<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - TV, movies, music and celebrity news]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbclosangeles.com/entertainment/entertainment-news http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California http://www.nbclosangeles.comen-usSun, 24 Jul 2016 21:31:16 -0700Sun, 24 Jul 2016 21:31:16 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Man Proposes at Comic-Con]]> Sun, 24 Jul 2016 15:36:14 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/7-24-16-Jodie+Twitter+Supernatural+Proposal+Hall+H+Comic-Con+2016.jpg

It was a "Supernatural" day indeed for one fan at the show's Hall H Comic-Con panel Sunday when her boyfriend got down on one knee in front of thousands to propose to her. 

"You are the sun that brightens my day and the moon of my life," he said in front of the thousands of people in the notoriously large Hall H, in a video posted to Twitter. "I can't think of anyone else I'd want by my side slaying zombies and killing vampires and killing demons and whatever else is out there." 

Cheers erupted from the audience as the man got down on one knee in front of the panel, full of the show's stars. 

"What I'm trying to ask you...Ashley...will you marry me?" he asked her.

Ashley nodded and hugged her new fiancé. 

The sweet moment prompted loud cheers and swoons from the audience. Hall H seats more than 6,000 people. 

Watch more video below.

Photo Credit: Jodie, @crimsonrambler
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<![CDATA[Late at Night on NBC]]> Fri, 28 Aug 2015 09:00:30 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP24762024125.jpg

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Comic-Con 2016: Sunday's Must-See Events]]> Sun, 24 Jul 2016 09:12:07 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Steven+Moffat-480104556.jpg

San Diego Comic-Con International will end with a bang Sunday after four days of comics, cosplaying, and superhero TV and movies.

Even though it's the last day, Sunday includes a packed schedule to keep comic and pop culture fans satisfied until next year.

Here are some events you shouldn't miss:

10:00am - 11:00am, Hall H
Join Amanda Abbington (Mary Watson), Mark Gatiss (co-creator/executive producer/writer), Steven Moffat (co-creator/executive producer/writer) and Sue Vertue (producer) as they disucss what's next for Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson in the upcoming season of Sherlock.

Fantastic Fans and Where to Find Them
10:15am - 11:15am, Room 6A
Come hear talks about the magical new additions to the world of Harry Potter including the new West End play "Harry Potter & The Cursed Child" and the upcoming film "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them."

LEGO Dimensions
11:15am - 12:15pm, Room 6DE
Get an inside look at what's new in the world of LEGO Dimensions with screenings of a new game trailer, new characters and game features. Everyone in attendance will also receive a limited-edition LEGO Green Arrow minifigure.

Marvel: Women of Marvel
12:30pm - 1:30pm, Room 6DE
This panel will feature women from all walks of the creative comic book process with Marvel talking about the future of industry. Join content development director Sana Amanat, producer Judy Stephens, social media manager Adri Cowan, Marvel Live host Lorraine Cink, writer G. Willow Wilson (Ms. Marvel) and Marvel's "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." costume designer Ann Foley as they talk about their experiences as women in comics.

World Premiere of Batman Unlimited: Mech vs. Mutants
12:15pm - 1:45pm, Room 6BCF
Don't miss the world premiere of the third installment of the animated "Batman Unlimited" series. This time Batman is back to save the day from Killer Croc and Bane when they are turned into giant mutant monsters. The filmmakers and voice cast will be there to discuss the film after the screening.

The 50-Year Mission: Star Trek Then, Now, and Beyond
1:00pm - 2:00pm, Room 25ABC
Authors Mark A. Altman  (Free Enterprise, The Librarians) and Edward Gross (Empire magazine) will discuss the work they did to detail the "Star Trek" phenomenon in their bestselling two-volume book series from St. Martin's Press, "The 50 Year Mission: The Complete, Uncensored and Unauthorized Oral History of Star Trek."

