Sideshow: Morgan Freeman makes debut as TV director on 'Madam Secretary'

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Morgan Freeman, right, not only directed the episode of "Madam Secretary" scheduled for Sunday, but appears as Chief Justice Frawley with series star Tea Leoni. (Photo: Sarah Shatz/CBS)

Morgan Freeman's debut

At 78, Morgan Freeman is ever ready to try new things: He makes his debut as a TV director with the season premiere of CBS's Madam Secretary. The show, which stars Téa Leoni and Keith Carradine, airs at 8 p.m. Sunday.

Freeman, who won a best supporting actor Oscar for Million Dollar Baby, has directed one feature film in his career, the 1993 Apartheid drama Bopha!

"I had fun doing it," says Freeman, one of Madame Secretary's exec producers.

One of the best things about directing TV actors? You don't have to have endless conversations with them about the nature of their character, Freeman says in an interview with USA Today.

"You don't hire them to tell them how this character is supposed to be played. You hire them to do it themselves," he says. "So stay out of the way."

No charges for Jenner

Caitlyn (née Bruce) Jenner, 65, will not face criminal charges for his part in a fatal car crash on Feb. 7 that left one driver, Kim Howe, dead.

Prosecutors in Los Angeles on Wednesday said they had declined to charge the athlete and reality-TV star, citing insufficient evidence.

Jenner, whose Cadillac Escalade was towing a trailer weighed down by an off-road vehicle, crashed into two cars, sending one careering into oncoming traffic. Jenner was accused by some of driving at an unsafe speed.

Jenner's attorney Blair Berk says the transgender celeb was vindicated. "We believed from the start that a thorough and objective investigation would clear Caitlyn of any criminal wrongdoing," she said. "We are heartened the district attorney has agreed that even a misdemeanor charge would be inappropriate."

Donald Trump on women

It's fair to say Donald Trump isn't exactly a fan of political correctness. But his detractors say he's gone way overboard with recent comments about women.

Trump, who has had a long-standing feud with Rosie O'Donnell, said during the first Republican debate that he reserves the terms fat pig and dog for her.

Last month, Trump told Rolling Stone his fellow GOP candidate Carly Fiorina was unelectable because of her looks, saying, "Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that?"

Trump also has words to say about supermodel Heidi Klum, telling the New York Times she was "no longer a 10."

Trump defends his stance on Rosie, saying he feels he must counter her attacks. "I had no choice" but to retaliate "unless I wanted to just sit back and be a punching bag," People quotes him as saying.

Of the crack about Fiorina, Trump says, "I was really talking about her persona."

And of his critique of Klum: "That comment was made very innocently."

Trump says competing for office has taught him to watch his language.

"I've become very politically correct recently," he says.

tirdad@phillynews.com

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