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

Category: Lost

Early forecast of SAG Awards: Best TV drama series ensemble

October 14, 2010 |  3:48 pm

Buscmei Boardwalk Empire It looks like only one new show -- "Boardwalk Empire" -- is likely to make it into the drama series ensemble race at the SAG Awards. That is the word from our TV gurus Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Rob Licuria (AwardsHeaven). They agree that the new HBO series will contend against "Dexter," "The Good Wife" and reigning two-time champ "Mad Men." For the fifth slot, Rob gives the edge to "The Closer" while Boomer opts for "True Blood."

Below, Boomer breaks down the race for us, according to front-runners, possible contenders and long shots. TV shows nominated last year are marked on the list below with an asterisk (*)

TV DRAMA SERIES ENSEMBLE
(Front-runners)
"Boardwalk Empire"
"Breaking Bad"
"The Closer" *
"Dexter" *
"The Good Wife" *
"House"
"In Treatment"
"Lost"
"Mad Men" *
"True Blood" *

(Possible)
"Damages"
"Friday Night Lights"
"Parenthood"
"Sons of Anarchy"

(Long Shots)
"Detroit 187"
"The Event"
"Grey's Anatomy"
"Rescue Me"
"Treme"

Photo: Steve Buscemi in "Boardwalk Empire." Credit: HBO.

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Gold Derby nuggets: Grammys salute John Lennon | 'Caves of Forgotten Dreams' sneak peek | Lady Gaga leftovers

September 23, 2010 |  6:59 am

John Lennon • In celebration of the 70th birthday of John Lennon, the Grammy Museum is paying tribute to the late singer-songwriter with an extensive exhibit opening Oct. 4.  Among the highlights: Lennon's album of the year for "Double Fantasy"; his "Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band" costume; the typewriter he used to write lyrics early in his career; handwritten song lyrics, including "Imagine" and "Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)"; and a pair of his signature round, wire-framed eyeglasses. Both as part of the Beatles and during his solo career, Lennon won seven Grammys. In a statement, museum Executive Director Robert Santelli said: "We are privileged and honored to open our newest exhibit, 'John Lennon, Songwriter,' in commemoration of one of the most prolific and profound songwriters of our time. Lennon's songs are as insightful and empowering as ever, and they continue to inspire and change the world. We are grateful to Yoko Ono for choosing the Grammy Museum as a temporary home to display some of these memorable and important pieces that illustrate the breadth of her late husband's extraordinary career." GRAMMY MUSEUM

Lou Lumenick makes this wry observation about the Facebook outage Wednesday: "At one point in 'The Social Network,' Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg proclaims that it would be a disaster if the social networking site he co-founded ever went down. Well, today Center Networks and various other tech and news sites are reporting that Facebook is apparently currently down, at least for many users in the United States and other parts of the world. Maybe it's a PR stunt by Sony -- or maybe Facebook is scrubbing status updates quoting my rave review today." Lou concludes, "Apparently the outage lasted somewhere between 90 minutes and two hours." NEW YORK POST

• Looks like a rematch between "Lost" rivals Michael Emerson and Terry O'Quinn is set to happen. Josef Adalian reports that NBC has committed to a pilot for a comedic drama that has the pair of Emmy champs playing former black-ops agents. "Lost" creator J.J. Abrams and frequent collaborators Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec ('Alias,' 'Mission: Impossible 4') pitched the idea to the peacock. VULTURE

• In anticipation of the December release of the comedy-drama "I Love You, Phillip Morris," Sasha Stone says the following: "One wonders what Jim Carrey will have to finally do to get an Oscar nomination. Comedic actors have a particularly hard time being taken seriously, though many believe Carrey deserved a nod for 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' or 'The Truman Show.'" AWARDS DAILY

Herzog-cave-tiffPatrick Goldstein reports on the one-week Oscar qualifying run of the 3-D documentary "Caves of Forgotten Dreams" in L.A. last week. As he admits, "I have no idea why docs have to be released so much earlier for Oscar consideration than feature films. But since most academy members aren't thinking Oscar buzz in August, if you want your documentary to qualify for Oscar consideration -- and you aren't ready to release it commercially at that time -- you end up staging a stealth qualifying run, hoping to stay under the media radar until you're ready to have a real commercial release for your film." THE BIG PICTURE

• With his new film "Darling Companion," Lawrence Kasdan is set to complete the trilogy he began with best picture nominee "The Big Chill" in 1983 and continued with "Grand Canyon" in 1991. The director wrote the script with his wife Meg Kasdan (they shared an Oscar nom for "Grand Canyon") and the cast includes Oscar champs Diane Keaton and Kevin Kline. "The film’s storyline follows a woman (Keaton) who takes in a stray dog as a companion to fill the void left by her distracted husband (Kline), only to see him lose the mutt after a wedding at their vacation home in the Rockies. A search for the animal includes several guests and a mysterious young woman." RISKY BUSINESS

