<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/entertainment/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.com en-us Sat, 20 Sep 2014 20:04:47 -0400 Sat, 20 Sep 2014 20:04:47 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Fallon Gets Star-Studded Birthday Surprise]]> Sat, 20 Sep 2014 09:25:46 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Screen+Shot+2014-09-20+at+3.04.41+AM.png

Jimmy Fallon celebrated his 40th birthday on "The Tonight Show" Friday night with two unexpected celebrities popping out shirtless out of an enormous cake and a performance by a surprise musical guest.

"From what I've been told everyone here got me a surprise birthday gift," said Fallon, unaware of what was planned.

"They told me that a special guest is here and I'm going to interview him or her."

"Or it," Steve Higgins added. "You never know."

Next, an oversized birthday cake was rolled out onto the stage, and out popped a half-naked Seth Rogen.

"Jimmy, I know you do not like surprises so I'm just going to say two things. First, happy birthday and second...."

"You're under arrest!" shouted James Franco, who popped out next, wearing a police hat, a bow tie and handcuffs.

With Fallon overcome with laughter, Rogen continued to explain: "We are not even the real surprise. The real surprise is behind this curtain right now."

The two then introduced Stevie Wonder, who came out from backstage singing "Happy Birthday."

Later in the show Fallon sat down with Wonder and talked about his upcoming tour and album called "Songs in the Key of Life."

At Fallon's request, Wonder performed his hit song, "Sir Duke."

James Spader was the official guest on the show and talked to Fallon about the second season of his hit show, NBC's "The Blacklist," which premiers on Monday.

Fallon ended the show by handing out slices of his birthday cake to the audience.

<![CDATA[Randy Travis Seen at Texas Event ]]> Sat, 20 Sep 2014 10:25:43 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Randy+Travis+091914.jpg

Country legend Randy Travis has not been seen in public since a devastating stroke lat year, but this week the North Texan was spotted at a charity banquet in Denison.

Travis lives in Tioga, about an hour north of Dallas, and cameras caught him walking with assistance into a hangar at North Texas Regional Airport with his fiancee, Mary Davis, at his side.

"Every day we go to speech therapy and physical therapy and occupational therapy. We're learning words and phrases, learning to sing," Mary Davis told NBC affiliate KTEN. "Of course, the music and the songs come easy for him, but just the enunciation of words. But he's working on it. He's got a heart of a warrior, and he doesn't stop."

The pair showed up at the Four Rivers Outreach fundraiser Thursday in Denison, which helps those fighting addiction.

Davis said Travis can talk a little, and every day he gets a bit better.

"He knows that the road ahead of us is long and tedious, but he's up for the challenge. And he's never never shied away from it, never asked, 'Why me?'" Davis said.

Country singer Larry Gatlin, a longtime friend of Travis' and fellow Texan, embraced him.

"I have not seen Randy since last year when we were here," Gatlin said. "I really feel, you know, bad about what has happened to him."

Asked if we will see Travis sing again, Davis didn't hesitate.

"Oh, yes. We're working on that. We're hoping to. That's his goal is to get back on the stage again doing what he loves to do," she said.

Travis has raised big money for Four Rivers Outreach in the past and was determined to make it this year.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Late at Night on NBC]]> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 09:39:14 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP24762024125.jpg

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Fallon's "Thank You Notes"]]> Sat, 20 Sep 2014 03:45:11 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/nbc_tjf_hlt_s01e128_128_ThankYouNotes_Int_20140919_1200x675_331485763879.jpg Jimmy Fallon pens his weekly "Thank You Notes," recognizing meatloaf, Pizza Hut, and the iPhone 6 Plus. ]]> <![CDATA[Kaley Couco-Sweeting Throws Epic Party with Mermaids]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 17:24:11 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/ellensweeting.jpg Kaley Couco-Sweeting appeared on the Ellen Degeneres show and told the host about the epic birthday party she threw for her husband. The party included synchronized swimmers and mermaids as entertainment.]]> <![CDATA[Dax Shepard Discusses Awkward Nude Scene on "Ellen"]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 17:08:19 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Screen+Shot+2014-09-19+at+5.04.34+PM.jpg Dax Shepard appeared on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and discussed filming a nude scene in his upcoming movie "This Is Where I Leave You."]]> <![CDATA[A New "Voice"]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 16:51:13 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/NUP_164385_7136.JPG

Pharrell Williams and Gwen Stefani join "The Voice" when the singing competition show returns Monday, becoming the latest music stars to take a spin in the show's funhouse chairs.

