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Gold Derby

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

Category: Emmy winners

Gold Derby nuggets: Emmys present and future | Natalie Portman Oscar-bound? | Tonys still without a date | 'Gone With the Wind' costumes saved

September 2, 2010 | 12:20 pm

Edie Falco Nurse Jackie Emmy Awards • In a provocative piece, Joel Keller wonders "when does a comedy stop being a comedy?" As a starting point, he uses this frank admission by "Nurse Jackie" star Edie Falco as she picked up the best comedy series actress Emmy: "Oh, this is the most ridiculous thing that has ever, ever happened in the history of this lovely awards show. I'm not funny!" For Joe, "The outcry that we're hearing about the show seems to stem from the fact that Falco, who won Emmys for playing the not-at-all-funny Carmela Soprano, beat out such comedic stalwarts as Tina Fey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Amy Poehler. But just because she's a serious character in a lightly funny show doesn't mean she shouldn't be nominated in the comedy category." TV SQUAD

Alex Ben Block details one possible scenario for future Emmy Awards. "The major broadcast networks are serious about splitting the Primetime Emmys into two shows, and they have support among cable networks who share a frustration about HBO so thoroughly dominating the longform categories and the event's third hour. One show would honor all series and air on broadcast, while the other would recognize the TV movies and longform projects that run on cable, like HBO's 'Temple Grandin,' which went 5-for-5 at the Emmys on Sunday night. The broadcast version would use the time gained to become a more entertainment-oriented program." THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

• Fresh off his third consecutive Emmy win for best drama series actor, Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad") is set to show everyone his comedy chops by hosting "Saturday Night Live" on Oct. 2. As Greg Braxton reports, "It will be the first appearance on the sketch comedy series for the actor, who starred as the buffoonish father in 'Malcolm In The Middle' before his stint on the hit AMC drama, where he plays a chemistry teacher who gradually becomes a drug dealer." SHOW TRACKER

Natalie Portman Oscars Black Swan Venice • Our pal Anne Thompson is navigating the Venice filmfest and reports on the speculation that "Black Swan" could be the vehicle that transports Natalie Portman back to the Oscars. "While critics may admire [Darren] Aronofsky’s achievement here, and online fan sites responded enthusiastically to Searchlight’s trailer -- the movie could play to the young Searchlight smart-house crowd, but it’s not a genre horror flick -- I wonder how 'Black Swan' will fare on the Academy side. It may be painful for older voters to watch. (Yes, the largely male Academy granted Jonathan Demme’s 'Silence of the Lambs,' Mel Gibson’s 'Braveheart' and Ridley Scott’s 'Gladiator' best picture honors. But this is a smaller-scale production.) Actors may laud Portman and [Vincent] Cassel." THOMPSON ON HOLLYWOOD

Greg Ellwood details the Oscar hopes of Dreamworks for the animated film "How to Train Your Dragon." As he reports, "the studio sent out a mailer inviting industry professionals to see 'Dragon' in 3-D again in screenings in key markets (we're keeping that private for all you gate crashers). The invite features beautiful art by Pierre-Oliver Vincent and reminds potential voters about this 'thrilling,' 'magical' and 'heartwarming' adventure. Oh, and while listing all the possible nominees in different categories, the studio has no qualms about trying to fill one of the ten best picture slots themselves. Who can argue with that?" HIT FIX

• After moving forward by one day last season, the Independent Spirit Awards is returning to the traditional time slot of Oscar eve for the upcoming kudofest. That means these awards, now in their 26th year, will be handed out on Saturday, Feb. 26. Last time round, the locale shifted from the beach to downtown L.A. but there is no word yet on where the next edition will be held.

