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

Category: Grey's Anatomy

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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Inside track on Emmys: Drama actresses

June 18, 2010 |  1:37 pm
Glenn close damages Julianna Margulies the good wife

Connie Britton, "Friday Night Lights"
Glenn Close, "Damages"
Sally Field, "Brothers & Sisters"
Lauren Graham, "Parenthood"
Anna Gunn, "Breaking Bad"
Mariska Hargitay, "Law & Order: SVU"
Holly Hunter, Saving Grace
January Jones, "Mad Men"
Melissa Leo, "Treme"
Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife"
Anna Paquin, "True Blood"
Katey Sagal, "Sons of Anarchy"
Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer"
Jeanne Tripplehorn, "Big Love"

SPOTLIGHT: "The Good Wife" star Julianna Margulies is a good bet to reign. Not only did she win a Golden Globe and a SAG Award earlier this year, but she was an Emmy fave during her heyday as nurse Carol Hathaway on "ER." Margulies was nominated six times (four in lead, twice in supporting), winning the supporting trophy in 1995.

Patricia Arquette, "Medium"
Regina King, "Southland"
Evangeline Lilly, "Lost"
Mary McCormack, "In Plain Sight"
Ellen Pompeo, "Grey's Anatomy"
Jada Pinkett Smith, "Hawthorne"
Kate Walsh, "Private Practice"

(Long shots)
Kim Delaney, "Army Wives"
Emily Deschanel, "Bones"
Marg Helgenberger, "CSI"
Anna Torv, "Fringe"

Khandi Alexander, "Treme"
Christine Baranski, "The Good Wife"
Rose Byrne, "Damages"
Calista Flockhart, "Brothers & Sisters"
Sharon Gless, "Burn Notice"
Rachel Griffiths, "Brothers & Sisters"
Christina Hendricks, "Mad Men"
Elisabeth Moss, "Mad Men"
Sandra Oh, "Grey's Anatomy"
S. Epatha Merkerson, "Law & Order"
Chloe Sevigny, "Big Love"
Chandra Wilson, "Grey's Anatomy"

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Gold Derby nuggets: Katy Perry to host Teen Choice Awards | Charlie Sheen plea deal delayed | 'Mad Men' secrets revealed

June 9, 2010 |  7:04 am

Teen Choice Awards Katy PerryKaty Perry has been tapped to host the 12th edition of the Teen Choice Awards airing on Fox on Aug. 9. Perry is a four-time also-ran with these kudos, which determine winners via an online vote. She lost the Myspacer race in 2008 and her three music bids -- single, album, female artist -- last year. The Jonas Brothers hosted the 2009 festivities. "Twilight" set a TCA record, winning 11 of its 12 nominations, including best drama movie, actor (Robert Pattinson), actress (Kristen Stewart), villain (Cam Gigandet), lip-lock (Pattinson and Stewart) and rumble (Pattinson and Gigandet). Nikki Reed lost "fresh face female" to co-star Ashley Greene. Nominations for this year's kudos will be announced in the coming days.

• Even her one-time "Grey's Anatomy" colleague Eric Dane was surprised that Katherine Heigl submitted herself for Emmy consideration this year. Taken by surprise when asked about the Emmy hopes of his often-absent co-star, Dane recovered and then deftly deflected the conversation. "I don't even know if I've ever submitted myself for an Emmy. I really honestly never thought about myself as getting nominated, or have thought about an Emmy at all to be honest with you. I've never given it much thought. But hey, it would be wonderful." Good news, Eric -- someone in your camp submitted your name to the academy this year E! ONLINE

• "Entourage" producer Mark Wahlberg remains committed to turning "Entourage" -- the TV show about movie actors -- into a movie with the TV actors. On the red carpet at Sunday's MTV Movie Awards, he admitted, "I am more focused on making that movie than my own films. I just think we can make a great movie. I think people always wanted [it] and have complained that the episodes are too short; they've always wanted more. I think we're going to do it. We just have to end strong, and this season is, by far, the best season so far." The HBO hit begins its sixth season on June 27. "Entourage" has lost the best comedy series race for the last three years in a row to "30 Rock." MTV

