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Category: Kiefer Sutherland

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 »

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

July 5, 2010 |  7:01 am

Gold Derby's Emmy gurus Chris "Boomer" Beachum, Rob Licuria and I agree on five of the six chaps who will be nominated for best drama actor when Emmy bids are unveiled Thursday, but we split on the sixth star.

Also, check out our video slugfests over which shows will be nominated for best drama series and comedy series.

BEST DRAMA ACTOR
Simon Baker, "The Mentalist" — Beachum, Licuria, O'Neil
Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad" — Beachum, Licuria, O'Neil
Michael C. Hall, "Dexter" — Beachum, Licuria, O'Neil
Jon Hamm, "Mad Men" — Beachum, Licuria, O'Neil
Hugh Laurie, "House" — Beachum, Licuria, O'Neil
Timothy Olyphant, "Justified" — O'Neil
Bill Paxton, "Big Love" — Licuria
Kiefer Sutherland, "24" — Beachum

BEACHUM'S ALTERNATES: Bill Paxton, Matthew Fox
LICURIA'S ALTERNATES: Timothy Olyphant, Peter Krause
O'NEIL'S ALTERNATES: Bill Paxton, Wendell Pierce

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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Gold Derby nuggets: Kathy Griffin's naked ambition | Paul McCartney serenades Michelle Obama | George Clooney just one of the guys

June 3, 2010 |  2:39 pm

Kathy Griffin Emmy Awards Consideration Ad • Two-time Emmy champ Kathy Griffin is a savvy campaigner for TV's top honor. In Thursday's print edition of the Hollywood Reporter, she displays her considerable talents in a "For Your Consideration" ad. Griffin poses in a cheesecake shot reminiscent of 1950s pin-up Bettie Page. The copy touts her three Emmy hopes -- best reality program ("My Life on the D-List"), best variety music or comedy special ("Balls of Steel") and guest actress in a drama series ("Law & Order: SVU"). She also heralds her work in a category that has yet to get Emmy recognition -- a YouTube sex video -- and in the ad copy says, "They don't give out an Emmy for best airbrushing but if they did, I'd totally win." Griffin has won two of her four bids for best reality show (2007, 2008) but lost both of her races for best variety special. "SVU" has proven to be a gold mine for guest actresses with four of them winning the Emmy and another 10 contending.

• "The New Adventures of Old Christine" was canceled by CBS on May 18, and Mike Ausiello delivers the scoop that ABC will not be picking up the series after all. The alphabet net was said to be interested in the laffer in years past when it was on the bubble for renewal. Julia Louis-Dreyfus won the Emmy for lead actress in a comedy series for the show's 13-episode first season run in 2006 and has contended for each of the following three full seasons. ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

Erik Pipenburg has crafted an interactive report on the four Tony Awards nominees for best sound design of a play -- Adam Cork ("Enron," "Red"), Acme Sound Partners ("Fences") and Scott Lehrer ("A View From the Bridge") -- including interviews and audio excerpts of their work. ARTS BEAT

Paul McCartney Barack Obama Gershwin PrizeSir Paul McCartney wowed at the White House Wednesday during the presentation to him of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. As Nancy Benac reports, "Stevie Wonder had the Obamas clapping to 'We Can Work It Out.' The Jonas Brothers did 'Baby You Can Drive My Car.' Corinne Bailey Rae slowed things down with 'Blackbird.' And Faith Hill stroked 'Long and Winding Road.'" However, "it was McCartney himself who brought down the house by belting out 'Michelle,' aiming his words straight at a first lady named Michelle. He said he'd been 'itching' to perform it at the White House, and asked the president's forgiveness in advance. The first lady was soon mouthing the words along with McCartney and the president was swaying in his seat." The evening will air on PBS July 28 as part of the "In Performance at the White House" series. AP

• Tony-winning writer-director Arthur Laurents ("La Cage aux Folles") has honored his late partner of 52 years Tom Hatcher by creating a new award for emerging playwrights in both their names. The prize will be given annually with $50,000 going to the creator of a full-length play of social relevance and an additional $100,000 to the non-profit theater that stages its premiere. PLAYBILL

