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

Category: How I Met Your Mother

After Tonys goof discovered, Emmys give Neil Patrick Harris one more nomination

August 10, 2010 |  6:17 pm

The TV academy just acknowledged a mistake made by the Tony Awards that was brought to its attention by Gold Derby and gave Neil Patrick Harris one more Emmy nomination -- for hosting the Tonys last year.

Harris' name was missing from the list of Emmy nominees in the race for best special-class program when bids were unveiled last month. Hosts of award shows used to compete in the old Emmy category of best performance in a variety special (Hugh Jackman won for hosting the Tonys in 2005), but that contest was eliminated last year. Award-show hosts are now grouped with the producers of the kudocasts. If the award show wins best special-class program, then the host wins along with its producers. Other contenders in the category, like hosts of "Saturday Night Live," were moved over to the guest acting categories (where Tina Fey won last year for hosting "SNL").

Neil Patrick Harris emmy

However, our forums moderator Chris "Boomer" Beachum noticed something odd when perusing this year's list of Emmy nominees: Neil Patrick Harris wasn't listed along with the producers of the Tonys show nominated for best special-class program. The omission was glaring considering that Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin are listed among nominees with the Oscars telecast. Boomer asked me to inquire with Emmy chiefs. The awards department informed us that Harris' name hadn't been submitted for consideration, which was odd because the Tonys producers hadn't forgotten to list host Whoopi Goldberg last year. Why now?

Neil Patrick Harris has an embarrassing kudos secret. Even though he's Mr. Awards Show — having hosted the Tonys, Emmys, TV Land Awards and performed at the Oscars — he's never won a major showbiz trophy. He's lost three times at the Emmys, four at the Golden Globes and this year he received two Emmy bids as best supporting comedy actor ("How I Met Your Mother") and guest actor in a comedy series ("Glee"). Our pundits (Boomer included) don't believe Harris has a good shot to win in the supporting race this year. However, he's a serious rival in that guest contest — he's got real hope there. But if he loses both shots it would be outrageous for him to be cheated out of a nomination in the special-class category considering how often the Tonys win there. The Tonys won best special-class program in 2005, 2007 and 2008. Wouldn't it be tragic if Harris loses for "Mother" and "Glee" this year, then fails to win an Emmy along with the producers of the Tonys when the Tonys win the special-class contest again? Horrible! All because someone in the office of the Tonycast producers forgot to include Harris' name on the Emmy paperwork? Presumably, that's what happened.

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Early Emmy predix: Neil Patrick Harris or Fred Willard to win best guest actor in a comedy?

July 19, 2010 |  7:01 am

The Emmy bout over best guest comedy actor is a toss-up according to our Emmy gurus Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Robert "Rob L" Licuria ( Boomer thinks Neil Patrick Harris -- who picked up his fourth consecutive supporting actor nom for his regular role on the laffer "How I Met Your Mother" -- will prevail for a star turn on the freshman hit "Glee." Harris got a chance to showcase his singing talents as well as his flair for comedy. However, Rob ranks Harris in the middle of the pack, preferring the performance of TV vet Fred Willard on another first-year smash, "Modern Family."

As usual, their insights into this matchup are fascinating, proving that this comedy contest is quite dramatic in terms of suspense. Read their expanded views below, plus check out their forecasts and mine for best comedy series as well as lead actor and actress:

Neil Patrick Harris Glee Guest Actor Emmys GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY: BOOMER'S PREDIX
(Ranked by likelihood to win)
1. Neil Patrick Harris, "Glee" ("Dream On")
2. Fred Willard, "Modern Family" ("Travels with Scout")
3. Jon Hamm, "30 Rock" ("Emmanuelle Goes to Dinosaur Land")
4. Will Arnett, "30 Rock" ("Into the Crevasse")
5. Mike O'Malley, "Glee" ("Wheels")
6. Eli Wallach, "Nurse Jackie" ("Chicken Soup")

BOOMER'S COMMENTARY: This is an easy pick with Neil Patrick Harris winning his first-ever Emmy Award after 20-plus years on television. He has more than double the screen time than his competitors, gets to play the comedic villain (all that's missing is the twirling mustache), and performs twice with an almost comic wink throughout both songs. He doesn't really provide laugh-out-loud moments, but there is probably nobody alive that could have brought this performance to this role on this show (many were excited about him as a guest star even before the episode aired!).

