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Category: Larry David

Inside track: Emmy acting races for comedy series

August 8, 2010 |  9:26 am

In an earlier post, I shared the breakdown of the acting races for best drama series (complete with titles of episodes being viewed by Emmy judges) that appeared in the recent print edition of The Envelope in the Los Angeles Times. Here's the equivalent comedy list plus who's in the running for best lead actor and actress in TV movie/mini.

Jim Parsons Big Bang Theory-3

BEST COMEDY ACTOR
Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock" ("Don Geiss, America, and Hope")
Steve Carrell, "The Office" ("The Cover Up")
Larry David, "Curb Your Enthusiasm" ("Seinfeld")
Matthew Morrison, "Glee" ("Mash Up")
Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory" ("The Pants Alternative")
Tony Shalhoub, "Monk" ("Mr. Monk and the End, Parts I and II")

SPOTLIGHT: Three-time past champ Shalhoub could get a parting Emmy gift for the final episode of "Monk" in which he's poisoned, battles his usual phobias, weeps over memories of his dead wife and finally, after eight TV seasons, solves her murder. Or Emmy voters could get all choked up with nostalgia while viewing the "Seinfeld" reunion on David's submission.


BEST COMEDY ACTRESS
Toni Collette, "United States of Tara" ("Tornado!")
Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie" ("Pilot")
Tina Fey, "30 Rock" ("Dealbreakers Talk Show #0001")
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "The New Adventures of Old Christine" ("I Love What You Do for Me")
Lea Michele, "Glee" ("Sectionals")
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation" ("Telethon")

SPOTLIGHT: Barbra Streisand won an Oscar for belting out "Don't Rain on My Parade" in "Funny Girl." Now Michele croons the same in her Emmy episode. Good omen? Collette won the Emmy last year for portraying multiple personalities, but currently battles her Showtime rival Falco, who triumphed three times as tough mafia momma on "The Sopranos."

Continue reading »

Can Larry David win the Emmy for best comedy actor?

July 21, 2010 |  1:32 pm

"Do not underestimate Larry David!" our forums moderator Darrin "DoubleD" Dortch roared to me via e-mail after seeing that I ranked the star of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" in fifth place out of six nominees when listing the likely Emmy winner of best comedy actor.

Curb_story

It's easy to discount Larry David's current nomination. He's lost three times. But this year might be different, warns Dortch, referring to the sample episode that David submitted to Emmy judges: "He submitted his best tape EVER. He handed in the very first 'Seinfeld' reunion episode of their season where he's battling his former 'Seinfeld' co-workers. I bet voters will get a kick out of all those old 'Seinfeld' chums reuniting. Critics raved over that episode and that helped create an intense media buzz for the show's seventh season. He's definitely in the top three in the category."

Maybe so. Currently, I have likely winners ranked thus:

1. Tony Shalhoub ("Monk")
2. Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory")
3. Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock")
4. Steve Carell ("The Office")
5. Larry David ("Curb Your Enthusiasm")
6. Matthew Morrison ("Glee")

I think Shalhoub's ahead because he gave judges the two-hour series finale of "Monk" in which he finally, after eight seasons, solves his wife's murder. It's four times longer than the other episodes in this category and Shalhoub grandstands emotionally throughout it. He not only has his character's usual ticks and neuroses (which has earned Shalhoub three Emmys) and weeps over his wife's death, but he groans and mugs a lot when Monk is poisoned by his wife's killer.

Voters are usually suckers for that kind of big, operatic performance, but they may be sick of Shalhoub's repeats wins. And they may be eager to catch up with Larry David at last.

Continue reading »

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 »

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

OTHER POSTS:

Drama League nominates 9 news plays, 9 new musicals ... and 57 performers!

Let's peek inside HBO's Emmy campaign packages

Oops! Sandra Bullock, please return your Razzie (you can keep the Oscar)

Gold Derby nuggets: ACMs still win night with lower ratings | ABC finds five hours for 'Lost' finale

'Glee' and Adam Lambert hit high notes at GLAAD Awards

Michael Bublé wins big at Junos while Justin Bieber is shut out

Why was Taylor Swift skunked at the ACM Awards?

Will Daniel Radcliffe cast a spell over Tony Awards voters?

