<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - Television News, Reviews, Programs, Shows, and Series Guides]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcsandiego.com/entertainment/television http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.com en-us Tue, 28 Jul 2015 13:04:31 -0700 Tue, 28 Jul 2015 13:04:31 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA['Office' Star John Krasinski Heads for the 'Promised Land' With Matt Damon]]> Fri, 28 Dec 2012 11:41:36 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/john-krasinski-promised-land.jpg

When John Krasinski moonlights from “The Office” he doesn’t mess around.

For the film “Promised Land,” Krasinski took on more than one side gig: not only does he act in it, he also concocted the story and screenplay with author Dave Eggers and co-star Matt Damon, and served as a producer.

Centered on the environmental effects of fracking, a controversial means of extracting natural gas, “Promised Land” represents Krasinski’s latest bid to expand his Hollywood horizons as the “The Office” ends its final season. Krasinski sat down recently to talk about his new film and what the future holds.

On the how the story’s setting inspired the issue at the core:

I had the idea for the script about two years ago, and my dad grew up in a small town outside of Pittsburgh in Natrona Heights, which was a steel mill town, and his dad worked three jobs, and they didn't have very much. And I remember when he was telling us, when I was a little kid – I was an ignorant eight-year-old – and I said, ‘So was your childhood awful?’ And he was like, ‘No, it was amazing. We had friends and family, and there was a sense of community and the faith that tomorrow would be a better day.’ And that really stuck with me my whole life, and I think the older I got, the more I realized that the country was moving away from that sort of pure ideal of community. So that's what the idea came from, and that's where I really started. So natural gas came in as an issue later on in the project once we had started coming up with these characters and this town and these groups of people that were going to interact, and it turned out to be the best backdrop for the story because it was basically just like high-stakes poker. There was so much potentially to gain and so much potentially to lose

On the reaction of the real people of Pennsylvania grappling with fracking’s pros and cons:

The really moving part was when we actually went to shoot in the town, they were so generous and so open to have us. But at the same time, people weren't against coming up and telling you how they really felt. And there were people who came up and said, ‘You shouldn't be making this movie. This is really good for us.’ And five minutes later, someone would come up and say, ‘Thank you for making this movie.’ We never expected it to be the movie that deals with this issue. Our whole thing was at the end to start a conversation, and whether it's fracking or something else, it's like these issues are something that have communities getting together and making decisions for themselves… is really the most important thing, especially this day and age.

On attempting to depict the residents of small town America without condescending or pandering:

I think sometimes the movies just show small town America as the people who just get bowled over by anyone who has an idea and in comes innovation and creators, and they just push these people aside. That's not the truth at all. These people are very dedicated to their opinions and very proud of where they're from. And that was the thing about getting there and first of all seeing how gorgeous it was. I mean it was beautiful…The truth is that you see what these people are fighting for. And when I say what they're fighting for, I don't mean either side of the issue. What I'm saying is that they are fighting for what everybody else is fighting for: their family, their friends, what they are from and where they're going. And it's a self-protective survival mode, and that's what's so admirable about these people really digging in on these issues. And it's happening all over the country.

On writing the screenplay with Matt Damon:

I met Matt when he was doing a movie with my wife [Emily Blunt], ‘The Adjustment Bureau,’ and we became friendly right away – which was really nice because being from Boston, the guy from ‘Good Will Hunting’ is pretty much the mayor of some fictitious town. One day we were on a double date, and he said, ‘I'm actually thinking of directing. Is there anything you that have in the works that you'd be willing to share with me?’ I said ‘Yeah’ and I brought him this idea, and he jumped onto it right away. We were writing within a week or two, and it worked really, really well. He actually was shooting ‘We Bought a Zoo’ in California at the time, and I was shooting my show ‘The Office,’ so we were kind of moonlighting. We worked really well together. We worked really fast. We have similar sensibilities and similar sense of humors, but at the end of the day, I think we're eternal optimists, so we wanted the same thing. We wanted this to be an uplifting kind of Frank Capra, Kazan movie. Where we were headed was always the same, so getting there was a lot quicker.

On where writing fits into his future after “The Office” ends:

I'm definitely going to cultivate it further. This was an incredible learning experience for me on every level, but I think, if I'm honest, the truth is it's a really big moment for me. This is a transition from the show that I think is meaning more to me than I think anybody knows. I think to have this show end is going to be such an incredibly emotional moment for me. Not only because of the show and the cast and the crew and that family aspect, but it's an era of my life that's going to be gone – and it is my twenties, basically. It's one of the most important decades of my life was spent with this show. And I owe it absolutely everything. No one would know my name if it wasn't for that show, and I wouldn't have any opportunity if it wasn't for this show, to sort of grow up and have that show support me. If someone asks me ‘What would you do if we gave you the keys?’ ‘This is the movie that I'd do if you gave me the keys.’ This is the kind of thing I've always been interested in. These are the characters that I've always been interested in watching or interested in playing, so I really want to do it more. And to have this team surrounding me – to write with Matt and to have Gus on board – it was so surreal and so inspiring, but also probably spoiled me because now I'm just like, ‘All I have to do is write some sort of document, then all of a sudden, Matt Damon and Gus Van Sant will sign on. How hard is this, folks?’ I don't know how the next ones are going to turn out, but also at home my wife was hugely supportive. And I'd always heard that story that the blank, white page is a scary thing. I'm like, ‘Come on – there are bigger things to be scared of.’ Then you sit down, and you realize, like, ‘Wow, that IS pretty scary.’ So she was the one who just kept saying ‘You can do it,’ and ‘Get up there and give it a couple more hours.’ And sure enough, it clicked, and I really, really loved it. So I'm going to give it a shot, and hopefully keep going as long as there's stories that I can tell well. And until then, I'll at least give it a shot.

Photo Credit: Focus Features]]>
<![CDATA["The Voice" Crowns Cassadee Pope]]> Wed, 19 Dec 2012 05:42:13 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/cassadee-pope.jpg

Cassadee Pope was named the Season 3 champion of "The Voice," after surviving more than three months of weekly scrutiny from packed houses, national television audiences and four certified music stars, as well as 63 other hopefuls.

"I feel amazing, thank you to everyone who voted for me, Blake… Seriously, it's been so fun," said Pope.

Pope beat out Terry McDermott and Nicholas David, who finished second and third, respectively, on the strength of Monday's soaring rendition of Fath Hill's "Cry."

Mentor Blake Shelton basked in the victory, while fellow judges Cee Lo Green, a tuxedoed Adam Levine and birthday girl Christina Aguilera could only applaud.

Along with the title of Season 3 champ, Pope will get $100,000 and a record contract with Universal Record Group. But no one walked away empty-handed, as all three were presented with the keys to a new KIA car earlier in the evening.

Judge Blake Shelton came into the night supporting two finalists, Cassadee Pope and Terry McDermott, while Cee Lo Green was backing Nicholas David.

This marked Shelton's second win as a coach. Last year’s champ, Jermaine Paul, had also been a member of Team Blake, while Season 1 Champ Javier Colon had been mentored by Adam Levine.

Though all the finalists took the stage Tuesday night, the victor was determined by Monday's performances. Pope was the last finalist to sing, taking on Sheryl Crow’s “Steve McQueen,” with an assist from Shelton, before going solo on "Cry."

