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Category: Conan O'Brien

Gold Derby nuggets: Steve Pond digs into documentary race | Guy Lodge on category fraud | Guests line up for Conan O'Brien

October 21, 2010 |  5:10 pm

Steve Pond delves into the selection process for the documentary feature Oscar race. As he reports, "in a remarkable year for non-fiction filmmaking of all kinds, the looming possibility of more Oscar-doc controversies means it’s time to take a look at a process in which: films are judged by surprisingly few people; the most active filmmakers are ineligible or unable to vote; and the final slate of nominees is almost invariably made up of issue-oriented docs — to the exclusion of the odder, entertaining works that make the field so vital these days." THE WRAP

Sasha Stone finds much to quote from the script for "The Social Network," leading off her list of favorite lines of dialogue with this one: "Let’s gut the nerd." AWARDS DAILY

Caitlin King says, "Gwyneth Paltrow will be taking the stage at next month's Country Music Association Awards as a performer. She'll sing the title track of her new movie, 'Country Strong,' and will be joined by Vince Gill." AP

• From London, Mark Shenton reports, "Four days of performances for Andrew Lloyd Webber's 'Love Never Dies,' the sequel to 'The Phantom of the Opera,' have been taken off sale at London's Adelphi Theatre for the week commencing Nov. 22. Performances are set to resume Nov. 26. During the shutdown, revisions will be made to the show. A spokesman said, 'Some changes were written up over the summer and destined for the Australian production and as they make improvements to the show we'd be mad not to put them into the Adelphi [production in London].'" PLAYBILL

The Kids are All RightGuy Lodge asks, "Is Focus right to campaign both Annette Bening and Julianne Moore as leads in 'The Kids Are All Right,' or would it be more appropriate (and tactical) for one to drop to supporting? Can Lesley Manville be declared a lead in 'Another Year' when her character flits around two more constant — but also more passive — presences in the film? Will 'True Grit' newcomer Hailee Steinfeld be the victim of the unwritten campaigning rule stating that minors are, by definition, supporting players — whether they’re carrying a film on their shoulders or not?" IN CONTENTION

Peter Knegt takes a closer look at the Gotham Awards nominations. "Handed out by Independent Feature Project (IFP) for the past twenty years, they have always offered an interesting and generally deserving batch of nominations. But they are also quite inconsistent both category to category and year to year, which to some degree makes them a bit difficult to prove a stable predictor of anything beyond them." INDIE WIRE

Jeff Wells reports from a screening of "Love and Other Drugs" that "Hathaway's performance is the killer, and it is, I suppose, because you can read every emotional tick and tremor on her face, and because your heart goes out to any character coping with a debilitating disease (stage-one Parkinson's) and who wants to keep herself aloof and in control. But Gyllenhaal gives his most winning performance ever — not the deepest or darkest or saddest, perhaps, but 100% likable with no audience-alienation issues except for emotional avoidance. They're quite a pair, these two. All you want is to see them keep it together and somehow make it work." HOLLYWOOD ELSEWHERE

Jean Bentley has the lineup of bold-faced names who will appear on the first week of Conan O'Brien's new TBS talker: "The first episode of Coco's new late night talk show will feature Seth Rogen and musical guest Jack White, along with the winner of the first guest poll — a hotly contested competition between The Pope, Jack Nicholson, Vladimir Putin, REO Speedwagon, The Sultan of Brunei, Justin Bieber, Thomas Pynchon, Gerhard Ertl, Arlene Wagner, Lady Gaga, the cast of the live-action 'Fat Albert' movie and Tom from MySpace to decide the first guest. Nov. 9 will feature Tom Hanks (fittingly, Hanks was the last guest on the O'Brien-hosted 'Tonight Show'), Jack McBrayer (another Coco pal) and Soundgarden. Nov. 10 will see Jon Hamm, Charlene Yi and Fistful of Mercy, and Nov. 11 will feature Michael Cera, Julie Bowen and comedian Jon Dore. TV SQUAD

