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

Category: Family Guy

Gold Derby nuggets: Jennifer Aniston as Barbra Streisand | Seth McFarlane's big-band sound | 'Boardwalk Empire' set for Sept. 19

August 6, 2010 | 10:33 am

Hbz-jennifer-aniston-streisand-0910-02-de-98758908 Jennifer Aniston pays tribute to Barbra Streisand in a photo spread in the September issue of Harper's Bazaar. Among the iconic looks she re-creates is this one from the first scene of Barbra's movie debut in "Funny Girl." That film won Streisand the first of her two Oscars, as she tied with Katharine Hepburn ("The Lion in Winter") for best actress of 1968. Although Aniston cites "A Star is Born" from 1976 as one of her favorite films featuring Streisand, she does not replicate Babs' famous frizzy hairstyle for the photo shoot. For "Evergreen," the love theme from that film, Streisand became the first female composer to win the best song Academy Award. On her website, Streisand posted the following: "I was very flattered that Jennifer Aniston chose to interpret my style with the photos in Harper's Bazaar. She's a delightful person, and I think she did a wonderful job. If only she had a bump on her nose." HARPER'S BAZAAR

• Back in 1973, Marlon Brando rivaled the San Andreas fault for sending shock waves through Hollywood when he refused to accept the Academy Award for his performance in best picture champ "The Godfather." He sent Sacheen Littlefather in his stead, and on his behalf she decried the depiction of Native Americans by the entertainment industry. This week, the activist actress met with TV critics to promote the PBS documentary "Reel Injun: On the Trail of the Hollywood Indian." In an Associated Press article, she revealed that "her high-profile advocacy put her life at risk and cut her acting career short. She says when she visited Brando after the ceremony, bullets were fired at his front door. No one was injured." AP

Seth MacFarlane Tonight Show Album Family Guy "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane won one of his two Emmys for penning a ditty for that devilish animated series back in 2002; his other was for voicing the character Stewie in 2000. In an appearance Thursday on "The Tonight Show," McFarlane -- who contends again this year for another song for the show -- announced he has inked a deal with Universal for a big-band album. He told Jay Leno that the track list will include "swing arrangements of classic tunes. We kind of deliberately touched stuff that the Deans and the Franks and the Sammys didn’t do yet." He then got up and wowed the crowd with a rendition of "Cream in My Coffee." HIT FIX

Steve Carell stars as the dubious guest of honor in "Dinner for Schmucks." The perennial Emmy nominee recalls in an interview with Total Film what a schmuck he was when he hosted one particular soiree. "My wife and I once had a dinner party where we invited a bunch of our friends around to watch the Oscars, and we decided that we would record it, have dinner, then fast forward through to all the good moments. We didn't know how to set the digital recorder properly, and the show went over, so it ended just as the categories were getting interesting. So then I had to pull out a laptop: 'Who wants to know who won best supporting actress?' It was really, really awful." ACE SHOWBIZ

Boardwalk Empire HBO has announced that the premiere date for "Boardwalk Empire" will be Sept. 19. The paycaster's marquee series for 2010 bears an award-winning pedigree. Oscar winner Martin Scorsese ("The Departed") is executive producing the series about bootleggers in 1920s Atlantic City, while 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. "Boardwalk Empire" stars Steve Buscemi as a politico with dirty fingers. The versatile Buscemi earned a 2001 Emmy nod for directing an episode of "The Sopranos" and contended in the 2004 supporting actor category for his portrayal of Tony Blundetto, cousin to mob boss Tony Soprano. In 2008, he was a guest actor nominee for his appearance on "30 Rock." Scorsese directed the first episode of "Boardwalk Empire," which is slated to run 75 minutes.

Upper photo: Jennifer Aniston as Barbra Streisand. Credit: Harper's Bazaar

Center photo: Seth MacFarlane on "The Tonight Show." Credit: NBC

Lower photo: Steve Buscemi in "Boardwalk Empire." Credit: HBO

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

July 8, 2010 | 12:54 pm

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


Friday night lights emmy nominations news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Matthew Morrison for "Glee"? Really??

