<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - TV, movies, music and celebrity news]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/entertainment/entertainment-news http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.comen-usSat, 03 Dec 2016 12:46:32 -0500Sat, 03 Dec 2016 12:46:32 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[The Wild, Wild 'Westworld' Finale]]> Sat, 03 Dec 2016 11:07:04 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/westworldharris.jpg

The October debut of "Westworld," like "Lost" and "Game of Thrones" before it, triggered a growing fusillade of fan theories.

But how's this for a spoiler alert: All the story-advancing clues serve to distract us from the full, disturbing implications of the show about a Western-themed amusement park populated by life-like robots. In the "Westworld" universe, the things that make us most human – the capacities for complex emotion and memory and to create our own mythology – are no longer the sole province of human beings.

The first season of the breakout HBO drama ends Sunday with, little doubt, new revelations on tap. One possibility: We might not like what's at the end of the maze.

"The Maze," along with "hosts" and "newcomers," is part of the argot of "Westworld," which also packs a striking visual vocabulary of its own, bouncing between the 19th century sex-and-violence playground for the rich and the perhaps not-so-futuristic Frankenstein-like lab where the robots are built and their backstories are wrought in code.

The series takes huge strides past the original 1973 Michael Crichton cult movie that bears its name and basic set-up. While the original wrung chills out of cowboy robots-turned-bad, the new version, created by Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan, turns the black hat vs. white hat ethos of Old West tales into a Technicolor swirl of ambiguity.

Despite the high-concept premise, "Westworld" is primarily a character-driven piece, human and otherwise, buoyed by stellar acting.

They don’t make enough Emmys for these great performances: Thandie Newton as a saloon madam on a mission; Evan Rachel Wood as an increasingly sentient farm dweller; Jeffrey Wright as Bernard and the (so far) unheard Arnold, two pivotal characters on both sides of the human-robot divide; Anthony Hopkins as Westworld’s cold puppet master; Jimmi Simpson as an earnest first-time visitor and Ed Harris as the sadistic Man in Black, who may be the same person.

But that's just one popular fan theory about a show that bends expectations and time, playing with A.I. possibilities and fears as it extends the wild ride "2001: A Space Odyssey" embarked upon nearly a half-century ago.

The drama also packs in older allusions, to Shakespeare and Dante. But the strongest “Westworld” inspiration may be Lewis Carroll, whose “Alice in Wonderland” keeps popping up – most prominently in Bernard's recollections of reading to his dying son, who apparently never existed.

“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense,” Bernard reads, channeling Alice. “Nothing would be what it is because everything would be what it isn't.”

What exactly "Westworld" isn't is not clear yet. What it is appears more certain: a rare prismatic gem of show bent on making us peer past the fan theories and through the looking glass to examine our very existence. 

Jere Hester is Director of News Products and Projects at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is also the author of "Raising a Beatle Baby: How John, Paul, George and Ringo Helped us Come Together as a Family." Follow him on Twitter.

<![CDATA[Full Circle: 'Full House' Cast Returns to Iconic SF Home]]> Sat, 03 Dec 2016 02:52:50 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/FH+pic.JPG

It was a full house — literally — at the San Francisco home immortalized by the famous eponymous 80's sitcom.

The Tanners on Friday flocked to the Lower Pacific Heights home where they "lived." The classic Victorian home was bought — fittingly — by "Full House" creator Jeff Franklin. Talk about full circle!

Cast members, including Candace Cameron-Bure, Andrea Barber, Bob Saget, Jodie Sweetin and Dave Coulier, celebrated Franklin's purchase of the property at 1709 Broderick Street.

“I’ve never heard of a creator buying the house of an original series, but I think it shows how attached Jeff is to the show," Barber said. "This is, like, his baby.”

Outside, fans were starstruck.

"We just came down to take a picture of the house and it was so random that everything was happening," said tourist Ikram Kamal.

Fellow visitor Emily Le agreed. “I think it’s awesome that they’re coming out for the fans and want to be here for their supporters and are actually here interacting with their fans as real people. I think it's something that a lot of people don’t get to do. So it’s really cool that they’re doing that," she said. 

The iconic home had been on the market since May at a price tag of $4.15 million. The house's exterior, then painted white, was used as the Tanner family's residence in the original show. 

Franklin paid about $4 million for the 2,985-square-foot house, which features three bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms. One of the first things he said he did after buying the property was have its front door painted red — as a throwback to the hit TV show, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The previous homeowners had opted to paint it a seafoam green.

A listing on the Vanguard Properties website says the Charles Lewis Hinkel home was constructed in 1883 and is one of the city's finest examples of preserved Italianate, Victorian architecture. However, that means the house is something of a fixer-upper.

