The Envelope Logo

Gold Derby

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

Category: Felicity Huffman

Gold Derby nuggets: Laura Linney shines on Showtime | 'Big Bang' gang theories | Songbird Gwyneth Paltrow

July 28, 2010 |  1:06 pm

Laura Linney Big C Showtime • Three-time Emmy champ Laura Linney is the subject of a lengthy profile in this Sunday's magazine section of the New York Times. Among the highlights of the piece: when writer Frank Bruni accompanied Linney to a rehearsal for the recent Tony Awards where the nominated actress clearly was in her element. "'You just have to see this!' she exclaimed at one point, tugging me backstage. 'It’s just too much fun, all the different casts bumping into each other.'" Along the way, Bruni also visited Linney on the set of her new Showtime series "The Big C," which is set to debut Aug. 16. This first regular TV role for the versatile talent sees her playing a teacher who must learn what is important in her life when told she has terminal cancer. The paycaster has proved to be a Hollywood haven for actresses like Linney, and it is currently showcasing Emmy nominees Toni Collette ("The United States of Tara") and Edie Falco ("Nurse Jackie"). NEW YORK TIMES

• The tuner "Next to Normal" -- which won this year's Pulitzer prize for drama -- welcomed three new cast members Tuesday. Husband and wife Marin Mazzie and Jason Daniely replace Tony winner Alice Ripley and Brian D'Arcy James as the couple coping with her mental illness, while understudy Meghann Fay is permanently stepping in for Tony nominee Jennifer Damiano as the less-than-understanding teenage daughter. PLAYBILL

• CBS has revealed that four of the companies to get a visit from an "Undercover Boss" in the upcoming second season are NASCAR, DirecTV, Great Wolf Resorts and Chiquita Brands. "We're thrilled with this season's new batch of bosses," said the show's creator and executive producer Stephen Lambert. They are NASCAR's senior vice president and chief marketing officer Steve Phelps; Mike White, chairman, president and CEO of DirecTV; Chiquita Brands chairman and CEO Fernando Aguirre; and CEO Kimberly Schaefer of Great Wolf Resorts. The hit show is in contention for best reality series at the upcoming Emmy Awards.

The Big Bang Theory CastHanh Nguyen does a deft job live blogging the lively discussion of "The Big Bang Theory" cast and creators that kicked off the annual TV critics confab Wednesday. Among the tasty tidbits is one from Emmy nominee Jim Parsons, who said he loves Comic-Con, "but seeing the thousands of Sheldon t-shirts was a little disturbing." And when asked about the show's fans, he replied, "They're the sweetest, least psychotic bunch of people I've ever met." ZAP 2 IT

• Our good friend Mike Ausiello caught up with the "Big Bang" gang at Comic-Con last week for a video interview that was punctuated throughout with merriment. Among the subjects covered in the lively conversation were the Emmy snub for best comedy series, upcoming plot points and ongoing salary negotiations. ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

Joel Keller chats with Emmy winner Felicity Huffman on the set of "Desperate Housewives." The one-time Oscar lead actress nominee ("Transamerica") admitted, "I was anticipating doing more movies. I got a lot of movie scripts for a while... I don't really get them anymore." And she said, "Independent films have taken a dive. They're becoming harder and harder to do and somewhat extinct because there's a glut on the market, and they're just so hard to get funding. So I feel like the golden age of independent movies, at least the way they were being done, is over." TV SQUAD

• And our great pal Ray Richmond sat down with "Housewives" creator Marc Cherry, who said "he could see handing off his 6-year-old baby to someone else to run after the coming 7th season. In fact he thought it was likely, as he’s now penning a pilot for a potential new ABC series that he hopes will be up and running by next June. He wouldn't elaborate on what the pilot is about, only noting it 'will not be set in suburbia.'" Cherry also revealed to Ray, "I’ve got a contract that keeps me around ABC for a few more years. I hope (Housewives will be around) for a couple of more seasons, and my thing is I always will be executive producer and consultant on the show. It’s my baby. I can’t let go. I have control issues. They can’t totally get rid of me." DEADLINE

Country Strong Gwyneth PaltrowDonna Hughes previews the just-released title track from the upcoming film "Country Strong." The ditty is done by Oscar champ Gwyneth Paltrow who stars as fallen singer Kelly Canter. As Donna notes, "The actress is no stranger to the music scene, having charted a hit single with Huey Lewis on a remake of 'Cruisin' from the film 'Duets' in 2000. She also happens to be married to Coldplay's Chris Martin." Country crooners Vince Gill and Patty Griffin perform background vocals on this debut single. Though the film won't be out till Dec. 22, the soundtrack is set for release on Oct. 26.  While there is no word yet on the full track listing, another singing star -- Tim McGraw -- appears in the film as Canter's husband/manager. He sets out to resurrect her career with the help of a songwriter she meets in rehab. THE BOOT

Anne Thompson thinks that "Get Low" -- the new Robert Duvall picture about a hermit re-entering 1930s society -- "should be a soft lob down the middle for Oscar voters." As Anne notes, the film, which she saw at last year's Toronto filmfest, is doing well with the mainstream critics and she planned on attending Tuesday's premiere at the academy which was chronicled by our team. THE ENVELOPE

Photos, from top: Laura Linney in "The Big C" promotional still. Credit: Showtime; "The Big Bang Theory" 3rd season Blu-Ray cover art. Credit: Warner Home Video; Gwyneth Paltrow in "Country Strong." Credit: Screen Gems.