Before the coronation, however, was a night of live music from some of music's biggest stars, all four judges and one R&B legend.

Rihanna began the evening's entertainment with a performance of her twelfth No.1 hit, “Diamonds,” giving an atypically reserved delivery.

All the other finalists came back to sing: Amanda Brown, Trevin Hunte and Dez Duron teamed up with Nicholas David to sing the Boyz II Men classic “End of the Road,” in what was the best of the "bring-back" performances.

But the highlight of the evening had to be Motown great Smokey Robinson and Nicholas David doing a duet on Robinson's timeless 1979 hit, "Cruisin'." The Killers took a respite form their tour to sing "Here With Me," with a little help from Pope; Kelly Clarkson did "Catch My Breath" with an assist from McDermott and Pope.

McDermott did a duet with Peter Frampton of Frampton's "Baby, I Love Your Way"; Bruno Mars distinguished himself among the current crop of pop stars wih a soulful take on his new single, "When I Was Your Man"; and Avril Lavigne sang "I'm With You" with Pope.

For the final song of the evening, Shelton, Levine, Aguilera and Green set aside competitive differences long enough to do a version of Green Day's "Time of Your Life," with Levine playing acoustic guitar, as a montage of the four of them played out on screens at the back of the stage.

It was something of a goodbye, as this was the final show all four judges would do together, as Usher and Shakira will be replacing Aguilera and Green as judges for Season 4.

Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Miss Universe Contestants]]> Wed, 19 Dec 2012 08:11:17 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/miss+universe+11.JPG The 89 Miss Universe 2012 contestants showed off their dresses in the evening gown competition. The women will compete for the crown on Wednesday Dec. 19 at PH Live in Las Vegas, Nevada. The pageant will be broadcast live on NBC at 8 p.m. ET.]]> <![CDATA[Jenni Rivera Memorial Date Set]]> Tue, 18 Dec 2012 14:45:08 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Jenni+Rivera.jpg

The family of Jenni Rivera announced that a private memorial service will be held for the recently deceased singer on Wednesday at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Los Angeles.

The memorial - called a "Celestial Graduation" by her family - will be held from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and be led by Minister Pedro Rivera Jr.

"We will celebrate the graduation into heaven, with honors, of our beloved mother, daughter and sister Jenni Rivera," the statement read. "We appreciate the privacy and discretion given to the family on the day she is laid to rest. The burial services will be privately held."

Rivera died when the private plane she was traveling on crashed in a mountainous region of Mexico on Dec. 9.

Born in Long Beach, Calif., to Mexican immigrant parents, Rivera sold more than 15 million albums worldwide throughout her career and was a household name in Mexico and to Spanish speaking communities throughout the United States.

The 43-year-old mother of five was one of the biggest stars of banda, a brass-based, percussive form of Spanish-language pop music invented in northern Mexico but played heavily throughout the American Southwest. Banda traditionally was the domain of men, and Rivera's emergence and eventual dominance in the genre was groundbreaking.

Rivera's fame was expanding prior to the crash, thanks to a stint on television as the star of her own reality series "I Love Jenni" on Telemundo's mun2 cable channel, and the recent announcement that she had signed to take the lead role in a sitcom for ABC.

The company that owns the luxury jet on which she was traveling is under investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and the agency seized two of its planes earlier this year as part of the ongoing probe.

The Rivera family requested that in lieu of flowers at the memorial, donations be made to the Jenni Rivera Love Foundation - the charity founded by the singer which offers support services to single mothers and victims of both domestic and sexual abuse.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA["The Voice" Soars]]> Tue, 18 Dec 2012 08:05:47 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/edt-the-voice-coaches-ah.jpg

 The first sign that "The Voice" was poised for its strongest season yet came early on, during the blind auditions.

Unlike the usual "American Idol" initial mix of the brilliant, the bad and the borderline psychotic, the four "Voice" coaches faced – or chose not to face – singers all seemingly worth a turn of the chair.

Three months later, “The Voice” is headed for a dramatic Season 3 finale, powered by some outstanding performers with a talent quotient reminiscent of the glory days of “Idol” – but with sounds all their own.

"The Voice" isn't ending without an "Idol"-style controversy. We're among those furious that Trevin Hunte, whose stunning performance of "And I am Telling You I am Not Going" proved the season highlight, got booted Dec. 11.

Still, his unfortunate departure highlights a depth of talent that can be seen ­– and heard – in the three remaining contenders: Nicholas David, who looks and sings like a latter-day Doobie Brother; Scottish rocker Terry McDermott, who looks like a Bay City Roller and sings like Rod Stewart; and Cassadee Pope, who looks like she might very well take the top prize and exit singing a happy tune.

McDermott and Pope are on Blake Shelton’s team, while David is a protégé of Cee Lo Green, leaving fellow coaches Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera out of the grand finale mix. But that’s just a subplot: While the coaches and their rivalries are a key part of the show, the primary emphasis of “The Voice” is where it belongs – on the contestants.
That’s probably the biggest difference between the NBC show and Fox’s “Idol,” which has suffered in recent years from panelist shufflings that too often overshadow the music. “The X Factor,” which is set for its own season finale on Fox this week, benefited from the additions of Britney Spears and Demi Lovato this season. But the bickering – particularly former “Idol” bad guy Simon Cowell vs. Lovato, and Cowell vs. L.A. Reid – detracts from strong performers like 13-year-old Carly Rose Sonenclar, perhaps the best bet to earn the top prize, a $5 million recording contract.
Sure, the banter among the coaches on “The Voice” can get heated. But Shelton, Levine, Green and Aguilera frequently encourage and praise rival acts – a stark contrast from, say, Reid’s bitter criticism of Cowell’s favorite group of the moment, Fifth Harmony.
The novelty of “The Voice,” of course, could fade, and the show could be risking overexposure by producing 30 one or two-hour installments over 14 weeks. Next season, Usher and Shakira are set to spell Green and Aguilera for a cycle, potentially altering the so-far winning chemistry.
Season 4 is expected to arrive in the spring, when “Idol,” still the big daddy of the genre, is a couple of months into its 12th outing. The new judges lineup boasts Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj, whose battling already is making publicity friendly headlines, as well as Keith Urban and holdover Randy Jackson.

In the end, success – at least for the contestants – should come down to whose voice soars highest. The two-night “Voice” finale on Monday and Tuesday seems worth a spin of the chair to face the music. In the meantime, check out a promo below:



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 the former City Editor of the New York Daily News, where he started as a reporter in 1992. Follow him on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Globe Noms: For the Love of History]]> Mon, 16 Dec 2013 13:56:37 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/edt-annehathaway.jpg

Steven Spielberg's civil-war set drama "Lincoln" led the way with seven nods when the Hollywood Foreign Press announced the Golden Globe Award nominations in Hollywood.

Proof once again that when it comes to getting attention at the Globes, the more historical your vehicle (real or imagined) the more love the Hollywood Foreign Press is likely to bestow.