Guys Choice Awards 2010John Consoli has an extensive rundown of the bold-faced names appearing on the fourth annual Guys Choice Awards airing on Spike TV on Father's Day (June 20). Among those attending the June 5 taping in L.A. are nominees George ClooneyLeBron James, Kiefer Sutherland and  Scarlett Johansson. Winners of the 14 awards will be decided by an online vote. THE WRAP

Upper photo: Kathy Griffin "For Your Consideration" ad. Credit: THR

Middle photo: Paul McCartney and President Obama at the White House. Credit: Andrew Harrer/EPA/Pool.

Lower photo: Guys Choice Awards logo. Credit: Spike TV.

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Will Emmy Awards make time for '24' this year?

May 25, 2010 |  8:51 am

The series finale of "24" delivered the show's trademark mix of action and drama as it wrapped up another eventful day in the life of Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland). This year, the rogue spy battled both friends and foes before ending the day facing exile.

Kiefer Sutherland 24 Finale Emmy Awards Many critics have hailed the creative resurgence of this onetime perennial Emmy Awards contender. However, neither of our two Emmy experts -- Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Robert "Rob L" Licuria (Awards Heaven) -- foresee an awards comeback for "24." How fast the mighty have fallen!

For its fifth season in 2006, "24" finally won best drama series and Sutherland reigned as best actor. In 2007, Season 6 was deemed a disappointment, and the show failed to contend for the drama series Emmy for the first time in its run. Although "24" had made the top 10 -- as determined by a popular vote of TV academy members -- the sample episodes failed to impress the judging panel enough for the show to make it through to the final round of nominees. Then-reigning champ Sutherland did contend again in the best actor race, for the sixth year in a row, but lost to James Spader ("Boston Legal").

After being benched in 2008 because of the writers strike, the former Emmy powerhouse made a lackluster return to the race in 2009, failing to score bids for either series or TV movie ("24: Redemption"). Sutherland, who was a fixture in the best actor in a drama series category, was snubbed for the first time in the show's seven years. He had to make do with a nod in the TV movie actor race for "24: Redemption" and lost to Brendan Gleeson ("Into the Storm").

Boomer and Rob agree that reigning champ "Mad Men" will contend again this year, as will "Breaking Bad," "Damages" and "Dexter." Boomer believes freshman hit "The Good Wife" and the departing "Lost" will also make the ballot, while Rob thinks "House, M.D." and "Big Love" will round out the roster. Rob thinks Sutherland has an outside chance of making the top six in the crowded lead actor race this year, while Boomer ranks reigning champ Cherry Jones -- who portrayed America's first female president -- in the sixth slot in the supporting actress category

Continue reading »

Gold Derby nuggets: Betty White + "SNL" = Emmy? | Tom Selleck reprises 'Jesse Stone' | Another amazing 'Race' finale

May 7, 2010 |  3:59 pm

Betty White SNL • The power of a Facebook petition helped land four-time prime-time Emmy champ Betty White the hosting gig on "Saturday Night Live" this weekend. Last year, the Emmy Awards eliminated the individual performance in a variety series category. "SNL" hosts were eligible instead in the guest acting races, and Tina Fey and Justin Timberlake both won for their stellar turns at the helm of this late-night staple. White won the guest actress in a comedy series race back in 1996 for playing an exaggerated version of herself on "The John Larroquette Show." The last four of her 16 Emmy nominations have been for guesting on both comedy and drama series. With White's career red-hot, she is also guesting on the May 19 finale of freshman hit "The Middle" as the less-than-kindly librarian who stands between Brick (Atticus Shaffer) and promotion to third grade.