Get Gold Derby on Twitter. Join the Gold Derby Group at Facebook. Become friends with Tom O'Neil on Facebook. Get Gold Derby RSS feed via Facebook. RSS Feedburner. RSS Atom.

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")

Continue reading »

Nicollette Sheridan's farewell from 'Desperate Housewives' would be a great Emmy episode

April 20, 2009 | 11:10 am

Nicollette Sheridan left "Desperate Housewives" after almost five seasons with a socko episode devoted to her character. While she has not been nominated for an Emmy in the past, this farewell appearance could be the one that finally gets the prime-time soap veteran noticed by academy voters.

Nicollette Sheridan Desperate Housewives Emmys  Sheridan was initially cast as a recurring character on "Housewives," but response to her portrayal of man eater Edie Britt was so strong that she was upgraded to series regular. And while she proved to be a fan favorite, Sheridan was snubbed by the various TV kudos. 

For the first breakout season of "Desperate Housewives," Felicity Huffmanwon an Emmy playing frazzled working mom Lynette Scavo, and Teri Hatcher took home a Golden Globe for her work as lovable klutz Susan Mayer and picked up an Emmy nod as well.

And Marcia Cross has racked up three Golden Globe nods and an Emmy bid for her brittle Bree Van De Kamp Hodge. But Sheridan and Eva Longoria  -- who plays the equally promiscuous Gabrielle Solis --have had to make do with single Golden Globe nods and sharing in two Screen Actors Guild ensemble awards

This fifth season of the show pushed the plot of "Desperate Housewives" five years into the future.  Edie -- who was banished from the street last year -- returned with a new man (Neal McDonough) in tow. More bad luck in love for Edie as her hubby turned out to be an escaped loony and she ended up his newest victim. Fleeing from his clutches, Edie crashed her car and was electrocuted as she stepped out of the crushed vehicle and into a puddle.

The April 19 episode showcased Sheridan as each of the other housewives reminisced about a moment with Edie that showed a softer side to her character. For Susan, it was when Edie told her that Carl was cheating on her, and for Bree, it came when she discovered Edie was visiting Orson in jail because she refused. With Lynette, it was when Edie made her realize she could beat cancer by dragging her to a  honkytonk, while Gabrielle recalled a night when Edie confessed she did not see herself living to her 50th birthday. But the most poignant scene of the episode was between Edie and her frenemy, Karen (two-time guest actress winner Kathryn Joosten), who spoke about losing their respective sons.

If Sheridan finally reaps her first Emmy nomination, she'll be asked to submit a sample episode to the fellow actors who serve as jurors in her category. This one would be a doozy ... and might even prove to be a winner. It should also be considered as a submission for writing, directing and series categories.


'Desperate Housewives' Nicollette Sheridan waves goodbye to Wisteria Lane

Quiz: Who is Emmy's biggest undefeated champ?

Will 'Lost' star Evangeline Lilly ever compete for an Emmy AWard?

Quiz: Which program won the most Emmys?

Emmy preview: Battle over best comedy series gets serious

Photo: ABC

Get Gold Derby on Twitter. Join the Gold Derby Group at Facebook. Become friends with Tom O'Neil on Facebook. Get Gold Derby RSS feed via Facebook. RSS Feedburner. RSS Atom.

Nicollette Sheridan gets 'Desperate Housewives' costar's vote for an Emmy

April 7, 2009 | 11:39 am

There's new tattle claiming that the April 19 episode of "Desperate Housewives" featuring the exit of Nicollette Sheridan is such a doozy that it might finally earn overdue academy notice to the actress who must be truly desperate for an Emmy at this point.

Desperate Housewives Nicollette Sheridan

"It was a fabulously written episode," costar Teri Hatcher tells People. "She should get nominated for an Emmy."

Nicollette Sheridan was snubbed by Emmy voters throughout the first four seasons of "Desperate Housewives." Ditto Eva Longoria Parker, who also portrays a sexually frisky role with gusto. The other, more conservative housewives — Felicity Huffman, Teri Hatcher and Marcia Cross — have all been nominated. Huffman won the Emmy for best actress  in 2005.