Hank Green Does What You Want Him to Do
1:00pm - 2:00pm, Room 4
Don't miss your chance to hang out with popular YouTube vlogger Hank Green, co-creator of "SciShow," "Crash Course," "VidCon," "the Internet Creator's Guild" and "Vlogbrothers."

Anything Goes with John Barrowman
2:00pm - 3:00pm, Room 6BCF
Meet up with entertainer John Barrowman. The actor known for his role as Captain Jack Harkness in "Torchwood" and "Doctor Who" will be answering fan questions, singing and dancing.

Buffy Musical: Once More with Feeling: An Interactive Whedon Musical
3:15pm - 4:45pm, Room 6BCF
Don't miss Comic-Con's closing event and end the four-day convention with a bang with an interactive screening of the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" musical episode, "Once More with Feeling." Actress Juliet Landau, who played Drusilla, and a surprise guest, will be in attendance.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Celebs at San Diego 2016 Comic-Con]]> Sun, 24 Jul 2016 19:24:11 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/ComicCon-GettyImages-579683766.jpg Comic-Con International kicked off Thursday at the San Diego Convention Center and runs from July 21-24, 2016. Take a look at some of the famous faces attending.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Jimmy Gets Advice on How to Improve the Show]]> Sat, 23 Jul 2016 03:07:46 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/parents-fallon-sketch.jpg Lilly Singh's parents give Jimmy advice on how to improve the show]]> <![CDATA[Comic-Con 2016: Saturday's Must-See Events]]> Sat, 23 Jul 2016 08:13:55 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-578968454.jpg

The San Diego Convention Center will be extra packed Saturday for Comic-Con's busiest day.

With so much hustle and bustle to see and do, here are some of Saturday's events you shouldn't miss:

Back to the '90s: Nickelodeon’s "All That" Reunion and "Legends of the Hidden Temple"
11:15am - 12:15pm, Room 6A
Relive the '90s with a Nickelodeon throwback reunion of "All That" cast members Josh Server, Danny Tamberelli, Lori Beth Denberg and Kel Mitchell. Former "Legends of the Hidden Temple" cast members Kirk Fogg and Dee Bradley Baker will also join the reunion to talk about the upcoming TV movie based on their popular 90s show.

Spotlight on Stan Lee
1:45pm - 2:45pm, Room 6A
Don't miss your chance to see comic industry megastar Stan Lee. The former president and chairman of Marvel Comics co-created Spider-Man, the X-Men, Thor, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man and many other comic characters.

"Star Trek"
2:00pm - 3:00pm, Hall H
Join "Star Trek" actors William Shatner, Scott Bakula, Michael Dorn, Jeri Ryan and Brent Spiner to celebrate the upcoming 50th anniversary of the first broadcast of the iconic science fiction television show.

'Aliens': 30th Anniversary
3:15pm - 4:15pm, Hall H
Celebrate the 30th anniversary of the iconic science fiction horror film "Aliens" with writer and director James Cameron (Avatar), producer Gale Anne Hurd (The Walking Dead) and cast members Sigourney Weaver (Avatar), Bill Paxton (True Lies), Lance Henriksen (Millennium), Michael Biehn (The Terminator) and Paul Reiser (Red Oaks).

'Doctor Who' and Torchwood Comics
3:30pm - 4:30pm, Room 5AB
Join "Doctor Who" writers Cavan Scott, George Mann, Rob Williams, Paul Cornell and editor Andrew James for an inside look into what's happening in the Whovian comic universe. John Barrowman and Carole E. Barrowman will also be there to discuss their new "Torchwood" comic, which will debut at the show.

'A Song of Ice and Fire': Game of Thrones Fan Discussion
4:00pm - 5:00pm, Neil Morgan Auditorium, San Diego Central Library
Debate popular "Game of Thrones" fan theories and discuss all things related to the book and television series with podcasters Amin Javadi (Podcast of Ice and Fire, Bastards of Kingsgrave), Ashley Mitruk (Podcast of Ice and Fire), Kyle Maddock (Podcast of Ice and Fire, AfterBuzzTV) and Tara Lynne (The Geekiary).