Brad Brevet surveys the playing field and says, "It's surprising the number of major Oscar contenders [that] have been seen and with Oscar pundits picking horses a bit too early in this race I think it gives films such as 'Somewhere,' 'True Grit' and 'The Fighter' a lot to look forward to." However, he allows, "As for my pick, right now, I see Tom Hooper's 'The King's Speech' as the one film that's right up the Academy's alley and not only that, it's a great film. In my mind it's the clear front-runner and it still has until December before the Weinstein Co. releases it to theaters. It has Colin Firth coming off a strong performance in last year's 'A Single Man,' a performance I believe should have earned him an Oscar, and one that finds me placing him as my current front-runner for Best Actor. To go along with that, co-star Geoffrey Rush is my Best Supporting Actor front-runner at the moment and David Speidler's script has a good shot at Best Original Screenplay." ROPE OF SILICON

Rich Keller catches up with the players on four-time Emmy drama series champ "The West Wing." As he observes, "The cast members of the award-winning NBC drama, which premiered 11 years ago on Sept. 22, 1999, can't seem to let each other go -- they've often paired up on other shows since the series ended in 2006. Interestingly, many of these pairings have taken place in shows on the USA network. Maybe it's due to the drama's huge cast of regulars and recurring characters, the stranglehold NBC Universal had on these actors, or the fact that they all liked working with each other." TV SQUAD

Lady Gaga MTV VMAsLady Gaga certainly turned heads at the recent MTV VMAs as she strutted on stage with cuts of beef draped over her frame to accept one of her eight awards. Now, word comes that this fashion and political statement could be turned into a tasty treat. The designer, Franc Fernandez, shared the fate of the meat dress with Leslie Gornstein: "The dress will go through a process where it becomes a sort of 'jerky' and will be archived." E ONLINE

• The Emerging Cinematographers Guild Awards take place Sunday at the Directors Guild Theater and will feature a screening of the short films being honored. Honorees include Tod Campbell ("The Big Bends"), Cameron Duncan ("Mr Marceau"), Stephanie Dufford ("The Fantastic Magnifico"), Patrick Jones ("Android Love"), Rodney Lamborn ("Meridian"), Jacob Pinger ("The Cycle"), John Snedden ("Brite Eyes") and Brian Udoff ("Les Mouches"). ECA

• The Visual Effects Society has named stop-motion model animator Ray Harryhausen ("The 7th Voyage of Sinbad") as the recipient of the lifetime achievement award to be presented at the ninth annual kudos on Jan. 28. Said VES Chair Jeffrey A. Okun, "Ray has long been the light that we have followed into this business. His artistic vision and ability to use the art and science of storytelling of fantastic tales has been done in a manner that has drawn not just the audience into his magical worlds, but all of us into this business. I cannot stress strongly enough the beacon he is to all of us who aspire to tell stories using visual effects to create the world in which the story is told. Ray is simply an amazing individual who is also so giving of his time, secrets and enthusiasm. We are honored to be able to shine that light back on him!" VES

Top photo: John Lennon in 1974. Credit: Tony Barnard / Los Angeles Times.

Middle photo: "Cave of Forgotten Dreams" promotional still. Credit: IFC Films.

Bottom photo: Lady Gaga at the MTV VMAs. Credit: MTV.

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Gold Derby nuggets: 'Boardwalk Empire' renewed after red-hot premiere | 'Ruined' playwright Lynn Nottage succeeds | Two 'Lost' stars may be reuniting

September 21, 2010 | 11:01 am

Buscmei Boardwalk Empire • "Boardwalk Empire" rolled out its first episode Sunday, and 7.1 million HBO subscribers tuned in to the three airings of the new drama that night. That marks the best numbers for a debut on the paycaster since "Deadwood" premiered after an episode of "The Sopranos" in 2004. On Tuesday, HBO programming president Michael Lombardo confirmed a second season renewal, saying in a statement: "All the ingredients aligned for this one, from Mark Wahlberg and Steve Levinson's initial pitch, to Martin Scorsese's enormous contributions as director and executive producer, to the genius of Terry Winter and the expertise of Tim Van Patten, to a stellar cast led by Steve Buscemi." ZAP 2 IT

Sean Macaulay commemorates the 20th anniversary of the release of Martin Scorsese's best picture contender "Goodfellas" with an essay that begins thus: "When I first saw 'Goodfellas' at the Curzon Cinema in London when I was 25, I was so overwhelmed that I had to go back to see it again the same week. It was an immediate guilty pleasure. No 'classic' film could be this much fun, I thought, or this dense. Even the celebrated shot of Uncle Paulie cutting garlic with a razor blade has a sprig of parsley in the foreground. But I was also compelled to return to the theater because I found the movie so unsettling -- it was simultaneously seductive and queasy. It is a 25-year life of crime presented with the verve of a movie trailer -- and without one hint of sanctimony." THE DAILY BEAST

• Two Emmy darlings -- Mary-Louise Parker ("Weeds") and Laura Linney ("The Big C") -- are ensured of continued TV time with the renewal of their shows for seasons seven and two, respectively. In a statement Showtime president of entertainment David Nevins said, "The unprecedented viewership for both 'The Big C' and 'Weeds' proves that audiences love these shows as much as we do. There are definitely more comedic adventures in store for these fascinating, complex women."