Sheridan's character, Edie, has faced lots of gripping drama over the last TV season — literally — at one point having to fight free from the clutches of her monstrous hubby as he tried to strangle her. While fleeing, Edie got in a car crash, then got electrocuted as she stepped out of the crushed vehicle and into a puddle.

On April 19, many more past travails — and triumphs — of Edie will be revisited in her last appearance  on "Desperate Housewives." "Her final episode is really beautiful, and it involves a lot of flashbacks," costar Dana Delaney told E! Online columnist Marc Malkin.

Continue reading »

'Desperate Housewives' Nicollette Sheridan waves goodbye to Wisteria Lane

March 10, 2009 |  6:07 pm

Nicollette Sheridan finished filming her final scene on "Desperate Housewives" yesterday. And last night, Mark Malkin of E Online dished with recent cast addition Dana Delaney about the departure of one of the original housewives. As per the Emmy-winning actress ("China Beach"), "Her final episode is really beautiful, and it involves a lot of flashbacks."


Could this be the episode that finally makes Emmy Awards voters take notice of the subtler talents of Nicollette Sheridan? For the first four seasons of "Desperate Housewives," she was snubbed by Emmy voters as was costar Eva Longoria Parker.

Their respective characters — Edie Britt and Gabrielle Solis — started out as the least sympathetic of the housewives. For that red-hot first season, Felicity Huffman won the Emmy Award by playing a frazzled working mom while Teri Hatcher took home a Golden Globe for her work as a lovable klutz. Marcia Cross has racked up three Golden Globe nods and an Emmy bid for her portrayal of seeming perfection. Sheridan and Longoria Parker have had to make do with single Golden Globe nods and sharing in two Screen Actors Guild ensemble awards.

This fifth season of "Desperate Housewives" pushed the plot five years into the future with both Edie and Gabrielle facing new challenges that gave the actresses great scenes to play. Edie — banished from the street last year for her antics — returned with a new husband (Neal McDonough) in tow. Though eerily calm, Dave has a host of inner demons that are slowly being unleashed and Edie may well be his next victim.

And Eva Longoria Parker has had to make us feel sympathy for the self-involved Gabrielle. First she pouted about Carlos' blindness, then she pushed him to return to work as an investment banker when his sight returned, and now she has to deal with the guilt of having helped his boss hide his philandering from his murderous wife. All that is balanced by scenes showing a different side of the character as the one-time model deals with motherhood.


Get Gold Derby on Twitter. Join the Gold Derby Group at Facebook. Become friends with Tom O'Neil on Facebook. Get Gold Derby RSS feed via Facebook. RSS Feedburner. RSS Atom.

Sean Penn goes gay — dying for another Oscar?

November 29, 2008 | 10:33 am

Good news for Sean Penn fans: At the end of "Milk" — SPOILER ALERT — you get to watch your hero get blown away by gunfire.

Sorry, but that seems to be the price Penn must pay if he wants to win another Oscar to match the chunk of academy gold he nabbed for 2003's "Mystic River." That's because gay roles that win Academy Awards for actors almost always must suffer ghastly deaths.


No star has ever won an Oscar for portraying a gay, lesbian or transgender person who lives happily ever after. The character of Truman Capote (Philip Seymour Hoffman) gets to live, yes, at the end of "Capote," but we know that he'll end up croaking from booze and pills someday while stumbling around Joanne Carson's house in Beverly Hills.

The five other roles that paid off with Oscars have horrible ends on screen: Tom Hanks dies of AIDS in "Philadelphia," Hilary Swank gets beaten to death in "Boys Don't Cry," Nicole Kidman commits suicide in "The Hours," Charlize Theron is executed in "Monster," and William Hurt gets shot — much like Sean Penn — in "Kiss of the Spider Woman."

If you don't count roles that just hint at a character's homosexuality (Paul Newman in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" or Tom Courtenay in "The Dresser"), I've tallied up 28 gay, lesbian and transgender roles that have been nominated for Oscars. (Have I missed any? If so, click the comments link below.)

Nine get killed off. Some snuff themselves: Kathy Bates uses a pistol in "Primary Colors," Ian McKellen drowns himself in "Gods and Monsters," Ed Harris jumps out a window in "The Hours, " Javier Bardem dies of AIDS in "Before Night Falls."

The fact that Sean Penn is heterosexual in real life hikes his Oscar hopes significantly. No gay person has ever won an Academy Award for playing gay, and only two openly homosexual actors have been nominated for portraying someone with a lavender lilt: James Coco and Ian McKellen. Coco wasn't officially and fully "out" of the closet, but he was candid about his private life to friends and colleagues and frequently flaunted a flamboyant nature in public.