A quick look back at films that have walked away winners at the Globes for best picture in either a drama or comedy/musical show a long history for works that imagine the past: "Amadeus" (1985), "Out of Africa" (1986), "The Last Emperor" (1988), "Driving Miss Daisy" (1990), "Schindler's List" (1994), "Titanic" (1998), "Shakespeare in Love" (1999), "Gladiator" (2001), "Chicago" (2003), "The Aviator" (2005) and "Dreamgirls" (2007).

It's only been in recent years that the HFPA has cast its eyes more consistently to current times, rewarding films such as "Slumdog Millionaire" (2008), "The Social Network" (2011) and "The Descendants" (2011).

That streak looks to be threatened with "Lincoln's" seven nominations, among them best director for Spielberg, best drama, best screenplay and acting honors for Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones. These follow in the wake of four earlier nominations from the Screen Actors Guild and a record-breaking 13 nominations for the Critics Choice Movie Awards.

"Django Unchained," Quentin Tarantino's brutal revenge western, also received a large helping of award nomination love. The film, which scored Globe nominations for best drama, director, supporting actors (Leonardo DiCaprio and Christoph Waltz) and screenplay, was completely shut out of the Screen Actors Guild nominations in favor of "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Les Miserables."

Full List of 2013 Golden Globe Nominees

History-based drama from a more modern age was acknowledged with the Ben Affleck-directed Iran hostage crisis thriller "Argo" muscling in with four nominations for best drama, director, supporting actor (Alan Arkin) and screenplay.

And in the comedy-musical category, "Les Miserables" is the heavy-weight contender to compete with "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," "Moonrise Kingdom," "Salmon Fishing in Yemen," "Silver Linings Playbook."

When it came to small screen fare, it was history-in-the-making that received the most attention. The Sarah Palin biopic "Game Change" racked up five nominations for best miniseries, actor (Woody Harrelson), actress (Julianne Moore), supporting actor (Ed Harris) and supporting actress (Sarah Paulson). Coming in second with four nods was the terrorist plot-based series "Homeland" up for best drama, actor (Damian Lewis), actress (Claire Danes) and supporting actor (Mandy Patinkin).

Another notable inclusion here was "Political Animals," the now canceled TV drama that revolved around a Hillary Clinton-esque Washington politician played by Sigourney Weaver that will compete for best miniseries and best actress (Weaver). The stiff upper lip of PBS darling "Downton Abbey" received three nominations: best drama, best actress (Michelle Dockery) and supporting actress (Maggie Smith, who also was named to the best actress comedy/musical category for "Quartet").

Offering up accolades in categories that cover drama, comedy and musicals on both big and small screens, it's no surprise the remaining list of nominees for the award ceremony set for Jan. 13 comprises a mixed bag of familiar names (Meryl Streep for "Hope Springs", Helen Mirren for "Hitchcock," Julia Louis-Dreyfus for "Veep"), already celebrated titles ("Les Miserables," "Zero Dark Thirty"  with four nominations apiece) and few new, or left field inclusions ("Salmon Fishing in the Yemen," "Moonrise Kingdom," "Girls," the leading ladies of "Nashville").

"Yemen" - a gentle, comedy of manners from Britain - was a big surprise when it was announced it would compete in the best comedy/musical category as well as best acting for leads Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor. Released in March, the inclusion has turned the audience-appreciated yet oddly titled indie into the dark horse of the Globes.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler Sparkle in Golden Globes Promo

New additions to this year's race are Connie Britton and Hayden Panetierre, who showed their singing chops on TV's "Nashville" to earn nominations for best actress and best supporting actress respectively. The love-it or loathe-it HBO series "Girls" scored two times for best series comedy and best actress (show creator and writer Lena Dunham). And Aaron Sorkin's "The Newsroom," also from HBO, is up for best series drama and best actor Jeff Daniels.

Wes Anderson’s films have long been Oscar bait but ignored by the HFPA. "Moonrise Kingdom's" elevation to the best picture comedy/musical category is a pleasant surprise, though it was the only recognition it received with Anderson failing to score a berth in the best director category.

A small screen snub went to "Mad Men," left hanging with only one nomination going to Jon Hamm in the best actor drama category.

Following last years' Globe love-fest of raunchy comedy "Bridesmaids," rumors swirled that the potty-mouthed teddy bear buddy comedy "Ted," directed by Seth MacFarlane, would be up for acknowledgment. No such luck as the Mark Wahlberg vehicle was noticeably absent when the nominees were revealed.

Adding extra comedy fodder to their hosting duties is the race between Amy Poehler ("Parks and Recreation") and Tina Fey ("30 Rock"), both named to the best actress TV comedy category. With former Globe winner Fey and former nominee Poehler both riding high on their current television success, the biggest winners on the night could end up being the viewers.

The Golden Globes, hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, will be broadcast live on NBC Jan. 13.

Photo Credit: Universal]]>
<![CDATA[Golden Globes 2013: The Nominees Are...]]> Thu, 10 Jan 2013 19:31:36 -0700 Best Picture, Drama
"Argo," "Lincoln," "Zero Dark Thirty" (above), "Life of Pi," and "Django Unchained."]]>
Best Picture, Drama
"Argo," "Lincoln," "Zero Dark Thirty" (above), "Life of Pi," and "Django Unchained."]]>
See who's in the running for the 2013 Golden Globes on Jan. 13.

Photo Credit: jonathanolley.co.uk]]>
<![CDATA[Music, Comedy Heavyweights Rock Sandy Benefit Concert]]> Sun, 16 Dec 2012 15:45:38 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Sandy+Concert_03.jpg Bon Jovi, Jon Stewart and Adam Sandler were among the stars who took the stage to raise money for victims of the superstorm.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Globes: 20 Years of Winning Movie Actresses]]> Mon, 05 Jan 2015 15:36:35 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/golden_globes.jpg From Emma Thompson to Michelle Williams, take a look back at the last two decades of Golden Globe-winning movie actresses.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Globes: 20 Years of Winning TV Actresses]]> Mon, 05 Jan 2015 15:35:55 -0700 Claire Danes (above) of "Homeland" was named Best Actress in a Drama, and Laura Dern of "Enlightened" was named Best Actress in a Comedy. ]]> Claire Danes (above) of "Homeland" was named Best Actress in a Drama, and Laura Dern of "Enlightened" was named Best Actress in a Comedy. ]]> http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*232/137119023_10.jpg Two decades of TV legends.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[2013 SAG Nominations: Full List]]> Wed, 12 Dec 2012 09:10:00 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Les+Mis+-+Artwork.jpg.jpg

Historical dramas "Lincoln" and "Les Miserables" and modern dramedy "Silver Linings Playbook" lead the Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations with four each.

The list of films in contention for the awards were announced early Wednesday morning in Los Angeles. Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," the film adaptation of the Victor Hugo stage musical "Les Miserables" and "Silver Linings Playbook" were all nominated for best ensemble cast along with the Ben Affleck-directed Iran-hostage thriller "Argo" and ex-pat British comedy "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel."

Historical dramas also held sway when it came to primetime television nods for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a drama series with the prohibition-era set "Boardwalk Empire" facing off against the stiff upper lip of PBS darling "Downton Abbey" and "Mad Men."  "Homeland" and "Breaking Bad" round out the category. 

The list lands just a day prior to the announcement of the nominations for the Golden Globes, and ramps up anticipation for a busy awards season that culminates with the Academy Awards in February.

