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Tom O'Neil has the inside track on Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and all the award shows.

Category: Breaking Bad

Golden Globes TV predix: Best lead drama actor

October 13, 2010 |  1:22 pm

Our TV experts Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Rob Licuria agree on who four of the five nominees will be for lead actor in a drama series at the Golden Globes: Steve Buscemi ("Boardwalk Empire"), Gabriel Byrne ("In Treatment"), Michael C. Hall ("Dexter") and Jon Hamm ("Mad Men"). However, Boomer picks Hugh Laurie ("House M.D.") and Rob opts for Tom Selleck ("Blue Bloods") in the fifth slot. Notice how similar these predix are to what they forecast for this same category at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Michael C Hall Golden Globes news DexterBoomer handicaps the Globes race contender by contender below. Rob's reax to Boomer's rundown: "I would move James Badge Dale ('Rubicon') up, add Michael Chiklis ('No Ordinary Family') to possibles and Andy Whitfield ('Spartacus: Blood and Sand') to long shots."

Michael C. Hall won last year. Gabriel Byrne triumphed in 2008 and wasn't nominated in 2009 because "In Treatment" didn't air new episodes during the eligibility period.

Also, check out Boomer's and Rob's analysis of the Golden Globe races for best drama series and best comedy.

* = nominee last year

LEAD DRAMA ACTOR
(Front-runners)
Simon Baker, "The Mentalist"**
Steve Buscemi, "Boardwalk Empire"
Gabriel Byrne, "In Treatment"
Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad"
Matthew Fox, "Lost"
Michael C. Hall, "Dexter" *
Jon Hamm, "Mad Men" *
Hugh Laurie, "House" *
Bill Paxton, "Big Love" *
Tom Selleck, "Blue Bloods"

Continue reading »

Early forecast of SAG Awards: Best TV drama actor

October 11, 2010 |  2:57 pm

It doesn't matter anymore that Hugh Laurie ("House") won TV drama actor of 2006 and 2008 at the SAG Awards. He won't even be nominated at the next batch of kudos to be bestowed by the Screen Actors Guild on Jan. 30, according to our pundit Rob Licuria (AwardsHeaven).

Dexter Boardwalk Empire TV news

Rob boots Laurie from his lineup of five projected nominees in favor of Steve Buscemi ("Boardwalk Empire"). Rob also predicts Gabriel Byrne ("In Treatment"), Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad"), Michael C. Hall ("Dexter") and Jon Hamm ("Mad Men"). Hall won last year.

Memo to Hugh Laurie: Don't give up all hope. Our other pundit, Chris "Boomer" Beachum, includes you in his high five along with Byrne, Cranston, Hall and Hamm.

Below, Boomer breaks down the race for us, according to front-runners, possible contenders and long shots.

BEST DRAMA ACTOR
Front-runners
Simon Baker, "The Mentalist" *
Steve Buscemi, "Boardwalk Empire"
Gabriel Byrne, "In Treatment"
Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad" *
Matthew Fox, "Lost"
Michael C. Hall, "Dexter" *
Jon Hamm, "Mad Men" *
Hugh Laurie, "House" *
Terry O’Quinn, "Lost"
Aaron Paul, "Breaking Bad"

Possible
Kyle Chandler, "Friday Night Lights"
Michael Emerson, "Lost"
Denis Leary, "Rescue Me"
Bill Paxton, "Big Love"
Kiefer Sutherland, "24"

Continue reading »

Early forecast of Golden Globes: Best TV drama series

October 5, 2010 | 11:08 am

Now that the fall TV shows have begun to play out, we have a better idea of which ones may be serious contenders at the next big batch of awards: Golden Globes. I asked our gurus, Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Rob Licuria, (AwardsHeaven) to pipe in with their early handicapping.

Boomer responded first with his breakdown. Below is how he sizes up the contest for TV drama series. Rob offered his slight edit: "I would move 'Damages' up to front-runners, add 'No Ordinary Family' to possibles."

Surprisingly, that means "Boardwalk Empire" is the only new show they list as a front-runner to be nominated. Normally, the Globes make a special point to spotlight hot new series, but the recent batch of new shows is getting a largely cool reception.

TV shows nominated last year are marked on the list below with an asterisk (*). "Mad Men" has won this category for the past three years, just as it did at the Emmys.

