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July 31, 2014

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Ben Folds Talks About 'The Sing-Off' and Harmonizes Hoda's Cue Card Notes (VIDEO)

by Alex Moaba, posted Sep 30th 2011 3:30PM
Ben Folds joined Hoda Kotb as the guest host on the fourth hour of 'Today' (9AM ET on NBC) where he talked about what sets 'The Sing-Off' apart from other reality music shows and demonstrated his harmonizing skills by singing an improvised jingle made up of the notes on Hoda's cue cards.

"I think this show is socially significant. Music education has been on the down, and filling the space has been kids singing at colleges. There are about 4-8 A capella groups at each university now," he said." As for the show's contestants, he explained, "they're not divas. This show isn't about egos, it's people working together."

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Kathie Lee Tells Betty White a Dirty Pirate Joke (VIDEO)

by Alex Moaba, posted Sep 30th 2011 2:35PM
Kathie Lee Gifford's been taking a vacation from 'Today' (9AM ET on NBC) this week, and spent part her time off on the set of 'Hot in Cleveland,' filming an upcoming cameo. The location gave Gifford the perfect 'Funny Friday' audience, as Betty White has never met a dirty joke she didn't like.

Gifford told White the joke in her dressing room. It began, "A pirate walks into a bar with a steering wheel down his pants," and ended with America's lovably crass grandma cracking up. We won't spoil the punchline, but it rest assured, it included them both making their best pirate "Aaarrrr," noises.

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Kardashians to Co-Host 'Today'

by Jean Bentley, posted Sep 28th 2011 7:15PM
KardashiansLooks like Hoda Kotb's got a slew of new drinking buddies for next week: The entire Kardashian family -- Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, mom Kris and stepdad Bruce Jenner -- will take turns filling in for Kathie Lee during the fourth hour of the 'Today' show next week.

NBC announced today that the K-named E! reality stars will fill the co-anchor slot in order to promote next weekend's epic Kim Kardashian wedding special on E!.

Khloe's up on Monday, followed by Bruce on Tuesday, Kris on Wednesday, Kourtney on Thursday and Kim bringing up the rear on Friday -- just in time to plug 'Kim's Fairytale Wedding: A Kardashian Event,' which debuts Sun., Oct. 9 at 8PM ET on NBC sister station E!.

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Patrick Wilson On 'A Gifted Man' and His Complex Character Michael Holt (VIDEO)

by Alex Moaba, posted Sep 28th 2011 3:10PM
Patrick Wilson stopped by 'Today' (weekdays, 9AM ET on NBC) to talk about his new CBS series 'A Gifted Man' and his character Michael Holt, a cocky, hot-shot surgeon whose ex-wife appears to him as a ghost, inspiring him to give back.

Wilson said it was Holt's complexity that really appealed to him. "I felt like if I was going to do TV, then at least I wanted it to be a real conflicted guy, something I could really find my way around. This guy, on the outside, he's hard-edged and arrogant but I knew he had this other side going on."

The show was originally going to film in Los Angeles, but Wilson wasn't prepared to leave or relocate his young family. CBS moved the entire production to the East coast to accommodate him. Wilson said he was "humbled" their decision.

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Sara Bareilles Talks About the Challenge of Giving Negative Feedback on 'The Sing-Off' (VIDEO)

by Alex Moaba, posted Sep 27th 2011 1:45PM
New 'The Sing-Off' judge Sara Bareilles co-hosted the fourth hour of 'Today' (weekdays, 9AM ET on NBC) while Kathie Lee Gifford was off shooting her 'Hot in Cleveland' cameo. Bareilles, who's a sweetheart by nature, talked about the challenge of giving singers negative feedback, sang some a capella of her own and hoola-hooped with Hoda.

Bareilles struggled to figure out how to provide substantive criticism without coming off like a jerk. "It's hard to be critical sometimes. I see that now as I'm watching the show be aired, and I remember feeling self-conscious about wanting to point out places where they need to make improvements," she said.

