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Category: The Pacific

Gold Derby nuggets: Emmys present and future | Natalie Portman Oscar-bound? | Tonys still without a date | 'Gone With the Wind' costumes saved

September 2, 2010 | 12:20 pm

Edie Falco Nurse Jackie Emmy Awards • In a provocative piece, Joel Keller wonders "when does a comedy stop being a comedy?" As a starting point, he uses this frank admission by "Nurse Jackie" star Edie Falco as she picked up the best comedy series actress Emmy: "Oh, this is the most ridiculous thing that has ever, ever happened in the history of this lovely awards show. I'm not funny!" For Joe, "The outcry that we're hearing about the show seems to stem from the fact that Falco, who won Emmys for playing the not-at-all-funny Carmela Soprano, beat out such comedic stalwarts as Tina Fey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Amy Poehler. But just because she's a serious character in a lightly funny show doesn't mean she shouldn't be nominated in the comedy category." TV SQUAD

Alex Ben Block details one possible scenario for future Emmy Awards. "The major broadcast networks are serious about splitting the Primetime Emmys into two shows, and they have support among cable networks who share a frustration about HBO so thoroughly dominating the longform categories and the event's third hour. One show would honor all series and air on broadcast, while the other would recognize the TV movies and longform projects that run on cable, like HBO's 'Temple Grandin,' which went 5-for-5 at the Emmys on Sunday night. The broadcast version would use the time gained to become a more entertainment-oriented program." THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

• Fresh off his third consecutive Emmy win for best drama series actor, Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad") is set to show everyone his comedy chops by hosting "Saturday Night Live" on Oct. 2. As Greg Braxton reports, "It will be the first appearance on the sketch comedy series for the actor, who starred as the buffoonish father in 'Malcolm In The Middle' before his stint on the hit AMC drama, where he plays a chemistry teacher who gradually becomes a drug dealer." SHOW TRACKER

Natalie Portman Oscars Black Swan Venice • Our pal Anne Thompson is navigating the Venice filmfest and reports on the speculation that "Black Swan" could be the vehicle that transports Natalie Portman back to the Oscars. "While critics may admire [Darren] Aronofsky’s achievement here, and online fan sites responded enthusiastically to Searchlight’s trailer -- the movie could play to the young Searchlight smart-house crowd, but it’s not a genre horror flick -- I wonder how 'Black Swan' will fare on the Academy side. It may be painful for older voters to watch. (Yes, the largely male Academy granted Jonathan Demme’s 'Silence of the Lambs,' Mel Gibson’s 'Braveheart' and Ridley Scott’s 'Gladiator' best picture honors. But this is a smaller-scale production.) Actors may laud Portman and [Vincent] Cassel." THOMPSON ON HOLLYWOOD

Greg Ellwood details the Oscar hopes of Dreamworks for the animated film "How to Train Your Dragon." As he reports, "the studio sent out a mailer inviting industry professionals to see 'Dragon' in 3-D again in screenings in key markets (we're keeping that private for all you gate crashers). The invite features beautiful art by Pierre-Oliver Vincent and reminds potential voters about this 'thrilling,' 'magical' and 'heartwarming' adventure. Oh, and while listing all the possible nominees in different categories, the studio has no qualms about trying to fill one of the ten best picture slots themselves. Who can argue with that?" HIT FIX

• After moving forward by one day last season, the Independent Spirit Awards is returning to the traditional time slot of Oscar eve for the upcoming kudofest. That means these awards, now in their 26th year, will be handed out on Saturday, Feb. 26. Last time round, the locale shifted from the beach to downtown L.A. but there is no word yet on where the next edition will be held.

Tony Awards logo • The Tony Awards has yet to set the date for the 65th edition of these top theater kudos next spring. The problem is that the traditional venue -- Radio City Music Hall -- is unavailable -- due to an extended booking by Cirque de Soleil. Until the new site is found, the eligibility period can't be defined either, though it is said to be either April 21 or April 28. However, as Patrick Healy notes, "given the way Broadway tends to work, an April 21 cut-off could complicate plans for those bringing in springtime shows. Producers like to have as much of April as possible for rehearsals and preview performances to get shows in the best possible shape. That final week of Tony eligibility is typically a traffic jam of opening nights, with producers stampeding to put their shows into the running for Tonys." ARTS BEAT

David Bianculli does a crackerjack job detailing where and when you can tune in to see this year's Emmy winners on the tube. However, as he notes, "there are no scheduled repeat telecasts right now for HBO's 'Temple Grandin' or 'The Pacific.'" Rather, the telefilm champ is already out on DVD while the mini-series winner will be released Nov. 2. TV WORTH WATCHING