Ruinedposter • Playwright Lynn Nottage -- who won the Pulitzer Prize last year for "Ruined" -- is having a very good week. On Monday, this work -- a stark look at life in post-colonial Africa -- won the inaugural Horton Foote prize for best American play; this new kudo is named in honor of the late Oscar and Pulitzer champ. On Tuesday, the Steinberg Trust announced that Nottage will receive the distinguished playwright prize which comes with bragging rights and a check for $200,000. And HBO has just inked a deal to partner with Oprah Winfrey on a telefilm version of the piece.

• Four-time Tony champ Harvey Fierstein is collaborating with composer Alan Menken -- who has eight Oscars -- on a stage version of the 1993 movie "Newsies." As Menken told Kenneth Jones, "Yeah, it is in development. What it's going to be is -- honestly, right now -- undetermined. I think Disney is still trying to decide whether it's a first-class production or whether it's stock and amateur. But there will be available a stage musical of 'Newsies.' That's all I can say. I've been writing it with Harvey Fierstein and Jack Feldman. [How it emerges is] just gonna be [a] business decision of how Disney wants to proceed with it. But yes, we are developing it." PLAYBILL

Jerry Seinfeld turned his hand to stage directing and scored a hit the first time out with Colin Quinn's "Long Story Short." That one-man show featuring the former "SNL" star is a 75-minute romp through history. After a successful run off-Broadway this summer, it is being remounted this fall at the Helen Hayes Theater in the heart of the rialto. ARTS BEAT

Lost Emerson OQuinn • Two of the Emmy winners from "Lost" could be reuniting reports Josef Adalian. "Are you ready for Linus & Locke? In news that could cause the 'Lost' fan base to have a synchronized aneurysm, Vulture hears that last week, J.J. Abrams and frequent collaborators Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec ('Alias,' 'Mission: Impossible 4') began pitching a comedic drama to the networks that would have Michael Emerson and Terry O'Quinn -- a.k.a. Benjamin Linus and John Locke/Smokey -- playing former black-ops agents. VULTURE

• Screenwriter Irving Ravetch died Sunday at age 89. He and his wife, Harriet Frank Jr., were nominated twice for best screenplay at the Oscars ("Norma Rae" in 1979, "Hud" in 1963) and once at the Golden Globes ("Hud"). The New York Film Critics Circle gave them its script prize for "Hud." He also wrote "The Reivers" (1969) and "The Dark at the Top of the Stairs" (1960). He was also a producer of "Hud" and "The Reivers."

• The Latin Recording Academy will bestow lifetime achievement awards to Joao Donato, Armando Manzanero, Las Hermanas Márquez, Joseito Mateo, Jorge Oñate and Susana Rinaldi. Trustee awards will go to Manuel Bonilla, Juan Carlos Calderón and Hebe Camargo. The kudos will be doled out on Nov. 10 at a private ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas. That's one day before the main Latin Grammy ceremony will be held at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.

• One young lady is so desperate to lose weight in order to be a seat filler at the Latin Grammys that she's had a tongue patch implanted, which causes pain when she eats. TERRA

Top photo: Steve Buscemi in "Boardwalk Empire." Credit: HBO

Middle photo: "Ruined" poster. Credit: MTC

Bottom photo: Terry O'Quinn, left. and Michael Emerson in "Lost." Credit: ABC

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Poll: Is 'Avatar,' 'Inception, 'True Blood' or 'Twilight: Eclipse' the Ultimate Scream?

September 3, 2010 |  1:25 pm

Screamlogo Not surprisingly, the tough guy tube channel Spike has dubbed its annual kudos the Scream Awards. The 5th edition of these awards -- honoring the best in sci-fi, fantasy, horror and comic books as determined by the fans in an online vote -- takes place on Oct. 19.

While the blockbuster "Inception" picked up a staggering 15 nominations in 14 categories, it is the scrappy "Kick-Ass" that leads with 17 bids spread across 13 categories. "Iron Man 2" vies for 13 awards. They are all in contention for the top prize of Ultimate Scream as are "Alice in Wonderland," "Avatar," "District 9," "Twilight: Eclipse" and "Zombieland."

Among the TV fare in the running, "True Blood" leads with 10 bids. The HBO vampire drama and "Lost" are the only two small screen nominees for the Ultimate Scream. They also contend for top TV show against "Dexter," "Doctor Who" and "V."