(X = Winner)
Estelle Parsons ("Rachel, Rachel") (1968)
Peter Finch, "Sunday Bloody Sunday" (1971)
Al Pacino, "Dog Day Afternoon" (1975)
Chris Sarandon, "Dog Day Afternoon" (1975)
John Lithgow, "World According to Garp" (1982)
Marcello Mastroianni, "A Special Day" (1977)
James Coco, "Only When I Laugh" (1981)
Robert Preston, "Victor, Victoria" (1982)
Cher, "Silkwood" (1983)
X - William Hurt, "Kiss of the Spider Woman" (1985)
Bruce Davison, "Longtime Companion" (1990)
Tommy Lee Jones, "JFK" (1991)
Jaye Davidson, "The Crying Game" (1992)
X - Tom Hanks, "Philadelphia" (1993)
Greg Kinnear, "As Good as It Gets" (1997)
Ian McKellen, "Gods and Monsters" (1998)
Kathy Bates, "Primary Colors" (1998)
X - Hilary Swank, "Boys Don't Cry" (1999)
Javier Bardem, "Before Night Falls" (2000)
Ed Harris, "The Hours" (2002)
X - Nicole Kidman, "The Hours" (2002)
Julianne Moore, "The Hours" (2002)
X - Charlize Theron, "Monster" (2003)
X - Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Capote" (2005)
Felicity Huffman, "Transamerica" (2005)
Heath Ledger, "Brokeback Mountain" (2005)
Jake Gyllenhaal, "Brokeback Mountain" (2005)
Judi Dench, "Notes on a Scandal" (2006)

Photos: TriStar, Island Alive, Miramax, Fox Searchlight

Continue reading »

I'm switching my Emmy prediction to Bryan Cranston!

September 19, 2008 |  6:57 pm

Yes — yikes — this means I am shimmying out onto a thin, shaky predix limb, I know, but little Emmy birdies tell me that we pundits have made a big mistake underestimating Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad") in the race for best drama actor.

Up until recently, I was with my Envelope comrades resting on usually sturdy oak for James Spader ("Boston Legal"). After all, Spader has never lost — he's gone three for three at Emmys past, including last year, and now he gives his most dynamic performance yet in the sample episode he submitted to Emmy judges. "The Court Supreme" is Spader's performance supreme, granted — he's never been better or given a longer or more dramatic courtroom speech than he does chewing out the whole U.S. Supreme Court. Read more about his Emmy chances and history, CLICK HERE.

But I have a hunch that Emmy voters are just as sick of seeing him win as we pundits are, especially after his ungrateful, snarky acceptance speech last year when he claimed his latest statuette with a shrug, saying, "I still have no idea who votes for these things. Or how you even secure a ballot. Uh . . . but thank you."

The battle over best drama actor is a truly dramatic smackdown involving formidable heavyweights. Jon Hamm ("Mad Men") and Hugh Laurie ("House, M.D.") have real shots to win, and maybe even Michael C. Hall ("Dexter") too. Perhaps I'm making a big mistake pooh-poohing the prospects of Gabriel Byrne ("In Treatment"). After all, he's an esteemed star of artsy indie films, which appeals to those notorious snobs in the TV academy, and he delivers a pretentious-as-heck talkathon with Dianne Wiest in his episode submission, but it doesn't contain the emotional fireworks we spy elsewhere in this race.


Frame for frame, moment for moment, Cranston delivers the most intense, theatrical performance of all contenders as a science teacher who wigs out and becomes a crystal meth chef upon hearing the news that he's dying of cancer. The episode has a huge "ick" factor. Watching this good father, husband and teacher team up with drug dealers who will sell their poison to innocents is cringe-inducing, especially since he does it sweating, scowling and romping around in his underpants in the desert. But he does it to whip up a quick fortune to leave his family before he croaks, so his motive isn't selfish.

Just look at the YouTube video below. It's the first scene of the pilot episode, which is what he submitted to Emmy judges. He's talking into a video camera, telling his family how much he loves them and why he's doing such terrible things. If that doesn't wow Emmy voters, what will?

Cranston's episode has all three elements that are key to impressing judges: It has wide emotional range, impact (not just one big money scene, but a treasure-packed hour of them) and — most important of all — empathy. That's crucial. Portraying a powerfully empathetic character is how Particia Arquette ("Medium") and Felicity Huffman ("Desperate Housewives") pulled off recent upsets in the lead-actress races. It's impossible not to feel the terror, dread, sadness and doom Cranston's character experiences as he chooses to step into hell before life's end. Read the full episode description HERE.

But Cranston also has a few other pluses. Even though his character allies himself with a thug, he knocks off worse devils in the pilot to "Breaking Bad." The final fight scene is a heart-stopping shockeroo, and it redeems him a bit too. But the other secret ingredient this episode contains is its theme of substance abuse — one that often triggers big award wins in rehab-happy Hollywood. Candice Bergen won many of her five Emmys for episodes dealing with Murphy Brown's alcoholism. Ditto for Dennis Franz ("NYPD Blue"), even Kirstie Alley ("Cheers"). Just last year Helen Mirren claimed another Emmy as best actress in a TV film as a police detective battling the bottle.

