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Category: Jeremy Piven

Emmy nomination surprises: 'Nurse Jackie' in, Charlie Sheen out

July 8, 2010 |  7:10 am

● No Emmy pundits foresaw the "Nurse Jackie" nomination for best comedy series. Meantime, Showtime's other laffer, which was Emmy nominated last year, got snubbed: "Weeds." Does that mean bohemian Hollywood has swapped love of marijuana for pills? Side note: Another big snub in a different category is the omission of last year's winner from the category of best reality program: "Intervention." Hmmm … one day after Lindsay Lohan goes before a judge in Beverly Hills for issues related to alcohol? Coincidence?

Nurse jackie emmy nominations

Charlie Sheen's bad-boy antics finally caught up with him. After four Emmy nominations in a row, the "Two and a Half Men" star was snubbed.

Bill Maher has four new chances to increase his lead as Emmy's biggest loser. His four new nominations were for variety series ("Real Time"), variety special ("But I'm Not Wrong") and writing for both. Currently, he has 22 losses, no wins.

● Other snubs: Courteney Cox (the only star of "Friends" who didn't get nominated) was snubbed for "Cougar Town." "Married … with Children" costars Ed O'Neill and Katey Sagal were snubbed for "Modern Family" and "Sons of Anarchy," respectively. What's very odd about O'Neill's newest snub is that three of his costars made it into the race for best supporting comedy actor: Eric Stonestreet, Ty Burrell and Jesse Tyler Ferguson.

● We knew that Jeremy Piven might not get nominated again. After winning three years in a row, he suddenly wasn't nominated last year after that fishy story about mercury poisoning after eating sushi. But "Entourage" wasn't nommed after reaping three consecutive bids (2007-2009).

Continue reading »

10 questions loom over Emmy Award nominations

July 7, 2010 |  8:51 am

Here are the top 10 things to look for when Emmy Award nominations are unveiled Thursday morning.

1.) Battle of the two "Tonight Shows" in the Emmy race for best variety series. NBC entered Jay Leno's version. Conan O'Brien entered his own. Will both be nominated?

2.) What new TV series will make the top races? "Glee" and "Modern Family" are safe bets for best comedy, "The Good Wife" for best drama. But what else? And what about returning shows not yet nominated such as "The Big Bang Theory" and "Parks and Recreation"?

Jay Leno Conan obrien emmy nominations news-1

3.) Will the humility of the "Modern Family" actors backfire? The whole cast has declared themselves in the supporting races, thus jamming those categories. Who will snubbed due to overcrowding?

4.) Will "Cougar Town" star Courteney Cox finally score her first nomination? She was the only cast member of "Friends" (winner, best comedy series, 2002) who wasn't nominated.

5.) Can Ed O'Neill ("Modern Family") and Katey Sagal ("Sons of Anarchy") reap their first Emmy bids? Neither was nominated during the heyday of "Married … with Children," which was one of TV's longest-running shows never to win an Emmy.

6.) Can "Glee," "Modern Family" or "30 Rock" break the record for most nominations held by a comedy series? Current record is 22, which was set last year by "30 Rock." (It's unlikely that any show will beat the record for most noms scored by a drama series, which is 26 earned by "NYPD Blue" in 1994).

7.) Can Jeremy Piven return to the derby? After winning best supporting comedy actor three years in a row, the "Entourage" star suddenly wasn't nominated last year. To blame: no doubt that fishy story about mercury poisoning springing him from having to perform eight stagings per week of "Speed-the-Plow" on Broadway. Read more.

8.) Has scandal-plagued Charlie Sheen knocked himself out of the race? The "Two and a Half Men" star has been nominated for best lead comedy actor for the past four years, but will he be back?

9.) Are pundits overestimating the potential for "Glee"? Mike Ausiello of Entertainment Weekly doesn't believe Lea Michele or Matthew Morrison will be nominated.

10.) Can former "Sopranos" star Edie Falco nab a bid for "Nurse Jackie" and thus become one of the few performers nominated for both drama and comedy shows?

RELATED POSTS

Tom O'Neil's "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

Photo: NBC

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Can Jeremy Piven get back into the Emmy derby?

July 7, 2010 |  6:07 am

I saw this video over at Jeff Wells' Hollywood-Elsewhere blog and I think it's important to share on the eve of Emmy nominations coming out Thursday morning. Remember: When last year's list was unveiled, past champ Jeremy Piven ("Entourage") wasn't nominated. That was a shock because he had won the previous three years in a row. The snub was probably backlash from his fishy story about why he quit the Broadway production of "Speed-the-Plow." Many observers believed that Piven was a pampered TV star bored with the grueling work of appearing on stage eight times a week and so he cooked up an excuse about mercury poisoning from eating sushi to exit his contract early. Emmy voting is done by peer group, so Piven was being judged by fellow actors who take their "craft" very seriously. Here is Piven's side of the story, which he relates to Rolling Stone's Peter Travers. Do you believe him? Do you think Hollywood has forgiven Piven? Will he return to the ranks of Emmy contenders this week?