The full list of SAG Award nominations are as follows:

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

DANIEL DAY-LEWIS / Abraham Lincoln - "LINCOLN” (Touchstone Pictures)
JOHN HAWKES / Mark - "THE SESSIONS" (Fox Searchlight)
HUGH JACKMAN / Jean Valjean - "LES MISÉRABLES" (Universal Pictures)
DENZEL WASHINGTON / Whip Whitaker - "FLIGHT" (Paramount Pictures)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
JESSICA CHASTAIN / Maya - "ZERO DARK THIRTY” (Columbia Pictures)
MARION COTILLARD / Stephanie - “RUST AND BONE” (Sony Pictures Classics)
HELEN MIRREN / Alma Reville - “HITCHCOCK” (Fox Searchlight)
NAOMI WATTS / Maria - “THE IMPOSSIBLE” (Summit Entertainment)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
ALAN ARKIN / Lester Siegel - “ARGO” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
JAVIER BARDEM / Silva - "SKYFALL" (Columbia Pictures)
ROBERT DE NIRO / Pat, Sr. - "SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK" (The Weinstein Company)
PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN / Lancaster Dodd - “THE MASTER” (The Weinstein Company)
TOMMY LEE JONES / Thaddeus Stevens - “LINCOLN” (Touchstone Pictures)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
SALLY FIELD / Mary Todd Lincoln - "LINCOLN" (Touchstone Pictures)
ANNE HATHAWAY / Fantine - “LES MISÉRABLES” (Universal Pictures)
HELEN HUNT / Cheryl - “THE SESSIONS” (Fox Searchlight)
NICOLE KIDMAN / Charlotte Bless - "THE PAPERBOY” (Millennium Entertainment)
MAGGIE SMITH / Muriel Donnelly - “THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL” (Fox Searchlight)

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
KEVIN COSTNER / “Devil Anse” Hatfield - “HATFIELDS & McCOYS” (History)
BILL PAXTON / Randall McCoy - “HATFIELDS & McCOYS” (History)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
CHARLOTTE RAMPLING / Eva Delectorskaya - “RESTLESS” (Sundance Channel)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
JON HAMM / Don Draper - “MAD MEN” (AMC)
DAMIAN LEWIS / Nicholas Brody - “HOMELAND” (Showtime)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
CLAIRE DANES / Carrie Mathison - “HOMELAND” (Showtime)
MAGGIE SMITH / Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham - “DOWNTON ABBEY” (PBS)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
ALEC BALDWIN / Jack Donaghy - “30 ROCK” (NBC)
LOUIS C.K. / Louie - “LOUIE” (FX)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
EDIE FALCO / Jackie Peyton - “NURSE JACKIE” (Showtime)
TINA FEY / Liz Lemon - “30 ROCK” (NBC)
SOFIA VERGARA / Gloria Delgado-Pritchett - “MODERN FAMILY” (ABC)
BETTY WHITE / Elka Ostrovsky - “HOT IN CLEVELAND” (TV Land)

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series


Screen Actors Guild 49th Annual Life Achievement Award

<![CDATA["Futurama" Hits Blu-Ray]]> Tue, 11 Dec 2012 16:45:07 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/214*120/futurama+still.jpg

When “Futurama’s” Professor Farnsworth announces “Good news, everyone!” what follows is usually not as genuinely exciting as what the immediate future holds for fans of the cult favorite sci-fi skewering animated series, which first debuted on Fox in 1999 and is currently enjoying a successful second life on Comedy Central.

Not only is the show’s seventh season now available for the holidays (if Robot Santa doesn’t deem you too naughty to live), another 13 episodes are currently in production and slated to air next summer.

Producer David X. Cohen, who co-created the series with “The Simpsons” visionary Matt Groening, looks back at the current collection of episodes – which includes one of the series’ most off-kilter (and hilarious) efforts – provides a glimpse into PlaneT Express’ future adventures.

Creatively, what made you happy about the most recent season?

The craziest thing is the 13th and final episode on this DVD that is called ‘Naturama.’ And as a former science guy myself, it was a challenge to do an episode which was more science-based rather than science fiction-based. This is one of our triple-decker episodes where we do three mini-stories, and the characters are re‑imagined as animals living in the wild in each one of these three things.

We tried as much as we could to keep it very scientifically accurate: we have an episode about the last Pinta Island Tortoise, which is this giant tortoise in the Galapagos represented by Professor Farnsworth in our episode. It was really kind of creepy because we showed his life in the wild trying to find a mate in the Galapagos, and like a week before it came on the air, the real last of its kind tortoise had just died, which became world-wide news.

Was there another one that kind of stood out for you that was just an extra bit of fun?

The very first episode, “The Bots and the Bees” – “Bender has a kid” is the basic idea of the episode, and right away when you hear it, you're like, “Uh-oh – it's going to be where he's going to jump-the-shark territory when they're adding a kid to the show.” And we wanted to fight that right away. It's got a lot more pointed jokes, violent jokes, Bender mistreating his kid badly – and after all was said and done, it ended up actually being very touching, which I wasn’t expecting.

How much involvement does Matt Groening have at this point?

The nice thing about it for him is our offices are literally about a hundred yards from “The Simpsons'”offices here at Fox. As he likes to say, he can tell the folks at “Futurama” that he's at “The Simpsons,” and then he can tell people at “The Simpsons” that he's at “Futurama,” and then go to the beach. But in reality, he wanders back and forth. So he’s not here every minute, obviously, between two shows in the air, and he was still doing his comic strip even until this year, but he is here quite a bit.

And you still have more new shows coming up next summer. What can you tease, as far as some storylines or characters that are going to get some attention?

I'll tell you a little bit about next summer's three-parter: we've established this pattern where we make one of these specials per summer now. So next summer's three-parter is probably the writing staff's favorite of the group coming out for 2013. It's called “Saturday Morning Fun Pit.” And this one you will see “Futurama” re‑imagined as three different morning cartoons like, as I call them, Crap-tastic morning cartoons in the 70s and 80s. I can give you the name of the segments, and that will give you a hint of what you're in for: The first one is called “Bendy Boo and the Mystery Crew.” The second one is called “Purpleberry Pond,” and the third one is called G.I. Zapp”

As a connoisseur of so much science fiction as fodder for "Futurama" episodes, is there an homage or a trope that you haven't been able to crack yet?

There were some definitely, lying, untouched when the first run ended. When the DVD movies came out, we had these big areas that we had not done. For example, “Lord of the Rings”-type fantasy, which we did one of the DVDs about. And even really monster movies, which is sort of a section of “The Beast With a Billion Backs.” So at that point in “Futurama’s” history I would definitely say yes, there are big areas that we haven't trod upon. It's a little harder for me to think of obvious candidates now.

I'm guessing you're probably keeping your eye on the current stuff to see what you can tweak.

I read a lot of science fiction – well, I listen to it in my car on audio books. But I can't think of any huge areas. There was one other big area that we did not do until last year. That is an alternate history genre which we finally last year did this one where they messed up history, and the British had control of the United States in the year 3000.

“Futurama” has some of the best tie-in merchandise ever. Do you have a favorite?

