<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcwashington.com/entertainment/top-stories http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.png NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.comen-usThu, 23 Feb 2017 13:55:08 -0500Thu, 23 Feb 2017 13:55:08 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Ellen Degeneres Surprises NYC Students With College Tuition]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 13:15:26 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/Rozman_20170222_14110_1904r.jpg

Ellen DeGeneres is known for surprising guests with extraordinary gifts. But on Thursday's show the beloved host raised the bar to a higher degree, doing something she has never done before.

DeGeneres and Walmart have gifted the graduating class of Brooklyn's Summit Academy Charter School four-year college scholarships to any State University of New York school.

The $1.6 million donation will cover the costs of tuition for 41 graduating seniors.

"Our mission is for them to go to college," Summit Academy Charter School Principal Cheryl Swift said. "Now they don't have any obstacles."

Students said they were shocked by the guesture, calling it "stunning" and a "once in a lifetime opportunity."

The school's founder Natasha Campbell first connected with DeGeneres earlier this month when she shared the school's inspirational story with the talk show host in a letter.

Campbell shared that Summit Academy Charter School is located in an impoverished neighborhood where only 4 percent of people in the community have college degrees.

Degeneres invited Campbell and Cheryl Lundy Swift, the school's principal, to share their story during a visit to the show and surprised the educators with $25,000 check from Walmart to help the school continue making a positive impact on their students and community. 

The school's mission is to have their students "attend, excel and graduate from college." Campbell revealed that the graduating class of 2017 is tracking for a 100 percent college acceptance rate.

"Their wildest dreams can be achieved," Campbell said of the donation.



Photo Credit: Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.
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<![CDATA[Kimmel Talks Trump and Other Pre-Oscars Concerns ]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 12:52:16 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/kimmeloscarsprep.jpg

Jimmy Kimmel says he never really wanted to host the Academy Awards.

"If anything, what I wanted is for people to publicly say that I should be the host and that it's an outrage that I am not the host, but then to not actually have to host it," the 49-year-old comedian told The Associated Press. "Because hosting turns out to be a lot of work, and as you know, people are very critical."

Kimmel, who has twice hosted the Emmy Awards, will make his Oscars debut on Sunday. He talked with the AP about his preparations, his pre-show rituals and what role politics might play that night.

AP: How does preparing to host the Oscars differ from the Emmys or the work you do on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"?

Kimmel: It's very different from hosting my own show but it's almost the same as preparing to host the Emmys. My show is every night, so it's mostly disposable. We write jokes for the day and we write jokes for the next day and we just keep going. There's not much time for refinement or reflection. Whereas with the Emmys and the Oscars, you know you have a big audience, you know that you're going to be evaluated, you're going to be judged, and you want to do as good a job as possible. I always want to do as good a job as possible, but you really want to, as chefs say, put your foot in it for something like this.

AP: What are your biggest concerns this close to show time?

Kimmel: The biggest challenge is I have a lot of jokes and I have to whittle them down and figure out which ones to use. That's not as easy as it might sound, because a room full of comedy writers is a very different audience than a room full of movie stars who have cameras on them. You can't really go onstage to a comedy club and try this material out either, because that's also a different audience and you want the jokes to remain secret, and nowadays people seem to tape everything and post it on the internet. So I really am in a little bit of a bubble as far as what will work and what doesn't, and really the only way we'll know is when I'm on that stage.

AP: How political will you get on Sunday?

Kimmel: I'm not sure how to answer that question. I mean, will Donald Trump be mentioned by me and during the show? Absolutely. How much I'm not sure yet. It kind of depends on what's happening that day, you know?

AP: Are you worried about potentially alienating conservative viewers?

Kimmel: No. I think smart people know funny is funny. Everybody for some reason has decided that they have to pick a side, and I think people would be a lot happier if, when they heard a joke, they enjoyed the joke and didn't attach some kind of rooting interest to it. We've been forced to pick a team, and that should never happen. There's one team in this country, it's the United States, and we should be allowed to make fun of each other.

AP: Do you have any pre-performance rituals for quelling nerves? Do you get nervous?

Kimmel: I'm a little bit nervous before the show starts, but once I get onstage, that goes away. I don't think the human brain can process that many emotions at once, so I'm pretty focused once I get onstage. And once the monologue is done, I'll be able to really kind of have fun with the show and look for improvised moments and opportunities to comment on things as they're happening. As far as rituals or anything before the show, we do have a chant (at "Live!") that we do before every show, where everyone in the room will chant "Best show ever!" and I fist-bump everybody. It's usually done in a sarcastic way, but we might be sincere just this one time.



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

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Wahlberg Brothers Under Fire in Wahlburgers Lawsuit]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 11:52:02 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/214*120/Wahlburgers+Opening+100115.jpg

The Wahlberg brothers - Mark, Donnie and Paul - are facing a lawsuit from their Massachusetts-based Wahlburgers burger chain business partners and family friends, who claim the Wahlberg brothers left them out of plans to grow the business.

According to the Boston Globe, William "Billy" Leonard and Edward St. Croix claim in the lawsuit they were pivotal in the creation of the chain.

The first Wahlburgers restaurant opened up in Hingham, Massachusetts in 2011, with Leonard and St. Croix having ownership stake.

The lawsuit alleges the Wahlberg brothers worked together to eliminate Leonard and St. Croix from the chain over the next few years by reducing ownership stake and leaving them out of expansion plans.

According to the Globe, a spokeswoman for Wahlburgers Corporate Headquarters said in a statement that the lawsuit is unfounded.