I love Fred Willard in just about any program or film, and this perfectly-cast character is no exception. He offers some incredibly funny one-liners and a couple of touching moments as Ty Burrell's father. Jon Hamm only has an approximately two-minute scene near the beginning of the episode, and it is the single funniest performance among all of these nominees (but I don't think it is nearly enough time to actually win).

Will Arnett has one of the best recurring characters on any show and gets to shine again as the nemesis of Alec Baldwin at NBC/GE. He has three funny scenes but has no real character arc this time and is basically there to move the plot forward and get in some jokes. Mike O'Malley has the best character he has ever played, but he isn't one bit funny in his scenes with Chris Colfer or in the principal's office. Eli Wallach won an Emmy decades ago and might be here more because of his veteran status than any other reason. He is certainly charming in this brief role, but no Emmy this time.

Fred Willard Guest Actor Emmy Modern Family GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY: ROB'S PREDIX
(Ranked by likelihood to win)
1. Fred Willard, "Modern Family" ("Travels with Scout")
2. Will Arnett, "30 Rock" ("Into the Crevasse")
3. Neil Patrick Harris, "Glee" ("Dream On")
4. Eli Wallach, "Nurse Jackie" ("Chicken Soup")
5. Mike O’Malley, "Glee" ("Wheels")
6. Jon Hamm, "30 Rock" ("Emmanuelle Goes to Dinosaur Land")

ROB'S COMMENTARY: Jon Hamm has around 2 minutes (one scene) in this whole episode and although he is ridiculously funny and likable, this nomination is perhaps not as deserving as everybody else. Mike O’Malley is fantastic in his episode, but I think he is the most dramatic (i.e., not really funny at all) in his scenes. The subject matter and emotion of the scenes he is in with Chris Colfer may help him, but in absence of some much-needed laughs, he will likely sit this one out. Ditto for Eli Wallach, who is only in fourth spot because he is a veteran and quite effective as a dying old man who refuses further treatment.

The three guys that are really in the running here each provide enough laughs and screen time to warrant serious consideration. Harris has loads of screen time, a great song and dance number, and gets to chew up the scenery with Jane Lynch and Matthew Morrison. And yet I didn’t end the episode wanting to hand him his first Emmy for this performance. It’s probably the likability factor.

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Emmys love only a few funny featured fellows

July 14, 2010 |  2:59 pm

Jon Cryer Supporting Actor Emmy Awards Since it was created in 1979, the supporting actor in a comedy series category at the Emmy Awards has been dominated by just a few good men. Indeed, only 18 men have prevailed in the 31 races, including four-time champs John Laroquette ("Night Court") and David Hyde-Pierce ("Frasier"), three-peaters Michael Richards ("Seinfeld"), Brad Garrett ("Everybody Loves Raymond") and Jeremy Piven ("Entourage"), and double winner Christopher Lloyd ("Taxi").

This year, Jon Cryer ("Two and a Half Men") is defending his title while Neil Patrick Harris ("How I Met Your Mother") is looking for his first win with his fourth consecutive nomination. The other four nominees are all first-time Emmy contenders and appear on two of TV's hottest freshman hits — "Glee" (Chris Colfer) and "Modern Family" (Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet).

Before this award was established for featured actors in comedy series, the wider race was even more restrictive with the winners. In the 1950s, Art Carney won three in a row for his work with the Emmy-snubbed Jackie Gleason followed by the first two Emmys of an eventual record nine for Carl Reiner ("Caesar's Hour"). In the 1960s, Don Knotts had a firm grip on the award with five consecutive wins for "The Andy Griffith Show. And in the 1970s "Mary Tyler Moore Show" cast-mates Ed Asner and Ted Knight won three and two apiece while the first of Rob Reiner's two wins for "All in the Family" in 1974 made history as all four of the cast of that classic were now Emmy champs.


Actresses make for dramatic supporting Emmy race

Drama supporting actors prove Emmy winners not always TV reruns

Emmys love for Oscars continues with 12 nominations

Poll: Will 'So You Think You Can Dance' upstage 'Dancing With the Stars' and the Oscars at the Emmys?

Poll: Will Emmy's biggest loser Bill Maher ever win?

What do Al Pacino and Maggie Smith have in common?

Drama series lead acting races: By the numbers

Emmy poll: Can 'Glee,' 'Modern Family' or 'Nurse Jackie' beat '30 Rock'?