Lastly, Cranston, personally speaking, is endearing and beloved across Hollywood. It's easy to see why in this video chat I had with him and his "Breaking Bad" costar Anna Gunn last weekend on the red carpet outside the Creative Arts Emmys. Watch his reaction when I tell him that he's got a real chance to win. Over the past few weeks I've been hearing more and more positive buzz for his Emmy hopes from inside industry sources, so I'm starting to take his chances seriously. And so should you. With six nominees in this category, a contender, theoretically, may need only 17% of the vote to win.

What I say in this video to Gunn and Cranston is hard to hear because I'm holding the camera several feet away from them while they hold the mike close to themselves. At first I ask them for their reaction to the amazing breakthrough that basic-cable TV shows by AMC ("Mad Men," "Breaking Bad") have had at the Emmys this year. Later in the video I ask Bryan to tell us what his reaction was when he heard that he was nominated for best lead drama actor. Then I inform him that some serious Emmy gurus (like Michael Ausiello of Entertainment Weekly) are picking him to win. Then I ask him if he'll attend this Sunday's ceremony with a prepared acceptance speech — just in case he does win.

Hey, I can't let Ausiello be the only guru to claim this longshot among the pundits in our Emmy pool, can I? (See all predix HERE.) So now I'm (nervously) stepping off of the James Spader bandwagon to pick Cranston for the win too. Below are my revised racetrack odds for this category. To see the full list of racetrack odds, CLICK HERE

Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad" - 2/1
James Spader, "Boston Legal" - 11/5
Jon Hamm, "Mad Men" - 13/5
Hugh Laurie, "House" - 8/1
Michael C. Hall, "Dexter" - 8/1
Gabriel Byrne, "In Treatment" - 35/1

(AMC, L.A. Times)

Tina Fey, America Ferrera, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Christina Applegate will be nominated for best comedy actress

July 16, 2008 |  1:21 pm

Our Emmy gurus Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Robert "Rob L" Licuria predict that four of last year's five finalists for best comedy actress will return to the race when nominations are announced on Thursday morning: winner America Ferrera ("Ugly Betty") and 2006 champ Julia Louis-Dreyfus ("The New Adventures of Old Christine") as well as Tina Fey ("30 Rock") and Mary-Louise Parker ("Weeds"). Bumped from their lists is 2005 winner Felicity Huffman ("Desperate Housewives") in favor of Christina Applegate of freshman hit "Samantha Who?"


They do not see a nod for the other newcomer, Anna Friel of "Pushing Daisies," nor nominations for either of the other "Desperate Housewives" –- one-time nominee Marcia Cross and never-nominated Eva Longoria Parker -- who landed in the list of Top 10 semifinalists. (Somewhere snubbed Teri Hatcher must be smiling at this prospect!) And sassy Sarah Silverman ("The Sarah Silverman Program") will have to be content with her jaw-dropping inclusion in this initial round of voting. The reason for that, I think, is the monotone, clueless style of her comic performances — they're fun to watch, but not emotionally flashy enough for Emmy voters.

To find the final five nominees, Rob and Boomer follow the actual voting process. First, they predict the order of the semifinalists as determined by the popular vote by the TV academy's actors' branch.

Here's how Boomer thinks the popular vote tallied — 1.) Tina Fey 2.) America Ferrera 3.) Mary-Louise Parker 4.) Christina Applegate 5.) 6.) Felicity Huffman 7.) Marcia Cross 8.) Anna Friel 9.) Eva Longoria Parker 10.) Sarah Silverman

How Rob ranks the popular vote outcome — 1.) Tina Fey 2.) Julia Louis-Dreyfus 3.) America Ferrera 4.) Mary-Louise Parker 5.) Anna Friel 6.) Felicity Huffman 7.) Marcia Cross 8.) Eva Longoria Parker 9.) Christina Applegate 10.) Sarah Silverman

Then they predict how the panel judges scored the sample episode entries.

Here's how Boomer ranks the judges' views of the episodes — 1.) Julia Louis-Dreyfus 2.) Tina Fey 3.) Christina Applegate 4.) America Ferrera 5.) Marcia Cross 6.) Felicity Huffman 7.) Mary-Louise Parker 8.) Anna Friel 9.) Eva Longoria Parker 10.) Sarah Silverman

How Rob thinks the judges ranked episode entries — 1.) Julia Louis-Dreyfus 2.) Tina Fey 3.) Christina Applegate 4.) America Ferrera 5.) Mary-Louise Parker 6.) Felicity Huffman 7.) Marcia Cross 8.) Eva Longoria Parker 9.) Anna Friel 10.) Sarah Silverman

They combine these two results on a 50-50 basis, just like the accountants do, to determine the final ranking of the nominees. The lower the score the higher the chance of being nominated.