Mad Men Golden Globes

BEST TV DRAMA SERIES
(Front-runners)
"Big Love" *
"Boardwalk Empire"
"Breaking Bad"
"Dexter"  *
"The Good Wife"
"House" *
"In Treatment"
"Lost"
"Mad Men" *
"True Blood" *

(Possible)
"Blue Bloods"
"The Closer"
"Damages"
"Detroit 187"
"The Event"
"Friday Night Lights"
"Hawaii 5-0"
"Parenthood"
"Sons of Anarchy"
"Treme"

Photo: Charlie Hofheimer and Elisabeth Moss prove that "Mad Men" has remained hot this season. Credit: AMC

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Gold Derby nuggets: 'Social Network' star isn't fan of Facebook | 'The Hobbit' hobbled

September 27, 2010 |  3:58 pm

The Social Network posterJesse Eisenberg, star of "The Social Network," makes a startling confession to Anna David: "Look, I don't have a Facebook page because I have little interest in hearing myself talk about myself any further than I already do in interviews or putting any more about myself online than there already is. But if I wasn't in this position, I'm sure I would use it every day." And he admits he identified with Mark Zuckerberg: "I'm uncomfortable in the same way Mark is. I can't watch myself in interviews. I feel like I look like a wreck. My mom is always calling me and going, 'Stop fidgeting,' and it's like, 'You have no idea what it's like, Mom.'" THE DAILY BEAST

• For Aaron Sorkin, scribe of "The Social Network," the appeal of telling the tale of the founding of Facebook was the various versions. "If the same story was behind the invention of MySpace or Friendster, I would have written that. Two separate lawsuits were brought against Facebook at roughly the same time. Rather than pick one and decide that's the truth, or pick one and say that's the sexiest, I like the idea that there are three conflicting stories." OBSERVER

"Iron Cross," the final film starring two-time Oscar nominee Roy Scheider, was feted by the just-wrapped Boston film fest. Writer-director Joshua Newton received the Visionary Filmmaker award while his son Alexander Newton was awarded the best young actor prize. Scheider was saluted for a lifetime of achievement.

• To celebrate the 45th anniversary of 1965 Oscar champ "The Sound of Music," the cast is reuniting on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on Oct. 29. Stars Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer will be joined by the seven actors who played the Von Trapp children in this classic musical.  AP

• The fifth season of "Dexter" debuted to the best numbers -- 2.3 million viewers -- for a Showtime series in 15 years.

The Hobbit • In a provocative piece, Kyle Buchanan wonders whether Peter Jackson should just give up on "The Hobbit." As he notes, "The attempt to prequelize the 'Lord of the Rings' saga famously lost director Guillermo del Toro in May after troubled MGM couldn't guarantee a green light, and since then, there's been one new problem after another. The two-film production is still without a director and a lead actor, series godfather Peter Jackson remains commitment-phobic about helming 'The Hobbit' himself, intended star Martin Freeman is committed to the BBC show 'Sherlock,' and now several actors guilds have told performers to refuse work on the non-union production." VULTURE

• Three-time Emmy champ Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad") sure has a fan in his one-time on-screen sparring partner Jane Kaczmarek. The pair played marrieds on "Malcolm in the Middle" for seven seasons. Jane says, "I loved working with him largely because I knew he had this spectacular ability. He always reminded me of Jack Lemmon. Think of 'Days of Wine and Roses' or 'The Apartment'; [Lemmon] was very funny, but he also was the real thing dramatically. And Bryan is those things, too." ZAP2IT

Phil Keoghan, host of "The Amazing Race," chatted to Louis Virtel in advance of Sunday's premiere episode of the seven-time Emmy champ. Says Phil, "The schedule that we have is so ridiculously brutal — it would be insane to describe to you how it is sometimes. I mean, imagine the most insane schedule you can and then multiply it. The thing that I’m so blessed with is that I get to go on this whirlwind trip around the world, and in 25 days, I see the most extraordinary things and meet the most extraordinary people." MOVIELINE

Top image: "The Social Network" poster. Credit: Columbia

Bottom image: "The Hobbit" book cover. Credit: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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Video: 'Breaking Bad' star Aaron Paul backstage at the Emmys

August 30, 2010 | 12:47 am

Soon after he won best supporting drama actor at the 2010 Emmys, "Breaking Bad" star Aaron Paul dished with reporters back in the press room.

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'Mad Men' and Bryan Cranston three-peat at Emmys while Kyra Sedgwick finally wins

August 29, 2010 | 10:57 pm

Emmys Bryan Cranston Breaking Bad Emmy Awards While both the drama series "Mad Men" and lead actor Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad") won Emmys for the third consecutive year, Kyra Sedgwick defied the odds and finally prevailed with her fifth consecutive lead actress bid for "The Closer." She was expected to lose this year to Julianna Margulies, star of the freshman hit "The Good Wife." Rather, it was Archie Panjabi who flew the flag for that show at the Emmy Awards, winning in the supporting actress category, something none of our pundits foresaw.