• Even though this year's nominees for the Tony Awards were just announced Tuesday and we are still more than five weeks away from the kudos being awarded, there is already a front-runner for next year's best actor in a play prize. Oscar winner Al Pacino is playing Shylock in a production of "The Merchant of Venice" this summer in the renowned Shakespeare in the Park series put on by the Public Theatre. And, as Andrew Gans reports, two Broadway powerhouse producers -- Jeffrey Richards and Jerry Frankel -- have invested in this non-profit production with an eye to transferring it to the rialto in the fall. Pacino is a two-time Tony champ, winning the featured actor in a play award for "Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie" in 1969 and the lead actor race in 1977 for "The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel." PLAYBILL

Quentin Tarantino is to head the jury at the 67th Venice Film Festival which runs for 11 days beginning Sept. 1. This is the Oscar champ's first time working with this fest in an mainstream capacity. He did preside over the 2004 Cannes jury that awarded Michael Moore's documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11" the Golden Palm. The top prize at Venice is the Golden Lion which went last year to "Lebanon." While that film did not figure in the Oscars, Colin Firth ("A Single Man") did parlay his Venice win into a best actor nomination at the Academy Awards. Two years ago, the top pic at Venice was "The Wrestler," which earned Oscar nods for Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei. The only Golden Lion winner to compete as a best picture nominee at the Oscars in the past decade was "Brokeback Mountain" in 2005. LA BIENNALE

Tom Selleck No RemorseTom Selleck nabbed an Emmy nomination for best actor in a TV movie for "Jesse Stone: Sea Change" back in 2007; he lost to Robert Duvall for "Broken Trail." That was the fourth time he portrayed Robert B. Parker's creation -- a  former big-city cop living in a small Massachusetts town. On Sunday, Selleck returns with the sixth entry in the franchise. In a wide-ranging interview with Megan Walsh-Boyle, Selleck says, "I couldn’t be prouder of the Jesse Stone series and, in this case, 'No Remorse.' Each one gets better. The seventh is already filmed and in the can — it’s called 'Innocents Lost.' The thing I’m so proud of is they look like feature films and they play like feature films." Selleck remains the only Emmy champ to win while hosting the kudocast. He pulled this double duty back in 1984 when he won on his third of five consecutive nominations for "Magnum, P.I." TV GUIDE

Howard Gordon, an executive producer of "24," warns fans not to expect a happy ending for the character Jack Bauer played by Emmy champ Kiefer Sutherland. As per this report from Maria Elena Fernandez, Gordon said, "One thing we tried and didn't work was a happily-ever-after for Jack. What he's done -- forget about the last eight seasons -- but in these last six episodes ... leaves him, once again, in a very morally compromised place, morally, ethically and emotionally. This show is a tragedy, and to give Jack a happy ending just didn't feel authentic." SHOW TRACKER

• Newly-tapped Emmys host Jimmy Fallon told Alicia Rancillo he wants to keep the kudocast classy. The late-night talk show host recalled, "watching the Emmys while growing up with his mother, who would dress up in a gown and give fake acceptance speeches. He wants to make watching the telecast an event for which people will host watch parties in their own homes." AP

The Amazing Race logo • "The Amazing Race" host Phil Keoghan promises "a very tense finish" as the sixteenth edition of the show wraps up Sunday on CBS. "The Amazing Race" has won all seven Emmy Awards handed out for best reality competition series. Chatting to Derrik J. Lang, Keoghan revealed, "The thing about the last leg is we really want to make it as fair as possible for all the teams." While the Emmy-nominated host won't say who won, "he does believe that the show's fans are rooting for the beloved professional bull riders to win and that the ending isn't necessarily happy for everyone. Keoghan foreshadowed that Upton and Horne are confronted by another team at the mat." AP