• Writes Jenelle Riley,"Here's some video of the 'Conviction' Q&A we did with Sam Rockwell a couple weeks ago. The film opened in 11 theaters last weekend, averaging $10,000 per theater — a figure that is either pretty good or a complete disaster, depending on whose hype you believe. What's most important is that everyone I've spoken to who's actually seen the movie has high praise, particularly for Rockwell, who still looks like the one to beat for Best Supporting Actor come awards time." BACKSTAGE

• "South Park" skewered "Inception" on Wednesday night's episode and, as Brian Rafterty notes, "a DiCaprio doppelgänger tried to make sense of the film's dream-warrior premise. 'You just don't get it, 'cause you're not smart enough!'" VULTURE

Photo: Annette Bening, left, and Julianne Moore in "The Kids are All Right." Credit Focus Features.

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Hey, Jon Stewart: Give back this Emmy for 'The Daily Show'!

August 30, 2010 | 12:10 pm

Pssst! Do you want to know what secret weapon Jon Stewart used to claim Emmy victory for "The Daily Show" as best variety series for an unprecedented eighth time in a row? Roland Martin's ascot. Yes, the neckwear donned by CNN pundit Roland Martin.

Jon Stewart Daily Show Emmy ascot

That was the focus of the episode of "The Daily Show" submitted to Emmy judges: No. 15065, telecast on May 10, 2010. In it, Stewart strenuously ridicules Martin's ascot. The rest of the segment submission is equally lame stuff: "Senior British Person" John Oliver rants about results of the British election, Jon Stewart rants about recent shenanigans on Wall Street and all viewers doze off while Stewart fawns over historian Jack Rakove as they coo over Rakove's new book about America's founding fathers titled "Revolutionaries."

That's it. That is what so wowed Emmy voters to choose "The Daily Show" over "The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien" (which submitted his historic, heart-tugging farewell episode), "Saturday Night Live" (the Betty White spectacular) and "The Colbert Report" (Stephen Colbert gets a visit via satellite from Barack Obama while Colbert entertains troops in Iraq).

Obviously, if such a tepid "Daily Show" entry can beat all that, then it's destined to continue winning its Emmy category … forever.

Why does "The Daily Show" keep winning? My theory: Stewart is so good at whipping up a lynch mob among TV viewers that Emmy judges (read shallow Hollywooders) can't resist his cry to arms even if it's ridiculous — or, worse, not funny. Many of his shows are brilliant and they deserve their accolades. But at his worst, his performance can be a mix of pop-eyed evangelist and playground bully (sometimes even whining "Nyah, nyah, nyah!" like a sneering child while wagging an angry finger at the screen) as he demonizes the targets of his rage. Granted, that often makes for great TV worthy of Emmys and I think he's deserved all the ones he's won to date, but, sorry, not this time. Stewart should give this Emmy back and Emmy judges should feel ashamed of themselves for being so easily recruited into a lynch mob to string up — not political monsters or economic threats — but Roland Martin's ascot. Heck, Stewart was so uninterested in receiving this Emmy that he didn't even bother to show up to accept it.

Note: There is a false rumor circulating the web claiming that "Daily Show" won thanks to an episode in which Stewart skewers Glenn Beck. Not true. That rumor is probably the result of this post at "The Daily Show" website referring to the show's "nomination reel." That was the DVD sent to all 14,000 academy members by Comedy Central months ago as part of the network's awards campaign. I have the actual DVDs that were weighed by the 200 judges in this variety category in recent weeks and can attest that they saw the ascot episode.

Photo: Comedy Central

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Emmy cliffhanger: What will that rascal Conan O'Brien do if he wins?

August 27, 2010 |  4:05 pm

If Conan O'Brien's version of "The Tonight Show" wins best variety series on Sunday — as some pundits like me think it will — expect all Emmy heck to break loose.

Consider the set-up. Not only will Coco get a chance to exult in reaping ultimate revenge against NBC for being fired from "The Tonight Show" while he appears live on national TV, his victory will occur on the peacock web, which telecasts the Emmys.