RELATED POSTS

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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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:

BEST DRAMA SERIES
"Breaking Bad"
"Damages"
"Dexter"
"Mad Men"
"The Good Wife"
"Lost"

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


BEST COMEDY SERIES
"The Big Bang Theory"
"Curb Your Enthusiasm"
"Family Guy"
"Glee"
"Modern Family"
"30 Rock"

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


BEST DRAMA ACTOR
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")


BEST DRAMA ACTRESS
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")


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

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

Continue reading »

Emmy predix: Best supporting comedy actor

April 22, 2010 |  4:12 pm

Our Emmy sages Robert "Rob L" Licuria (AwardsHeaven.net) and Chris "Boomer" Beachum agree on five of the six stars who'll be nominated for best supporting comedy actor, but they clash over their sixth choices. Rob picks newcomer Eric Stonestreet ("Modern Family"). Boomer backs Tracy Morgan ("30 Rock"), who reaped his first and only Emmy bid last year. Morgan lost to Jon Cryer ("Two and a Half Men"). Prior to that, Jeremy Piven ("Entourage") won three years in a row.  

Note that Rob and Boomer rank Neil Patrick Harris ("How I Met Your Mother") first as most likely to win. Also see their predix for these races: lead drama actor, best drama actress, best supporting drama actor,  best drama series, best comedy series and best lead comedy actor

Emmys Modern Family TV News

BEST SUPPORTING COMEDY ACTOR: ROB'S PREDIX
1. Neil Patrick Harris ("How I Met Your Mother")
2. Rainn Wilson ("The Office")
3. Jon Cryer ("Two and a Half Men")
4. Eric Stonestreet ("Modern Family")
5. Ty Burrell ("Modern Family")
6. Jeremy Piven ("Entourage")
 
Alternates: Ed O’Neill ("Modern Family"), Jack McBrayer ("30 Rock"), Tracy Morgan ("30 Rock")

ROB'S COMMENTARY: The top three are almost assured a nod, and I think (and hope) all is forgiven and Jeremy Piven will sneak in again. That leaves the two "Modern Family" slots, assuming they will submit here. In fact, if they do, based on episodes aired so far, Stonestreet will surprise many and has the best shot at the win this year. It pains me to be predicting this, but I think Ed O’Neill, even with his classy move to supporting, will probably miss out on a nomination (that he has never been nominated over the years probably won’t matter very much to voters, unfortunately) because he doesn’t have as showy a role as Ty Burrell and Eric Stonestreet. However, based on name recognition, maybe O’Neill has a better shot than I think.

Also in with a chance are the "30 Rock" guys and the other male cast members of "Modern Family," not to mention the best male cast member of "Saturday Night Live" (Fred Armisen).


BEST SUPPORTING COMEDY ACTOR: BOOMER'S PREDIX
1. Neil Patrick Harris ("How I Met Your Mother")
2. Rainn Wilson ("The Office")
3. Jon Cryer ("Two and a Half Men")
4. Tracy Morgan ("30 Rock")
5. Jeremy Piven ("Entourage")
6. Ty Burrell ("Modern Family")

Alternates -- Ed O'Neill ("Modern Family"), Eric Stonestreet ("Modern Family")

BOOMER'S COMMENTARY: The only safe pick is Neil Patrick Harris to pick up another nomination in this category. It is a volatile category, so all of the other names on my predictions could be nominated or could be snubbed. I don't think it has been the best season for either Rainn Wilson or Jon Cryer, but can't imagine complete turnover in the category, so I have them both returning.

Continue reading »

Jeremy Piven fight for Tony Award goes to round two

March 26, 2009 | 11:25 am

Three-time Emmy Award winner Jeremy Piven ("Entourage") is being brought before an arbitrator who will decide whether the actor owes damages to the Broadway producers of "Speed-the-Plow" for his abrupt departure from the hit show in December. Piven said he left because of fatigue brought on by high levels of mercury in his bloodstream. And the reason given for these elevated levels? His sushi addiction. As the play's author, David Mamet, acidly remarked at the time, "My understanding is that he is leaving show business to pursue a career as a thermometer."

Jeremy_piven_tony_awards

At the first hearing on this matter in mid-February, Jeremy Piven won over the five actors in attendance with his tale of woe while the five producing representatives remained unconvinced. Now the producers of the show just need to win over one man, arbitrator George Nicolau. The producers did minimize their losses as Piven's replacements — first Tony winner Norbert Leo Butz ("Dirty Rotten Scoundrels") and then Emmy winner William H. Macy — proved to be good draws. The show closed as scheduled in late February having turned a profit.