Photo Credit: necn]]>
<![CDATA[One Last Ride: Jackman on Playing Logan for the Final Time]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 11:42:21 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Logan_Thumb.jpg

Actor Hugh Jackman talks about playing Wolverine for the last time in "Logan", the latest installment in the X-Men franchise. Jackman first appeared as the clawed mutant in Bryan Singer's "X-Men" in 2000. 

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<![CDATA[And The Oscar Goes To: Predicting the Academy Award Winners]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 11:25:08 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/oscarwinners.jpg

Ahead of Sunday's 89th Academy Awards, Associated Press film writers Lindsey Bahr and Jake Coyle share their predictions for a ceremony many expect will be a "La La Land" sweep.

BEST PICTURE

The Nominees: "Arrival," ''Fences," ''Hacksaw Ridge," ''Hell or High Water," ''Hidden Figures," ''La La Land," ''Lion," ''Manchester by the Sea" and "Moonlight."

BAHR:

Will Win: It has to be "La La Land."

Should Win: "La La Land," although that's not the stylish choice of the moment. I think we've all been burned too many times, by "The Artist" and "Argo" and other films that lure us in with their retro, navel gazing sensibilities and then evaporate from our memories come March 1. "La La Land" is different. It'll be a modern classic that we'll be watching for years to come.

Should Have Been a Contender: Mike Mills' "20th Century Women" is a film that gets better with every viewing. It is deep and funny and gives a poignant historical context of the lives of women in the very recent past.

COYLE:

Will Win: It would be idiotic to pick against "La La Land," the 14-time nominated favorite and Golden Globe winner. And, yet, I can't help myself. The election of Donald Trump changed the mood so drastically in Hollywood that I just don't see Chazelle's effervescent musical waltzing off with best picture. "Moonlight," lyrical and poetic, isn't a social issue film. But it feels more of-the-moment. Maybe it pulls off one of the most historic upsets in Oscar history. Just don't bet the house.

Should Win: "Moonlight," but not because of the post-election angst. Because it's beautiful.

Should Have Been a Contender: It had zero shot, but Terence Davies' "Sunset Song" was a pastoral hymn of a movie: a radiant portrait of Scottish farm life and time passing over it. Yeah, so not exactly Oscar bait.

___

BEST ACTOR

The Nominees: Casey Affleck, "Manchester by the Sea"; Andrew Garfield, "Hacksaw Ridge"; Ryan Gosling, "La La Land"; Viggo Mortensen, "Captain Fantastic" and Denzel Washington, "Fences."

BAHR:

Will Win: It's probably going to be Denzel Washington, and it won't be a bad call either. Washington has lived in August Wilson's Troy Maxson for years and his is a powerfully resonant interpretation.

Should Win: Casey Affleck has become another unpopular choice of late, but his performance in "Manchester by the Sea" is so singular and specific to him. He's the only one who could have made Lee Chandler work.

Should Have Been a Contender: Honestly, Tom Hanks. He was great in "Sully." Perhaps we've come to expect only the impossible from him at this point, though.

COYLE:

Will Win: This has turned into a nail-biter. I think the SAG winner Denzel takes it.

Should Win: If you look up "powerhouse performance" in the dictionary, you should just be treated to a torrent of words from the titanic Denzel. Affleck, too, is deserving. But I'm going to go with Gosling, who's being curiously underrated this year despite being more-or-less the coolest movie star on the planet. My vote, though, is more for him in "The Nice Guys" than "La La Land."

Should Have Been a Contender: Johnny Depp in "The Art of the Deal." No, the Funny or Die feature film about Trump wasn't even eligible. But before Alec Baldwin took over the part, Depp turned in his best wigged performance in years.

___

BEST ACTRESS

The Nominees: Isabelle Huppert, "Elle"; Ruth Negga, "Loving"; Natalie Portman, "Jackie"; Emma Stone, "La La Land" and Meryl Streep, "Florence Foster Jenkins."

BAHR:

Will Win: Emma Stone. The academy loves ingenues. It's even better when the role itself is "ingenue."

Should Win: This is a tough one. Stone is wonderful, but Natalie Portman had such an impossible task in embodying the public and private sides of Jackie Kennedy in a non-campy way, and she pulled it off magnificently.

Should Have Been a Contender: Annette Bening was transcendent as a the spirited single mom raising a teenage boy in 1979 Santa Barbara in Mike Mills' crisp and vibrant "20th Century Women."

COYLE:

Will Win: It's a competitive category, but Stone.

Should Win: Stone. What's not to like here? She can do it all.

Should Have Been a Contender: Honorable mention to Beyonce in "Lemonade" but Hailee Steinfeld, people. Already a nominee for "True Grit," the 20-year-old was uncannily good — funny, smart, real — in Kelly Fremon Craig's teen comedy "The Edge of Seventeen."

___

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

The Nominees: Mahershala Ali, "Moonlight"; Jeff Bridges, "Hell or High Water"; Lucas Hedges, "Manchester by the Sea"; Dev Patel, "Lion" and Michael Shannon "Nocturnal Animals."

BAHR:

Will Win: Mahershala Ali. Has anyone done so much to win an audience over with so little screen time?

Should Win: Mahershala Ali. Full stop. It's the role that made us all learn the name of an actor who we've all seen many times before. That's no small thing.

Should Have Been a Contender: I'm going to go out on a limb in support of one of my favorite performances of the year and say Ralph Fiennes for "A Bigger Splash." He never had a chance, but he's just bursting with joy and energy and delusion and it's one that makes me smile every time I think about it.