"We have to seismically retrofit it, redo the foundation, electrical, plumbing —that’s going to take awhile," Franklin said.

The restoration will also include five freshly imprinted and signed blocks of concrete.

Franklin is also laying the foundation for the "Full House" reboot — dubbed "Fuller House." Season two will be out on Netflix on Dec. 9.

“We want to come back here to shoot some new footage, some stock shots, do a scene leaving the house — I don’t know, exactly," Franklin said.

Franklin says he will likely rent the house after renovating it. Finding tenants in this housing-challenged city won’t be hard, he surmised.

"Full House" premiered on Sept. 22, 1987 so Sept. 22, 2017 will mark the show's 30th anniversary.

"That will be around the time that all of my construction will be done, so I hope to bring the cast up to the house and have a big slumber party here so people can drive by and actually see the Tanner family living there for one whole day," Franklin told The Hollywood Reporter. "That would be pretty fun."

NBC Bay Area's Lisa Fernandez contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Robbie Beasom/NBC Bay Area
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[George Takei Inducted Into California Hall of Fame]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 21:50:54 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP308780160294.jpg

George Takei was inducted into the California Museum's California Hall of Fame during a ceremony Wednesday evening in Sacramento.

Takei — a second-generation Californian best known for his role of Lt. Hikaru Sulu in "Star Trek" — joins 96 other individuals, who the California Museum calls "legendary people who embody California's innovative spirit and have made their mark on history," NBC News reported.

He also developed the musical "Allegiance," which was based on his experience in a Japanese-American incarceration camp during World War II.

"To be inducted to join the inspiring trail blazers in the arts, industry, academia, sports and political affairs is an honor beyond words," Takei said in a statement in October.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Kristen Stewart Stars in Rolling Stones Music Video]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 21:35:12 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP_160432194480-TIFF.jpg

Kristen Stewart is feeling the need for speed.

The actress stars in the music video for Rolling Stone's song "Ride 'Em On Down." 

The video features Stewart joyriding through empty Los Angeles streets in a bright blue vintage Mustang GT. Those familiar with L.A.’s downtown traffic know that something’s up — is she in a dream, or a nightmare?

The "Café Society" actor licks on a lollipop and pole dances at a gas station before coming across a zebra roaming the streets of a post-apocalyptic City of Fallen Angels.

The track, a cover of Eddie Taylor’s 1955 hit, is the first single off the legendary rock band’s new blues-based album Blue & Lonesome, released Friday.

Photo Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Late at Night on NBC]]> Mon, 15 Aug 2016 14:13:59 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP24762024125.jpg

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Top Celeb Pics: Eddie Redmayne ]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 20:37:56 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-627159734.jpg Check out the latest photos of your favorite celebrities.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Amy Schumer In Talks To Play Barbie in Live-Action Film ]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 16:38:40 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/barbieamy.jpg

For decades, young girls have looked up to Barbie. Now, another famous female role model, Amy Schumer, is in talks to play Mattel’s doll on the big screen.

A live-action Barbie film has been in the works since 2014, when producers Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald won the rights to the Barbie franchise. Since then, a slew of writers have mocked up scripts, trying to modernize the ’50s icon. Among the contenders, former “Community” writer Hilary Winston’s story stood out for its feminist bent that promotes a new idea about what constitutes beauty. The tale features a Barbie who doesn’t quite fit in with everyone else in Barbieland. After being cast out, she adventures to the real world, only to return home to save the day.

Deadline reports that Sony chief Tom Rothman personally approached Schumer about playing the film's lead. The actress and her sister, Kim Caramele, are expected to give Winston’s script a rewrite before the film’s summer 2018 release. 

Known for her punchy, progressive comedy, Schumer wrote and starred in the 2015 dramedy “Trainwreck,” for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination. The comedienne often criticizes and satirizes beauty standards in her sketch TV show, “Inside Amy Schumer.” 

As one of the breakout stars of 2015, Schumer doesn’t need another project on her hands unless it’s a perfect fit. She’s already set to appear in a film she co-wrote with her friend, Jennifer Lawrence, as well as in a mother-daughter comedy alongside Goldie Hawn. She’ll also try her hand at drama with “Thank You for Your Service,” a DreamWorks project on post traumatic stress disorder.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[General Tso's Creator Dies: Report]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 16:16:38 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/GeneralTsoPlate.jpg

Chef Peng Chang-kuei, the inventor of the iconic Chinese food dish General Tso's chicken, died at the age of 98 on Wednesday, the Taiwan News reports

His son, Chuck Peng, told the Associated Press that his father died Wednesday in Taipei, Taiwan's capital. The junior Peng runs the family's Taiwan restaurant chain, where his father still cooked until a few months ago.