I do have a favorite! There's a new thing out which I would never have believed would come into existence: It is the vinyl Hypnotoad. It's relatively new. It just came out. It came out one month ago. It's really beautiful. It has lenticular eyes. It vibrates when you tilt it back and forth. It's like lovingly sculpted, and it’s got its pet collar on. So if you had told me ten years ago, this side character, Hypnotoad – we had just created it, never said one word. It's still never said an actual word on “Futurama” – there was to be a toy of Hypnotoad. I definitely would have called you a horrible liar. Not so – It exists! That's stranger-than-fiction in the “Futurama” merchandise realm, so go out and get your Hypnotoad!

Photo Credit: Matt Groening/]]>
<![CDATA[Cher On Meeting David Geffen]]> Tue, 11 Dec 2012 14:56:15 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/cher2.jpg Cher chats at the premiere of "Inventing David Geffen" about the first time she met David. What was her first impression of him? Plus, how has their friendship blossomed over the years?

Photo Credit: WireImage]]>
<![CDATA[Going for Golden Globes Gold]]> Mon, 16 Dec 2013 13:56:38 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/golden_globe.jpg

Actors Ed Helms, Megan Fox and Jessica Alba will join the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Thursday morning to announce its Golden Globe nominations, and this year's likely list of movie winners is rich with historical dramas.

"Zero Dark Thirty," the new film about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, has been dominating the early awards season, having racked up a few Best Picture nods, as well as honors for director Kathryn Bigelow, screenwriter Mark Boal and star Jessica Chastain. "The Hurt Locker," Bigelow's and Boal's previous collaboration, earned them Globe nominations—this new film should improve on that success, with an additional nod for Chastain, and possibly co-star Jason Clarke.

Other dramas expected to be in the mix will be Ben Affleck's "Argo," about the rescue of six Americans during the Iran Hostage Crisis; Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," with a typically brilliant turn by Daniel Day-Lewis; "Skyfall," among the best 007 films ever made; writer-director Quentin Tarantino's slave-revenge epic "Django Unchained"; and director Ang Lee's "Life of Pi," the lushest, most visually ambitious film of the year.

"Les Mis," "Lincoln," "Silver Linings Playbook" lead 2013 Screen Actors Guild Award nominations

The Globes also recognize film comedies, too, and this year had lots of inventive ones likely to be included when the nominations happen at 8 a.m. ET Thursday on NBC.

Writer-director Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom" is a sweet and sentimental look at young love, and featured a great cast. "21 Jump Street" and "Ted" caught everyone by surprise and are good candidates.

"Pitch Perfect," starring Anna Kendrick as a reluctant a capella singer, has already made one top 10 list; the silver-haired rom-com "Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" is right in the Globes' wheelhouse with its British pedigree and aging stars; and "Silver Linings Playbook," starring Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro is the thinking person's feel-good comedy of 2012.

Unfortunately, much of the Golden Globe success they enjoy will be mostly limited to the nominations, as there's an 800-pound gorilla looming: "Les Miserables." Comedy films are lumped together with Musicals, and the Hollywood Foreign Press is a sucker for a musical, naming one best picture five times in the last 11 years.

And "Les Mis" has it all, with a director (Tom Hooper) and five cast members (Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, Helena Bonham-Carter and Sacha Baron-Cohen) who've previously been nominated for Globes, as well as a new song from Claude-Michel Schonberg, the film will likely be nominated in at least six categories, and possibly seven if they decide to put Anne Hathaway up as a lead actress.

The frontrunners among the TV dramas are mostly seasoned veterans—"Mad Men," "Breaking Bad," "Game of Thrones"—or reigning champions, like "Homeland," but there's one noticeable, and controversial, newcomer.

Aaron Sorkin's "The Newsroom," made a splash last season. Its rapid-fire dialog, strident lefty politics and dubious portrayal of women had people talking from the first episode to the last. The HFPA has nominated Sorkin's film work five times in the past, and "The West Wing," which he created, was nominated 20 times. For all the show's problems, star Jeff Daniels has been excellent, making even the weakest episodes somewhat compelling, and should find his name called.

There also is a new wrinkle in the TV categories:  "Downton Abbey." The PBS drama had previously run as a miniseries, but now confesses it is a full-fledged series. With "Downton" out of the miniseries field, it clears the way for the A&E western "The Hatfield & McCoys" and HBO's "Game Change," about John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin for his running mate in the 2008 presidential election.

On the comedy side of the aisle, two other shows from HBO's Sunday night lineup are the most likely to get some love Thursday morning. "Girls" and its creator, Lena Dunham, were among the most controversial figures on the television landscape, with legions of people watching the show just to hate it and others watching it to love it. "Girls" and its creator have ridden a roller coaster of backlash and backlash against the backlash, but it's a great show and is sure to be nominated.

And then there's "Veep," starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the ceaselessly put-upon vice president. JLD has already won the Emmy for this role, and the HFPA has nominated her three times in the past, so she's apt to get another nod.

If you're looking for the HFPA to recognize a dark horse or sentimental favorite, Larry Hagman, who passed away Nov. 23, could get the nod for reprising his role as oil tycoon J.R. Ewing in TNT's reboot of "Dallas." The HFPA nominated Hagman for the role four times when the show originally aired in the '80s.

The Golden Globes nominations will air at 8 a.m. ET Thursday on NBC. The awards, hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, will be broadcast on NBC Jan. 13.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA["Mission Impossible" Bombshell Barbara Bain Remains Explosive]]> Mon, 10 Dec 2012 16:36:10 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/196*120/mission+impossible+original+cast.jpg

When the spy craze of the 1960s infiltrated the pop culture, “Mission Impossible’s” Cinnamon Carter was the very model of the undercover agent: capable, chameleon-like and oh-so-cool, with more than a hint of spice. And given that the character was inspired by the woman who played her, actress Barbara Bain continues to prove just as able to slip past your defenses.

With the entire seven-season run of “Mission Impossible” now available in a collector’s set, Bain – who in her early 80s still maintains an very active acting and teaching career – recalls her stint on show’s initial three seasons, appearing alongside her husband at the time, actor Martin Landau.

It must be a real treat to see work that you did at that time in your life still be so valued.

It is very special. It is nice to know that something I did so long ago still has resonance. There's something very, very rewarding about it. And it was rewarding at the time. At that age, you don't think of longevity at all. We knew what we were doing we were doing very, very well. We were very proud of that show. It was a treat to do it, every aspect of it – the people involved, everything was just splendid.

When was it first presented to you, and what was the hook that made you and your husband at the time, Martin Landau, want to do it?

We were young actors and work was still very exciting. We had come from New York in a tour of a Broadway play and stayed here because all sorts of work offers kept showing up, so we never got back to New York though that was our intention.

There was an acting class that Martin was asked to teach. He was kind of the star pupil in the class where I met him, and here, he had already kind of had a reputation as he went along, as this New York actor who was so incredible. Martin wanted writers in the class to try to get them to act or at least just see what actors did, what the process was, and in that mix was Robert Towne – who went on to write “Chinatown” and many other wonderful things – and Bruce Geller. Bruce was, of course, the creator of “Mission Impossible.”