Comedy series lead acting Emmy races: By the numbers

Photo: Jon Cryer at the 61st Annual Emmy Awards. Credit: CBS

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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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Pundits' slugfest: Emmy nomination predictions -- best comedy series

July 3, 2010 |  7:58 am

When Emmy nominations are unveiled Thursday, here, below, is what to expect to see in the race for best comedy series, according to Gold Derby gurus Chris "Boomer" Beachum, Rob Licuria ( and me.

Also check out our video slugfests over who will win best drama series, lead drama actor and lead drama actress. Plus, see the complete lists of our Emmy predix, category per category: mine, Rob's and Chris'.

"The Big Bang Theory" — Beachum, Licuria, O'Neil
"Curb Your Enthusiasm" — Beachum, Licuria, O'Neil
"Family Guy" — O'Neil
"Glee" — Beachum, Licuria, O'Neil
"Modern Family" — Beachum, Licuria, O'Neil
"The Office" — Beachum, Licuria
"30 Rock" — Beachum, Licuria, O'Neil

Licuria's Alternates: "Entourage," "Weeds"
Beachum's Alternates: "How I Met Your Mother," "Entourage"
O'Neil's Alternates: "The Office," "Weeds"


Tom O'Neil "fearless, 100% accurate" Emmy nomination predictions

Chris "Boomer" Beachum's Emmy nomination predictions

Rob Licuria's Emmy nomination predictions

Pundits' video slugfest: Emmy nominations predictions -- best drama actor

Pundits' video slugfest: Emmy nominations predictions -- best drama series

Pundits' video slugfest: Emmy nomination predictions -- best comedy series

Pundits' video slugfest: Emmy nominations predictions -- best drama actress

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'Glee' and 'Modern Family' lead Gold Derby TV Award nominations

June 29, 2010 |  7:37 am

Over the past few weeks, our forums posters have been nominating their favorite TV shows and programs from the 2009-10 season for the Gold Derby TV Awards. Voters have until Aug. 6 to vote for the final winner in each category.

Two freshman shows lead the pack: "Glee" with 13 nominations and "Modern Family" with 11, followed by the final season of "Lost" with 10 and "Mad Men" with 10. Fired NBC host Conan O'Brien received three nominations (variety series, variety performance and performer of the year). Although eligible, two of last year's winners ("The Office" for comedy series and Neil Patrick Harris for comedy supporting actor) were not even nominated in those categories this year.

We have been holding these awards since 2004.  Special thanks to Chris "Boomer" Beachum, Andrew Pickett, Robert Licuria and Matt Noble for helping to count ballots.  Below, this year's nominees. To vote for the winners, register in our forums by clicking on the link marked "Login/Join."  After registering, go to Boomer's profile here, then click the link to "send a private message" and send him your votes that way.

GoldDerby Award

"Community" (NBC)
"Cougar Town" (ABC)
"Glee" (Fox)
"Modern Family" (ABC)
"Parks & Recreation" (NBC)
"30 Rock" (NBC)

Courteney Cox-Arquette as Jules Cobb on "Cougar Town"
Edie Falco as Jackie Peyton on "Nurse Jackie"
Tina Fey as Liz Lemon on "30 Rock"
Lea Michele as Rachel Berry on "Glee"
Mary-Louise Parker as Nancy Botwin on "Weeds"
Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope on "Parks & Recreation"

Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy on "30 Rock"
Steve Carell as Michael Scott on "The Office"
Larry David as Larry David on "Curb Your Enthusiasm"
Zachary Levi as Chuck Bartowski on "Chuck"
Joel McHale as Jeff Winger on "Community"
Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper on "The Big Bang Theory"

Julie Bowen as Claire Dunphy on "Modern Family"
Jenna Fischer as Pam Beesley Halpert on "The Office"
Jane Krakowski as Jenna Maroney on "30 Rock"
Jane Lynch as Sue Sylvester on "Glee"
Sofia Vergara as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett on "Modern Family"
Merritt Wever as Zoey Barkow on "Nurse Jackie"

Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy on "Modern Family"
Chris Colfer as Kurt Hummel on "Glee"
John Krasinski as Jim Halpert on "The Office"
Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson on "Parks & Recreation"
Danny Pudi as Abed Nadir on "Community"
Eric Stonestreet as Cameron Tucker on "Modern Family"

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'How I Met Your Mother' serenades Emmy voters

June 1, 2010 |  7:51 am

Sometimes it takes a few years for TV series to get noticed by Emmy voters. "Scrubs" and "Everybody Loves Raymond," for example, were snubbed for their first two seasons, but each nabbed noms for best comedy series for season three. Heck, "Raymond" went on to win twice (2003, 2005).