Gold Derby nuggets: 'Avatar' only 2-D on DVD for now | Peter Jackson on 'The Hobbit' | Drew Barrymore's fashion faux pas

Emmy predix: Best lead comedy actor

Emmy predix: Best supporting actor in a drama series

Cannes film festival competition short on Oscar contenders

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Gold Derby nuggets: Laura Dern 'Enlightened' by HBO | ACM honorees include Keith Urban | Tony Awards eligibility updates

April 8, 2010 |  4:57 pm

Laura Dern Enlightenment HBOLaura Dern has inked a deal with HBO for her first regular TV gig. She and Mike White -- who directed her in "Year of the Dog" in 2007 -- have created "Enlightened" a half-hour single-camera comedy about "a self-destructive woman who has a revelatory experience at a treatment center and becomes determined to live an enlightened life, creating unexpected havoc at home and work." Dern's mother, Diane Ladd, as well as Luke Wilson and Sarah Burns are to co-star in this showcase for Dern, which will begin its 10-episode run this year. Last year, Dern won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris in the HBO political drama "Recount." THR

Anne Thompson is aces at covering the Cannes filmfest and reports, "filmmaker Claire Denis ('White Material') will preside over the Un Certain Regard jury. I have also learned that Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal (whose new Spanish film 'Even the Rain' is tagged for possible inclusion in the fest) and Italian actress Giovanna Mezzogiorno ('Vincere') will join Tim Burton’s competition jury, while Canadian writer-director Atom Egoyan ('Chloe') will preside over the Cinefondation Jury. And the Director’s Fortnight will award Agnes Varda with its 8th Carosse d’Or life achievement award." THOMPSON ON HOLLYWOOD

ACM logo • Australian crooner Keith Urban will be feted at the upcoming Academy of Country Music kudocast on CBS with the Jim Reeves International Award. Past recipients include Garth Brooks, Roy Clark, Buck Owens and Dolly Parton. Mel Tillis and the late Marty Robbins will be the recipients of the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award which has gone previously to such country legends as Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Brenda Lee and Loretta Lynn. Don Schlitz and the late Cindy Walker are to be honored with the Poet's Award and "Crazy Heart" will be given the Tex Ritter Award for showcasing country music on the big screen. The ACMs will handed out in Las Vegas on April 18.

• "Curb Your Enthusiasm" is coming to the TV Guide network beginning June 2, and while the basic cablecaster will edit the show for nudity and language, it is not cutting it for length. "Curb" ran 30 minutes or so on commercial-free HBO, so to round out the hour time slot, the net is programming "Curb: The Discussion." Hosted by "Curb" star Susie Essman and co-produced by the show's creator and star Larry David, the first panelists will be David's old pal Jerry Seinfeld, Emmy nominee Jon Hamm ("Mad Men") and Oscar nominee Taraji Henson ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"). TV GUIDE

• The 24th annual Genesis Awards air on Animal Planet on the weekend of April 24. The kudos -- honoring the media for their coverage of animal protection issues -- were handed out on March 20 at the Beverly Hilton. Among the recipients of the 19 awards were the Oscar-winning films "Up" and "The Cove" and the TV series "Bones" and "Family Guy." Actress Tippi Hedren was presented with the lifetime achievement award by her daughter Melanie Griffith. GENESIS

Tony Award • The administration committee for the Tony Awards convened for the third of four times this theater season on Thursday. The committee is made up of two dozen theater folk, with 10 apiece from the Broadway League and the American Theater Wing -- which jointly host these top theater kudos -- and one each from the Dramatists Guild, Actors' Equity Assn., United Scenic Artists and the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. They rule on category placement as usually only those performers listed above the title are eligible to contend in the lead categories at the Tony Awards. However, with the increase in equal billing for all, there is a need to separate out the true star turns from the supporting players. As such, two-time nominee Laura Linney will contend as a lead for "Time Stands Still" as will Patrick Breen for "Next Fall." And of the four actors in "A Behanding in Spokane," only Oscar champ Christopher Walken was found to be in a leading role.

• And finally, file this in the truth-is-stranger-than fiction drawer. Turns out that Hungarian-born adventurer Count Laszlo de Almásy -- who inspired the romantic hero played by Ralph Fiennes in the 1996 Oscar-winning "The English Patient" -- was "actually homosexual and in love with a young soldier, according to letters discovered in Germany." DAILY TELEGRAPH

OTHER POSTS:

Showtime remaking BAFTA Award-winning series 'Shameless' with William H. Macy

David Sheward's gutsy, early Tony Award predictions

Tony Awards predix: Angela Lansbury will score historic sixth win

Tony Awards preview: What will win best play?

