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Gold Derby nuggets: George Clooney bounces reality hosts from Emmycast | 'Modern Family' sneak peek | 'Mad Men' fails to win over advertisers

August 2, 2010 |  2:43 pm

George Clooney Emmy Awards • The winner of the reality show host race won't be accepting on the prime-time Emmy telecast, which is live nationwide this year. As the show is scheduled to repeat on the West Coast at 8 p.m. PDT, the broadcast has to be over in exactly three hours. So, to ensure there is time for George Clooney to collect the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award, the host category has been bumped to the Creative Arts Emmys which take place eight days earlier and air, in an edited version, on the E! cable network. Also missing from the main telecast will be the awards for writers and directors of comedy music variety series, which alternate with the equivalent races for telefilms and minis. Ray Richmond reports on all this and more as per the show's exec producer Don Mischer, who explained, "On the long-form awards, for example, we didn't have the option of shifting the writers and directors for contractual reasons. And we really didn't want to think about taking the made-for-TV movie or miniseries award out. The reality host award was one we didn't have a commitment to in terms of keeping it in the telecast." DEADLINE

• After noting that "when the reality host category had been added to the derby two years ago, they'd been sold a bill of goods about how it was going to young-up the audience for the trophy show," Lisa de Moraes analyzes the rationale of shifting the award off the prime-time kudocast. "What the academy's not saying is that it wants to goose the show's numbers, seeing as how it does not yet have a closed contract to keep broadcasting the show on the broadcast networks. A new contract may not be a slam-dunk, given that the Emmys have become a big fat plug for cable networks, which annoys suits at the broadcast nets mightily. And, when you're trying to attract viewers to a show, you do not want to lose sight of the fact that Clooney is Clooney, while Jeff Probst is, well, Jeff Probst. And yet, despite this undeniable truth, Mischer and academy President John Shaffner continued to insist during their appearance at the Press Tour, that that is not why Probst's annual win will not be seen during the televised portion of the Emmy ceremony. The academy had no choice, they explained. Other categories you'd think would be high on the Whack-This List are protected from cutting by deals the academy has with networks and/or various guilds. Try to cut one of those categories and, for instance, a guild might decide you'd violated that pact and inform you that you're going to have to pay its members residuals on that boatload of clips you air during your trophy show. Ouch!" WASHINGTON POST

Jimmy Fallon made merry with the TV folk when he appeared at the TCA to tout his upcoming hosting gig of the Emmy Awards. As James Hibberd reports, the "Late Night" host was in fine form. " 'I want the TV academy to be happy, I want [producer] Don Mischner to be happy,' Fallon said of his upcoming Emmy stint, adding that 'I don't want to make anybody uncomfortable' with his jokes. 'You have to relate to different people as well,' Fallon said about appealing to the wider Emmy audience. 'I gotta get you to laugh and you to laugh and you to laugh -- they don't all laugh at the same thing.' " HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

Modern-family-posterEd O'Neill, the only adult cast member of "Modern Family" not to receive an Emmy nomination, told the TCA "that the show's child actors were the ones who really got snubbed by academy voters. 'The truth is, if you're nominated or you're not nominated, you don't have a lot of options. For all I know, the kids could have been nominated before me ... the kids were phenomenal.' " However, his younger cast mates demurred. "Asked if he felt left out of the Emmy race, 12-year-old Rico Rodriguez, who plays Manny on the show, said, 'They probably have something in store for us later in the years; it'll be great to even go to the Emmys.' " THE WRAP

• One of O'Neill's Emmy-nominated "Modern Family" co-stars -- Eric Stonestreet -- thinks that his character, Cameron, will eventually marry his gay partner, Mitchell (Jessie Tyler Ferguson). As he told Sean Daly, "I don’t know how that would happen with the real-life legality. Maybe it would be a destination (wedding). Us going somewhere that gay marriage is legal. But they have to save some of that stuff. We hope to be on the air for seven years." Show producer Christopher Lloyd admits, "Frankly we have stayed away from anything that feels overtly political. It is just not the style of our show. But we wouldn’t rule it out." NEW YORK POST