Marvel Studios
5:30pm - 6:45pm, Hall H
Don't miss a chance to hear from Marvel Studios president and producer Kevin Feige, joined by special guests, for an inside look into Marvel's newest and upcoming projects.

Captain America vs. Iron Man: Freedom, Security, Psychology
8:30pm - 9:30pm, Room 26AB
This panel will debate and analyze the psychology and intentions of Captain America's Steve Rogers and Iron Man's Tony Stark. One team will argue for Captain America's defense of superhero liberties while the other backs Iron Man's defense of national and international security.

Season 2 World Premiere Screening of "Ash vs Evil Dead"
10:00pm - 11:00pm, Room 6DE
Don't miss the world premiere of the second season of the STARZ Original Series, "Ash vs. Evil." The screening will be introduced by the show's cast and executive producers.

Photo Credit: Getty Images for IMDb, File]]>
<![CDATA[Top Celeb Pics: Celine Dion in NYC]]> Fri, 22 Jul 2016 07:26:18 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-578766324-celine.jpg Check out the latest photos of your favorite celebrities looking their best.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Danson, Bell in a 'Good Place' With New NBC Series]]> Sat, 23 Jul 2016 13:39:11 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/The+Good+Place.jpg

The stars behind NBC's new comedy "The Good Place" said they fell in love with the script for the series right away, and hope fans will love it as much as they do. 

The sitcom's star, Kristen Bell, plays a woman sent to an afterlife intended for good people. The "Frozen" actress quickly realizes she doesn't belong, and with the help of her afterlife mentor, played by TV veteran Ted Danson, she sets off on a quest to shed her old ways and discover her better self. 

"I was just impressed," said Bell. "It really combines my two favorite things on the planet, which is comedy and what it means to be a good person."

Creator Michael Schur ("The Office", "Parks and Recreation"), director Drew Goddard ("The Martian") and stars of the show took the stage at this year's San Diego International Comic-Con on Thursday.

Fans were treated to an advanced screening of the pilot in the Hilton Bayfront Hotel's Indigo Ballroom before the panel, where the cast and crew talked about joining the project and shed some light as to what we can expect from the brand new series.

Danson, the former "Cheers" star, said he jumped on the opportunity when he read the script.

Goddard said when he was first approached by Schur, he didn't know he would be pitched a pilot. 

"I felt my heart sink because I realized, 'Oh, [expletive], I'm going to do this, this sounds fantastic,'" he said, later joking he tried to get Danson recast. 

He said he knew immediately he had to be a part of the show. 

Schur said it felt "scary in a good way" to do a show that is a slight departure from his decade-long work in television, creating and executive producing popular comedies such as "The Office", "Parks and Recreation" and "Brooklyn-99." 

"I had been writing some version of a collection of lovable goofballs in an office for a dozen years, so this is very different and very exciting, to me at least," he said.

He continued: "Every episode has a huge, twisty cliffhanger at the end of it," Schur said. “It takes a lot of forethought and careful planning."

"The Good Place" debuts on NBC Sept. 19 at 8:30 p.m. 

Photo Credit: NBCUniversal]]>
<![CDATA[Royal Family Photos: Will & Kate Watch Yacht Racing]]> Sun, 24 Jul 2016 18:22:22 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/WillandKate-AP_16206550329865.jpg A look throughout the years of Prince William, Prince George and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, alongside Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the royal family.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Celebrities Support #ClearTheShelters]]> Sat, 23 Jul 2016 09:28:08 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/mario-lopez-dog.jpg

Celebrities like Rachael Ray and Mario Lopez are joining the conversation around #ClearTheShelters as hundreds of shelters around the country get ready to find forever homes for animals in need.

NBCUniversal and Telemundo's nationwide pet adoption drive will take place Saturday, July 23, when more than 600 animal shelters will waive or discount adoption fees.