Conan o'brien tonight show emmys news

Now here's the inevitable plot complication. O'Brien can't trash NBC. He's not permitted to let loose against his former employer until Sept. 1 — that's three days after the Emmys — according to the terms of his $45-million buy-out pact.

But since O'Brien is a notoriously devilish comedian, he'll certainly find some way to inject mischief into the scene.

Will he win? His "Tonight Show" competes against "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," which has romped home with the award for the last seven years in a row, but that juggernaut is likely to stop. Winners are chosen by Emmy judges who evaluate one sample episode submitted by each nominee. "Daily Show" entered its May 10th program featuring guest, historian Jack Rakove. Fine, but not good enough in this race where several mighty rivals loom.

"Saturday Night Live" has not won this category since 1993, but now it's a fierce contender because it entered the Betty White episode that just swept the Creative Arts Emmys. Speaking of the Creative Arts Emmys, "The Colbert Report" just won best variety writing there and, in the race for best series, it's overdue to beat the show from which it spun off in 2005. In that series contest, "Colbert Report" gave Emmy judges a doozy of an episode too — the one where Stephen Colbert goes to Iraq to entertain U.S. troops and gets a surprise visit via satellite from Barack Obama.

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 »

My fearless, peerless, 100% perfect Emmy Award predictions

August 25, 2010 |  6:12 pm

Emmy Q

My boldest Emmy predictions: "The Amazing Race" and "The Daily Show" juggernauts will finally end. After winning best reality/competition show and best variety series for seven years in a row, they will lose to "American Idol" and "The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien." The reason: "Idol" and "Tonight Show" picked shrewd episodes to give to Emmy judges. "Idol" entered the two-hour season finale that included the heart-felt bye-bye to Simon Cowell, and Conan O'Brien entered his sad farewell to the "Tonight Show."

DRAMA SERIES: "Mad Men"
COMEDY SERIES: "Modern Family"
VARIETY SERIES: "The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien"
REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM: "American Idol"
TV MOVIE: "Temple Grandin"
MINI-SERIES: "The Pacific"
DRAMA LEAD ACTOR: Michael C. Hall, "Dexter"
DRAMA LEAD ACTRESS: Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife"
DRAMA SUPPORTING ACTOR: Terry O'Quinn, "Lost"
DRAMA SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Christina Hendricks, "Mad Men"
DRAMA WRITING: "Mad Men" ("Shut the Door. Have a Seat")
DRAMA DIRECTING: "Lost" ("The End")
COMEDY LEAD ACTOR: Tony Shalhoub, "Monk"
COMEDY LEAD ACTRESS: Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie"
COMEDY SUPPORTING ACTOR: Chris Colfer, "Glee"
COMEDY SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Jane Lynch, "Glee"
COMEDY WRITING: "Glee" ("Pilot")
COMEDY DIRECTING: "Glee" ("Pilot")
TV MOVIE/MINI-SERIES LEAD ACTOR: Al Pacino, "You Don't Know Jack"
TV MOVIE/MINI-SERIES LEAD ACTRESS: Claire Danes, "Temple Grandin"

Continue reading »

Gold Derby nuggets: EW: Emmy debate over Conan O'Brien | Jonas Brothers 'super excited' about Emmys | Jeff Bridges displays 'True Grit'

August 13, 2010 |  1:12 pm

The_tonight_show_with_conan_obrien-show• Does Conan O'Brien deserve to win the Emmy this year for his short-lived edition of "The Tonight Show"? Lynette Rice thinks so: "The public has certainly been on his side (witness the I’m With Coco campaign that surfaced on the internet earlier this year). That’s why it seems unlikely that anyone at the Aug. 29 ceremony would begrudge O’Brien if he wins the statuette. We already know his comedy is worth its weight in gold; his team, after all, won the Emmy in 2007 for writing 'Late Night with Conan O’Brien.' And voters will probably want to give O’Brien the final word on the whole sordid affair and on NBC, no less, which is broadcasting the ceremony this year." ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