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'Today' Previews Kathie Lee's Daughter Cassidy's 'Blue Bloods' Guest Spot (VIDEO)

by Alex Moaba, posted Sep 23rd 2011 3:30PM
We're all well aware by now that Kathie Lee Gifford is a booze-hound. Soon her daughter Cassidy will be playing one on TV. She has a small speaking part in the CBS cop drama 'Blue Bloods,' as an underage drinker at a bar that's under investigation for serving minors.

On the fourth hour of 'Today,' (weekdays, (9AM ET on NBC) Kathie Lee and Hoda previewed a clip from Cassidy's 'Blue Bloods' episode. As Will Estes, who plays Tom Selleck's son on the show, posts up at the bar, Cassidy approaches him and says, "Bet you a drink I can guess where you went to college." She delivers the line like someone who's learned from a seasoned pro.

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Kathie Lee Is Counting on 'Whitney' to Save NBC (VIDEO)

by Alex Moaba, posted Sep 22nd 2011 2:45PM
Kathie Lee has some high expectations for Whitney Cummings' new NBC sitcom 'Whitney.' As soon as Cummings sat down for an interview on the fourth hour of 'Today' (9AM ET on NBC), Gifford told Cummings that they were counting on her to save the network.

Faced with that kind of pressure, Cummings responded in a way that fit the setting: by chugging her drink. The interview rolled on from there, as Kathie Lee and Hoda cracked up while Cummings shook her "water bra" for an onlooker and asked the ladies if they had roofied her cocktail.

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Maria Bello Previews 'Prime Suspect' and Talks About Playing Detective Jane Timoney (VIDEO)

by Alex Moaba, posted Sep 22nd 2011 1:20PM
The American remake of 'Prime Suspect,' which stars Maria Bello as a hard-charging homicide detective, premieres Thursday night on NBC. Bello stopped by 'Today' (9AM ET on NBC) to talk about the new show and how she envisions audiences relating to her character.

"My character Jane Timoney is completely unapologetic, direct, impatient, honest to a fault, and people will find her funny or she'll make them crazy," Bello predicted. Helen Miren played Timoney in the British version of the show, so Bello has some big shoes to fill.

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Simon Cowell Talks 'X Factor' Expectations and What the Show Is Searching For (VIDEO)

by Alex Moaba, posted Sep 21st 2011 6:30PM
On the eve of Wednesday night's 'The X Factor' premiere, Matt Lauer traveled to Simon Cowell's L.A. mansion for a fireside 'Today' (7AM ET on NBC) chat. The two talked about Cowell's expectations for the new show, critics who are rooting for Cowell to fail, and what defines that elusive x-factor the show is looking to find.

"You'll see the most ginarmous fireworks display in Los Angeles if this show bombed," Cowell said, pointing out at the city. But Cowell may be his own harshest critic: he told Lauer that if the show doesn't draw in 20 million viewers, a number that would put it on par with 'Idol,' he'd consider it a flop.

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Nick Lachey Talks About the Inspirational Atmosphere of 'The Sing-Off' (VIDEO)

by Alex Moaba, posted Sep 19th 2011 4:20PM
NBC's A cappella talent competition 'The Sing-Off' returns for a new season tonight at 9PM ET. Host Nick Lachey made an appearance on 'Today' (9AM ET on NBC) to talk about the judging changes the show has made this season, and the inspiring musical atmosphere the show fosters. It's so contagious that Lachey has been working in the studio on a new project of his own.

'The Sing-Off' will have a new judges this year, as Sara Bareilles joins Ben Folds and rest of the crew. It will also have a longer season, as its moving to 16 episodes. Lachey said the new judges bring a wealth of energy, and experience, to a set that's already brimming with its own unique vibe. The show has struck such a nerve that not only is it creating A cappella groups as part of the competition, but singers are starting to form their own groups to compete for a spot in the competition.