Charlie Sheen • "Two and a Half Men" star Charlie Sheen won't be behind bars when he finds out if he is an Emmy nominee on July 8. He has reaped a lead actor bid for each of the last four seasons of the CBS Monday night staple, but has yet to win. The actor was set to plead no contest Monday to a misdemeanor charge stemming from a domestic dispute in Aspen, Colo., last Christmas. However, Pitken County Dist. Atty. Arnold Mordkin told the court, "We need more time than is available for us to complete some of the finer points." The plea deal was worked out in part by Yale Galanter, who accompanied Sheen to court and also represented his wife, Brooke Mueller. Sheen was set to serve his 30-day sentence during this summer's hiatus for the show, which just wrapped Season 7. After initially vowing to bow out of the hit laffer, he just inked a deal for two more seasons for a reported seven-figure-per-episode payday. E! ONLINE

• Oscar-winning documentary "The Cove" has yet to be seen in Japan. As Yuri Kageyama reports, "three movie theaters that had been scheduled to show the film later this month canceled their plans last week after receiving a flood of angry phone calls and warnings of protests by nationalists, who have been screaming slogans outside the Tokyo office of the Japanese distributor in recent months. Protesters criticize the film as a betrayal of Japanese pride." The controversial documentary details a dolphin hunt in a Japanese village. AP

• First Facebook got Emmy champ Betty White a gig hosting "SNL." Now the online site is being used to campaign for an honorary Oscar for Doris Day. A top box office draw in the 1960s, Day lost her only Oscar race in 1959. Nominated for the smash hit "Pillow Talk," she was bested in the best actress race by Simone Signoret for "Room at the Top." Although Day did accept the Cecil B. DeMille Award from the Golden Globes in 1989, it is unclear if she would leave her beloved Carmel to attend the academy's new Governors' Awards ceremony.  FACEBOOK

Mad-men-logo-300x159Roger Friedman tattles on some of the secrets of the upcoming fourth season of two-time Emmy champ "Mad Men." He writes that "production has only now just wrapped Episode 5 of 13. This much is gleaned: the show picks up more or less right after it ended in Season 3. It’s the beginning of 1964. This could mean the arrival of The Beatles in America and on 'The Ed Sullivan Show.' It’s also the start of color TV. The first new episode is called 'Public Relations.' The second is titled 'Distress Signal,' followed by 'The Fine Print,' and 'Dominion.'" SHOWBIZ 411

• More than four decades after it closed on Broadway after a three-year run, the first rialto revival of "Funny Girl" is in the works. The 1964 show launched Barbra Streisand into the stratosphere. Though the Jule Styne-Bob Merrill tuner about Fanny Brice contended for eight Tony Awards, it was blanked by "Hello, Dolly!" Streisand went on to star in the film versions of both these musicals, winning the Oscar for the first and the enmity of role originator Carol Channing for the second. Patrick Healy reports that producer Bob Boyett has enlisted helmer Bartlett Sher -- who won the Tony two years ago for his restaging of "South Pacific" -- to tackle the task of finding someone to step into Babs' shoes. ARTS BEAT

• The Theatre World Awards -- now in their 66th year -- go to performers deemed outstanding in their New York stage debuts over the last year. By tradition, six men and six women are chosen for this honor by a collection of theater journos. Among those being feted Tuesday are four Tony Award contenders -- lead actor in a musical nominee Sahr Ngaujah ("Fela!") and featured play performers Jon Michael Hill ("Superior Donuts"), Scarlett Johansson ("A View From the Bridge") and Eddie Redmayne ("Red"). The other Broadway newcomers chosen were Chris Chalk ("Fences") and Stephanie Umoh ("Ragtime"). Capturing the committee's attention for their work off-Broadway were Nina Arianda ("Venus in Fur"), Bill Heck ("The Orphans' Home Cycle"), Keira Keeley ("The Glass Menagerie"), Andrea Riseborough ("The Pride"), Heidi Schreck ("Circle Mirror Transformation") and Michael Urie ("The Temperamentals"). PLAYBILL

Top photo: Teen Choice Awards logo. Credit: Fox

Middle photo: Charlie Sheen in "Two and a Half Men." Credit: CBS

Bottom photo: "Mad Men" logo. Credit: AMC

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Katherine Heigl listed incorrectly on Emmy ballot — after Gold Derby came to her rescue

June 6, 2010 |  5:38 pm
Katherine Heigl Emmy ballot

Attention, Emmy voters: Yes, that's a goof on your ballot. Katherine Heigl isn't in the running for "Desperate Housewives." She's really up for "Grey's Anatomy" despite what the ballot said after Emmy voting commenced at 6 p.m. PST on Friday. The TV academy promises that it will be fixed by Monday morning when staffers return to the office. Meantime, to see the original mistake, click on the image above -- it expands.