The eligibility period ran for a year from July 16, 2009, and nominees were determined by canvassing an advisory board that includes Tim Burton, John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Damon Lindelof, Ridley Scott, Quentin Tarantino and Joss Whedon.

 

Image: Spike Awards logo. Credit: Spike TV.

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Emmy prediction smackdown: Experts forecast who'll win

August 26, 2010 |  1:39 pm

Here's a roundup of Emmy Award predictions from the best pundits on the planet: Mike Ausiello (Entertainment Weekly), Kristin dos Santos (E! Online), Maggie Furlong (AOL TV Squad), Joseph Kapsch (Zap2It), Steve Pond (The Odds, The Wrap), Matt Roush (TV Guide) plus the Gold Derby/The Envelope team of Chris "Boomer" Beachum, Rob Licuria and me. Read category-per-category analysis here.

Emmy Awards predictions news

COMEDY SERIES
"Curb Your Enthusiasm"
"Glee" — Dos Santos
"Modern Family" — Ausiello, Beachum, Furlong, Kapsch, Licuria, O'Neil, Pond, Roush
"Nurse Jackie"
"The Office"
"30 Rock"

COMEDY ACTOR
Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory") — Ausiello, Beachum, Dos Santos, Furlong, Pond, Roush
Larry David ("Curb Your Enthusiasm")
Matthew Morrison ("Glee")
Tony Shalhoub ("Monk") — Kapsch, Licuria, O'Neil
Steve Carell ("The Office")
Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock")

COMEDY ACTRESS
Lea Michele ("Glee") — Dos Santos
Julia Louis-Dreyfus ("The New Adventures of Old Christine")
Edie Falco ("Nurse Jackie") — Ausiello, Beachum, Kapsch, Licuria, O'Neil, Pond, Roush
Amy Poehler ("Parks and Recreation")
Tina Fey ("30 Rock")
Toni Collette ("United States of Tara") — Furlong

SUPPORTING COMEDY ACTOR
Chris Colfer ("Glee") — Kapsch, O'Neil
Neil Patrick Harris ("How I Met Your Mother")
Jesse Tyler Ferguson ("Modern Family")
Eric Stonestreet ("Modern Family") — Beachum, Dos Santos, Licuria, Pond
Ty Burrell ("Modern Family") — Ausiello, Furlong, Roush
Jon Cryer ("Two and a Half Men")

SUPPORTING COMEDY ACTRESS
Jane Lynch ("Glee") — Ausiello, Beachum, Dos Santos, Furlong, Kapsch, Licuria, O'Neil, Pond, Roush
Julie Bowen ("Modern Family")
Sofia Vergara ("Modern Family")
Kristen Wiig ("Saturday Night Live")
Jane Krakowski ("30 Rock")
Holland Taylor ("Two and a Half Men")

DRAMA SERIES
"Breaking Bad" — Dos Santos
"Dexter"
"The Good Wife"
"Lost" — Furlong
"Mad Men" — Ausiello, Beachum, Kapsch, Licuria, O'Neil, Pond, Roush
"True Blood"

DRAMA ACTOR
Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad") — Ausiello, Furlong
Michael C. Hall ("Dexter") — Beachum, Kapsch, Licuria, O'Neil, Pond, Roush
Kyle Chandler ("Friday Night Lights") — Dos Santos
Hugh Laurie ("House")
Matthew Fox ("Lost")
Jon Hamm ("Mad Men")

DRAMA ACTRESS
Kyra Sedgwick ("The Closer")
Glenn Close ("Damages")
Connie Britton ("Friday Night Lights")
Julianna Margulies ("The Good Wife") — Ausiello, Beachum, Dos Santos, Furlong, Kapsch, Licuria, O'Neil, Pond, Roush
Mariska Hargitay ("Law & Order: Special Victims Unit")
January Jones ("Mad Men")

Continue reading »

My fearless, peerless, 100% perfect Emmy Award predictions

August 25, 2010 |  6:12 pm

Emmy Q

My boldest Emmy predictions: "The Amazing Race" and "The Daily Show" juggernauts will finally end. After winning best reality/competition show and best variety series for seven years in a row, they will lose to "American Idol" and "The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien." The reason: "Idol" and "Tonight Show" picked shrewd episodes to give to Emmy judges. "Idol" entered the two-hour season finale that included the heart-felt bye-bye to Simon Cowell, and Conan O'Brien entered his sad farewell to the "Tonight Show."

