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

Category: Hugh Jackman

Golden Globes TV predix: Best lead drama actor

October 13, 2010 |  1:22 pm

Our TV experts Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Rob Licuria agree on who four of the five nominees will be for lead actor in a drama series at the Golden Globes: Steve Buscemi ("Boardwalk Empire"), Gabriel Byrne ("In Treatment"), Michael C. Hall ("Dexter") and Jon Hamm ("Mad Men"). However, Boomer picks Hugh Laurie ("House M.D.") and Rob opts for Tom Selleck ("Blue Bloods") in the fifth slot. Notice how similar these predix are to what they forecast for this same category at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Michael C Hall Golden Globes news DexterBoomer handicaps the Globes race contender by contender below. Rob's reax to Boomer's rundown: "I would move James Badge Dale ('Rubicon') up, add Michael Chiklis ('No Ordinary Family') to possibles and Andy Whitfield ('Spartacus: Blood and Sand') to long shots."

Michael C. Hall won last year. Gabriel Byrne triumphed in 2008 and wasn't nominated in 2009 because "In Treatment" didn't air new episodes during the eligibility period.

Also, check out Boomer's and Rob's analysis of the Golden Globe races for best drama series and best comedy.

* = nominee last year

Simon Baker, "The Mentalist"**
Steve Buscemi, "Boardwalk Empire"
Gabriel Byrne, "In Treatment"
Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad"
Matthew Fox, "Lost"
Michael C. Hall, "Dexter" *
Jon Hamm, "Mad Men" *
Hugh Laurie, "House" *
Bill Paxton, "Big Love" *
Tom Selleck, "Blue Bloods"

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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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Experts predict Tony Award nominations

April 29, 2010 |  9:57 am

There's a lot of drama surrounding the Tony Award nominations, which will be unveiled Tuesday. Take, for example, the battle over best musical. The pundits cited below are split over eight contenders to take those four category slots. "American Idiot" is the favorite to win, but an upset is possible. The biggest drama of all is over best drama — there's no clear front-runner.

We've recruited predix from a team of savvy prognosticators: Melissa Bernardo (Entertainment Weekly), Martin Denton (NYTheatre), Thom Geier (Entertainment Weekly), Andy Humm (Gay City News, Gay USA), Kenneth Jones (, Brian Lipton (Theater Mania), Patrick Pacheco (L.A. Times, NY1), Paul Sheehan (, David Sheward (Back Stage), Matt Windman (amNY) and me.

American Idiot Broadway Tonys Tony Awards nominations news 2

"A Behanding in Spokane" — Geier, Humm
"Enron" — Bernardo, Denton, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward
"In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play" — Humm, Windman
"Next Fall" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
"Race" — Denton, Jones, O'Neil, Sheward
"Red" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
"Time Stands Still" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, Pacheco, Sheehan, Windman

"The Addams Family" — Jones, Sheward
"American Idiot" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
"Come Fly Away" — Bernardo, Geier, Windman
"Everyday Rapture" — Lipton, Pacheco
"Fela!" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
"Memphis" — Denton, Geier, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
"Million Dollar Quartet" — Bernardo, Denton, Humm, Sheehan
"Sondheim on Sondheim" — O'Neil, Humm

"A View from the Bridge" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
"Collected Stories" -- Humm
"Fences" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
"Hamlet" — Bernardo, Humm
"Lend Me a Tenor" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
"The Royal Family" — Denton, Geier, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman

"A Little Night Music" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
"Finian’s Rainbow" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
"La Cage Aux Folles" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier,Humm,  Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
"Ragtime" — Bernardo, Humm
"Promises, Promises" — Denton, Geier, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman

John Gallagher Jr., "American Idiot" — Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, O'Neil, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
Kelsey Grammer, "La Cage aux Folles" — Denton, Jones
Sean Hayes, "Promises, Promises" — Bernardo, Geier, Lipton, Pacheco, Sheehan, Windman
Douglas Hodge, "La Cage Aux Folles" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
Chad Kimball, "Memphis" — Bernardo, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
Nathan Lane, "The Addams Family" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheward
Sahr Nguajah, "Fela!" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman

Kate Baldwin, "Finian’s Rainbow" — Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
Kristin Chenoweth, "Promises, Promises" — Bernardo, Humm, O'Neil
Montego Glover, "Memphis" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
Bebe Neuwirth, "The Addams Family" — Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheward, Windman
Christine Noll, "Ragtime" -- Bernardo, Denton
Sherie Rene Scott, "Everyday Rapture" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
Catherine Zeta-Jones, "A Little Night Music" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman

Continue reading »

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

April 10, 2010 |  5:00 pm

Forecasting the Emmy race for best drama actor, our forum moderators Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Robert "Rob L" Licuria ( agree on five contenders for the six nomination spots: Simon Baker ("The Mentalist"), Michael C. Hall ("Dexter"), Jon Hamm ("Mad Men"), Hugh Laurie ("House M.D.") and the winner for the last two years Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad"). Boomer picks Wendell Pierce ("Treme") for the last spot; Rob opts for Bill Paxton ("Big Love"). Both agree that newcomer Timothy Olyphant ("Justified") poses a serious threat, but he can't count on an Emmy bid.

Also check out Rob and Boomer's predix for best drama series and comedy series.

Dexter Breaking Bad TV news

1. Michael C. Hall ("Dexter")
2. Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad")
3. Jon Hamm ("Mad Men")
4. Hugh Laurie ("House")
5. Simon Baker ("The Mentalist")
6. Wendell Pierce ("Treme")

Alternates -- Bill Paxton ("Big Love"), Timothy Olyphant ("Justified")

BOOMER'S COMMENTARY: I can't imagine a scenario where Michael C. Hall, Bryan Cranston, Jon Hamm and Hugh Laurie are snubbed this year. In fact, if Hall submits correctly he is probably the front-runner to win based on the best-reviewed season of "Dexter" yet and recent Golden Globe and SAG wins.  Simon Baker continues to headline one of the highest-rated dramas on TV, so he should be safe. It is that tricky sixth slot that is hardest to predict since 2009 nominee Gabriel Byrne did not have episodes airing this season. The best bet is most likely Bill Paxton, a very popular actor on one of last year's drama series nominees ("Big Love"), but I will go out on a limb and say that "Treme" from HBO is going to be a major player this year in many categories.  Wendell Pierce could be part of that awards wave.

1. Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad")
2. Jon Hamm ("Mad Men")
3. Michael C. Hall ("Dexter")
4. Hugh Laurie ("House")
5. Simon Baker ("The Mentalist")
6. Bill Paxton ("Big Love")

Alternates: Kiefer Sutherland ("24"), Timothy Olyphant ("Justified")

ROB'S COMMENTARY: The top four above appear to be almost guaranteed a slot at this point, with last year's surprise newcomer (Simon Baker) poised to make a return appearance. The sixth contender is a bit of a toss-up, and I'm banking on Bill Paxton to finally break through the pack. He'll have to get past multiple past nominee (and swan song contender) Kiefer Sutherland, as well as Timothy Olyphant for his raved-about performance in the FX freshman series "Justified." Outside shots include Denis Leary ("Rescue Me") and perhaps even Matthew Fox ("Lost"). We are still not sure about where the "Parenthood" cast will submit, so Emmy fave Peter Krause remains on the sidelines for now.

Photos: Michael C. Hall (Showtime), Bryan Cranston (AMC)


Photo gallery: Emmy's biggest snubs

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

40 years ago today: 'Patton' was released, then slapped Oscar

Emmy gamble: 'Mad Men' star Elisabeth Moss drops to supporting

Again, Showtime ships first campaign mailer to Emmy voters

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Gold Derby nuggets: 'Glee' serenaded by TV academy | Good year already for David Oyelowo

March 18, 2010 |  4:53 pm

Glee • The TV academy is saluting eight shows at the third annual Academy Honors on May 5 -- including "Glee," "CSI" and "Private Practice" -- for tackling social issues such as the disabled, racial profiling, and physician-assisted suicide. In making the announcement, academy president John Shaffner said, "This year, we were impressed by not only the number of entries received but also by the breadth of subject matters addressed. We went to great lengths to select programs that reflect the mission of the Television Academy Honors committee -- to highlight the power of television and its ability to initiate important dialogue and ultimately instigate change." ATAS

