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Gold Derby

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

Category: MTV VMAs

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: 'The Social Network' connects | Clint Eastwood honored for tolerance | 'Boardwalk Empire' preview

September 15, 2010 | 11:22 am

The Social Network poster • Our pal Pete Hammond caught an early screening of "The Social Network" and thinks this "is Sony’s best shot at Best Picture in years, a lock for Golden Globe and Critics Choice Awards. And most importantly, Oscar nominations in every major category including Director for David Fincher, Writing for Aaron Sorkin, lead actor for Jesse Eisenberg (playing Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg), Supporting Actor for both Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ score, editing and so on. It also looks like it will be a major box office hit, hitting a nerve with the young demographic that are on the front lines of moviegoers." DEADLINE

• Surveying the playing field for this year's Oscars, Sasha Stone finds four forces to be reckoned with: "127 Hours" — "Danny Boyle’s second slam dunk is causing tears, standing ovations and, on occasion, seizures"; "The King's Speech" — "another film most seem to agree is one of the better films they’re seeing, and this is an across-the-board reaction"; "The Social Network" — "early word is good. Really good"; and "Inception" — "still one of the most imaginative studio films ever released, and a solid money maker." AWARDS DAILY

Lady Gaga proved to be a winner with the home audience as well as those voting on the MTV VMAs. This edition of the kudocast drew the highest ratings since 2002 with 11.4 million viewers. That is up 27% from last year. And in the key demographic of ages 12 to 34, the show earned a 10.0 rating, up 33%. Compare these stellar numbers to 2006, when only 5.8 million viewers tuned in. As Devon Thomas notes, "The show this year featured Lady Gaga in three outfits with eight awards as well as Taylor Swift and Kanye West performing new songs (their 'drama' from last year and responses garnered buzz from viewers who were curious to see what the two would do next)." CBS NEWS

• At the 15th annual edition of the Art Directors Guild kudos next Feb. 5, Alexander Golitizen, Albert Heschong and Eugene Lourie will be posthumously inducted into the hall of fame. Golitzen won Oscars for "Phantom of the Opera" (1943), "Spartacus" (1960) and "To Kill a Mockingbird" (1962), and contended 11 more times. He also designed the set for the Oscarcast on numerous occasions. Heschong was a TV stalwart, winning an Emmy for the "Playhouse 90" production of "Requiem for a Heavyweight." Lourie, a French designer, is best known for his work with Jean Renoir, including "Grand Illusion," the first foreign-language film to contend for best picture at the Oscars.

Motiff_logo • To celebrate its first film festival, the Museum of Tolerance at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles will salute Clint Eastwood as "an accomplished filmmaker whose films have brought awareness to themes encouraging tolerance, justice and human rights." Said the Center's Rabbi Marvin Hier, "We believe Mr. Eastwood is a superb choice for this award, which celebrates those whose work shines a light on themes of acceptance, inclusion, tolerance and forgiveness. That is certainly true of Mr. Eastwood’s outstanding cinematic achievements, with only the most recent examples being 'Letters From Iwo Jima,' 'Gran Torino' and 'Invictus.' " Eastwood will be feted at a gala on Nov. 14 while the festival, which runs for six days beginning Nov. 13, will "explore human rights issues and prevent hatred and genocide through the medium of film." MOTIFF

• On Tuesday, singer-songwriter Alan Jackson received the Founders Award at ASCAP's annual country music kudos in Nashville. ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams said the award, which has previously been handed to stars including Stevie Wonder and Sir Paul McCartney, recognized Jackson as "a supreme talent, inspirational songwriter, recording artist and modern legend, whose artistry, style and enduring music resonate with and inspire generations." A special musical tribute to Jackson included performances of several of his hits by Steve Earle, Dierks Bentley and Chris Young. Bentley won the songwriter/artist award while Brett James was top songwriter. "Need You Now," written by Josh Kear and released by Lady Antebellum, was named country song of the year. ASCAP

Bill Maher explains his record-breaking losing streak (0-26) at the Emmys to Randee Dawn. "A panel of like 10 people watches one tape. If half of those people are religious, that probably eliminates me right there. A lot of people wouldn't vote for such an outspoken atheist, someone who made 'Religulous.' " THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

