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Category: Curb Your Enthusiasm

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")

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Will 'Modern Family' end winning streak for '30 Rock' at the Emmys?

August 23, 2010 |  3:25 pm
Rob Licuria (AwardsHeaven) and Chris "Boomer" Beachum both believe that "Modern Family" will bump out "30 Rock" for best comedy series at the Emmy Awards. If "Modern Family" manages to keep "30 Rock" from a fourth consecutive win, the critically acclaimed comedy would join an esteemed group of shows to take TV's top honor for their freshman seasons. Among those laffers that managed this laudable feat: "All in the Family" (1971, the first of four wins); "Taxi" (1979, the first of three in a row); "Cheers" (1983, the first of four); "The Cosby Show" (1985); "The Golden Girls" (1986, the first of two in a row); "The Wonder Years" (1988); "Frasier" (1994, the first of a record five in a row); "Arrested Development" (2004); and, oh yes, "30 Rock" (2007).

Modern Family Promo Poster Season 1 COMEDY SERIES: ROB'S PREDIX
1. "Modern Family"
2. "30 Rock"
3. "Curb Your Enthusiasm"
4. "Glee"
5. "Nurse Jackie"
6. "The Office"

ROB'S COMMENTARY: I could make an argument for all six series nominated in this category, as all chose strong episodes (with a couple of minor exceptions) that showcase each series in their best light. My expectation is that Academy members will be reluctant to award "The Office" because it was widely seen as having a substandard season, and although "Nurse Jackie" has six very strong and funny episodes on their reel, showcasing its excellent cast led by Emmy Queen Edie Falco, I still have a feeling that the show is too small and perhaps too “dramatic” to claim this prize with this level of competition.

"Glee" was probably the standout hit of the season, becoming an iTunes and Billboard phenomenon and top moneymaker for the Fox network. It started very strong, but after an extended hiatus midseason, I (and I suspect many others) felt that it did not return to the same form that it showed in its first batch of episodes. Some commentators began to tire of the formula for each episode, where it felt as though some episodes were written around the songs (instead of having the songs propel the story). I also think that out of its six chosen episodes, a couple of them were not the best that "Glee" had to offer.

"Curb Your Enthusiasm" has its fans in the Academy, and it last season was undoubtedly its best, and most nostalgic, harkening back to the "Seinfeld" days. I don’t think it will win, however, because I think in terms of production values, it is a little slight in comparison to the other shows in the mix. Normally one would expect that "30 Rock" is the frontrunner, given its very “Inside Baseball” perspective, top notch writing, and Hollywood fave Tina Fey. But there have been murmurings that the show lost a little steam in its fourth season, which may affect its chances here. That being said, the six episodes on offer here are among its absolute best, so don’t be surprised if it wins its fourth Emmy here.

However, what other comedy series this year came storming out of the gate as a critical and commercial hit like "Modern Family" has. Almost unanimous praise from all quarters, with almost all of its main adult cast nominated, and the pedigree of Levitan and Lloyd behind the scenes. I think it might be time for some fresh blood to win this category, and I think this is it. My only caveat is that the six episodes chosen were not a perfect home run in my book. Will that hurt its chances? Possibly. So expect a photo finish with "30 Rock" here.

Modern Family Cast Photo Season 1 COMEDY SERIES: BOOMER'S PREDIX
1. "Modern Family"
2. "30 Rock"
3. "Glee"
4. "Curb Your Enthusiasm"
5. "The Office"
6. "Nurse Jackie"

BOOMER'S COMMENTARY: I am not really sure why people are having trouble predicting the winner of this category, many of them unfortunately choosing the wrong one. Don't overthink the situation! In the same year that three-time victor "30 Rock" had a topsy-turvy season in terms of quality, the producers and crew of "Modern Family" created an amazingly funny comedy that not only is a throwback to traditional family favorites but jumps into lots of new frontiers as well. It feels fresh and new but comfortably familiar all wrapped up in a fun 30-minute package.

