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

Category: The Amazing Race

What's behind Emmy surprises? Were voters drunk?

August 29, 2010 |  9:18 pm

While most Emmy pundits correctly forecast the top races for best comedy and drama series, movie, mini and lead acting in movies/mini, we botched so many others. What happened?

Jim parsons emmys

Some pundits like me put too much emphasis on evaluating the episodes submitted to Emmy voters as examples of their best work. Usually, the longest episodes win, but appearing in two-hour specials of "Monk" and "House M.D." didn't help Tony Shalhoub or Hugh Laurie. Instead, another voter bias paid off for Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory"): appearing drunk in "The Pants Alternative." Hollywood voters are suckers for that — Jeff Bridges just nabbed an Oscar for the awful "Crazy Heart" to prove it. Perhaps the theme of substance abuse helped Bryan Cranston to prevail for a third year in a row as crystal-meth cook in "Breaking Bad." Is it a coincidence that Edie Falco triumphed as a pill-gobbling hospital worker in "Nurse Jackie"?

Kyra Sedgwick ("The Closer") had the strongest episode submission among all nominees for best drama actress, but we made the mistake of believing that buzz and momentum would carry along Julianna Margulies ("The Good Wife") after previously winning the Golden Globe and SAG Award (and an Emmy victory in 1995 for "E.R."). Ditto for Globe and SAG champ Michael C. Hall ("Dexter"), who gave judges the powerhouse season finale episode but still wasn't enough to stop the Cranston momentum.

However, "The Amazing Race" Emmy juggernaut finally stalled. It didn't get derailed by "American Idol," as I had predicted, but by "Top Chef." That was one of the biggest shocks of the night along with Archie Panjabi's victory as supporting drama actress for "The Good Wife."

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My Emmy nominations predictions: 79% correct

July 9, 2010 |  6:57 am
Emmy logo 2010 2

OK, I was behaving quite cheekily when I promised 100% accuracy with my Emmy nominations predictions, but I did score quite well: 79%. Of my 101 predix, 80 proved to be correct. There turned out to be two more nominations in these categories, thanks to accountants granting an extra slot in squeaker contests. Below is the breakdown. See the list of nominees here.

X = wrong prediction

"Breaking Bad"
"Damages" - X
"Mad Men"
"The Good Wife"

Nominee: "True Blood"

"The Big Bang Theory" - X
"Curb Your Enthusiasm"
"Family Guy" - X
"Modern Family"
"30 Rock"

Nominees: "Nurse Jackie," "The Office"

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

Nominees: Matthew Fox ("Lost"), Kyle Chandler ("Friday Night Lights")

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Gold Derby nuggets: 'The Donald' disses 'The Amazing Race' | Stephen Lang livid over 'Avatar' Oscar snub | Sing out, Louise

April 27, 2010 |  4:43 pm

The Amazing Race logo • The winning streak of "The Amazing Race" in the reality competition race at the Emmys stands at a staggering seven years and counting. Indeed the show chronicling a race around the world has never lost this category since it was created in 2003. However, Donald Trump is determined to avenge his  losses for "The Apprentice" (2004, 2005) with a win this year for the third season of the celebrity version of the show. He told Randee Dawn that the Emmys have "lost credibility. Instead of shows that deserve to win, they pick 'Amazing Race.' It's a very sad commentary." As Randee reports, "Perhaps Trump is sore over what happened in 2004, the first year that 'Apprentice' and 'Race' faced off. Ever assured, Trump recalls he was halfway out of his seat when the Emmy presenter began announcing 'Race' as the winner. 'I was standing up to go down there and pick up the Emmy,' he says. 'Incredible. It's a joke. If the Emmys want their ratings back, they have to pick shows that deserve it.' " HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

• The organization behind the prime-time Emmys will salute eight programs that exemplify "television with a conscience" at the third annual Television Academy Honors on May 5. Two-time Emmy champ Dana Delaney ("China Beach") will host the event at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The honorees: episodes from the series "CSI," "Glee," and "Private Practice," the telefilm "Taking Chance," and the news and informational specials "Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am? with Maria Shriver," "Inside Death Row," "The Oxycontin Express," and "Unlocking Autism."