Boardwalk Empire HBO • The new HBO series "Boardwalk Empire" begins this Sunday, and Frazier Moore was wowed by the first installment, calling it a "wondrous new drama." Set in Atlantic City, "at the dawn of Prohibition when anything goes in this rollicking, stinking-rich resort town, the series boasts a robust cast including Steve Buscemi (as Nucky), Gretchen Mol, Dabney Coleman, Kelly Macdonald and, in a breakout portrayal as Jimmy, Michael Pitt." For creator Terence Winter it's a decade ripe for storytelling. "So much is going on: Women get the right to vote, the Black Sox scandal had just happened, broadcast radio came in and young people were starting to come to the fore influencing culture. All that, plus Prohibition was enacted." AP

Willa Paskin writes of Tyler Perry's new picture "For Colored Girls," which, she notes, "got pushed up from January to November, landing it smack in the middle of the Oscar race. This is less surprising than it may sound, given 'For Colored Girls' highbrow pedigree. The film is based on the play 'For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf' by Ntozake Shange, which is structured as a series of twenty prose poems delivered by women. Judging from the trailer, much of the poetry remains. None of the lines delivered — by a cast that includes Janet Jackson, Thandie Newton, Whoopi Goldberg, Kerry Washington, Phylicia Rashad — sound like regular dialogue. A little more regular is the big group hug scene and the omnipresent vibe of melodrama." VULTURE

• Looks like "The Conspirator" won't be contending at this year's Oscars. The Robert Redford film about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln premiered at the Toronto filmfest and, as per this report from Michael Cieply, "Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions said they acquired rights to distribute the film in the United States and plan to release it next spring." NEW YORK TIMES

Top photo: "The Social Network" poster. Credit: Columbia.

Middle photo: Museum of Tolerance International Film Festival logo. Credit: Museum of Tolerance.

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

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Hey, Taylor Swift: Who needs Kanye? Matt loves ya!

September 14, 2010 |  6:49 am

Poor Taylor Swift just got her heart broken at the recent MTV Video Music Awards. While she took the high road and performed a gracious ballad alluding to Kanye West, the rapper took the low road by performing an unapologetic rant about his joy in being a bad boy.

All this reminds me of the satiric riff our forums moderator Matt Noble did on the video of Taylor's Grammy champ, "You Belong with Me." I should have posted this earlier, but, hey, it's still hilarious -- just like Matt's naughty Emmy preview -- and curiously comforting now.

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Did Taylor Swift outshine Kanye West at the MTV Video Music Awards? [Poll]

September 13, 2010 | 10:16 am

Taylor Swift MTV Video Music Awards Kanye West

Taylor Swift took subtle aim at Kanye West in her new song, "Stealing Innocence," which she performed during Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards. Her performance began with the footage from last year's edition of these kudos, when West stormed the stage while Swift was accepting her VMA for best female video to protest that Beyonce should have prevailed for "Single Ladies."

Swift was given the chance to wreak her revenge on West at this year's MTV VMAs, but she chose to take the high road, making only an oblique reference to the rapper in her lyrics for this new ditty: "Life is a tough road, 32 and still growing up." West turned 33 on June 8. Rather, she warbled: "Everyone one of us has messed up too." And she sang: "It's all right, just wait and see. Your string of lights is still bright to me. You're still an innocent."

For Jennifer Armstrong of EW.com, Swift "looked gorgeous, as she is wont to do, but, um, the actual song was a pretty opaque." And our Pop & Hiss blogger Todd Martens was less than impressed with the song, grading it a "D" and saying, "Swift can dispense advice and bestow forgiveness, but she still has a ways to go as an artist." Martens gave a rave to West, who closed out the kudocast with his own take on the controversy. Almost half of the nearly 4,000 votes cast so far in our poll judged him to be a jerk for this performance.  

Was Swift right or wrong to even address the issue? Would she have been better off had she sung a different track from her forthcoming album, "Speak Now," and forever held her peace?

Photo: Taylor Swift performing during the 2010 MTV VMAs. Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

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Poll: Did Kanye West redeem himself at the MTV Video Music Awards?

September 13, 2010 |  6:26 am
Kanye West MTV VMA Video Music Awards news

When Kanye West took the stage at the end of the MTV Video Music Awards, everybody expected him to perform a heartfelt apology to Taylor Swift for ruining her MTV VMA victory last year. Instead, he crooned about what a jerk he was and even boasted about it. It was such a shocking performance that it made you wonder: Was it a work of bad-boy genius? Or just bad taste?