While Piven may ultimately avoid any financial payout to the producers, his actions have probably cost him a Tony Award nod. Piven was a frontrunner for lead actor in a play. For his Broadway debut as Bobby, one of a pair of Hollywood hustlers, in "Speed-the-Plow," he earned rave reviews when the play opened Oct. 22. Jeremy Piven costarred opposite perennial Tony nominee Raul Esparza, as Charlie, and another Broadway newcomer, Elisabeth Moss ("Mad Men"), who played their secretary, Karen. Ironically, the arbitration begins the day after the June 7 kudocast.

Raul Esparza, who has struck out in three different Tony Award categories — featured actor in a play ("The Homecoming," 2008), lead actor in a musical ("Company," 2007) and featured actor in a musical ("Taboo," 2004) — could be rewarded by the theater community for adapting his performance to those two successive replacements for Piven. Ron Silver, who originated Esparza's role in 1988, won a Tony for  lead actor in a play. While his costar Joe Mantegna (in Piven's part) did not get a Tony nod, they did compete for the Drama Desk kudos, where Silver prevailed. Alas, Madonna, the poorly reviewed third side of that original lopsided triangle, had to make do with being grateful that there was no theater equivalent to moviedom's Razzie Awards.

Twenty years ago, "Speed-the-Plow" lost the Tony Award race for best play to David Henry Hwang's gender-bending "M. Butterfly." This season, three Tony best play winners have been revived with mixed results: "All My Sons" (1947), "A Man for All Seasons" (1962) and "Equus" (1975). The Noel Coward comedy classic "Blithe Spirit" recently opened to respectable notices while "Waiting for Godot" is doing just that in the wings. Therefore, there should be room in the best revival race for this well-received production. Mamet's 1984 Pulitzer Prize-winning "Glengarry Glen Ross" won that Tony Award in 2005.

For Ben Brantley of the New York Times: "Mr. Piven has the pivotal role, and he executes it with uncanny grace and intelligence." And Elysa Gardner of USA Today thought, "Jeremy Piven's Bobby is softer-textured but also more disturbing than the showbiz animal he plays on 'Entourage'; we see the anxiety and flickers of good intentions underlying his cool arrogance." Michael Kuchwara of the  Associated Press found that "Piven's Bobby is the play's moral center, or at least, the one person on stage who has qualms about what is happening and doesn't quite know what to do about it. The actor has perfected the persona of bad-little-boy-lost and wears the snarling bewilderment here with considerable expertise." And Joe Dziemianowicz of the New York Daily News also lauded him: "Piven is an excellent foil. While downplaying the loudmouthed, sharklike behavior we've seen from him on 'Entourage,' he shows Gould's power-mad side as well as the vulnerability that gradually becomes more apparent."

Continue reading »

Jeremy Piven fights for his right to a Tony Award

February 27, 2009 |  1:25 pm

Three-time Emmy Award winner Jeremy Piven ("Entourage") attended an arbitration hearing Thursday to defend himself before the Broadway community. Jeremy Piven was brought up before Actors Equity by the producers of "Speed-the-Plow" to explain why he exited the hit show in mid-December, just weeks after making his Broadway debut to rave reviews.

At the time Jeremy Piven said it was because of fatigue brought on by high levels of mercury in his bloodstream. And the reason given for these elevated levels? Sushi. The play's author, David Mamet, acidly remarked, "My understanding is that he is leaving show business to pursue a career as a thermometer." Even Mark Wahlberg, exec producer of "Entourage," mocked Piven for making this excuse when the pair attended the Golden Globe Awards in January. Both the show and Piven lost their bids.

Jeremy_piven

At the hearing Jeremy Piven won over the five actors in attendance with his fish tale while the five producing representatives remained unconvinced. Faced with this deadlock, the producers of the show can now pursue arbitration against the actor. However, their case is somewhat weakened as "Speed-the-Plow," which ended its run as scheduled Sunday, still made a profit. Piven's replacements — first, Tony winner Norbert Leo Butz ("Dirty Rotten Scoundrels"), and then Emmy winner William H. Macy — proved to be good draws.

While Piven may avoid any financial payout, his actions probably cost him a Tony Awards nomination. He had earned rave reviews when the play opened Oct. 22 and was considered a strong contender for lead actor in a play. As Bobby, one of a pair of Hollywood hustlers, Piven co-starred opposite perennial Tony nominee Raul Esparza, who played Charlie, and another Broadway babe, Elisabeth Moss ("Mad Men"), who played their secretary, Karen.