It started in that class. He wrote the role of Rollin Hand, the Man of a Thousand Faces, for Martin. The part was written for Martin and The Girl, as she was first called, Bruce didn't tell me at the time that I had kind of crept into his conscious as he was writing it, and he wanted a girl who had these qualities. He wanted her to be terribly sexy and terribly smart, and the combination was not sort of exactly running around in Hollywood at the time. You were either the dumb blonde, or the intellectual, nice person that lived next door. He wanted this combination, and, he said, there I was. He never told me that he actually wrote it for me until after I was cast, and I auditioned over and over and over with all kinds of other folks.

Behind the scenes, the IMF’s boss was Lucille Ball, who owned Desilu at the time.

The last person who had to approve me was Lucy, because she owned the show, she developed it. I was told to go to her office, and she had to approve me, ultimately, for that role. And the approval process consisted of walking into her little bungalow there on the Desilu lot, and she looked at me, up and down, twice, and then said, ‘Looks all right to me!” And that was it. And then we launched this extraordinary experience.

What an extraordinary time, too, because you guys were shooting on the Desilu lot right next door to the original “Star Trek” series.

I remember being in the makeup room when [“Star Trek” makeup artist] Freddy Phillips was checking the ears on Leonard Nimoy. There we were, having a good time. Oh, it was fun, and it was sort of the last moments of the old studio system, so everything was still done in that way: somebody broke one of my windows in my car and I drove in with it, and before I went home it was fixed – there were all these sort of amenities. It was kept like a little town – Desilu’s lot was like a small town, self-contained.

What do you think it was that clicked between you and the character of Cinnamon?

That was just a sheer joy to have the chance not only to play Cinnamon Carter but have the chance of playing an independent woman. It was very rare on television to not have somebody saying, ‘Yes, dear. No, dear, and stirring the pot.’ I wasn't somebody's wife. I wasn’t in a Western begging them not to fight and kill each other. Those were pretty much the roles – I did play any number of gun molls and dumb blondes prior to that. It was a chance to play a woman that was smart and up there with the boys, capable and on the level of all of these professionals – and that did have an impact because, again, a lot of women stopped me and they’d tell me, I was inspired by Cinnamon to do this and this. And they'd tell me their life story in the supermarket, and that's good. For me, I find that rewarding as well.

Have you kept up with the Tom Cruise film series at all?

No. In fact, I've not seen any one of them. It had nothing to do with what we did. We were a team. It was a team show. This was for Cruise, and I couldn't fault it. Paramount set out to make money on a property they owned, and they did. I had no quarrel with that, and as such, has nothing to do with me.

You continue to be very busy. What keeps you excited about going to work?

I love it. I just love the fun of it. The fun and the challenge, I'm always interested in,”Oh, what would I do about that? How about that?” I spend time at the Actor's Studio – I still am a member. I teach. I've been teaching at a private class for young actors. I feel like it's something to hand down. I've done two plays this year - one was written for me- and had nice runs in both of them, directed two plays and actually did two films, so it's been just swell! Who would have thought? I'm just pleased. And I don't have a complaint in the world about this career that I've had and how it started so well. That was a great launch that I had with “Mission,” and I value it and everything since in terms of work.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Charity Rocks]]> Mon, 10 Dec 2012 15:18:06 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/175*120/Eric+Clapton+003.jpg

The lineup for Wednesday's 12/12/12 show at Madison Square Garden brims with superstars: Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Kanye West, the Rolling Stones and The Who, among many others. But in one sense, the most significant performer on the packed bill is Eric Clapton.

The guitar great formerly know as "God" offers a direct link to The Concert for Bangladesh – the 1971 landmark show that forever tied rock and causes, giving an early taste of the power of musicians to raise money and awareness in times of major crisis.

Four decades later, the 12/12/12 fundraiser for victims of Hurricane Sandy is poised to become the most-watched benefit yet, with a record 2 billion viewers worldwide able to join the 20,000 fans packing the Garden, via television and the Internet.

When George Harrison asked Clapton, Ringo Starr, Bob Dylan and other pals to join him at the Garden for two shows on Aug. 1, 1971, he couldn't have known what would come. Getting the lineup together proved the easy part – some funds were tied up for years.

Still, the concert served as both inspiration – and cautionary tale – for all that followed, most notably the epic Bob Geldof-organized Live Aid in 1985, a cross-Atlantic affair that included Clapton. Since then, we've come to expect benefit shows in times of trouble, from The Concert for New York after 9/11 to the “Hope for Haiti Now” telethon, which followed the 2010 earthquake that devastated the Caribbean nation.

There’s a danger with the proliferation of star-studded benefits that the events will start to run into one another in the collective memory – or even worse, overshadow the cause. It’s likely that Live Aid is better known by many for the Led Zeppelin reunion and the classic performance by Queen (not to mention Clapton’s rendition of “Layla”), than for the reason Geldof sprung into action: famine in Ethiopia.

Whatever the cause, music-driven charity efforts are maturing and growing with time and technology. Farm Aid is still going 27 year later. Bono, whose U2 was among the headliners of the 2005 Live 8 concerts, formalized the bonds between aid, commerce and celebrity with the (PRODUCT) RED program to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa. The “Hope for Haiti Now” telethon became among the first to effectively exploit the clout of the Internet, spreading the show – and cause – to a wide audience.
That event was available to a then-record 640 million homes around the world. The reach of the Internet has only increased in the nearly three years since, setting the stage for an even larger audience for Wednesday’s fundraiser.
Music brings people together. And while it can’t instantly heal, perhaps it can at least help start the process. Sure, there will be major performers on the Garden stage for the show, which benefits the Robin Hood Foundation. But the most important stars will be the worldwide audience sharing a communal experience, which, hopefully, will spur folks to take action any way they can.

Contributing is a personal decision, but there's no excuse not to tune in. God – er, Clapton – will be watching.


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 the former City Editor of the New York Daily News, where he started as a reporter in 1992. Follow him on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Paul Parks]]>
<![CDATA[Jenni Rivera: On the Way to Becoming the "Latina Oprah"]]> Tue, 11 Dec 2012 08:23:18 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Fair-Gal-07.jpg

Jenni Rivera was on the cusp of finally attaining her professional dream to become a well known name in the American entertainment industry. With a hugely successful recording career and reality television program behind her, the 43-year-old mother of five had just signed to star in her own comedy sitcom for ABC.

That dream ended Sunday when the plane Rivera was traveling in crashed in a mountainous region of Mexico. All on board were killed according to reports.

"She said to me: 'People don't really know me [in America], and that's going to change,'" said Lee Hernandez, deputy editor of Latina magazine, who interviewed Rivera earlier in 2012.

Born in Long Beach, Calif., to Mexican immigrant parents, Rivera sold more than 15 million albums worldwide throughout her career and was a household name in Mexico and to Spanish speaking communities throughout the United States.

Rivera was one of the biggest stars of banda, a brass-based, percussive form of Spanish-language pop music invented in northern Mexico but played heavily throughout the American Southwest. Banda traditionally was the domain of men, and Rivera's emergence and eventual dominance in the genre was groundbreaking.

"She was the number one woman in an industry controlled by men," Peter Castro, deputy managing editor of People magazine told "Access Hollywood Live," Monday. Castro went as far as to liken Rivera to British superstar singer Adele for her performances of songs that often explored the tragic aspects of her own life.