Tony Awards logo • The Tony Awards has yet to set the date for the 65th edition of these top theater kudos next spring. The problem is that the traditional venue -- Radio City Music Hall -- is unavailable -- due to an extended booking by Cirque de Soleil. Until the new site is found, the eligibility period can't be defined either, though it is said to be either April 21 or April 28. However, as Patrick Healy notes, "given the way Broadway tends to work, an April 21 cut-off could complicate plans for those bringing in springtime shows. Producers like to have as much of April as possible for rehearsals and preview performances to get shows in the best possible shape. That final week of Tony eligibility is typically a traffic jam of opening nights, with producers stampeding to put their shows into the running for Tonys." ARTS BEAT

David Bianculli does a crackerjack job detailing where and when you can tune in to see this year's Emmy winners on the tube. However, as he notes, "there are no scheduled repeat telecasts right now for HBO's 'Temple Grandin' or 'The Pacific.'" Rather, the telefilm champ is already out on DVD while the mini-series winner will be released Nov. 2. TV WORTH WATCHING

Jen Chaney takes the Emmys pre-show on NBC to task for having host Billy Bush and commentator Ryan Patterson criticizing the fashions worn on the red carpet and transmitting the live feed in the awards venue. As Chaney points out, "Kathy Griffin voiced her empathy for January Jones in particular, telling E!: 'They showed her on the freaking JumboTron and then they were talking smack about her.' When Griffin thinks you've been unnecessarily rude, you know you've really been unnecessarily rude." WASHINGTON POST

Gwtw-green-dress • The academy didn't start handing out Oscars for costume design till 1948. Had they been in that business in 1939, no doubt Walter Plunkett would have been a strong contender for his creations for "Gone With the Wind." Several of the iconic costumes worn by Oscar champ Vivien Leigh, including this green curtain dress, are owned by the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas. A recent appeal for funds to restore these dresses in advance of the film's diamond anniversary in 2014 yielded $30,000. In a statement, the Center's film curator Steve Wilson said, "These generous donations confirm that the film's legions of fans do, in fact, care." He added that the donations will allow the Ransom Center to restore the dresses and purchase protective housing and custom-fitted mannequins to allow for them to be exhibited according to conservation best practices and standards. Plunkett contended for 10 Oscars for his later work, winning for "An American in Paris" in 1951. YAHOO

Top photo: Edie Falco at the 62nd Annual Emmy Awards. Credit: ATAS

Second photo: Natalie Portman in "Black Swan." Credit: Fox Searchlight

Third photo: Tony Awards logo. Credit: Tony Awards.

Bottom photo: Vivien Leigh in "Gone With the Wind." Credit: MGM/UA

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Emmy Awards ratings squeak past last year's

August 30, 2010 |  2:47 pm

Emmy Awards Logo 2010
By attracting just a few thousand more viewers than CBS did last year, NBC can claim bragging rights for the highest rated of the four airings by the broadcast networks on this rotation of the Emmy Awards wheel. The telecast attracted 13.5 million viewers, as compared with last year's total of 13.47 million.

Because of the peacock network's ongoing commitment to the NFL, the Emmys were once again pushed up into late August, rather than the traditional date in mid-September. While the overall TV audience is smaller at this time of the summer, the competition is also of a lower wattage.

9/20/09 - CBS - 8.7 rating/14 share (13.47 million)
9/21/08 - ABC - 8.2/13 (12.3 million)
9/16/07 - FOX - 8.4 /14 (12.9 million)
8/27/06 - NBC - 10.6/17 (16.1 million)
9/18/05 - CBS - 12.5/20 (13.7 million)
9/19/04 - ABC - 9.4/15 (13.7 million)
9/21/03 - FOX - 11.8/19 (17.9 million)
9/22/02 - NBC - 13.5/21 (19.9 million)
11/4/01 - CBS - 11.4/16 (17.1 million)
9/10/00 - ABC - 14.2/23 (21.7 million)
9/12/99 - FOX - 11.7/19 (17.4 million)
9/13/98 - NBC - 13.6/23 (19.3 million)
9/14/97 - CBS - 13.5/21 (18.7 million)
9/8/96 - ABC - 14.4/23 (20.5 million)

Image: 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards logo. Credit: ATAS

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Winner of best Emmy Awards predix: Michael Ausiello of Entertainment Weekly