DRAMA SERIES: "Mad Men"
COMEDY SERIES: "Modern Family"
VARIETY SERIES: "The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien"
REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM: "American Idol"
TV MOVIE: "Temple Grandin"
MINI-SERIES: "The Pacific"
DRAMA LEAD ACTOR: Michael C. Hall, "Dexter"
DRAMA LEAD ACTRESS: Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife"
DRAMA SUPPORTING ACTOR: Terry O'Quinn, "Lost"
DRAMA SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Christina Hendricks, "Mad Men"
DRAMA WRITING: "Mad Men" ("Shut the Door. Have a Seat")
DRAMA DIRECTING: "Lost" ("The End")
COMEDY LEAD ACTOR: Tony Shalhoub, "Monk"
COMEDY LEAD ACTRESS: Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie"
COMEDY SUPPORTING ACTOR: Chris Colfer, "Glee"
COMEDY SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Jane Lynch, "Glee"
COMEDY WRITING: "Glee" ("Pilot")
COMEDY DIRECTING: "Glee" ("Pilot")
TV MOVIE/MINI-SERIES LEAD ACTOR: Al Pacino, "You Don't Know Jack"
TV MOVIE/MINI-SERIES LEAD ACTRESS: Claire Danes, "Temple Grandin"

Continue reading »

Can Michael C. Hall add Emmy to Globe and SAG wins for 'Dexter'?

August 24, 2010 |  3:30 pm
It's not often that I let myself be bulldozed into a prediction, but Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Rob Licuria (AwardsHeaven) make such a compelling argument for Michael C. Hall ("Dexter") to win the Emmy for lead actor in a drama that, OK, I admit I'm stealing their predix.

But I do so with queasiness. As they attest, this contest is a tossup. However, I do quarrel with two of their views. They rank Jon Hamm ("Mad Men") too high and Kyle Chandler ("Friday Night Lights") too low. Hamm, I think, has no chance to win. He has one nice scene in his Emmy episode when he cries while recalling his brother's suicide. Big deal. (Uh, oh -- that sounds so callous, doesn't it?) Chandler's episode is the loudest, most bombastic, as he bullies his high-school football players. Sometimes the biggest acting prevails. Click here to watch Boomer, Rob and I dish this race via webcam video.

Michael C Hall GG 2010 LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA: ROB'S PREDIX
1. Michael C. Hall, "Dexter" ("The Getaway")
2. Hugh Laurie, "House" ("Broken")
3. Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad" ("Full Measure")
4. Jon Hamm, "Mad Men" ("The Gypsy and the Hobo")
5. Matthew Fox, "Lost" ("The End")
6. Kyle Chandler, "Friday Night Lights" ("East of Dillon")

ROB'S COMMENTARY: My e-mail to Tom and Chris last week was something like "Help me, I can't make heads or tails of this category! It's too difficult!" After re-watching all of the episodes in succession, I haven't changed my tune. I don't recall a category in recent Emmy history so stacked with wonderfully chosen episodes showcasing stunning dramatic masterpiece performances from the cream of the crop of TV dramatic acting.

It pains me to put Kyle Chandler in sixth place. His work in this episode is absolutely fantastic. Two scenes in particular, as he address and/or scolds his team, are wonderful. He would be a winner in any other year, and the sixth spot is by no means a slight on him at all, but somebody has to fill up the slots, and by comparison, I think that the show he is on, the network, and the relative small screen time, do hurt his chances a little.

Similarly, Matthew Fox is absolutely amazing in the "Lost" finale. The last 15 minutes in particular are mesmerizing, devastating and emotionally pitch-perfect. If the episode was whittled down to his scenes alone, he would be much more competitive, but voters have to sit through a double episode, where Fox is not featured for long stretches of time. Surely that will disadvantage him. Again, I stress that he could easily win, if voters respond to the emotion of the final scenes like I did. Watch him die on the jungle floor as the plane flies over his pained-but-happy face and tell me that he doesn't deserve the Emmy.

Jon Hamm has never had a better chance at winning the Emmy that this year. In his episode, the gruff, tough exterior of his Don Draper persona is smashed away by the unwelcome reveal to his wife about his true identity and shameful past. Another masterclass in acting, everything he is feeling is right there on his face. I was blown away by his performance, and thought it would be enough to win him the Emmy, until I saw a few of the other guys in this category.

Bryan Cranston, technically (based on this episode alone) should probably be lower on this list. I don't think it is anywhere near as good as his previous submissions or even some of the other episodes of the third season of "Breaking Bad" ("Fly", for example). But, as a two-time consecutive past winner on a Drama Series-nominated show, I think that he automatically has a bit of an edge over the other guys in this category. And don't get me wrong, the penultimate scene in the episode is dynamite. Don't be surprised if he wins again.

Hugh Laurie has a whole movie-length episode to showcase his character's battle with mental illness, and he doesn't disappoint. The range is there, the characteristics of Dr House that fans and critics alike have grown to cherish are there. The screen time is definitely there. There's even some impact. I initially thought that he might have the front-runner status because there is a perception out there that nobody is more overdue that him. Yet, I just couldn't bring myself to put him in 1st place.