Nina Arianda and Bill Heck have won the Clarence Derwent award for most promising female and male performers on the New York theater scene. Arianda starred in the acclaimed two-hander "Venus in Fur" while Heck is finishing up a run in the nine-hour Horton Foote trilogy "The Orphans' Home Cycle."  Established by Derwent, the president of Actors Equity, in 1945, these kudos have gone to such notables as Annette Bening, Kristin Chenoweth, Morgan Freeman, Allison Janney, and Christopher Walken. And past Tony contender Helen Stenborg and current Tony nominee Stephen McKinley Henderson have won the Richard Seff prizes awarded to stage vets for their performances in "Vigil" and "Fences" respectively. This year's judges were Joe Dziemianowicz (Daily News); Adam Feldman (Time Out NY); Susan Haskins (Theatre Talk); Harry Haun (Playbill); Michael Kuchwara (AP); and David Rosenberg (Back Stage). PLAYBILL

Top photo: Kristen Wiig and Betty White on the set of "SNL." Credit: NBC

Middle photo: Tom Selleck in "No Remorse." Credit: CBS

Bottom photo: "The Amazing Race" logo. Credit: CBS

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Gold Derby nuggets: Oscar loser 'Avatar' is Blu-Ray winner | 'Glee' serenades America | New York drama critics reveal awards on Friday

April 26, 2010 |  5:06 pm

• Chatting to Jay Bobbin, Emmy champ Kiefer Sutherland admits he was caught off guard when filming finally finished on the last hour of "24," which is signing off after eight seasons: "I thought there was still one shot left. Just as I walked out on the stairs for it, they said, 'Ladies and gentlemen, that is a show wrap.' It kind of caught me off guard, but I figured, 'Well, I'd better say something.' It was going to be short, because there was nothing you could say to explain how much all of this meant." 

• The 22 members of the New York Drama Critics Circle will announce their choices for best new play and musical of the season on Friday. If a play from foreign shores is chosen, there will also be a best American play and vice versa. Winners receive $2,500 along with bragging rights and will be celebrated at a May 10 dinner at the Algonquin Hotel where these awards began 75 years ago. Last year, the off-Broadway hit "Ruined" by American Lynn Nottage won best play, while Gregory Burke's "Black Watch" was named best foreign play and "Billy Elliot" took best musical.

Avatar blu-ray DVD Glee Fox TV Taylor Swift news

• "Dexter" star Michael C. Hall is fully recovered from his bout with Hodgkin's lymphoma, says his wife Jennifer Carpenter. Hall, who won a Golden Globe and SAG award in January, is set to return to production on the Showtime series about a sympathetic serial killer in June. Season five should unspool on the paycaster in the early fall. SHOW TRACKER

Russell Brand has revealed what he was thinking while hosting last year's MTV Video Music Awards and watching Kanye West hijack Taylor Swift 's acceptance speech for best female video. "It was like watching a wildlife documentary, when the leopard goes to kill the little antelope and you're like, 'Why wouldn't the cameraman stop it?' That's not their duty, theirs is to observe." HOLLYWOOD

• For those that missed the eighth annual TV Land Awards on Sunday night, the cable net has set up a great website that includes many of the evening's highlights. Among them: the cast reunion of "Bosom Buddies" including two-time Oscar champ Tom Hanks and a rendition of the "Glee" signature tune "Don't Stop Believing" by an all-star cast led by David Hasselhoff and Marilu Henner. TV LAND

Tim Stack has the details of the upcoming live concert tour of Golden Globe and SAG winner "Glee." The series' creator Ryan Murphy reveals, "We’re gonna do between 15 and 18 numbers. We made a decision to do our biggest hits because that’s what fans want to see. It’s a concert tour, but it also has a story in it." And reports Stack, "Staying true to the series, the plot will focus on the kids of New Directions and their rivalry with glee club all-stars, Vocal Adrenaline." ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

• Last year's Tony-winning best play "God of Carnage" will close on June 27, two weeks after this year's kudos are bestowed. The four-hander by Yasmina Reza also won Tonys for director Matthew Warchus and lead actress Marcia Gay Harden. She and the others in the quartet (all of whom were Tony nominees) -- Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis and James Gandolfini -- stayed with the show till last November. The current cast includes Tony champ Janet McTeer ("A Doll's House") -- who created Harden's part in the original West End production and lost the Tony to her last year when she was nominated for "Mary Stuart" -- and Daniels who is now playing the other male role.