COYLE:

Will Win: Ali. From the vast cast of "Moonlight," he has (deservedly) been chosen

Should Win: Ali should because "Moonlight" is at its most soulful when he's onscreen. But we should all be rooting for a Michael Shannon speech if not on Sunday, some Oscars soon.

Should Have Been a Contender: The Academy Awards aren't really built to suitably reward the three Chirons of "Moonlight." Three actors — Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sander, Trevante Rhodes — playing the same character across three chapters, add up to the year's best performance.

___

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

The Nominees: Viola Davis, "Fences"; Naomie Harris, "Moonlight"; Nicole Kidman, "Lion"; Octavia Spencer, "Hidden Figures" and Michelle Williams, "Manchester by the Sea."

BAHR:

Will Win: It has to be Viola Davis, right? She's terrific in "Fences," even if it is more of a co-lead.

Should Win: "Supporting" quibbles aside, Davis is still the strongest candidate in a very strong category. Sorry, Michelle.

Should Have Been a Contender: Sometimes I fear we've forgotten what a real supporting part is (i.e., not just whoever is second-billed). Kelly Reichardt's "Certain Women" was never going to break through the Oscar ranks — it's too quiet, too slow, and, let's face it, probably too female — but if there were any justice, Lily Gladstone would have been among the nominated at least.

COYLE:

Will Win: Davis is the lock of all locks.

Should Win: Davis. It will be her first Oscar, but it won't be her last.

Should Have Been a Contender: It's a strange thing that Octavia Spencer, a fine actress, has been singled out for "Hidden Figures." Both of her co-stars, Taraji P. Henson and Janelle Monae, are better in it. Monae, also electric in "Moonlight," really should have been in the running. Her entry into movies was one of the best things about 2016.

___

BEST DIRECTOR

The Nominees: "La La Land," Damien Chazelle; "Hacksaw Ridge," Mel Gibson; "Moonlight," Barry Jenkins; "Manchester by the Sea," Kenneth Lonergan and "Arrival," Denis Villeneuve.

BAHR:

Will Win: Damien Chazelle, of course.

Should Win: "La La Land" was not an inevitability, nor is any original musical and Chazelle willed this impossible project into being despite all the odds — whether it be the time constraint of a sunset for the perfect shot or shutting down a freeway to stage the perfect opening number. The work is on the screen.

Should Have Been a Contender: Pablo Larrain had not one but two brilliant, genre defying biopics this year in "Neruda" and "Jackie."

COYLE:

Will Win: The 32-year-old wunderkind Chazelle appears to have it in the bag.

Should Win: Both Chazelle and Jenkins are overwhelmingly worthy. Just give these two exceptionally talented and annoyingly young filmmakers the keys to Hollywood.

Should Have Been a Contender: Andrea Arnold, the British director of "American Honey," created the year's most intoxicating sensory experience in her wild cross-country exploration. One of the most offensive Oscar stats is that no woman has been nominated in this category since 2010.

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<![CDATA[Oscars 2017: The 5 Best Movies About Hollywood ]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 10:38:23 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/hoorayfor+hollywood.jpg

There have been great movies about Hollywood almost as long as Hollywood has been making them. Damien Chazelle's much-Oscar nominated "La La Land" is part of a grand tradition going back beyond "Singin' in the Rain" and running past "Mulholland Drive."

Some have even inspired their own movies. "Sullivan's Travels," Preston Sturges' great 1941 satire about a movie director (Joel McCrea) of broad comedies ("Ants in Your Pants" is one credit) who goes undercover as a hobo to make a serious social drama. Decades later, the Coen brothers used his planned title for real: "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"

Sturges' film would be worthy of any list of Hollywood greatest self-portraits, as would movies like "All About Eve," ''Ed Wood," ''A Star is Born" and the Coens' "Barton Fink." But here are five of the best:

—"In a Lonely Place": Nothing has captured the dark desperations and delusions that lurk in Hollywood like Nicholas Ray's devastating 1950 noir. Humphrey Bogart, playing the self-destructive screenwriter Dix, was never better — which is saying something.

—"Sunset Boulevard": The same year, another screenwriter. Billy Wilder's eminently quotable 1950 classic (winner of three Oscars) remains the gold standard for movies about the movie industry, for depictions of an aged star (Gloria Swanson's Norma Desmond) and for deadpan narration. "The poor dope. He always wanted a pool," says Joe Gilles (William Holden) while his body floats face-down in one. "Well, in the end, he got himself a pool."

—"The Bad and the Beautiful": Vincent Minnelli's 1952 tale about a deceitful and ambitious movie producer (Kirk Douglas) is another film that's probably right now being quoted on some movie set. The five-time Oscar winner remains one of the sharpest examinations of Hollywood as a business. "Don't worry," says Douglas' Jonathan Shields. "Some of the best movies are made by people working together who hate each other's guts."

—"The Player": Robert Altman's 1992 sardonic satire plunged further into the psyche of the studio boss (Tim Robbins), who drowns an insolent screenwriter in a puddle. There's a parade of star cameos in Altman's Hollywood send-up, but the most famous thing in "The Player" is its audacious opening shot, a seven-minute take through a studio lot where a security chief (Fred Ward) raves about the long shot in "A Touch of Evil" and grumbles about modern movie editing. "All this cut, cut, cut," he seethes.

— "Sherlock Jr.": From studio heads to the lowly movie theater projectionist. In Buster Keaton's 1924 silent classic, Keaton's napping projectionist dreams himself onto the screen (the movie is "Hearts and Pearls or the Lounge Lizard's Lost Love") where he plays detective and performs some of cinema's greatest gags.