While the addition of the duo marks a major coup for the producers, the “Happy” singer and No Doubt frontwoman are not the centerpiece the NBC program's seventh season. 

That's a good thing: The success of "The Voice" primarily revolves around the wannabe singing greats – not the veteran musicians who long ago earned center stage.

The emphasis on the contestants has helped the show flourish over the last nearly 3 1/2 years as the likes of CeeLo Green, Christina Aguilera, Shakira and Usher have rotated through the quartet of coach chairs, with Adam Levine and Blake Shelton serving, so far, as constants.

Instead of a distraction, the comings and goings largely have been seamless, turning into a plus for a show whose format is its biggest asset.

That's in stark contrast to Fox’s "American idol," still the granddaddy of the genre as it gets set to hit teenager-hood in January with the start of its 13th year and 14th season. For all its success in producing stars – Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, among them – “Idol” too often threatens to be overshadowed by judging shakeups and feuds, from Simon vs. Paula to Nicki vs. Mariah.

The coaches of "The Voice" are a lively, and at times bickering bunch. But they're driven more by competition, which comes out in sibling rivalry-like teasing, as they vie to get the best contestants on their team. While the coaches sometime insult one another, no barbs are hurled at the emerging talent – reinforcing a sense of fair play that begins with the blind auditions.

The “Voice” formula has yielded to some strong winners, including Cassadee Pope and Tessanne Chin, if no breakout superstars. But every season starts with new hope.

Check out the preview as a fresh batch of contestants vie to turn heads – and chairs on “The Voice”


Jere Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multi-media NYCity News Service 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: Trae Patton/NBC]]>
<![CDATA["Chicago Fire" Turns Up the Heat]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 16:22:27 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/NUP_165030_0353.JPG

It's been a long summer for "Chicago Fire" fans waiting to find out who survived the explosion at the end of season two that had many of the show's main characters facing death.

The wait is almost over: The NBC series about the firefighters, rescue squad and paramedics of Chicago Firehouse 51 returns to NBC on September 23.

Series' stars Jesse Spencer (lieutenant firefighter Matthew Casey) and Monica Raymund (paramedic Gabriella Dawson) took a break from production in Chicago to call in and chat about dealing with the outcome of season two's cliffhanger, what they did over the summer, what fans can expect from season three and what happened when Spencer got mistaken for a real firefighter in a time of need.

Did you do anything special over the summer?

Jesse Spencer: Yes, I drove across the States. I drove from Chicago to L.A.

Monica Raymund: I drove across the States, too! But we didn't do it together. We didn't know the other was doing it but we basically did the same route.

What's the best thing about being back in production for the third season of "Chicago Fire"?

JS: It's like being back with family. A loving, disfunctional family! It's been great to be back with everyone. And the weather is nice. We had the polar vortex that we endured last winter so it's nice to come back to hot weather and sweat it out.

What's the hardest thing about being back in production?

JS: It's great easing back into it this summer, but then we have the opposite problem of winter. When you are wearing all the gear and the oxygen tank – it's 65 pounds worth of gear – it's pretty hot and you get dehydrated.

MR: It get's pretty stuffy in there.

There was a cliffhanger at the end of season two. Executive producer Matt Olmstead has said of the ending, "Someone has to die." How shocked will fans be?

JS: Now they know that someone dies they won't be shocked!

Were you shocked at who dies?

JS: Yes!

MR: Yes, we had a rough couple of months dealing with that.

What can fans expect from season three?

MR: There's defintiely a lot of action this season. Do you know what he and I did yesterday for about six hours? Rappelling. Hanging off the side of a building, rappelling down.

