Especially David Letterman.
Especially David Letterman.
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.
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
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
There was a notoriously familiar name on the list when the nominations were unveiled today for the news and documentary Emmys: Joe Halderman.
On one hand, Halderman won many Emmys in the past. On the other, he was recently in the headlines as David Letterman's blackmailer.
Halderman is serving a six-month jail sentence after pleading guilty to attempting to extort money from Letterman. Halderman had threatened to reveal a sexual liaison Letterman had with a staff aide who was also linked romantically to Halderman.
Halderman's work for CBS News won seven Emmys. Now he's among the nominees for "American Girl, Italian Nightmare," a CBS "48 Hours Mystery" about the case of Amanda Knox, an American imprisoned in Italy for the murder of a British student.
See the full list of Emmy nominees here. Winners will be announced Sept. 27 at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Photo: Robert Halderman in New York Supreme Court last October. Credit: Marc A. Hermann / Getty Images.
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).
Here's who I predict will score bids when Emmy Awards nominations are unveiled Thursday morning:
BEST DRAMA SERIES
"The Good Wife"
ALTERNATES: "Big Love," "Friday Night Lights," "House M.D.," "Sons of Anarchy," "Treme"
BEST COMEDY SERIES
"The Big Bang Theory"
"Curb Your Enthusiasm"
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")
Over the past few weeks, our forums posters have been nominating their favorite TV shows and programs from the 2009-10 season for the Gold Derby TV Awards. Voters have until Aug. 6 to vote for the final winner in each category.
Two freshman shows lead the pack: "Glee" with 13 nominations and "Modern Family" with 11, followed by the final season of "Lost" with 10 and "Mad Men" with 10. Fired NBC host Conan O'Brien received three nominations (variety series, variety performance and performer of the year). Although eligible, two of last year's winners ("The Office" for comedy series and Neil Patrick Harris for comedy supporting actor) were not even nominated in those categories this year.
We have been holding these awards since 2004. Special thanks to Chris "Boomer" Beachum, Andrew Pickett, Robert Licuria and Matt Noble for helping to count ballots. Below, this year's nominees. To vote for the winners, register in our forums by clicking on the link marked "Login/Join." After registering, go to Boomer's profile here, then click the link to "send a private message" and send him your votes that way.
"Cougar Town" (ABC)
"Modern Family" (ABC)
"Parks & Recreation" (NBC)
"30 Rock" (NBC)
COMEDY LEAD ACTRESS:
Courteney Cox-Arquette as Jules Cobb on "Cougar Town"
Edie Falco as Jackie Peyton on "Nurse Jackie"
Tina Fey as Liz Lemon on "30 Rock"
Lea Michele as Rachel Berry on "Glee"
Mary-Louise Parker as Nancy Botwin on "Weeds"
Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope on "Parks & Recreation"
COMEDY LEAD ACTOR:
Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy on "30 Rock"
Steve Carell as Michael Scott on "The Office"
Larry David as Larry David on "Curb Your Enthusiasm"
Zachary Levi as Chuck Bartowski on "Chuck"
Joel McHale as Jeff Winger on "Community"
Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper on "The Big Bang Theory"
COMEDY SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
Julie Bowen as Claire Dunphy on "Modern Family"
Jenna Fischer as Pam Beesley Halpert on "The Office"
Jane Krakowski as Jenna Maroney on "30 Rock"
Jane Lynch as Sue Sylvester on "Glee"
Sofia Vergara as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett on "Modern Family"
Merritt Wever as Zoey Barkow on "Nurse Jackie"
COMEDY SUPPORTING ACTOR:
Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy on "Modern Family"
Chris Colfer as Kurt Hummel on "Glee"
John Krasinski as Jim Halpert on "The Office"
Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson on "Parks & Recreation"
Danny Pudi as Abed Nadir on "Community"
Eric Stonestreet as Cameron Tucker on "Modern Family"
Conan O'Brien has landed a new gig to replace his short-lived run at the helm of "The Tonight Show." While it took him only a few weeks to sign with TBS for a Monday-Thursday 11 p.m. talk show, O'Brien may have to wait awhile to get back in the Emmy race. Remember, this critical darling failed to win over viewers in the vaunted 11:35 time slot and even the final season of "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" managed just one Emmy Award nomination last year.
It took Conan O'Brien a full decade of hosting "Late Night" before the show landed its first Emmy bid in the variety comedy music series category in 2003. It contended unsuccessfully in that race for five years, always losing to "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," which O'Brien will now face head-on in the ratings. In both 2008 and 2009, "Late Night" lost its slot to the resurgent "Saturday Night Live," while "The Daily Show" kept winning.
O'Brien and his writing staff finally won an Emmy in 2007 after being also-rans every year from 1996 to 2004 and then again in 2006. That was the only Emmy won by "Late Night" out of 29 nominations, including two more bids for writing in 2008 and 2009. In 2008, the "Late Night" writers lost to the team behind "The Colbert Report" and in 2009 to the scribes for "The Daily Show."
Prior to "The Daily Show" owning the series category, "Late Show With David Letterman" won that award five years in a row beginning in 1998. The CBS late-night talk show hosted by David Letterman has competed in the top Emmy race every year since its debut season in 1994, when it won. In addition, it has taken three technical Emmys for a total haul of nine awards out of 64 nominations.