How I Met Your Mother Dance News

"How I Met Your Mother" experienced a dry spell during its first three seasons, earning scatter-shot nominations in second-tier races, but then it got a surprise nomination for best comedy last year. It lost to "30 Rock," which took home a third consecutive series award.

Now "HIMYM" is singing in the rain — literally. The campaign DVD package shipped to Emmy voters last week depicts the rain-soaked cast with umbrellas and, inside, Neil Patrick Harris pops up from the package's centerfold while doing a Gene Kelly spin around a lamp post. The scene is a reference to "Girls vs. Suits," the series' special 100th episode that ended with an homage to classic movie tuners. To drive home the musical message, the "How I Met Your Mother" DVD is fastened to the center of a cardboard circle that looks like an old vinyl record.
In addition to "Girls vs. Suits," the disc also contains two more episodes: "The Playbook" and "Doppelgangers."

HIMYM Emmy 3 

HIMYM Emmy 1

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Do early awards foretell Emmy luck for 'Glee'?

March 24, 2010 |  9:13 am

Thanks go to our forums poster thedemonhob for compiling a nifty list of TV awards info that's helpful as we spy the Emmy derby ahead. As all awardologists know, precursor prizes can strongly affect the big trophy contests. Therefore, it's important to know, for example, how "Curb Your Enthusiasm" fared in the past as we size up its future potential. It's easy to forget how formidable it might be considering that it had to sit out last year's derby because new episodes didn't air during the eligibility period. But check out the list below and note that it's been nominated for best comedy series five times.

Glee TV Fox news

Also, it's helpful to project the Emmy prospects of "Glee," which skews much younger than the demo of the typical TV academy voter. Below are two sample categories: best comedy series and lead actor. Info on the Golden Globe and guild awards applies only to the past year; all past Emmy noms and wins are noted.) Other top Emmy races are featured in the forum discussion too.


  • "Californication" (PGA nom)
  • "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (2008, 2006, 2004, 2003 and 2002 noms, WGA nom, SAG nom)
  • "Entourage" (2009, 2008 & 2007 noms, GG nom, PGA nom)
  • "Family Guy" (2009 nom)
  • "Glee" (GG win, WGA nom, SAG win)
  • "How I Met Your Mother" (2009 nom)
  • "Modern Family" (GG nom, WGA nom, SAG nom)
  • "The Office" (2006 win, 2009, 2008 & 2007 noms, GG nom, PGA nom, SAG nom)
  • "30 Rock" (2009, 2008 & 2007 wins, GG nom, PGA nom, WGA win, SAG nom)
  • "Weeds" (2009 nom, PGA nom)


  • Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock" (2009 & 2008 win, 2007 nom, GG win, SAG win)
  • Steve Carell, "The Office" (2009, 2008, 2007 & 2006 noms, GG nom, SAG nom)
  • Larry David, "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (2006, 2004 & 2003 noms, SAG nom)
  • David Duchovny, "Californication" (GG nom)
  • Thomas Jane, "Hung" (GG nom)
  • Matthew Morrison, "Glee" (GG nom)
  • Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory" (2009 nom)
  • Tony Shalhoub, "Monk" (2006, 2005 & 2003 wins, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2004 noms, SAG nom)
  • Charlie Sheen, "Two and a Half Men" (2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006 noms, SAG nom)


Can Rosie O'Donnell grab her old Emmy crown from Ellen DeGeneres?

Upcoming Emmy diva smackdown: 'Nurse Jackie' vs. 'United States of Tara'

Emmy predix for best drama series: 'Breaking Bad,' 'Damages,' 'Dexter,' 'Mad Men' and ...?

Photo: Fox

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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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Best supporting comedy actor: Neil Patrick Harris, Rainn Wilson or Jon Cryer?

August 10, 2009 |  9:50 am

Our forums moderators and crafty Emmy seers Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Robert "Rob L" Licuria ( agree that there are two front-runners in the Emmy race for best supporting comedy actor, but clash on which one is ahead. Boomer picks Rainn Wilson ("The Office"); Rob opts for Emmycast host Neil Patrick Harris ("How I Met Your Mother").

They also disagree on who could be the spoiler. Boomer warns us about Tracy Morgan ("30 Rock"), while Rob is leery of Jon Cryer ("Two and a Half Men").

It's important to note that these assessments are based on close scrutiny of the same material being viewed by Emmy judges: the episodes chosen by nominees as samples of their best work from the last TV season. Each contender picks one, which is noted in parentheses in the lists below.