By the time Rivera was 16 she was married and had given birth to her first daughter. A victim herself of physical abuse during that marriage, her daughter was sexually abused by her first husband who was eventually sentenced to life in prison for the crime in 2007. Rivera went on to marry two more times, had four more children and was most recently wed to the former major-league pitcher Esteban Loaiza. The couple filed for divorce in the fall.

In 2010 she was named spokesperson for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and founded the Jenni Rivera Love Foundation, which offered support services to single mothers and victims of both domestic and sexual abuse.

There appeared to be nothing fake or phony about Jenni Rivera, who spoke openly about her life and recalled to CNN in 2010 that she once sold cans for scrap metal and helped at her family's flea market stand during her adolescence in Los Angeles.

"Staying defeated, crying and suffering was not an option," she said to CNN of her life's tragedies. "I had to get off my feet, dust myself off and press on. That's what I want to teach my daughters."

"I Love Jenni," a televised reality show on Telemundo's mun2 cable channel began airing in 2011 and followed Rivera as she took her life on the road and juggled the demands of stardom and everyday family life. She also was a judge on the TV show, "La Voz... Mexico" ("The Voice, Mexico"), to which she was en route to continue filming when the plane crash occurred.

"She told me she wanted to be the Latina Oprah," said Hernandez. "She wanted to have her own talk show. Becoming known to American audiences was the next big thing for her."

With the announcement of the sitcom in development at ABC, that dream was finally within reach. The family-based comedy was to star Rivera as a strong, single Latina woman struggling to deal with what life throws at her.

Hernandez says her loss cannot be underestimated, particularly to Latinas: "She was one of the biggest stars in the Latina community, our readers are so saddened by the news of her death. They are devastated. And the reason they are so sad is because she was a survivor already. Every single drama you could ever imagine she survived. So for her to go down in the plane crash after surviving everything she went through, and for empowering Latinas to look at their obstacles as something they can overcome is a big tragedy for her audience."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Wild Celebrity Teens: Miley Cyrus]]> Wed, 14 Aug 2013 07:58:51 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/cyrus_wild_P1.jpg It seems like only yesterday we were seeing the doe-eyed, fresh-faced stars of the teeny-bopper world being just adorable. But somewhere along the way, the teen stars acted out. These are the results.

Photo Credit: FilmMagic]]>
<![CDATA[American Giving Awards Honor Local Charities ]]> Sun, 09 Dec 2012 05:24:35 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/glenn+close+AGAs.jpg

The second annual American Giving Awards, a two-hour prime-time special that aired Saturday on NBC, honored community heroes—charitable organizations that are making a difference.

The biggest financial award, a $1 million grant from Chase Bank, the show’s sponsor, was given to the More Than Me Foundation, which helps get young girls off the street—and into schools—in the slums of Liberia, in West Africa.

Hosted by Joel McHale, from NBC’s “Community,” the American Giving Awards also featured such presenters as Jenna Fischer (“The Office”), Sarah Hyland (“Modern Family”), and Anthony Anderson (“Guys with Kids”).

Among the musical guests were country singers Randy Travis and Darius Rucker, the rock group Lifehouse and the vocal quartet The Tenors.

The Leadership Award was given to actress Glenn Close for her work with her non-profit organization Bring Change 2 Mind, which aims to end the stigma of mental illness. The cause is a personal one, because Close has family members that suffer from mental illness.

In an interview with Sandy Cohen of The Associated Press before the AGAs, Close explained how the award would help her cause: “It's huge. You don't see that many things about mental illness. ... That shows that mental illness is not a comfortable thing for people to talk about, and the fact that they are giving me this award and my family — my sister, two of her children and my daughter are going to come up with me — because I think the image of a family together surrounding and supporting their members who have mental illness, there's no words for it. That's where I'm so moved and honored by this recognition and excited, actually, that we can put that image on television."

Photo Credit: Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Road to "Epic Mickey" Not Your Typical Disney Adventure]]> Sun, 09 Dec 2012 19:38:16 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/212*120/Blot_59.jpg

The path to "Epic Mickey" and this year's "Epic Mickey 2" was far from your typical Disney adventure, ultimately involving the trade of a legendary sportscaster for an obscure cartoon character.

Disney knew their video game franchises needed a splash of color, and so to refresh their palette they went back to their black-and-white roots. In 2004, a couple of interns had a far-fetched idea: bring together one of Walt Disney’s first creations, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, with his most iconic.

Oswald, originally created for NBC Universal by Disney and collaborator Ub Iwerks, appeared in more than two dozen shorts in the late '20s, but had faded into obscurity by the mid-'40s.

Decades later, when ABC, a parent company of Disney, lost the rights to "Monday Night Football" and NBC was getting their "Sunday Night Football" underway, a top-flight announcer was a must. ABC had one in Al Michaels, and NBC had the rabbit that hadn’t been used in more than 80 years. The trade was made.

In the “Epic Mickey” video game, Oswald is the game’s reluctant villain. The mayor of “The Wasteland,” a place void of color where Disney’s forgotten characters live. At first, Disney didn’t immediately know how fans and gamers would respond to the character, but felt it was a calculated risk.

“People still care about the Disney properties,” said Warren Spector, the producer for both Epic Mickey titles. “They know how to rest their properties and when to bring them back. They have a great think tank. They came up with a great idea here.”

It was a gamble for Spector too, who made a living for nearly 30 years on cool RPGs such as "Ultima" and cyber-punk shooters the likes of "Deus Ex." His fans weren’t the Disney type, but he saw a golden opportunity to do something he’d never done before.

“In 2005, I pitched Disney this fantasy and science fiction game that they weren’t interested in. They said, ‘Nah, we don’t want that stuff,’” Spector, said. “Then they asked me how I would feel about working on a new Mickey Mouse game and bringing Oswald the Lucky Rabbit back? As a Disney fan and an animation geek, I was in.”

Behind Spector’s vision, "Epic Mickey" was a resounding success, as it sold nearly 3 million copies worldwide. It not only reintroduced Oswald’s character, but it proved he was still marketable.

“I knew that if we got through the first game that we’d have a great story for the second game,” Spector said.

Spector got his wish in the recently released “Epic Mickey 2,” where, this time, Oswald isn’t the villain. Instead, he’s alongside Mickey the entire journey.

A different experience from the single-player experience of the first title, Oswald and Mickey work together to solve the game’s plethora of puzzles. With Mickey using his brush to "rebuild" the Wasteland, he needs the flying and electrical abilities of Oswald to get through many obstacles and enemies he encounters. Only together can they save Oswald's home from a new group of baddies. Powered by an original Disney soundtrack and clever design, Spector is happy with the end product.

“I’m still honored and thrilled to be a part of this,” Spector said. “For the past 40 years I’ve been trying to get myself back to the feeling I had playing 'Dungeons & Dragons' for the first time with my friends and the power we had getting to tell our story. This is the first multi-player game I’ve done and hopefully the beginning of many more. My games were always about having someone tell their story, but this game is the first where people get to tell their story together.”

Spector knows that "Epic Mickey 2" isn’t for the same crowd that’s enjoyed his previous games or those who fancy "Halo 4." He especially knows those who watch Michaels on Sunday Night Football won't fall in love with his newest creation, but said it’s an experience many gamers will enjoy. If they give it a chance. 