August 30, 2010 | 12:53 pm

Michael Ausiello Entertainment Weekly Michael Ausiello (Entertainment Weekly) proved to be our best Emmy prophet, correctly predicting the winners in 12 of the top 18 categories at Sunday night's awards. Matt Roush (TV Guide) was in second place with 11 of his predictions proving prescient, and at 10 correct there was a three-way tie for third place among Steve Pond (The Odds, The Wrap) and our Gold Derby pundits Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Rob Licuria. Maggie Furlong (AOL TV Squad) got nine right, while I managed eight and both Kristin dos Santos (E! Online) and Joseph Kapsch (Zap2It) scored seven.

Of the 162 predictions made by our panel of experts, only 89 panned out for a success rate of just 55%. While we all did well with the comedy categories (both Steve and Boomer nailed all five awards), we were caught off guard by some of the wins on the drama side. None of us foresaw actresses Kyra Sedwick ("The Closer") and Archie Panjabi ("The Good Wife") taking their races and only Michael managed to get both of the actor winners right.

Continue reading »

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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Poll: What did you think of the Emmys?

August 30, 2010 | 10:52 am

Personally, I thought this Emmys show was one of the best in recent years. Jimmy Fallon struck the perfect pose as host — devilishly amusing as he tweaked TV sacred cows, but he didn't try to upstage the night. The winners' list was aces too. Lots of deserving new champs (Jim Parsons, "Top Chef," Kyra Sedgwick, Aaron Paul, "Modern Family," Eric Stonestreet) and welcome returning Emmy faves (Edie Falco, Bryan Cranston). Bravo, to the TV academy!

Emmy Q

Here are views of other media wags:

MARY MCNAMARA, L.A. TIMES: "Ambitious, energetically hilarious, and, most important, almost seamlessly constructed, this year's telecast actually did what the Emmys are supposed to do — celebrate television."

MATT ROUSH, TV GUIDE: "Dare I say it? This year's Emmy Awards show was almost, gasp, Emmy-worthy (well, up until that deadly stretch in the back half; kills the show every time). And with a surprising number of first-time winners, a few of them quite surprising and even for the most part surprisingly satisfying, it rarely felt like a retread of past seasons."

ROBERT BIANCO, USA TODAY: "The Emmy Awards on NBC  played less like a celebration of good work than as an illustration of small-screen insecurity. The entire evening felt uncomfortably rushed and flustered, as if the producers were so afraid of even momentarily losing our attention, they were determined to have something spinning, flashing, bouncing, sliding or shifting every second."

KEN TUCKER, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: "It was a terrific show."

Image: Tom O'Neil

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Bill Maher remains Emmy's biggest loser at 0 and 26

August 30, 2010 |  9:45 am

Bill_maherBill Maher's record losing streak at the Emmy Awards continued this year as he lost all four of his bids. He has far outpaced daytime diva Susan Lucci who won on nomination No. 19 and primetime also-ran Angela Lansbury who has racked up a record 18 losses as a performer. As with the four this year, most of Maher's previous losing bids were for producing and writing.

His HBO series "Real Time With Bill Maher" lost its sixth consecutive bid for outstanding variety, music or comedy series to the unbeatable "Daily Show," which won for a record eighth year while Maher and his writing team lost to the gang over at "The Colbert Report." His variety special "Bill Maher: But I'm Not Wrong" was defeated by Emmy darling "The Kennedy Center Honors," which won the category for the sixth time with its 32nd annual edition. Maher, who wrote all of his material for the stand-up special, was beaten by the pair who penned the pithy prose for last year's Tony Awards hosted by Neil Patrick Harris.

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).

Continue reading »

'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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'Modern Family,' Jim Parsons and, yes, Edie Falco among Emmy comedy newcomers

August 29, 2010 | 10:33 pm

Emmys Modern Family Emmy Awards Freshman hit "Modern Family" won best comedy series as well as supporting actor (Eric Stonestreet) and writing (Steven Levitan & Christopher Lloyd) at this year's Emmy Awards. "Glee," the other breakout show of the TV season, had to settle for supporting actress (Jane Lynch) and directing (Ryan Murphy). The lead acting awards went to Edie Falco for the first season of "Nurse Jackie" and Jim Parsons, who prevailed on his second nomination for "The Big Bang Theory."