Frankly, it's a miracle Heigl got on the ballot at all. Clearly, the goof of listing the wrong TV show below her name was made in the mayhem of her name being jammed onto the ballot at the last minute after Gold Derby discovered she was missing from the race.

Last Wednesday, Gold Derby discovered that Heigl's name still had not been submitted for Emmy contention only two days before voting was set to begin. It was an omission that surely would've caused an uproar similar to the last time Gold Derby noticed she wasn't listed on the ballot one year after she won best supporting drama actress of 2007.

In 2008, Heigl told us, "I did not feel that I was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination and in an effort to maintain the integrity of the academy organization, I withdrew my name from contention." Her shocking candor caused a series insider to fume to EW over her "ungrateful slap in the face to the very writers responsible for her Emmy win in the first place."

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Gold Derby nuggets: Katherine Heigl exiting 'Grey's Anatomy'? | Banned 'Hurt Locker' picks up Oscar | Extended 'Avatar' in the works?

March 12, 2010 |  2:59 pm

Katherine_heigl_emmyMichael Ausiello reports that Katherine Heigl may well be leaving "Grey's Anatomy" for good. Heigl -- who won the supporting actress Emmy in 2007 -- declined to submit herself for consideration in 2008, telling Gold Derby, "I did not feel that I was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination." Heigl, who has been MIA for most of this season, was to return to the show March 1. However, as Michael writes, "talks between Heigl and ABC have been going on for months and last week both sides mutually decided that the best solution would be to part ways now as opposed to at the end of the season. As a result, Heigl is not expected to return to the 'Grey's' set, which means her final episode as Izzie has already aired."  ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

Betty White -- who will be hosting the May 8 installment of "Saturday Night Live" -- could be competing against herself in the guest actress in a comedy series category at the Emmys. She is to appear in the season finale of "The Middle" playing "a school librarian who confronts quirky 7-year-old Brick (Atticus Shaffer) about hoarding overdue library books." ZAP2IT

• The kids of the Golden Globe-winning series "Glee" are hitting the road this May for a mini concert tour that takes them to Phoenix, L.A., Chicago and New York. The news release promises, "a unique concert experience conceived by Ryan Murphy that will include live performances of some of the show’s most memorable musical numbers including its anthem 'Don’t Stop Believin,' fan favorites 'Somebody to Love' and 'Jump' and hits 'Don’t Rain on My Parade' and 'Sweet Caroline.' "

OscarsSteve Pond reports that Nicolas Chartier, who was banned from the Oscars for his e-mail campaign on behalf of best picture winner "The Hurt Locker," picked up his award Wednesday from academy president. " 'I invited him to come in, and we had a really good discussion,' says Sherak. 'You could see that he got choked up when I gave it to him, and we talked for about half an hour. It was kind of cathartic: he got it off his chest that he was sorry it all happened, and I was very satisfied with his apology.' " THE ODDS

Jay Fernandez tallies up how this year's Oscar-winning talent was spread among the agencies and discovers that "though CAA roped most of the A-list cred -- Jeff Bridges, Sandra Bullock, Mark Boal (2), Kathryn Bigelow (2), Greg Shapiro, Geoffrey Fletcher, Ryan Bingham -- ICM turned out an impressive night with supporting actor (Christoph Waltz), doc short subject (Elinor Burkett), cinematography (Mauro Fiore), costume design (Sandy Powell) and editing (Bob Murawski). UTA nabbed one for 'Avatar' art director Robert Stromberg." THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

Avatar PosterBryan Enk writes that "Avatar" -- which lost a load of Imax and 3-D screens to "Alice in Wonderland" last weekend -- may be re-released in the fall in an extended version. "Cameron has said that he has an additional 10-12 minutes of footage that could be put into post-production fairly quickly, including a scene in which Jake Sully's avatar proves himself to the Na'vi people and another involving a native festival during which tribe member Tsu'tey gets drunk." MOVIEFONE