Can Taylor Swift make it three in a row at CMT Awards?

Gold Derby nuggets: 'True Blood' goes graphic | 'Precious' talent updates | Carol Burnett reminisces

Are 'Damages,' Glenn Close now doomed at the Emmys?

Who'll break the curse against Emmy's funny ladies: Tina Fey, Toni Collette or Julia Louis-Dreyfus?

Photo gallery: Emmy's biggest snubs

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

'Bosom Buddies' Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari reuniting on TV Land Awards

Top photo: Laura Dern at the 2009 Golden Globe Awards. Credit: NBC

Middle photo: Academy of Country Music logo. Credit: ACM

Bottom photo: Tony Award statuette. Credit: American Theater Wing

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Gold Derby's official racetrack odds: Who will win the Emmys

September 19, 2008 | 10:50 am

OK, you've seen who all of the experts predict will win the Emmys (CLICK HERE), including me, but you haven't yet seen my careful breakdown of all contenders in each top category. Below: Gold Derby's racetrack odds. Please note: they're issued for entertainment purposes only and should not be used for gambling. Missing are the two reality races, but soon I'll add those odds too. Right now I haven't finished watching all of the episodes each nominee submitted to Emmy judges as samples of their best work.

Gold_derby_odds

My evaluations rely heavily on episode submissions. For example, note that I think "Saturday Night Live" is a real threat to "The Daily Show," which has won best variety series five years in a row. Granted, "SNL" hasn't won since 1993 and I still put "Daily Show" out front, but "SNL" submitted the same blockbuster episode that's likely to pay off with a win for Amy Poehler as best supporting actress: Tina Fey's return as host. Jon Stewart's episode is fantastic too — it's 20 minutes of ranting against the White House (of course) followed by a brief, fun chat with Judd Apatow.

But I don't think, like many of my peers, that Tina Fey will win best comedy actress. Three of her opponents submitted episodes that involved some element of split personality and that usually pays off with a victory. (Never again wonder how Lindsay Wagner won best drama actress for "The Bionic Woman" in 1977 — that's when she suddenly discovered her evil twin, remember?) In this year's derby, America Ferrera goes bonkers when sprayed with a poisoned perfume, Christina Applegate goes psycho when she hears the song "We've Got the Beat" on the radio and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, pumped up on testosterone, threatens to kick the "sorry, tanned, bleach-blonde, Botoxed" butts of rival school moms. The reason I give the best odds to Ferrera is because she stars in a one-hour program. The longest shows usually win — as Ferrera proved last year.

To see a full list of all episode submissions, CLICK HERE. Click through the subsequent pages of that forum to read the predix of our posters based upon what they think of those episodes. If you're curious to see what episodes were entered at past Emmy derbies, CLICK HERE. Remember: actors submit one sample episode; ditto for contenders for best variety and reality series. Nominees for best comedy and drama submit six that are paired off into three groupings that are randomly submitted to voters. Actors vote on actors, writers on writers, everybody gets to vote in the program categories. Roughly 250 to 300 voters volunteer to judge submissions in the races for best comedy and drama series. The typical acting category has about 50 to 75 judges.

BEST DRAMA SERIES
"Mad Men" - 5/4
"Damages" - 7/5
"Lost" - 8/1
"House" - 9/1
"Dexter" - 10/1
"Boston Legal" - 50/1

BEST COMEDY SERIES
"30 Rock" - 1/3
"The Office" - 8/5
"Entourage" - 20/1
"Curb Your Enthusiasm" - 30/1
"Two and a Half Men" - 40/1

BEST DRAMA ACTOR
Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad" - 2/1
James Spader, "Boston Legal" - 11/5
Jon Hamm, "Mad Men" - 13/5
Hugh Laurie, "House" - 8/1
Michael C. Hall, "Dexter" - 8/1
Gabriel Byrne, "In Treatment" - 35/1
(NOTE: I changed this prediction from James Spader to Bryan Cranston on Sept. 19.)