The Hunan, China, native began training to be a cook at just 13 years old, according to the newspaper. By the end of World War II, he was in charge of running banquets for the Chinese Nationalist government. A military uprising forced Peng to flee to Taiwan, where he created his culinary magnum opus in 1952.

The world-renowned dish is composed of breaded chicken chunks tossed and fried in a thick, sugary ginger-garlic sauce. Broccoli, baby corn and carrots are sometimes added for extra flavor.

He named the dish in honor of Tso Tsung T'ang, a respected Hunan war general, according to the Taiwan News.

He has been honored by the government of Taipei, Taiwan's people, for passing on Hunan culture.

Peng brought his famous platter stateside in 1973 with the opening of his restaurant, Peng's, on East 44th Street, according to The New York Times. News of his dish caught the attention of officials from the neighboring United Nations headquarters and dignitaries like former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

The New York Times published one of the earliest accounts of the dish in a 1977 feature story.

"General Tso's thicken [sic] was a stir-fried masterpiece, sizzling hot in both flavor and temperature," wrote food critic Mimi Sheraton.

A 2014 documentary called "The Search for General Tso" examined the origins of the iconic plate and the history of its eponymous military leader.

<![CDATA[Smackdown: Luke Bryan Slaps Heckler From Stage With Mic]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 12:54:37 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/lukesmack.jpg

Country star Luke Bryan took care of a heckler without skipping a beat during a concert this week by taking a swing at the man from the stage with his microphone still in hand.

Bryan was performing his single "Move" at the Charlie Daniels' all-star Volunteer Jam in Nashville, Tennessee, on Wednesday when the outburst occurred. Fan video shows Bryan shouting, "Come on!" before stepping forward and slapping the man with his fingers while still holding onto the mic.

Bryan then continued with the song while seemingly unfazed by the incident.

Bryan's publicist says in a statement that the man was making "crude hand gestures" toward Bryan and that security personnel saw the man's "disruptive actions" and escorted him out.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Live Cam ]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 09:50:19 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/rock+tree+ap.jpg

Watch a live feed (above) of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree around the clock. 

The 94-foot tall, 14-ton Norway spruce with 50,000 multicolored lights will be lit every day from 5:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. until Jan. 7, except for Christmas Day, when it will stay lit for 24 hours.

The holiday tradition started in 1931. This year's tree came from the backyard of Angie and Graig Eichler in Oneonta in the northern foothills of New York's Catskill mountain range. 

After the holidays, it will be milled into lumber for Habitat for Humanity.

[[402882866, C]]

Photo Credit: AP Images]]>
<![CDATA['Tonight Show': Singing Whisper Challenge with Emma Stone]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 02:38:14 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/nbc_tjf_hlt_s4e047_582_whisperchallenge_20161201_1200x675_822669891668.jpg Host Jimmy Fallon and Emma Stone take turns guessing random song titles and lyrics while wearing noise-canceling headphones.]]> <![CDATA['Tonight Show': #OfficePartyFail Hashtags]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 11:19:24 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/FALLON_GettyImages-528518222.jpg Host Jimmy Fallon reads his favorite tweets with the hashtag #OfficePartyFail.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Mark Wahlberg's Old Mansion For Sale]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 07:29:15 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/193*120/12-1-16-Wahlberg-home.jpg A Beverly Hills mansion and fitness lovers' paradise previously owned by actor Mark Wahlberg is on the market.

Photo Credit: (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)/ MichaelBarian.com]]>
<![CDATA[Showrunners Grapple With How To Depict Muslims Post-Election]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 07:11:33 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/muslimmuslim.jpg

Turns out President-elect Donald Trump isn't the only person with a Muslim dilemma.

Showrunners from some of the most popular shows on television, including ABC's "Quantico," and Showtime's "Homeland," said the negative hysteria surrounding the Muslim population following the presidential election has made their storytelling more difficult, as they attempt to weave intricate plots while steering clear of fueling anti-Muslim hysteria.

The plot lines of both shows often center around attempted terrorists attacks against the United States.

Approximately two weeks after Election Day, The New York Times gathered a select group of showrunners together to discuss Muslim representation on television. The roundtable included Howard Gordon, creator of both “24” and “Homeland,” and Joshua Safran creator of "Quantico," an ABC series about F.B.I. operatives.

[[394381041, C]]

For his part, Safran vowed he'd never depict a Muslim as a terrorist on the show. 

