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

Category: ESPN

Gold Derby nuggets: David Fincher opens up to Mark Harris | Mel Gibson comeback? | 'Friends' reunited on 'Cougar Town'

September 22, 2010 | 10:42 am

David Fincher The Social NetworkMark Harris landed an interview with "The Social Network" director David Fincher for a New York magazine cover story. As there wasn't enough room in the print edition for the whole conversation, he has posted it online. In his intro to the transcript, Mark writes, "Here, Fincher dishes on the enormous difficulty of speeding up Aaron Sorkin's motormouth text ('Faster. That was my only real direction.'), his surprising 'enormous amount of empathy' for Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and much much more."  VULTURE

• The Producers Guild of America will salute James Cameron at the 22nd annual edition of its kudos on Jan. 22. The Oscar winner is to receive the guild's highest honor, the Milestone award. Previous recipients include Clint Eastwood, Alfred Hitchcock, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Ron Howard & Brian Grazer, and Walt Disney. In a statement, Paula Wagner, chair of the PGA awards, said, “James Cameron is an exceptionally talented producer, a true innovator with the rare combination of technical ingenuity and creative vision. Jim has continued to change the film landscape with his ability to deliver groundbreaking masterpieces that present audiences and the industry with unrivaled beauty, originality and impact." PGA

Dave Karger defends the decision by Focus Features to position both Annette Bening and Julianne Moore in the lead race for their work in "The Kids Are All Right." Says Dave, "Both actresses have juicy roles and complete character arcs that merit inclusion in the lead category. Sure, Moore would have a better shot at her first Oscar win in supporting, but it would seem disingenuous to campaign her as such. As for Bening, despite her tough competition this year (notably 'Black Swan's' Natalie Portman and 'Blue Valentine's' Michelle Williams), I’d say she has a decent shot at a victory this time around." ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

Patrick Goldstein dismisses the notion put forth by our pal Pete Hammond that "The Town" — Ben Affleck's sophomore film as a director — could be a contender at the Oscars. He writes, "I'm already on record as being a big fan of 'The Town,' which is a terrific crime genre piece set in working-class Boston and loaded with gifted actors doing great work. But crime pictures (unless they have an eminence grise like Clint Eastwood or Martin Scorsese at the helm) rarely end up getting any serious Oscar consideration. The academy is partial to weighty dramas and historical fare. Genre pictures have about as good a chance as comedies at earning best picture nods." THE BIG PICTURE

Jeff Wells agrees with Patrick, using some very colorful language to make his point. HOLLYWOOD ELSEWHERE

Mel Gibson The Beaver • Pete Hammond also reports on the buzz about the Mel Gibson comeback picture "The Beaver," which was directed by his "Maverick"  costar Jodie Foster. She has proved a staunch supporter of the embattled actor, telling More magazine, “Of course, Mel is an undeniably gifted actor, and 'The Beaver' is one of his most powerful and moving performances." As Pete writes, "The big question now is when Summit Entertainment plans to release her film, which still remains officially undated, and if the studio will try to make an awards play. And the even bigger question is whether, after all his public travails, Mel Gibson could suddenly become a serious contender for a Best Actor Oscar nomination via a late-breaking qualifying run before the end of the year?" DEADLINE

• Canadian actor-director Jason Priestley is set to host the 38th edition of the International Emmys on Nov. 22 in New York. In making the announcement, Bruce Paisner, president and chief executive of the International Academy, said, "Jason Priestley is a household name for millions of viewers worldwide and we're delighted that he is joining our celebration of excellence in international television as our host." Another Canadian, "SNL" creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels, will receive the organization's Directorate award while Brit bad boy Simon Cowell will be on hand to accept the Founders prize. Expect Britain to dominate the 10 competitive categories as it has done for decades. INTERNATIONAL EMMYS

Sasha Stone says that Gywneth Paltrow could well be contending for her first best actress Oscar since winning the prize in 1998 for "Shakespeare in Love." In "Country Strong," Paltrow plays a country crooner and, as Sasha writes, "There isn’t much word out there that I could find about her performance, but traditionally, that type of role gets attention and then some." As she explains, "When I first started covering the Oscar race back in 1999, you really couldn’t get nominated if you weren’t already a big star with a few exceptions along the way — a GREAT performance could get in — but for the most part, it was a star’s game and much press was made if an unknown got in." AWARDS DAILY