Most of the "30 Rock" episodes chosen for the judging panel are good ones, but I find it hard to believe that they will be rewarded yet again for a season that was creatively off balance. Looking at other tea leaves, you can also see that the show doesn't have nearly the same Emmy love, with far fewer nominations in the acting and writing categories. On the other hand, five out of six "Modern Family" adult actors were nominated, plus the series received very important nominations in other categories. I would be shocked if it does not win the top Emmy.

Continue reading »

Up close: Emmy DVDs used for judging best comedy series

August 11, 2010 |  8:29 pm

Below is what was shipped to about 300 members of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences who agreed to judge the Emmy category of best comedy series. Each voter got a DVD box of six discs that contain two episodes each of the six nominated programs: "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Glee," "Modern Family," "Nurse Jackie," "The Office" and "30 Rock."

Producers of nominated programs actually submit a total of six sample episodes to be judged. They're divided into three sets (Panel A, Panel B, Panel C) of two episodes of each show, which are sent randomly to voters who will judge one set each, sign an affidavit attesting that they viewed all episodes in their category, then return the affidavit and ballot to accountants by Aug. 17. The winner will be announced on Aug. 29.

All three sets of DVDs are shown in the top photo below. Middle photo: contents of typical DVD box. Bottom photo: the six discs inside the Panel A box. Note that the discs are marked only with the series title. Episode titles are not indicated on the discs and they do not appear when played. Click on each photo below to enlarge and get a better view.

Emmy DVDs 1
Emmy DVDs 2 shot
Emmy DVDs 2

L.A. Times photos by Tom O'Neil

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Emmy predix: Can Jim Parsons edge out three-time comedy acting champ Tony Shalhoub?

August 10, 2010 |  2:02 pm

Our Emmy experts Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Rob "Rob L" Licuria (AwardsHeaven) disagree about who will prevail in the comedy lead actor race. Boomer believes Jim Parsons can win with his second nomination as Sheldon the slightly mad scientist in "The Big Bang Theory." And Rob thinks Tony Shalhoub can take home a fourth Emmy for the eighth and final season of "Monk," adding to those he won for seasons one, three and four.

Jim Parsons Big Bang Theory Emmy Awards COMEDY LEAD ACTOR: BOOMER'S PREDIX
1. Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory" ("The Pants Alternative")
2. Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock" ("Don Geiss, America & Hope")
3. Tony Shalhoub, "Monk" ("Mr. Monk and the End, Parts 1 & 2")
4. Larry David, "Curb Your Enthusiasm" ("Seinfeld")
5. Steve Carell, "The Office" ("The Cover Up")
6. Matthew Morrison, "Glee" ("Mash Up")

BOOMER'S COMMENTARY: I agree with many people that Tony Shalhoub gives the most complete and impressive overall performance of this category's nominees. It does have a little humor, but is mostly dramatic and probably contains the most crying and coughing of any comedy submission (maybe ever). The first hour is very interesting and makes you want to know what happens next, which is unfortunately the second hour and its poorly written and plotted conclusion to the series. With all of that in mind, I just can't bring myself to think that Emmy voters would want to elevate him into a pantheon with the only other men to ever win this category four times (Carroll O'Connor, Michael J. Fox and Kelsey Grammer).

Jim Parsons easily gives the funniest performance of the group, with nice ensemble work, individual one-on-one scenes with each character and a drunken conclusion accepting an award no less. Voters haven't warmed too much to "The Big Bang Theory," but I hope they will appreciate the all-out comedy in this particular episode. I am projecting him to take home his first Emmy this year.

I have Alec Baldwin in second place because I think it is the most complete performance he has submitted to Emmy judges yet. It doesn't have the gimmicks of previous winning submissions, but has a lot going for it and him. There is a strong possibility they aren't quite done with rewarding him yet, even more so in a year when practically nobody is predicting him to win again. Larry David is also very funny in his season finale and even gets a couple of tender moments trying to win back his ex-wife.

Steve Carell submits an incredibly weak episode this year that finds him off-screen as much as on. Speaking of weak, if I was ranking all 37 acting episodes in the comedy categories, I would most likely rank Matthew Morrison's at No. 37 (mainly due to the awful rapping).