"For me, it was important to not ever put a Muslim terrorist on our show," Safran said. "There hasn’t been one. This year we have the appearance of one — which is a spoiler. But it’s not true."

Gordon, also created "24," a show that often depicted Muslims as terrorists. When asked if he had any concerns about the storylines on "Homeland" being used as fodder to fuel anti-Muslim sentiment, Gordon responded, "The short answer is, absolutely, yes. On "Homeland," it’s an ongoing and very important conversation."

The roundtable discussed the necessity of bringing in diverse voices to the process. "If you bring in writers with different experiences, you get different stories, " said Zarqa Nawaz, creator of the Canadian series “Little Mosque on the Prairie.”

"I have great hope for the future," Nawaz told the Times. "I pitched a show to one of the networks about a Muslim family, and I was told by the executive, 'There is no way an American network is going to have a Muslim woman with a hijab on television. Get her out. We will not do it.' And then I watch 'Quantico' [which has a main character in a hijab]. I’m like, 'Oh my god. I’ve been vindicated.'"

<![CDATA['Full House' Creator Buys Tanner House]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 15:44:55 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/fullhousemain.jpg

The iconic "Full House" Tanner home had been on the market since May at a price tag of $4.15 million.

It finally sold this fall, the Hollywood Reporter first reported, to the perfect homeowner.

Veteran TV producer Jeff Franklin — creator of the 1987 hit TV series "Full House" — bought the 1709 Broderick Street home where the Tanner family "lived," located in the city's Lower Pacific Heights neighborhood.

Franklin paid about $4 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter, for the 2,985-square-feet home with three bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms.

Franklin posted a picture of himself on the steps of the house on Instagram. "My new house in San Francisco. Look familiar?!" he wrote.

The home's exterior, then painted white, was used as the Tanner family's residence in the original show. According to its listing on the Vanguard Properties website, the Charles Lewis Hinkel home was constructed in 1883 and is one of the city's finest examples of preserved Italianate, Victorian architecture. Inside scenes were filmed on a set in Burbank, California.

[[404082126, C]]

Photo Credit: Olga Soboleva, Vanguard Properties
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Still Packs a Punch: We Could All Use a Little "Hairspray"]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 15:07:28 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/NUP_175042_0008.jpg

Even mere descriptions of John Waters' 1970s trash-comedy classics – among them "Multiple Maniacs" and "Pink Flamingos" – packed the power to shock the faint of heart.

So imagine the surprise in 1988 when his first filth-free effort, the heartwarming and deceivingly gentle "Hairspray," emerged, in some respects, as his most subversive film of all. It's also proven Waters’ most enduring work, spawning a 2002 Broadway musical and a song-filled movie version five years later.

Waters' story of an oversized underdog dancing against racial intolerance twists its way onto NBC Dec. 7 with a live performance of the musical. The show returns at a time when we all could use a little "Hairspray."

The tale, set in 1962 racially torn Baltimore, offers an unlikely lead player: Tracy Turnblad, a plump, buoyant and bullied white teen. The beehive-sporting high schooler, who loves rocks-and-roll and rhythm-and-blues, finds initial bliss dancing on a local “American Bandstand”-like TV program, “The Corny Collins Show.” But the program is segregated, with black teens relegated to a monthly “Negro Day.”

Tracy and her pals’ big battle against small minds turns the seemingly innocuous reality TV show of its time into a spectacle pitting the forces of unity against the dividers.

The offbeat humor and sweetness wrapping the serious theme helped Waters break free of the cult-film label. The musical version, with upbeat, period-evoking songs by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, quickly gained a considerable following of its own. 

“Hairspray” follows older Broadway fare repurposed for TV in recent years – including NBC’s takes on “The Sound of Music,” “Peter Pan,” and “The Wiz” over the previous three Decembers, as well as Fox’s fun rendering of “Grease,” which aired in January.

[[403428896, C]]

Hairspray Live!” boasts a cast featuring Harvey Fierstein, the gravelly voiced multi-talent who starred in the Tony-winning Broadway show. He again steps into the housedress of Waters’ drag muse Divine, who originated the role of Tracy’s agoraphobic mother Edna. Other big-name troupers set for the TV performance include Jennifer Hudson, Ariana Grande, Martin Short, Derek Hough, Kristin Chenoweth and Rosie O’Donnell.

In keeping with past versions, the producers tapped an unknown – actress Maddie Baillio – to play Tracy. Sometime you need a fresh face to take a new look at an old, seemingly endless problem, and remind us that, at least in the movies and on stage, the happiest shock of all is when one person makes a difference.