• The British version of the Emmys -- the BAFTAs -- splits up its awards between on-air and behind-the-scenes talent. Nominees for the Craft BAFTAS were announced Monday with "Red Riding" -- an inter-linked series of films on Channel 4 -- leading the way with seven bids. Winners will be announced on May 23 at a ceremony hosted by TV presenter Christine Bleakley ("The One Show") at the London Hilton. BAFTA

• Who needs gold-plated Oscar statuettes when there's a mother mode of real retail gold for the taking? As Ben Fritz reports, it only took "Avatar" four days to break the Blu-Ray sales record held by "The Dark Knight." The James Cameron blockbuster sold 2.7 million discs over the weekend in this newest home theater medium edging out the "Batman" sequel which has shifted 2.5 million copies in the last 16 months. COMPANY TOWN

Photo: 20th Century Fox

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Gold Derby nuggets: 'Mad Men' returns in July | 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' back next year | '24' movie script ready

April 20, 2010 |  5:35 pm

Mad-men-logo-300x159 • "Mad Men" returns to the AMC lineup for a fourth season on July 25 at 10 p.m. ET. The reigning two-time Emmy champ for best drama series is a strong bet to contend for a third consecutive year when nominations are announced on July 8. The third season ended with many of the characters in a state of flux. Just how long this series will continue to explore the lives of Don Draper and company is up for debate. Creator Matthew Weiner has voiced concern about continuing beyond six seasons, but the network says no end date has been discussed. TV SQUAD   

• As Steve Pond reports, "The Screen Actors Guild has chosen the nominating committees for its 2011 SAG Awards, selecting 2,100 of its more than 125,000 members for a committee that will select the feature film nominees, and another 2,100 to choose the television nominees." Actors are only allowed to serve on a committee once every five years. And the studios are kept from knowing the names of the nominators, with SAG acting as a clearinghouse for screeners. Nominations for the 17th annual kudos will be announced Dec. 16, with the awards handed out Jan. 30. THE ODDS

564_curb_your_enthusiasm_468 • "Curb Your Enthusiasm" will be back for a 10-episode eighth season in 2011. The five-time Emmy contender for comedy series drew its best ratings for Season 7, which used a reunion of "Seinfeld" as a plot device for creator and star Larry David to repair his TV marriage. In making the announcement, David said, "After much soul searching — and by the way, it was nowhere to be found — I have decided to do another season of 'Curb.' I look forward to the end of shooting, when I can once again resume the hunt for my elusive soul. I know it’s here somewhere or perhaps in the rugged mountainous regions of Pakistan." ZAP 2 IT

Emily Christianson has compiled a fun and fact-filled photo gallery saluting the various casts of classic TV fare who have reunited over the years at the TV Land Awards. This year, it was two-time Oscar champ Tom Hanks who joined his "Bosom Buddies" on-stage. In years past, these kudos have saluted Emmy-winning fare like "The Carol Burnett Show" and "The Golden Girls" as well as rerun staples such as "The Brady Bunch." THE ENVELOPE

24-logo-1Kiefer Sutherland just wrapped the finale of "24," but he is already talking about a movie version of the 2006 Emmy champ for best drama series. The real-time crime drama is signing off May 24 after eight event-filled years. And says Sutherland, screenwriter Billy Ray ("State of Play") has finished a film script that may be more in keeping with the spirit of the early years of the TV show. "It doesn't have to be a bomb. It can be something personal that people understand." IGN

• The much-delayed Broadway musical "Turn Off the Dark," based on Spider-Man, has lost its villain with Tony Award winner Alan Cumming ("Cabaret") committing to a regular role on TV's freshman hit "The Good Wife" instead. The tuner, first announced in early 2009, had already lost its leading lady, Evan Rachel Wood ("The Wrestler"). Only newcomer Reeve Carney, who is to play the webbed crusader, remains on board. The tunes are by Bono and the Edge of U2 with two-time Tony winner Julie Taymor ("The Lion King") helming the big-budget production. PLAYBILL

