<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbclosangeles.com/entertainment/top-stories http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California http://www.nbclosangeles.comen-usMon, 24 Jul 2017 01:57:42 -0700Mon, 24 Jul 2017 01:57:42 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Great White Takes Gold in Race Against Phelps on Shark Week]]> Sun, 23 Jul 2017 20:52:16 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-589032482.jpg

After ample build up and the promise of a dramatic face-off, Michael Phelps finally raced his fiercest competitor on Sunday night. But the great white shark snagged the gold in Discovery Channel's anticipated Shark Week kick-off, "Phelps Vs. Shark: The Battle for Ocean Supremacy."

In the previously recorded stunt, the trained athlete and the ocean predator went head-to-head (sort of) in a 100-meter race off the coast of South Africa. The shark ended up crossing the finish line 2.0 seconds before Phelps.

Though the show highlighted Phelps' man-made advantages, which included an especially buoyant wetsuit and a mono fin to help him "swim like a shark," his victory was perhaps never meant to be.

A great white shark can hit top speeds of 15 miles per hour in short bursts, according to National Geographic. However, the beasts have been reported to max out at 25 or even 35 miles per hour

Phelps, even with his special equipment, barely averaged 6 miles per hour, as noted in the broadcast (along with Phelps' own admission of inferiority).

However, the technical set up of the race was just as impressive as a human athlete claiming a win over a highly evolved animal. 

The shark was timed swimming for 100 meters in one area of the water, while Phelps was timed swimming separately in another area. Discovery then superimposed the two pieces of footage on one screen. Even more, the seamless editing made it appear as though Phelps and the great white were truly racing side-by-side. 

And viewers could be in store for more. After the race aired, Phelps took to Twitter to call for a rematch.

Until then, Shark Week fans will get to see Phelps again on July 30 when he spends some quality time with sharks in Discovery's "Shark School with Michael Phelps."

Photo Credit: Clive Rose/Getty Images, File
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<![CDATA[Stars of NBC's 'Midnight Texas' Answer Questions at Comic-Con]]> Sat, 22 Jul 2017 20:36:22 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/dr_web_midnight_texas_1200x675_1006690371692.jpg

NBC 7's Danielle Radin met up with the cast of "Midnight Texas" to talk about the show's upcoming premiere Monday, July 24, at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.

<![CDATA[Class Is in Session: What's the Best High School Movie Ever?]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 08:55:23 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/highschoolmovies.jpg

The anxiety and perils of the high school experience have provided fertile ground for movie-makers over the years. Whether it's comedic, such as "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," or the drama of a film like "Dead Poet's Society," it's not hard to find a film that speaks to you directly.

But which film should be considered first in its class? You decide in our best of the high school films bracket. We're down to two iconic films as "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" squares off "The Breakfast Club." One is a comedic farce about a kid's outrageous attempt to skip a day of school, the other a examination of five high school students from different walks of life enduring a Saturday detention under a power-hungry principal.

Which is the top high school-themed film ever? Make your selection below. Voting ends Friday July 28.

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<![CDATA[Late at Night on NBC]]> Mon, 15 Aug 2016 12:13:59 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP24762024125.jpg

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Ice Cube Puts a Spin on 'Take Me Out to the Ballgame' at Cubs Game]]> Sun, 23 Jul 2017 01:24:19 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-815724998.jpg

There have been some remarkable renditions of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" over the years, but on Saturday, a famous recording artist took things to another level. 

Rapper and actor Ice Cube stepped into the booth during the seventh inning stretch and delivered a version of the song that would have made Mike Ditka proud.

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There are no official records for reference, but Ice Cube's rendition may be the fastest one ever delivered at the Wrigley Field. 