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<![CDATA[Kanye West Crucifixion Statue Unveiled on Hollywood Boulevard]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 08:40:39 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/PLASTIC-JESUS-STATUE-01.jpg

Ahead of Oscars weekend, a gold-painted statue depicting Kanye West as Christ on the cross popped up for a short time Wednesday in Hollywood.

The life-sized crucifixion statue titled "False Idol" depicts the rapper as Jesus Christ, with nails in his hands, wearing a crown of thorns, gold chains, a cloth and Yeezy sneakers. 

The provocative work of art is by Plastic Jesus, a Los Angeles-based street artist who is known for his political and cultural art. 

The Academy Awards honors the best in film every year and is often a time of celebration for Hollywood's elite. 

But, Plastic Jesus told NBC4 his art "focuses on the side of Hollywood that's often forgotten" and touches on topics such as drug abuse, mental health and idolatry. 

Celebrities are often elevated and treated like "God-like figures," Plastic Jesus said. And, when they [celebrities] do show their humanity "we then crucify them." 

The artist referenced West's "brilliance" as a musician and West's recent hospitalization after abruptly canceling the remaining dates of his Saint Pablo tour.

While this year's work focuses on the public's obsession with celebrity, Plastic Jesus has touched on other topics during Oscar week in years past.

Previous installations include a life-size Oscar statue snorting cocaine on all fours in 2015 and an Oscar statuette working a stripper pole in 2016.

For those who missed the Kanye statue at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and La Brea Avenue, the piece will be on display Saturday at "Anesthesia: The Art of Oblivion." 



Photo Credit: Plastic Jesus]]>
<![CDATA['This Is Us' Cast Discuss Emotional Fallout From Episode]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 06:56:24 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/thisisuspresstour.jpg

Sterling K. Brown and Ron Cephas Jones discuss the emotional fallout from Tuesday's episode.



Photo Credit: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Late Night': A Closer Look at Trump's Immigration Policies]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 03:23:07 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Seth+Meyers+closer+look+trump.jpg

Host Seth Meyers talks about the Trump administration's major changes, which include ramping up deportation enforcement.

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<![CDATA['Tonight': Fallon's Monologue Takes on Trump, Spicer, GOP]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 06:18:56 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/FALLON_GettyImages-528518222.jpg

Jimmy Fallon kicks off the "Tonight Show" with some jokes about President Donald Trump's frequent vacations, Sean Spicer's press briefings and angry town halls.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Tonight': Egg Russian Roulette With Neil Patrick Harris]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 03:25:10 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/neilpatrickharris-on-tonight.jpg

Neil Patrick Harris and Jimmy Fallon take turns smashing eggs on their heads without knowing which are cooked and which are raw.

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<![CDATA['Late Night': Terry Crews Says Fart Jokes Work]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 06:53:39 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/terry-crews-on-late-night.jpg

Seth Meyers sits down with Terry Crews, who is still surprised that he, his fart jokes and his 'Brooklyn Nine Nine' crew won a Golden Globe Award.

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<![CDATA[Top Celeb Pics: Pre-Oscars Celebrations]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 11:12:24 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-643960294.jpg Check out the latest photos of your favorite celebrities.

Photo Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rihanna Named Harvard's Humanitarian of the Year]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 16:49:54 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/topEnt-GettyImages-512067286.jpg

Rihanna may be known for her music, but now she’s being celebrated for a different kind of achievement — her humanitarian work.

Harvard announced Wednesday that the singer was named the 2017 Harvard University Humanitarian of the Year.

"Rihanna has charitably built a state-of- the-art center for oncology and nuclear medicine to diagnose and treat breast cancer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, Barbados," said Harvard Foundation director S. Allen Counter.

Rihanna also created the Clara and Lionel Foundation Scholarship Program for students from the Caribbean who attend college in the U.S, and is a supporter of the Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen Project. The project aims to provide children with access to education in more than 60 developing countries.

She'll be presented with the Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award on Tuesday, Feb. 28 at the Sanders Theatre. 



Photo Credit: WireImage via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['A Particular Set of Skills': 'Taken' Prequel Set for Debut]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 15:31:35 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/cliveclive.jpg

A man with "a particular set of skills" is heading to a television near you. But it's not Liam Neeson.

“Taken,” a modern-day, nail-biting thriller, follows the story of Bryan Mills in a new television series that takes place 30 years before the movie of the same name. Viewers are introduced to the character before he becomes the world weary fighter made iconic on the silver screen by Neeson, as he just begins his career  as a deadly CIA operative.

The role is portrayed by Clive Standen, who is bringing his own fresh take --and stunts-- to the action-heavy role.

“He’s just an everyday guy with a ‘particular set of skills,’” Standen said. “He’s relentless. He just won’t give up.”

Standen, whose credits to date include runs on the History Channel's "Vikings" along with small roles in films "Everest" and "Hammer of the Gods," insisted on doing the majority of his own stunts for the show, including fight scenes, running and parkour. He believes when a stunt double takes over a scene, the audience loses engagement with the character, since they can only see the character’s back.

“If you can put a camera on an actor’s face, then you start to tell a story through the action and you start to engage an audience,” he said.

After accepting the role Standen spoke to Neeson, who told him the main thing to keep in mind about Bryan Mills is that “his heart is what keeps him going, it’s what gets him up.”

Standen pays homage to Neeson’s portrayal  through his intensity, but says the roles are quite different. He’s excited for “Taken” to debut as “an action show with no fluff,” because in his portrayal of Mills, Standen makes him a “real person.”