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

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

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

Continue reading »

My fearless, 100% accurate Emmy nominations predictions

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

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

"Breaking Bad"
"Mad Men"
"The Good Wife"

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

"The Big Bang Theory"
"Curb Your Enthusiasm"
"Family Guy"
"Modern Family"
"30 Rock"

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

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")

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")

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

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

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Gold Derby nuggets: Laura Dern 'Enlightened' by HBO | ACM honorees include Keith Urban | Tony Awards eligibility updates

April 8, 2010 |  4:57 pm

Laura Dern Enlightenment HBOLaura Dern has inked a deal with HBO for her first regular TV gig. She and Mike White -- who directed her in "Year of the Dog" in 2007 -- have created "Enlightened" a half-hour single-camera comedy about "a self-destructive woman who has a revelatory experience at a treatment center and becomes determined to live an enlightened life, creating unexpected havoc at home and work." Dern's mother, Diane Ladd, as well as Luke Wilson and Sarah Burns are to co-star in this showcase for Dern, which will begin its 10-episode run this year. Last year, Dern won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris in the HBO political drama "Recount." THR

Anne Thompson is aces at covering the Cannes filmfest and reports, "filmmaker Claire Denis ('White Material') will preside over the Un Certain Regard jury. I have also learned that Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal (whose new Spanish film 'Even the Rain' is tagged for possible inclusion in the fest) and Italian actress Giovanna Mezzogiorno ('Vincere') will join Tim Burton’s competition jury, while Canadian writer-director Atom Egoyan ('Chloe') will preside over the Cinefondation Jury. And the Director’s Fortnight will award Agnes Varda with its 8th Carosse d’Or life achievement award." THOMPSON ON HOLLYWOOD

ACM logo • Australian crooner Keith Urban will be feted at the upcoming Academy of Country Music kudocast on CBS with the Jim Reeves International Award. Past recipients include Garth Brooks, Roy Clark, Buck Owens and Dolly Parton. Mel Tillis and the late Marty Robbins will be the recipients of the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award which has gone previously to such country legends as Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Brenda Lee and Loretta Lynn. Don Schlitz and the late Cindy Walker are to be honored with the Poet's Award and "Crazy Heart" will be given the Tex Ritter Award for showcasing country music on the big screen. The ACMs will handed out in Las Vegas on April 18.

• "Curb Your Enthusiasm" is coming to the TV Guide network beginning June 2, and while the basic cablecaster 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"). TV GUIDE

• The 24th annual Genesis Awards air on Animal Planet on the weekend of April 24. The kudos -- honoring the media for their coverage of animal protection issues -- were handed out on March 20 at the Beverly Hilton. Among the recipients of the 19 awards were the Oscar-winning films "Up" and "The Cove" and the TV series "Bones" and "Family Guy." Actress Tippi Hedren was presented with the lifetime achievement award by her daughter Melanie Griffith. GENESIS

Tony Award • The administration committee for the Tony Awards convened for the third of four times this theater season on Thursday. The committee is made up of two dozen theater folk, with 10 apiece from the Broadway League and the American Theater Wing -- which jointly host these top theater kudos -- and one each from the Dramatists Guild, Actors' Equity Assn., United Scenic Artists and the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. They rule on category placement as usually only those performers listed above the title are eligible to contend in the lead categories at the Tony Awards. However, with the increase in equal billing for all, there is a need to separate out the true star turns from the supporting players. As such, two-time nominee Laura Linney will contend as a lead for "Time Stands Still" as will Patrick Breen for "Next Fall." And of the four actors in "A Behanding in Spokane," only Oscar champ Christopher Walken was found to be in a leading role.

• And finally, file this in the truth-is-stranger-than fiction drawer. Turns out that Hungarian-born adventurer Count Laszlo de Almásy -- who inspired the romantic hero played by Ralph Fiennes in the 1996 Oscar-winning "The English Patient" -- was "actually homosexual and in love with a young soldier, according to letters discovered in Germany." DAILY TELEGRAPH


Showtime remaking BAFTA Award-winning series 'Shameless' with William H. Macy

David Sheward's gutsy, early Tony Award predictions

Tony Awards predix: Angela Lansbury will score historic sixth win

Tony Awards preview: What will win best play?

Can Taylor Swift make it three in a row at CMT Awards?

Gold Derby nuggets: 'True Blood' goes graphic | 'Precious' talent updates | Carol Burnett reminisces

Are 'Damages,' Glenn Close now doomed at the Emmys?

Who'll break the curse against Emmy's funny ladies: Tina Fey, Toni Collette or Julia Louis-Dreyfus?

Photo gallery: Emmy's biggest snubs

'Lost' Emmy mystery solved: Terry O'Quinn returns to the supporting-actor race

'Bosom Buddies' Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari reuniting on TV Land Awards

Top photo: Laura Dern at the 2009 Golden Globe Awards. Credit: NBC

Middle photo: Academy of Country Music logo. Credit: ACM

Bottom photo: Tony Award statuette. Credit: American Theater Wing

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Can 'Glee' or 'Modern Family' beat '30 Rock' at the Emmys?