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

Middle photo: "Curb Your Enthusiasm" logo. Credit: HBO

Bottom photo: "24" logo. Credit: Fox

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Gold Derby nuggets: Charlie Sheen exiting 'Two and a Half Men'? | Lucille Lortel nominations | Busy Betty White

April 1, 2010 |  5:58 pm

Charlie SheenCharlie Sheen could be leaving his hit sitcom "Two and a Half Men" at the end of this seventh season. Sheen -- who has had his share of personal woes over the course of the series -- faces charges for a domestic dispute at Christmas and is currently in rehab. The actor has picked up four consecutive Emmy nods for his work on the CBS Monday night staple and makes a reported $850,000 per episode. Whether this is just posturing for an even better payday remains to be seen. PEOPLE

• While we will have to wait and see if Sheen does not return to his show, S. Epatha Merkerson definitely won't be reporting for duty if "Law & Order" is renewed by NBC for next season. She tells Mike Ausiello that after 16 years, "It’s time to move on. I’m doing other things and this will be a great way to leave what has been an extraordinary gig." Merkerson delivered one of the all-time great acceptance speeches when she won an Emmy in 2005 for her lead performance in the telefilm "Lackawanna Blues" and her notes disappeared down her decolletage. ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

Mike Fleming delivers the news that the three amigos at the center of all the fun -- Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms -- finally have signed  for the sequel to "The Hangover." The surprise winner of the Golden Globe for best comedy/musical of the year is the top-grossing R-rated comedy of all time. The trio are looking at $5-million-plus payouts each, while director Todd Phillips will make at least $10 million on the picture. DEADLINE

• LAT theater critic Charles McNulty extols the efforts of Valerie Harper to use new media like Facebook and Twitter to draw people to the old medium of live theater. The four-time Emmy champ is appearing on Broadway as the theatrical diva Talullah Bankhead in the new play "Looped." CULTURE MONSTER

Lortel_Awards_logo • While Harper could contend for a Tony as her show runs on Broadway, the off-Broadway community rewards its top productions with the Lucille Lortel awards. Nominations for the silver anniversary of these kudos were announced Thursday. The plays "The Glass Menagerie," "Pride" and "When the Rain Stops Falling" lead with six apiece. Among the performers contending are Oscar-winning songwriter Keith Carradine ("Nashville") and three-time Emmy champ Laurie Metcalf for their featured work in "A Lie of the Mind." Winners will be announced May 2, two days before Harper finds out if she is a Tony nominee. PLAYBILL

• Two-time Tony champ Nathan Lane, director Kenny Leon and Macy's Thanksgiving parade will be honored at the 2010 Drama League luncheon on May 21 in Gotham. PLAYBILL

• Oscar winner Anna Paquin declared herself to be bisexual in a PSA for the Give a Damn campaign, which promotes gay and lesbian equality. Paquin, who picked up a Golden Globe for the first season of "True Blood," is engaged to her on-screen paramour, Stephen Moyer.

• Oscar and Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson has a new gig as the spokeswoman for Weight Watchers. The "Dreamgirl" star gave birth seven months ago and credits the program with helping her shed the baby weight. She will be appearing in TV spots and print ads. On "Good Morning America" on Thursday, Hudson said, "No one recognizes me anymore. I wanted to go in a different direction and find a better lifestyle." E ONLINE

Betty WhiteBetty White is busier than ever. When not appearing in TV series, like the upcoming finale of freshman hit "The Middle," or preparing her own TV Land sitcom this summer -- "Hot in Cleveland" -- the five-time Emmy champ is picking up lifetime achievement awards. Last summer the TV critics honored her, in January SAG sang her praises and on April 14 she will be feted by the American Women in Radio & Television. Says Jay Leno, who will present her this latest prize, "This Golden Girl has won my heart and the hearts of many fans from around the world."