Ray, Lopez, "Real Housewife" Lisa Vanderpump and actress Vanessa Williams — who has a rescue dog of her own — are among the famous names joining the conversation on social media.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[‘Late Night’: Trump’s Acceptance Speech]]> Fri, 22 Jul 2016 04:30:32 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/nbc_myr_hlt_s3e137_397_closerlook_h264_20160721_1200x675_730170947905.jpg During a special live show, host Seth Meyers looks at Donald Trump accepting the GOP’s nomination. He noted the dark view that Trump cast of the country using misinformation and fear.]]> <![CDATA[‘Late Night’: Leslie Jones Talks Twitter Trolls]]> Fri, 22 Jul 2016 04:47:02 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/JONES_GettyImages-473086394.jpg Host Seth Meyers asks Leslie Jones about her “tough” week on Twitter. Jones, who stars in the new “Ghostbusters” movie, felt that she was jumped by “a bunch of people jumping against you for such a sick cause.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[‘Tonight Show’: Pen in Bottle With Alicia Vikander]]> Fri, 22 Jul 2016 04:31:41 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/ALICIA_GettyImages-578540698.jpg Alicia Vikander shows Host Jimmy Fallon how to play a Swedish drinking game where they race to drop pens dangling from their waists into empty bottles.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[‘Tonight': Musical Impressions With Céline Dion]]> Fri, 22 Jul 2016 04:32:36 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/CELINE_GettyImages-578544516.jpg Host Jimmy Fallon challenges Céline Dion to a game of random musical impressions, such as Sia singing "Hush, Little Baby."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Comic-Con 2016: Friday's Must-See Events]]> Thu, 21 Jul 2016 17:37:59 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GoT-520398056.jpg

Friday is the second full day of events at the 2016 San Diego Comic Con International.

After a packed first day at the San Diego Convention Center, here are some of the can't-miss events in store for Friday:

Marvel: Civil War II
10:00am - 11:00am, Room 6DE
Find out what's happening in Marvel's "Civil War II," the universe's latest crossover story line. Hear editor-in-chief Axel Alonso and other creative minds behind the crossover talk about the aftermath of 2006's "Civil War."

Inside "The Big Bang Theory" Writers' Room
10:00am - 11:00am, Ballroom 20
The writers for the acclaimed television comedy will return to San Diego to discuss the show's biggest moments from its ninth season. The show, which has aired more than 200 episodes, will return to CBS this fall for its tenth season.

DC Suicide Squad: Most Wanted
11:15am - 12:15pm, Room 6DE
Join the creative teams behind "Harley Quinn" and "Suicide Squad" as they talk about what makes comic book villainy so captivating. Panelists will include Amanda Conner, Chad Hardin, Jim Lee, Jimmy Palmiotti, Philip Tan and Rob Williams.

11:15am - 12:15pm, Ballroom 20
Fans of FOX's "Bones" can say goodbye to actors Emily Deschanel, David Boreanaz, TJ Thyne, Michaela Conlin, Tamara Taylor and John Boyd, as well as executive producers Jonathan Collier and Michael Peterson for the cast's final Comic-Con panel. The stars will begin production for the show's 12th and final season.

Resident Evil's 20th Anniversary
11:30am - 12:30pm, Room 6BCF
Celebrate two decades of the "Resident Evil" survival horror series game with members of the development team at Capcom. Learn about what's next for the iconic video game series.

AMC's "Fear the Walking Dead"
12:00pm - 1:00pm, Hall H

Join the cast from AMC's "Fear The Walking Dead" as they discuss what happens next after the series' May finale.

Marvel's "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."
3:00pm - 4:00pm, Ballroom 20

Meet with the cast of ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D" as they talk about the making of the show's third season and what's next for season four.