For Ben Brantley of the New York Times: "Mr. Piven has the pivotal role, and he executes it with uncanny grace and intelligence." And Elysa Gardner of USA Today thought, "Jeremy Piven's Bobby is softer-textured but also more disturbing than the showbiz animal he plays on 'Entourage'; we see the anxiety and flickers of good intentions underlying his cool arrogance." Michael Kuchwara of the   Associated Press found that "Piven's Bobby is the play's moral center, or at least, the one person on stage who has qualms about what is happening and doesn't quite know what to do about it. The actor has perfected the persona of bad-little-boy-lost and wears the snarling bewilderment here with considerable expertise." And Joe Dziemianowicz of the New York Daily News also lauded him: "Piven is an excellent foil. While downplaying the loudmouthed, sharklike behavior we've seen from him on 'Entourage,' he shows Gould's power-mad side as well as the vulnerability that gradually becomes more apparent."

Twenty years ago, "Speed-the-Plow" lost the Tony Award race for best play to David Henry Hwang's gender-bending "M. Butterfly." This season, three Tony best play winners have already been revived with mixed results: "All My Sons" (1947), "A Man for All Seasons" (1962) and "Equus" (1975). Still to come: classics "Blithe Spirit" and "Waiting for Godot." However, the rave reviews for this production should propel it into the race for best revival. Mamet's 1984 Pulitzer Prize-winning "Glengarry Glen Ross" won that Tony Award in 2005.

Continue reading »

Has Jeremy Piven hurt his chances at the Tonys and Emmys?

January 19, 2009 |  8:48 am

Three-time Emmy Award winner Jeremy Piven ("Entourage") is unlikely to be contending at this year's Tony Awards for his recent acclaimed, albeit abbreviated, Broadway run in "Speed-the-Plow." Despite excellent reviews, the actor cut short his contract and departed the show in mid-December blaming high levels of mercury in his bloodstream. Our L.A. Times Culture Monster blog has more details on the backstory plus outcry from the National Fisheries Institute.

The play's writer, David Mamet, acidly remarked at the time, "My understanding is that he is leaving show business to pursue a career as a thermometer." Even Mark Wahlberg, exec producer of "Entourage," mocked Piven for making this excuse when the pair attended the Golden Globe Awards. (Both the show and Piven lost their bids.)

Jeremy_piven_entourage_edited1

The producers of the play certainly weren't laughing as box office receipts dropped with Piven's departure. On Friday, they filed a formal complaint against Piven with the union Actors Equity. The actor's publicist responded, saying, in part, "Mr. Piven followed his doctors' advice, although his forced withdrawal from the show was an enormous personal disappointment since it was a life-long dream to perform on Broadway." On Thursday, Piven appearing on "Good Morning America" to do damage control, had told Diane Sawyer, "This was the greatest moment of my life."

Certainly Piven's notices for his Broadway debut were the stuff of an actor's dreams. He was cast as Bobby, one of a pair of Hollywood hustlers, in the first rialto revival of Mamet's 1988 hit. Piven played opposite perennial Tony nominee Raul Esparza as Charley and another Broadway babe, Elisabeth Moss ("Mad Men"), as their secretary, Karen. After several weeks of rehearsals and then previews, the play opened Oct. 22 to nearly universal acclaim for the players and the production, with many reviewers singling Piven out for special mention.

Said Ben Brantley of the New York Times: "Mr. Piven has the pivotal role, and he executes it with uncanny grace and intelligence." For Elysa Gardner of USA Today, "Jeremy Piven's Bobby is softer-textured but also more disturbing than the showbiz animal he plays on 'Entourage'; we see the anxiety and flickers of good intentions underlying his cool arrogance."

Michael Kuchwara of the Associated Press thought, "Piven's Bobby is the play's moral center, or at least, the one person on stage who has qualms about what is happening and doesn't quite know what to do about it. The actor has perfected the persona of bad-little-boy-lost and wears the snarling bewilderment here with considerable expertise." And Joe Dziemianowicz of the New York Daily News also lauded him: "Piven is an excellent foil. While downplaying the loudmouthed, sharklike behavior we've seen from him on 'Entourage,' he shows Gould's power-mad side as well as the vulnerability that gradually becomes more apparent."

Twenty years ago, "Speed-the-Plow" lost the Tony Award race for best play to David Henry Hwang's gender-bending "M. Butterfly." This season, three Tony best play winners have already been revived: "All My Sons" (1947) "A Man For All Seasons" (1962) and "Equus" (1975). Still to come: classics "Hedda Gabler," "Blithe Spirit" and "Waiting for Godot." However, the rave reviews for this production could well propel it into the race for best revival. Mamet's 1984 Pulitzer Prize-winning "Glengarry Glen Ross" won that Tony Award in 2005.

Esparza, who has struck out in three different Tony Award categories -- featured actor in a play ("The Homecoming," 2008), lead actor in a musical ("Company," 2007), and featured actor in a musical ("Taboo," 2004) -- could be rewarded by the theater community for adapting his performance to two successive replacements for Piven. First, Tony winner Norbert Leo Butz ("Dirty Rotten Scoundrels") stepped into the part, and now William H. Macy is with the production. Ron Silver, who originated Esparza's role in 1988, won the lead actor in a play Tony. While his co-star Joe Mantegna (in Piven's part) did not get a Tony nod, they did compete for the Drama Desk kudos, where Silver prevailed. Alas, Madonna, the poorly reviewed third side of that original lopsided triangle, had to make do with being grateful that there was no theater equivalent to moviedom's Razzie Awards.