“We made a game that connects to a broad audience,” Spector said. “We want to see older brothers playing with their younger brothers and parents playing with kids. At the same time, we don’t expect gamers to give up their ‘Call of Duty’ or ‘Grand Theft Auto’ for Mickey either, but we want all gamers to give Mickey Mouse a weekend. We think they’ll enjoy the change of pace.”

Photo Credit: Disney Games]]>
<![CDATA[Stephen Colbert Angles for S.C. Senate Seat]]> Fri, 07 Dec 2012 10:03:47 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/117226837.jpg

Late night comedy host, super PAC shepherd, presidential primary candidate… and senator?

Stephen Colbert is angling for the seat that South Carolina's Sen. Jim DeMint is vacating.

With all eyes on the state's Republican Gov. Nikki Haley, tasked with appointing a new senator to DeMint's post, the faux conservative "Colbert Report" host seemed to have plenty of support, too.

"Let's see, you want somebody young, somebody conservative, somebody from South Carolina, maybe somebody who had a super PAC…" the Charleston-bred host said on his show Thursday night.

Sound familiar?

"Now, folks, I'm not gonna sit here and say I should be South Carolina's next senator — not when so many other people are saying it for me!"

Among those other people: The New York Post, USA Today and Roll Call, he said. The Atlantic also weighed in.

"I know when I look at the U.S. Senate, I say to myself, 'You know what they could use? Another white guy,'" Colbert quipped.

He encouraged watchers to tweet at Haley why she should appoint him with the hashtag #SenatorColbert.

Haley responded to Colbert's interest with a Facebook post on Friday.

"Stephen, thank you for your interest in South Carolina's U.S. Senate seat and for the thousands of tweets you and your fans sent me," the Palmetto State governor said. "But you forget one thing, my friend. You didn't know our state drink. Big, big mistake."

Haley was referring to the pair's good-natured "Palmetto-off" on his show earlier this year, when Haley stumped him on the state drink.

"I didn't realize my state was so boring," Colbert said in that interview, on learning that his state drink was milk.

Check out the clip from Colbert's Thursday night show, replete with his Senate hopes, below. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Next on HBO: "Silicon Valley," the Sitcom]]> Fri, 07 Dec 2012 05:46:28 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/television_generic.jpg

The people behind "King of the Hill" and "Office Space" have just sold a sitcom pilot to HBO that focuses on Silicon Valley.

Deadline.com is reporting "Silicon Valley" will be shot next spring.

It's described as a dark comedy. It will be a single-camera shoot live-action comedy, which means no studio audience (ala 30 Rock).

It's set in the high tech gold rush of modern Silicon Valley, where the people most qualified to succeed are the least capable of handling success.

The sitcom is coming from King Of The Hill executive producers Mike Judge, John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky.   For now, they have only sold the pilot.

Silicon Valley is already on TV as a reality show. Randi Zuckerberg's series "Start-Ups: Silicon Valley" is airing right now Bravo.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: David Axelrod Slashes the 'Stache]]> Fri, 07 Dec 2012 06:45:37 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/axelrod_mostache_split.jpg

David Axelrod has lost his signature mustache — for a good cause.

President Barack Obama's senior strategist had his trademark feature shaved off on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Friday, in an appearance also broadcast on the "Today" show.

But while Axelrod is now a few whiskers poorer, the epilepsy research non-profit his wife runs is now more than $1 million richer.

"How are we feeling, David?" Joe Scarborough, host of "Morning Joe," asked him on the set of the political talk show.

"Faint," Axelrod said from his seat in a barber's chair, with his wife Susan by his side. "I was up all night, to be honest with you," he added.

After 40 years with his trademark 'stache, Axelrod had promised to shave it off if Susan Axelrod's organization Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy — a condition the couple's oldest child suffers from — could raise more than $1 million.

By Friday morning, the group had raised $1,049,797, according to the campaign's website.

Initially, Axelrod had made a bet with Scarborough over his facial hair concerning the presidential election, not epilepsy, promising to shave it off if Obama lost three key states. Scarborough was supposed to grow a mustache if he lost.

Axelrod won that bet, but public interest in the possibility of his bare face had already been piqued. Scarborough skirted his end of the bet, and the threat of having to grow a mustache, by offering to donate $10,000 to epilepsy research if Axelrod shaved his anyway.

The epilepsy fundraising drive reflected that interest. Donald Trump donated $100,000, while Obama, Carole King and 25,885 others also donated, according to Axelrod and his website. 

Trump, for one, said he felt his money was well spent and complimented Axelrod's new look, saying that it reminded him of his own father's.

"I think he looks great," Trump said in a phone call into "Morning Joe."

Photo Credit: NBC / AP ]]>
<![CDATA[Oscar Statuettes Company to Lay Off 95 Workers]]> Thu, 06 Dec 2012 14:12:27 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Oscar-Statue-crop.jpg

The Chicago-based maker of Hollywood's most coveted prize plans to lay off nearly 100 workers just before Christmas, the company reported.

R.S. Owens & Company, long-time manufacturers of Oscar statuettes, expects to lay off 95 employees on Dec. 17. The estimate was published in a report from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

R.S. Owens didn't report the cause of the layoffs, though the move comes after the company was acquired last month by Indianapolis-based St. Regis Crystal Inc. The acquisition goes into effect the same day as the planned layoffs.

At the time the company stated it still planned to make the Academy Awards statuettes as well as other top awards out of its northwest side location.

The company also manufacturers awards for the Emmys and MTV Music Awards.

<![CDATA[Stewart Credits U.N. Disabilities Treaty for Bringing McCain, Kerry Closer Together]]> Thu, 06 Dec 2012 11:48:07 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/StewartKerry.jpg

What could bring a Republican party leader out of retirement and two Senate rivals closer together?

The United Nations Disabilities Treaty, according to "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart.

Calling it "unasailable and unifying," Stewart pointed out that the proposal prompted Republican party leader and World War II veteran Bob Dole to come out of retirement to give it his personal endorsement. The proposal even caused current Senate rivals John McCain and John Kerry to engage in some good-natured ribbing. 

At a news concerence for the disabilities treaty, Republican Sen. John McCain responded to Democratic Sen. John Kerry's introduction with "Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary," ribbing the Massachusetts senator about recent talk that he could replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Kerry, known for his long-winded way of speaking, came back with a quick response that caught Stewart off guard.

"Thank you very much, Mr. President," Kerry blithely replied.

"Two things," Stewart said, after regaining his composure. "One, solid, concise joke. Two, a little disproportionate. McCain teased you about a job you might get, you hit him with the faiilure of his life."

To see more of Stewart's take on the U.N. Disabilities Treaty, check out the clip below, courtesy of Comedy Central:

<![CDATA[Behind the Scenes with Miss USA]]> Thu, 20 Dec 2012 09:41:03 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/miss+universe+20121.jpg Miss USA, Olivia Culpo reveals the look behind the official Miss USA apartment located in the heart of New York. Plus, the Rhode Island beauty tell us why Manhattan is the best place to be this holiday. You can watch Olivia compete for the Miss Universe crown December 19, live on NBC.

Photo Credit: AP]]>