(Top five = nominees)
1.) Tina Fey, "30 Rock" ("Sandwich Day") — 3 points
2.) America Ferrera, "Ugly Betty" ("Odor in the Court") — 6 points
2.) Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "The New Adventures of Old Christine" ("One & a Half Men") — 6 points
4.) Christina Applegate, "Samantha Who?" ("The Restraining Order") — 7 points
5.) Mary-Louise Parker, "Weeds" ("Bill Sussman") — 10 points
6.) Marcia Cross, "Desperate Housewives" ("Now You Know") — 12 points
7.) Felicity Huffman, "Desperate Housewives" ("Now I Know, Don't Be Scared") — 15 points
7.) Eva Longoria Parker, "Desperate Housewives" ("In Buddy's Eyes") — 15 points
9.) Anna Friel, "Pushing Daisies" ("Bitter Sweets") — 16 points
10.) Sarah Silverman, "The Sarah Silverman Program" ("Bored of the Rings") — 20 points

(Top five = nominees)
1.) Tina Fey, "30 Rock" ("Sandwich Day") — 3 points
1.) Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "The New Adventures of Old Christine" ("One & a Half Men") — 3 points
3.) America Ferrera, "Ugly Betty" ("Odor in the Court") — 7 points
4.) Mary-Louise Parker, "Weeds" ("Bill Sussman") — 9 points
5.) Christina Applegate, "Samantha Who?" ("The Restraining Order") — 12 points
6.) Felicity Huffman, "Desperate Housewives" ("Now I Know, Don't Be Scared") — 12 points
7.) Marcia Cross, "Desperate Housewives" ("Now You Know") — 14 points
7.) Anna Friel, "Pushing Daisies" ("Bitter Sweets") — 14 points
9.) Eva Longoria Parker, "Desperate Housewives" ("In Buddy's Eyes") — 16 points
10.) Sarah Silverman, "The Sarah Silverman Program" ("Bored of the Rings") — 20 points

Rob's commentary: Tina Fey will benefit greatly from a strong popular vote and from choosing very wisely with her episode, which will have likely garnered quite a few laughs form the panel voters. Similarly, I think Emmy fave Louis-Dreyfus is in much the same position. Ferrera and Parker will score high enough votes to make it through, and then it is a question of exactly how popular "Samantha Who?" actually is –- at this stage, my gut feeling is that Applegate is in, and if there’s a tie, then Huffman is close behind. It is a shame that Silverman’s popular vote would have been on the lower end, which will not help her in making that historic bid in this category.

(Photo: ATAS)

Continue reading »

Emmy pundits' predix smackdown: Tom vs. Ray

July 15, 2008 | 12:35 pm

Ray Richmond of the Hollywood Reporter and I don't really hate each other, though I'm sure it might look like that when we get into our frequent slugfests over award predix. In fact, I absolutely love beating up on Ray more than any other journalist — really, and that's saying something. Here we go at it over what will be nominated for Emmys this Thursday morning and, to prove what a noble gent I am, I let Ray have the first word (so that I — ha, ha, ha — could have the last . . . well, at least until nominations come out).

RAY: "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Family Guy," "The Office," "Pushing Daisies," "30 Rock"
TOM: "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "The Office," "Pushing Daisies," "30 Rock," "Two and a Half Men"

RAY: Yes, "Family Guy" makes the cut -- not necessarily because it deserves to, but because the TV Academy loses its marbles every once in a while. And this is that once. The only other question is whether "Pushing Daisies" gets pushed out by its ABC sister "Ugly Betty," but Betty has so dropped from the radar I'm thinking not. "Weeds"? Only if Woody Harrelson takes over the voting process from those bean counters in suits.


TOM: Obviously, Ray, you were partying with Woody when you made these Emmy predix if you really think that "Family Guy" will get in over "2.5 Men." The latter's been nominated every year that the TV academy has had these panels — that is, the last two years. The last (and ONLY) time a cartoon sneaked into this comedy lineup was "The Flintstones" MORE THAN 45 YEARS AGO — back before computers, cable TV and double Pinkberry scoops — when the Emmy counters were using real beans.

RAY & TOM: "Boston Legal," "Damages," "Grey's Anatomy," "House," "Mad Men"

RAY: "Mad Men" and "Damages" are locks. "House" probably is too. I'm thinking "Grey's" gets in over "Lost." "Boston Legal" is in because it is written that David Kelley shall always be in the running in some fashion. "The Wire"? No matter how deserving, it's probably a miracle it made it even this far.

TOM: Uh-oh. Ray and I are in total agreement here. Why does that terrify me so?