Jere Hester is Director of News Products and Projects at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is also the author of "Raising a Beatle Baby: How John, Paul, George and Ringo Helped us Come Together as a Family." Follow him on Twitter.

Photo Credit: NBCUniversal
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[LeBron James Is Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of Year]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 13:23:53 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/kingjamesja.jpg

LeBron James delivered on a promise and ended decades of Cleveland sports misery in 2016.

For leading the Cavaliers to an NBA title and ending the city's 52-year title drought, James was chosen as Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year on Thursday, joining Tiger Woods as the award's only two-time winners since its inception in 1954.

"I'm honored," James said following shootaround before the Cavs hosted the Los Angeles Clippers. "I'm more happy for my family, my kids, for my wife, my mom, and for my foundation, for the kids that I represent and the kids that use me as a role model and an inspiration."

[[372310971, C]]

Appearing in his sixth straight NBA Finals in June, James rallied the Cavs from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the favored Golden State Warriors, who won 73 games during the regular season but couldn't put Cleveland away. James scored 41 points in Games 5 and 6 and made a key block in the final minutes of an epic Game 7, making the Cavs the first Cleveland major sports franchise to win a title since the Browns in 1964.

James was selected finals MVP for the third time in his career.

The 31-year-old James returned to Cleveland as a free agent in 2014 and pledged to bring a title to his home state. He did it in his second season, an achievement that ranks as the greatest accomplishment of his career.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Taking the Plunge: Michael Phelps Looks to Dip Into Tech ]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 13:30:06 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/mikemikemike.jpg

Michael Phelps wants to dive into Silicon Valley's investment opportunities as he tries to make the transition from Olympic swimming star and product pitchman to entrepreneur.

"I would love to get involved, whether it's in a couple little startups here and there, take a little risk, have some fun and see where it goes," Phelps said in an interview during a recent visit to San Jose, California while appearing at an Intuit software conference.

For now, Phelps isn't providing any details about what he is going to do, though he says he has been getting advice from venture capitalists and other experienced investors in Silicon Valley startups.

Getting into tech investing would be a new direction for Phelps, whose business experience to date consists mostly of his own line of swimwear and endorsement deals with the likes of Under Armour, Visa and Wheaties.

These and other big brands have paid him an estimated $75 million during his career. That's far more than the $1.65 million that he received from the U.S. Olympic Committee and Speedo for winning a record 28 medals, including 23 golds, in five Olympics. He's still promoting products; he is currently doing commercials for computer chipmaker Intel in a campaign that began in October.

Whatever he does next, Phelps isn't ready to start his own investment fund, like retired Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant did earlier this year with entrepreneur Jeff Stibel. And if Phelps has ideas for founding a startup of his own, he's keeping them to himself.

Making the leap from pitchman to businessman won't be easy, said David Carter, executive director of the University of Southern California's Marshall Sports Business Institute. "Athletes come and go and many talk a big game, but they don't follow through," he said. Phelps "is really going to have commit to learning about business and demonstrate his seriousness about it."

Other celebrities have ventured into the tech industry in search of riches, with decidedly mixed results.

[[388677371, C]]

Notable successes include rapper and record producer Dr. Dre, who was part of the founding team that sold Beats to Apple for $3 billion 2014. Actor Ashton Kutcher co-founded an investment fund in 2010 that made early investments in startups such as the ride-hailing service Uber, the home rental-service Airbnb and the music streaming service Spotify. The fund's value had soared to $250 million from $30 million, based on a review of its books earlier this year by Forbes magazine.

Among the flops: HJR Capital, a tech-investment firm that collapsed in 2009, a decade after former San Francisco 49er lineman Harris Barton founded it and later enticed ex-teammates Joe Montana and Ronnie Lott to join him. In Rhode Island, former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling started a video game company that went bankrupt in 2012.

Phelps is exploring ways to expand his business ventures beyond a line of swimwear and other clothing bearing his "MP" logo. Other products are in the pipeline for next year, though he won't say what. "I am getting my feet wet," Phelps said with a grin. "2017 will be a big year."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Drop Dead: 'Walking Dead' Star Masterson Slams Body Shamers ]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 12:30:37 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/deaddeaddead.jpg

Drop dead.

That's "Walking Dead" star Alanna Masterson's blunt message to body shamers who harassed the actress after she returned this week from a long absence from the hit AMC show following her pregnancy.

Masterson's character had been temporarily written out, disguised as a VERY long scavenging mission, to give the actress time away on maternity leave. She returned in Sunday's episode which spotlighted her character and marked her return to the show.

[[404042816, C]]

Most fans were ecstatic at her return. But Masterson said some took time to criticize the change in her appearance since having a baby in November 2015, a daughter named Marlowe.