• Advertisers will pay a premium for a spot on the series finale of "24." Prior to the announcement that the 2006 Emmy winner for best drama series was signing off after eight event-filled years, Fox had been looking for a cool half-million per ad for the May 24 two-hour closer. That rate has jumped to $650,000, and there may be little inventory left already. AD AGE

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

Middle photo: Lucille Lortel award logo. Credit: Lucille Lortel Foundation.

Bottom photo: Betty White at the SAG Awards. Credit: TNT

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Will '24' return to the Emmy race this year?

May 19, 2009 |  2:34 pm

Last night's seventh-season finale of "24" delivered the show's trademark mix of action and drama as it wrapped up another eventful day in the life of Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland). This year the rogue spy battled friends and foes before ending the day facing imminent death.

24 Sixth Season Finale Fox Emmy Awards Kiefer Sutherland Elisha Cuthbert Many critics have hailed the creative resurgence of this onetime perennial Emmy Awards contender. "24" sat out last year's Emmy race due to the writers strike. In 2007, Season 6 was deemed a disappointment and the show failed to contend for the drama series Emmy for the first time in its run. While "24" had made the top 10 — as determined by a popular vote of academy members — the sample episodes failed to impress the judging panel enough for the show to make it through to the final round of nominees.

That snub was especially glaring as "24" had taken TV's top honor the previous year. That win in 2006 came for the fifth consecutive series nod. And Sutherland won the lead actor Emmy Award that night as well. Though the show was not in the running in 2007, Sutherland did contend again for the sixth year in a row. He lost to James Spader ("Boston Legal"). Both he and the show are certainly in the mix this year based on reviews like the following for last night's two-hour season-ender.

Robert Bianco of USA Today thought the show "capped its season-long creative resurgence Monday with a finale that was characteristically rousing and uncharacteristically thoughtful. Spurred by Tony's betrayal and his own sense of impending doom, Jack allowed his heroic façade to drop — allowing the show to dig a bit deeper into the nature of his heroism."

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Did Kiefer Sutherland blow his Emmy chances when he blew his top?

May 7, 2009 | 11:13 am

What a lousy time for Kiefer Sutherland to be accused of head-butting a fashion designer! He's giving a powerful, impactful performance on "24," which is making a triumphant creative return to TV after sitting out last year's Emmy race thanks to the writers' strike.

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In 2006, "24" won best drama series and Kiefer Sutherland won best actor, so they're already proven favorites with Emmy voters. Putting his current personal woes in context to what's happening on the show is ironic. On "24," Jack Bauer is psychologically vulnerable as he battles an infection that may kill him. He is conflicted about seeking redemption for his past. In last week's episode he delivered an emotionally complex performance as he dealt with his own prognosis and the betrayal of his one-time best friend. This acting showcase would make an excellent submission to Emmy jurors.

But Kiefer may have blown his Emmy chances when he reportedly blew his top, so to speak. Perhaps there's a parallel to Russell Crowe at the Oscars? Both Sutherland and Crowe are actors once widely regarded as cool, tough dudes. But that swagger of hip defiance must be managed delicately. If pent-up rage goes too far, it can turn off fans and Hollywood, especially when seemingly innocent bystanders are concerned.

Let's recall that Russell Crowe hasn't been nominated for an Oscar since he attacked that Manhattan hotel clerk and BAFTA TV producer. Up until the early 2000s, Crowe was nominated three times for Oscars ("The Insider," "Gladiator," "A Beautiful Mind") and won once ("Gladiator," 2000), but he hasn't been nominated since. In 2003, "Master and Commander" got so many nominations — 10, including best picture — it looked like everybody reaped a bid except the movie's own master and commander. The motion-picture academy snubbed Crowe.

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

March 16, 2009 | 10:50 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* = Nominee last year

BEST DRAMA SERIES
(Favorites)
"Boston Legal" *
"Damages" *
"Dexter" *
"House" *
"Lost" *
"Mad Men" * (last year's winner)
"No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency"
"24"

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

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

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

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

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