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Gold Derby nuggets: Kathy Griffin guests on 'SVU' | Is Meryl Streep playing favorites? | Denzel Washington returns to Broadway

November 11, 2009 |  9:41 am

Kathy-griffin-emmy-2008-2 • Who volunteers to tell Kathy Griffin that the guest actress Emmys don't get presented on the prime-time kudocast but are relegated to the creative arts awardsfest that she has dubbed the Schmemmys? The two-time Emmy champ for her reality series "My Life on the D List" has inked a deal to appear in an episode of "Law & Order: SVU" later this season. That procedural produces episodes that showcase actresses, racking up 14 guest Emmy nods and four wins over the years. As Rick Porter reports, "Her episode is tentatively scheduled to film around the first of the year, but there's no word yet on when it will air or the character she's playing. Though she's mostly stuck to comedic roles in her career, Griffin does have a handful of drama credits, including guest spots on the early days of 'ER' (where 'SVU' exec Neil Baer was a writer and producer), 'The X-Files' and Lifetime's 'Strong Medicine.' She's also guested on dramedies 'Ugly Betty' and 'Privileged" in recent seasons." ZAP2IT

Michael Ausiello has the scoop that Christine Baranski will be reprising her Emmy-nominated turn on "The Big Bang Theory" in a January episode. She plays Leonard's (Johnny Galecki) mother who sets Sheldon's (Jim Parsons) heart aflutter. As Michael says, "When last the brainiacs crossed paths, the will-they-or-won’t-they tension between them was palpable." Baranski was bested for guest actress in a comedy series last year by Tina Fey for her work on "Saturday Night Live." ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY 

Angela Lansbury -- who won two of her five record-tying Tonys for Stephen Sondheim musicals ("Gypsy," "Sweeney Todd") -- is to receive an award named for the composer-lyricist from D.C.'s Signature Theatre. This acclaimed regional theater has produced 18 of Sondheim's shows. Lansbury -- who returns to Broadway this month in Sondheim's "A Little Night Music" opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones -- will be feted in April. WASHINGTON POST

Julie and Julia PosterGreg Ellwood reports that "Meryl Streep was asked to pose for a spread in a major magazine that would be timed around the opening of 'It's Complicated.' A publication many Academy members are known to still buy. Her reply? Only if she could take the photos with Nora Ephron. Note: Ephron is her "Julie and Julia" director. Awkward (Obviously, read into that what you will.) In any event, and as if there was ever any doubt, Streep is putting her hopes to finally land a third Oscar in the hands of her critically acclaimed performance in 'Julie and Julia.'" HIT FIX

• "Up" was released on DVD Tuesday and the Oscar contender made the most of this, "with a number of bonus features, including commentary from Peter Docter and co-director Bob Peterson, and an original short film about Dug, a talking dog who stars in the movie." Docter told Reuters that Oscar voters should consider his computer-animated feature as they do any movie because that's how his team approaches filmmaking. "We happen to use computers to be telling the story, but it's first and foremost about the storytelling, just like anything else." he said. "For the world to look at it that way as well, that would be great." NEW YORK TIMES

• Add another animated feature to this year's pool of Oscar contenders, says Peter Debruge. As he explains, "GKIDS picked up U.S. rights to 'The Secret of Kells' just three days before the Oscar submission deadline and plans to open the 2D toon for a one-week qualifying run on Dec. 4 at the AMC Burbank 8 in Los Angeles, followed by a wider release in March 2010. The story of a ninth-century boy who rebels against his guardian's orders and helps to illuminate a famous Irish manuscript, pic garnered numerous accolades abroad, including an audience award at the Annecy toon fest and a nomination for the European Film Awards' animated feature prize. GKIDS is a for-profit offshoot of the New York International Children's Film Festival, focused on distributing quality family-oriented films programmed at the annual kidpic showcase." VARIETY

Denzel Washington Julius Caesar • The last time two-time Oscar champ Denzel Washington appeared on Broadway was in 2005 as Marcus Brutus in Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar." Back then he played to SRO but was still snubbed by awards voters for his well-received performance. Washington is set to cross the Hudson again in April in the first revival of August Wilson's 1987 Tony and Pulitzer winner, "Fences." The role of Troy Maxson -- a former Negro League baseball player working as a garbageman --  won James Earl Jones the lead actor Tony.  "Fences" -- set in 1950s Pittsburgh -- comes midway in Wilson's century cycle of 10 plays. PLAYBILL

• DGA president Taylor Hackford announced Tuesday that two studio execs -- Walt Disney prez Robert Iger and Warner Bros. CEO Barry Meyer -- will receive honorary memberships in the guild at the 62nd annual awardsfest on Jan. 30. Iger and Meyer will join the ranks of D.W. Griffith, Charles Chaplin, Walt Disney, Louis B. Mayer, Darryl F. Zanuck, and Roger Ebert, who also received the award over the last 72 years. THE CIRCUIT

Taylor Swift picked up her second straight song of the year honors at the BMI Country Awards on Tuesday with her win for "Love Story." Said the teen singing sensation at the ceremony in the country music capital, "I just want to say to every songwriter and every loved one of a songwriter, thank you, because you are the reason I wanted to try Nashville." The prolific Bobby Pinson won songwriter of the year, Sony/ATV Music was named publisher of the year, Brooks & Dunn received the president's award and Kris Kristofferson was feted for his career achievement. NPR

• The Emmys have signed up new PR representation following their split with the Lippin Group. BNC Public Relations will oversee media for the Primetime Emmys and Hall of Fame while Beck Media Marketing will handle publicity for the TV academy's foundation.

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Photos, from top: Kathy Griffin at 2008 Creative Arts Emmys (ATAS); "Julie & Julia" poster (Columbia); Denzel Washington in "Julius Caesar" (Belasco Theatre)

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