Read related posts

Will 'Speed-the-Plow turn up Tony Awards?

Jeremy Piven leads the supporting actor race at the Emmys again.

Jeremy Piven may be on an Emmy roll, but he's no Don Knotts.

Photo credits: Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, CBS

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Will 'Speed-the-Plow' turn up Tony Awards?

October 24, 2008 |  7:10 pm

Fans of playwright David Mamet are in for a double treat on Broadway this season. Mamet's first major success, "American Buffalo," is being revived for the second time next month with Oscar nominee Haley Joel Osment and Cedric the Entertainer making their Broadway debuts alongside Tony nominee John Leguziamo. And this week marked the much-heralded return of "Speed-the-Plow," his savage 1988 play that skewers Hollywood. Joining perennial Tony nominee Raul Esparza in this scorching satire are two more Broadway babes — Emmy winner Jeremy Piven ("Entourage") and Elisabeth Moss ("Mad Men").

Twenty years ago "Speed-the-Plow" lost the best play race to David Henry Hwang's gender-bending "M. Butterfly." This season, three best=play winners have already been revived: "All My Sons" (1947); "A Man For All Seasons" (1962); and "Equus" (1975). Still to come: classics "Hedda Gabler," "Blithe Spirit," and "Waiting for Godot." However, the rave reviews for this production could well propel it into the Tonys race for best revival. And, after all, Mamet's 1984 Pulitzer Prize winning "Glengarry Glen Ross" did take home that Tony in 2005.

Speed_jeremy_piven_moss_2

No doubt hoping that some of that Tony Awards luck rubs off on him is leading man Raul Esparza who has struck out in three different categories — featured actor in a play ("The Homecoming," 2008), lead actor in a musical ("Company," 2007), and featured actor in a musical ("Taboo," 2004). Ron Silver, who originated the role in 1988, won lead actor in a play for his efforts. While his co-star Joe Mantegna did not get a Tony nod, they did compete at the Drama Desk kudos where Silver prevailed. Alas, Madonna, the poorly reviewed third side of that original lopsided triangle, had to make do with being grateful for the fact that there was no theater equivalent to moviedom's Razzie awards. This time 'round, both Piven and Moss could well be rewarded with Tony nominations for their first roles on Broadway.

Among the raves for the revival was this from Elysa Gardner of USA Today: "Director Neil Pepe, a frequent Mamet collaborator, brings a keen ear for the playwright's blunt, jazzy rhythms, and he couldn't have better players. Jeremy Piven's Bobby is softer-textured but also more disturbing than the showbiz animal he plays on 'Entourage'; we see the anxiety and flickers of good intentions underlying his cool arrogance. Raul Esparza's Charlie is more sharply funny, and more revelatory; his brutal resourcefulness at the end will leave you titillated and haunted. Elisabeth Moss has a tougher assignment as Karen, whose motives and, frankly, intelligence are in question. She professes to be naive, and Moss, with her wide eyes and girlish voice, never entirely rules out that possibility."

Michael Kuchwara of the AP said, "Moss is deceptively low-key, a nice contrast to all the screaming going on around her. She's a standout in the play's second act, set in Bobby's apartment, when Karen persuasively makes the case for filming the seemingly unfilmable novel. Piven's Bobby is the play's moral center, or at least, the one person on stage who has qualms about what is happening and doesn't quite know what to do about it. The actor has perfected the persona of bad-little-boy-lost and wears the snarling bewilderment here with considerable expertise. There's no such indecision in Charlie. The man is a ferocious wheeler-dealer, capable of glad-handing and back-stabbing at the same time. Wearing a fierce glint and a sly smile, Esparza is one of those kinetic actors who doesn't hold anything back. He's full-tilt ahead, tailor-made for the pugnacious Charlie."

Ben Brantley of the New York Times praised the performers more than the play: "Mr. Piven has the pivotal role, and he executes it with uncanny grace and intelligence." And "In contrast, Mr. Esparza runs full speed ahead with his ambition-stoked character, tapping the full kinetic force he artfully kept under wraps in recent revivals of 'Company' and 'The Homecoming.'" And about Ms. Moss, she is "bringing a naked clarity to her unvarnished, tinny-voiced Karen that makes the play hang together in ways it didn’t before."

Continue reading »

Experts predict the Emmys: 'Mad Men,' '30 Rock' and Glenn Close are heavy faves

September 19, 2008 | 10:54 am

Gold Derby recruited two teams of experts to predict who'll win the Primetime Emmy Awards on Sept. 21 and discovered surprising consensus. Heavy favorites: "Mad Men" for best drama series, last year's champ "30 Rock" to repeat as best comedy, "John Adams" as best miniseries and "Damages" star Glenn Close as best drama actress.