Compare that to the track record of Jay Leno, who returned to the "Tonight Show" in March. While he may be beating long-time rival David Letterman once again in the ratings, don't expect Leno to contend anytime soon at the Emmys. After all, he and the show were snubbed by the Emmys for his (first) farewell tour last year. The last nomination for Leno's edition of the NBC staple was in 2005, when he contended for the now-defunct individual performance prize, losing to Tony Awards host Hugh Jackman.
During Leno's 17 years at the helm, this NBC late-night staple won just one Emmy for best variety comedy series. That was way back in 1995, and the last of the show's nine nods in that race was in 2003. Add in three technical wins and the first incarnation of the "Tonight Show With Jay Leno" managed to take home just four Emmys out of 40 nominations. While Letterman -- who won four consecutive Emmys as part of the writing team on the original "Late Night" beginning in 1984 -- has been a perennial writing nominee for "Late Show," Jay Leno and his team of gag writers were snubbed by the Emmys for the entire run of his first version of the "Tonight Show."
Photo: Conan O'Brien at the 2007 Prime-time Emmy Awards. Credit: Fox.
As all showbiz-award nuts know, there's a kudos application to every story in the news, including the current sex scandal surrounding David Letterman.
Turns out that the alleged extortionist in this case, "48 Hours" producer Robert Joel Halderman, won a news Emmy in 2006 for best continuing coverage of a news story for segment "Hostage," about Chechen separatists' attack on a Russian school. He was nominated in the same category last year.
Letterman's a big Emmy winner, of course. He claimed his first in 1981, at the Daytime Emmys, as best variety host of 1981. Then, when his show moved to evening hours, he won Golden Girls for writing in 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1994. His program has won best variety show six times (1994, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002). Only one program has won that category more often — "The Daily Show" (seven times).
Stewart said, "The problem with having us host it, if I may, is that at some level, deep in our hearts, we think it's stupid."
"That's exactly right," Letterman said.
Stewart approved of Hugh Jackman's turn as Oscars host: "I remember thinking to myself, 'Wow, he's really good at this!' If I had known that they wanted someone to host the Oscars that was talented, I would have suggested him years ago."
Once upon a time David Letterman ruled the Emmy category for best variety series, conquering it year after year — 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 — like John McCain marching through the red states during primary season.
In 2003, an even more snarky TV host, Jon Stewart ("The Daily Show"), took over and hasn't lost yet, surpassing David Letterman's five-year winning streak by adding a sixth consecutive victory this year.
Obviously, voters appreciate snarkiness in this category, but apparently they want it to have a sharp political edge nowadays. That's what Jon Stewart wields — like a hatchet — and he ends up offing all challenges in that Emmy race, even from his former Comedy Central protege Stephen Colbert. Colbert just beat Stewart for the writing Emmy, but not series. That tells us something. Winning best variety series isn't about having the best wordage or the heightened comedy that "The Colbert Report" has over "The Daily Show."
Now that John McCain will come groveling back this Thursday night, David Letterman may have the perfect episode submission to give to Emmy judges next year — who could end up hailing him again as the category's commander-in-chief.
What should Letterman do with this opportunity? Answer: Whatever Stewart might do. Oh, no!
If Thursday's powwow turns out to be a softball snoozefest, Letterman could give Emmy judges the episode that launched his battle against McCain. It's got lots of sharp edges.
Photo credits: CBS
Good thing that Jay Leno has a sense of humor. While the "Tonight Show" host may be the king of the late-night ratings, when it comes to the Emmy Awards he is more like Rodney Dangerfield — he gets no respect. Since taking over the franchise in 1992, Leno's version of the talk-show staple has won the Emmy for best variety comedy or music series once — way back in 1995. The last of its nine nominations in that category came in 2003.
Just why is that? The middle-of-the-road-approach to humor that Jay Leno takes probably isn't cool enough for Emmy voters who prefer the edgier chicanery of David Letterman (his "Late Show" won five Emmys in a row beginning in 1998) and more recently Jon Stewart (his version of "The Daily Show" has won the last five races).
Leno has lost the individual performance category twice — in 1998 to Billy Crystal for hosting the Academy Awards and in 2005 to Hugh Jackman for hosting the Tony Awards. Letterman was also in that 1998 race. He has lost the hosting Emmy three more times — 2001, 2006 and 2007 — but returns as a nominee this year.
Letterman won four consecutive Emmys as part of the writing team on "Late Night" beginning in 1984 and has been a perennial writing nominee for "Late Show," including this year. Leno, who has never been nominated for writing, will have to be content with contending this year for outstanding special class — short-format nonfiction program for "Jay Leno's Garage." His competition for this Emmy Award for Web programming? Try "Deadliest Catch: The Real Dutch" and "Great Moments from the Campaign Trail."
That's a great category for "Tonight Show" talent, by the way. Way back in the 1960s and 1970s, Leno's predecessor, Johnny Carson, grew weary of his show losing the award for best variety show over and over to "The Andy Williams Show" and "The Carol Burnett Show," so he placed "The Tonight Show" in the special class category and won! When he left the airwaves in 1992, his "Tonight Show" won best variety series but otherwise it had a tragic, tarnished history with TV's Golden Girl.