Jen Chaney takes the Emmys pre-show on NBC to task for having host Billy Bush and commentator Ryan Patterson criticizing the fashions worn on the red carpet and transmitting the live feed in the awards venue. As Chaney points out, "Kathy Griffin voiced her empathy for January Jones in particular, telling E!: 'They showed her on the freaking JumboTron and then they were talking smack about her.' When Griffin thinks you've been unnecessarily rude, you know you've really been unnecessarily rude." WASHINGTON POST

Gwtw-green-dress • The academy didn't start handing out Oscars for costume design till 1948. Had they been in that business in 1939, no doubt Walter Plunkett would have been a strong contender for his creations for "Gone With the Wind." Several of the iconic costumes worn by Oscar champ Vivien Leigh, including this green curtain dress, are owned by the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas. A recent appeal for funds to restore these dresses in advance of the film's diamond anniversary in 2014 yielded $30,000. In a statement, the Center's film curator Steve Wilson said, "These generous donations confirm that the film's legions of fans do, in fact, care." He added that the donations will allow the Ransom Center to restore the dresses and purchase protective housing and custom-fitted mannequins to allow for them to be exhibited according to conservation best practices and standards. Plunkett contended for 10 Oscars for his later work, winning for "An American in Paris" in 1951. YAHOO

Top photo: Edie Falco at the 62nd Annual Emmy Awards. Credit: ATAS

Second photo: Natalie Portman in "Black Swan." Credit: Fox Searchlight

Third photo: Tony Awards logo. Credit: Tony Awards.

Bottom photo: Vivien Leigh in "Gone With the Wind." Credit: MGM/UA

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My fearless, 100% accurate Emmy nominations predictions

July 6, 2010 | 11:35 am
Emmy Awards 12

Here's who I predict will score bids when Emmy Awards nominations are unveiled Thursday morning:

BEST DRAMA SERIES
"Breaking Bad"
"Damages"
"Dexter"
"Mad Men"
"The Good Wife"
"Lost"

ALTERNATES: "Big Love," "Friday Night Lights," "House M.D.," "Sons of Anarchy," "Treme"


BEST COMEDY SERIES
"The Big Bang Theory"
"Curb Your Enthusiasm"
"Family Guy"
"Glee"
"Modern Family"
"30 Rock"

ALTERNATES: "Community," "How I Met Your Mother," "Entourage," "Nurse Jackie," "The Office," "Parks and Recreation," "Weeds"


BEST DRAMA ACTOR
Simon Baker ("The Mentalist")
Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad")
Michael C. Hall ("Dexter")
Jon Hamm ("Mad Men")
Hugh Laurie ("House")
Timothy Olyphant ("Justified")

ALTERNATES: Matt Bomer ("White Collar"), Kyle Chandler ("Friday Night Lights"), Matthew Fox ("Lost"), Peter Krause ("Parenthood"), Denis Leary ("Rescue Me"), Bill Paxton ("Big Love"), Wendell Pierce ("Treme"), Kiefer Sutherland ("24")


BEST DRAMA ACTRESS
Glenn Close ("Damages")
Mariska Hargitay ("Law & Order: SVU")
January Jones ("Mad Men")
Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife")
Katey Sagal ("Sons of Anarchy")
Kyra Sedgwick ("The Closer")

ALTERNATES: Sally Field ("Brothers and Sisters"), Anna Gunn ("Breaking Bad"), Holly Hunter ("Saving Grace"), Melissa Leo ("Treme"), Anna Paquin ("True Blood")


BEST COMEDY ACTOR
Steve Carell ("The Office")
Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock")
Larry David ("Curb Your Enthusiasm")
Matthew Morrison ("Glee")
Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory")
Tony Shalhoub ("Monk")

ALTERNATES: David Duchovny ("Californication"), Joel McHale ("Community"), Thomas Jane ("Hung"), Charlie Sheen ("Two and a Half Men")

Continue reading »

Gold Derby nuggets: 'Addams Family' squabbles? | Best of 'Breaking Bad' | Brad Brevet previews Oscars 2010

March 19, 2010 |  3:44 pm

Addams-Family-logo-722691 • The latest incarnation of "The Addams Family" -- which has already gone from 1940s cartoon to 1960s TV series to 1990s movie franchise -- is soon to bow on Broadway. The tuner stars Tony champs Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth as lovebirds Gomez and Morticia, and they both dispute rumors that they are less than happy with their stage marriage. As Neuwirth puts it, "I think we both have a nice, healthy dose of diva. But we also do really go together. You’ve got the little clown running around, and you have a very still, dry person. That’s a fun pairing." And Lane defends his leading lady's concerns about the dour demeanor of her role. "That’s not a fun thing to play, and it kind of undermined the character. They had to find a wittier way of dealing with it and not make it her main story line." NEW YORK

• NBC has renewed its last remaining soap -- "Days of Our Lives" -- till 2011. While the sudser has contended for best drama series at the daytime Emmys 15 times -- beginning with the first kudos in 1974 -- it has won only once, in 1978. The most recent of its nominations came last year.  "Days," which began as a half-hour in 1965 before expanding to an hour a decade later, is one of the only soaps to show year-to-year increases in key demographics.