Our Pop & Hiss blogger Todd Martens gives it high marks as a work of music: "Much of the chorus of this new song isn't printable here, but West's latest is a statement of defiance, imploring listeners to have a toast 'for the scumbags,' among many other mess-ups. It's a song about celebrating the imperfections, and at the VMAs, it was kind of perfect. A+."

EW.com hailed it as "a complete victory, addressing his character flaws and acknowledging public opinion without relinquishing any of his power."

The MTV VMA crowd sure loved it. They jumped to their feet, cheering "Kanye! Kanye! Kanye!"

Or were they crazy? Do you think they should have jeered him instead?

After Kanye crashed Taylor's acceptance speech last year, roaring that Beyoncé should have won instead, he issued a bizarre apology, all in capital letters, at his Twitter account that seemed sincere but also suggested that he hadn't learned his lesson: "I’M IN THE WRONG FOR GOING ON STAGE AND TAKING AWAY FROM HER MOMENT! … BEYONCE’S VIDEO WAS THE BEST OF THIS DECADE! … I'M SOOOOO SORRY TO TAYLOR SWIFT … WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD!!!! EVERYBODY WANNA BOOOOO ME BUT I’M A FAN OF REAL POP CULTURE!"

Do you believe that Kanye has ultimately redeemed himself? Or did he prove that he is a jerk and should be treated as such?

Photo: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

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Polls: Who will win the MTV Video Music Awards?

September 11, 2010 |  9:47 pm

MTV Video Music Awards MTV VMAs news

I'm pretty sure I know who'll win the MTV Video Music Award for best video of the year — Lady Gaga for "Bad Romance" — or am I crazy? A few more races are a bit more suspenseful if we weigh search info released by Yahoo. Please pipe in and tell us what you think about who'll win.

Continue reading »

Has Yahoo tattled on who'll win the MTV Video Music Awards?

September 11, 2010 |  9:31 pm

Yahoo has issued fascinating data that may foretell who'll win the MTV Video Music Awards to be doled out on Sunday night.

Below is a list of nominees ranked according to how often they were searched by Yahoo web browsers during this year's nomination period. That may be significant since MTV VMA winners are chosen based upon their popularity with web voters. With Justin Bieber fever sweeping America, it's logical to assume this list is correct and he's a shoo-in to win best new artist. Lady Gaga is probably a safe bet to win best video of the year for "Bad Romance," but I'm not sure I believe she'll be trounced by Ke$ha for best female and pop videos, as these lists suggest. Tell us what you think by voting in our polls.

MTV VMAS Video Music Awards Lady Gaga Justin Bieber news

VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Lady Gaga, "Bad Romance"
B.o.B featuring Hayley Williams, "Airplanes"
Lady Gaga featuring Beyoncé, "Telephone"
Eminem, "Not Afraid"
30 Seconds to Mars, "Kings and Queens"
Florence + the Machine, "Dog Days Are Over"
 
BEST NEW ARTIST
Justin Bieber featuring Ludacris, "Baby"
Ke$ha, "Tik Tok"
Jason Derulo, "In My Head"
Nicki Minaj featuring Sean Garrett, "Massive Attack"
Broken Bells, "The Ghost Inside"
 
BEST FEMALE VIDEO
Ke$ha, "Tik Tok"
Lady Gaga, "Bad Romance"
Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg, "California Gurls"
Beyoncé featuring Lady Gaga, "Video Phone (Extended Remix)"
Taylor Swift, "Fifteen"

Continue reading »

Poll: Will Chelsea Handler flourish or flop as MTV VMAs host?

August 19, 2010 | 11:08 am

ChelseaLately Chelsea Handler has been tapped to host the 27th annual edition of the MTV VMAs on Sept. 12. The tart-tongued comic has charmed viewers and guests with her irreverent style as host of "Chelsea Lately" on the E! network for the last three years. She made the announcement on Wednesday night's edition of the late-night talker.

Handler will be only the second woman to emcee these free-wheeling kudos single-handed. Handler's humor hews more closely to the flash of Bette Midler, who co-hosted the first MTV VMAs with Dan Aykroyd back in 1984, than the trash of Roseanne Barr, who was solo host a decade later.