The song seemed to motivate both teams, as the St. Louis Cardinals scored two runs in the top of the eighth inning and the Chicago Cubs responded with three more to secure the comeback victory.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File
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<![CDATA[2017 San Diego Comic-Con: Sunday Highlights]]> Sun, 23 Jul 2017 08:03:18 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/supernaturalshot.jpg ]]> <![CDATA['Tonight': Jenna Tatum Teaches Jimmy the 'Tatum Body Roll']]> Fri, 21 Jul 2017 23:18:04 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/226*120/Screen+Shot+2017-07-22+at+1.28.59+AM.png

"World of Dance" host and mentor Jenna Dewan Tatum shares the time she fell off a stage while backup dancing for Janet Jackson's All for You tour.

<![CDATA['Tonight' First Drafts of Rock: 'Blowin' in the Wind']]> Fri, 21 Jul 2017 23:08:54 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/216*120/Screen+Shot+2017-07-22+at+1.28.08+AM.png

First Drafts of Rock takes a look at the original version of Peter, Paul and Mary's cover of Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind," featuring Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick and Jimmy Fallon.

<![CDATA[2017 San Diego Comic Con: Saturday Highlights ]]> Sat, 22 Jul 2017 08:24:56 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/blondecharlize.jpg From the cast of "Westworld" to "Stranger Things" to "Justice League" Saturday brings the biggest events yet to the San Diego Comic-Con stage.

Photo Credit: Getty Images for SXSW]]>
<![CDATA[Fans in Costume Take Over Comic-Con]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 16:31:51 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/SDCC-2017-11.jpg

Each year, the fans make San Diego Comic-Con International something truly unforgettable. With their costumes, capes, masks and makeup, it's their world, we're just living in it. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Phelps Teases 'Awesome' Shark Race on 'Tonight']]> Fri, 21 Jul 2017 06:16:00 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-588641322.jpg

The world is standing by, waiting for the greatest Olympic swimmer of all time to finally meet his match — the great white shark. Ahead of a 100-meter race that kicks off Discovery Channel’s beloved Shark Week, Phelps visited “The Tonight Show” Thursday to reveal some details of the anticipated showdown.

Though great whites may haunt the imaginations of other land dwellers, Phelps seemed excited by his close encounters with the ocean predators, explaining that he had been fascinated with sharks from a young age.

And Phelp's well-informed love for the animals certainly showed while the 32-year-old chatted with "Tonight" host Jimmy Fallon.

Phelps, sporting a temporary shark tattoo, calmly explained that for the previously recorded stunt, Discovery pitted him against a great white that was “only about 8 feet.” (The average length of a great white is 15 feet, according to National Geographic.)

“Oh, is that it?” Fallon joked. 

Nevertheless, Discovery has promised a dramatic event. The network dubbed the face-off: “The battle for ocean supremacy,” with Phelps taking on the shark off the coast of South Africa. 

Yes, gold went up against white in the open ocean instead of in, say, adjoining pool lanes as Phelps is accustomed to. 

The shark was timed swimming for 100 meters in one area, while Phelps was timed swimming separately in another area with safety divers around him. 

The individual set ups were about more than just safety though, Phelps explained to Fallon, highlighting the challenges of competing against a wild animal. 

Sharks likely wouldn’t swim all 100 meters at full speed, which can top out at 15 miles per hour in short bursts, according to National Geographic. However, they have been reported to hit bursts of 25 or even 35 miles per hour, as Phelps noted. 

To compare, Phelps said he clocks in about 6 miles per hour in a normal race.

Also, great whites rarely swim in straight paths. Phelps said Discovery had to do its best to record the animal for an accurate and fair race, though the technical details have been kept under wraps before the air date.

So while it may not look exactly like an Olympic meet to home viewers, Phelps promised the race “was awesome.”

To further level the playing field, Phelps explained that he donned an especially buoyant wetsuit, one that allowed him to float more easily in the water. 

The athlete also strapped a man-made mono-fin to his feet. “So I could swim like a shark,” he said. 