Tony Shalhoub Emmy Awards Monk COMEDY LEAD ACTOR: ROB'S PREDIX
1. Tony Shalhoub, "Monk" ("Mr. Monk and the End, Parts 1 & 2")
2. Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory" ("The Pants Alternative")
3. Larry David, "Curb Your Enthusiasm" ("Seinfeld")
4. Matthew Morrison, "Glee" ("Mash Up")
5. Steve Carell, "The Office" ("The Cover Up")
6. Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock" ("Don Geiss, America and Hope")

ROB'S COMMENTARY: Unbelievably, I have reigning champion and multiple Emmy winner Alec Baldwin in last place in this category, based solely on the episode that he chose to submit to judges. In "Don Geiss," I don't think he was given nearly as much to do as in previous entries. He doesn't have as much of the witty dialogue that we are accustomed to seeing and there's not even any of the over the top mugging for the camera (like in last year's "Generalissimo" episode) that I think was the main factor that propelled him to the top last year. I think it is safe to say Baldwin will sit this one out this year.

Similarly, Steve Carell is good but not great in his episode. There are some laughs, and the usual cringe-inducing hysteria that this character is renowned for, but I never once thought to myself that this performance would drive Emmy voters to tick off his name on the ballot. There is almost zero likeability, which Carell has had in past attempts (and still lost), which I think will ultimately cost him votes. Maybe next year, in his final season, he might get that great send-off episode that will (finally) get him the Emmy that has so far eluded him.

I was tempted to place Matthew Morrison in last position because I think he (or his representation, or the show's producers) made an almost fatal error by submitting the very episode that demonstrates the one incredibly irritating factor that he and the show were mercilessly criticized and picked on about all season long: Mr. Schu RAPPING. And it's not even once, but TWICE, in two separate song-and-dance numbers, that we have to suffer through the horror of it all. That all being said, Morrison is by far one of the most talented actors on TV right now – and that much is clear from his episode. He is an accomplished all-round performer and will garner some votes because of this. He also has plenty of screen time, some range, and even some laughs. So he proves that he deserves to be here, but I couldn't wait for the episode to be over, and I have a feeling that I won't be alone in that assessment.

Continue reading »

Inside track: Emmy acting races for comedy series

August 8, 2010 |  9:26 am

In an earlier post, I shared the breakdown of the acting races for best drama series (complete with titles of episodes being viewed by Emmy judges) that appeared in the recent print edition of The Envelope in the Los Angeles Times. Here's the equivalent comedy list plus who's in the running for best lead actor and actress in TV movie/mini.

Jim Parsons Big Bang Theory-3

BEST COMEDY ACTOR
Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock" ("Don Geiss, America, and Hope")
Steve Carrell, "The Office" ("The Cover Up")
Larry David, "Curb Your Enthusiasm" ("Seinfeld")
Matthew Morrison, "Glee" ("Mash Up")
Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory" ("The Pants Alternative")
Tony Shalhoub, "Monk" ("Mr. Monk and the End, Parts I and II")

SPOTLIGHT: Three-time past champ Shalhoub could get a parting Emmy gift for the final episode of "Monk" in which he's poisoned, battles his usual phobias, weeps over memories of his dead wife and finally, after eight TV seasons, solves her murder. Or Emmy voters could get all choked up with nostalgia while viewing the "Seinfeld" reunion on David's submission.


BEST COMEDY ACTRESS
Toni Collette, "United States of Tara" ("Tornado!")
Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie" ("Pilot")
Tina Fey, "30 Rock" ("Dealbreakers Talk Show #0001")
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "The New Adventures of Old Christine" ("I Love What You Do for Me")
Lea Michele, "Glee" ("Sectionals")
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation" ("Telethon")

SPOTLIGHT: Barbra Streisand won an Oscar for belting out "Don't Rain on My Parade" in "Funny Girl." Now Michele croons the same in her Emmy episode. Good omen? Collette won the Emmy last year for portraying multiple personalities, but currently battles her Showtime rival Falco, who triumphed three times as tough mafia momma on "The Sopranos."