Patrick Healy reports that Andrew Lloyd Webber's new tuner "Love Never Dies" -- the sequel to 1988 Tony champ "The Phantom of the Opera" -- is still scheduled to open in New York in the fall despite mixed reviews in London this week. However an exec with the production told Patrick that changes are likely to be made in advance of the show bowing on Broadway. ARTS BEAT

• And David Ng says another new tuner -- "Unchain My Heart, the Ray Charles Musical" -- is heading to New York this fall. This newly titled edition of the  2007 Pasadena Playhouse production will also be directed by Sheldon Epps and "takes place during the final live recording session by the musical legend and traces the main events of his life." CULTURE MONSTER


What movies are the next Oscar front-runners?

Gold Derby nuggets: Gabourey Sidibe's film future? | Exploring 'The Cove' | Steve Pond ponders Oscars

How 'Casablanca' beat nine other nominees to win best picture at the 1943 Oscars

'The Hurt Locker' ranked lucky 13 on Rotten Tomatoes Oscars countdown

Gold Derby nuggets: 'The Hurt Locker' expands screens | 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' in primetime |'Mad Men' gets Barbie makeover

Complete list of Oscar winners

Farrah Fawcett missing from 'In Memoriam' at Oscars

Oscars have always welcomed the world

Oscars are biggest winner of Emmys

Gold Derby nuggets: Banned 'Hurt Locker' producer's Oscars speech | Stone & Hammond on 'Avatar' loss | Alec Baldwin on Oscars gig

How did 'The Hurt Locker' defy the odds at the Oscars?

Oscars ratings highest in five years

Oscar winners were predicted by guild awards

'The Hurt Locker' wins six Oscars, including history maker for director Kathryn Bigelow

This Oscars show was not a winner

Poll: What did you think of the Oscars telecast?

Top photo: Katherine Heigel at the 2007 Emmy Awards. Credit: ATAS

Middle photo: Academy Awards statues. Credit: AMPAS

Bottom photo:"Avatar" poster. Credit: Fox

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Katherine Heigl stays supporting in Emmy race for 'Grey's Anatomy'

May 19, 2009 |  2:39 pm

"Grey's Anatomy" star Katherine Heigl will submit her name for Emmy Awards consideration this season, reports Mike Ausiello of Entertainment Weekly. Gold Derby can add to that news: After appearing in a high-profile role that could've been defined as lead, she's decided to remain in the same supporting category she won in 2007. 

Katherine Heigl Emmys Grey's Anatomy ABC It was Gold Derby that noticed Katherine Heigl's name missing from the initial list of 2008 contenders last June. When we inquired as to why, Heigl's response to us triggered a huge media uproar: "I did not feel that I was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination."

After that brouhaha, there was talk that her character of Izzie could be killed off this season on the medical drama. Though Izzie has been battling cancer, her fate remains a mystery with an ambiguous finale putting both her and George (T.R. Knight) in limbo. 

While we will have to wait till the fall to learn which — if either of them — survives, we now know that Heigl liked this storyline enough to put her name forward for the Emmys. That she decided to stay in the supporting race is illuminating. After all, there are plenty of Emmy precedents to legitimize a move up to lead actress by a supporting winner without any noticeable increase in screen time.

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Can 'Grey's Anatomy' revive its Emmy hopes?

May 8, 2009 |  2:47 pm

On last night's episode of "Grey's Anatomy," it was bridesmaid Izzie (Katherine Heigl) who ended up walking down the aisle, rather than bride-to-be Meredith (Ellen Pompeo). This was doubly surprising as many of the medical drama's devout fans had expected Heigl to be walking the plank following her dismissal of the quality of the show's writing last year when Gold Derby asked her why she didn't submit her name for Emmy consideration.

In 2007, Katherine Heigl won the second of only two Emmy Awards to go to this drama series over its first four years in contention; the other was a 2006 casting prize. In total, the show has amassed 25 nominations and competed for best drama series for its first full season in 2006 (losing to "24") and again the following year ("The Sopranos" won for its farewell season). Last year, the show did not number among the final six series nominees, but it did make the top 10 runoff.