"Game of Thrones" Panel and Q&A Session
2:15pm - 3:15pm, Hall H
You don't want to miss this panel with cast members from the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning series "Game of Thrones." The star-studded panel will include John Bradley as Samwell Tarly, Liam Cunningham as Davos Seaworth, Nathalie Emmanuel as Missandei, Conleth Hill as Varys, Faye Marsay as The Waif, Hannah Murray as Gilly, Kristian Nairn as Hodor, Iwan Rheon as Ramsay Bolton, Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark, and Isaac Hempstead Wright as Bran Stark.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Costume Highlights From Comic-Con 2016]]> Sun, 24 Jul 2016 14:23:21 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-579379590.jpg Zealous fans packed the San Diego Convention Center for 2016 San Diego Comic-Con International. The four-day pop culture spectacular includes celebrity panels, vendors, sneak peek screenings and lots of attendees sporting colorful costumes that pay tribute to their favorite characters.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Star Trek' Boldly Goes 'Beyond']]> Fri, 22 Jul 2016 04:45:59 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/JohnChoSulu-GettyImages-542422286.jpg

The road to Romulus, as the recent Sulu hullabaloo proved, is paved with good intentions.

The team behind "Star Trek Beyond," which lifts off Friday, portrays Enterprise helmsman Sulu as a married gay dad, in an apparent tribute to George Takei, who has become one of the universe's most outspoken voices for LGBTQ rights in recent years. But Takei rejected the revisionist story in his own tribute to the late "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry, whom, he said, intended Sulu to be heterosexual.

Both takes add up to a larger tribute to a fantasy franchise that inspires creativity – and powerful feelings of protectiveness – even as it nears 50 years of logging stardates.

That's a shade different than the strong sense of ownership "Star Wars" fans exercise over the younger, flashier series that might never have launched, if not for "Star Trek." And it's light years away from the sexist and racist venom spewed by cowardly online trolls over the new all-women "Ghostbusters" team.

Still, movie history tells us that reboots of popular series can rouse fans to vote with their feet by flocking to theaters – or kick back in protest over any perceived sullying of the source material.

The impact of devising alternate timelines, as with the latest three "Star Trek" movie installments, can be as unpredictable as a balky phaser. The potential for casting a wide beam of creative freedom comes with the possibility of stunning – and angering – longtime fans.

J.J. Abrams, who directed the first two new "Star Trek" flicks and last year’s wildly successful return of "Star Wars," found the elusive sweet spot between capturing the spirit of the originals while exploring new characters and stories. He’s also adept at intergenerational casting, as evidenced not only by his “Star Wars” turn, but by Leonard Nimoy’s final appearance as Mr. Spock in 2013’s “Star Trek Into Darkness.”

Director Justin Lin’s "Star Trek Beyond" is dedicated to the Nimoy, who died last year at age 83, and to the latest Chekov, Anton Yelchin, who was fatally struck by his own runaway vehicle last month at age 27. 

Any fuss over Sulu shouldn't overshadow the memories of two fine actors who spanned "Star Trek" generations.

It’s unknown, of course, how the late Roddenberry would have felt about the Sulu switch. But his enduring creation shows we're all part of a big, diverse universe – and we shouldn't be afraid of what we might find, either in space or in ourselves.

Whether you roll with old-school Kirk, new-school Kirk, Piccard or Janeway doesn't matter – passionate and civilized debate has helped fuel "Star Trek" since NBC canceled the original series in 1969. 

May the next 50 years bring more "Star Trek" interpretations that boldly go where no others have gone before.