JS: Yes, we hung off the side of a building. All day.

You received a lot of support from the firefighting community when the show began. Has that continued?

JS: Absolutely. We've done numerous charity events for the 100 Club of Chicago. Supporting the families of fallen firefighters and cops. That's a great charity and we've done a lot of stuff with them. We have firefighters on set all the time. We are sort in and out of that world all the time when we are working on the show, so it's a constance feature of our lives.

Jesse, it's been reported that you were trapped in a Chicago elevator with your parents while they were visiting from Australia, and at the time you were wearing a "Chicago Fire" cap and other in the elevator thought you were a real firefighter. Did you tell them the truth?

JS: I did. I said they I wasn't a firefighter but I play one on TV. Apparently that was good enough for them. So I got the doors open, I muscled the doors open and found a conrete wall on the other side. And there was a small firedoor that I kicked open – very dramatic in Casey style – and got a breeze going so that people could breath. Then we just kept it open until the real firefighters got there.


The third season of "Chicago Fire" premieres Tuesday September 23 at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT on NBC.

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Morris/NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Vince Vaughn Lists Huge Penthouse]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 17:29:30 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/celeb-endorse-P10.jpg

Hometown favorite Vince Vaughn is making another attempt at unloading some prime local real estate.

According to Curbed.com, Vaughn has relisted his five bedroom triplex penthouse in Michigan Avenue's Palmolive Building for $14.9 million.

That's almost $10 million less than it was originally listed for in 2011, the web site reports.

The home is located on floors 35-37 of the building, and includes space that used to be the original office of Playboy's Hugh Hefner.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Carole King Shares Her #WhyIStayed Story ]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 16:34:43 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/NUP_165490_0452_edited-1.jpg Carole King appeared on "The Meredith Vieira Show" and shared her #WhyIStayed story in light of the Ray Rice video that shows the NFL player knocking his wife unconscious in an elevator.

Photo Credit: NBCU]]>
<![CDATA[Bill Hader on Hosting "SNL" for The First Time]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 16:34:12 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/F_0723.jpg BIll Hader appeared on "The Meredith Vieira Show" and discussed his excitement for hosting "SNL" for the first time. Hader was a cast member from 2005 to 2013.

Photo Credit: NBCU]]>
<![CDATA[Checking "The Blacklist"]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 13:01:44 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/NUP_158609_0264.jpg

Love him or hate him, fans of "The Blacklist" are set to get their long-awaited fix of criminal mastermind Raymond "Red" Reddington when 2013's most highly-rated debut series returns Monday night to NBC.

The show stars James Spader as Reddington, the FBI’s fourth most-wanted criminal who turns himself in at the beginning of season one, insisting he will only speak with rookie criminal profiler Elizabeth Keen, played by Megan Boone.

Keen has no idea why Reddington has an interest in her but together, with the aid of a special FBI taskforce, the duo set out to take down Red's "blacklist" of international criminals.

While little is being revealed about the direction of the eagerly-awaited new season, the show's star teased fans with a few bits of vital information. During a recent press conference, Spader promised lots of cliffhangers throughout the new season. "It's going to be very hard to predict how this season unfolds," Spader said.

"The protocol for how Red operates changes dramatically," he added. "He just has to conduct his relations with the FBI in a very different manner, considering the events of last year. He's the same person, but the circumstances that he's putting himself into are certainly different than what has preceded them."

For those who need a refresher, here's a breakdown of what happened last season. (And for those who are late to the "Blacklist" intrigue, the series was recently picked up by Netflix, so there's just enough time to binge ahead of the season premiere on September 22.)


After his surrender, Reddington establishes his bona fides by helping the FBI locate and capture an international terrorist thought to be long dead. In order to supply such information, Reddington stipulates that he must remain free so that his contacts will continue to pass on information. Information that he will only communicate to profiler Keen.

Reddington has an adversary from his past, Berlin, who is trying to dismantle Reddington's criminal enterprise owing to enmity from their past. Berlin made the FBI taskforce a target also, using his hitman to put one member in a coma and slit the throat of another.