But the two teams differ drastically in a few races and that's probably because of how I organized the teams. Team TV Journos comprises notable writers who cover the TV beat and pay close attention to the Emmys. How_i_met_your_mother_entourage_tv_Team The Envelope is composed largely of award nuts like me who pay special attention to past voting patterns and the sample episodes submitted to Emmy judges by the nominees.

It's interesting to note that one member of Team TV Journos really does too — that's John Kubicek, who once won a Gold Derby amateur prediction Emmy contest when he was known as poster "Tommy Castro" in our forums, but now I am banishing him (sorry, John!) to the journo team since he's a writer for BuddyTV.com. While Tommy Castro still posts in our message boards, the only forum posters I'm including on Team The Envelope are our Emmy-savvy moderators. Call it a perk of leadership.

TEAM TV JOURNOS: Michael Ausiello (Entertainment Weekly), Aaron Barnhart (Kansas City Star), Marc Berman (MediaWeek), Robert Bianco (USA Today), Hal Boedeker (Orlando Sentinel), Melissa Grego (Broadcasting and Cable), Richard Huff (New York Daily News), John Kubicek (BuddyTV), Lisa de Moraes (Washington Post), Kristin Dos Santos (E! OnlineCLICK HERE for expanded Emmy predix), Maggie Furlong (AOL Television), Michele Greppi (TV Week), Matt Mitovich (TVGuide.com), Ray Richmond (Hollywood Reporter), Matt Roush (TV Guide), Maureen Ryan (Chicago Tribune), Michael Starr (New York Post), David Zurawik (Baltimore Sun).

TEAM THE ENVELOPE: Chris "Boomer" Beachum (Gold Derby forums), Elena Howe (The Envelope), Joseph A. Kapsch (Latimes Entertainment), Robert Licuria (AwardsHeaven.net, Gold Derby forums), Tom O'Neil (Gold Derby, TheEnvelope), Andrew Pickett (Gold Derby forums)

BEST DRAMA SERIES
"Boston Legal"
"Damages" — Beachum
"Dexter" — Huff
"House"
"Lost" — Barnhart, Dos Santos, Greppi
"Mad Men" — Ausiello, Berman, Bianco, Boedeker, de Moraes, Grego, Furlong, Kubicek, Mitovich, Richmond, Roush, Ryan, Starr, ZurawikHowe, Kapsch, Licuria, O'Neil, Pickett

BEST COMEDY SERIES
"Curb Your Enthusiasm" — Boedeker, Pickett
"Entourage"
"The Office"
"30 Rock" — Ausiello, Barnhart, Berman, Bianco, de Moraes, Dos Santos, Grego, Furlong, Huff, Kubicek, Mitovich, Richmond, Roush, Ryan, Starr, Zurawik, Beachum, Howe, Kapsch, Licuria, O'Neil
"Two and a Half Men" — Greppi

BEST ACTOR, DRAMA SERIES
Gabriel Byrne, "In Treatment" — Huff
Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad" — Ausiello, O'Neil
Michael C. Hall, "Dexter" — Dos Santos, Mitovich, Howe, Kapsch
Jon Hamm, "Mad Men" — Berman, Furlong, Roush, Starr, Zurawik
Hugh Laurie, "House" — Barnhart, Bianco, Boedeker, Grego, Greppi, Richmond, Ryan
James Spader, "Boston Legal" —de Moraes, Kubicek, Beachum, Licuria, Pickett
(NOTE: Tom O'Neil switched his vote from Spader to Cranson on Sept. 19.)

BEST ACTRESS, DRAMA SERIES
Glenn Close, "Damages" — Ausiello, Barnhart, Berman, Bianco, Boedeker, de Moraes, Furlong, Grego, Greppi, Mitovich, Richmond, Roush, Beachum, Howe, Kapsch, Licuria, O'Neil, Pickett
Sally Field, "Brothers and Sisters" — Dos Santos,
Mariska Hargitay, "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit"
Holly Hunter, "Saving Grace"
Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer" — Huff, Kubicek, Ryan, Starr, Zurawik

BEST ACTOR, COMEDY SERIES
Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock" — Ausiello, Berman, Bianco, Boedeker, de Moraes, Dos Santos, Greppi, Huff, Kubicek, Mitovich, Richmond, Roush, Starr, Zurawik, Howe, Kapsch, Licuria, O'Neil, Pickett
Steve Carell, "The Office" — Barnhart, Grego, Ryan, Beachum
Lee Pace, "Pushing Daisies" — Furlong
Tony Shalhoub, "Monk"
Charlie Sheen, "Two and a Half Men"