This year, the nominating process has been revised to eliminate the juried runoff and the contenders will be determined solely by popular ballot. That "Grey's Anatomy" ranks 14th so far this season in TV's Nielsen ratings should help its cause. Up against ratings powerhouse "CSI," the show's average audience is 12.5 million (about half the number of who tune in to "American Idol")  And last night's much-hyped 100th episode was up substantially from that with an estimated audience of 15.3 million.

Grey's Anatomy Katherine Heigl Justin Chambers Emmy AwardsOn "Grey's Anatomy" this season, Izzie has been stricken with cancer that has spread to her brain and caused her to hallucinate. In an emotional moment last night, she asked her late love Denny to leave her in peace so that she could be with her new husband, Alex (Justin Chambers). Such socko material should make Heigl happy enough to submit her name for Emmy consideration this season.

Two years ago, Heigl had prevailed over two of her cast mates (Sandra Oh, Chandra Wilson) as well as "The Sopranos" stars Lorraine Bracco and Aida Turturro, and Rachel Griffith from "Brothers and Sisters" to win the supporting actress Emmy Award. So it was quite the surprise last June when we saw that Heigl had not listed herself on the preliminary Emmy list. When asked why, she responded: "I did not feel that I was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination."


Katherine Heigl may live to win another Emmy for 'Grey's Anatomy'

Emmy champ Katherine Heigl quits the race, blaming 'Grey's Anatomy' writers

'Grey's Anatomy' to Katherine Heigl: Emmy revenge can be murder?

Can 'The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency' solve Emmy mystery for HBO?

Finally, an end to the Emmy war over broadband video and Spanish TV

CW network to telecast Daytime Emmys in late August

Photo: ABC

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Katherine Heigl may live to win another Emmy for 'Grey's Anatomy'

March 28, 2009 |  3:37 pm

On last week's episode of "Grey's Anatomy," Katherine Heigl's character Izzie survived iffy brain surgery. Yikes! That may mean that the rumor isn't true that the program's producers have been secretly plotting to kill off the role of the past Emmy champ (Heigl won best supporting drama actress in 2007) to punish her for a gripe she made against them last year. If they really wanted Izzie dead, they just missed a big chance. So what's ahead?

"I don't know if I live or die," Heigl told the Associated Press. "I don't know how Izzie fares." But she wants Izzy to endure her bout with cancer, which recently seemed to be a fatal case when it spread to Izzy's brain. "I'm there" if Izzie remains part of "Grey's Anatomy," Heigl added, because she says she's great pals with her colleagues and the set is "one of my favorite places to be."


Blame Gold Derby for how this whole flapdoodle started. It was in June 2008 that we noticed that Heigl's name wasn't on the list to be considered for another Emmy. That could only mean one thing: She didn't put her name up for nomination. Why? When we inquired, her response to us triggered a huge media uproar: "I did not feel that I was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination."

Some gossipmeisters claimed that Heigl was suddenly acting like a pompous diva one year after her break-out film success in "Knocked Up," which earned $219 million worldwide. Why couldn't she be grateful for what TV screen time was given by the series' writers who obviously felt they had to be conservative with her involvement due to her growing film career.

At least one "Grey's Anatomy" insider was furious about her public complaint, fuming to Entertainment Weekly: "The show bent over backwards to accommodate her film schedule and then she criticizes the show for lack of material? It's an ungrateful slap in the face to the very writers responsible for her Emmy win in the first place."

E! Online reported that the "Grey's Anatomy" writers were really angry at Heigl: "They want Izzie dead."

But Izzie, hurrah, seems to be surviving a death threat on the series right now.

"On Friday, Heigl said she's comfortable balancing movies and TV by working on big-screen projects during the summer hiatus for 'Grey's Anatomy,'" reports the Associated Press.

"I'm more than happy to make that compromise," she says. "As my agent likes to say, 'High-class problems. I don't know if I want to continue for five years working 12 months a year, but I can take at least another year or two."


Emmy champ Katherine Heigl quits the race, blaming 'Grey's Anatomy' writers

'Grey's Anatomy' to Katherine Heigl: Emmy revenge can be murder?

Can 'The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency' solve Emmy mystery for HBO?