• However her colleague Ken Tucker begs to differ, arguing in favor of "The Daily Show," which has owned this category for the past seven years: "Jon Stewart plowed new ground this season, which is to say, he built up rage against so many worthy targets, and found fresh ways of expressing that anger through humor, that his show achieved a whole new level of comic effectiveness. He deserves the win." ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

• Those sassy promos for the Emmys that feature host Jimmy Fallon in a tongue-in-cheek tribute to two-time drama champ and current contender "Mad Men" have been pulled for now. "An NBC source said the video was aired 'prematurely' and that no more of Fallon's 'Mad Men" spoofs will run until after the voting window closes on Tuesday. The video was also removed from online. 'This promo was posted prematurely,' said a TV Academy spokesperson, "and the Television Academy appreciates NBC pulling the content until after the voting window closes." ABC

Jonas Brothers Emmy Awards • The first season of the Disney Channel hit "Jonas" starring the Jonas Brothers is contending for top children's program at the upcoming Emmy Awards. And, as Joe Jonas admitted to MTV News, "We are very super excited! We've never been up for an Emmy before. That's never been on our radar, so something like that's really exciting. We don't know who will win." The boys face off against two other Disney staples — "Hannah Montana" and both the series and telefilm versions of "Wizards of Waverly Place" — as well as the Nickelodeon smash "iCarly." Joe added, "There's a lot of Disney in there, so I think we're gonna have some friendly competition going on there. Me and ['Wizards' star] David Henrie, we've been talking to each other and kind of making fun of each other here and there about the Emmy thing. But whoever wins, it'll be cool for us to be honored." MTV

• "127 Hours" is set to close the London Film Festival on Oct. 28. The biopic from director Danny Boyle stars James Franco as hiker Aron Ralston forced to cut off his own arm to free himself from a rock slide. As Steve Pond notes, "Boyle also had the closing-night film at the festival in 2008 with 'Slumdog,' which went on to win eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director." In making the announcement, fest director Sandra Hebron referred to this fact: "It is unprecedented for us to chose a closing night film from the same director only two years later. But '127 Hours' was the obvious choice for us — with filmmaking as bold and adventurous as its subject matter, it confirms Danny Boyle as one of the world's finest and most visionary directors." THE WRAP

Jeff Bridges True Grit First Photo • Reigning best actor Oscar champ Jeff Bridges ("Crazy Heart") could be back in the race this year. He reunites with the Coen brothers for their remake of "True Grit" and is taking on the 1969 role that won John Wayne his Oscar. Greg Ellwood previews the picture, which is due out on Christmas Day. "Paramount Pictures released the first image of "True Grit" today which features Bridges and co-star Hailee Steinfield.  Most intriguing is the eyepatch Bridge's character wears is on his right eye. Wayne wore it on left. A nod to the original film? More importantly, this potential Best Picture contender is on this pundit's must-see list, has it made yours?"
HIT FIX

Christopher Lisotta says that "If the first time is a charm, then 2010 could be shaping up as a downright charming year for a host of rookie Emmy nominees." He thinks that, "as voting wraps up Tuesday, buzz is building behind freshmen series 'The Good Wife,' 'Glee' and 'Modern Family,' any of which could wrest key wins from veteran series like '30 Rock' and 'Mad Men,' which have become the shows to beat." HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

Upper photo: "The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien" promotional still. Credit: NBC.

Middle photo: "Jonas" promotional still. Credit: Disney Channel.

Lower photo: Jeff Bridges and Hailee Steinfield in "True Grit." Credit: Paramount.

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Pssst! Here's how much Emmy nominee$ earn

August 13, 2010 |  9:02 am

As Emmy contenders slug it out to win fake gold statuettes, TV Guide just tattled on how much real gold they earn from their tube jobs. Poor Hugh Laurie has lost his four Emmy bouts in the past, but isn't indigent. His hefty consolation prize: $400,000 for starring in each episode of "House M.D." Here are the salaries of other Emmy nominees on the TV Guide list. Sums are per episode unless otherwise indicated.

