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Category: Samantha Who?

Inside track: Emmy race for best TV comedy actress

April 25, 2009 | 11:14 am

Here's a snapshot of what we see on the Derby track right now.

* = Top 10 semifinalist in 2008

** = Nominee in 2008

Tina Fey Emmy Award 30 Rock

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
(Front-runners)

Christina Applegate, "Samantha Who?" **
Toni Collette, "United States of Tara"
Marcia Cross, "Desperate Housewives" *
America Ferrera, "Ugly Betty" **
Tina Fey, "30 Rock" ** (WINNER IN 2008)
Teri Hatcher, "Desperate Housewives"
Felicity Huffman, "Desperate Housewives" *
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "New Adventures of Old Christine" **
Eva Longoria-Parker, "Desperate Housewives" *
Mary-Louise Parker, "Weeds" **
Amy Poehler, "Parks and Recreation"
Nicollette Sheridan, "Desperate Housewives"
Sarah Silverman, "The Sarah Silverman Program" *

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Gold Derby nuggets: Oscar voters gripe, 'Hey, where are our DVD screeners?' | 'Doubt' leaves none at AFI Fest | No question 'Samantha Who?' on for full season

November 2, 2008 |  9:02 pm

• Over this past weekend I ran into several academy members who are really irked about how few DVD screeners they've received at home. "Frozen River" was the first one out this year, arriving in late September. Since then only "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" was shipped to the full membership, arriving about a week ago. "Elegy" was also sent in October, but only to members of the actors' and writers' branches.

Vicky_cristina_barcelona_and_frozen

At this point last year, all academy members already had received "The Namesake," "Waitress," "Once," "A Mighty Heart," "Breach," "Spider-Man 3," "Reign Over Me," "Zodiac," "Things We Lost in the Fire," "Freedom Writers," "Knocked Up" and "Across the Universe." Of course, those pix didn't fare well in the derby, so that might be the reason for the current delay, but other films shipped early in derby season in previous years did much better — like "Little Miss Sunshine." My guess is that studios are waiting this year because they want to reach voters after the U.S. presidential election, which may also explain why so many lead ponies will be released late to theaters compared to other recent years.

Right around this time last year voters also received the following screeners, but, quite frankly, I've forgotten which ones arrived during the last few days of October and the first few days of November: "Into the Wild," "3:10 to Yuma," "The Kingdom," "Elizabeth: The Golden Age," "Margot at the Wedding," "Starting Out in the Evening," "Away from Her" and "Bug." That batch fared much better with Oscar noms, of course.

John Daly, an executive producer of the Oscar-winning "Platoon" and "The Last Emperor," has died at age 71. As the AP reports, "Over a career that spanned four decades, Daly helped to produce films that earned 13 Oscars and 21 Oscar nominations, as well as numerous Golden Globes and other awards. Daly's companies boosted the career starts of seminal directors such as Oliver Stone ('Platoon,' 'Salvador'), Bernardo Bertolucci ('The Last Emperor') and Robert Altman ('Images'), as well as actors Denzel Washington, Keanu Reeves and Julia Roberts. Associated Press

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Pete Hammond delivers an in-depth report on the AFI filmfest that is running in L.A. till Nov. 9. He says that "Doubt," a last-minute substitution for the pushed-back pic "The Soloist" as the opening-night film, generated "Oscar talk afterward for Streep, Hoffman, Davis and Adams as well as the picture, which is the kind of well-crafted adaptation of a Broadway play to Hollywood that the Academy used to honor all the time. Whether they still do in 2008 is the bigger question. Anyone remember 'The History Boys'? Seven Tonys, zero Oscar nominations. This one's got a lot more going for it, and producers should feel confident 'Doubt' will play particularly well with older voters and the actors branch." As Hammond points out, "It will compete for that crowd with Ron Howard's adaptation of Peter Morgan's play 'Frost/Nixon,' as both have been flawlessly transferred to the screen from their New York roots." He also highlights the upcoming fest schedule, which includes screenings of an edited "Che" as well as the premieres of "Last Chance Harvey" and "Defiance." Notes on a Season

• In September, the midseason laffer "Samantha Who?" yielded an Emmy win for supporting player Jean Smart and a nod for lead Christina Applegate. Applegate, a fan favorite and one-time guest actress Emmy winner ("Friends"), lost to critics darling Tina Fey ("30 Rock"). After a summer health scare for Applegate, the second season of this ABC Monday night comedy continues to do well in the ratings benefiting from the boffo success of lead-in "Dancing with the Stars." Now, the alphabet net has ordered another seven eps and as TV Guide reports, this "brings the full-season count to 20, two shy of the usual order. (The network isn't forgetting about Sam but rather says the smaller order is only a result of having a wealth of midseason shows, like 'Scrubs' and 'According to Jim' (groan), on deck.)" TV Guide

Sony Pictures Classics, Weinstein Co., Miramax


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

September 19, 2008 | 10:54 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

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How will cancer news affect Christina Applegate's Emmy bid?

August 4, 2008 | 11:24 am

The news that Christina Applegate is battling breast cancer comes just as Emmy judges are watching the nominees' sample DVDs and checking off ballots to decide who wins.