They didn't do much better on the supporting actor side, with only two of them predicting that win by Aaron Paul on his second bid for "Breaking Bad." The rest of us were predicting one of the previous "Lost" champs — Michael Emerson or Terry O'Quinn to win again. We had forgotten our Emmy history. Unlike the other acting races, you have to go all the way back to 1995-96 to find the most recent repeat champ in this category: Ray Walston ("Picket Fences").

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner, who won the writing award on his own for the first year of the series, shared it again this year (with Erin Levy) as he had last year (with Kater Gordon). And in a nice Emmy moment, Steve Shill accepted his directing prize for the seaon finale of "Dexter" from John Lithgow, who had won an Emmy this year for guesting on that show.

Photo: Bryan Cranston of "Breaking Bad" onstage at 62nd annual Emmy Awards. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times.

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What's behind Emmy surprises? Were voters drunk?

August 29, 2010 |  9:18 pm

While most Emmy pundits correctly forecast the top races for best comedy and drama series, movie, mini and lead acting in movies/mini, we botched so many others. What happened?

Jim parsons emmys

Some pundits like me put too much emphasis on evaluating the episodes submitted to Emmy voters as examples of their best work. Usually, the longest episodes win, but appearing in two-hour specials of "Monk" and "House M.D." didn't help Tony Shalhoub or Hugh Laurie. Instead, another voter bias paid off for Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory"): appearing drunk in "The Pants Alternative." Hollywood voters are suckers for that — Jeff Bridges just nabbed an Oscar for the awful "Crazy Heart" to prove it. Perhaps the theme of substance abuse helped Bryan Cranston to prevail for a third year in a row as crystal-meth cook in "Breaking Bad." Is it a coincidence that Edie Falco triumphed as a pill-gobbling hospital worker in "Nurse Jackie"?

Kyra Sedgwick ("The Closer") had the strongest episode submission among all nominees for best drama actress, but we made the mistake of believing that buzz and momentum would carry along Julianna Margulies ("The Good Wife") after previously winning the Golden Globe and SAG Award (and an Emmy victory in 1995 for "E.R."). Ditto for Globe and SAG champ Michael C. Hall ("Dexter"), who gave judges the powerhouse season finale episode but still wasn't enough to stop the Cranston momentum.

However, "The Amazing Race" Emmy juggernaut finally stalled. It didn't get derailed by "American Idol," as I had predicted, but by "Top Chef." That was one of the biggest shocks of the night along with Archie Panjabi's victory as supporting drama actress for "The Good Wife."

Continue reading »

Emmy prediction smackdown: Experts forecast who'll win

August 26, 2010 |  1:39 pm

Here's a roundup of Emmy Award predictions from the best pundits on the planet: Mike Ausiello (Entertainment Weekly), Kristin dos Santos (E! Online), Maggie Furlong (AOL TV Squad), Joseph Kapsch (Zap2It), Steve Pond (The Odds, The Wrap), Matt Roush (TV Guide) plus the Gold Derby/The Envelope team of Chris "Boomer" Beachum, Rob Licuria and me. Read category-per-category analysis here.

Emmy Awards predictions news

COMEDY SERIES
"Curb Your Enthusiasm"
"Glee" — Dos Santos
"Modern Family" — Ausiello, Beachum, Furlong, Kapsch, Licuria, O'Neil, Pond, Roush
"Nurse Jackie"
"The Office"
"30 Rock"

COMEDY ACTOR
Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory") — Ausiello, Beachum, Dos Santos, Furlong, Pond, Roush
Larry David ("Curb Your Enthusiasm")
Matthew Morrison ("Glee")
Tony Shalhoub ("Monk") — Kapsch, Licuria, O'Neil
Steve Carell ("The Office")
Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock")

COMEDY ACTRESS
Lea Michele ("Glee") — Dos Santos
Julia Louis-Dreyfus ("The New Adventures of Old Christine")
Edie Falco ("Nurse Jackie") — Ausiello, Beachum, Kapsch, Licuria, O'Neil, Pond, Roush
Amy Poehler ("Parks and Recreation")
Tina Fey ("30 Rock")
Toni Collette ("United States of Tara") — Furlong