Phelps kept coy with Fallon about just how much faster he propelled through the water with the fin. However, he told USA Today last week that he likely hit 8 to 10 miles per hour — impressive for a mere human but still slower than what his opponent is capable of.

Can a trained, 28-medal Olympian measure up to an evolved ocean predator? Only time will tell. “Phelps Vs. Shark” airs Sunday, July 23, at 8 p.m. ET on Discovery.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File
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<![CDATA['Late Night': Gervais Once Nursed a Squirrel Back to Health]]> Fri, 21 Jul 2017 03:15:03 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Screen-Shot-2017-07-21-at-6.11.38-AM.jpg

Seth Meyers sits down with Ricky Gervais, who talks about his love of nature and the one time he nursed a sick squirrel back to health.

<![CDATA['Late Night' Closer Look at Trump Turning on Sessions]]> Fri, 21 Jul 2017 03:03:25 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/late-night-turmp-sessions.jpg

Seth Meyers takes a look at a recent interview President Donald Turmp gave to the New York Times, in which he seemed to turn on his attorney general, Jeff Sessions.

<![CDATA['Tonight': Dance Battle With Charlize Theron]]> Fri, 21 Jul 2017 02:58:35 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Screen-Shot-2017-07-21-at-5.58.03-AM.jpg

Charlize Theron and Jimmy Fallon take turns using the dance move generator to make up random dances on the spot, like the "Slap the Giraffe" and the "Double Kayak."

<![CDATA['Tonight': Fallon's Favorite #MyFamilyIsWeird Hashtags]]> Fri, 21 Jul 2017 02:54:47 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/hashtags-jimmy-fallon.jpg

Jimmy Fallon reads the best viewer tweets with the hashtag #MyFamilyIsWeird.

<![CDATA['Timeless' Cast Celebrates Fans, Second Season at Comic-Con]]> Fri, 21 Jul 2017 04:01:29 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/709A5830.JPG

The cast and writers behind the revived NBC time-traveling drama "Timeless" opened their panel at San Diego Comic-Con International by thanking the fans over and over for helping bring back a show they once thought was gone for good. 

"Here's the truth," said Executive Producer Eric Kripke. "You guys saved the show."

Thursday's Comic-Con panel came just two months after NBC axed the show and then, shockingly, brought it back to life a few days later. "Timeless" will return in 2018 for a 10-episode second season. 

The time-traveling drama follows Lucy (Abigail Spencer), Wyatt (Matt Lanter) and Rufus (Malcolm Barrett) as they try to catch a mysterious criminal who steals a top-secret, state-of-the-art time machine to change history.  

Kripke and co-executive producer Shawn Ryan said they had just begun to make peace with the fact that the show had been canceled when they got a call from NBC executives. 

“I got a call from NBC and they said we made a mistake and we’re picking up the show,” Kripke said.

Spencer said she was asleep the morning the show was renewed when she started getting loads of texts and emails. 

"I was asleep and woke up to hundreds of emails," Spencer recalled at the Comic-Con panel, laughing about how unbelievable it seemed to her at the time. She thought it was a joke at the time, she said. 

The cast and executive producers of the show said they owed it all to the fans of the show, those sitting in the audience at the Comic-Con panel and those not in the room. 

"The point of the panel is to celebrate you for saving the show so I think you deserve a round of applause," Kripke said.

Fans will have to wait months to get a glimpse of season two, but Kripke and Ryan teased some of what fans can expect in the second season, including digging deeper into each character.

Lucy's mother, the center of the first season's shocking finale, will likely take center stage in the second season as "one of the major big bads in season two," Kripke said. 

Now that Rittenhouse has the time machine in their possession, fans can expect a unique team to fight a common enemy. 

The team hopes to further explore the characters as they battle the common enemy, including the newfound Lucy and Wyatt relationship. 

The show, which shot in Vancouver for the first season, will shoot its second season in Los Angeles. The change will allow the writers to tell stories they would otherwise have not been able to tell, Ryan said. 