“When I watch a TV show, I want to connect with someone who has some kind of humanity,” he said. “I don’t want to do anything that looks larger than life; life is large enough. No one wants to go see ‘action man’ anymore, we want to see life.”

Alexander Cary serves as writer and executive producer, who Standen credited with finding an “amazing cast,” including Jennifer Beals, Gaius Charles, Brooklyn Sudano, Monique Gabriela Curnen, Michael Irby, James Landry Hébert and Jose Pablo Cantillo.

“Taken” premieres on Monday, Feb. 27 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.



Photo Credit: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Welcome Back: Guthrie Returning to 'Today' March 3]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 15:20:09 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/savannah-guthrie-0607.jpg

After having her second child, Charles Max Feldman, in December, Savannah Guthrie tweeted on Wednesday that she would be returning to the “Today Show” in March.

Posting a photo of her with “Charley,” she said, “Hey, little one, you’re not the *only* good reason to wake up early!! I’m headed back to @TODAYshow March 3! Excited to see you all!”

[[414518593, C]]

Guthrie has been off the show since Dec. 2. The news of her return comes just one day after her fellow NBC star, Hoda Kotb, announced that she adopted a child on Tuesday. Guthrie tweeted that she was "overjoyed" by the news. 



Photo Credit: Charles Sykes/Invision/AP
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<![CDATA[Five Things to Watch for at the Oscars]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 13:34:25 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/oscars-edited.jpg

"La La Land," with its record-tying 14 Oscar nominations, could turn acceptance speeches at Sunday's Academy Awards into the same old song and dance.

But it's far from certain that the movie musical will capture all the Oscar drama.

Here are five things to watch for at Sunday night's ceremony, to be broadcast on ABC:

Jimmying Open the Show
First-time Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel takes the stage of the Dolby Theatre seven weeks after his late night rival Jimmy Fallon's strong performance at the Golden Globes.

Kimmel doesn't possess the musical comedy chops of Fallon, who opened the Globes with an elaborate "La La Land” parody, or of past Oscars hosts like Billy Crystal, Neil Patrick Harris and Hugh Jackman.

But look for Kimmel, whose post-show movie parody videos earned more laughs than some Oscars hosts of recent years, to assemble a top-notch cameo-filled reel for prime time. Last year's gem – a satire of "The Producers" called "Trumped" – proved both funny and prescient. 

Political Floorshow
"Trumped" aside, Kimmel's not known as a particularly political comedian. But it's a good bet that President Trump's name – and policies – will be on the lips of some winners.

The first Reality-TV president has loomed throughout the awards season – from Meryl Streep's Golden Globes speech likening him to a bully to Busta Rhymes rapping about "President Agent Orange" at the Grammys.

A suggested play-at-home Oscars game: Count whether "La La Land" or Trump gets more mentions.

Will "Bonnie and Clyde" Steal the Show?
Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, co-stars of "Bonnie and Clyde," might reunite a half-century later to present the Best Picture statuette, according to The Hollywood Reporter. 

The news spurred hopes that other stars from the classic crop of 1967 Best Picture nominees will appear.

The wish list includes Dustin Hoffman ("The Graduate") and Sidney Poitier ("Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner" and Best Picture winner "In the Heat of the Night"), who turned 90 this week. 

#OscarsNotAsWhite
Last year's troubling lack of recognition for performers and filmmakers of color spurred the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite – and calls for a boycott.

The nominations this time around better reflect Hollywood's quality output – as well as the country’s population. Seven of the 20 acting nominations went to actors of color. Meanwhile, four of the nine best picture nominees feature non-white primary protagonists. 

Denzel Washington's brilliant turn in "Fences" would be a Best Actor lock most years, though Casey Affleck's chilling turn in "Manchester by the Sea" makes for a tight race.

Viola Davis is a Best Supporting Actress favorite for "Fences," though it’s puzzling that she wasn’t put up for Best Actress. Speaking of which: The most glaring snub of awards season remains Oscar voters' failure to nominate Taraji P. Henson for "Hidden Figures."

"La La”-Land Grab
"La La Land," a fine but flawed film, captured the imagination of Hollywood, which tends to reward movies about the entertainment industry (“Birdman” and “The Artist” are the two most recent examples of good films enshrined in greatness with Best Picture victories). 

But anything could happen, given this year’s crowded field of nine nominated movies  – even if might be folly to hope for a surprising and satisfying Hollywood ending.

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



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Selena Gomez Selling Fort Worth Home]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 13:51:51 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Gomez_Thumb.jpg Pop star Selena Gomez is selling her 10,000 square foot Fort Worth dream home. You can come and get it, for a cool $3 million.

Photo Credit: John Zimmerman (background) /Getty Images (inset)]]>
<![CDATA[ 'Little People' Stars Jeremy, Audrey Roloff Expecting Baby]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 12:40:25 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/littlepeoplebigworld.jpg

"Little People, Big World" stars Jeremy and Audrey Roloff are expecting their first child together.

The pair tells Us Weekly that Audrey Roloff discovered she was pregnant after returning home from a gender reveal party for Jeremy's twin brother, Zach Roloff, and his wife, Tori, who are expecting a baby boy in May.

She says she "was so surprised" after seeing a positive result on a pregnancy test. The 25-year-old says it could be the start of a large family. She says she wants "at least four" children.

The baby is due on Sept. 1.



Photo Credit: TLC, IMDB]]>
<![CDATA['Snubbed' Bill Cosby Slams NBC Following Anniversary Special]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 13:50:54 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/COSBY_AP_16306785825662.jpg

Bill Cosby took to social media Wednesday to slam NBC for what he believes was an attempt to snub his connection to the network during a recent 90th anniversary special celebrating the NBC programming.