BEST DRAMA ACTRESS
Glenn Close, "Damages" - 2/1
Mariska Hargitay, "Law and Order: S.V.U." - 3/1
Sally Field, "Brothers and Sisters" - 7/2
Holly Hunter, "Saving Grace" - 4/1
Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer" - 9/2

BEST COMEDY ACTOR
Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock" - Even
Steve Carell, "The Office" - 5/2
Lee Pace, "Pushing Daisies" - 7/2
Tony Shalhoub, "Monk" - 6/1
Charlie Sheen, "Two and a Half Men" - 50/1

BEST COMEDY ACTRESS
America Ferrera, "Ugly Betty" - 2/1
Christina Applegate, "Samantha Who?" - 7/3
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "New Adventures of Old Christine" - 5/2
Tina Fey, "30 Rock" - 3/1
Mary-Louise Parker, "Weeds" - 50/1

BEST MINISERIES
"John Adams" - 1/2
"Cranford" - 7/5
"Tin Man" - 30/1
"The Andromeda Strain" - 40/1

Continue reading »

Alec Baldwin, Steve Carell, Larry David and Lee Pace will be nommed for best comedy actor

July 16, 2008 |  9:22 am

Just as they did with the drama series lead-acting races, our Emmy prophets and forum moderators — Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Robert "Rob L" Licuria (AwardsHeaven.net) — tackled the comedy contenders too. Hampered by the slight handicap of knowing only eight of the top 10 funnymen, our intrepid pair plugged away and agree on the top two nominees: Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock") and Steve Carrell ("The Office") –- and think newcomer Lee Pace of "Pushing Daisies" is on track for a nod also. Beyond that, the field is rather muddy with a trio of semifinalists tying for third place on Boomer's list and fifth place with Rob.

Lee_pace_pushing_daisies_tony_shalh

However, both agree that "Everybody Loves Raymond" three-time supporting actor winner Brad Garrett is in last place and unlikely to score his first lead nod for "'Til Death." On the bubble are three-time winner Tony Shalhoub ("Monk") and three-time loser Larry David ("Curb Your Enthusiasm") while Charlie Sheen ("Two and a Half Men") and David Duchovny ("Californication") may be out of the running. Well, at least that's what Boomer and Rob say. I disagree. I expect to see Duchovny nominated.

To find the final five nominees, Boomer and Rob follow the actual voting process. First, they predict the order of the semifinalists as determined by the popular vote by the TV academy's actors' branch.

Here's how Boomer thinks the popular vote tallied — 1. Steve Carrell 2. Alec Baldwin 3. Larry David 4. Lee Pace 5. David Duchovny 6. Charlie Sheen 7. Tony Shalhoub 8. Brad Garrett

How Rob ranks the popular vote outcome — 1. Alec Baldwin 2. Steve Carrell 3. Tony Shalhoub 4. Charlie Sheen 5. Lee Pace 6. Larry David 7. David Duchovny 8. Brad Garrett

My opinion: Boomer has Larry David ranked too high and Charlie Sheen too low. Rob has Shalhoub ranked too high and Duchovny too low.

Here's how Boomer ranks the judges' views of the episodes — 1. Alec Baldwin 2. Steve Carrell 3. Charlie Sheen 4. Tony Shalhoub 5. Lee Pace 6. Larry David 7. David Duchovny 8. Brad Garrett

How Rob thinks the judges ranked episode entries — 1. Alec Baldwin 2. Lee Pace 3. Steve Carrell 4. David Duchovny 5. Larry David 6. Tony Shalhoub 7. Charlie Sheen 8. Brad Garrett

My opinion: 1. Alec Baldwin 2. Lee Pace 3. Steve Carell 4. Tony Shalhoub 5. David Duchovny 6. Charlie Sheen 7. Larry David 8. Brad Garrett

They combine these two results on a 50-50 basis, just like the accountants do, to determine the final ranking of the nominees. The lower the score the higher the chance of being nominated.

BEST COMEDY ACTOR: ROB'S PREDIX
(Top five = nominees)
1. Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock" ("Rosemary's Baby") — 2 points
2. Steve Carrell, "The Office" ("Goodbye, Toby") — 5 points
3. Lee Pace, "Pushing Daisies" ("Pie-Lette") — 7 points
4. Tony Shalhoub, "Monk" ("Mr. Monk and the Naked Man") — 9 points
5. Larry David, "Curb Your Enthusiasm" ("The Bat Mitzvah") — 11 points
5. David Duchovny, "Californication" ("The Last Waltz") — 11 points
5. Charlie Sheen, "Two and a Half Men" ("Is There a Mrs. Waffles?") — 11 points
8. Brad Garrett, "'Til Death" ("Swimming With Starks") — 16 points

Rob's commentary: This will be another close race. Despite not even knowing who the last two contenders are, I think that these will likely be the nominees, with Duchovny and Sheen close behind, should the tie result in more than five nominees. I have a good feeling about Pace being nominated in what many will see as a bit of a surprise. Maybe we should call this race off anyway, because it’s more of a Baldwin vs. Carrell showdown isn’t it?