Gary Thompson solves one of this year's Oscar mysteries -- how "The Secret of Kells" landed an animated feature nomination over the likes of "Monsters v. Aliens" and "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs." As director Tomm Moore told him, "There were people there (at a Cartoon Network screening) from the big studios, and everyone was buzzing about the film. I think it started trickling up to academy members, although it was very much a word of mouth thing." PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS

• Linking to the trailer for the big summer release "Eat Pray Love" -- Julia Roberts in writer-director Ryan Murphy's adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert's bestselling memoir -- Ryan Adams says, "Looks more charming and adorable than anyone had any right to expect. Exactly the vibe we want from a movie about the power of serendipity, when we shed expectations, stop fighting fate, quit swimming upstream, relax, let loose, and go with the flow." AWARDS DAILY

DavidOyelowo • The Royal Television Society named "The Thick of It" best comedy program at its annual awards in London Tuesday. The deft political satire begat this year's Oscar-nominated "In the Loop." Other winners included the anthology series "The Street" as best drama and "Eastenders" as best serial. The two stars of the mini-series "Small Island" -- Naomie Harris and David Oyelowo -- took the drama acting prizes while Miranda Hart won the comedy award for her laffer "Miranda." THE STAGE

• Oyelowo has landed the plum role of Martin Luther King Jr. in "Selma" opposite Hugh Jackman as the sheriff who opposed the 1965 civil rights marches in the Alabama town. Oscar-nominated helmer Lee Daniels ("Precious") is directing from a script by Paul Webb.

• Jackman appeared on "The Tonight Show" Tuesday and told Jay Leno he did tune in to this year's Oscars. "I sat there in my sweats with my bowtie on that I wore last year, and I was swanning around the house, organizing the betting pool, thinking, I have a feel for this kind of thing, I know how it's going to go. And I lost absolutely everything." And Hugh said he thought the hosts -- Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin -- "were brilliant. Last year, Steve gave me advice, and once I was on 'Saturday Night Live' when Alec was and Alec gave me advice, so it was great seeing them do it this year." THE MIRROR


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

Oscar bait 2011: Sneak peek at next year's front-runners

Sandra Bullock and Kate Winslet: Victims of Oscar curse?

Daytime Emmys will go on' … and with a new voting system

Poll: Will 'The Pacific' win the Emmy battle?

Top photo: "Glee" Season 1 DVD cover. Credit: Fox

Bottom photo: David Oyelowo in "Small Island." Credit: BBC

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Who's really surprised? Oscars upstage Justin Timberlake at the Emmys

September 21, 2009 |  6:06 pm

There were lots of loud gasps of shock among Emmy watchers when the Oscars' opening tune beat Justin Timberlake's and Andy Samberg's "Mother Lover" from "Saturday Night Live" for best song. But why should anyone be surprised? Watch it again below.

This Emmy victory, by the way, was a great vindication for Oscars host Hugh Jackman, who couldn't receive his own, separate Emmy nomination like many past Oscar emcees back in the days when there used to exist a category for best individual performance in a variety show. Unfortunately, the TV academy zapped that race this year and bunched the hosts with producers of variety specials. If the special wins, they all share in the victory, but I think that's a lousy idea. Maybe Emmy voters thought so too by rewarding his song (if not Jackman personally) here.

As my Envelope colleague Pete Hammond points out, the Oscars suffered some tough Emmy slights this year. This victory is vindication for the whole Oscarcast team, which did a terrific job. Such a snub isn't typical, however. Among all programs, the biggest winner of all Prime-time Emmy Awards is that TV special airing the Academy Awards.

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Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman Broadway bound in new play

May 28, 2009 | 10:41 am

Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman are coming to Broadway this fall in Keith Huff's award-winning play "A Steady Rain." While the limited run of this acting showcase is sure to sell out, will this two-hander win over the notoriously feisty Gotham critics? For its original 2007 run in Chicago, the production won Joseph Jefferson Awards (the second city's equivalent of the Tony Awards) for best play at a midsize theater, best new work and best lead actor.