Balmy Brit Russell Brand presided over the awards for the last two years. In 2008, he paired up with Britney Spears for a series of promos that brought 23 million viewers to the cumulative airings of the kudocast. Last year's festivities made news when Kanye West stormed the stage while Taylor Swift was accepting the best female video award to insist that Beyonce should have won.

West is back on the guest list this year, a fact that MTV referred to when making the announcement of Handler as host: "There were three important criteria that any candidate had to meet:

1. The candidate must be funny, engaging, and have great stage presence.
2. The candidate must be able to tell jokes so scandalous that they could actually cause someone's grandma to spontaneously catch fire.
3. The candidate must be able to take down Kanye in under 3 seconds if he starts rushing the stage to perpetrate a rehash of last year's tomfoolery."

At some point in the show -- which airs live on MTV from L.A.'s Nokia Theatre -- West will be allowed onstage to perform and/or present. Both West and Swift are nominees this year: he for his collaboration with Drake, Li'l Wayne and Eminem on the "Forever" hip-hop music video and she for best female video for "Fifteen." Lady Gaga leads with a record 13 nominations.

At 35, Handler knows she is not part of the usual MTV demographic. As the sassy wag said in a statement, "This has been a huge year for hip-hop and rap, and it is well-known that I have the closest ties with these communities musically and sexually. I am to rap and hippity-hop what Warren Buffet is to finance, minus the sex."

Photo: "Chelsea Lately" promotional poster. Credit: E! Network

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Gold Derby nuggets: Uh oh! Kanye West returning to VMAs | Emmy bits and bites | 'Avatar' adds love scene for re-release

August 12, 2010 |  1:42 pm

Kanye West Taylor Swift Beyonce MTV VMAKanye West will be back onstage at this year's MTV VMAs, which air live from Los Angeles on Sept. 12. This time around he will be welcomed as a performer. Last year, he set tongues wagging when he interrupted Taylor Swift as she accepted the best female video award to say that Beyonce should have won. Both West and Swift are nominees this year — he for his collaboration with Drake, Li'l Wayne and Eminem on the "Forever" hip-hop music video and she for best female video for "Fifteen." In making the announcement, MTV said West will "be making his triumphant return to the VMAs" and noted  "Kanye has appeared at every VMA show since 2004, winning Best Male Video in 2005 (for 'Jesus Walks'), and Best Special Effects in 2008 ('Good Life')." West has a new album out in the fall and just debuted a new single with Beyonce called "See It Now." MTV

• Kanye should be happy to hear that Katie Hasty — who handicaps eight of the top races at the upcoming MTV VMAs — thinks that "Telephone" by Lady Gaga and featuring Beyonce will win video of the year: "It's rare to not only feature two of the biggest global pop stars into one video, but for them to interact as they do, in the non-stop wacky format that they do. While I personally find the clip to be one, long hot mess, I doubt any of  its shortcomings will keep folks from voting on it." HIT FIX

Steve Pond details the details of the upcoming Creative Arts portion of the Primetime Emmys, including this tidbit that, "the teams presenting awards will include Jane Lynch and Ryan Murphy (“Glee”), John Lithgow and Clyde Phillips (“Dexter”), Christina Hendricks and Matthew Weiner (“Mad Men'), Elizabeth Mitchell and Damon Lindelhof (“Lost”) and Rico Rodriguez and Steve Levitan (“Modern Family”)." As Steve notes, these kudos, "will hand out awards in more than 70 categories. The show will take place at the Nokia Theater on Saturday, August 21, and an edited version will air as a two-hour special on E! Entertainment Television on Friday, August 27."  THE WRAP

Primetime Emmy Poster • Current Emmy nominee and reigning drama supporting actor champ Michael Emerson talks about his time on "Lost" including the 12-minute epilogue that will feature on the final season DVD boxed set. He told Whitney Matheson, "I really like it. I was delighted when I found out I had one of the primary roles in it. I think I was as excited to shoot that as I was to shoot the finale of the series." As for his Emmy hopes: "You never know. But there are so many good actors in that category that haven't yet been given the award. It just seems like they should spread it around." USA TODAY