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: CBS via Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Seth Meyers Plays 'Pokémon Go']]> Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:03:58 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/nbc_myr_hlt_s3e136_396_pokemongo_20160720_1200x675_729280579663.jpg When Host Seth Meyers came to work last week, he saw his whole staff was playing the new Pokemon game. The craze made very little sense to him so he had one of his staff members to teach him how to catch ‘em all. They also encounter a new Pokemon called a Squattle.]]> <![CDATA[‘Late Night’: A Look at GOP Attacks on Clinton]]> Thu, 21 Jul 2016 05:52:08 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/nbc_myr_hlt_s3e136_396_closerlook_H264_20160720_1200x675_729281603669.jpg Host Seth Meyers looks at how the Republican National Convention on day 2 quickly veered into a bash fest against Hillary Clinton. Meyers also observes that Donald Trump Jr.’s speech was aimed at the “moneyed” elite even though his father’s tax proposal would get a significant tax cut.]]> <![CDATA[‘Tonight': Filtered Scenes With Mila Kunis ]]> Thu, 21 Jul 2016 05:52:46 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/MILA_GettyImages-578126746.jpg Host Jimmy Fallon and Mila Kunis improvise random scenes, like two people on a Tinder date, using different filters on an iPad.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[‘Tonight': Wiffle Ball With Bernie Williams]]> Thu, 21 Jul 2016 05:54:34 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/WILLIAMS_GettyImages-578129156.jpg Host Jimmy Fallon attempts to strike out New York Yankees legend Bernie Williams... with wiffle balls.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Weekend Update' Brings 'SNL' to GOP Convention]]> Thu, 21 Jul 2016 04:42:05 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/UPDATE_GettyImages-468735598.jpg

Live from Cleveland, it's Wednesday night!

"Saturday Night Live" comedians Colin Jost and Michael Che hosted a special edition of "Weekend Update," the show's popular parody news broadcast, live from the Republican National Convention on Wednesday night at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

Che and Jost panned Ted Cruz's speech earlier in the evening, in which he had talked about party unity but failed to endorse Donald Trump, and ended by telling the crowd to "vote your conscience" and getting booed off stage by the audience of Trump supporters.

"It's like giving a desperate toast at your ex's wedding. Move on with your life!" Che riffed.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Third Eye Blind Provokes Republicans in Cleveland]]> Thu, 21 Jul 2016 03:45:00 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/ThirdEyeBlind-AP_763542742296.jpg

Third Eye Blind issued a statement Wednesday following a performance aimed at provoking Republicans in Cleveland. 

On Tuesday, the band performed at a fundraiser at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, about a mile away from the site of the Republican National Convention. 

The band used its time on stage to express its support of LGBT rights and other issues. 

In a statement released on its website Wednesday, the band listed a series of issues against the Republican Party, saying it believed “convention types” would attend the concert and took the opportunity to “repudiate every last stitch of the RNC platform and the grotesque that is their nominee.” 

“We have Republican friends, family members, and fans, and we love them all,” Third Eye Blind said on its website. “What we reject is what their party has come to stand for.” 

A fan expressed her disappointment on Twitter, to which the band responded “good.” 

The group also acknowledged other fans who tweeted their support Wednesday.  

The show was a benefit for Musicians on Call, which brings bedside music to patients in healthcare facilities. The band tweeted it wasn’t concerned about hurting the charity, saying it was "well aware of who we are and our take on things (like science and rights!)"

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/Invision/AP
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<![CDATA[Garry Marshall Gave Us Happy Days]]> Wed, 20 Jul 2016 11:32:12 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/466459301-Garry-Marshall-WGA-Awards.jpg

Garry Marshall's destined to be best remembered as the gruff fairy godfather director whose 1990 "Cinderella"-style romantic comedy "Pretty Woman" transformed Julia Roberts into a superstar.

But the greater impact of the entertainment great, who died Tuesday at age 81, rests in a string of 1970s sitcoms that eschewed fairy tales in favor of ordinary people (and one preternaturally energetic alien) brimming with heart and wit.

No, Marshall didn't produce the searing social realism of his contemporary Norman Lear ("All in the Family," "Maude," "The Jeffersons") or the sly sophistication of Grant Tinker’s MTM stable of hits ("The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "The Bob Newhart Show," "Rhoda"). And Marshall's take on the 1950s proved far lighter than the Korean War-set dark comedy "MASH."