Mary Kaye Schilling sat down with Joseph Mazello and James Badge Dale -- two stars of "The Pacific" -- for a freewheeling conversation. "Dale plays PFC Robert Leckie and Mazzello is PFC Eugene Sledge, two men whose subsequent books about the war were used as source material for 'The Pacific' (which airs Sunday nights at 9). Though they filmed virtually no scenes together (the series follows three separate platoons within the First Division Marines in three historic Pacific theater battles), the actors became comrades in adversity." NEW YORK

Breaking Bad • "Breaking Bad' begins its third season Sunday on AMC. Bryan Cranston has won the Emmy for best actor in a drama series for each of the first two seasons. Steve Kandell has compiled a super slideshow of the highlights of the series. As he writes in his intro, "if you haven’t already, give in because centering a drama around a nebbishy, cancer-stricken chemistry teacher who squanders his family’s (and the audience’s) sympathy by turning into a cold-blooded meth kingpin is no small feat, and it deserves your attention. You may not feel good, but you’ll feel something." NEW YORK

• While picking up the female star of the year award from ShoWest on Thursday, Katherine Heigl almost dropped her dignity after a shoulder strap snapped. "Heigl desperately tried to maintain her composure as she attempted to stop the dress falling away and exposing her left breast -- until host Billy Bush gallantly stepped in and spared her blushes by holding the outfit in place. After finishing her speech, Heigl headed backstage and repaired the broken strap with a safety pin. WENN

• "9 to 5" failed to make much of an impression on Tony Awards voters last year, landing just a couple of acting nominations (Allison Janney, Marc Kudisch) as well as bids for Dolly Parton who penned the music and lyrics and for choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler who had won a Tony the year before for his work on "In the Heights." However, the national tour is dropping his dance moves as well as the direction of Joe Mantello in favor of Jeff Calhoun, who will handle both tasks. Calhoun said, "I met Dolly Parton as a chorus kid dancing in the film 'The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas' only a few years after '9 to 5' was already a hit movie. It was a thrill to work with her then and an honor and privilege to be entrusted to direct and choreograph this exciting new tour." PLAYBILL

OscarsBrad Brevet has been one busy boy since the Oscars aired just a couple of  weeks ago. He has compiled a list of 73 films in contention for the next Academy Awards. They range from "127 Hours" from Oscar-winning helmer Danny Boyle ("Slumdog Millionaire") to "Your Highness" from David Gordon Green ("Pineapple Express"). Oddly enough, both of these movies -- separated by 71 other entries in alphabetical order -- star James Franco. ROPE OF SILICON

• First "Glee" was a Golden-Globe winning TV show, soon it will be a live concert with the cast, and now comes word that it also will be turned into a tuner. Gordon Cox reports that licensing giant Music Theater Intl. -- the same company behind the legit edition of "High School Muscial" -- is in talks with the folks at Fox. As Gordon notes, "a stage adaptation of 'Glee' seems a no-brainer, especially one that could be performed by the real-life counterparts of the singing and dancing teens in the TV show." VARIETY

• The remake of 1970s Friday night TV staple "The Rockford Files" has cast three-time Emmy champ Beau Bridges to play pops to Dermot Mulroney. Mulroney is stepping into the shoes of James Garner, who earned five consecutive Emmy nominations for his work as Jim Rockford, winning in 1977. The TV icon's on-screen dad, Noah Berry Jr., went winless despite three nominations over the six years of the series. THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

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Top photo: "The Addams Family" poster. Credit: Lunt-Fontanne Theater

Middle photo: "Breaking Bad" poster. Credit: AMC

Bottom photo: Academy Awards statues. Credit: AMPAS

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Gold Derby nuggets: 'Avatar' DVD in 2-D | Rock and Roll Hall of Famers | 'Boardwalk Empire' bows promo

March 16, 2010 |  3:33 pm

Avatar DVD • A 2-D DVD and Blu-ray release of "Avatar" has been announced for April 22 by Fox. That just happens to be the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, which coincides nicely with the eco-friendly message of the film. Buzz is that the studio will re-release the movie in 3-D later in the year, with additional footage, and that a 3-D home version of the film will follow.