March 18, 2010 |  2:54 pm

It's only March, but already our feisty Emmy gurus Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Robert "Rob L" Licuria ( are coming out swinging with early batches of predictions: nominees for best TV comedy series.

Boomer and Rob agree on five of the six nominees in that Emmy category: "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Glee," "Modern Family," "The Office" and "30 Rock." Rob thinks "Entourage" will be in that sixth spot. Boomer's betting on "The Big Bang Theory." Neither has the guts at this point to predict if any TV show can crush undefeated three-time champ "30 Rock," but Boomer and Rob both provide in-depth, lively analysis of likely nominees.

Glee modern family TV news Emmys

"Curb Your Enthusiasm"
"Modern Family"
"The Office"
"30 Rock"

"The Big Bang Theory"
"Family Guy"
"How I Met Your Mother"
"Nurse Jackie"

ROB'S COMMENTARY: When deciding on which shows are out in front for Emmy's top comedy series category this early in the game, I  look at past nominees, buzz and ratings, and the choices made by the two primary "Emmy precursors": the Golden Globe Awards and the SAG Awards.

There are six series in the running out of the seven nominated last year for Best Comedy Series: "Entourage," "Family Guy," "How I Met Your Mother," "The Office," "30 Rock" and "Weeds."

Four comedies made it into the top categories at this year's SAG Awards and Golden Globe Awards: awards favorites 30 Rock and "The Office," as well the hottest new shows of the season, "Glee" and "Modern Family." The fifth choice for the HFPA was "Entourage," while the SAG voters went with "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (which was not eligible for Emmy consideration last year).

So that gives us nine series to work with, and I would argue that CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" and "Two and a Half Men" plus freshman cable series "Hung" and "Nurse Jackie" are also in the running, which gives us 12 comedies to choose from. (I don't think that, with this kind of competition, the likes of "Californication," "United States of Tara," "Community," "Parks & Recreation" and "Cougar Town" have a realistic shot this year.)

It's safe to say that "30 Rock" is the category front-runner at this point. And even though it is having a relatively weak season, "The Office" will also make another appearance. I am confident that the two breakout new comedies, "Glee" and "Modern Family," will be nominated as well (and if either of them are snubbed, expect howls of protest, the loudest emanating from me).

The "Seinfeld" reunion on "Curb Your Enthusiasm" will prove hard to resist for Emmy voters, and so that will likely be in the list. It also appears that, regardless how weak "Entourage" appears to be each season, it makes the cut, and this year will likely be no different.

That is six nominees, which gives us a white hot race for the seventh spot (if there is to be one) with the likes of last year's breakthrough nominees "Family Guy" and "How I Met Your Mother," CBS geekfest "The Big Bang Theory," and probably Showtime's "Weeds" or "Nurse Jackie" the most likely contenders for that final spot.

"The Big Bang Theory"
"Curb Your Enthusiasm"
"Modern Family"
"The Office"
"30 Rock"

"Family Guy"
"How I Met Your Mother"
"Nurse Jackie"
"Two and a Half Men"

BOOMER'S COMMENTARY: Even though it is only mid-March, one thing is clear in the comedy categories.  There are several new series with excellent reviews and great ratings ready to challenge the returning shows and performers. The 2009 race came up with seven programs in contention for the big prize, but only one of them is no longer eligible ("Flight of the Conchords"). Assuming the category doesn't have any ties and has an expected six nominees, that means these new highly regarded shows will have to kick out some veterans to make some room.

Continue reading »

Emmy predictions slugfest: What will win best comedy series?

September 12, 2009 |  1:11 pm

When it comes to making tough Emmy Awards predictions, no one comes out swinging harder than our gurus Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Robert "Rob L" Licuria (, who join me in this video dishing the rivals for best comedy series: "Entourage," "Family Guy," "How I Met Your Mother," "Flight of the Conchords," "The Office," "30 Rock" and "Weeds."

Also check out Rob's and Boomer's in-depth noodling of these categories: best comedy series, lead comedy actor, lead comedy actress, supporting comedy actor, supporting comedy actress, guest comedy actor, guest comedy actress, comedy writing, comedy directing, best lead drama actorbest lead actor in movie/mini and lead actress in a movie/mini. Read more in our forums.

