<![CDATA[NBC New York - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcnewyork.com/entertainment/top-stories http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.comen-usMon, 05 Dec 2016 12:13:20 -0500Mon, 05 Dec 2016 12:13:20 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Trump, Biles, Putin on Time's Person of the Year Shortlist ]]> Mon, 05 Dec 2016 09:03:29 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/trump-biles-putin-time.jpg

Time magazine has narrowed downed its list of potential Person of the Year to 11 finalists on Monday.

The short list includes President-elect Donald Trump; Hillary Clinton, the first woman to become a presidential nominee for a major political party; Olympic gymnast Simone Biles; Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan; former head of the U.K. Independence Party, Nigel Farage; Beyonce; Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

The Flint Whistleblowers, local residents, along with civil-engineering professor Marc Edwards and local pediatrician Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, who alerted the public to the lead-poisoned water in Flint, Michigan, along with CRISPER Scientists, who have developed a groundbreaking new technology that can edit DNA, also up for the recognition. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was Time magazine's Person of the Year in 2007, made this year's shortlist, too. 

The magazine's editors each year select a person — or idea — that has most influenced the news and the world in the past year. Time has made the pick since 1927.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who opened her nation's border to hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees and managed Europe's debt crisis, was Time magazine's Person of the Year in 2015. The year before that, the honor went to the Ebola fighters.

The 2016 Person of the Year will be unveiled on NBC's "Today" show on Wednesday morning and Time.com.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[ Broadway's 'Dear Evan Hansen' Delivers Letter-Perfect Notes]]> Mon, 05 Dec 2016 08:28:36 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/BenPlattRachelBayJonesDearEvanHansenBway.jpg

On paper, it's hard to believe the stunning and original new musical "Dear Evan Hansen" would work as perfectly as it does.

Now open at Broadway's Music Box Theatre after an acclaimed run at the Second Stage Theatre last spring, it tells the story of an anxiety-driven teen named Evan Hansen who pretends to be best friends with a stoner boy at school after the loner commits suicide.

Creating a web of lies and false documents to prove their bond, Evan rides his manipulation to popularity among his peers, a surrogate relationship with the boy's family, a romantic relationship with the boy's sister — and even internet stardom.

Rarely has there been a protagonist so morally flawed. Evan's not murdering people like Sweeney Todd did, of course. But the way in which the 17-year-old unintentionally preys on the vulnerable and tricks those on social media into believing his hero narrative, you'll want to hate Evan for his corruption.

But the fact that you don't hate him — and in fact, root for him — has a lot to do with star Ben Platt's gut-wrenching performance.

In the hands of another actor, Evan could easily play as a self-absorbed geek. But the 23-year-old "Pitch Perfect" alum so supremely embodies Evan's anxieties and complexities, you can't help but relate. It's a raw, full, and frighteningly realistic performance unlike any seen — and one that will surely propel Platt to stardom. (Start prepping that Tony speech now, Ben). 

Platt's brilliance can be seen clearly throughout, but it's in numbers "Waving Through a Window" and "Words Fail" where he truly shines. The first gives Platt the opportunity to showcase his rich tenor and his character's "outside looking in" mentality, while the latter finds a tearful and fragile Platt allowing Evan to face the realities of his own inner demons — and doing the unthinkable: forgiving himself.

Bring tissues. They'll come in handy there, and in a few other spots throughout the show.

Platt won't be the only one receiving acclaim for "Dear Evan Hansen." Songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul have written one of Broadway's most exciting and catchy new scores. The songs are reminiscent of those from piano-driven singer songwriters like Ben Folds, yet each tune sounds fresh and authentic to its character. (The cast album releases Feb. 3, 2017, and you'll want it immediately).

Pasek and Paul are also the writing team behind the lyrics to the new Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling musical film "La La Land," which is poised to be a major Academy Awards contender. After a string of critically-acclaimed musicals like "Dogfight" and a handful of tunes for NBC's "Smash," the duo have clearly delivered a one-two punch here. 

Much love should also be thrown towards book writer Steven Levenson, who has done wonders crafting a story filled with characters and dialogue that expertly avoids the cliché. (It's loosely based on a real experience Pasek had in high school). As the piece races towards its inevitable conclusion, Levenson finds surprises along the way while never failing to explore his characters' often-conflicting emotions.