That's because Michael C Hall finally has the episode with which he will likely (finally) take that Emmy that has so far eluded him. Coming off a Golden Globe and SAG win, and John Lithgow's earlier Guest Actor triumph, I think this is Hall's year. The episode does not disappoint -- range, screen time, impact especially with the final haunting scene in the bathroom -- Hall nails it. However, because this category has made me crazy over the last few days, I choose him with a caveat and that is ANYBODY in this group can win this award. I won't be surprised, and would have loved to submit a 6-way tie. But for now, with the proviso that I had to pick a winner, I'm siding with Hall, squeaking over the line in front of Laurie, with Cranston always a deserving threat for another win, and Hamm, Fox and Chandler my sentimental favorites.

LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA: BOOMER'S PREDIX
1. Michael C. Hall, "Dexter" ("The Getaway")
2. Hugh Laurie, "House" ("Broken")
3. Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad" ("Full Measure")
4. Jon Hamm, "Mad Men" ("The Gypsy and the Hobo")
5. Matthew Fox, "Lost" ("The End")
6. Kyle Chandler, "Friday Night Lights" ("East of Dillon")

BOOMER'S COMMENTARY: All six men deserved to be nominated, and every one of them deserves to actually win this category. That fact is abundantly true based on their incredibly well-chosen episode submissions but also for their seasons and overall contributions to their shows. It is the finest group of nominees and episodes I can remember. Analyzing the category and ranking the nominees is agonizing. Here is my best effort.

Continue reading »

Can 'Mad Men' make it three in a row at the Emmys?

August 23, 2010 |  4:14 pm

Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Rob Licuria (AwardsHeaven) agree that "Mad Men" will win best drama series at the Emmy Awards for the third year in a row. If this series set in the 1960s prevails, it would equal the achievement of "The Defenders," which owned this award for three years from 1962. The Brit hit "Upstairs Downstairs" won three times in the 1970s (1974, 1975, 1977) while "Hill Street Blues" collared this award a record four consecutive times beginning in 1981. "The West Wing" matched that streak starting in 2000. And "L.A. Law" received a winning verdict four times (1987, 1989-1991) over its eight seasons.

Matthew Weiner Emmys 2008 DRAMA SERIES: BOOMER'S PREDIX
1. "Mad Men"
2. "Dexter"
3. "Lost"
4. "The Good Wife"
5. "Breaking Bad"
6. "True Blood"

BOOMER'S COMMENTARY: The only truly dead candidate in this race is "True Blood", which has no other major nominations and very little support to win such a big award. While "Breaking Bad" certainly has passionate supporters and has an outside shot at winning, I just don't think it can possibly get around the even bigger support for its other four competitors.

Now that takes us to some very serious discussions about four shows that could easily win for drama series, depending on which voters make up this panel and what they are seeking. If they want a traditional legal drama with great acting, writing and lots of polish, they will vote for "The Good Wife." If they are looking for possibly the best fantasy/character-driven drama of the past decade, plus one that probably had the highest degree of difficulty in finishing off six seasons of expectations, they might give another Emmy to "Lost." If they want to reward one of the most buzzed shows of the season, complete with two powerhouse performances by John Lithgow and Michael C. Hall, the voters will go for "Dexter."

Because there are three major contenders waiting in the wings, my Emmy history book (in my head) indicates that there are just too many options to unseat a two-time winner like "Mad Men." While some of us found the third season a little slow at times, the best episodes (which were all submitted to the judges), were some of the finest hours of this past television season. Generally, a show has to take a big dip in quality OR have just one alternative for voters to rally around in order to unseat a great champ like "Mad Men."  I think Matt Weiner and company win their third in a row and should be congratulated for another wonderful season.

Matthew Weiner Emmys 2009 DRAMA SERIES: ROB'S PREDIX
1. "Mad Men"
2. "The Good Wife"
3. "Dexter"
4. "Lost"
5. "Breaking Bad"
6. "True Blood"

ROB'S COMMENTARY: Having now watched all of the episodes submitted by the six series in contention, three things are quite clear to me. Firstly, "True Blood" will not win this category and the producers should be happy with the nomination and invite to the party. Secondly, the producers, networks and studios behind the episode submission choices for "Dexter," "Lost" and "Breaking Bad" were very smart and did in fact pick the best of what they had to offer. All three shows will be competitive and could easily sneak over the line for the win depending on the combination of episodes that each voter viewed during the voting period.

Dexter had what I consider to be its best season so far, and voters who receive its season finale in their reel will be hard-pressed not to be tempted to vote for it. "Lost" is a TV icon that finally finished its run amid an earthquake of hype. Some didn’t love the finale as much as they would have liked, but I can’t find anyone who doesn’t recognize how audacious and ambitious it was, much like the show as a whole. My suspicion, however, is that some of the episodes might alienate viewers who aren’t very familiar with the show’s plotlines. "Breaking Bad" was in my opinion the most satisfying drama series on the air last season. Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, RJ Mitte, Giancarlo Esposito, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt and Bob Odenkirk ripped it up like no other cast did, and the show went to places that I never thought it would. Just mesmerizing. It is certainly a dark horse. Maybe too dark, though?