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Easiest Emmy prediction: '30 Rock' will win best comedy series -- again

August 19, 2009 |  1:58 pm

"30 Rock" has not only triumphed as Emmy's best comedy series for the last two years, it's never lost and may be unbeatable. Two reasons: it's a shrewdly crafted satire (arguably, it actually deserves to win) and Emmy voters are TV industry insiders who can't resist its devilish take on their own workaday world. You must wonder: at some point, won't voters finally get bored with it winning every year, rebel and pick something else? Reality check: "Frasier" won this slot five years in a row and it wasn't even about the TV biz. It was about the radio biz — in Seattle.

Both of our Emmy seers Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Robert "Rob L" Licuria ( think, like I do, that "30 Rock" is a shoo-in to prevail again. Below, more of their reasoning and handicapping.

30 rock tina fey

(Ranked by likelihood to win)
1.) "30 Rock"
2.) "The Office"
3.) "Entourage"
4.) "How I Met Your Mother"
5.) "Family Guy"
6.) "Flight of the Conchords"
7.) "Weeds"
BOOMER'S COMMENTARY: Unlike some of the acting categories, I think it's a done deal that "30 Rock" will pick up its third consecutive Emmy in the top comedy race. First and foremost, they aced their episode choices with six of the absolute best and funniest of the season. Secondly, the biggest competition (and previous winner) is "The Office," which needed to be perfect in their episode choices to have a decent shot at a win. They did a great job except for the episode "Golden Ticket," which was just a mediocre selection.

I really don't believe any of the other shows have a realistic chance of winning this category.  Looking back over the past 40 years of the Emmys, only one show has won the comedy series award without having at least one directing or writing nomination (that was "Friends" in 2002, when it was the overwhelming favorite to win anyway). I love statistics when predicting, so for my purposes it effectively eliminates "Family Guy," "How I Met Your Mother" and "Weeds" from consideration since they don't have those other nominations.

A victory by either of the other two nominated series ("Entourage" or "Flight of the Conchords") would be the upset of a lifetime.

Congratulations to Tina Fey, Lorne Michaels and the rest of the "30 Rock" team on another well-deserved win!

(Ranked by likelihood to win)
1.) "30 Rock"
2.) "The Office"
3.) "Family Guy"
4.) "How I Met Your Mother"
5.) "Flight of the Conchords"
6.) "Weeds"
7.) "Entourage"

ROB'S COMMENTARY: I think Boomer's theory that a series is not likely to win in this category without directing and writing nominations is a good one. That being said, I have rearranged the list according to how I think each of the series might fare, depending on what I perceive to be their potential core fan base. Remember, with seven nominated series, any one of them would presumably need around 15% of the votes to scrape through with a win. My math is not the best, but you hopefully know what I'm getting at.

I think that it is safe to say that "30 Rock" will win this again. With a 22 nominations (a record for a comedy series), it is the industry favorite, probably the hottest comedy on TV and does not look like it can be beaten, regardless of what episodes it submitted to voters. In its favor is that it has submitted six of its very best ones, which will more than likely propel it to a repeat victory.

Continue reading »

Little Stewie puts big muscle behind 'Family Guy's' Emmy campaign

August 18, 2009 | 10:32 am

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'Family Guy,' 'True Blood' top TV DVD sales, but one misses Emmy boat (guess which one!)

June 30, 2009 | 10:48 am

Family guy 82193574 tv news

Emmy-savvy HBO was smart to release the DVD set of the first season of "True Blood" just before voting commenced in June. In week five, it sold 107,115 units (1,099,995 total, nearly $38 million), according to

"True Blood" came in second place among TV titles for the week, behind the debut of Season 7 of "Family Guy," which sold 273,627 units ($7.6 million). Why did Fox miss its big chance to grandstand with a DVD media blitz when Emmy nom voting commenced? To be consistent with how s-l-o-w its characters notoriously are? (Well, except for Stewie and that upright walking doggie.) This year, "Family Guy" ditched the Emmy race for best animated program in order to make the bold drive to be the second cartoon show ever nominated for outstanding comedy series after "The Flintstones" (1961 – it lost to "The Jack Benny Program"), so it could've used the extra push.

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'Family Guy' goes crazy for an Emmy

June 3, 2009 |  7:41 am

Well, at least the producers of "Family Guy" are about to find out if Emmy voters really have a good sense of humor — especially an appreciation for the kind of bawdy joshing that's a signature of its outrageous show. They decided to get voters to pay attention to their ploy to move "Family Guy" from the race for best animated program to the lofty contest for best comedy series by insulting, tweaking and shocking them. Only one other cartoon show has ever made it into the comedy contest: "The Flinstones," which lost to "The Jack Benny Program" in 1961.