Finally, an end to the Emmy war over broadband video and Spanish TV

CW network to telecast Daytime Emmys in late August

Photo: Academy of Television Arts and Sciences

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Sneak peek at the Emmy battles looming over TV's best dramas

March 16, 2009 | 10:50 am

Maybe it's wacky to tackle this so early — nominations don't come out till July — but I just invited our gutsy forum posters to start forecasting the next Emmy lineups. So let's add some Gold Derby perspective too.

Nominees for this TV award are a lot like TV reruns. They come back again and again, year after year, but now there's a radical revamp in the voting process that may trigger somewhat different results. Among new series, "The Mentalist" has been a hit but is perhaps too fantastic and eerie for the safe taste of Emmy voters, who usually aren't too welcoming to crime procedurals anyway. Voters often do embrace new HBO series, whatever they are, but a stake may be driven through the Emmy hopes of "True Blood" (which was nominated for best drama at the Golden Globes), considering how that superhit "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" was once so cruelly shunned by the TV academy.

"Kings" gets praise from some TV critics and mixed reviews from others. The L.A. Times calls the modern update of the Old Testament tale of David and Goliath "an interesting muddle of a show," but it's pretentious, so that's a plus with those notorious Emmy snobs. Read this L.A. Times article about a few more dramas premiering in midseason.

In recent years, nominees were selected using a two-stage voting process. In 2006, 2007 and 2008, 10 series and actors in each category (15 in the acting races in 2006) were chosen by academy members using a popular ballot. Then the semifinalists were whittled down to the final nominees after sample TV episodes were screened by judging panels that convened at the TV academy and the Beverly Hilton Hotel.


This year the TV academy just made the terrible decision to kill off the judging panels in an effort to save money. That means we're right back where we started prior to 2006, with lower-rated underdog contenders getting screwed. In other words, Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad") might be back this year because he gained stature after winning best drama actor last September, but don't expect other critically hailed work on little-seen, brilliant cable shows to get a fair shot.

However, this new system does make predicting the Emmys much simpler, since pundits need only to focus on the most popular faves. In an effort to help the small fries a bit, the academy has increased the number of nominees in each race to six (sometimes seven), up from the usual five.

Let's start off dishing the battles in the top drama categories for series, actors and actresses. See more noodling and predix in The Envelope's Gold Derby forums.

* = Nominee last year

"Boston Legal" *
"Damages" *
"Dexter" *
"House" *
"Lost" *
"Mad Men" * (last year's winner)
"No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency"

Due to an accounting quirk, there were six nominees in this race last year and five of them will probably be back: "Damages," "Dexter," "House," "Lost" and "Mad Men." "Boston Legal" is vulnerable now that it's saying bye-bye. Past champ "24" (2006) wasn't eligible last year, so there's a good chance it'll nab a bid now that it's jumping back into the derby. "The Tudors" made the top 10 rundown last year and "Big Love" in 2006, so they could make the next top six or seven. "In Treatment" didn't make the 2008 semifinalist list, but it could be buoyed now by its two Emmy victories last September for best supporting actress (Dianne Wiest) and guest star (Glynn Turman). Maybe in an alternate universe the critically praised "Battlestar Galactica" might have a shot. What about "Dollhouse"?

A few of our forum posters think past champ "ER" has a shot since it's experiencing a comeback in its final season. Among new series, HBO's "No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" hasn't premiered yet, but reviews from U.K. where it aired last week are strong. "The Mentalist" is a relative ratings success, "True Blood" was nominated at the Golden Globes, and "Kings" reigns among some TV critics.

Gabriel Byrne, "In Treatment" *
Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad" * (winner)
Michael C. Hall, "Dexter" *
Jon Hamm, "Mad Men" *
Hugh Laurie, "House" *
James Spader, "Boston Legal" *
Kiefer Sutherland, "24"

Past champ Kiefer Sutherland will be back because "24" has been much missed. Denis Leary ("Rescue Me"), Kyle Chandler ("Friday Night Lights") and Patrick Dempsey ("Grey's Anatomy") made the top 10 runoff last year, so that tells us they have a strong base of popular support. Jonathan Rhys-Myers ("The Tudors") didn't make the runoff in 2008, but he may soon be forgiven for weighing 300 pounds less than the real King Henry VIII and being infinitely more pretty. Bill Paxton ("Big Love") made the run-offs a few years ago, but not since. This year's newbies who might break through include Ian McShane ("Kings"), who was nominated in this Emmy race for "Deadwood" in 2006,  Patrick Swayze ("The Beast") and Simon Baker ("The Mentalist").