But Marshall's TV output lived up to the title of his marquee show: He gave viewers happy days. Still, his ability to elicit laughs belied a deceiving depth and an enduring lure found in the strongest of his work.

The television version of Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple" co-developed by Marshall was "Seinfeld" before "Seinfeld" – and not just because of the New York setting and fast-and-sharp dialogue. The underrated show served up two equally passionate characters with opposing and equally unlikable traits: neat freak Felix Unger (Tony Randall) and unrepentant slob Oscar Madison (Jack Klugman).

Marshall kept the undercurrent of the sadness of divorce that ran through Simon's play and movie while building on the uneasy, but ultimately reassuring and reliably funny friendship of two men trying to share an apartment without driving each other crazy.

The 1950s-set "Happy Days" arrived in 1974 as Milwaukee's answer to "American Graffiti," with early episodes rooted in tweaking the mores of a supposedly simpler time (in the first episode, high schooler Richie Cunningham nervously studies Mickey Spillane’s risqué “I, the Jury” before a date with a girl with a reputation). Before The Fonz turned into an almost cartoon-like icon (remember the Fonzie action figure that gave a thumbs up?), we met him as a lonely mechanic spied eating Christmas Eve dinner out of a can.

Henry Winkler’s lovable tough became part of the Cunningham Family, which stood as the steady center of the 11-season run, even after Fonzie – and "Happy Days" – invented the concept of “jumping the shark.”

The show’s first spin-off, "Laverne & Shirley," presented another odd couple: two blue-collar dreamers played by Penny Marshall (Garry's sister) and Cindy Williams. Their antics, modeled after Lucy and Ethel of "I Love Lucy" fame, provided an extra meta layer of 1950s nostalgia. But when the Shotz Brewery duo sang, “We're gonna make our dreams come true,” they were their own women for their time and any time, sharing a relatable goal.

Via “Happy Days,” Marshall produced the most bizarre spinoff in TV history with the oddest small-screen couple of all: “Mork & Mindy.” Forget the strangeness of the extraterrestrial Mork being transported from Richie Cunningham’s dreams to late 1970s Colorado via a giant egg. Marshall knew enough to give Robin Williams a platform for his comedy-changing riffing and get out of the way.

Marshall’s only weakness was not always heeding that pesky shark, and letting the show go on too long. But he more than made up for it with knacks for gentle humor – and for spotting and tapping talent. He also served as a role model for his sister and Ron Howard, who went on to distinguish themselves as noted movie directors.

The gravelly voiced director-producer proved adept in front of the camera. The recent surfacing of Albert Brooks’ films on Netflix offered a reminder of Marshall’s great scene in 1985’s “Lost in America.” Brooks, whose wife just gambled away their next egg, tries to convince casino manager Marshall to return the money – spurring an absurd discussion about the role of, as Marshall’s character puts it, “Santy Claus.”

Garry Marshall was no Santy Claus, but he gave generations of TV viewers the gift of laughter, delivered by great performers and wrapped in shows well worth their fond place in the collective memory. 

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: Getty Images for WGAw]]>
<![CDATA['He's Been Great for Me': George Lopez Loves His Rescue Dog]]> Thu, 21 Jul 2016 06:38:05 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/George-Lopez-GettyImages-461320272.jpg

Comedian George Lopez says his rescue dog changed his life.

Lopez, 55, met the 1-year-old Chihuahua while he was hosting the World Dog Awards, he told People Magazine. The pup, Owen, had been rescued by Wags and Walks and was looking for his forever home.

"Owen had been turned over a few times," Lopez told People. "People had kind of looked at him and passed on him."

The comedian described Owen as loving, affectionate and "a master at getting you to pet him."

"This guy's all about people and all about connecting. I thought, 'Wow, what a special dog,'" he told People.

He said Owen helps keep him active and enriches his life.

"He's been great for me," Lopez told People. "This business closes you off, and a dog opens you up."

Get More at People.com

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