Nathan Lane has contended twice before for best guest actor in a comedy series and could well be a contender against next year for his just-announced turn on "Modern Family." Gary Levin reports from the TCA that the two-time Tony champ will play, "Pepper, the flamboyant older friend of Mitchell and Cameron,  who was referenced last season. He'll appear in one the early episodes in the fall. Lane approached producers about doing the show, and executive producer Steven Levitan says he fits the part perfectly. But mostly, 'We're toning down on stunt casting; we don't want to turn into a guest of the week. The audience loves our characters and we have enough of them' in the large ensemble." USA TODAY

• Fox is jumping on the country music awards bandwagon with the inaugural kudocast of the American Country Awards set for Dec. 6. As Andrew Wallenstein and Shirley Halperin report, "ACA will attempt to differentiate itself from the other shows by having the fans vote for the winners. The executive producer of the program is Bob Bain,who runs the Teen Choice Awards, another viewer-driven awards show for Fox. After years of decline, there seems to be renewed faith in awards shows given the resurgence of several key franchises, including the Grammys, which rocketed to 26.6 million viewers this year, up more than 7 million from 2009." THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

• The fourth film from theater visionary Julie Taymor -- a re-imagining of Shakespeare's "The Tempest" -- will close the 67th edition of the Venice Film Festival on Sept. 11 and will also be the Centerpiece selection for this year’s New York Film Festival, unspooling in Manhattan on Oct. 2. The picture stars Oscar champ Helen Mirren ("The Queen") as Prospera, a gender-bending take on the character of Prospero, a sorcerer marooned on an island with his daughter. The film features another Oscar winner -- Chris Cooper ("Adaptation") -- as well as Russell Brand, Alan Cumming, Djimon Hounsou, David Strathairn and Ben Whishaw. In making the announcement, NYFF selection chairman Richard Pena said, "Julie Taymor is one of the boldest, most innovative artists working in American theater and film, and her elegant adaptation of 'The Tempest' is a perfect illustration of her unique artistry." NYFF

Mad-men-logo-300x159 • "Mad Men" may have won over the Emmy Awards but it is striking out with ad agencies. As Brian Steinberg writes, "airings of 'Mad Men' took in only $1.98 million in ad revenue in 2009, according to Kantar Media. In 2008, the show nabbed just less than $2.8 million, and in 2007, approximately $2.25 million. These are paltry amounts when one considers that a 30-second ad in an equally buzzy program such as '24' on Fox cost between $200,000 and $280,000 as the show, off its peak, headed into its final season." However, as Brian notes, "while ad dollars placed against 'Mad Men' may be small, AMC's use of the program can help it win more revenue from other sources. Since 'Mad Men' arrived, the amount AMC gets paid by cable and satellite operators per subscriber has increased to 24 cents from 22 cents, according to SNL Kagan. Before the show debuted, that fee had declined to 21 cents in 2006 from 22 cents in 2005. The channel is available in more than 95 million homes." AD AGE

• The red-hot Betty White is guesting on the season opener of the sophomore season of "Community." David Kronke visited the set to see "America's favorite octogenarian, who plays a deeply eccentric anthropology professor named Jane Bauer." She tangles with Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) in a smackdown that required the use of a stuntwoman at one point. And, as David reports, "White, the usual sugar in her voice, asks her, 'Honey, will you do me a favor?' The stunt double, as awed as the rest of the cast and crew by the iconic White, replies, 'Anything for you.' White says flatly, 'Don't screw up,' delivering her improvised joke for the sole benefit of those in attendance with the same élan as she does her punchlines in appearances seen by millions." TV GUIDE

• Although Will Arnett was at the TCA Monday touting his new Fox sitcom "Running Wilde," he found time to talk about his last series with Fox, the much-missed "Arrested Development," which won the Emmy for best comedy series for the first of its three seasons in 2004. Arnett told TheWrap that a film version of the caustic comedy is "definitely happening" and "that he'd spoken with other principals in the project over the weekend. 'We just had a meeting about it yesterday morning,' Arnett said. 'Timing we're still working on, but it's definitely going to happen.' " THE WRAP

Photos, from top: George Clooney on the "Hope for Haiti" telethon. Credit: MTV; "Modern Family" first season poster. Credit: ABC; "Mad Men" logo. Credit: AMC

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