Continue reading »

Can Larry David win the Emmy for best comedy actor?

July 21, 2010 |  1:32 pm

"Do not underestimate Larry David!" our forums moderator Darrin "DoubleD" Dortch roared to me via e-mail after seeing that I ranked the star of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" in fifth place out of six nominees when listing the likely Emmy winner of best comedy actor.

Curb_story

It's easy to discount Larry David's current nomination. He's lost three times. But this year might be different, warns Dortch, referring to the sample episode that David submitted to Emmy judges: "He submitted his best tape EVER. He handed in the very first 'Seinfeld' reunion episode of their season where he's battling his former 'Seinfeld' co-workers. I bet voters will get a kick out of all those old 'Seinfeld' chums reuniting. Critics raved over that episode and that helped create an intense media buzz for the show's seventh season. He's definitely in the top three in the category."

Maybe so. Currently, I have likely winners ranked thus:

1. Tony Shalhoub ("Monk")
2. Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory")
3. Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock")
4. Steve Carell ("The Office")
5. Larry David ("Curb Your Enthusiasm")
6. Matthew Morrison ("Glee")

I think Shalhoub's ahead because he gave judges the two-hour series finale of "Monk" in which he finally, after eight seasons, solves his wife's murder. It's four times longer than the other episodes in this category and Shalhoub grandstands emotionally throughout it. He not only has his character's usual ticks and neuroses (which has earned Shalhoub three Emmys) and weeps over his wife's death, but he groans and mugs a lot when Monk is poisoned by his wife's killer.

Voters are usually suckers for that kind of big, operatic performance, but they may be sick of Shalhoub's repeats wins. And they may be eager to catch up with Larry David at last.

Continue reading »

Emmy poll: Can 'Glee,' 'Modern Family' or 'Nurse Jackie' beat '30 Rock'?

July 9, 2010 |  8:52 am

"30 Rock" keeps rolling along at the Emmys, It won best comedy series for the last three years. In fact, it's never lost and maybe it will keep winning like "Frasier," which triumphed five consecutive times. After all, "30 Rock" may be irresistible. It's about the zaniness of the TV biz — the workaday world of those wacky Emmy voters.

Glee mondern family nurse jackie emmy

However, many pundits believe "Modern Family" will prevail because it's new and has mega-buzz. Emmy voters do love sitcoms about dysfunctional families, dating back to such past winners as "I Love Lucy" and "Make Room for Daddy" and, in more recent years, "Everybody Loves Raymond." Also, this modern family lives in a swank house and its daddy uses an iPad. That gives the show snob appeal, which is often crucial to winning. Nothing had more snob appeal than "Frasier," of course — a show about two uppity brothers fussing over opera and burgundy wines.

But "Glee" is the TV show that's captured America's heart and, even though Emmy voters are often accused of being callous Hollywooders, they do -- surprise -- have a heart. Also, they're older and a bit old-fashioned. "Glee" skews young, yes, but it's championing the return of an entertainment genre that reigned supreme in the young, song-bursting days of TV academy geezers.

And what about "Nurse Jackie"? It pulled off a surprise nomination here and perhaps could surprise again. Programs and performances about substance abuse often do exceptionally well at showbiz awards conducted in rehab-happy Hollywood. Examples: "Intervention" pulled off an upset in the Emmy race for best reality program last year. Jeff Bridges just won an Oscar for portraying a pot-bellied drunk in the unwatchably bad "Crazy Heart."

Forget about "The Office" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Both lost consistently at recent Emmy derbies.

RELATED POSTS:

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Trio of Emmy favorites among guest actor drama nominees

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

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

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

'True Blood' breaks the Emmy vampire curse

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Emmy nominations smackdown: Betty White vs. Tina Fey

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Emmy Awards nominations: Who got skunked!

Photo credits: (left to right) "Glee" (Fox), "Modern Family" (ABC), "Nurse Jackie" (Showtime)

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

July 3, 2010 |  7:58 am

When Emmy nominations are unveiled Thursday, here, below, is what to expect to see in the race for best comedy series, according to Gold Derby gurus Chris "Boomer" Beachum, Rob Licuria (AwardsHeaven.net) and me.