It was Berlin who drove Reddington to surrender to the FBI.

Keen nearly died at the hands of her impostor husband Tom who was working for Berlin. Tom revealed to her that her thought-to-be deceased father is in fact still alive. Keen shoots Tom but his body is never found.

Reddington says Keen's father did in fact died in a fire that occurred during her childhood, and that whoever left her in the care of her adopted father may have had to live a life on the run because his life was threatened.

Reddington is revealed to have burn scars all over his back

And in the season finale, taskforce member Ressler's fiance was killed by a blacklister, with Ressler only discovering after her death that she was pregnant with his baby.


What will be Berlin's next move?

Can Ressler continue working on the taskforce after suffering his recent loss?

Is Tom still alive?

Will the FBI continue to trust Reddington after the attack by an unknown organization on the Post Office, the command center for the "Blacklist" task force?

Plus the biggest question vexing every "Blacklist" fan: Is Reddington really Keen's father?


Watch the season premiere of "The Blacklist" beginning September 22 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.

Photo Credit: Michael Parmelee/NBC]]>
<![CDATA[It's a Wonderful "Wife"]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 11:16:04 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/julianna-margulies-good-wife.jpg

After winning her second Emmy for playing the battle-tested title character on "The Good Wife," Julianna Margulies declared last month it's a "wonderful time for women on television." While some disagree, there's little doubt it's a wonderful time for women on "The Good Wife."

The drama about a political spouse's personal and professional comeback from scandal and betrayal amid a backdrop of power and the law returns for a sixth season Sunday, with the women seemingly more in control of their own fates.

Margulies vies to prove her “wonderful time” assertion following the most recent season of “The Good Wife,” the most eventful of the CBS show’s run: Her Alicia Florrick character started her own law firm. Alicia lost her on-and-off-again lover/mentor Will Gardner to a courtroom murder. She shed any pretense of a reconciliation with her husband, Peter, the Illinois governor whose past, public liaison with a prostitute punctured her delusional domestic bliss. The season ended with her old boss, Diane Lockhart, defecting to Alicia's upstart firm – bringing $38 million in billings and a new power dynamic.

This season promises to carry Alicia's journey, if not full circle, then to new corners, typical of a smart drama that stays a couple steps ahead of the audience without (usually) falling into melodrama or gimmicks.

“The Good Wife” remains a standout among TV dramas, evidenced in part by Margulies’ stiff Emmy competition: Robin Wright (“House of Cards”), Michelle Dockery (“Downton Abbey”), Claire Danes (“Homeland”), Lizzy Caplan (“Masters of Sex”) and Kerry Washington (“Scandal”).

Still,  in the era of “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad,” the Outstanding Drama trophy has eluded "The Good Wife." The program wasn’t even nominated last season.

Yet its influence – along with that of the higher-profile, more action-driven “Scandal” – can be seen in a varied slate of new shows about women in law and politics, among them, “Madam Secretary,” “State of Affairs,”  “How to Get Away with Murder” and “Bad Judge.”

“The Good Wife,” like Alicia Florrick, is a survivor, excelling against odds at a time when intelligent, adult drama increasingly becomes the purview of cable outfits and Netflix. Every season is a victory – and a game-changer.

Buoyed by strong writing and Margulies’s acting prowess, we’ve seen Alicia gain confidence, becoming less beholden to the men in her life.  Not that anyone has made it easy for her. And there’s no reason to expect a smooth ride this season, even with Alicia apparently in the driver’s seat for once.

Check out a clip from Sunday’s season opener

Jere Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multi-media NYCity News Service 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[Crystal, Fallon Talk Williams Emmys Tribute]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 05:07:32 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/455673396.jpg

Billy Crystal talked about his Robin Williams tribute at the Emmys and swapped lips with Jimmy Fallon on Thursday night’s episode on “The Tonight Show.”

First, Crystal said it was difficult to pay tribute to Williams during the awards show with a limited amount of time. The Oscar-winning actor and comedian died August 11 at the age of 63 in an apparent suicide.