SUPPORTING COMEDY ACTOR
Chris Colfer ("Glee") — Kapsch, O'Neil
Neil Patrick Harris ("How I Met Your Mother")
Jesse Tyler Ferguson ("Modern Family")
Eric Stonestreet ("Modern Family") — Beachum, Dos Santos, Licuria, Pond
Ty Burrell ("Modern Family") — Ausiello, Furlong, Roush
Jon Cryer ("Two and a Half Men")

SUPPORTING COMEDY ACTRESS
Jane Lynch ("Glee") — Ausiello, Beachum, Dos Santos, Furlong, Kapsch, Licuria, O'Neil, Pond, Roush
Julie Bowen ("Modern Family")
Sofia Vergara ("Modern Family")
Kristen Wiig ("Saturday Night Live")
Jane Krakowski ("30 Rock")
Holland Taylor ("Two and a Half Men")

DRAMA SERIES
"Breaking Bad" — Dos Santos
"Dexter"
"The Good Wife"
"Lost" — Furlong
"Mad Men" — Ausiello, Beachum, Kapsch, Licuria, O'Neil, Pond, Roush
"True Blood"

DRAMA ACTOR
Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad") — Ausiello, Furlong
Michael C. Hall ("Dexter") — Beachum, Kapsch, Licuria, O'Neil, Pond, Roush
Kyle Chandler ("Friday Night Lights") — Dos Santos
Hugh Laurie ("House")
Matthew Fox ("Lost")
Jon Hamm ("Mad Men")

DRAMA ACTRESS
Kyra Sedgwick ("The Closer")
Glenn Close ("Damages")
Connie Britton ("Friday Night Lights")
Julianna Margulies ("The Good Wife") — Ausiello, Beachum, Dos Santos, Furlong, Kapsch, Licuria, O'Neil, Pond, Roush
Mariska Hargitay ("Law & Order: Special Victims Unit")
January Jones ("Mad Men")

Continue reading »

Emmy pundits' video slugfest: Who'll win lead actor in a drama?

August 24, 2010 |  7:15 pm
Dexter Michael C. Hall news-1

Chris "Boomer" Beachum, Rob Licuria (AwardsHeaven) and I give the best performances this Emmy season trying to pretend we know who's going to win lead actor in a drama: Kyle Chandler ("Friday Night Lights"), Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad"), Matthew Fox ("Lost"), Michael C. Hall ("Dexter"), Jon Hamm ("Mad Men") or Hugh Laurie ("House M.D.")? After you watch us fret over the various wild cards in this race, read our written analysis here.

Also watch our video slugfest over who'll win best drama actress, best comedy and drama series, best supporting drama actor, supporting drama actress, supporting comedy actor, supporting comedy actress, the guest acting categories and best reality host.

Photo: Showtime

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Can Michael C. Hall add Emmy to Globe and SAG wins for 'Dexter'?

August 24, 2010 |  3:30 pm
It's not often that I let myself be bulldozed into a prediction, but Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Rob Licuria (AwardsHeaven) make such a compelling argument for Michael C. Hall ("Dexter") to win the Emmy for lead actor in a drama that, OK, I admit I'm stealing their predix.

But I do so with queasiness. As they attest, this contest is a tossup. However, I do quarrel with two of their views. They rank Jon Hamm ("Mad Men") too high and Kyle Chandler ("Friday Night Lights") too low. Hamm, I think, has no chance to win. He has one nice scene in his Emmy episode when he cries while recalling his brother's suicide. Big deal. (Uh, oh -- that sounds so callous, doesn't it?) Chandler's episode is the loudest, most bombastic, as he bullies his high-school football players. Sometimes the biggest acting prevails. Click here to watch Boomer, Rob and I dish this race via webcam video.

Michael C Hall GG 2010 LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA: ROB'S PREDIX
1. Michael C. Hall, "Dexter" ("The Getaway")
2. Hugh Laurie, "House" ("Broken")
3. Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad" ("Full Measure")
4. Jon Hamm, "Mad Men" ("The Gypsy and the Hobo")
5. Matthew Fox, "Lost" ("The End")
6. Kyle Chandler, "Friday Night Lights" ("East of Dillon")

ROB'S COMMENTARY: My e-mail to Tom and Chris last week was something like "Help me, I can't make heads or tails of this category! It's too difficult!" After re-watching all of the episodes in succession, I haven't changed my tune. I don't recall a category in recent Emmy history so stacked with wonderfully chosen episodes showcasing stunning dramatic masterpiece performances from the cream of the crop of TV dramatic acting.