1) Neil Patrick Harris, "How I Met Your Mother" ("Benefits")
2) Rainn Wilson, "The Office" ("Heavy Competition")
3) Jon Cryer, "Two and a Half Men" ("Sir Lancelot's Litterbox")
4) Tracy Morgan, "30 Rock" ("The Funcooker")
5) Jack McBrayer, "30 Rock" ("The Bubble")
6) Kevin Dillon, "Entourage" ("Tree Trippers")

Neil Patrick Harris Rainn Wilson Jon Cryer news

ROB L'S COMMENTARY: As with every category, the eventual winner will depend on whether voters watch the episode submissions (like they are supposed to) and base their vote on that, or whether voters read through the nominated actors and tick off a name based on other factors, such as popularity, that intangible "buzz factor," or maybe a sense that the actor in mind is overdue for recognition.

I think Neil Patrick Harris chose wisely with his submission, and don't quite understand why some tend to think it is not as strong as it could be. He has enough screen time to make a lasting impression, is very likable and has some very funny scenes. He is what I have been calling a scene stealer ever since this show began a few years ago. Coupled with him being all over the airwaves as host of this awards show and that awards show, and a general sense that he should have won already (but for the Jeremy Piven three-peat), I think Harris is the well-deserved front-runner.

Rainn Wilson also submitted well -- his episode features his character front and center, and he really delivers the laughs. My only problem with this submission, and perhaps his character in general (both of which may hurt his chances for the win), is that Dwight Schrute is not as likable a character as Neil Patrick Harris' Barney Stinson has become -- and, in this episode, he doesn't allow the audience to really want to see him succeed in his quest to take Michael Scott down. Still, Wilson probably has never had a better shot, and it is still possible for him to fend off what is perceived in Emmyland as 2009 being Neil Patrick Harris' turn to grab the gold.

Special mention must go to Jon Cryer -- he has never had a better episode than this one as far as I'm concerned. I am not a big fan of this show, but I recognize funny when I see it, and Cryer is hysterical in this one -- likable (perhaps even pitiful) Allan suffers humiliation after humiliation, and takes a fair amount of pratfalls and bruises in this slapstick-fest. If voters feel like finally awarding Jon Cryer after a few fruitless nominations, then this might be the surprise of the category.

Tracy Morgan's nomination is probably a couple of years too late for me -- I didn't see much at all to be terribly excited about in his episode, and he doesn't really even benefit from any scenes in Jack McBrayer's episode to really warrant having a genuine shot at the win this time around. Similarly, McBrayer doesn't really deliver the laughs and likability needed to topple the favorites in this category in his episode. A win by either of the "30 Rock" gentlemen would be more about a "30 Rock" sweep as far as I'm concerned, and I am not even sure whether either of them would have enough "30 Rock" votes anyway, given that fans of the show have two actors to choose from (the dreaded “vote split” theory).

Finally, this will almost certainly not be Kevin Dillon's year. In his episode submission, he doesn't do anything Emmy-worthy to warrant the other guys in this category being worried about an upset. In fact, it is interesting that Jeremy Piven seems to outshine Dillon in the scenes they share in this episode, but he gets to sit this one out (probably because of Sushi-gate and perhaps voter fatigue).

Therefore, I am going with Neil Patrick Harris to finally win that Emmy that has so far eluded him.

1) Rainn Wilson, "The Office" ("Heavy Competition")
2) Neil Patrick Harris, "How I Met Your Mother" ("Benefits")
3) Tracy Morgan, "30 Rock" ("The Funcooker")
4) Jon Cryer, "Two and a Half Men" ("Sir Lancelot's Litterbox")
5) Jack McBrayer, "30 Rock" ("The Bubble")
6) Kevin Dillon, "Entourage" ("Tree Trippers")

BOOMER'S COMMENTARY:What kind of judging panel will this category have?  If it has the type that rewards the best episode, there is absolutely no question that Rainn Wilson will win. He has the only submission with tons of screen time and the sort of over-the-top moments that traditionally win this category.

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Could 'How I Met Your Mother' finally be an Emmy contender?

May 19, 2009 |  3:58 pm

"How I Met Your Mother" ended its fourth season last night having moved one step tantalizingly closer to explaining the rendezvous referred to in the TV series' title. And while the mystery of how Ted (Josh Radnor) meets his match may not be answered for seasons to come, this year could mark the entry of the show into the Emmy race for best comedy series.