BEST COMEDY ACTOR: BOOMER'S PREDIX
(Top five = nominees)
1. Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock" ("Rosemary's Baby") — 3 points
1. Steve Carell, "The Office" ("Goodbye, Toby") — 3 points
3. Larry David, "Curb Your Enthusiasm" ("The Bat Mitzvah") — 9 points
3. Lee Pace, "Pushing Daisies" ("Pie-Lette") — 9 points
3. Charlie Sheen, "Two and a Half Men" ("Is There a Mrs. Waffles?") — 9 points
6. Tony Shalhoub, "Monk" ("Mr. Monk and the Naked Man") — 11 points
7. David Duchovny, "Californication" ("The Last Waltz") — 12 points
8. Brad Garrett, "'Til Death" ("Swimming With Starks") — 16 points

Photos credits: ABC, USA Network


Emmy pundits' predix smackdown: Tom vs. Ray

July 15, 2008 | 12:35 pm

Ray Richmond of the Hollywood Reporter and I don't really hate each other, though I'm sure it might look like that when we get into our frequent slugfests over award predix. In fact, I absolutely love beating up on Ray more than any other journalist — really, and that's saying something. Here we go at it over what will be nominated for Emmys this Thursday morning and, to prove what a noble gent I am, I let Ray have the first word (so that I — ha, ha, ha — could have the last . . . well, at least until nominations come out).

BEST COMEDY SERIES
RAY: "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Family Guy," "The Office," "Pushing Daisies," "30 Rock"
TOM: "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "The Office," "Pushing Daisies," "30 Rock," "Two and a Half Men"

RAY: Yes, "Family Guy" makes the cut -- not necessarily because it deserves to, but because the TV Academy loses its marbles every once in a while. And this is that once. The only other question is whether "Pushing Daisies" gets pushed out by its ABC sister "Ugly Betty," but Betty has so dropped from the radar I'm thinking not. "Weeds"? Only if Woody Harrelson takes over the voting process from those bean counters in suits.

Ray_vs_tom_emmy_slugfest

TOM: Obviously, Ray, you were partying with Woody when you made these Emmy predix if you really think that "Family Guy" will get in over "2.5 Men." The latter's been nominated every year that the TV academy has had these panels — that is, the last two years. The last (and ONLY) time a cartoon sneaked into this comedy lineup was "The Flintstones" MORE THAN 45 YEARS AGO — back before computers, cable TV and double Pinkberry scoops — when the Emmy counters were using real beans.

BEST DRAMA SERIES
RAY & TOM: "Boston Legal," "Damages," "Grey's Anatomy," "House," "Mad Men"

RAY: "Mad Men" and "Damages" are locks. "House" probably is too. I'm thinking "Grey's" gets in over "Lost." "Boston Legal" is in because it is written that David Kelley shall always be in the running in some fashion. "The Wire"? No matter how deserving, it's probably a miracle it made it even this far.

TOM: Uh-oh. Ray and I are in total agreement here. Why does that terrify me so?

BEST DRAMA ACTOR
RAY: Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad"), Michael C. Hall ("Dexter"), Jon Hamm ("Mad Men"), Hugh Laurie ("House"), James Spader ("Boston Legal")
TOM: Michael C. Hall ("Dexter"), Jon Hamm ("Mad Men"), Hugh Laurie ("House"), Denis Leary ("Rescue Me"), James Spader ("Boston Legal")

RAY: Spader's a lock because he talks so slowly and intensely, it seems, but he ain't winning this time. Hamm's the one to beat seemingly. And the AMC momentum with "Mad Men" could — I pray — carry Cranston in. He is SO deserving. But he could get beaten out by Byrne, just because he's Gabriel Byrne. Hall deserves a nom for sure, and Laurie has deserved to win for three years running. He still does. But he won't. But if he doesn't get nominated, I say firebomb the ATAS headquarters and let's just start over.