Jon Cryer Two and a Half Men news-3

BEST DRAMA ACTOR
Hugh Laurie, "House M.D." - $400,000
Jon Hamm, "Mad Men" - $100,000

BEST DRAMA ACTRESS
Mariska Hargitay, "Law & Order: SVU" -  $395,000
Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer" - $350,000
Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife" - $175,000

BEST COMEDY ACTOR
Steve Carell, "The Office" - $297,000
Matthew Morrison, "Glee" - $30,000
Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory" - $40,000

BEST COMEDY ACTRESS
Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie" - $175,000

BEST SUPPORTING COMEDY ACTOR
Ty Burrell, "Modern Family" - $50,000
Jon Cryer, "Two and a Half Men" - $550,000

BEST SUPPORTING COMEDY ACTRESS
Jane Lynch, "Glee" - $50,000

VARIETY CATEGORIES
David Letterman, "The Late Show" - $28 million per year
Conan O'Brien, "The Conan O'Brien Show" - $10 million per year

BEST REALITY TV HOST
Ryan Seacrest, "American Idol" - $15 million per year

Photo: WireImage

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Poll: Will Emmy's biggest loser Bill Maher ever win?

July 12, 2010 |  7:39 am

Bill Maher is already Emmy's biggest loser with 22 nominations and zero wins (Susan Lucci won on nom No. 19). Last week, he got a chance to add to that losing record with four more Emmy Awards nominations for writing and producing both "Real Time With Bill Maher" -- making its sixth consecutive bid for outstanding variety, music or comedy series -- and the variety special "Bill Maher: But I'm Not Wrong."

Bill_maher

More than likely, Maher will continue his staggering losing streak this year. "Real Time" is up against "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" (which has won the last seven races in a row) as well as the record-breaking "Saturday Night Live" (which last won in 1993), four-time nominee "The Colbert Report" and sentimental favorite "The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien".

Bill Maher's Emmy snubs date back to a 1995 bid for "Politically Incorrect" as outstanding variety, music or comedy series. ("The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" won that year for the only time.) Maher's show brought him a total of 11 nominations -- producing (eight), writing (two) and hosting (one).

His current HBO series had earned him nine nods before these latest ones -- producing (five), writing (three) and hosting (one). In addition, Maher had losing producing bids for his 2006 special "Bill Maher: I'm Swiss" -- that one lost to the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics, no less -- and in 2008 for "Bill Maher: The Decider," which was beaten by "Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project." This year's special is up against, among other entries, the 32nd edition of the Kennedy Center Honors. That annual kudocast has won this race five times, including last year.

As Maher's losses are mostly for producing and writing, Angela Lansbury's record of 18 losses as a performer remains safe for some time. In September 2008, Bill Maher told Gold Derby that he was cool with being the biggest loser of TV's top award. We had met up at the Toronto Film Festival to discuss his documentary "Religulous."

At the time of that interview, Maher had racked up 19 defeats at the Emmys. During our discussion of this topic with "Religulous" director Larry Charles (a two-time Emmy winner for "Seinfeld"), Maher couldn't help but show he was a tad miffed. Maher mentions that his Emmy losing streak might not matter if he wins an Oscar for "Religulous" as best documentary but -- uh oh -- he was snubbed by the motion picture academy.

Below is the portion of our chat where I ambushed Maher to get his view of his Emmy fate. In the past, whenever I had submitted a formal request to interview him on the subject, it had been ignored. So I decided to seize this opportunity while being granted time with him to discuss "Religulous." Normally, it's Maher who puts people in the hot spot. Oh, what fun it was to do so to him!

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Photo: Bill Maher publicity still. Credit: HBO

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Emmy nominations: The good, the bad and the ugly (Boomer's version)

July 8, 2010 | 12:54 pm

"Overall excellent nominations throughout with very few complaints," says our Emmy expert Chris "Boomer" Beachum, who gives us his take on Emmy's good, bad and ugly results. Earlier, we posted the views of Rob Licuria. Now let's hear from Boomer:

THE GOOD

Friday night lights emmy nominations news

● Some very pleasant surprises for people waiting a long while (Connie Britton, Kyle Chandler, Matthew Fox, Elizabeth Mitchell, January Jones, Christina Hendricks). Some very pleasant omissions for people and shows that had overstayed their welcome (Sally Field, Holly Hunter, Kiefer Sutherland, Sandra Oh, Chandra Wilson, Charlie Sheen, Jeremy Piven, "Weeds," "Family Guy," "Entourage").