"Dear Instagram trolls, body shamers, and the men and woman who think it's OK to comment on my weight: I hope that you don't have children. And if you do, I hope you teach them about kindness and acceptance," she wrote. " I hope they learn that it isn't OK to make fun of people or call people names."

Masterson noted nursing her daughter for the past year in the heat of summer in Georgia while pumping breast milk in a van between took work, determination, and juggling her schedule. "So before you decide to make a comment about my chest being "too large" or how "fat" I've become, just know that this little girl got the best start to life."

She added, "Your mother should be ashamed for raising such a judgmental bully. I'm sure she knows how "courageous" you must be for trolling and hiding behind your Iphone and computers. P.s. I would LOVE to see any man or woman give birth to a baby, nurse the baby, and then work 17 hour days and NAIL their own stunts."

[[144033626, C]]

Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Soon: 'Star Wars' Battle Drones]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 13:28:48 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/1130-2016-StarWarsDrone.jpg

It's the fight sure to get a lot of buzz this holiday season.

"Star Wars" X-Wing, Millennium Falcon and TIE fighter battle drones are coming to a store near you.

"Everybody wants to fly one, and now they can," said Kyle Dahl with drone-maker Propel.

Propel is focusing on "Star Wars," letting players fight with their smartphones.

[[402350535, C]]

"There's an app on your phone and it registers your battle," Dahl said. "How many hits, who you hit, who you killed."

Up to 24 drones can play at the same time, with top speeds of 35 mph.

The drones go on sale Friday and cost $240 each.

[[403895136, C]]

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Emily Ratajkowski Condemns Photog for Publishing Nude Pics]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 12:43:46 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/msemily.jpg

Actress/model Emily Ratajkowski took to social media Tuesday to condemn a photographer for publishing risque photographs of her taken during a 2012 photo shoot. 

Jonathan Leder, who photographed Ratajkowski in 2012, is releasing a new book full of never-before-seen nude and semi-nude pictures from the shoot.

[[404018816, C]]

“She was very, shall we say, comfortable with her body,” Leder writes in the book's forward. “And as far as shoots go, I would say it was fun.”

Ratajkowski shot to fame in 2013 after performing in Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" music video. She subsequently acted opposite Ben Affleck in 2014's "Gone Girl" and Zac Efron in 2015's "We Are Your Friends." 

Ratajkowski said it was her understanding the photos from the shoot would only be published in an artful magazine shoot. She said publishing them in this format is "a violation" and an example of what she's opposed to, "women choosing when and how to share their sexuality and bodies."

Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Cory's House From 'Boy Meets World' Selling for $1.59M]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 13:31:25 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/knbc-boy-meets-world-house-for-sale-tn-3.jpg Feeling nostalgic? A Los Angeles house featured in the beloved 1990s TV sitcom "Boy Meets World" has been listed for $1.59 million.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/JBT Photography, John Turner]]>
<![CDATA[Royal Family Photos: Prince Harry and Rihanna in Barbados]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 08:24:02 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-626886030-rihanna.jpg A look throughout the years at the royal family.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Parton Launches 'My People Fund' to Aid Tenn. Fires Vicitms]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 11:33:11 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-514428540.jpg

Country music icon Dolly Parton is pitching in to help the victims of the Great Smoky Mountain wildfires in Sevier County, Tennessee, where she grew up.

The fires have killed at least seven people and another six are still missing, NBC News reported. 

“I’ve always believed that charity begins at home,” Parton said in a video, announcing that she will provide $1,000 a month for six months to displaced families affected by the deadly fires in the area. Her Dollywood Foundation has established the My People Fund and she invited fans to donate to it online.

“I know it’s been a trying time for my people, and this assistance will help,” she added. 

Approximately 300 buildings have been destroyed in Gatlinburg and 14,000 people had been forced to flee their homes, according to The Associated Press.

Many families are still separated and have not heard from their loved ones. Wolf McLellan, who was staying at a nearby motel, lost his dog, Kylie, to the disaster.

"She was too scared to move with the smoke and sirens and she just stood there. I didn't want to drag her. I couldn't drag her," he told the AP. "I figured the humane thing to do would be to just cut her loose."

Meanwhile, first responders, some of whom have been personally affected by the fires, are conducting a search and rescue mission. While they’ve found bodies, they’ve also been able to rescue people who were initially unable to evacuate.