“It was a hard thing, it was my dearest friend and it was only two weeks after,” Crystal said. “And to try to do him justice in two minutes was the task and I’ve given eulogy before but never on television and that crowd was feeling frustration and bewilderment.”

“You did an amazing job,” Fallon said.

“Even just saying he ‘was’ is still hard for me,” Crystal said.

Then, Fallon shared one of his fondest memories of Williams. The "Tonight" host explained that he was on a bus going to the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. with Williams, Crystal and other comedy legends like Martin Short and Jon Lovitz. A bomb sniffing dog met their bus before they entered the facility.

Williams said, “Oh, I hope there are no copies of my movies on the bus.”

Finally, the two took part in the late-night host’s recurring bit “Lip Flip.” Crystal’s lips were superimposed onto Fallon’s face and vice versa, making it look like the two had swapped mouths.

Hear Crystal’s comments about Williams above and see the lip flip segment below.

Photo Credit: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank]]>
<![CDATA[Meyers Gives Himself Affirmations]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 04:06:11 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/455676316.jpg Seth Meyers boosts the old self-esteem with some positive affirmations written by the "Late Night" writers.]]> <![CDATA[Meyers: Ask Armisen for Advice!]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 04:03:14 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/451821198.jpg Upload your question to Instagram and get advise from Fred Armisen.]]> <![CDATA[Meyers Congratulates Hammond]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 04:00:32 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/138427356.jpg Seth Meyers Takes time to congratulate Darrell Hammond who will serve as the announcer for "Saturday Night Live."]]> <![CDATA[Fallon: Crystal Remembers Williams]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 04:00:29 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/149832693.jpg Billy Crystal talks about his Emmys tribute to his best friend, Robin Williams.]]> <![CDATA[Fallon, Crystal Flip Lips on "The Tonight Show"]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 04:37:05 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Screen+Shot+2014-09-19+at+1.52.29+AM.png Jimmy Fallon and Billy Crystal swap mouths and tell a joke in Dutch on "The Tonight Show."]]> <![CDATA[Stars of Comic-Con 2014]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:27:54 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Ben-Affleck-452736862.jpg Check out all the hottest celebrities attending Comic-Con 2014 in San Diego.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Costumes of Comic-Con]]> Sat, 02 Aug 2014 17:58:56 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/SDCC-0725-36.JPG Comic-Con wouldn't be what it is today if it weren't for the fervent fans in outrageous and elaborate costumes and makeup. Here are some snapshots from the convention floor of those incredible costumes at 2014 San Diego Comic-Con International.

Photo Credit: Brad Streicher]]>
<![CDATA[Ellen's Dance-Off With Josh Gad and Kevin Hart]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 16:49:11 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/ellen-degeneres-dance-off.jpg Ellen hosts a dance-off between Josh Gad and Kevin Hart on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." Find out who wins!]]> <![CDATA[NPH Plays "Drink or Dish" With Meredith Vieira]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 15:24:07 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/NPH-NUP_165489_0376.jpg Meredith Vieira and Neil Patrick Harris play a rousing game of “Drink or Dish” where they ask one another a series of potentially embarrassing questions and can either answer the question and dish about it or take a shot of white wine.

Photo Credit: NBCU]]>
<![CDATA[Celebrate National Cheeseburger Day]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 11:28:13 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/87992859.jpg

It's National Cheeseburger Day! If you are a burger connoisseur, you know there are many places to grab a mouthwatering, juicy cheeseburger in Connecticut.

Here are some of them:

Louis’ Lunch
261-263 Crown Street in New Haven
(203) 562-5507

Ted's Restaurant
1046 Broad Street, Meriden 203-237-6660 and 43 Berlin Road, Cromwell 860-635-8337

Harry's Place in Colchester, a viewer favorite, has been featured in Roadfood for the incredibly juicy burgers. They also call a Harry’s cheeseburger “fast food perfection.”
Harry’s holds the distinct honor of being on the National Register of Historic places.