How I Met Your Mother Season Four Finale CBS Emmy Awards "How I Met Your Mother" is still, admittedly, a long shot. The show needs to place in the top six or seven with the popular vote of the academy members to land an Emmynod. During its first three years on the air, "HIMYM" failed to rank in the top 10 when run-off elections were held to determine semi-finalists before judging panels picked five nominees. This year the panels will be scrapped while the number of nominees will  be expanded. 

However, the cast and creative types of "HIMYM" should take some comfort in the examples of how the Emmys first treated other CBS Monday night sitcoms. It took till Season 3 for "Everybody Loves Raymond" to break into the comedy series race and then five consecutive nods before it finally won the award in 2003. It would also win for its tenth and final season in 2005. The following year "Two and a Half Men" took over the "Raymond" time slot and also its place in the Emmy lineup. This top-rated laffer has earned three consecutive nods, losing first to critical darling "The Office" in 2006 and then for the last two years to the little-watched but much loved "30 Rock."

"HIMYM" has won three successive Emmys for art direction and contended for several other technical awards. Among the talent, only Neil Patrick Harris — who plays the boorish Barney — has been Emmy nominated. He has lost the last two supporting actor races to Jeremy Piven ("Entourage"). But based on growing critical kudos, this could be the breakthrough year for the show.

Aly Semigran of Entertainment Weekly found the finale, "did what 'How I Met Your Mother' does best, which give us those tiny little hints (more on that later) without giving away the big payoff. As far as season finales go, it wasn't exactly what I was hoping for, even if those last few minutes were fantastic. Maybe it was the fact that the weeks leading up had given us such wonderful little nuggets (the yellow umbrella! Stella returns!), but something about it didn't seem as fulfilling as I was hoping for (I also somewhat blame 'The Office' for filling my quota of painfully good humor and heartbreak)."

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Will Britney Spears rescue or ruin the People's Choice Awards?

November 11, 2008 | 12:56 pm

Although the People's Choice Awards commemorate its 35th anniversary this January, there is little to celebrate about the tarnishing of these once-important kudos. Adding the new category of Favorite Scene-Stealing Guest Star may bring boffo ratings — as it did when nominee Britney Spears guested on "How I Met Your Mother" — but it won't earn these prizes any new respect. She competes against Luke Perry and Robin Williams, both nominated for dropping by "Law & Order: SVU." See the full list of People's Choice nominees in all categories and vote for the winners HERE.


You'll notice that there's also a new, sensational race for TV Drama Diva, which is missing Emmy winner Glenn Close ("Damages"). As Bob Sassone writes about the TV contenders over on TV Squad, "The list of nominees is the very definition of unexciting" citing the exclusion of such buzzed-about shows as Emmy champ "Mad Men" and "Dexter" for the likes of "CSI."

And the movie contenders are not much better. While "The Dark Knight" competes in several races, as do "The Secret Life of Bees", "Iron Man," and "Mamma Mia!" there is little else in the way of serious awards fare. That shift in focus for these kudos began five years ago. Until 2004, winners were determined by a Gallup Poll of everyday Americans. Not surprisingly, over those first three decades of the PCAs, the people often went with populist choices like "E.T." for best picture. However, many Oscarologists consider that film's loss to "Gandhi" at the 1982 awardsfest as one of the academy's biggest goofs.

And there were years when the People's Choice for a best picture prize (they have two or three in some years, just one in others) coincided with those of Oscar voters. Indeed, "The Sting" was picked as the very first People's Choice weeks before its upset win at the 1974 Oscars. Since then, the two kudos lined up for "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1976); "Rain Man" (1988); "The Silence of the Lambs" (1991); "Forrest Gump" (1994); and "Titanic" (1997). And when they disagreed, it was over equally worthy movies — like "Star Wars" versus "Annie Hall" in 1977 — and the alternative points of view were refreshing.

In 2005, PCA voting was changed to a much less expensive — and far less scientific — means of opinion-gathering. An Internet research company taps a sample number of pop culture fans to choose the nominees, then voting is thrown open to all Internet users who wish to register their opinions online at Under this new and unimproved system, the first winner for best picture was "Fahrenheit 9/11." While it was arguably a worthy contender, such a polarizing pic never would've won using the old Gallup Poll method. Which raises the question: Was it really the people's choice? No. It was the choice of the people who dominate cyberspace: young men, who, biologically speaking, have a hormonal need to rebel against authority.

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