Hugh Jackman Daniel Craig Broadway A Steady Rain It is easy to understand why "A Steady Rain" would appeal to Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig. The two characters in the play are one-time best friends who served together on the Chicago police force. Over the course of 90 minutes, they relive the police call that tore them apart — a domestic dispute that culminated in the death of a young boy. For the Aussie and the Brit, it will be a chance to prove they can play Americans.

The only other time Hugh Jackman headlined on Broadway, he won a Tony for his efforts. In the 2004 tuner "The Boy From Oz," he played camp Aussie singer-songwriter Peter Allen. Onstage for almost the entire show, Jackman was a force of nature. Offstage he charmed the theater community and hosted the Tony Awards for three years running, even winning a 2005 Emmy Awardfor his 2004 appearance. He was nominated again in 2006 for emceeing the 2005 Tonycast, but lost the prize for best individual performance in a variety, musical or comedy program to Barry Manilow.

Since finishing up that year-long run on the rialto, Jackman has enjoyed only mixed success in movies. While his work as comic book character come to life Wolverine still wows audiences, his more mainstream leading-man roles have missed the mark. Last year, he starred in the barely released "Deception" and the disappointing epic "Australia." Success on stage this fall could get him seen in a new light by movie producers.

Continue reading »

Hugh Jackman was ordered to diet before hosting the Oscars!

May 4, 2009 | 11:43 am

"X-Men Origins: Wolverine" star Hugh Jackman isn't someone you would think ever had to count calories and dodge carbs, but his "Australia" director, Baz Luhrmann, ordered him to trim down before they teamed up to do their musical production number at the Oscars.

Hugh Jackman X Men Origins Wolverine Oscars 7183925

The problem wasn't that Hugh was too fat, but too muscular. While preparing to shoot "Wolverine," he really bulked up with muscles. "My goal was to make him [Wolverine] look like an animal," Hugh tells the AP. "I wanted people to be unnerved when they saw him."

But Baz was certainly unnerved when he saw how big Hugh was becoming during the shooting of "Australia." "Baz said, 'Mate, whatever you're eating, can you slow down a bit because I'm going to struggle to edit this together,' " Jackman recalls.

Looking ahead to the Oscars, Baz told Hugh, "You've got to lose weight. You're too bulky."

So how did Hugh drop the poundage? "Singing and dancing is the greatest diet in the history of the planet," he says. "Well, that and performing in front of a billion people."

Would he take on the unnerving challenge again to emcee the Oscarcast?

Continue reading »

'X-Men Origins: Wolverine' and Hugh Jackman slay box office — awards next?

May 3, 2009 |  3:22 pm

"X-Men Origins: Wolverine" took out Hugh Jackman's claws and slashed through those vicious film critics' reviews (only 37 score at RottenTomatoes, 44 at Metacritic), making a penetrating impact at the box office. "Wolverine" snared $87 million this weekend in the U.S., $170 million worldwide.


Whew. That's an impressive rally, which E! Online credits with being an "Oscar bump." The New York Times had growled over "Wolverine:" "It is the latest evidence that the superhero movie is suffering from serious imaginative fatigue." Fending off those kinds of savage attacks early on, "Wolverine" looked like it may be up for Razzies and I worried that poor Hugh Jackman may be kudos cursed. Just a few months ago, his thrilling "Australia" got cheated out of deserving Oscar love by grumpy critics, some of whom were the same assassins who went gunning for him after Hugh did a masterful job rescuing the Oscar ceremony as host.