Check out the DVD "For Your Consideration" campaign package recently shipped to all 14,000 TV academy members, including images that can be seen by clicking on the "continued" link at the bottom of this post. Featured are these zinger messages: "We peaked three years ago, so by your logic we should get an Emmy now"  and " 'Family Guy': with Tina Fey! (Not really, we just want an Emmy)."

Three episodes are contained on the enclosed DVD: "I Dream of Jesus," "Road to Germany" and "Family Gay."

Family Guy 1

Family Guy 2

Family Guy FYC

Family Guy Holocaust

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'Parks and Recreation' can rally at the Emmys

April 9, 2009 | 12:59 pm

Cheer up, Amy Poehler fans. Just because some TV critics aren't wild about the pilot episode of "Parks and Recreation," her new sitcom debuting tonight on NBC, doesn't mean it can't rally in coming weeks — and at the upcoming Emmys. Many of the critics pooh-poohing "Parks and Recreation" as a weak imitation of  "The Office" — from the show's same creators, Greg Daniels and Mike Schur — are the same sourpusses who once dismissed Parks and recreation amy poehler NBC's "The Office" as a pale imitation of the hit British original starring Ricky Gervais. The re-tooled Yankee version of "The Office" got the last laugh, winning the Emmy for comedy series at the end of its first season (2005-2006).

"Parks and Recreation" has some quick catching up to do, being a mid-season, spring replacement series with just a handful of episodes airing before the end of the Emmy eligibility period (May 31), but that timing can also be beneficial, since it'll be fresh on voters' minds.

But the race for best comedy series is no laughing matter this year. Of the five nominees last year, "30 Rock" (winner in 2007 and 2008), "Entourage," "The Office" and "Two and a Half Men" look like good bets to return. "Curb Your Enthusiasm" isn't eligible. Which show will claim the remaining slots? Remember, due to a new rule change, there will be six or seven nominees instead of the usual five. No new show has been a break-out smash hit. "United States of Tara" was well received. Ditto "Better Off Ted." However, neither had socko ratings, which matter a lot because the nominees will now be determined strictly by a popular ballot. There won't be judging panels this year to boost a lower-rated show's chances. "Parks and Recreation" will benefit from being a hugely touted prestige series airing on NBC's Thursday night lineup.

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'Family Guy' will compete for best comedy series at the Emmys again

April 2, 2009 |  5:02 pm

The producers of "Family Guy" came so close to being nominated for best comedy series at the Emmys last year that they plan to try it again, Gold Derby has learned exclusively.

However, there's a glitch — and a major sacrifice the show must now make. Last year, due to a quirk in the Emmy rules, "Family Guy" was able to gamble on nabbing a bid for best comedy without abandoning the separate race for best animated program. The latter category permits ongoing series to compete against stand-alone specials. Since "Family Guy" had a notable special — its celebrated "Star Wars" spoof titled "Blue Harvest" — it could enter that for best animated program (it lost to "South Park's" Imaginationland") while also entering "Family Guy" for best comedy series ("30 Rock" won). "Family Guy" will not be eligible in the race for best animated program this year.

Flintstones_family_guy "Family Guy" didn't get nominated for best laffer last year, but it came close. It was one of the top 10 semi-finalists after a popular vote of the TV academy's 13,000 members. There won't be a semi-finalist run-off this year since judging panels will no longer determine nominees after screening sample episodes, but the number of nominees will be increased to six or seven from the usual five, thus giving "Family Guy" some Emmy hope.

But perhaps it's only slim hope. Obviously, there's a bias against animated fare at the Emmys just like the Oscars, which recently had to create a separate category for best animated feature after repeated, embarrassing snubs in the best picture race. Only one animated film has ever been nominated for best picture at the Academy Awards: "Beauty and the Beast" (1991). At the Emmys, only one animated show has ever been nominated for best comedy or drama series: "The Flintstones" (1961). Alas, "The Jack Benny Show" got the last laugh back then.

Not too long ago "The Simpsons" tried what "Family Guy" is attempting. After sweeping the animation race in the early 1990s, "The Simpsons" moved over to compete in the comedy category, but got shut out in 1993 and 1994. Then frustrated producers gave up in 1995 and moved back to animation.

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