Also check out our video slugfests over who will win best drama series, lead drama actor and lead drama actress. Plus, see the complete lists of our Emmy predix, category per category: mine, Rob's and Chris'.

BEST COMEDY SERIES
"The Big Bang Theory" — Beachum, Licuria, O'Neil
"Curb Your Enthusiasm" — Beachum, Licuria, O'Neil
"Family Guy" — O'Neil
"Glee" — Beachum, Licuria, O'Neil
"Modern Family" — Beachum, Licuria, O'Neil
"The Office" — Beachum, Licuria
"30 Rock" — Beachum, Licuria, O'Neil

Licuria's Alternates: "Entourage," "Weeds"
Beachum's Alternates: "How I Met Your Mother," "Entourage"
O'Neil's Alternates: "The Office," "Weeds"

RELATED POSTS

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

Chris "Boomer" Beachum's Emmy nomination predictions

Rob Licuria's Emmy nomination predictions

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

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Gold Derby nuggets: 'The Hobbit' hobbled by helmer's exit | Homer Simpson tops with EW | 'Curb' appeal

June 1, 2010 |  1:11 pm

The Hobbit • The status of "The Hobbit," the long-in-the-making two-part prequel to the hit trilogy "The Lord of the Rings," just became much cloudier with the news that helmer Guillermo del Toro ("Pan's Labryinth") has walked. The first of the films -- produced by Peter Jackson, who picked up three Oscars for the final installment of "LOTR" -- was slated to arrive in theaters in December 2012 with the second out a year later. In a statement, Del Toro said, "In light of ongoing delays in the setting of a start date for filming 'The Hobbit,' I am faced with the hardest decision of my life. After nearly two years of living, breathing and designing a world as rich as [J.R.R.] Tolkien's Middle Earth, I must, with great regret, take leave from helming these wonderful pictures." The much-in-demand Del Toro has decided to move on but harbors no ill will to the project. "Both as a co-writer and as a director, I wish the production nothing but the very best of luck and I will be first in line to see the finished product. I remain an ally to it and its makers, present and future, and fully support a smooth transition to a new director." REUTERS

Elizabeth Guider reports that HBO did great business selling foreign rights to the upcoming first season of "Boardwalk Empire" at the just-concluded LA screenings. This is the paycaster's marquee series for 2010 and could be a major awards player based on the pedigree of the behind-the-scenes talent alone. Oscar champ Martin Scorsese ("The Departed") is executive producing the series about bootleggers in 1920s Atlantic City and directed the first episode. Terence Winter -- who adapted Nelson Johnson's novel of the same name -- won two Emmys for scripting episodes of "The Sopranos" and another two when that HBO hit won best drama series in 2004 and 2007. THR

• The first rialto revival of "Fences" continues to break Broadway box-office records. Yet again, it topped the $1-million mark last week. This remounting of the 1987 Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner by August Wilson is up for 10 Tony Awards and is a front-runner in the best play revival race. The two stars -- two-time Oscar champ Denzel Washington ("Glory," "Training Day") and Oscar nominee Viola Davis ("Doubt") -- are strong contenders in their categories too. "Fences" is also nominated for best featured actor (Stephen McKinley Henderson), score (Brandford Marsalis), scenic design, costumes, sound design and lighting.

The Simpsons Entertainment WeeklyHomer Simpson edged out Harry Potter to top the Entertainment Weekly roundup of the 100 most memorable characters of the last two decades. "Simpsons" creator Matt Groening told the magazine that people relate to the tubby hubby "because we're all secretly propelled by desires we can't admit to." "The Simpsons" has won 25 Emmys over its first two decades: 10 for top animated program under one hour, 13 for voice-over (including four for "Homer" himself, Dan Castellaneta) and two for top song. The title role of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" as played by the perpetually Emmy-snubbed Sarah Michelle Gellar came in third, and Tony Soprano ("The Sopranos") -- which won James Gandolfini three Emmys -- was fourth. Comic-book arch-villain the Joker -- so brilliantly reimagined by the late Heath Ledger in "The Dark Knight" -- was fifth. ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