Continue reading »

Emmy predix: 'Lost' will win best directing award

August 9, 2010 |  7:48 am

"Lost" won the Emmy for directing once before, back in 2005 when the show won best drama series. Now it'll claim the trophy for helmers again, according to our gurus Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Rob Licuria (AwardsHeaven), who rank the nominees according to likelihood of winning.

Lost tv news

ROB'S PREDIX
1. "Lost" ("The End," directed by Jack Bender)
2. "Mad Men" ("Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency," directed by Lesli Linka Glatter)
3. "Dexter" ("The Getaway," directed by Steve Shill)
4. "Breaking Bad" ("One Minute," directed by Michelle MacLaren)
5. "Treme" ("Do You Know What It Means" [pilot], directed by Agnieszka Holland)

BOOMER'S PREDIX
1. "Lost" ("The End," directed by Jack Bender)
2. "Treme" ("Do You Know What It Means,"  directed by Agnieszka Holland)
3. "Mad Men" ("Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency," directed by Lesli Linka Glatter)
4. "Breaking Bad" ("One Minute," directed by Michelle MacLaren)
5. "Dexter" ("The Getaway," directed by Steve Shill)

NOTE: An earlier draft of this blog post incorrectly stated that "Lost" never won an Emmy for directing. The fix has been made.

Photo: The "Lost" cast. Credit: ABC

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Emmy pundits' video slugfest: Who'll win best supporting drama actor?

August 8, 2010 | 10:03 am
Terry O'quinn lost emmys

Our Emmy experts Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Rob Licuria (AwardsHeaven) already wrote out their analysis of the race for best supporting drama actor. Below we dish the contest further in this webcam video. They agree on two things: 1)  John Slattery ("Mad Men") and Martin Short ("Damages") have no shot to win and 2) any one of the other four contenders could prevail. They are Andre Braugher ("Men of a Certain Age'), Michael Emerson ("Lost"), Terry O'Quinn ("Lost") and Aaron Paul ("Breaking Bad"). When pressed to forecast a winner, Boomer picks Braugher, Rob chooses O'Quinn. Also watch Rob and Boomer's video slugfest over who'll win best supporting drama actress.

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Photos: Andre Braugher in "Men of a Certain Age" (TNT), Terry O'Quinn in "Lost" (ABC)

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Emmy predix: Battle of the champs in supporting drama actor race

August 5, 2010 |  8:41 am

Our two resident Emmys experts -- Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Rob Licuria (Awards Heaven) -- disagree about which previous award winner will prevail in the supporting actor in a drama series category. For Rob, 2007 champ Terry O'Quinn is the frontrunner for the final season of "Lost." However, Boomer believes Andre Braugher, from "Men of a Certain Age," will add to the two lead actors Emmys he already has for the series "Homicide" (1998) and the telefilm "Thief" (2006). Both place Aaron Paul of "Breaking Bad" in the second position.

Below is their analysis of this race. Rob and Boomer already have shared their insights on guest drama actor, guest drama actress, guest comedy actor and guest comedy actress. And the three of us have weighed in on the top drama series and comedy series races as well as best TV movie, best reality/competition show and best reality show host.

Terry OQuinn Lost Emmy Awards DRAMA SUPPORTING ACTOR: ROB'S PREDIX
1. Terry O'Quinn, "Lost" ("The Substitute")
2. Aaron Paul, "Breaking Bad" ("Half Measures")
3. Andre Braugher, "Men of a Certain Age" ("Powerless")
4. Michael Emerson, "Lost" ("Dr. Linus")
5. John Slattery, "Mad Men" ("The Gypsy & the Hobo")
6. Martin Short, "Damages" ("You Haven't Replaced Me Yet")

ROB'S COMMENTARY: This is a terribly difficult category in which to decide who the front-runners are, because at least four of these guys deliver a performance that in any other year would be seen as worthy of a win. Starting with those I think are easiest to rule out, I would suggest that Martin Short's few scenes with his grafter father are good but not great (in terms of impact and screen time), and in this company, a nomination should be all that the awesome Martin Short should expect. Same goes for John Slattery, who has chosen his best submission yet but fails to deliver much in the way of impact. However, some of his one-liners are gold.

Of the top four who are truly in this race, I think it boils down as follows. Of the two actors from "Lost," Michael Emerson and Terry O’Quinn share some scenes in their respective episodes, and both do quite well both in their scenes in the alternate "sideways" timeline and on the island itself. Emerson has a couple of more flashy scenes where he discusses how he has sacrificed his daughter to save the island and plays the Dr Linus role quite effectively. O'Quinn, on the other hand, is in practically all of the scenes in his episode and commands the screen as the villain on the island and as the stubborn wheelchair-bound John Locke in the sideways world. Of the two, I think O'Quinn’s performance is the more memorable, not to mention the more buzzed-about from the last season.