Parton lauded organizations like the Red Cross for their efforts in Gatlinburg this week. “The support, as always, has been overwhelming,” she said. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images for Webster PR
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA['Tonight Show': Vikings and Cowboys Superlatives]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 06:55:57 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/nbc_tjf_hlt_s4e046_581_superlatives_20161130_1200x675_821631555822.jpg Host Jimmy Fallon hands out special accolades to 2016 Minnesota Vikings and Dallas Cowboys NFL players.]]> <![CDATA['Tonight': Felicity Jones Demos 'Star Wars' Fight Moves]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 11:20:39 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/nbc_tjf_hlt_s4e046_581_felicityjones_badass_20161130_1200x675_821631555844.jpg Felicity Jones teaches Host Jimmy Fallon a fight sequence she learned from her Kung Fu training for "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story."]]> <![CDATA[Victoria's Secret Fashion Show Paris ]]> Wed, 30 Nov 2016 21:23:47 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-626766860.jpg

Photo Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Victoria's Secret]]>
<![CDATA[Rapper Kanye West Released From Hospital]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 07:16:44 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP_14379640266.jpg

Rapper Kanye West has been released from the hospital following a more than week-long stay, E! News confirmed Wednesday.

He was admitted to a Los Angeles hospital Nov. 21 for exhaustion.

West was under observation at a Los Angeles hospital after he abruptly canceled the remaining dates of his national tour.

The admission followed a week of bizarre incidents during which the provocative rapper publicly railed against fellow music stars Beyoncé and Jay Z and retroactively endorsed President-elect Donald Trump.

It's hardly the first time West has found himself in hot water for combative, self-aggrandizing behavior.

The artist known for hits such as "Gold Digger" and "Jesus Walks" once famously interrupted Taylor Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards, insisting that her award should have gone to Beyoncé. Last year, he declared that he would run for president in 2020.

E! News is owned by NBC's parent company, NBC Universal. 

Photo Credit: Matt Sayles/Invision/AP]]>
<![CDATA[I Miss Him: Barkley Reveals He and Jordan No Longer Friends]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 11:16:09 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/jordanbark.jpg

NBA Hall-of-Famer Charles Barkley gave an interview on the Dan Le Batard radio show this week where he explained, despite a recent photo that had been making the rounds, he and once close pal Michael Jordan have not buried the hatchet.

[[403830466, C]]

Barkley said a recent pic taken by TNT colleague Kenny Smith mistakenly spread the belief the two had made amends from a long-running feud. But Barkley recalled it as a brief, awkward encounter at a public event they just both happened to be attending.

[[403831486, C]]

"I love Michael. I miss Michael's friendship. He was a great friend to me for a long period of time. And I love him and miss him like a brother. But we just happened to be at the same place so we took a picture together," Barkley said. "We are not back to where we use to be."

Barkley explained Jordan holds a grudge for criticism Barkley levied at him as owner of the NBA Charlotte Hornets. Barkley said Jordan surrounded himself with 'yes' men who wouldn't challenge some of his questionable personnel decisions. 

"Some people, when you're their friend, expect you to have their back no matter what. And part of my job sucks some times when I have to criticize people I like or a friend," Barkley said. "He took it personally and got really angry. And I haven't really spoken to him in years."

Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Celebrity Baby Boom: Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 02:08:29 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP_16293858559447.jpg See which celebrities are gearing up for parenthood in 2016.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/David J. Phillip]]>
<![CDATA[See It: Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus Stun With 'Jolene' Duet]]> Wed, 30 Nov 2016 14:56:57 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/miley+cyrus+dolly+parton.jpg

Miley Cyrus teamed up with godmother Dolly Parton and a cappella group Pentatonix for a stunning performance of Parton's hit, "Jolene" on "The Voice" Tuesday night.

[[403819786, C]]

The group performed the classic song where Cyrus is a judge. Parton visited the show to promote her new movie, "Christmas of Many Colors," on NBC.

Cyrus, who got to hangout with Parton during the episode, posted a photo on Twitter of the two fooling around prior to the show.

[[403821846, C]]

Photo Credit: Getty
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Co-stars Remember Paul Walker on Third Anniversary of Death]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 07:18:20 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/paul+walker+remembered.jpg

Several of Paul Walker's "Fast & Furious" co-stars took to social media Wednesday to mark the third anniversary of his tragic death.

[[403794846, C]]

“This week is always really rough for those of us who really knew him,” wrote Tyrese Gibson on Instagram. The "Fast & Furious" actor shared a video that featured clips of Walker from movies, and pictures of Walker with friends and family. “Paul treated everyone with the [utmost] respect and went out of his way to make everyone feel like they mattered…… I love and I miss you dearly.”

Ludacris, who also worked with Walker on "Fast & Furious" films, posted an Instagram of Walker with the caption “gone but never forgotten.”