Supporting drama actress contender Christina Hendricks ("Mad Men") chats with Ray Richmond about, among other things, landing her first Emmy nomination: "It’s pretty awesome. It was amazing enough just to be on this show the past couple of years when it won. That’s been incredible. But this is even better. Matt [Matthew Weiner] gave my character Joan a lot of really amazing material this past season. That’s why I got the Emmy nomination. You won’t hear me complaining." DEADLINE

• Not surprisingly, Hollywood rewards all things young, including TV series as Randee Dawn discovers when considering the Emmy nominees for top drama. "A show should be young and complicated if it wants a berth in the top six. The eldest in this year's drama series lineup, 'Lost,' is also the only show that won't be back next year, and it's hardly old at six seasons. Not one of the other nominated drama series ('Mad Men,' 'Breaking Bad,' 'Dexter,' 'True Blood' and 'The Good Wife') has more than four seasons under its belt." HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

• Eight nominees from seven countries are competing for the news and current affairs awards to be handed out by the International Emmys in New York on Sept. 27. Contending for the current affairs Emmy are: "Dispatches" (United Kingdom),  "Enquete" (Radio Canada), "Telenoche" (Argentina) and "Tuesday Report" (Hong Kong). Up for the news prize are Al Jazeera English (Qatar), Sky News (United Kingdom), RT Channel (Russia) and TV Globo (Brazil) CBC

Avatar Sam Worthington Zoe Saldana • Had the original version of "Avatar" included the love scene in the nine minutes added for the upcoming re-release, would that have swayed Oscar voters? When asked about what audiences can expect Aug. 27, writer-director James Cameron said, "It's been restored, every last frame of it. Seriously," adding that the scene in question won't break any records — it lasts all of about 20 seconds. "I would say, just so that we correctly manage people's expectations," he explained carefully, "it does not change our rating at all. I would call it more of an alien foreplay scene. It's not like they're ripping their clothes off and going at it." MTV

• Oscar and Tony champ Marcia Gay Harden could well be contending again next year for that Emmy she needs to complete the acting triple crown. As William Keck reports, "Harden who received a 2007 Emmy Award nomination for her guest appearance as Federal Agent Dana Lewis on NBC's 'Law & Order: SVU'  is making a return visit to mean Manhattan streets. Last seen in the eighth season premiere, Dana will return in the eighth episode of the upcoming 12th season." TV GUIDE

Upper photo: Kanye West and Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV VMAs. Credit: MTV.

Middle photo: Emmy Awards poster. Credit: NBC

Lower photo: "Avatar" promotion still. Credit: Fox.

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Poll: Will Lady Gaga beat Lady Gaga at MTV VMA Awards?

August 3, 2010 |  5:49 pm
Lady Gaga MTV Video Music Awards VMA nominations news

Lady Gaga has earned so many MTV Video Music Awards nominations — a record tally, in fact, 13 — that she's bumping into herself in the battle for best video of the year.

Lady Gaga's "Telephone" video is nominated against "Bad Romance." Both square off against "Dog Days Are Over" (Florence + the Machine), "Not Afraid" (Eminem) and "Kings and Queens" (30 Seconds to Mars). Will Lady Gaga split her vote, inviting a usurper to claim the prize? Or will voters go gaga no matter what?

Attention, award geeks: In case you're wondering who held the record for most VMA noms in one year prior to Lady Gaga, it was Missy Elliott. She reaped 11 bids in 2001. Curiously, her "Get Ur Freak On" lost best video of the year to "Lady Marmalade," which Missy Elliott produced, but didn't sing on.

The 27th annual MTV Video Music Awards will be broadcast live from Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles Sept. 12, at 9 p.m. PT/ ET. Cast your votes here until awards day. Check out The Envelope's photo gallery of top nominees here.