Max Burger in West Hartford serves up everything from a classic burger, to a gourmet chicken burger or a veggie burger. Trust us, your taste buds will be very, very happy with this food outing. The Inside Out burger is delicious, but check out the full menu, including the specials.
Max Burger
124 LaSalle Road, West Hartford

Plan B Burger Bar is one of those places that you’ll keep going back to, time and time again. They pride themselves on the fresh beef burgers, but you can get just about any kind of burger you can imagine. The New Englander is made with lobster, smoked gouda, caramelized onion, lettuce, tomato and corn spread.

There are several locations in the state:

Plan B Burger Bar: 

120 Hebron Ave., Glastonbury, 860-430-9737
1638 Boston Post Road, Milford, 203-713-8700
4 Railroad St., Simsbury, 860-658-4474
230 Tresser Boulevard, Stamford, 203-964-8353
138 Park Road, West Hartford, 860-231-1199

Prime 16 in New Haven and Orange. In the past, viewers have lauded these burgers. Build your own or pick one of the specialties. You won't find a honey truffle burger on too many menus.

Shady Glen, in Manchester, is another viewer favorite. It's not uncommon for people who've had a Shady Glen cheeseburger to say it's the best -- ever.

Corner Pug, West Hartford. If you’re heading out on national burger day with someone who, for some reason, does not share your burger love, head to the Corner Pug in West Hartford. You can indulge on a blackened Cajun burger or knife and fork Irish nacho burger while your dining partner has salad, steak, mac and cheese or chicken.
These are just some of the best places to go for burgers. There is no way to name them all. Let us know your picks by commenting below.

Lake Zoar Drive-In, 14 Roosevelt Drive (Route 34), Monroe, CT (203) 268-8137

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Stefani, Shelton Join Fallon for Lip Sync Battle]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 11:38:55 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/NUP_165522_1154.JPG

Jimmy Fallon held an intense lip sync battle with Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton on Wednesday’s episode of “The Tonight Show."

"The Voice" begins its seventh season Monday, so the two judges joined Fallon to perform songs like Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe,” Ellie Goulding's “Burn,” and even Starship’s 1987 hit "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now.”

The competition included tap dancing, furious moves across the stage, and a surprising duet that ended the match.

Who won? Find out in the video above.

You can also catch the premiere of the new season of "The Voice" on Monday, Sept. 22, at 8 p.m. on NBC.

Photo Credit: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Meyers: Fey Revels Epic Surprise Party for Her Daughter]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 04:54:19 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/455621370.jpg Tina Fey said on "Late Night" it was really easy to plan a surprise party for her 9-year-old because she didn't catch many hints. She also talks about an eerie mask in all the photos.]]> <![CDATA[Fey Filmed With Meyers' Man Crush]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 04:51:18 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/455621368.jpg Seth Meyers said he was jealous that Tina Fey got to film "The Nest" with his man crush.]]> <![CDATA[Meyers: Fey Dishes on Canadian Fans]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 11:31:54 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/214*120/455621374.jpg Tina Fey said to Seth Meyers that fans at the Toronto Film Festival had elaborate demands when they asked to be photographed with her.]]> <![CDATA[Meyers: Fey Talks Filming With "SNL" Alums]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 04:51:11 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/455621396.jpg Tina Fey explains that the set of her new movie "The Nest" was a wild "Saturday Night Live" reunion, with Maya Rudolph, Amy Poehler and Rachel Dratch.]]> <![CDATA[Fallon Reveals Footage of Neeson's First Movie]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 04:48:14 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Screen+Shot+2014-09-18+at+2.50.58+AM.png Jimmy Fallon talks to Liam Neeson about his movie "A Walk Among the Tombstones," and surprises the actor with a clip from his first acting gig.]]> <![CDATA[Fallon: Anchors Deliver Good News]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 04:58:41 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/214*120/Screen+Shot+2014-09-18+at+2.59.55+AM.png To counter all the bad news being reported, "The Tonight Show" asked NBC news anchors across the U.S. to read stories that make us happy.]]> <![CDATA[Fallon: Lip Sync Battle With Stefani, Shelton]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 04:42:11 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/NUP_165522_0650.JPG Jimmy Fallon asks guests Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton to battle in an epic lip sync-off on "The Tonight Show."]]> <![CDATA[Fondue “Dipping Grill” to Open at Mohegan Sun ]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 16:10:20 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/cheesefondue14.jpg

The Mohegan Sun Resort & Casino will soon have another dining option available for guests.
“Sticks and Stones” a fondue “dipping grille” is set to open later this year at the resorts’ “Casino of the Sky.”