With the hashtags #legacycan'tbeabolished and #theworldseesthetruth Cosby retweeted an article headlined that he was "snubbed" during the special.

He later tweeted #NoBillCosby (NBC).

Cosby helmed both "The Cosby Show" on NBC from 1984-1992 and co-starred on "I Spy," which also aired on the network from 1965 to 1968.

Cosby, 79, was charged with aggravated sexual assault on Dec. 30, 2015, just days before the 12-year statute of limitations would have run out over a 2004 encounter at his estate near Philadelphia.  He is scheduled to go on trial in June. Cosby has denied all allegations of sexual assault.

NBC had no response to Cosby's tweet when asked for comment.



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Jay Z to Become 1st Rapper in Songwriters Hall of Fame ]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 12:26:52 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/JayZ-black-lives-song.jpg

Jay Z is set to become the first rapper ever inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

The Songwriters Hall announced Wednesday that songwriting heavyweights in the industry, including Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Max Martin and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis will also be part of its 2017 class.

The organization's 48th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner will take place June 15 in New York.

Chicago band members Robert Lamm, James Pankow and Peter Cetera, along with Motown founder Berry Gordy, who deferred his induction in 2016, will also be inducted.

Jay Z is the first rapper to be nominated for the Songwriters Hall. Songwriters are eligible for induction after writing hit songs for at least 20 years. Jay Z released his debut album "Reasonable Doubt" in 1996.



Photo Credit: Getty Images for Live Nation]]>
<![CDATA[Jordan Peele Turns Focus to Directing in 'Get Out' ]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 14:03:29 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/get+out+of+my+face.jpg

Jordan Peele is "kind of done" with performing.

While that might be a dagger in the hearts of fans who came to know and love Peele as an uncannily calm Barack Obama, the endlessly annoying Meegan or any of the other characters he played in the sketch comedy series "Key & Peele," the good news is that he's still in the business of entertaining. He's just taking a seat behind the camera. The better news? He's really good at it.

His directorial debut, "Get Out," in theaters Friday, is one of those rare creations that functions both as a taut psychological thriller and as searing social commentary about racism in the modern era. The premise is simple: A black man, Chris, (Daniel Kaluuya) goes upstate with his white girlfriend, Rose, (Allison Williams) to meet her parents (Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener) and things get weird. It's been described as "The Stepford Wives" meets "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner."

Peele, who also wrote the film, isn't necessarily commenting on interracial relationships directly. His mother is white, as is his wife, comedian Chelsea Peretti — although he met her after it was written. Instead, it's in part based on the experience of being the only black man at an event full of mostly older, white people.

"There's a desire to connect that is sweet and endearing, but I wanted with this movie to show how you experience it different from our perspective," Peele said. "It's one thing to have one conversation with somebody but when every conversation you're having begins to resemble that conversation you begin to realize that you are being seen as other... it's at least a reminder that we're not past race."

Like "Scream," ''Get Out " is a satire with "full thriller vocabulary."

Peele was unabashed in referencing his influences during filming — often telling his production designer that he wanted one thing to feel very David Lynch and another to have more of a David Cronenberg vibe. He described it as pooling his influences and melting them down to create something new.

"(Quentin) Tarantino is the guy who taught me with the most clarity that you don't have to be afraid of your influences in order to create something absolutely new," Peele said. "I mean, what is more unique than 'Pulp Fiction' and what is also simultaneously more derivative? I think that's something very freeing for artists to realize. There's no way to escape that which formed you as an artist."

Peele is a lifetime fan of horror films and thrillers and on one level wanted to make something for the underserved black audience — but not exclusively so.

"The black horror movie audience is a very loyal fan base," Peele said. "We come out and we enjoy horror movies and there's this extreme lack of representation of black characters, black protagonists, but also the values that you see demonstrated in a theater — people yelling at the screen, 'get out! Get out of the house!'"

That's part of the reason Peele created the character of Chris's friend (played by comedian Lil Rel Howery), who serves as the voice of reason and caution. He's warns his friend not to go and demands he leave when things seem off.

"There's an element to being African-American where you are perceptive to things that somebody else may not be," Peele said. "That, to me, became a cool special power and kind of helped justify what would make a horror movie with black people in it unique."

But it was also important to Peele that "Get Out" wasn't "just a black movie."

"It had to be an inclusive film. If it doesn't work for everybody then it's not worth it There's this mix of the movie itself being about the fact that there's never been a movie like this," he said. "Part of what's special about this movie is that it is about representation. It's about giving someone like me a chance and a platform to make a movie from my perspective and trust that an audience will come and see it."

The same theory applied to casting his lead actor, Kaluuya, a name likely unfamiliar to most audiences. You might recognize him — he was in the TV show "Skins," and in films like "Sicario" and "Kick-Ass 2" — but he hasn't had the chance to stand out on his own yet. Peele realized early on that there wasn't a large pool of 26-year-old African-American leading men to drawn from.

"When I was putting this movie together, the black actors who are this age that would have been considered stars of films were Michael B. Jordan, maybe Chadwick Boseman and ... you got any more?" Peele said. "We very quickly realized that the only answer here is somebody who is a star but who we haven't seen get to be a star yet."

But Peele is optimistic. He sees a renaissance happening in Hollywood where people are finally being given chances, apparent in the rise of talents like Donald Glover and the worldwide success of films like "Straight Outta Compton."