● Loved the wide range of shows getting nominations in directing and writing.

● Loved noms for people like Amy Poehler, Martin Short, Archie Panjabi, Mike O'Malley, Gregory Itzin.

● The return of Sharon Gless!  Way to go, USA Network!!

● Showtime continuing its recent hot streak with series noms for "Nurse Jackie" and "Dexter."

● "Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien" getting well-deserved nominations (and hopefully some wins on a ceremony televised by NBC).

Betty White for "SNL"!  The easiest winner prediction of this year!

THE BAD

Matthew Morrison for "Glee"? Really??

Mariska Hargitay, Holland Taylor AND Jon Cryer? You've got to move on, voters!

● No traditional sitcom for comedy series (like the red-hot "Big Bang Theory").

● Surprised with the "True Blood" nom for drama series (but no Anna Paquin?).

Continue reading »

Conan O'Brien ousts Jay Leno and David Letterman from Emmys

July 8, 2010 |  8:08 am

Conan-obrien-and-jay-leno As expected, Conan O'Brien was rewarded for submitting himself with an Emmy nomination for his seven-month tenure at the helm of "The Tonight Show." While it isn't so surprising that he edged out the returning Jay Leno -- who won this award once (1995) during his first 17 years hosting this late-night staple -- it is a jaw-dropper that "Late Show with David Letterman" is missing from this race for the first time since it debuted in 1994.

"Late Show" won the Emmy for its first season and then picked up five in a row beginning in 1998. That winning streak was halted by "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," which has owned this category since 2003 and contends once again this year. O'Brien will face this Comedy Central hit head-on in the ratings when he launches his new chat fest on TBS in the fall.

It took O'Brien a full decade of hosting "Late Night" before his show landed its first Emmy bid in the variety comedy music series category in 2003. It contended unsuccessfully in this race for five years. In both 2008 and 2009, "Late Night" lost its slot in the list of nominees to the resurgent "Saturday Night Live," which is in the hunt once more.

The other two nominees have been perennial Emmy bridesmaids. "The Colbert Report" earned its fifth consecutive nomination and has an excellent chance to prevail this year thanks to an episode it plans to submit to Emmy jurors -- the host's hilarious and heartfelt trip to Iraq. "Real Time with Bill Maher" earned nom No. 6 but has failed to win a single Emmy, even in the crafts categories. Indeed, Maher is the new Susan Lucci, ranking as the biggest loser in the history of TV's top award, with 22 defeats and no wins for producing, writing and performance.

The new edition of "Late Night" -- helmed by Emmy host Jimmy Fallon -- was snubbed this year. Also missing is "The Mo'Nique Show," starring the "Precious" actress who swept the last film awards derby (New York Film Critics Circle to Oscars).

Continue reading »

10 questions loom over Emmy Award nominations

July 7, 2010 |  8:51 am

Here are the top 10 things to look for when Emmy Award nominations are unveiled Thursday morning.

1.) Battle of the two "Tonight Shows" in the Emmy race for best variety series. NBC entered Jay Leno's version. Conan O'Brien entered his own. Will both be nominated?

2.) What new TV series will make the top races? "Glee" and "Modern Family" are safe bets for best comedy, "The Good Wife" for best drama. But what else? And what about returning shows not yet nominated such as "The Big Bang Theory" and "Parks and Recreation"?

Jay Leno Conan obrien emmy nominations news-1

3.) Will the humility of the "Modern Family" actors backfire? The whole cast has declared themselves in the supporting races, thus jamming those categories. Who will snubbed due to overcrowding?

4.) Will "Cougar Town" star Courteney Cox finally score her first nomination? She was the only cast member of "Friends" (winner, best comedy series, 2002) who wasn't nominated.