No doubt this sad news will cause voters to be more sympathetic, thus hiking her chances a bit, but how much of a hike does she need? Is Christina Applegate really in this race for best comedy actress for starring as an amnesia victim in "Samantha Who?"

Answer: yes. First, don't be put off by the fact that she once portrayed a shallow, ditzy role (Kelly Bundy) on one of TV's longest-running series never to win an Emmy ("Married . . . With Children"). Christina Applegate won an Emmy in 2003 for portraying Jennifer Aniston's sister in a guest role on "Friends."

In the current Emmy race, she probably doesn't have to worry about Mary-Louise Parker, who gave Emmy judges an episode of "Weeds" titled "Bill Sussman" in which she has only one big scene. The other three women have real shots to prevail — America Ferrera ("Ugly Betty"), Tina Fey ("30 Rock") and Julia Louis-Dreyfus ("The New Adventures of Old Christine"). Last year's winner Ferrera has an edge again this year because she competes against half-hour sitcoms with a full-hour program and she gives an especially flashy performance in an episode that shows her freaking out whenever she applies an odd perfume ("Odor in the Court").

But Christina Applegate's episode is superb ("The Restraining Order"), having lots of Emmy advantages. We all know how much Emmy voters love stars who portray twins or evil/good opposites of their characters. Heck, that's the story of gazillions of actors who win Daytime Emmys and it explains how a lightweight prime-time contender like Lindsay Wagner ("The Bionic Woman") won best drama actress of 1977 over the likes of Sada Thompson ("Family") and Michael Learned ("The Waltons"). In this episode we see the goody-goody Samantha and, in flashback scenes, the dragon she was before she went into a coma. Also, she gets a few big crying scenes. Those are always a plus.

It's curious that Christina Applegate chose not to submit the pilot episode of "Samantha Who?" — that's what most stars of new series do and it's usually a good strategy because it provides a terrif overview of one's character.

But Applegate opted for "The Restraining Order," which showcases her in two story lines. She's desperate to patch things up with her dad and have a meaningful relationship with him again now that she's no longer the evil Samantha. And, secondly, she stalks a guy who swore out a restraining order against her back when she was bad Samantha because she stalked him and kidnapped his dog. She desperately wants to convince him that she's a good girl now, but, of course, she only freaks him out by continuing to stalk him to relay that news.

What causes her to cry, spontaneously and quite mysteriously, is just hearing the song "We've Got the Beat," which plays several times during the episode. At one point she's in an ice-cream shop with her mom, it comes on the radio and she suddenly has a breakdown. It also happens when she's in the car of the guy she's stalking and, finally, at episode's end, when we find out why it makes her break down. In a flashback scene, we see nasty ole Samantha being picked up by her dad after she exits a beauty salon that's botched her 'do.

"Oh, my god, they butchered my face on purpose!" screams nasty ole Samantha. "I was a shoo-in for homecoming court, but now I'm hideous."

Her dad tries to take her mind off things by turning on the car radio. When Samantha hears "We've Got the Beat" playing, she fumes, "Oh, my god, I hate this song, and I hate this car and I hate your shirt and I just I just …!" Diva meltdown follows.

That's the one problem with this episode submission. Often she's annoying, even when she's in the skin of nice, new Samantha. This episode opens with her getting into a car while toting a rifle and a bad 'tude. At attempt to get close to her dad has failed. She tried to go hunting with him, but that flopped and now she's returning the gun to the store.

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Photos below, from top: First scene of episode with Sam in a car returning the rifle; the guy who has the restraining order against her sees Sam and flees; Sam crashes her dad's hunting gig so she can spend time with him, but that's disastrous; Sam cries when she hears "We've Got the Beat" in the ice-cream shop; ole nasty Sam not at all happy about her new haircut.

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(Photos: ABC)

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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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'Samantha Who?' will be remembered at the Emmys & Globes

October 16, 2007 |  8:01 am

Christina_applegate

TV critics' widespread praise for "Samantha Who?" starring Christina Applegate as an amnesia victim has just been capped by socko TV ratings. If "Samantha" can hold onto its audience and creative quality ahead, it looks like a strong contender for Emmys and Golden Globes.

But, first, let's check the Nielsens. Marc Berman of MediaWeek reports, "ABC danced its way to another overnight Monday victory, followed by CBS, baseball populated Fox, NBC and the CW. A 90-minute edition of ABC's 'Dancing With the Stars' took top-rated honors of the evening, with a hefty 13.2 rating/19 share from 8-9:30 p.m. Start packing, Mark Cuban! That led into the premiere of sitcom 'Samantha Who?,' which opened with a dominant 10.7/15 at 9:30 p.m. Comparably, retention for 'Samantha Who?' out of the last half-hour of 'Dancing With the Stars' (13.6/19) was a respectable 79 percent."

Posters in our message boards loved the show too. Here, below, is a sampling of their views. To see more, CLICK HERE!

Sirkevin: I wouldn't be surprised to see Christina Applegate nodded for a Globe, and perhaps even an Emmy (this all, of course, depends on if anyone actually watched this). So far this is the best new comedy that is pure comedy -- as in "Pushing Daisies" is better, but that's more of a dramedy.

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