"That's why it's cool to be in the industry right now," he said. "You see the emergence of people who should have been in the picture the whole time."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Harrison Ford's Near-Miss Landing]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 10:41:14 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Harrison_Ford_Video_for_Facebook_1_1200x675_882150979739.jpg

Cameras trained on the runways at John Wayne Airport in Orange County captured Harrison Ford's taxiway landing on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017.

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<![CDATA[Gwen Stefani Goes Up Against Blake Shelton on 'The Voice']]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 02:12:35 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/gwen-stefani-late-night.jpg

Gwen Stefani talked with Seth Meyers about working with her boyfriend, Blake Shelton, who she said is "in trouble" on this season of "The Voice."

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<![CDATA['Late Night': Seth Meyers Makes the Perfect Oscar Film]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 07:41:38 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/seth-meyers-oscar-bait.jpg

Seth Meyers debuts his latest project, "Oscar Bait," the perfect Oscar film released shamelessly right before Oscar season.

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<![CDATA['Tonight': Fallon as Trump Unveils 'Trump News Network']]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 06:26:14 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/jimmy-fallon-as-trump.jpg

Jimmy Fallon takes on the Donald Trump character once again to address the issue of fake news and announce his very own news network.

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<![CDATA['Tonight Show': Milo Ventimiglia Is Team Jack Pearson]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 01:54:25 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Milo-Ventimiglia-Tonight-Show.jpg

Milo Ventimiglia brainstorms a more exciting lie for how his arm ended up in a cast, brings Jimmy Fallon some gifts from his NBC drama "This Is Us" and reveals why he's not #TeamJess on Gilmore Girls.

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<![CDATA[Ready or Not! Lauryn Hill Welcomes First Grandchild]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 06:43:21 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/laurynhill2.jpg

Lauryn Hill is facing one of the hardest decisions of her life: whether to go by Nana, Nai Nai or Gramms, after her six Grammy awards.

The singer/songwriter welcomed her first grandchild at the ripe young age of 41, courtesy of her 19-year-old son, Zion Marley, according to Billboard. Zion is one of five children Hill has with Rohan Marley, the child of reggae sensation Bob Marley. 

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Zion posted photos with his newborn, Zephaniah, and lauded his baby’s mother, whose name has not been disclosed.

“Thank you for bearing him and putting up w everything I put you thru.. idk how you do it but you deserve all the love and all the respect.. you are a WARRIOR bringing in little ‘Zeph Curry,’” Zion captioned a photo of his partner.

Hill has yet to publicly comment on her new grandmother status. 



Photo Credit: FilmMagic
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<![CDATA['This is Us' Cast Warns Viewers to Prepare for Tearjerker ]]> Tue, 21 Feb 2017 16:55:48 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/thisisuspresstour.jpg

Get the tissues ready.  

Cast members of the NBC hit "This is Us" took to social media en masse to warn viewers to buckle up for a particularly emotional episode Tuesday night. 

Mild spoiler ahead.

The episode appears to prominently feature Sterling K. Brown's Randall Pearson and his ailing father, William Hill, played by Ron Cephas Jones.

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Photo Credit: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Judge Orders Chris Brown to Stay Away From Karrueche Tran]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 06:42:06 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/newtran.jpg

A judge has ordered R&B singer Chris Brown to stay away from his ex-girlfriend after she accused him of repeatedly threatening her.

The Grammy winner was ordered to stay 100 yards away from Karrueche Tran and make no attempt to contact her.

The order also calls for Brown to surrender any firearms he has until a March 9 hearing on the restraining order.

Tran wrote in court documents that Brown has repeatedly threatened her since December in text messages and through friends.

An email message sent to Brown's attorney Mark Geragos was not immediately returned.

The order, which was granted Friday, was first reported Tuesday by celebrity website TMZ.



Photo Credit: Getty Images for H&M]]>
<![CDATA[Magic Johnson Takes Lakers Reins Amid Front Office Shakeup]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 12:53:55 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/lakers-shakeup.jpg

Lakers legend and NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson has been named president of basketball operations in a major front office restructuring for the storied franchise.

General manager Mitch Kupchak and executive vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss, team president Jeannie Buss' brother, have been relieved of their duties, the Lakers announced Tuesday. The restructuring comes during the worst four-year stretch in franchise history.

"Today I took a series of actions I believe will return the Lakers to the heights Dr. Jerry Buss demanded and our fans rightly expect," Jeanie Buss said. "Effective immediately, Earvin Johnson will be in charge of all basketball operations and will report directly to me."

Kupchak had been the 16-time NBA champion franchise's GM since 2000, when Jerry West left the club. He had been in the front office for three decades, including the last 17 as general manager -- the league's longest current stretch as front office chief. 

Jim Buss had been in the team's front office for 19 years. 

The team has already started a search for a new general manager, the result of which will be announced in "short order," Jeanie Buss added.

Johnson, a beloved fan-favorite who guided the team to five league titles during his 13 NBA seasons, said he hopes to restore the franchise's mystique fter four straight losing seasons.

"It's a dream come true to return to the Lakers as President of Basketball Operations working closely with Jeanie Buss and the Buss family," said Johnson. "Since 1979, I've been a part of the Laker Nation and I'm passionate about this organization. I will do everything I can to build a winning culture on and off the court. We have a great coach in Luke Walton and good young players. We will work tirelessly to return our Los Angeles Lakers to NBA champions." 

The Lakers are 19-39 this season after an encouraging start under first-year head coach Walton. They finished 17-65 last season, a franchise low in the last year of Kobe Bryant's two decades with the team.

The Lakers clinched back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010, but then descended to the depths of the NBA -- a dramatic reversal of fortunes for one of the NBA most popular and successful franchises. After an extraordinary trade for Pau Gasol propelled the Lakers to three straight NBA Finals appearances, Kupchak and Jim Buss made a series of high-profile personnel moves that did not pan out. 