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Emmy predix: Candice Bergen or Chandra Wilson as best supporting actress?

September 6, 2008 | 11:24 am

Now our Emmy gurus and forum moderators Robert "Rob L" Licuria and Chris "Boomer" Beachum have a knockabout over who'll win another top Emmy race.

1. Chandra Wilson, "Grey's Anatomy" ("Lay Your Hands on Me")
2. Rachel Griffiths, "Brothers and Sisters" ("Domestic Issues")
3. Candice Bergen, "Boston Legal" ("The Mighty Rogues")
4. Dianne Wiest, "In Treatment" ("Paul and Gina: Week 1")
5. Sandra Oh, "Grey's Anatomy" ("The Becoming")


BOOMER'S COMMENTARY: After watching all of the episodes for this category, I think the clear favorite is Chandra Wilson.  She has a heart-tugging plot line with her marital problems and the injury of her son, and the writers really gave her some powerful moments when she wouldn't leave the surgery room and also at the end.

Griffiths and Bergen have great plot lines (child custody and critical father near death, respectively), but I think the writers really let them down. They have extremely quiet performances with barely any moments in their episodes that would show their acting range and win over Emmy voters. Wilson's performance practically screams for a big Emmy hug!  Wiest gives an acting workshop in a two-person virtual play, but there are no money scenes and very little range.

I thought Oh's episode was the worst she has submitted over the years and only had her on screen maybe five minutes.

1. Candice Bergen, "Boston Legal" ("The Mighty Rogues")
2. Chandra Wilson, "Grey's Anatomy" ("Lay Your Hands on Me")
3. Dianne Wiest, "In Treatment" ("Paul and Gina: Week 1")
4. Rachel Griffiths, "Brothers and Sisters" ("Domestic Issues")
5. Sandra Oh, "Grey's Anatomy" ("The Becoming")

ROB'S COMMENTARY: Again, I just don't understand what all the fuss about Chandra Wilson's performance in her chosen episode is all about. Although I see glimpses of past knockout performances from Wilson in "Lay Your Hands on Me," I didn't connect with this performance nearly enough to proclaim it the front-runner.

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The Emmys pretend they never skunked 'Star Trek,' 'Dynasty' and 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'

August 22, 2008 |  7:17 pm

Hey, who the heck was on the Emmy "blue ribbon panel" that selected the 20 choices of TV's most memorable dramatic moments that the public is invited to vote upon HERE? Voters will pick 10 to be featured on the Sept. 21 Emmycast, but beware: This drama list (just like the comedy roster HERE) largely snubs the shows the Emmys picked in the past.

Don't these Emmy panelists have any clue about the Emmys? Or do they just not care?

Of the 16 TV series on the list, the vast majority (10) never won best drama series ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Dallas," "Dynasty," "Grey's Anatomy," "Little House on the Prairie," "Miami Vice," "Moonlighting," "Star Trek," "The Twilight Zone," "The X-Files").


It's an outrage to include such lightweight fluff on this list as "Little House on the Prairie" while snubbing, say, two shows that won best drama series four years in a row: "Hill Street Blues" (1981 - 84) and "The West Wing" (2000 – 03).

Even more shocking is the inclusion of pop hits the Emmys skunked, such as "Star Trek," "Dynasty" and "Buffy." "Star Trek" never won any Emmy, not even in a tech category. Despite 26 nominations, "Dynasty" only won half of an Emmy. Poor Nolan Miller, who draped his classy cast in the most glam fashions on the tube, had to share the costume award in 1984 with the folks who dressed the trashy yokels on "Mama's Family."

America's TV critics once cried and cried for the Emmys to acknowledge "Buffy," but to no avail. When the show ended, the TV academy tried to make things up to the cast and crew by throwing them a tribute fete, but Sarah Michelle Gellar was (justifiably) outraged and refused to attend. The fete went on anyway, but Gellar ended up driving a stake into its heart.