5.) Can Ed O'Neill ("Modern Family") and Katey Sagal ("Sons of Anarchy") reap their first Emmy bids? Neither was nominated during the heyday of "Married … with Children," which was one of TV's longest-running shows never to win an Emmy.

6.) Can "Glee," "Modern Family" or "30 Rock" break the record for most nominations held by a comedy series? Current record is 22, which was set last year by "30 Rock." (It's unlikely that any show will beat the record for most noms scored by a drama series, which is 26 earned by "NYPD Blue" in 1994).

7.) Can Jeremy Piven return to the derby? After winning best supporting comedy actor three years in a row, the "Entourage" star suddenly wasn't nominated last year. To blame: no doubt that fishy story about mercury poisoning springing him from having to perform eight stagings per week of "Speed-the-Plow" on Broadway. Read more.

8.) Has scandal-plagued Charlie Sheen knocked himself out of the race? The "Two and a Half Men" star has been nominated for best lead comedy actor for the past four years, but will he be back?

9.) Are pundits overestimating the potential for "Glee"? Mike Ausiello of Entertainment Weekly doesn't believe Lea Michele or Matthew Morrison will be nominated.

10.) Can former "Sopranos" star Edie Falco nab a bid for "Nurse Jackie" and thus become one of the few performers nominated for both drama and comedy shows?

RELATED POSTS

Tom O'Neil's "fearless, 100% accurate" Emmy nomination predictions

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Pundits' video slugfest: Emmy nominations predictions -- best drama actor

Pundits' video slugfest: Emmy nominations predictions -- best drama series

Pundits' video slugfest: Emmy nomination predictions -- best comedy series

Pundits' video slugfest: Emmy nominations predictions -- best drama actress

Photo: NBC

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My fearless, 100% accurate Emmy nominations predictions

July 6, 2010 | 11:35 am
Emmy Awards 12

Here's who I predict will score bids when Emmy Awards nominations are unveiled Thursday morning:

BEST DRAMA SERIES
"Breaking Bad"
"Damages"
"Dexter"
"Mad Men"
"The Good Wife"
"Lost"

ALTERNATES: "Big Love," "Friday Night Lights," "House M.D.," "Sons of Anarchy," "Treme"


BEST COMEDY SERIES
"The Big Bang Theory"
"Curb Your Enthusiasm"
"Family Guy"
"Glee"
"Modern Family"
"30 Rock"

ALTERNATES: "Community," "How I Met Your Mother," "Entourage," "Nurse Jackie," "The Office," "Parks and Recreation," "Weeds"


BEST DRAMA ACTOR
Simon Baker ("The Mentalist")
Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad")
Michael C. Hall ("Dexter")
Jon Hamm ("Mad Men")
Hugh Laurie ("House")
Timothy Olyphant ("Justified")

ALTERNATES: Matt Bomer ("White Collar"), Kyle Chandler ("Friday Night Lights"), Matthew Fox ("Lost"), Peter Krause ("Parenthood"), Denis Leary ("Rescue Me"), Bill Paxton ("Big Love"), Wendell Pierce ("Treme"), Kiefer Sutherland ("24")


BEST DRAMA ACTRESS
Glenn Close ("Damages")
Mariska Hargitay ("Law & Order: SVU")
January Jones ("Mad Men")
Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife")
Katey Sagal ("Sons of Anarchy")
Kyra Sedgwick ("The Closer")

ALTERNATES: Sally Field ("Brothers and Sisters"), Anna Gunn ("Breaking Bad"), Holly Hunter ("Saving Grace"), Melissa Leo ("Treme"), Anna Paquin ("True Blood")


BEST COMEDY ACTOR
Steve Carell ("The Office")
Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock")
Larry David ("Curb Your Enthusiasm")
Matthew Morrison ("Glee")
Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory")
Tony Shalhoub ("Monk")

ALTERNATES: David Duchovny ("Californication"), Joel McHale ("Community"), Thomas Jane ("Hung"), Charlie Sheen ("Two and a Half Men")

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