They made a pricey trade for Dwight Howard, who fled the franchise after one year, and another deal for Steve Nash, who barely played thanks to back woes. The Lakers are still feeling the effects of that deal, which will cost them their first-round pick this summer if it isn't in the top three.

The front officer moves come two days before the league's trade deadline. 

This will be Johnson's first foray into a decision-making NBA executive role, but he has been a successful businessman and investor since his playing career ended. He also briefly coached the Lakers, but dropped his ceremonial title as a team vice president last June after his frequent criticisms of Jim Buss and former coaches.

He sold his ownership stake in 2010.

The Lakers' recent ineptitude didn't hurt their place as Los Angeles' most beloved sports franchise and a worldwide brand, but Jeanie Buss finally tired of the apparent lack of progress. The Lakers have a talented young core with D'Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Brandon Ingram and Jordan Clarkson, but haven't been able to translate that potential into wins despite playing an exciting style under Walton.

The team also parted ways with Vice President of Public Relations John Black.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Jay-Z Reportedly Starting Venture Capital Fund ]]> Tue, 21 Feb 2017 13:46:07 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/492684008-Jay-Z-Copyright-Lawsuit.jpg

Some rappers start clothing lines. Others start venture capital funds.

Rapper Jay Z is putting his money to work in start-up and technology investing, Axios reported on Tuesday, according to NBC News.

Unnamed sources told Axios that Jay Z, born as Shawn Carter, will partner with venture capital firm Sherpa Capital, which has invested in companies like Uber, Airbnb and Slack.

The "99 Problems" singer — who is married to pop star Beyonce — is no stranger to the business world.

Jay-Z's entertainment company, Roc Nation, has made some investments in tech startups such as private-jet rental company BlackJet and French audio equipment company Devialet, according to Crunchbase. Jay-Z will partner with Roc Nation president Jay Brown for the new fund, the report says.



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Not Quitting His Day Job: Hanks' Debut Book Due in October ]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 06:42:44 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/tomhanksrap.jpg

Tom Hanks is putting his love of vintage typewriters to good use: his collection of short stories will be published in October.

The Oscar-winning actor's first book, "UNCOMMON TYPE: Some Stories," features 17 stories, each in some way involving a different typewriter. It's due out Oct. 24 from Alfred A. Knopf, the publisher said Tuesday.

Among the stories written by Hanks, who owns over 100 typewriters, is one about an immigrant arriving in New York City, another about a bowler who becomes a celebrity and another about an eccentric billionaire.

Hanks said in a statement that he began work on the stories in 2015: "I wrote in hotels during press tours. I wrote on vacation. I wrote on planes, at home, and in the office."



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Issa Rae Feels 'Validated' by Black Women in Hollywood Honor]]> Tue, 21 Feb 2017 11:31:34 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/issaraeshot.jpg

When Issa Rae watched Oprah Winfrey being honored at Essence magazine's Black Women in Hollywood Awards last year, the actress hoped she would one day be recognized in the same fashion. But she didn't think it would come this soon.

Rae, Janelle Monae, Aja Naomi King and Yara Shahidi will be honored Thursday in Los Angeles at the magazine's 10th annual awards. Past honorees include Oprah Winfrey, Viola Davis, Halle Berry, Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer.

"I used to say, 'It would be so cool to be up there,' but I didn't imagine it now," Rae, creator and star of HBO's "Insecure," said in a phone interview. "I was thinking maybe after a couple more films, a couple TV shows under my belt. ... That's really what I thought. It's just so encouraging to be awarded so early in my career. But that's what Essence does. It gets behind and supports black women. Now I feel like I can be on that journey."

This year's awards recognize "Hollywood's Next Generation."

Singer-actress Monae starred in two films up for best picture at the Oscars, "Hidden Figures" and "Moonlight." King is featured on television's "How to Get Away With Murder" and Shahidi appears on the sitcom "black-ish."

"These women are making their own waves," said Vanessa K. De Luca, editor-in-chief at Essence. "We think about who's had a stellar year. We think about who's been working quietly behind the scenes forever and deserves recognition. We think about who are going to be the women to pick up the mantle. We think about who are new and next. This year, we are taking a look at the new Hollywood."

De Luca said the awards provide an opportunity for the actresses to network with each other. She said many carve out time in their schedules to make sure they attend the awards, an event Winfrey has called "a sacred place" for black women.

Rae is one of them. The actresses-writer-director calls the event a "bonding experience."

And she feels validated by the recognition.

"It shows I'm on the right path," she said. "This is basically telling me, 'Hey girl, You're up next.'"



Photo Credit: WireImage]]>
<![CDATA['Today' Anchor Hoda Kotb Adopts 'Valentine's Baby' Girl]]> Tue, 21 Feb 2017 10:01:43 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/hoda-and-baby.jpg

Hoda Kotb has welcomed a baby girl to her family.

The "Today" anchor announced Tuesday that she's become a mom after adopting baby Haley Joy Kotb. 

"She is the love of my life," Kotb told her NBC colleagues by phone, her voice breaking with emotion several times. 

Kotb, 52, lives with boyfriend Joe Schiffman, who she has been dating since 2013, Today.com reported. Schiffman is a New York-based financial executive. 

Kotb was previously married for two years, having met and divorced her husband on Valentine's Day. 

Asked how old little Haley was, Kotb said on "Today" that her child was a "Valentine's baby."



Photo Credit: Courtesy of Hoda Kotb
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