Broadway veterans Michael Park ("Tuck Everlasting"), Jennifer Laura Thompson ("Footloose"), Laura Dreyfuss ("Hair"), and Mike Faist ("Newsies") are strong anchors the musical's cast of eight, while newcomers Will Roland and Kristolyn Lloyd give memorable debuts. There's not a false note given by any of them.

"Pippin" standout Rachel Bay Jones is especially good as Evan's mom Heidi — a well-intentioned single mom who struggles to say the right thing and connect with her son between shifts working as a nurse's aide and studying to be a paralegal. Jones delivers a masterfully delicate and grounded performance. When she finally breaks through to Evan, in the showstopping "So Big/So Small," it's Jones who will break your heart.

Director Michael Grief, of "Rent" and "Next to Normal," has done a remarkable job at managing the show's many messages. With the aid of set designer David Korins ("Hamilton"), he interweaves social media into the story in a smart way (it brings the show's anthem "You Will Be Found" to new heights, for one). Choreography by Danny Mefford ("Fun Home") is understated, but effective.

What's so profound about "Dear Evan Hansen" is how it exposes its audience to the things we hate the most about ourselves, and reminds us all that we're worthy of loving ourselves in spite of them. The false identity Evan creates might allow him to feel like he belongs more than he ever did as himself, but it's ultimately a futile effort. Our dear Evan Hansen will only ever feel love from others once he learns to love the ugliest versions of himself. Bravo.

“Dear Evan Hansen,” at the Music Box Theatre, 239 W. 45th St. Tickets: $69 - $175 Call 212-239-6200 or visit DearEvanHansen.com.



Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy]]>
<![CDATA[Late at Night on NBC]]> Mon, 15 Aug 2016 14:13:59 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP24762024125.jpg

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[SNL's Trump Would Rather Be Tweeting]]> Mon, 05 Dec 2016 08:19:24 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/228*120/Screen+Shot+2016-12-04+at+12_opt.png

Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump couldn’t focus in a meeting with his top advisors — his Twitter finger was itchy.

In this week’s "Saturday Night Live" cold open, Trump is seen in a meeting with Kellyanne Conway, Mike Pence and various other top advisors, all of whom try in vain to brief the president-elect on Syria. But Trump could not stop gleefully, compulsively retweeting his social media fans.

“I just retweeted the best tweet. Wow. What a great, smart tweet!” he announces.

“There’s a reason why Donald tweets so much,” offers Kate McKinnon’s Kellyanne Conway. “He does it to distract the media from his business conflicts — and all the scary people in his cabinet.” 

It's a theory that has taken hold as the president-elect continues to take to Twitter, sometimes at odd hours, to throw shade on his rivals and perceived nemeses. Indeed, after the episode aired Saturday night, the real Trump registered his disapproval of the show on social media. 

Baldwin fired back on Twitter, jabbing Trump for not releasing his tax return. 

The cold open continued with Trump's aides toughening their stance after the president-elect breaks his promise to “buckle down and get to work” by retweeting yet another supporter.

Not to worry, Trump says. “I’ve gotten a lot done so far. I was elected 25 days ago, and already unemployment is at a nine-year low, millions and millions of people have health care and Osama bin Laden is dead,” he explains, taking credit for the work of the Obama administration. 

Even when Baldwin's Trump is not distracted by Twitter, he finds something else to distract him.

“What’s that at the end of the table?” he asks. “Is that the picture of me that I hate? The one the press always uses where I look so ugly?” One of Trump’s many complaints of the news media is that they select unflattering photographs of him to use in reports.

“Actually, it’s a plate of mashed potatoes,” Conway tells him.

“Alright,” Trump relents. “You have my undivided attention.”

But, another 10 seconds later, he's at it again. 

"SNL" also made comedy out of recent Hillary Clinton sightings in the woods of upstate New York: intrepid Hillary hunters bait her to the edge of the treeline with news articles on the recount efforts under way in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Weekend Update touched on Trump as well, and also covered the ongoing Dakota Access Pipeline protests, the Kellogg company dropping its association with website Breitbart.com and a new ban on smoking in New York public housing.