Jordana Brewster shared a picture of her with Walker on Twitter and wrote, “I miss you and I love you every single day.”

[[403794976, C]]

The actor, along with friend and driver Roger Rodas, died in a fiery crash in Valencia in November 2013 after Rodas lost control of the car and slammed into a tree. Walker was 40 years old.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Serena Williams on Sexism: Being a Woman Is Not a 'Flaw']]> Wed, 30 Nov 2016 13:26:22 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/serenaserena.jpg

Serena Williams served up another ace. Only this time it was in the form of an open letter about sexism and wage disparity between males and females in sports.

The letter, initially written for Porter Magazine’s 'Incredible Women of 2016' issue, was reprinted by The Guardian on Tuesday. Williams dedicated it to “all incredible women who strive for excellence” as she wrote about gender discrimination in sports that she and other women face.

"When the subject of equal pay comes up, it frustrates me because I know firsthand that I, like you, have done the same work and made the same sacrifices as our male counterparts," Williams wrote. "I would never want my daughter to be paid less than my son for the same work. Nor would you."

The gender wage gap in professional tennis has been a topic of conversation this year. The New York Times reported in April that last year, Roger Federer received $731,000 for defending his title at the Western & Southern Open. At the same tournament, Serena Williams received $495,000 for defending her respective title. It was just one of many instances in which the compensation disparity was evident.

Williams has made it clear on many occasions that she wants to be the “best tennis player in the world,” not “the best ‘female’ tennis player in the world.” In her letter she pointed out how descriptions tend to exclusively gender-mark women. While people call her one of the greatest “female” athletes, they do not similarly say LeBron James or Tiger Woods are considered some of the greatest “male” athletes. Instead, they are just considered great athletes.

“As we know, women have to break down many barriers on the road to success,” Williams wrote, “One of those barriers is the way we are constantly reminded we are not men, as if it is a flaw.”

Former professional tennis player Ray Moore brought sexism in tennis to light earlier in the year with his controversial comments about how female tennis players “ride on the coattails of men” and how they should thank prominent male tennis players like Federer and Nadal “because they have carried this sport.”

But despite ongoing ignorance in the sport Williams closed her letter offering encouragement to young women to follow their dreams with resilience.

“We must continue to dream big, and in doing so, we empower the next generation of women to be just as bold in their pursuits.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images for Audemars Piguet]]>
<![CDATA[Dreamy Home Elvis and Priscilla Bought as Newlyweds for Sale]]> Wed, 30 Nov 2016 10:30:07 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/knbc-elvis-presley-beverly-hills-home-for-sale-tn-11.jpg The West Coast home Elvis Presley and wife Priscilla purchased as young newlyweds is back on the market with a whopping $30 million price tag.

Photo Credit: Scott Everts/SAE Photography/Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Dazzling Rockefeller Center Christmas Trees From Years Past]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 09:50:23 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/treerock.jpg Each year for the last 84 years, the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in New York helps usher in the holiday season. Past trees have made the trek from around the country, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Take a look at the sparkling trees over the years.

Photo Credit: AP ]]>
<![CDATA[Ex-NBC Boss and Hit-Making Producer Grant Tinker Dead at 90 ]]> Wed, 30 Nov 2016 10:29:06 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/grantgrant.jpg

Grant Tinker, who brought "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and other hits to the screen as a producer and a network boss, has died.

Tinker died Monday at his home in Los Angeles, according to his son, Mark Tinker. He was 90.

Though he spent years at NBC, Tinker is best known for his work at MTM Enterprises. He founded the company in 1970 with then-wife Mary Tyler Moore. In addition to Moore's own groundbreaking situation comedy, MTM scored with series' including "Rhoda," ''The Bob Newhart Show" and "Hill Street Blues."

Tinker became NBC chairman in 1981 and led the network out of the cellar with hits such as "The Cosby Show" and "Cheers."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Netflix on the Go: Company Announces Subscriber Downloads ]]> Wed, 30 Nov 2016 18:47:50 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/thisisnet.jpg

Well, that's a gamechanger.

Netflix announced Tuesday it would immediately begin allowing subscribers to download content and take it with them in addition to live streaming. 

"While many members enjoy watching Netflix at home, we’ve often heard they also want to continue their "Stranger Things" binge while on airplanes and other places where Internet is expensive or limited," the company announced in a release. "Just click the download button on the details page for a film or TV series and you can watch it later without an Internet connection."

So now those craving "Orange is the New Black" or "House of Cards" can watch their favorite shows on the go. The new feature is included in all plans and available for phones and tablets on Android and iOS.

Photo Credit: Netflix courtesy of IMDB
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>