Photos: Lady Gaga in "Bad Romance" and "Telephone" (MTV)

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Gold Derby nuggets: Justin Bieber rocks Much Music Awards | 'Red' in the black | 'Mad Men' returns July 25

June 21, 2010 |  3:42 pm

Justin Bieber Much Music Awards • Hometown favorite Justin Bieber was a big winner at Sunday's Much Music Awards in Toronto. These kudos are the Canadian equivalent of the MTV VMAs. Bieber won for best video by a Canadian ("One More Time"), favorite video ("Baby"), and favorite new artist. "It's my first award, and to have it in Canada is just amazing," Bieber told the crowd. "I want to say thank you to all my fans who got me in this position." Teen queen Miley Cyrus, who also performed and presented, won best international video for "Party in the U.S.A" which she dedicated it to her dad, Billy Ray Cyrus. NY DAILY NEWS

•  Alan Sepinwall has been busy as of late compiling his wish list for the upcoming Emmy Awards nominations. While he was able to winnow the supporting races to a half dozen would-be contenders, he admits, "lead drama actor, on the other hand, was a real bear, so much so that I'm actually going to write a few words about some of the people I just couldn't find room for on the list, and why. You may not agree with those rationalizations, and there may be times when I don't, either, but I had to find some way to cut this puppy down to six names, and these were the reasons that made sense to me as I did it." Among those actors he dropped: "Lost" leading man Matthew Fox and Kyle Chandler of "Friday Night Lights." HIT FIX

• Popeater began a Facebook campaign to boost the profile of "Friday Night Lights" star quarterback Zach Gifford and land him a supporting actor nomination at the Emmy Awards. Mike Hess, who writes for this offshoot of AOL, was impressed by Gifford's performance in a recent episode where his character comes to terms with the death of his father. For Hess, "Gifford ran the gamut of emotions in a way that few actors as young as he is (or older, even) ever could. Brutal sadness, confusion, tension-cutting laughter: They were all there, and all executed in perfect real-life harmony." Monday marks the end of the nomination phase with the results announced July 8. POPEATER

Red Playbill • One week before its limited run on Broadway ends, the producers of the Tony-winning best play "Red" announced it had recouped its $2.25 million investment. This two-hander about abstract artist Mark Rothko and his assistant is by John Logan, who was Oscar-nominated for scripting best picture champ "Gladiator" and best pic nominee "The Aviator." The West End transfer of "Red" won five of its other six Tony bids -- featured actor (Eddie Redmayne), director (Michael Grandage), lighting design (Neil Austin), scenic design (Christopher Oram) and sound design (Adam Cork). PLAYBILL

Greg Ellwood recaps the 30 bold-faced names who impressed the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce enough to receive stars on the Walk of Fame. "This year's group will feature the first 'family' induction with Bruce Dern, Diane Ladd and Laura Dern all laying down their stars at the same time. Other intriguing nominees include Oprah Winfrey, 'American Idol' creator Simon Fuller, Tina Fey, Penelope Cruz and The Muppets. In general, all the nominees have five years to set an induction date or the honor will, um, 'expire.' All honorees are selected in one of five categories: Motion Pictures, Television, Recording, Radio and Live Performance/Theatre. No radio inductees made the cut this year." HIT FIX

• Nominees Wayne Brady (“Let’s Make a Deal”) and Alex Trebek (“Jeopardy”) along with 2003 supporting actress champ Vanessa Marcil (“General Hospital”) have been added to the list of presenters at Sunday's Daytime Emmy Awards. The 37th annual edition of this kudocast airs live on CBS from Las Vegas and will be hosted by Regis Philbin. TV BY THE NUMBERS

Kraig Becker reports that the Oscar-winning documentary "The Cove" is "stirring up controversy in Japan, where several theaters, including one on an U.S. Army base, have removed it from their screens, while others decide if they should risk showing it all. Last week, three theaters pulled the film, which depicts the annual dolphin slaughter in a Japanese village, after they received a number of protests and angry phone calls from nationalist political groups. That caused 23 other theaters to reconsider showing the movie as well." GADLING

Mad-men-season-4-poster • "Mad Men" returns to AMC on July 25 for a fourth season. The two-time Emmy winner for best drama series is likely to contend again this year for its third season. Andrea Reiher analyzes the first promotional poster for the upcoming episodes. "Rather than last year's image of Don Draper calmly smoking a cigarette amidst rising water, this one shows a solo Don Draper staring contemplatively out the window of his empty office. At the end of Season 3, Don left Sterling Cooper, the ad agency he has worked for since the show's inception, to strike out on his own. He also agreed to give his unhappy housewife Betty a divorce." ZAP2IT

• "True Blood" has barely begun its third season on HBO, but the paycaster has already renewed it for a fourth year. This news is not so surprising when you consider that Sunday's premiere drew 5.1 million viewers. That was up 38% from last season, which is the one in the running for this year's Emmy Awards. The first season of the show was snubbed last year despite Anna Paquin winning a Golden Globe and the show contending there as well.