Host Emma Stone revisited a long-lost love in her monologue.

Shawn Mendes performed two songs.



Photo Credit: Saturday Night Live
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<![CDATA[The Wild, Wild 'Westworld' Finale]]> Sat, 03 Dec 2016 11:07:04 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/westworldharris.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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<![CDATA[Full Circle: 'Full House' Cast Returns to Iconic SF Home]]> Mon, 05 Dec 2016 07:14:14 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/FH+pic.JPG

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

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

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

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

Outside, fans were starstruck.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

Kristen Stewart is feeling the need for speed.

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

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

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

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

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Photo Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
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<![CDATA[Top Celeb Pics: Mariah Carey]]> Mon, 05 Dec 2016 09:19:19 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-627752342_master.jpg Check out the latest photos of your favorite celebrities.

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

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

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

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

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

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



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[When the Guards Look Away: Silly Photos at The Met]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 14:50:27 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/crop+for+cover.jpg Sometimes, we just can't help ourselves. Despite our best intentions, visiting the museum -- with all its nakedness and drama -- can bring out our silly sides. This is what happens when the guards look away at one of New York's cultural jewels -- The Metropolitan Museum. ]]> <![CDATA[Smackdown: Luke Bryan Slaps Heckler From Stage With Mic]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 12:54:37 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/lukesmack.jpg

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

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

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

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



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

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

Photo Credit: (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)/ MichaelBarian.com]]>
<![CDATA[De Niro's 'A Bronx Tale' Musical Doesn't Hit ]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 19:25:48 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/ABronxTaleReview.jpg

Nostalgia, when used properly in a new musical, can feel like a warm hug and a slap in the face at the same time. It can simultaneously remind you the best things about a time period, while waking you up to how much the world has or hasn't changed since. Think "Hairspray," "The Color Purple" or even "Ragtime."

But when done poorly, the trend can come off tired and cliché. Like a bad cover of a great song on a reality singing competition, it can feel like a watered-down version of what once was — and make you question the purpose of the story as a whole. 

Unfortunately, that's the feeling evoked throughout "A Bronx Tale" — the musical staging of Chazz Palminteri's often-told, '60s-set story now open at Broadway's Longacre Theatre. Despite the best efforts of its cast and creative team, this once-exciting story comes across stale and banal. 

It's a shame too, because "A Bronx Tale" has assembled some truly talented folks to help give life to its story — about a mob boss who takes a young boy under his wing, and an interracial relationship that threatens to cause a neighborhood war.

There's music and lyrics from Alan Menken and Glenn Slater — the team behind stage adaptations of popular films "The Little Mermaid," "Sister Act" and "Leap of Faith." A book adaptation from Palminteri himself. And direction from four-time Tony winner Jerry Zaks (of "Guys and Dolls," another gangster tale), who staged a non-musical version of the show on Broadway in 2007.

And then there's Zaks' co-director, Robert De Niro. The two-time Oscar winner made his big picture directorial debut with the 1993 film adaptation, and makes his stage directorial debut here.

It's unclear how he and Zaks worked together. One might expect that Zaks moved the action during the show's bigger musicals numbers, while De Niro lent his expertise to its book scenes, though neither components are strong enough to match either director's skill.

Menken and Slater's doo-wop and Motown-style tunes don't do them any favors. As a whole, the score feels far too vanilla and somewhat forgettable. (Menken's "Little Shop of Horrors" score — set in a similar time period — is far more catchy).

There is one bright spot throughout, and that's actor Nick Cordero as Belmont Avenue's reigning gangster Sonny (played by Palminteri in previous incarnations of the story). Cordero's gruff tone and non-nonsense demeanor captivates whenever he's on stage — and will make you wish his character was given the chance to reveal more of his internal motivations.

Cordero received a Tony nomination for playing another role originated by Palminteri — in 2014's "Bullets Over Broadway" — showing he does good gangster.

Bobby Conte Thornton, who narrates the story as Sonny's now grown-up protege Calogero, makes a fine Broadway debut, though his character sadly doesn't get much to do until Act II (a sweet but pitchy Hudson Loverro plays a younger version of Calogero earlier). Thornton is forced to rush the musical through its entire racial subplot without much time to breathe, a disappointment since he shows hints of depth that would have been lovely to see explored.