RAY: Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad"), Michael C. Hall ("Dexter"), Jon Hamm ("Mad Men"), Hugh Laurie ("House"), James Spader ("Boston Legal")
TOM: Michael C. Hall ("Dexter"), Jon Hamm ("Mad Men"), Hugh Laurie ("House"), Denis Leary ("Rescue Me"), James Spader ("Boston Legal")

RAY: Spader's a lock because he talks so slowly and intensely, it seems, but he ain't winning this time. Hamm's the one to beat seemingly. And the AMC momentum with "Mad Men" could — I pray — carry Cranston in. He is SO deserving. But he could get beaten out by Byrne, just because he's Gabriel Byrne. Hall deserves a nom for sure, and Laurie has deserved to win for three years running. He still does. But he won't. But if he doesn't get nominated, I say firebomb the ATAS headquarters and let's just start over.

TOM: Yeah, Hamm, Laurie and Spader are in. Ray (amazingly) is right about those, but he's wrong about Spader not winning again. Come on, Spader's NEVER LOST. He's gone three for three in this race and the reason he won repeatedly in the past was because writer/producer David E. Kelley kept penning him those grandstanding speeches he'd spew to juries at the end of each episode of "Boston Legal" that he submitted to Emmy judges. This year Spader submits his BIGGEST speech doozy ever — in which he chews out the whole U.S. Supreme Court. How can Hollywood lefties NOT vote THAT? READ MORE

As for Ray's deluded hope that Cranston will get in — well, I'd cheer that if it happened, but it won't. Cranston would have to rank in the top seven or so places in the popular vote and I think that's unlikely for a new, lowly rated, cable show about a guy toying with crystal meth and terminal cancer. Denis Leary's been nommed consistently for the past three years, surviving all wacky, radical changes in the voting process. I see no reason why he suddenly gets bumped now.

RAY & TOM: Glenn Close ("Damages"), Minnie Driver ("The Riches"), Sally Field ("Brothers & Sisters"), Holly Hunter ("Saving Grace"), Kyra Sedgwick ("The Closer")

RAY: This is probably the easiest major category to handicap. It's difficult for me to see it being anyone other than Close, Driver, Field, Hunter and Sedgwick, though Arquette or Moss could pull an upset if enough of their relatives are permitted to vote (and Moss surely would deserve it). Field could also be victimized by backlash to last year's dead-on but controversial acceptance speech ("You gagged me, you really gagged me!"). Close will win, however. End of story.

TOM: Ray and I are in agreement again. Shoot me.

RAY: Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock"), Steve Carell ("The Office"), Larry David ("Curb Your Enthusiasm"), Lee Pace ("Pushing Daisies"), Tony Shalhoub ("Monk")
TOM: Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock"), Steve Carell ("The Office"), David Duchovny ("Californication"), Lee Pace ("Pushing Daisies"), Charlie Sheen ("Two and a Half Men")

RAY: Baldwin was jobbed last year in favor of "Extras' Ricky Gervais, and everyone knows it. Probably won't happen again. He and Carell are slam dunks, as is Shalhoub. David only seems to generate greater affection for his misanthropic "Curn" role as the years pile up, so he's likely in too along with the charming Pace (who could be edged out by Emmy darling Garrett, but I don't think so).

TOM: Ray may have blundered upon a smart set of predix here and he may even out-score me because — what the heck — I feel like throwing some Emmy dice. Betting against Shalhoub to return may be foolish. He's been nommed for the last five years, winning three times (2003, 2005, 2006), but his episode entry this year is a bit weak ("Mr. Monk and the Naked Man"), which will bring down his typical judges' score. And I think his popular-vote score will be down, too, because he's old news. Sure, Duchovny's old Emmy news too — he used to be nommed routinely for "The X-Files," so we know that voters love him — and now his comeback in new series "Californication" is sexy.


Continue reading »

Seven Emmy geniuses predict Thursday's award nominations

July 14, 2008 |  3:24 pm

Somehow I've managed to coax six suckers brilliant kudos seers to join me in predicting the Emmy nominations that will be announced this Thursday morning: Michael Ausiello (, Matt Webb Mitovich (, Marc Berman (MediaWeek), Ray Richmond (Hollywood Reporter) and our two resident Emmy gurus — our forums moderators Robert "Rob L" Licuria ( and Chris "Boomer" Beachum. To see how we fared predicting the Emmy top 10 lists, CLICK HERE! Below: how we size up the races for best drama and comedy series. To see our predix for best lead actor and actress, CLICK HERE!




Continue reading »

Revealed: Emmy episodes chosen by Miley Cyrus, Christina Applegate, Tina Fey, those wacky 'Desperate Housewives' gals plus others

June 17, 2008 |  1:06 am

When the first round of Emmy voting ends on June 20, the top 10 vote-getters for best comedy actress will enter round two. That's when judges will evaluate an episode submitted by contenders as a sample of their best work from the past TV season. Accountants will then combine judges' scores with results of the original popular vote of members of the TV academy's acting branch, mix them up on a 50/50 basis, and, presto, they'll arrive at the five final nominees to be announced on July 17.