TOM: Yeah, Hamm, Laurie and Spader are in. Ray (amazingly) is right about those, but he's wrong about Spader not winning again. Come on, Spader's NEVER LOST. He's gone three for three in this race and the reason he won repeatedly in the past was because writer/producer David E. Kelley kept penning him those grandstanding speeches he'd spew to juries at the end of each episode of "Boston Legal" that he submitted to Emmy judges. This year Spader submits his BIGGEST speech doozy ever — in which he chews out the whole U.S. Supreme Court. How can Hollywood lefties NOT vote THAT? READ MORE

As for Ray's deluded hope that Cranston will get in — well, I'd cheer that if it happened, but it won't. Cranston would have to rank in the top seven or so places in the popular vote and I think that's unlikely for a new, lowly rated, cable show about a guy toying with crystal meth and terminal cancer. Denis Leary's been nommed consistently for the past three years, surviving all wacky, radical changes in the voting process. I see no reason why he suddenly gets bumped now.

BEST DRAMA ACTRESS
RAY & TOM: Glenn Close ("Damages"), Minnie Driver ("The Riches"), Sally Field ("Brothers & Sisters"), Holly Hunter ("Saving Grace"), Kyra Sedgwick ("The Closer")

RAY: This is probably the easiest major category to handicap. It's difficult for me to see it being anyone other than Close, Driver, Field, Hunter and Sedgwick, though Arquette or Moss could pull an upset if enough of their relatives are permitted to vote (and Moss surely would deserve it). Field could also be victimized by backlash to last year's dead-on but controversial acceptance speech ("You gagged me, you really gagged me!"). Close will win, however. End of story.

TOM: Ray and I are in agreement again. Shoot me.

BEST COMEDY ACTOR
RAY: Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock"), Steve Carell ("The Office"), Larry David ("Curb Your Enthusiasm"), Lee Pace ("Pushing Daisies"), Tony Shalhoub ("Monk")
TOM: Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock"), Steve Carell ("The Office"), David Duchovny ("Californication"), Lee Pace ("Pushing Daisies"), Charlie Sheen ("Two and a Half Men")

RAY: Baldwin was jobbed last year in favor of "Extras' Ricky Gervais, and everyone knows it. Probably won't happen again. He and Carell are slam dunks, as is Shalhoub. David only seems to generate greater affection for his misanthropic "Curn" role as the years pile up, so he's likely in too along with the charming Pace (who could be edged out by Emmy darling Garrett, but I don't think so).

TOM: Ray may have blundered upon a smart set of predix here and he may even out-score me because — what the heck — I feel like throwing some Emmy dice. Betting against Shalhoub to return may be foolish. He's been nommed for the last five years, winning three times (2003, 2005, 2006), but his episode entry this year is a bit weak ("Mr. Monk and the Naked Man"), which will bring down his typical judges' score. And I think his popular-vote score will be down, too, because he's old news. Sure, Duchovny's old Emmy news too — he used to be nommed routinely for "The X-Files," so we know that voters love him — and now his comeback in new series "Californication" is sexy.

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Seven Emmy geniuses predict Thursday's award nominations

July 14, 2008 |  3:24 pm

Somehow I've managed to coax six suckers brilliant kudos seers to join me in predicting the Emmy nominations that will be announced this Thursday morning: Michael Ausiello (EW.com), Matt Webb Mitovich (TVGuide.com), Marc Berman (MediaWeek), Ray Richmond (Hollywood Reporter) and our two resident Emmy gurus — our forums moderators Robert "Rob L" Licuria (AwardsHeaven.net) and Chris "Boomer" Beachum. To see how we fared predicting the Emmy top 10 lists, CLICK HERE! Below: how we size up the races for best drama and comedy series. To see our predix for best lead actor and actress, CLICK HERE!

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Comedy_series

KEEP READING - CLICK HERE TO SEE OUR PREDIX FOR BEST ACTOR AND ACTRESS IN DRAMA AND COMEDY SERIES!

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HBO's episode entries: Will these be Emmy champs?

May 6, 2008 |  6:29 pm

Below are the titles of the episodes that HBO plans to submit to Emmy judges if these contenders become Top 10 finalists after a popular vote of the TV academy's members.

"ENTOURAGE"
Best Comedy Series: "The Day ..."
Lead Actor: Kevin Connolly ("Malibooty")
Lead Actor: Adrian Grenier ("Adios Amigos")

"THE WIRE"
Best Drama Series: "-30-"
Lead Actor: Dominic West ("Not for Attribution")
Lead Actress: Sonja Sohn ("Took")

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Hbo_emmys

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