It pains me to put Kyle Chandler in sixth place. His work in this episode is absolutely fantastic. Two scenes in particular, as he address and/or scolds his team, are wonderful. He would be a winner in any other year, and the sixth spot is by no means a slight on him at all, but somebody has to fill up the slots, and by comparison, I think that the show he is on, the network, and the relative small screen time, do hurt his chances a little.

Similarly, Matthew Fox is absolutely amazing in the "Lost" finale. The last 15 minutes in particular are mesmerizing, devastating and emotionally pitch-perfect. If the episode was whittled down to his scenes alone, he would be much more competitive, but voters have to sit through a double episode, where Fox is not featured for long stretches of time. Surely that will disadvantage him. Again, I stress that he could easily win, if voters respond to the emotion of the final scenes like I did. Watch him die on the jungle floor as the plane flies over his pained-but-happy face and tell me that he doesn't deserve the Emmy.

Jon Hamm has never had a better chance at winning the Emmy that this year. In his episode, the gruff, tough exterior of his Don Draper persona is smashed away by the unwelcome reveal to his wife about his true identity and shameful past. Another masterclass in acting, everything he is feeling is right there on his face. I was blown away by his performance, and thought it would be enough to win him the Emmy, until I saw a few of the other guys in this category.

Bryan Cranston, technically (based on this episode alone) should probably be lower on this list. I don't think it is anywhere near as good as his previous submissions or even some of the other episodes of the third season of "Breaking Bad" ("Fly", for example). But, as a two-time consecutive past winner on a Drama Series-nominated show, I think that he automatically has a bit of an edge over the other guys in this category. And don't get me wrong, the penultimate scene in the episode is dynamite. Don't be surprised if he wins again.

Hugh Laurie has a whole movie-length episode to showcase his character's battle with mental illness, and he doesn't disappoint. The range is there, the characteristics of Dr House that fans and critics alike have grown to cherish are there. The screen time is definitely there. There's even some impact. I initially thought that he might have the front-runner status because there is a perception out there that nobody is more overdue that him. Yet, I just couldn't bring myself to put him in 1st place.

That's because Michael C Hall finally has the episode with which he will likely (finally) take that Emmy that has so far eluded him. Coming off a Golden Globe and SAG win, and John Lithgow's earlier Guest Actor triumph, I think this is Hall's year. The episode does not disappoint -- range, screen time, impact especially with the final haunting scene in the bathroom -- Hall nails it. However, because this category has made me crazy over the last few days, I choose him with a caveat and that is ANYBODY in this group can win this award. I won't be surprised, and would have loved to submit a 6-way tie. But for now, with the proviso that I had to pick a winner, I'm siding with Hall, squeaking over the line in front of Laurie, with Cranston always a deserving threat for another win, and Hamm, Fox and Chandler my sentimental favorites.

LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA: BOOMER'S PREDIX
1. Michael C. Hall, "Dexter" ("The Getaway")
2. Hugh Laurie, "House" ("Broken")
3. Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad" ("Full Measure")
4. Jon Hamm, "Mad Men" ("The Gypsy and the Hobo")
5. Matthew Fox, "Lost" ("The End")
6. Kyle Chandler, "Friday Night Lights" ("East of Dillon")

BOOMER'S COMMENTARY: All six men deserved to be nominated, and every one of them deserves to actually win this category. That fact is abundantly true based on their incredibly well-chosen episode submissions but also for their seasons and overall contributions to their shows. It is the finest group of nominees and episodes I can remember. Analyzing the category and ranking the nominees is agonizing. Here is my best effort.

Continue reading »

Can 'Mad Men' make it three in a row at the Emmys?

August 23, 2010 |  4:14 pm

Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Rob Licuria (AwardsHeaven) agree that "Mad Men" will win best drama series at the Emmy Awards for the third year in a row. If this series set in the 1960s prevails, it would equal the achievement of "The Defenders," which owned this award for three years from 1962. The Brit hit "Upstairs Downstairs" won three times in the 1970s (1974, 1975, 1977) while "Hill Street Blues" collared this award a record four consecutive times beginning in 1981. "The West Wing" matched that streak starting in 2000. And "L.A. Law" received a winning verdict four times (1987, 1989-1991) over its eight seasons.