BEST ACTRESS, COMEDY SERIES
Christina Applegate, "Samantha Who?" — Ausiello, Bianco, Grego, Kubicek, Mitovich, Richmond, Kapsch, Pickett
America Ferrera, "Ugly Betty" — de Moraes, O'Neil
Tina Fey, "30 Rock" — Berman, Furlong, Greppi, Huff, Ryan, Roush, Starr, Zurawik, Howe, Licuria
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "The New Adventures of Old Christine" — Boedeker, Beachum
Mary-Louise Parker, "Weeds" — Barnhart, Dos Santos

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR, DRAMA SERIES
Ted Danson, "Damages" — Ausiello, Berman, Bianco, Boedeker, de Moraes, Furlong, Greppi, Richmond, Roush, Ryan
Michael Emerson, "Lost" — Dos Santos, Kubicek, Howe
Zeljko Ivanek, "Damages" — Mitovich, Licuria
William Shatner, "Boston Legal" — Barnhart, Grego, Starr, Beachum, Kapsch, O'Neil, Pickett
John Slattery, "Mad Men" — Huff, Zurawik

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS, DRAMA SERIES
Candice Bergen, "Boston Legal" — Richmond, Licuria, Pickett
Rachel Griffiths, "Brothers and Sisters"
Sandra Oh, "Grey's Anatomy" — Furlong, Kubicek, Starr
Dianne Wiest, "In Treatment" — Berman, Greppi, Huff, Ryan, Zurawik, Howe
Chandra Wilson, "Grey's Anatomy" — Ausiello, Barnhart, Bianco, Boedeker, de Moraes, Dos Santos, Grego, Mitovich, Roush, Beachum, Kapsch, O'Neil

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY SERIES
Jon Cryer, "Two and a Half Men" — Greppi
Kevin Dillon, "Entourage" — Huff
Neil Patrick Harris, "How I Met Your Mother" — Bianco, Dos Santos, Furlong, Kubicek, Roush, Ryan, Starr, Howe
Jeremy Piven, "Entourage" — Ausiello, Barnhart, Boedeker, de Moraes, Grego, ZurawikBeachum, Kapsch, Licuria, O'Neil, Pickett
Rainn Wilson, "The Office" — Berman, Mitovich, Richmond

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY SERIES
Kristin Chenoweth, "Pushing Daisies" — Bianco, Dos Santos, Furlong, Kubicek, Starr
Amy Poehler, "Saturday Night Live" — Ausiello, Barnhart, de Moraes, Huff, Richmond, Roush, Ryan, Zurawik, Beachum, Howe, Licuria, O'Neil, Pickett
Jean Smart, "Samantha Who? — Grego, Mitovich
Holland Taylor, "Two and a Half Men" — Greppi
Vanessa Williams, "Ugly Betty" — Berman, Boedeker, Kapsch

BEST REALITY HOST
Tom Bergeron, 'Dancing With The Stars' — Berman, Bianco, Boedeker, de Moraes, Greppi, Roush, Zurawik
Heidi Klum, 'Project Runway' — Grego, Furlong, Ryan, Beachum
Howie Mandel, 'Deal Or No Deal' — Ausiello, Richmond
Jeff Probst, 'Survivor' — Huff, Mitovich, Licuria
Ryan Seacrest, 'American Idol' — Barnhart, Kubicek, Dos Santos, Starr, Howe, Kapsch, Pickett

BEST REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM
"The Amazing Race" — Ausiello, Barnhart, Bianco, Berman, Boedeker, de Moraes, Huff, Kubicek, Mitovich, Roush, Starr, Beachum, Licuria, O'Neil, Pickett
"American Idol" — Dos Santos, Grego, Zurawik, Howe, Kapsch
"Dancing with the Stars" — Richmond
"Project Runway" — Furlong, Greppi, Ryan
"Top Chef"

BEST VARIETY, MUSIC OR COMEDY SERIES
"The Colbert Report"
"The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" — Ausiello, Barnhart, Berman, Bianco, Boedeker, de Moraes, Dos Santos, Furlong, Grego, Greppi, Kubicek, Mitovich, Richmond, Roush, Ryan, Starr, Zurawik, Beachum, Howe, Kapsch, O'Neil, Pickett
"Late Show With David Letterman" — Huff
"Real Time With Bill Maher"
"Saturday Night Live" — Licuria

BEST MADE-FOR-TV MOVIE
"Bernard and Doris" — Greppi
"Extras: The Extra Special Series Finale" — Ausiello, Berman, Furlong, Starr, Beachum, Kapsch
"The Memory Keeper's Daughter"
"A Raisin in the Sun" — Barnhart, Bianco, Dos Santos, Grego, Richmond, Ryan, Zurawik, Pickett
"Recount" — Boedeker, de Moraes, Huff, Kubicek, Mitovich, Roush, Howe, Licura, O'Neil

Continue reading »

PODCAST: Jeremy Piven admits he portrays a 'wrecking ball' on 'Entourage'

August 8, 2008 |  9:07 am

In our podcast chat, I accuse Jeremy Piven of becoming the Ari Gold of the Emmys. While marching through two wins as best supporting comedy actor over the last two years, crushing all opposition, he appeared very much like the combat-lusting Hollywood talent agent he portrays on "Entourage."