Jennifer Aniston Courteney Cox Cougar Town • "Cougar Town" creator and executive producer Bill Lawrence confesses to Kate Stanhope that he jumped the gun on the reunion of "Friends" costars Courteney Cox and Jennifer Aniston. "I generally say things and then hope that they're going to happen. I announced last year that Jennifer Aniston was doing the show having never spoken to her or her representatives." Aniston appears on the second season premiere of a show that Lawrence says is now "a Courteney Cox-lead ensemble comedy."   TV GUIDE

• The Kennedy Center is $10 million richer courtesy of new board chairman David M. Rubenstein. The co-founder of the Carlyle Group designated this generous gift for a variety of the center's efforts, including $5 million for the National Symphony Orchestra and $1 million for staging the Kennedy Center Honors and the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. KENNEDY CENTER

• The Hollywood Film Festival has named two-time Oscar winner Sean Penn as this year's recipient of its humanitarian prize. In making the announcement, fest founder Carlos de Abreu said, "It is an honor to recognize the inspiring humanitarian efforts that Sean Penn and his J/P Haitian Relief Organization have been providing to the great people of Haiti." Previous recipients include director of Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos, Father Rick Frechette; Nobel Peace Prize recipient and president of East Timor, Dr. Jose Ramos Horta; and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jody Williams. The presentation will be made at a Oct. 25 gala at the Beverly Hilton. HFF

• The 19th edition of the ESPY Awards don't take place till next July 13, but ESPN has announced that "SNL" star Seth Myers will be returning to host the kudos. AP

Top photo: David Fincher on the set of "The Social Network." Credit: Columbia.

Middle photo: Mel Gibson in "The Beaver." Credit: Summit Entertainment

Bottom photo: Courteney Cox and Jennifer Aniston in "Cougar Town." Credit: ABC

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Seth Meyers to host live airing of ESPY Awards

April 14, 2010 | 12:00 pm

Seth Myers Andy Samberg ESPYs Seth Meyers has been tapped to host the 18th annual ESPYs -- the sports-oriented awards on ESPN -- on July 14. This year marks the first time that the kudos will air live on the cable net since 2003 when Jamie Foxx hosted. Meyers is the third "Saturday Night Live" regular to take on this gig, with Dennis Miller emceeing the first and second years beginning in 1993 and Norm McDonald overseeing the sixth edition in 1998. Last year, Samuel L. Jackson oversaw the awards for the fourth time, following hosting stints in 1999, 2001 and 2002.

This signature event of the sportscaster will air live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. This venue, across from Staples Center, is also the new home of the Emmy Awards. Until 2008, the ESPYs originated from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, the celebrated site of the Oscars.

In making the announcement, executive producer Maura Mandt said, "In the ‘anything-can-happen’ atmosphere that comes with doing a live program, there is no better host for the 2010 ESPYs then Seth Meyers. Not only is he one of the most brilliant comedians, his enthusiasm for sports is sure to create some of the most memorable moments in ESPYs history."

The ESPY Awards boast a range of categories topped by best male and female athletes. After nominations are announced in the coming weeks, fans will vote for their choices online. Last year's big winners were two 2008 Olympians -- swimming superstar Michael Phelps and all-around gymnast Nastia Liukin -- each of whom was the first to take home the award for their respective sport. The top sports movie was the biopic "The Express: The Ernie Davis Story" about the first African American to win the Heisman Trophy.

Tiger Woods holds the record with five wins -- tying with baseball's Ken Griffey Jr. in 1998 and then taking the top prize on his own from 2000 to 2002 and in 2008. The only other multiple male honoree is Lance Armstrong, who won the award from 2003 to 2006. On the female front, only soccer star Mia Hamm (1998, 2000) and golfer Annika Sorenstam (2006, 2007) have repeated as champs.

Photo: Seth Meyers and Andy Samberg at the 2009 ESPYs. Credit: ESPN


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"Next to Normal" wins Pulitzer Prize for drama

Can Conan O'Brien get back in the race for the Emmys?

"Pyramid" to rise again on CBS daytime sked?

"Treme" -- HBO's next fierce Emmy juggernaut?

Tina Fey on "Saturday Night Live": Give her another Emmy!

Emmy battle over best drama actor: Michael C. Hall vs. Bryan Cranston?

Tony Awards predix: "American Idiot" and "Enron" are front-runners to win best musical and play

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