"We definitely have some ideas, nothing sort of set in stone," Ryan said. 

The second season may also draw inspiration and ideas from the current political climate, Kripke said. The show's overall message of inclusion and diversity is something Kripke is proud of, he said, and he hopes to continue on that path.

"The thing that we really found this year, that we really love about the show is we really are very proud that we were able to tell these very positive, really inclusive stories about history," Kripke said. "Stories about women and stories about minorities and stories about gay people — that everyone contributes to the history of this country."

Kripke backed away from political statements as the crowd broke out in applause, saying that he wanted the show to have a strong message of inclusion in the current political climate.

"History is for everybody, and America is for everybody," he said.

The executive producers closed out the panel by emphasizing that the work in spreading the word is not done. 

"We're going to be airing in 2018, and that's a lot of time off the air," Kripke said. "Bring new people to the show. The more you can bring people into the time team and we can enlist you all as time team members, the better we'll be."

The cast agreed.

"Clearly," Spencer said. "We can't do it without you. We need you."

"Timeless" will return to NBC in 2018. 

Photo Credit: Samantha Tatro
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<![CDATA[Hollywood Stars Descend on San Diego Comic-Con Stage]]> Sun, 23 Jul 2017 15:10:40 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-821279466.gif Check out your favorite celebs at this year's San Diego Comic Con.

Photo Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Linkin Park Frontman Chester Bennington Dies at 41]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 12:38:25 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/chesterbennington.jpg

The singer of the rock band Linkin Park has died at 41.

<![CDATA[Best Hats at Del Mar Opening Day 2017 in California]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 12:50:16 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Del-Mar-Hats-2017-Winner.jpg For the past 23 years, Del Mar's Opening Day has been all about the hats. Each year, the venue hosts the famous Hat Contest, inviting participants to showcase their fanciest, most creative toppers. Here's a look at the hats that caught our eye this year at the seaside track in San Diego's North County.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Why We Continue to Be Obsessed With O.J. Simpson]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 12:19:27 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/simpsongloves.jpg

Yes, you know O.J. Simpson.

How could you not? He was one of the world’s most recognizable faces, even before last year’s Oscar-winning documentary “O.J.: Made in America” and the Emmy-winning FX drama “The People v. O.J. Simpson” brought his story — and the killings of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman — back into the heart of American culture.

Simpson was granted parole Thursday on charges stemming from the 2008 armed robbery involving two sports memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room. It's a fair question to ask why, 23 years later, he continues to be a point of obsession for so many, considering the killings for which he was controversially acquitted occurred decades before there was an iPhone, Twitter or even the concept of social media.

The fallen football star’s case was viewed largely through the prism of race in 1994, but how you perceive Simpson today may differ greatly simply depending on when you were born.

If you were born in the age of Twitter, you know about 70-year-old Simpson as he stands incarcerated today. You're familiar with the refrain, "If it doesn't fit you must acquit," because you've seen Courtney B. Vance give an Emmy-winning performance as Johnnie Cochran on the FX broadcast and you've seen the grainy Bronco chase video on YouTube.

But if you're older, perhaps you saw that Bronco chase live as networks broke into the middle of the NBA playoffs with live coverage. Going back further, perhaps you're more familiar with "Naked Gun" O.J. Simpson. A little older and you may remember pitchman O.J. running through the airports in iconic Hertz commercials, briefcase in hand, trying to catch that plane. Older still? Maybe you recall the star Buffalo Bills running back or even watched him during his Heisman-winning days at the University of Southern California.

As Simpson was finally granted parole it may be difficult to imagine the man who once had Madison Avenue in the palm of his hand. It's difficult to perceive the fledgling actor with limited range who tackled small roles in films like "The Towering Inferno" and "Capricorn One," before finding his comedic niche in farce films like the "Naked Gun" series.