Andre Braugher is no stranger to Emmy voters, having won twice before in relatively little-known or buzzed-about shows. He makes another Emmy appearance in this TNT drama that did not make much of an impact elsewhere in other categories, and immediately you can see that many voters will be drawn to his flawed, bitter and regret-filled character. I think the show itself is a little depressing, dreary and slow, but I don't think that's enough to turn off voters. They love Braugher and will respond to the "journey" of sorts he makes in this episode, which, perhaps most importantly, ends happily in a scene that is quite effective.

Aaron Paul was probably the front-runner last year for his performance in an episode that I don't think he will ever top. This time around, he delivers the same tension, nuance and anguish, but he may be slightly overshadowed by Bryan Cranston in the scenes they share. Don't completely write him off, though, as voters may decide to give him this award to make up for last year and to award the show in general, which has proved to be quite popular with the academy. Based on the episode itself, a win is not out of the question but just not the slam dunk it could have been a year ago.

Andre Braugher Men of a Certain Age Emmy Awards DRAMA SUPPORTING ACTOR: BOOMER'S PREDIX
1. Andre Braugher, "Men of a Certain Age" ("Powerless")
2. Aaron Paul, "Breaking Bad" ("Half Measures")
3. Michael Emerson, "Lost" ("Dr. Linus")
4. Terry O'Quinn, "Lost" ("The Substitute")
5. Martin Short, "Damages" ("You Haven't Replaced Me Yet")
6. John Slattery, "Mad Men" ("The Gypsy & the Hobo")

BOOMER'S COMMENTARY: I think four men have a very legitimate shot at winning this category, but their names are not Martin Short or John Slattery. Both are good in their episodes but have limited screen time and impact compared with their competitors.

Fourteen different men in the last 14 years have won this category. Somebody will break that streak in the near future, but until it happens, you will not find me going against such a strong trend. With Terry O'Quinn and Michael Emerson as recent winners, I do question whether they will win again this year. Of the two, I would absolutely vote for O'Quinn myself because of his overall importance to the final season of "Lost" (in a dual good-guy/evil-guy role), but Emerson gets the more emotional material in his chosen episode (especially toward the end, when he seems a very broken man with a life-shattering choice).

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Emmy poll: Will 'Mad Men,' 'Lost,' 'Dexter' or 'The Good Wife' win best drama series?

July 27, 2010 |  1:10 pm

Just because "Mad Men" won best drama series for the last two years doesn't mean Emmy voters will be tired of it this year and chose one of its three closest rivals: "Dexter," "Lost" or "The Good Wife." Repeats are as common at the Emmys as they are on TV. "The West Wing" won this race four years in a row (2000-2003) and, over on the comedy side, "Frasier" holds the record for a series (drama or comedy) prevailing the most times: five (1994-1998).

Mad Men Dexter The Good Wife Lost TV news

"Mad Men" has some strong advantages. For starters, it has the same big plus that "The West Wing" and "Frasier" had going for them: snob appeal. It's a high-brow show that's handsomely styled. Second, timing. The fourth season just debuted the same week that ballots go to TV academy members to pick winners.

Oh, yeah, and that new season is being cheered by TV critics. USA Today says "Mad Men" is still cool. Entertainment Weekly suggests that the AMC series may be off to a great season. The L.A. Times asserts: "'Mad Men' continues to be one of the most beautiful and smartly written shows in the room." The New York Times says the program forces viewers to look back aghast and enthralled at the lost America of the 1960s.

But "The Good Wife" is a hefty rival. If you believe in the apples-and-oranges award theory, you must take its kudos hopes seriously. "The Good Wife" is the only orange (traditional TV broadcast series) in this Emmy apple basket. Being broadcast-channel shows help "The Good Wife" and "Lost" because most of the 14,000 members of the TV academy work in that industry and no doubt they'd like to root for their own. "Lost" could benefit from sentiment. It already proved itself to be a winner of best drama series (2005), and now voters may want to give the daredevil, breakthrough series a farewell hug, like they gave to "The Sopranos" (2007).

If Emmy voting was conducted early this year, "Dexter" -- the coolest show of 2009-2010 -- probably would've won. It had a most daring, brilliant, bone-chilling season, but its last episodes aired months ago. Out of sight, out of mind?

Sorry, fans of "Breaking Bad" and "True Blood." I don't think either show has a shot. "Breaking Bad," though brilliant too, is a painful show to watch and not enough viewers (and TV academy members) are tuning in. In terms of "True Blood," it's miraculous the series got nominated, defying the curse against TV shows starring the undead that haunted the never-nommed "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

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Photos: "Mad Men" (AMC), "Dexter" (Showtime), "The Good Wife" (CBS), "Lost" (ABC)

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