But Jeremy Piven is eager to remind us of the duality of the character of Ari Gold — "the humanity of this guy," he says. CLICK HERE to download the MP3 file and listen. Note: You may need to hold down your computer's control key while clicking.

Jeremy_piven_emmy_podcast_entourage

A vulnerable side to aggressive Ari does shine through in the sample episode of "Entourage" that Jeremy Piven submitted to Emmy judges this year, a stand-out of the TV season that makes him a good bet to repeat another win.

In "The Day F***ers," we see haughty Ari crumble when his son's application to a private school is rejected. Desperate to save his boy from a mediocre education in a public school, Ari, as usual, will resort to anything to get his way, even if it means having to swallow his ego.

"Yes, he's a wrecking ball," Jeremy Piven admits about Ari. "He's incredibly abrasive. He says the unthinkable and the unsayable, but he's a monogamist man who will do anything to help his family. In this particular case, he's gotten in the way of his son's education and he finally has to go — literally — to the doorstep of the headmaster in the middle of the night and grovel."

Addressing Ari's monstrous side, he admits, "You can't get away with this in our society and yet people do and so it's fun to watch this particular ride. It's just so juicy to dig in there and get into the belly of the beast with this guy."

Jeremy Piven has flashed his own tender side by bringing his mom as his date to the Emmys in the past and invoking the spirit of his deceased dad in an acceptance speech. Both parents were actors and drama coaches who taught him his craft while operating a workshop theater in Illinois. Nowadays he's eager to acknowledge them, and he shares endearing (and wild) stories in this podcast about what it was like growing up amidst a thespian troupe.

But, beware: Piven warns that he probably won't bring his mom to the upcoming Emmys: "I think she's a little over it. She's loves being at home, dressing casually, viewing it that way."

Continue reading »

Gold Derby nuggets: LC & Oprah at Emmys | Streep makes merry | Wahlberg vs. Piven on 'Entourage' | Peek at 'The Road'

August 7, 2008 |  5:35 pm

Mark Malkin of E! Online reports that Lauren Conrad, star of the hit MTV reality series "The Hills," will be a double presence at next month's Emmy Awards — both as a presenter and as designer of the dresses worn by the trophy girls (see The Envelope story here). Malkin Lauren_conrad_oprah_winfrey says that Oprah Winfrey will open the diamond anniversary edition of the awardsfest before the five reality show host nominees take over emceeing duties.

Meryl Streep is thisclose to signing to play the lead in a new romantic comedy from writer-director Nancy Meyers, says Variety. Streep would be in a romantic triangle with two men, shades of "Something's Gotta Give," the 2003 laffer from Meyers that earned Diane Keaton a Golden Globe nom as well as an Oscar bid. Streep, who is a likely Golden Globe nominee this year for best actress (musical/comedy) for "Mamma Mia!" (and may pick up a nod for her upcoming dramatic turn in "Doubt"), could also figure in that race next year and now, it seems, in 2010. In the spring, Streep stars as the indomitable Julia Child opposite her "Doubt" costar Amy Adams in Nora Ephron's adaptation of the best-selling memoir "Julie and Julia." Streep's association with Ephron dates to 1983 when she starred in "Silkwood," a film that earned them both Oscar nods.

Mark_wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg tells the New York Post that he will be appearing on "Entourage" during the upcoming fifth season of the HBO hit comedy series. The Oscar-nominated Wahlberg ("The Departed"), who earned an Emmy nod last year for exec-producing the laffer, says he enjoyed acting opposite two-time Emmy winner and current supporting-actor nominee Jeremy Piven: "I did one other cameo in the pilot but I didn't get to do a scene with Jeremy Piven. This time it's me and Piven going at it, so it was fun."

Scott Bowles of USA Today offers a sneak peek at "The Road," the upcoming screen version of Cormac McCarthy's 2007 Pulitzer Prize winning novel about a father (Viggo Mortenson) struggling to save his son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) after an unnamed catastrophe. Australian director John Hillcoat ("The Proposition") talks of his decision to rely on real world settings rather than computer-generated ones. "We didn't want to go the CGI world. We wanted the heightened reality in the book." Hopes are high for this November release, especially given the success of "No Country for Old Men," the 2007 Oscar-winning adaptation of McCarthy's 2005 best-seller.

Variety reports: "South Korea has selected helmer Kim Tae-gyun's 'Crossing' ('Keurosing'), a drama about a North Korean defector, as its candidate for foreign language Oscar. But the choice has already caused controversy." READ MORE


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