length of the tax code.

NPR White House correspondent Scott Horsley on the health of the economy:

Republican candidates painted a fairly bleak picture of the U.S. economy during the debate, offering a litany of discouraged workers, sluggish economic growth and children living on food stamps.

Courtesy of Barbara Green

In the early 20th century, Edith Lake Wilkinson was an unconventional woman.

An artist who left her home in Wheeling, West Virginia to pursue art in New York City, her bohemian lifestyle eventually led to her institutionalization. She would have remained unknown save for the discovery of several packed trunks of her artwork.

That's the focus of a new HBO documentary that follows Wilkinson's story, one partially told through the music of Fort Collins singer-songwriter Danielle Anderson – best known as Danielle Ate The Sandwich. Someone who is just as unconventional in her music.

"How do I do this? I don't know," Anderson questioned while working on the soundtrack. "She was older than me. She, like, lived so long ago. I don't want to, like, offend her by singing lyrics about hot dogs like I usually do."

Courtesy of Haeley Vaughn

Haeley Vaughn is sad that after 14 years, American Idol is preparing for its 15th - and final - season.

"It's kind of an era coming to an end," Vaughn said. "It was not just a TV show, it was an event - from the auditions to the finale."

She should know. Six years ago, Vaughn, then a 16-year-old junior at Poudre High School in Fort Collins, was one of those starry-eyed hopefuls rising at 2 a.m. in order to get in line for her shot at making her dreams come true.

Colorado, which has held auditions for the show for at least half of its run, has had its fair share of residents receive a golden ticket. For some, it gave them the incentive to pursue their dream. For others, it was a lesson that Hollywood wasn't for them.

When the final episode came, after weeks of accolades and tributes to his genius, David Letterman made sure he punctured the emotion of the moment with a little old-fashioned, self-deprecating sarcasm.

From the beginnings of the Mad Men phenomenon, many of the show's fans wondered if superstar adman Don Draper was destined to write one of the iconic advertising catchphrases of the time.

So it's a testament to the skills of show creator Matthew Weiner that some regular viewers were still surprised by the show's series finale Sunday, which implies that Don invented the classic 1971 Coca-Cola campaign, "I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke." This, after he concluded a long, soul-searching trip through America with a trip to a California yoga retreat.

Editor's note: This conversation discusses plot points from the seventh season of Mad Men.

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