I have a theory about why these critics predictably take aim at him — it's all about testosterone-blinded nerds furious over his metrosexual appeal — but let's move on. Let's weigh the other awards potential of "Wolverine." The first "X-Men" (2000) flick earned noms at the MTV Movie Awards for best film, on-screen team and breakthrough male performance (Hugh Jackman) but lost to, respectively, "Gladiator," the "Charlie's Angels" gals and — yikes — Sean Patrick Thomas ("Save the Last Dance"). Halle Berry lost best actress to Drew Barrymore ("Charlie's Angels"). "X-Men" was nommed by the sound editors' guild but lost to "Gladiator" and competed at the costume guild but lost to "Erin Brockovich." Usually, films that get recognized by industry guilds break through with corresponding noms at the Oscars, but "X-Men" didn't.

Continue reading »

Did Barbra Streisand and Meryl Streep refuse to croon at the Oscars?

April 3, 2009 | 10:39 am

Barbra Streisand and Meryl Streep turned down invitations to participate in the big musical production number staged by Baz Luhrmann at the Oscars, according to a source close to the show.

At least Streep — who was asked to stand up at her seat in the audience and belt out a few bars of "Mamma Mia!" — declined immediately, according to the source. Streisand — who was asked to appear on stage to croon a few bars of "Somewhere" from "West Side Story" — insisted upon being wooed in grand diva style and kept Luhrmann dangling, waiting for her decision, then bowed out. The courtship included Luhrmann going to Streisand's home in Malibu where he "hangs out with her for a while, and almost talks her into it . . . but she drops out at the last moment," said the source who asked not to be identified because he fears backlash from the academy.

Barbra Streisand Meryl Streep OscarsStreisand's rep did not respond to our request for comment. Streep's rep denied that she was asked to perform, but a separate source, one close to Luhrmann's crew, called both diva reports "absolutely true, 100% accurate." When contacted by Gold Derby, Luhrmann did not deny the reports, but politely "declined to comment."

The Oscarcast production number ended up featuring other musical stars: "Dreamgirls" thrush Beyonce Knowles, "High School Musical" sensations Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgensplus "Mamma Mia!" love birds Amanda Seyfried and Dominic Cooper. The segment included song bits from those tuners and "Moulin Rouge" "The Sound of Music," "West Side Story," "Grease," "All that Jazz," "Singing in the Rain" and "The Wizard of Oz." It ended with Oscar host Hugh Jackman proclaiming "the musical is back!" as the audience at the Kodak Theatre leaped to its feet to cheer the spectacle.

Why did Streisand and Streep refuse to join in? Gold Derby asked some ardent fans of both stars, who know their idols' peccadilloes well, to speculate.

"I'll bet you that several things made Babs say 'no,'" said a fan. "When Streisand performs, she doesn't just sing a few bars and she doesn't share the stage. When she did perform at the 1976 ceremony, it was to sing her own composition 'Evergreen' just moments before she and lyricist Paul Williams won the Oscar for best song. Also, she's always worried about how she looks, especially performing live. When Streisand filmed her concerts, she was in charge of the lighting and camera set-ups. This self-confessed control freak would have to cede that territory to the Oscar crew. She would not be able to show herself off in the most flattering light and that is especially a problem for her now that she has packed on a few pounds and can't seem to lose them."

The second source cited above says Streep told Luhrmann "no" because her schedule couldn't accommodate rehearsal time, but a fan offered his own speculation: "Streep isn't comfortable singing live in public. She doesn't do concerts. She only sings in the controlled environment of a recording studio, so Baz's request probably freaked her out."


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Which winners would you force to give back their Oscars?

Matt Damon says Oscars usually get it wrong

Easiest Oscars quiz ever: Which two movies suffered the worst shutout?

Jon Stewart and David Letterman: 'We think it's stupid' to host the Oscars

Photos: Associated Press, Universal Pictures

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Emmy rule change snubs Tina Fey, Hugh Jackman and Jon Stewart

March 18, 2009 |  1:28 pm

The fact that the Emmys killed off the category for variety performers means that "three of the major highlights of an otherwise relatively dreary TV season" will be snubbed, according to our forums moderator Robert "Rob L" Licuria (


He cites Tina Fey's portrayal of Sarah Palin on "Saturday Night Live," Hugh Jackman hosting the Oscars and Jon Stewart's battle with CNBC star Jim Cramer on "The Daily Show." Gold Derby already dished the Stewart/Cramer snub in another blog post, but let's explore it further plus other snubs while discussing this rule change in more detail.