• All of the above will add millions more to the coffers of all involved. Bloomberg estimates that Fox will reap at least $350 million from "Avatar." Fox also picks up a distribution fee for the film which could gross $3 billion worldwide. In an interview last month, writer-director James Cameron said the record receipts are, "well beyond our wildest dreams, we were hoping for sort of brea keven plus 10%, which would have been a high number but well south of $1 billion." BLOOMBERG

Steve Pond tracks down why Stephen Colbert's comic rant against the Oscars, which included clips from the kudocast, has gone missing from "The Colbert Report" website. Turns out, "for the first day after the Academy Awards telecast, other media outlets are allowed to show three minutes of footage from the show.  For the second through the seventh day, they're permitted to show one minute. And after seven days, no Oscar footage can be used without special permission from the Academy." THE ODDS

Phil Collins Rock and Roll Hall of FameDavid Bauder recaps Monday's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction of ABBA, Jimmy Cliff, Genesis, the Hollies, and Iggy Pop and the Stooges. Also feted during the ceremony at Gotham's Waldorf Astoria hotel were one-time record exec David Geffen and seven songwriters from the 1950s including Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil ("You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," "On Broadway"), Ellie Greenwich & Jeff Barry ("Leader of the Pack," "Be My Baby"), Otis Blackwell ("All Shook Up," "Don't Be Cruel"), Mort Shuman ("Save the Last Dance for Me,") and Jesse Stone ("Sh-Boom," "Money Honey").  AP

• As for the ceremony itself, Randy Lewis suggests that the inductees by saluted by those who know their music best -- tribute bands. As Randy writes, "What to do when you’re being admitted into the halls of pop music history and only half your group is there? Tribute bands! It’s one of the few corners of the otherwise flailing music business showing growth. Just check the entertainment guide for Las Vegas: They’re everywhere." POP & HISS

• "The Pacific" drew 3.1 million viewers to a heavily hyped premiere Sunday. As James Hibberd reports, "that's 22% higher than than the debut of HBO's last miniseries, 'John Adams,' and 'The Pacific' tally grew to 4 million with its encore airing. Still, HBO has to be somewhat disappointed with this number. 'The Pacific' is the biggest production in the network's history and this is only 69% higher than the time period norm." THE LIVE FEED

Boardwalk Empire • HBO used the Sunday premiere of its showpiece mini-series of the year -- "The Pacific" -- to promote the paycaster's marquee series for 2010 -- "Boardwalk Empire." Oscar winner Martin Scorsese ("The Departed") is executive producing the series about bootleggers in 1920s Atlantic City and directed the first episode that is featured in the promo running on HBO. HBO

Terence Winter -- who adapted Nelson Johnson's novel "Boardwalk Empire" -- won two Emmys for scripting episodes of "The Sopranos" and another two when that HBO hit won best drama series in 2004 and 2007. One of the stars of that show -- Edie Falco -- won three Emmys for her performance as the matriarch of the mob family. When asked Monday if there will ever be a "Sopranos" reunion, Falco, who now stars on the Showtime comedy "Nurse Jackie," showed her funny side by responding she’s open to it if she could play Tony and James Gandolfini could play Carmela.

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So what did we learn from this year's Oscars?

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Top photo: "Avatar" DVD cover. Credit: Fox

Middle photo: Phil Collins at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony. Credit: Getty Images

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

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Poll: Will 'The Pacific' win the Emmy battle?

March 16, 2010 |  9:56 am
The Pacific HBO TV news

War dramas like "The Pacific" often do well in the Emmy clash to win best TV miniseries. For example, "Band of Brothers" won in 2002. Back in 1989, "War & Remembrance" pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the TV award's history when it shot down the critically acclaimed ratings hit "Lonesome Dove." But beware: War flicks are not almighty. Last year, "Generation Kill" lost to "Little Dorrit."

"The Pacific" has a few other strong pluses, though: It's exec-produced by Tom Hanks, who recently won the category several times ("John Adams," "Band of Brothers," "From the Earth to the Moon"); it's also produced by past champ Steven Spielberg ("Band of Brothers," "Taken"); and it airs on HBO. which claimed the category five times in the last 10 years.

But it must conquer some formidable foes in the battle over best mini: "Alice," "Emma," "The Prisoner," "Return to Cranford," "Small Island" and "Torchwood: Children of Earth."

"The Pacific" gets a high score at Metacritic (86). Matt Roush of TV Guide says, "'The Pacific' is magnificent in its visual and graphically visceral scope and shattering in its emotional, deeply personal impact." Robert Bianco of USA Today hails it as "the best war movie ever made for TV."

However, Variety blasted it for lacking "a strong sense of cohesion" and "a compelling hook to pull the audience along." The Washington Post says it "fails to arrive at a coherent, artistic sensibility."

Photo credit: HBO

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