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Kathie Lee and Hoda Make Their 2011 Emmy Picks (VIDEO)

by Nick Zaino, posted Sep 16th 2011 4:45PM
Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford on the Emmys on 'Today'The 2011 Emmy Awards air Sunday, and Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb took a look at the field Friday on 'Today' (weekdays, 7AM on NBC) with People Magazine's style and beauty editor Pamela Edwards Christiani. They went through the major categories and picked a few favorites from 'Mad Men,' 'The Good Wife,' and 'The Office.'

Christiani picked Jon Hamm over Steve Buscemi, Kyle Chandler, Michael C. Hall, Hugh Laurie, and Timothy Olyphant for lead actor in a drama. "It's his year. I don't know if you paid attention to 'Mad Men' last season, his character was so intense. The downward spiral -- Don Draper brought it to us this year." She also likes Julianna Margulies for 'The Good Wife,' citing the show's critical acclaim and fan popularity.

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Charlie Sheen Talks About Getting Roasted (VIDEO)

by Nick Zaino, posted Sep 16th 2011 2:45PM
Charlie Sheen with Matt Lauer on 'Today'Charlie Sheen seems to have come out on the other side of his public breakdown, which culminated with his firing from the popular sitcom 'Two and A Half Men.' Speaking with Matt Lauer Friday on 'Today' (weekdays, 7AM on NBC), Sheen sounded almost normal, as if he were talking about someone else who went nuts and lost his job.

Of course, he's already heard everything bad everyone could say about him, having taped his Comedy Central Roast last week. It got personal, but Sheen understood. "It was entertainment, but I think if you're gonna roast a guy like me, there can't be any boundaries," he said. "There can't be anything off limits. You know? I was sitting there, and I thought, okay, I volunteered for this. You know? And that was an odd feeling because, who would do that?"

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Kathie Lee and Hoda Sort Out the Salahi 'Kidnapping' (VIDEO)

by Nick Zaino, posted Sep 15th 2011 3:00PM
Michaele and Tareq Salahi on 'Today'Michaele Salahi and her husband Tareq first made headlines for party crashing a White House dinner. Now Michaele is making headlines again, after her husband reported her missing on Tuesday. As it turns out, she actually ran off with Journey guitarist Neal Schon. Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb waded into the tabloid mess Thursday on 'Today' (weekdays, 7AM on NBC).

Kotb reported that Tareq had reported his wife missing to the FBI, and then called TMZ. "What kind of a person calls the FBI and then TMZ?" Gifford asked. Kotb then mentioned the TMZ report that had Michaele running off with Schon. "Apparently, TMZ said she's been dating him for a while," said Kotb. "Allegedly!" Gifford added.

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Gavin DeGraw Recounts the Fuzzy Details of His Beating, Performs on 'Today' (VIDEO)

by Nick Zaino, posted Sep 15th 2011 2:15PM
Gavin DeGraw on 'Today'You'll have to forgive musician Gavin DeGraw if he's a little foggy on the details of the beating he received last month in New York City. He gave an account of the incident Thursday on 'Today' (weekdays, 7AM on NBC) that provided little explanation for why a group of people attacked him, or even how he reacted. But he was able to get back to the music.

"A group of people said something to me," he said. "The tone was weird and I turned to be like, what's the tone? And that was ... it was kind of like the lights went out." DeGraw said he doesn't remember much after that, but a 911 call had reported he had been hit by a cab. "I'm told I got clipped by a taxi. My head was already so rocked from the concussion."

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Hank Azaria Previews 'Free Agents' and Talks About His 'Adult Relationship' (VIDEO)

by Nick Zaino, posted Sep 14th 2011 1:50PM
Hank Azaria talks about 'Free Agents' on 'Today'Hank Azaria's character on the new sitcom 'Free Agents' is a very emotional guy, as Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb pointed out Wednesday morning on 'Today' (weekdays, 7AM on NBC). He is recovering from a divorce and commiserating with his friend, played by Kathryn Hahn, as the two contemplate getting involved with each other.

So how emotional is Azaria's character? "He is profoundly sad," said Azaria. "There's an exchange in the pilot where Kathryn is telling me, 'You're too emotional to do anything,' I'm like, 'No I'm fine,' and she's like, 'Are you aware that you're crying right now?'"

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