According to a news release from Mohegan Sun, the new restaurant “encourages playing with your food while sharing conversation, experimenting with new tastes and enjoying plenty of laughs.”

The motto is “sip, sizzle and dip,” and molecular drinks will be on the menu, like a mojito in a bubble that pops in your mouth, and a drink served in a bowl that’s attached to a lava lamp and surrounded by dry ice. 

The eatery will feature a postmodern industrial theme and hopes to provide guests with a unique, interactive dining experience as they enjoy a modern take on a classic dish.

For more information on “Sticks and Stones” visit their website at http://www.sticksnstonesgrille.com/

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Dorling Kindersley]]>
<![CDATA[Celebrating "The Cosby Show," 30 Years Later]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 15:04:08 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/140622665.jpg

The defining moment for "The Cosby Show" arrived early: in the debut episode, which aired on NBC 30 years ago this week.

Teenage Theo, struggling in school, declares he doesn't plan on going to college, and instead will get a "regular people" job, unlike his lawyer mom and doctor dad. "If you weren’t a doctor, I wouldn’t love you less – because you’re my dad," Theo told his father, Cliff. "And so instead of acting disappointed because I’m not like you, maybe you can just accept who I am – because I’m your son."

On most shows, this would have been prelude to a father-and-son hug, giving in to the "aww"-ing audience.

Instead, Bill Cosby’s Cliff delivered perhaps the most memorable line of the classic series: "That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. No wonder you get Ds in everything!"

That exchange signaled the Huxtables weren’t the Bradys. Cosby borrowed from his life-inspired stand-up routines to present a high-achieving, if imperfect family living in a very nice Brooklyn home built on love – tough love, when needed – and humor that still rings as funny, wise and true as it did on Sept. 20, 1984. Some 30 years after their debut, the Huxtables stand as a sitcom modern family for their time, and for all time. 

Like the Bunkers before them and the Pritchetts after them, the Huxtables made an indelible mark on TV by shaking up the domestic sitcom, with smart writing and a point of a view that largely avoided the familiar and formulaic. The show’s success stems from the brilliance of Cosby, a master comedic storyteller from his days of recalling causing nighttime mischief with his brother Russell during their hardscrabble Philadelphia childhood to imparting lessons and a sense of stability wrapped in humor, via "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids."

Even if the setting of "The Cosby Show" was far more upscale than Fat Albert’s cartoon junkyard hangout, the approach proved similar. Revelations were wrought from generally low-stakes conflicts: the death of little Rudy’s goldfish; Theo getting his ear pierced; Denise slamming into Stevie Wonder’s car. In the end, Cliff, Clair, Sondra, Denise, Theo, Vanessa and Rudy were a family unit as tight as their choreographed, lip-synced version of Ray Charles’ “(Night Time is) The Right Time” – an anniversary present for Cliff’s parents.

As the show went on, growing up led to some growing pains and an expansion of the family (most notably Denise’s surprise marriage to Martin, the father of Olivia, who became Cliff’s cute-kid comedy sparring partner as Rudy moved onto middle school). The program also provided a platform for some great guest stars – Lena Horne, Dizzy Gillespie, B.B. King, Sammy Davis, Jr. – usually without stretching believability to "Brady"-like lengths.

The eight-year run of “The Cosby Show” included an incredible five-season stretch as the nation’s No. 1 show. Even if there’s no way to know whether theories the sitcom helped pave the way for Barack Obama’s election as president in 2008 are true, the show undoubtedly connected to audiences across socio-economic lines. Cosby pulled off the near impossible by giving us a family both ideal and relatable.