"Modern Family" joins a long line of classic TV shows to win top comedy series for their first seasons. Among them: "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) and "Frasier" (1994, the first of a record five in a row). "Modern Family" co-creator Lloyd shared in all of those wins for "Frasier" and also won a writing Emmy for that show in 1996.

The most recent laffer to win for its inaugural season was "30 Rock." It took home the Emmy in 2007 and again in 2008 and last year. However, show creator and star Tina Fey must have been reading our pundits predictions, which were fool-proof on the comedy front. When drama actress winner Kyra Sedgwick asked Fey, who was presenting, to keep her Emmy while she read off her speech, she quipped it would be the only one she held that night.

Continue reading »

'Temple Grandin' big winner for HBO at Emmy Awards

August 29, 2010 | 10:29 pm

Claire Danes Emmy Awards Temple Grandin HBO "Temple Grandin" was favored by our pundits to win best TV movie at the Emmys. After all, it was tied for the most nominations for a telefilm (15), and HBO has won this race for 15 of the last 17 years, including the most recent six in a row. Likewise for the 10-part war epic "The Pacific," which won the paycaster the mini-series award for the seventh time. And that golden touch extended to the mini/movie acting races with HBO productions winning all of them as well as the directing and writing prizes.

Three of those Emmy Awards went to the "Temple Grandin" cast, led by star Claire Danes, who won for portraying the renowned autism activist. Danes, who had contended at the Emmys 15 years ago as drama actress for the single season of "My So-Called Life," was up against a slate of veteran actresses, including two Dames of the British theater — Judi Dench ("Return to Cranford') and Maggie Smith ("Capturing Mary") — as well as Joan Allen ("Georgia O'Keeffe") and Hope Davis ("The Special Relationship").

Also winning for "Temple Grandin" were first-time Emmy nominees Julia Ormond as the title character's determined mother and David Strathairn as her kindly mentor. Not surprisingly, Mick Jackson won the directing Emmy for his work on this biopic.

Continue reading »

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 predictions roundup: The three wise men of Gold Derby

August 26, 2010 |  3:16 pm
Emmy Awards Logo 2010

Our two resident Emmy experts -- Rob Licuria (AwardsHeaven) and Chris "Boomer" Beachum -- have been considering the contenders in the major categories since nominations were announced last month. They have watched all the episodes submitted to Emmy voters and produced a series of must-read reports.

Boomer vs. Rob: Best Drama Series
Boomer vs. Rob: Best Drama Series Actor
Boomer vs. Rob: Best Drama Series Actress
Boomer vs. Rob: Best Drama Series Supporting Actor
Boomer vs. Rob: Best Drama Series Supporting Actress

Rob vs. Boomer: Best Comedy Series
Rob vs. Boomer: Best Comedy Series Actor
Rob vs. Boomer: Best Comedy Series Actress
Rob vs. Boomer: Best Comedy Series Supporting Actor
Rob vs. Boomer: Best Comedy Series Supporting Actress

And we three faced off in a series of video chats where we debated and defended our choices to the last, with each of us hoping to come in first in the contest for most correct calls. My fearless, peerless 100% perfect predictions can be found here. Check out this roundup of many expert predictions here.

Video Slugfest: Best Drama Series
Video Slugfest: Best Drama Series Actor
Video Slugfest: Best Drama Series Actress
Video Slugfest: Best Drama Series Supporting Actor
Video Slugfest: Best Drama Series Supporting Actress

Video Slugfest: Best Comedy Series

Video slugfest: Best Comedy Actress

Video Slugfest: Best Comedy Series Supporting Actor
Video Slugfest: Best Comedy Series Supporting Actress

Photo: 2010 Emmy Awards logo. Credit: ATAS

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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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