• As Greg Ellwood observes, "Last year, four of the best picture nominees were released in the summer: 'Up,' 'Inglourious Basterds,' 'District 9" and 'The Hurt Locker.' The 83rd Academy Awards probably won't match that total, but there are more summer players than usual for awards season overall. Just previewing the feature films, there are eight releases that should easily make some noise over the next three months." For Greg, among those upcoming releases that could make the top 10 at the Oscars are "Inception" and "The Kids Are All Right." HIT FIX

Mike Ausiello chats with "House" leading man Hugh Laurie, who reveals he has no idea how long he will keep playing the curmudgeonly character that has netted him four Emmy nominations but no wins. Whether the upcoming Season 7 will be the last for Laurie remains a question mark. He told Mike, "I only hope we’ll know when the time is right [to close up shop]. When people blunder on for five years after [they should have called it quits] … it gets taken out of your hands. Someone will say, "That’s it." But for now, I’m immensely proud of the things we did this season." The show has lost the drama series race for the last four consecutive years. ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

564_curb_your_enthusiasm_468 • Reruns of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" debut on the TV Guide network Tuesday, and though the basic-cable caster will edit the show for nudity and language, it is not cutting it for length. "Curb" ran 30 minutes or so on commercial-free HBO, so to round out the hour time slot, the net is programming "Curb: The Discussion." Hosted by "Curb" star Susie Essman and co-produced by the show's creator and star Larry David, the first panelists will be David's old pal Jerry Seinfeld, Emmy nominee Jon Hamm ("Mad Men") and Oscar nominee Taraji Henson ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"). The five-time Emmy contender for comedy series drew its best ratings for Season 7, which used a reunion of "Seinfeld" as a plot device for creator and star Larry David to repair his TV marriage. As for the future, David says, "Usually when a season ends, especially a season as successful as last season, it takes a while to recharge and come up with enough ideas so you know that you'll have a funny season. So it took some time, but I think we've got some good stuff coming up for Season 8." TV GUIDE

• Jerry Seinfeld is trying his hand at directing this month, helming Colin Quinn's one-man show, "Long Story Short." This showcase for the former "SNL" star begins a summer run off-Broadway on June 18. While "Curb Your Enthusiasm" has had lousy luck at the Emmys, winning just one of its 30 bids (best director for Robert B. Weide for the "Krazee-Eyez Killa" episode in 2003), "Seinfeld" snagged 10 laurels out of its 70 nominations, including best comedy series of 1993. PLAYBILL

Top photo: "The Hobbit" book cover. Credit: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Middle photo: Entertainment Weekly cover. Credit: EW.

Bottom photo: "Curb Your Enthusiasm" logo. Credit: HBO

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There's a weird Emmy outbreak of category switcheroos

May 21, 2010 |  7:32 am

There's a curious trend in category placement at the Emmys this year. Lots of female stars who were formerly competing in the supporting slot have promoted themselves — wisely or foolishly — to lead. Lots of the moves, let's just say, aren't wise and are probably being made for ego reasons. One star, Tracey Ullman ("State of the Union"), is being forced to switch due to rule changes. Others are making the move freely: Connie Britton ("Friday Night Lights"), Anna Gunn ("Breaking Bad"), Cheryl Hines ("Curb Your Enthusiasm"). Hmmm … why is only Elisabeth Moss ("Mad Men") moving in the opposite direction, humbly dropping from lead to supporting?

NOTE: There's a mistake on the HBO DVD campaign box shipped to Emmy voters. Jane Adams ("Hung") is listed in lead, but she's actually been entered in the supporting category.

I asked our resident Emmy sages Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Robert "Rob L" Licuria (AwardsHeaven) to give us their opinions:

Cheryl Hines Curb Your Enthusiasm-4

BOOMER: One interesting aspect of television is that certain actors and actresses can become more important or less important to the story line from season to season. That is why it is smart to consider switching from lead to supporting (or vice versa) based on the material. An actor or actress also has to be aware of the competition, though. I don't believe in the notion of "category fraud" for the most part. For a person on the borderline between lead and supporting, the final category decision should always be weighted toward the one that gives that person the best chance to be nominated and win.