Other series with more irreverent views of domestic life – most prominently "Married... With Children" and "The Simpsons" – popped up seemingly as reactions to "The Cosby Show." NBC’s Thursday Must See TV line-up was later headed by "Seinfeld," a show built around hilariously selfish characters, a genre that's extended in these times.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. But sometimes it's nice to know you can go home for a reality check and laughs, both gentle and pointed, that stay with you, even 30 years later.


Jere Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multi-media NYCity News Service 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.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut

Photo Credit: NBC via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bike From "Easy Rider" on Auction Block]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 12:24:38 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/us-easy-rider_1200x675_330278467891.jpg The customized Captain America chopper Peter Fonda rode in "Easy Rider" has come to symbolize the counterculture of the 1960s. It's set to be auctioned on October 18th and could bring $1 million to $1.2 million.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Connery, Beckham Join Scottish Independence Debate]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 07:04:37 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/seanconnery_1.jpg

Celebrities are having their say in an attempt to sway Scottish voters who go to the polls Thursday to decide whether Scotland will continue its 307-year-old union with the United Kingdom or become an independent country.

Paul McCartney, Patrick Stewart, Judi Dench, Sting and David Beckham are in favor of Scotland remaining within the union, which also includes England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Former 007 Sean Connery, Gerard Butler, members of the band Franz Ferdinand and "Trainspotting" author Irvine Welsh are among those who believe Scotland should chart its own course as an independent nation.

Scottish tennis star Andy Murray made a late show of support for independence.

In a show of bold-faced names in the lead-up to Thursday's historic vote, more than 200 celebrities (the majority of English nationality) signed a letter titled "Dear Voters of Scotland" in which they state how much they value their bonds of citizenship with the Scottish people, and to express hope that those bonds will be renewed. The letter forms part of the "Let’s Stay Together Campaign," a U.K.-wide drive to give "a voice to everyone who doesn't have a vote in the decision to break up Britain."

Other entertainment and sporting luminaries joining McCartney, Dench, Sting, Beckham and Stewart on the list supporting "Stay Together" include Helena Bonham Carter, Tom Daley, Simon Cowell, Mick Jagger, Michael Douglas and Bobby Charlton.

As early as February, David Bowie weighed in on the debate when he was awarded Best British Male at the Brit music awards. In his absence at the ceremony in London, Bowie had Kate Moss read a statement saying, "Scotland, stay with us."

"Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling, who was born in England and has a Scottish husband, has been especially active on Twitter and her website.

Pope Francis and President Obama are also in favor of continuing unity.

In the opposing corner are actor Butler, author Welsh and Connery. The latter, long a vocal Scottish nationalist, wrote: "As a Scot and as someone with a lifelong love for both Scotland and the arts, I believe the opportunity of independence is too good to miss." Connery, 84, now resides in the Bahamas and is ineligible to vote in the referendum.

Actor and comedian Russell Brand took to Twitter to show his support for Scotland independence:

Veteran British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood expressed her solidarity with the Scots during her Red Label fashion show at London Fashion week on Sunday and said she is “very unpatriotic about England because it is completely ruined.” The designer added a "Yes" button of support to all the ensembles she sent down the catwalk.




<![CDATA[WATCH: Margulies, Fallon Play Musical Principals]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 10:03:44 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/455556922.jpg

Julianna Margulies and Jimmy Fallon played two high school principals who parody popular songs for their morning announcements in a skit on Tuesday’s episode of “The Tonight Show.”

But first, Margulies revealed the way she stays smiling in front of cameras on red carpets.

“You always look so smiley and happy,” said Fallon, after congratulating her on her Emmy win for her role on “The Good Wife.”

“I have a tip. It’s sort of an awkward thing to do, to walk down and smile for photographers,” Margulies said before explaining that while cameras are flashing, the actress hums “If I Only Had a Brain” from “The Wizard of Oz.”

“It makes you look happy and relaxed,” said Margulies. “And for some reason I can’t hum any other song.”

Finally, the two appeared in a sketch where they played high school principals that delivered their announcements to songs by Taylor Swift, Iggy Azalea, and Beyoncé.

Watch the hilarious clip above.

Photo Credit: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank]]>