Top photo: Justin Bieber at the 2009 Much Music Awards. Credit: Much Music.

Middle photo: "Red" playbill. Credit: Golden Theater.

Bottom photo: "Mad Men" poster. Credit: AMC.

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Gold Derby nuggets: BET Awards welcome Kanye West | Tons of Tonys updates

June 10, 2010 |  2:26 pm

Kanye West Taylor Swift BET MTV VMAs •  Kanye West is set to appear on the BET Awards, which air live on the cable network June 27. The rapper is contending for video of the year ("Run This Town" with Jay-Z and Rihanna) and best collaboration ("Forever" with Lil Wayne and Eminem). West made waves last year with his outburst at the MTV VMAs. The ripple effect of his intrusion on Taylor Swift's win as for best female video included the cancellation of his tour with Lady Gaga. Queen Latifah will be hosting the 10th anniversary edition of the BET Awards at which Jay-Z leads with five nominations. Also returning to the limelight will be rapper T.I. in his first TV appearance since leaving jail. Other performers include Drake, Trey Songz, Nicki Minaj and Diddy-Dirty Money. BET

• The Science and Technology Council of the motion picture academy has chosen five college students for a summer intern program that will place them with companies at the forefront of film technology, such as Industrial Light & Magic and Pixar. Along with the work experience, the students will each receive a $4,000 stipend from the academy. AMPAS

Sasha Stone has compiled a gallery of photos taken from the "True Grit" set in Austin. As Sasha says, this Coen brothers remake of the 1969 film that won John Wayne his only Oscar is "one of the most anticipated" movies of the year. Taking on the iconic role of the aging gunslinger is the newest Academy Award lead actor winner Jeff Bridges. AWARDS DAILY

• The golden anniversary of the Rose d'Or festival celebrating the best of global television takes place in September in Lucerne, Switzerland. As part of the festivities, awards will be handed out on Sept. 22. British fare — which does so well with the International Emmys — also dominates these awards, 48 of the 110 programs nominated are from Britain. For example, nine of the 13 comedies in contention are British. The breakdown of the rest of nominees is: Argentina (3), Australia (4), Belgium (2), Canada (7), Denmark (2), Egypt (1), Finland (2), France (2), Germany (9), Israel (2), Netherlands (6), Norway (3), Poland (1), Portugal (1), Qatar (1), South Africa (2), South Korea (2), Spain (5), Switzerland (3), the United Arab Emirates (1), and USA (3).  THE STAGE

Tony Awards staute • The two Tony Awards winners for their featured performances in musicals last year — Gregory Jbara ("Billy Elliot") and Karen Olivo ("West Side Story") — will be back on stage at Radio City Music Hall Sunday night. The pair have been tapped to preside over the creative arts segment of the Tony telecast this year. Fifteen awards will be handed out during this first hour of these top theater honors and will be available as a webcast. TONY AWARDS

• Last year Constantine Maroulis was in the audience at the Tony Awards as a lead actor nominee for his performance in the musical "Rock of Ages" — he lost to the three boys who shared the title role in "Billy Elliot." This year, he will be hosting the simulcast screening of the kudos on one of the giant screens in Times Square. Among the promised highlights will be an appearance by former Destiny's Child star Michelle Williams who recently wowed in the Broadway production of "Chicago." TONY AWARDS

Neil Patrick Harris chatted with Mark Malin about emceeing both last year's Tonys and Emmys. "Hosting gigs are fantastically arbitrary because you don't make calls and angle and position and try to get the job. You just suddenly get a call, 'Hey, do you want to host the Tonys?' It's an amazing call to get and how can you say no to something like that. So if more comes in the future that would be awesome but I certainly have no big master plan." E ONLINE

• Tony contender "American Idiot" has been chosen by Actors' Equity as the recipient of its Extraordinary Excellence in Diversity on Broadway Award for the 2009-2010 season. The award — which "honors and encourages those who actively promote the goals of diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity for all who work in the theatre" -- will be presented during a reception at the union's headquarter on June 15. PLAYBILL 

Top photo: Kanye West and Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV VMAs. Credit: Getty Images.

Bottom photo: Tony Awards statue. Credit: American Theater Wing.

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