ROB L: My general view on category switcheroos is that it's a good thing; an actor's role in a series should move organically between lead, supporting and guest as the case may be from season to season. Recent examples include Julianna Margulies ("ER"), Allison Janney ("The West Wing") and Ted Danson ("Damages").

Sometimes actors do this to give other cast members a better shot, but more likely they try to slot themselves in the category that gives them the clearest path to Emmy glory.

That is why many will wonder: What was Cheryl Hines thinking? A probable nominee is now quite unlikely. I'm not so negative on Anna Gunn's and Connie Britton's chances, and Tracey Ullman being allowed to move to lead is a good thing. I applaud Elisabeth Moss. Smart move!

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Gold Derby nuggets: 'Mad Men' returns in July | 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' back next year | '24' movie script ready

April 20, 2010 |  5:35 pm

Mad-men-logo-300x159 • "Mad Men" returns to the AMC lineup for a fourth season on July 25 at 10 p.m. ET. The reigning two-time Emmy champ for best drama series is a strong bet to contend for a third consecutive year when nominations are announced on July 8. The third season ended with many of the characters in a state of flux. Just how long this series will continue to explore the lives of Don Draper and company is up for debate. Creator Matthew Weiner has voiced concern about continuing beyond six seasons, but the network says no end date has been discussed. TV SQUAD   

• As Steve Pond reports, "The Screen Actors Guild has chosen the nominating committees for its 2011 SAG Awards, selecting 2,100 of its more than 125,000 members for a committee that will select the feature film nominees, and another 2,100 to choose the television nominees." Actors are only allowed to serve on a committee once every five years. And the studios are kept from knowing the names of the nominators, with SAG acting as a clearinghouse for screeners. Nominations for the 17th annual kudos will be announced Dec. 16, with the awards handed out Jan. 30. THE ODDS

564_curb_your_enthusiasm_468 • "Curb Your Enthusiasm" will be back for a 10-episode eighth season in 2011. The five-time Emmy contender for comedy series drew its best ratings for Season 7, which used a reunion of "Seinfeld" as a plot device for creator and star Larry David to repair his TV marriage. In making the announcement, David said, "After much soul searching — and by the way, it was nowhere to be found — I have decided to do another season of 'Curb.' I look forward to the end of shooting, when I can once again resume the hunt for my elusive soul. I know it’s here somewhere or perhaps in the rugged mountainous regions of Pakistan." ZAP 2 IT

Emily Christianson has compiled a fun and fact-filled photo gallery saluting the various casts of classic TV fare who have reunited over the years at the TV Land Awards. This year, it was two-time Oscar champ Tom Hanks who joined his "Bosom Buddies" on-stage. In years past, these kudos have saluted Emmy-winning fare like "The Carol Burnett Show" and "The Golden Girls" as well as rerun staples such as "The Brady Bunch." THE ENVELOPE

24-logo-1Kiefer Sutherland just wrapped the finale of "24," but he is already talking about a movie version of the 2006 Emmy champ for best drama series. The real-time crime drama is signing off May 24 after eight event-filled years. And says Sutherland, screenwriter Billy Ray ("State of Play") has finished a film script that may be more in keeping with the spirit of the early years of the TV show. "It doesn't have to be a bomb. It can be something personal that people understand." IGN

• The much-delayed Broadway musical "Turn Off the Dark," based on Spider-Man, has lost its villain with Tony Award winner Alan Cumming ("Cabaret") committing to a regular role on TV's freshman hit "The Good Wife" instead. The tuner, first announced in early 2009, had already lost its leading lady, Evan Rachel Wood ("The Wrestler"). Only newcomer Reeve Carney, who is to play the webbed crusader, remains on board. The tunes are by Bono and the Edge of U2 with two-time Tony winner Julie Taymor ("The Lion King") helming the big-budget production. PLAYBILL

Top photo: "Mad Men" logo. Credit: AMC

Middle photo: "Curb Your Enthusiasm" logo. Credit: HBO

Bottom photo: "24" logo. Credit: Fox

OTHER POSTS:

Drama League nominates 9 news plays, 9 new musicals ... and 57 performers!