The stunning Ariana DeBose (of "Hamilton" fame) does the best she can as Calogero's love interest, Jane. But as only one of two female characters given names and speaking roles in the show, her role is written remarkably thin. 

Set designer Beowulf Boritt has been featured for weeks now on a television commercial for HP Spectre x360 and Windows 10, showing off his creations for "A Bronx Tale." They're beautiful to see in person. But like his commercial, that joy only lasts about 30 seconds.

"A Bronx Tale" has had many incarnations in its history — a one-man show, a movie, a play, and now a musical. This last version is by far its most ambitious (it comes to New York after a tryout in New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse last winter). But it's also a harsh reminder that some stories don't need reinvention. 

“A Bronx Tale,” at The Longacre Theatre, 220 W 48th St. Tickets: $50-$187. Call 212-239-6200 or visit abronxtalethemusical.com.



Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia]]>
<![CDATA[Showrunners Grapple With How To Depict Muslims Post-Election]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 07:11:33 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/muslimmuslim.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo Credit: Olga Soboleva, Vanguard Properties
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<![CDATA[Still Packs a Punch: We Could All Use a Little "Hairspray"]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 15:07:28 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/NUP_175042_0008.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Photo Credit: NBCUniversal
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<![CDATA[LeBron James Is Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of Year]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 13:23:53 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/kingjamesja.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

Drop dead.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA['Jersey Boys' Found Liable for Copyright Infringement ]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 13:01:38 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/JerseyBoysCast.jpg

It's scheduled to wrap up its decade-long run on Broadway this January, but the drama depicted on stage in the Tony-winning musical "Jersey Boys" is nothing compared to what happened Monday behind the scenes. 

A federal jury in Nevada found the show's writers, director and producers liable for copyright infringement, attributing 10 percent of the musical's success to an unpublished biography by author Rex Woodard, NBC 4 New York confirmed.

The book was about Four Seasons band member Tommy DeVito, whose story -- along with the story of band-members Frankie Valli, Bob Guadio and Nick Massi -- is depicted in the documentary-style musical.

In the show, each of the Four Seasons gets his own turn at telling how the 1960s-era supergroup came together, and the secrets behind hits like "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Walk Like a Man" and "December, 1963." 

Its writers Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice told The Washington Post in 2009 that they individually interviewed each band member when crafting the musical, including Devito, who they said told them "Don't listen to those guys. I'll tell you what really happened."

But the Nevada court appears to have felt differently. While the jury did not indicate which parts of the autobiography were copied, Forbes reported Judge Robert C. Jones did identify 11 similarities between Woodard's manuscript and Brickman and Elice's book. That included dialogue between songs, character development and some scene descriptions.

Woodward had been hired by DeVito in 1988 to ghostwrite his still-unpublished memoir, "Tommy DeVito -- Then and Now." The two men had agreed to split profits for the book, but Woodward died in May 1991 of lung cancer before lining up an agent and publisher.

After "Jersey Boys" opened on Broadway in November 2005, Woodward's widow, Donna Cortbello, hired lawyers to look into publishing her late-husband's manuscript, Forbes reported. The copyright for the material was registered to DeVito in January 1991, though she was able to amend the registration to have Woodward listed with DeVito as a co-author.

She then opened suit on the "Jersey Boys" team for developing the derivative work. The suit included "Jersey Boys" scribes Brickman and Elice, as well as director Des McAnuff and producers from Dodger Theatricals. 

Daniel M. Mayeda, co-counsel for the defendants, maintained his client's innocence to The Wall Street Journal.

"You can’t own historical events," he said. "A lot of things that are similar are facts, names and characteristics of personalities …I f you are talking about the same subject matter, they are going to have similarities." 

A spokesman for the show told NBC 4 New York, "'Jersey Boys' certainly plans to appeal the decision, and has no further comment at this time."

The damages have not been determined. According to numbers provided by the Broadway League, "Jersey Boys" has grossed more than $549 million on Broadway since its opening.

The musical plays its final performance on Jan. 15 after 4,642 shows at the August Wilson Theatre. It is the 12th-longest running show in Broadway history, has also toured the country and was adapted into a 2014 film by director Clint Eastwood.



Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[Soon: 'Star Wars' Battle Drones]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 13:28:48 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/1130-2016-StarWarsDrone.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Emily Ratajkowski Condemns Photog for Publishing Nude Pics]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 12:43:46 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/msemily.jpg

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

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

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

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

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



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Cory's House From 'Boy Meets World' Selling for $1.59M]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 13:31:25 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/knbc-boy-meets-world-house-for-sale-tn-3.jpg Feeling nostalgic? A Los Angeles house featured in the beloved 1990s TV sitcom "Boy Meets World" has been listed for $1.59 million.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/JBT Photography, John Turner]]>
<![CDATA[Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Live Cam ]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 09:50:19 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/rock+tree+ap.jpg

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

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

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

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

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Photo Credit: AP Images]]>
<![CDATA[Santa Claws: Beaver Picks Through Christmas Decor at Dollar Store]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 08:53:14 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/20161130+Beaver+Thumb.jpg

Haven't we all been there at the holidays -- rifling through the boxes of pre-lit trees, prowling the shelves for just the right holiday bauble?

When it's time to decorate your dam, you have to hit the store! And that's just what this shopper did in Charlotte Hall, Maryland, on Monday.

Except this shopper was a beaver.

And its claws are better for digging through mud and sticks than through a dollar store. Police were called after the little critter damaged some of the merchandise.

"As an law enforcement officer, you just never know what your next call might be," read a Facebook post from the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office.

The beaver was safely captured by animal control and taken to a wildlife rehabilitator, the sheriff's office said.

(To wait for the after-Christmas sales, of course.) 



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Tonight Show': Vikings and Cowboys Superlatives]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 06:55:57 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/nbc_tjf_hlt_s4e046_581_superlatives_20161130_1200x675_821631555822.jpg Host Jimmy Fallon hands out special accolades to 2016 Minnesota Vikings and Dallas Cowboys NFL players.]]> <![CDATA['Tonight': Felicity Jones Demos 'Star Wars' Fight Moves]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 11:20:39 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/nbc_tjf_hlt_s4e046_581_felicityjones_badass_20161130_1200x675_821631555844.jpg Felicity Jones teaches Host Jimmy Fallon a fight sequence she learned from her Kung Fu training for "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story."]]> <![CDATA[Victoria's Secret Fashion Show Paris ]]> Wed, 30 Nov 2016 21:23:47 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-626766860.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Photo Credit: Matt Sayles/Invision/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Santa's North Pole Home Listed on Zillow]]> Wed, 30 Nov 2016 21:31:27 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/180*120/p_f_Outside_024.jpg Popular real estate marketplace company Zillow added a new property listing to their website just in time for the holidays -- Santa Claus' North Pole house. Maison Krin is described as a "toy-lover's paradise nestled on 25 idyllic acres at the North Pole -- perfect for spirited reindeer games." The company priced the home using "comparable homes in remote locations" and "applying a Santa premium," they said in a press release.

Photo Credit: Zillow]]>
<![CDATA[Napoleon Dynamite and Pedro Reunite for Burger King Ad]]> Wed, 30 Nov 2016 19:25:46 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/212*120/nd51120735.jpg

Napoleon Dynamite and Pedro are back…for Burger King, that is.

Jon Heder and Efren Ramirez reunited for a commercial for Burger King’s limited-time offering of cheesy tots.

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The commerical plays off of Napoleon's love for the cafeteria side dish in the movie. 

"Whoa, are those cheesy tots?” Heder as Napoleon asks Ramirez, before requesting to try one.

He then takes a handful of tots, including one out of Ramirez’s hand, for himself.

“Dang it, those are good,” Heder says.

“Fans have been craving the return of Cheesy Tots for some time now,” Burger King president, North America Alex Macedo said in a statement. “So we wanted to give loyalists a holiday surprise after we heard so many of their requests. Now they’ll be able to warm up to these cozy cheese and potato bites this holiday season.”



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

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

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

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

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

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



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Celebrity Baby Boom: Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 02:08:29 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP_16293858559447.jpg See which celebrities are gearing up for parenthood in 2016.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/David J. Phillip]]>