Here, below, are the episodes chosen by these contenders. Are these brilliant selections or wacky ones? Pipe in with your views by clicking on the "comments" link below. If you'd like to read the reax of our forums posters, CLICK HERE!

Christina Applegate, "Samantha Who? ("The Restraining Order")
Tichina Arnold, "Everybody Hates Chris" ("Everybody Hates The…" ?)
Marcia Cross, "Desperate Housewives" ("Now You Know")
Miley Cyrus, "Hannah Montana" ("Me and Mr. Jonas and Mr. Jonas and Mr. Jonas")
America Ferrera, "Ugly Betty" ("Odor in the Court")
Tina Fey, "30 Rock" ("Sandwich Day")
Joely Fisher, "'Til Death" ("Swimming with Starks")
Anna Friel, "Pushing Daisies" ("Bitter Sweets")
Judy Greer, "Miss Guided" ("Homecoming")
Teri Hatcher, "Desperate Housewives" ("Hello, Little Girl")
Patricia Heaton, "Back To You" ("Gracie's Bully")
Felicity Huffman, "Desperate Housewives" ("Now I Know, Don’t Be Scared")
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "The New Adventures of Old Christine" ("One and a Half Man")
Eva Longoria Parker, "Desperate Housewives" ("In Buddy's Eyes")
Mary-Louise Parker, "Weeds" ("Bill Sussman")
Sarah Silverman, "The Sarah Silverman Program" ("Bored of the Rings")


(Disney, ABC)

Does extra screen time give Emmy rivals an edge?

August 26, 2007 |  7:43 pm

Many award watchers like me have always had a sneaky suspicion that screen time plays a big part in winning an Emmy for a series role. Not always. Allison Janney appeared in less than 15 minutes of the sample episode of  "The West Wing" she submitted to judges in 2002 — "The Women of Qumar" — but she still won best drama actress anyway, probably because judges used to be deliriously, inexplicably smitten with her. Janney reaped four Emmys out of six nominations, two in the supporting slot before she moved up to lead, sensing their worship, and cashing in shrewdly on it.


But screen time clearly plays a major role in general. Do you ever wonder how Helen Hunt kept winning year after year — four times in a row — for "Mad About You"? Sure, voters were clearly mad for her, too, but it probably helped that she often submitted special one-hour episodes to compete against her half-hour rivals.

Other stars of half-hour programs who ended up winning for one-hour specials include Michael J. Fox ("Spin City"), Jennifer Aniston ("Friends") and Eric McCormack ("Will & Grace"). Curiously, Debra Messing submitted the same one-hour episode of "Will & Grace" that McCormack did ("Low in the Mid-Eighties"), but lost to a half-hour submission ("The Cannister") by Patricia Heaton of "Everybody Loves Raymond." So there's further evidence that size doesn't always matter. But, come on. It's Hollywood. Size matters.

And have you ever wondered why actors often win when nominated against co-stars? Shouldn't that mean they'd split a program's vote? Nope. Quite the opposite is true, in fact. Dennis Franz prevailed three times when judges got to see the additional performances he gave in the episodes of "NYPD Blue" submitted by Jimmy Smits and David Caruso. In two of the three cases when Edie Falco won, she was nominated against "The Sopranos" costar Lorraine Bracco.

It is widely accepted among many Emmy experts that Felicity Huffman gave judges a lousy episode of "Desperate Housewives" after its debut season, but won because of the bravura turn she gave on Marcia Cross' entry.

So . . . hmmmm . . . wouldn't it be great this year, when making your predictions, to know how much screen time each actor has on their sample episode being judged? Huzzahs and cheers go our forums moderator Chris "Boomer" Beachum for running those numbers for us! Below is his tally in the comedy races.

Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock" -  9:30 minutes / 9 scenes
Steve Carell, "The Office" - 12:00 minutes / 13 scenes
Ricky Gervais, "Extras" - 25:00 minutes / 10 scenes
Tony Shalhoub, "Monk" 37:15 minutes / 13 scenes
Charlie Sheen, "Two and a Half Men" - 20:15 minutes / 10 scenes

America Ferrera, "Ugly Betty" - 31:15 minutes / 18 scenes
Tine Fey, "30 Rock" - 8:15 minutes / 6 scenes
Felicity Huffman, "Desperate Housewives" - 14:30 minutes / 13 scenes
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "New Adventures of Old Christine" - 18:45 minutes / 9 scenes
Mary Louise-Parker, "Weeds" - 13:30 minutes / 8 scenes

Continue reading »



In Case You Missed It...

Stay Connected:

About the Blogger

Pop & Hiss



In Case You Missed It...