Let's peek inside HBO's Emmy campaign packages

Oops! Sandra Bullock, please return your Razzie (you can keep the Oscar)

Gold Derby nuggets: ACMs still win night with lower ratings | ABC finds five hours for 'Lost' finale

'Glee' and Adam Lambert hit high notes at GLAAD Awards

Michael Bublé wins big at Junos while Justin Bieber is shut out

Why was Taylor Swift skunked at the ACM Awards?

Will Daniel Radcliffe cast a spell over Tony Awards voters?

Gold Derby nuggets: 'Avatar' only 2-D on DVD for now | Peter Jackson on 'The Hobbit' | Drew Barrymore's fashion faux pas

Emmy predix: Best lead comedy actor

Emmy predix: Best supporting actor in a drama series

Cannes film festival competition short on Oscar contenders

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Let's peek inside HBO's Emmy campaign packages

April 20, 2010 | 11:46 am

HBO shipped its Emmy campaign box to the 14,000 members of the TV academy a week or two earlier than usual, this one arriving in early April. In addition to the box with two booklets (one for DVDs of TV series, one for specials/movies/docus), a separate package was shipped containing three DVDs of the full miniseries "The Pacific." Not included were some shows that don't air till after the packages shipped. On May 5, HBO will send voters an additional package containing DVDs of "You Don't Know Jack" (Al Pacino as Dr. Jack Kevorkian), "The Special Relationship" (Michael Sheen and Dennis Quaid as British Prime Minister Tony Blair and U.S. President Bill Clinton) and Bill Maher's special "I'm Not Wrong."

Compare this year's Emmy box to the ones shipped in 2009, 2008 and 2007. Read the opinions of our forum posters to this year's box here.


BOX 1 CONTENTS: TV SERIES

"BORED TO DEATH"
"The Case of the Missing Screenplay"
"The Case of the Beautiful Blackmailer"
"Take a Drive"

"BIG LOVE"
"Strange Bedfellows"
"The Mighty and Strong

"CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM"
"Vehicular Fellatio"
"The Reunion"
"Denise Handicapped"
"The Bare Midriff"
"The Table Read"
"Seinfeld"

"ENTOURAGE"
"The Sorkin Notes"
"Scared Straight"
"Give a Little Bit"

"HOW TO MAKE IT IN AMERICA"
"Pilot"
"Crisp"

"HUNG"
"Pilot"
"The Pickle Jar or Twice as Fat"
"A … and a Dream or Fight the Honey"

"THE LIFE AND TIMES OF TIM"
"Tim's Beard/ Unjustly Neglected Drama"
"Pharmaceutical Sales/ Rep Gone Wild/ Amy's Got a Gun"
"London Calling/ Novelist"

"REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER"
"July 31, 2009: Niall Ferguson, Rachel Maddow, Joe Queenan, Jeff Sharlet, Michael Ware"
"Sept. 25, 2009: Paul Krugman, Michael Moore, Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, John Waters"

"THE RICKY GERVAIS SHOW"
"Space Monkey"
"Knob at Night"
"Charity"

"TREME"
"Do You Know What It Means"
"Meet de Boys on the Battlefront"

"TRUE BLOOD"
"Shake and Fingerpop"
"I Will Rise Up"


BOX 2 CONTENTS: MOVIES, SPECIALS, FAMILY, DOCUMENTARIES
"Temple Grandin"
"The 25th Anniversary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concert"
"Wanda Sykes: I'ma Be Me"
"Robin Williams: Weapons of Self Destruction"
"George Lopez: Tall, Dark & Chicano"
"A Family Is a Family Is a Family: A Rosie O'Donnell Celebration"
"Terror in Mumbai"
"Teddy: In His Own Words"
"By the People: The Election of Barack Obama"
"Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags"
"A Dog Year"

HBO Emmy Boxes 2

HBO Emmy Box 1

SEE MORE PHOTOS - CLICK HERE

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