Why, oh, why would the Emmys do such a bizarre thing? Why would they disavow the decisions they made in the past when declaring the best TV now? The answer is obvious. Gee, what do these current "greatest moments" have in common? Answer: they're blatantly Nielsens-friendly. Shame, shame, shame.

The 20 items include nothing from the golden age of live TV drama, like "Requiem for a Heavyweight," which won the old Emmy Award for program of year in 1956. It's nice that Rod Serling is represented by the excellent "The Twilight Zone," but that quirky classic lost its only bid for best drama series.

No westerns made the cut even though they once dominated prime-time TV. And "Upstairs, Downstairs," which owned the Emmys in the early 1970s with three series wins as well as one for limited series, was also deemed to lack any memorable moments.

"ER" (1996 series winner) is a worthy entry, but inclusion of two-time series loser "Grey's Anatomy" is perplexing considering what it bumped.

The only lawyers on the list are the ones from four-time series winner "L.A. Law" (1987, 1989-91) while three-in-a-row champ "The Defenders" (1962-64) was left off the docket. And the prolific producer David E. Kelly, who began in TV as a writer for "L.A. Law," is not included despite creating a pair of two-time series champs — "Picket Fences" (1993, 1994) and "The Practice" (1998, 1999).

While the criminal element is represented by two-time series champ "The Sopranos" (2004, 2007), the good guys are also there with the climatic 1967 conclusion of the previous year's winner "The Fugitive." Among the Emmy-winning crime shows missing from the lineup are "Mission: Impossible" (1967, 1968) "NYPD Blue" (1995) and the seemingly unstoppable 1997 victor "Law & Order."

While "The X-Files" never won best drama series, at least it was nominated four times and Gillian Anderson won best actress. Two other series on the Emmycast rundown did win best drama: "The Waltons" (1973) and "Lost" (2005). 

Gold Derby nuggets: See 'Damages' marathon on Aug. 7 ... 'The Wire' star Seth Gilliam blasts the Emmys ... Katherine Heigl & hubby Josh Kelley are 'chillin' out' after Emmy flapdoodle

July 31, 2008 |  3:27 pm

On Aug. 7, FX network will air a marathon of all 13 episodes of "Damages" from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET / PT. The critically hailed show is nominated for seven Emmy Awards, including best drama series and best actress (Glenn Close).

On my favorite subject of Melissa Leo , wonders if the "Frozen River" star could be an Oscar front-runner. READ MORE

Speaking of Melissa Leo. I asked Sony Pictures Classics if I could speak to director-writer Courtney Hunt to get her side of the story about Leo's diva fit on the set of "Frozen River," but I'm told that they're traveling and not available till next week. OK, let's see if I can chat with Hunt then. My request for an interview remains open.


Newcomer Jessie Farrell leads with the most nominations (seven) for the Canadian Country Music Assn. Awards that will be held in Winnipeg, Canada, on Sept. 8, hosted by Terri Clark. Jessie Farrell is a 30-year-old crooner who hails from Vancouver who is up for best single of the year ("Best of Me") and album ("Nothing Fancy"). READ MORE

"We take a little pride in not being nominated," fumes Seth Gilliam while lashing out at the Emmys for giving "The Wire" only one nomination in its farewell season: best writing. The star who portrays Sergeant Ellis Carver told BBC 5 Live: "The show deals with inner city civil servants and the Emmys would rather fantasize about lawyers and romance …. It's a show about a blue collar town. It's not very flashy and glamorous …. There aren't a lot of shootings in every episode and there isn't a lot of flesh and nipples … The Emmys will in no way validate the quality of the material we put out there." READ MORE

Rocker Josh Kelley finally speaks up about the hubbub surrounding his wife, "Grey's Anatomy" star Katherine Heigl, withdrawing from Emmy consideration — news originally broken by Gold Derby. (CLICK HERE) "Were pretty strong cats," he tells "We cook in a lot, watch a lot of TV, and just chill out and keep it simple." I'm not sure if this next sentence are the words Josh Kelley also uttered, or if this text is full of typos, but here's more: "When you get into the entertainment business usually most people get into knowing that the possibilities of these things happening are could be a reality I think you just try to get strong, deal with it move on and make your art." READ EVEN MORE

(Photos: HBO, OK Magazine)



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