Simpson's acting career largely sprang from a Hall of Fame NFL career. Joining the Buffalo Bills in 1969 after winning the Heisman as the nation's best collegiate player the year before, Simpson became the first player in the NFL to rush for 2,000 yards in 1973 and, 44 years later, he remains one of only four players to ever do so. He is still just outside the top 20 in career NFL rushing yards and was first ballot Hall of Famer.

If America continues to have an unhealthy obsession with "The Juice," while other infamous figures like Charles Manson, John Wayne Gacy and Ted Bundy have faded with time, perhaps it's because there were so many different incarnations of Simpson before the crimes for which he became infamous. Whether it was actor O.J. or sports star O.J., or celebrity O.J., Simpson had woven himself into the fabric of America for decades before Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were murdered. Perhaps that's why we simply can't get enough of his story.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Vince Bucci]]>
<![CDATA[Stunning 'Thrones' Filming Locations Across the World]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 15:31:37 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-507008635.jpg The fantasy land of Westeros may seem like a mystical far away place, but many scenes in the popular 'Game of Thrones' series are filmed on-location in countries including the United Kingdom, Canada, Croatia, Iceland, Malta, Morocco, Spain and the United States. Try to recognize where these breath-taking sceneries from earth fit into the world of Westeros.

Photo Credit: Mnieteq/Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[Not Easy Being (Formerly) Green: The Kermit Saga Continues]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 08:48:43 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-2282250.jpg

Kermit the Frog famously came to grips with the challenges of being green. But he apparently couldn't shake the blues.

That's the bleak picture Cheryl Henson painted this week when she reportedly charged, via Facebook, that fired frog puppeteer Steve Whitmire portrayed her father's classic creation as a "bitter, angry, depressed victim."

The blunt assessment marked the latest tough words to fly amid news that Disney sacked Whitmire with the blessing of the late Jim Henson's family. The feud, which rips away the felt facade of harmony, is enough to make fans ask a surprisingly unsettling question: Was the frog Whitmire voiced since Henson's sudden death 27 years ago a fraud?

One thing is for certain: Kermit always has been a Muppet of many moods – most of them variations of upbeat. We’ve seen him as everything from the buoyant reporter of "Sesame Street" to the endlessly enthusiastic, if often exasperated producer of "The Muppet Show" to the bayou banjoist who sang longingly of forging a rainbow connection in "The Muppet Movie."

Those iconic portrayals reflected the multifaceted talents of Henson, who combined childlike wonder and energy with counterculture-fueled irreverence to build an enduring fantasy empire that captured the imaginations of children and adults across generations.

Let's give Whitmire his due: The show went on when many thought it would end after Henson's death. Sure, the franchise endured some failures, among them “Muppets from Space” and the TV reboot “Muppets Tonight.” But the 2011 film "The Muppets" marked an uplifting return to form, with Kermit once again a big star.

The momentum faltered last year with ABC’s adult-geared mockumentary (also called “The Muppets”) that portrayed Kermit as a cynical Hollywood producer running his now his ex-girlfriend Miss Piggy's talk show, a production staffed by a pathetic Fozzie Bear and an array of Muppet misfits. The show took lovable, optimistic eccentrics and turned them into losers unable to find the "fun" in "dysfunction."

Was it the concept or Whitmire's morose Kermit that sunk the series? Was Whitmire a difficult employee, as Disney argues, or a victim, as he contends?

Whatever the truth, it's more than fans of any age — especially those of us old enough to barely remember the debut of "Sesame Street" — want to think about.

Now it's up to replacement puppeteer Matt Vogel to make it easy to root for Team Green again. He can start by giving us a new Kermit like the old Kermit: a sensitive, fun-loving force of life who put on a manic show behind the show – and left the dirty laundry in the dressing room.

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: Scott Gries/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[2017 San Diego Comic-Con: Friday Highlights ]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 20:08:17 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/thronesthronesthrones.jpg ]]>