Matthew Weiner Emmys 2008 DRAMA SERIES: BOOMER'S PREDIX
1. "Mad Men"
2. "Dexter"
3. "Lost"
4. "The Good Wife"
5. "Breaking Bad"
6. "True Blood"

BOOMER'S COMMENTARY: The only truly dead candidate in this race is "True Blood", which has no other major nominations and very little support to win such a big award. While "Breaking Bad" certainly has passionate supporters and has an outside shot at winning, I just don't think it can possibly get around the even bigger support for its other four competitors.

Now that takes us to some very serious discussions about four shows that could easily win for drama series, depending on which voters make up this panel and what they are seeking. If they want a traditional legal drama with great acting, writing and lots of polish, they will vote for "The Good Wife." If they are looking for possibly the best fantasy/character-driven drama of the past decade, plus one that probably had the highest degree of difficulty in finishing off six seasons of expectations, they might give another Emmy to "Lost." If they want to reward one of the most buzzed shows of the season, complete with two powerhouse performances by John Lithgow and Michael C. Hall, the voters will go for "Dexter."

Because there are three major contenders waiting in the wings, my Emmy history book (in my head) indicates that there are just too many options to unseat a two-time winner like "Mad Men." While some of us found the third season a little slow at times, the best episodes (which were all submitted to the judges), were some of the finest hours of this past television season. Generally, a show has to take a big dip in quality OR have just one alternative for voters to rally around in order to unseat a great champ like "Mad Men."  I think Matt Weiner and company win their third in a row and should be congratulated for another wonderful season.

Matthew Weiner Emmys 2009 DRAMA SERIES: ROB'S PREDIX
1. "Mad Men"
2. "The Good Wife"
3. "Dexter"
4. "Lost"
5. "Breaking Bad"
6. "True Blood"

ROB'S COMMENTARY: Having now watched all of the episodes submitted by the six series in contention, three things are quite clear to me. Firstly, "True Blood" will not win this category and the producers should be happy with the nomination and invite to the party. Secondly, the producers, networks and studios behind the episode submission choices for "Dexter," "Lost" and "Breaking Bad" were very smart and did in fact pick the best of what they had to offer. All three shows will be competitive and could easily sneak over the line for the win depending on the combination of episodes that each voter viewed during the voting period.

Dexter had what I consider to be its best season so far, and voters who receive its season finale in their reel will be hard-pressed not to be tempted to vote for it. "Lost" is a TV icon that finally finished its run amid an earthquake of hype. Some didn’t love the finale as much as they would have liked, but I can’t find anyone who doesn’t recognize how audacious and ambitious it was, much like the show as a whole. My suspicion, however, is that some of the episodes might alienate viewers who aren’t very familiar with the show’s plotlines. "Breaking Bad" was in my opinion the most satisfying drama series on the air last season. Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, RJ Mitte, Giancarlo Esposito, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt and Bob Odenkirk ripped it up like no other cast did, and the show went to places that I never thought it would. Just mesmerizing. It is certainly a dark horse. Maybe too dark, though?

Continue reading »

Emmy pundits' video slugfest: Best drama and comedy series

August 17, 2010 |  7:02 am

While dishing the Emmy race for best drama series, Chris "Boomer" Beachum, Rob Licuria (Awards Heaven) and I discuss how different the voting system is compared with that of the acting categories. Understanding the process is essential to making an intelligent prediction.

Breaking bad emmys 1

Every year, about 300 members of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences serve as judges of best drama or comedy series. They're asked to watch two sample episodes of the six nominees, and the question we pundits must ask is this: Do they really watch all 12 before checking off their ballots? (To see a full list of episode submissions, click here.)

We know that voters do watch all of the episodes when judging the acting races. Upsets happen in those categories all the time, and they're usually triggered by powerhouse episode submissions by the likes of Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad") or Toni Collette ("United States of Tara"). But that's different. Only actors can judge fellow actors. They take their "craft" very seriously, which means they make a point of watching all episodes. However, judges only have to watch one episode per nominee in the acting races.

Asking voters to judge two episodes in the series contests may be too much. If so, upsets are probably far less likely because results reflect popular industry sentiment. If that's true, then which shows are ahead this year to win best drama and comedy series? Personally, I believe the battle over best drama series is among "Mad Men," "Lost" and "Dexter," and the comedy contest is a three-way race among "Modern Family," "30 Rock" and "Glee." Am I wrong to dismiss the hopes of "Breaking Bad" and "Nurse Jackie"?

After viewing this webcam, also see our discussions of these Emmy races: best supporting drama actor, supporting drama actress, supporting comedy actor, supporting comedy actress, the guest acting categories and best reality host.


Photo credit: AMC

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