The title of the category zapped by the Emmys is "outstanding individual performance in a variety, music or comedy program." That means from here on out, principal performers will vie for Emmys only as part of the teams nominated for best variety series or special. Stand-out star turns will no longer get solo notice, and they will not be acknowledged at all by the Emmys if the shows in which they are part of don't win.

Another forums moderator -- Chris "Boomer" Beachum -- is also riled up about that change. As he says, "Sometimes a performer deserves an Emmy for individual performance, but the series or the special does not deserve an Emmy. As it stands now, the only way for a performer to win or be nominated is if the program is as well."

Beginning last year, kudocasts now compete in a special class at the Emmys rather than with other variety specials. And the new Emmy rules are unclear as to whether the host of an awards show will be included with the nominated producers.

Hugh Jackman won an Emmy for hosting the 2004 Tonys. Billy Crystal earned three Emmys for emceeing the 1988 Grammys and both the 1991 and 1998 Oscars. And Whitney Houston prevailed for performing "Saving All My Love for You" at the 1985 Grammys. After taking another look at that socko opening song by Hugh Jackman, with an assist by nominee Anne Hathaway, from this year's Oscarcast at the academy's official YouTube channel, do you agree with Rob and Chris that he deserves to be in the running once more?

Rob's take on the new Emmy situation is as follows:

OK, this is how I see it:

1.) Variety, music or comedy ("VMC") series and/or specials have their own directing category, writing category, and even things like lighting direction and costume categories, but they no longer have an individual performance category for what is arguably the most important aspect of variety programming  -- the performances!

2.) The question is: In what category or categories are performers in VMC programs now eligible?

3.) As we saw last year, "series regulars" on "sketch comedy shows" may enter in the supporting actor/actress in a comedy series categories. Amy Poehler from "Saturday Night Live" was able to make the most out of this rule change and was nominated in supporting actress in a comedy series last year (see Page 42 of the Emmy rules). So the likes of Poehler, Andy Samberg, Kristin Wiig and any other series regulars on other sketch comedy shows are safe (albeit they are now dumped into more competitive categories).

4. The Emmy rules (on Page 42) now state that "the principal host" of a VMC series is now eligible to be entered with the program in category 70 (outstanding VMC series). Similarly, "the principal host/performer" is now eligible to be entered with the program in category 71 (outstanding VMC special).

5.) This would see people like Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Bill Maher, Jimmy Fallon, Conan O'Brien and Craig Ferguson be the recipient of an Emmy statuette along with the producers of their respective shows, should their show win. This is confirmed on Page 47, where, under category 70 (VMC series), it states that the the Emmy goes to (among others) "the principal host."

It also specifically says on Page 42 that "secondary performers are no longer eligible." This means that someone like a guest on "Tonight Show" is no longer eligible to receive an Emmy at all.

Continue reading »

Jon Stewart and David Letterman: 'We think it's stupid' to host the Oscars

March 14, 2009 | 12:52 am

On "Late Show" Thursday night, two past hosts of the Oscars, David Letterman and Jon Stewart, dished what they really think about emceeing Hollywood's holy of holies.

Stewart said, "The problem with having us host it, if I may, is that at some level, deep in our hearts, we think it's stupid."

"That's exactly right," Letterman said.

Stewart approved of Hugh Jackman's turn as Oscars host: "I remember thinking to myself, 'Wow, he's really good at this!' If I had known that they wanted someone to host the Oscars that was talented, I would have suggested him years ago."

Of course, Letterman ranks as one of the worst Oscar emcees and Stewart got generally poor reviews the first time up, in 2006, and mixed reviews in 2008.


Jon Stewart can't win an Emmy for his showdown with Jim Cramer

Do you think Johnny Depp is the actor most overdue to win an Oscar?

Did Daniel Day-Lewis, Jack Nicholson and other stars refuse to share the spotlight at the Oscars?

Quiz: What Oscars champ also won the Nobel Prize?

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Quiz: Who was the youngest winner of best actress at the Oscars?

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