Stephen Lang Avatar • Add Stephen Lang to the list of "Avatar" actors fuming over the academy's snub of the blockbuster in the big Oscar races. Appearing on the British TV show "Live From Studio Five" Lang admitted, "We were kind of prepared for it. I was slightly disgusted, I would say, but I saw every picture that was nominated and they're all marvelous pictures. If I happen to think 'Avatar' is the best of the lot you can forgive me for that." He then added, "I would never want to in any way disrespect another film or director, but having said that, we should have won." Earlier this month, Sigourney Weaver blamed reverse sexism on "Hurt Locker" helmer Kathryn Bigelow winning best director over "Avatar" creator James Cameron. IMDB

Brad Brevet thinks that Pixar's upcoming "Toy Story 3" is not a slam-dunk for the animated feature Academy Award now that Sony Pictures Classics has acquired the domestic rights to Sylvain Chomet's "The Illusionist." The film is based on an unproduced screenplay by Gallic great Jacques Tati ("M.Hulot's Holiday"). As Brad notes, "Sony Classics distributed Chomet's 'The Triplets of Belleville' in 2003 and it then went on to be nominated for two Oscars, including best animated feature and best original song ('Belleville Rendez-Vous'). 'Triplets' ended up losing to 'Finding Nemo' that year setting up an interesting bit of competition." ROPE OF SILICON

• Who knew there were so many "Bosom Buddies" fans? The cast reunion -- led by two-time Oscar champ Tom Hanks -- on the eighth annual TV Land Awards on Sunday helped propel this kudocast to its best numbers since 2004. The cable net reports that 1.7 million people tuned in to watch Tim Allen host this celebration of classic TV, an increase of 53% over last year's show. TV BY THE NUMBERS

Tony Awards logo • The Tony Awards in conjunction with longtime host broadcaster CBS and Macy’s launched an online contest today to find two would-be Broadway belters to walk the red carpet at the 64th annual theater kudos June 13. Winners will be chosen in a two-art process. First, contestants will upload videos of their renditions of selected show tunes. An online vote will determine five finalists who will be flown to Gotham to take part in a sing-off at the flagship Macy's in Herald Square on June 11, where an expert panel will pick the two winners. CBS

• The Royal Shakespeare Company's recent acclaimed production of "Hamlet" with "Doctor Who" star David Tennant in the title role airs on "Great Performances" Wednesday night. Last year, two of the lead actor in a TV movie or mini-series Emmy nominees appeared in taped versions of their theatrical triumphs: Kevin Kline ("Cyrano de Bergerac") and Ian McKellen ("King Lear"). Both lost to Brendan Gleeson, who played Winston Churchill in the WWII biopic "Into the Storm."

Top photo: "The Amazing Race" logo. Credit: CBS.

Middle photo: Stephen Lang in "Avatar." Credit: Fox.

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

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'The Amazing Race' continues to, well, amaze

April 20, 2009 | 12:11 pm

"The Amazing Race" may be in the final stages of its 14th installment on CBS, but powerhouse episodes such as Sunday night's are why this six-time champ has never lost the Emmy Award for best reality/competition show, not even to TV's biggest ratings smash, "American Idol." The losers on this leg of "The Amazing Race" were an almost-foregone conclusion with brothers Mark and Michael facing a four-hour penalty. The most excitement was at the front of the pack.

The Amazing Race-2

This iteration of the race includes the first deaf contestant, Luke, who is teamed with his signing mother Margie. They have won several legs and are fierce competitors. Last week, they were pitted against sisters LaKisha and Jen as both teams struggled to find their way to the next route marker in Bangkok, Thailand. Each side felt the other had done it wrong and that set the stage for this week's confrontation.

First, Luke and Jen jostled at the clue box with Jen ending up calling the openly gay Luke a derogatory name. Then later in the leg, Luke and Jen got into it again at the next clue box with even more pushing and shoving. Finally, at the mat where they were only seconds apart, the gloves really came off. Jen said she thought Luke was a dirty player while Margie rushed to her son's defense and called out the sisters for mocking his deafness.

"The Amazing Race" emcee Phil Keoghan — who, surprisingly, wasn't nominated last year for the first Emmy awarded to reality show hosts — tried to calm down the combative contestants. His efforts were of no avail. With tensions mounting as the final four teams race for that million-dollar prize, expect even more fireworks. And expect "The Amazing Race" to be a strong contender for a seventh straight Emmy as best reality competition series with episodes such as this one.

Below is one snippet from the show. See more and vote for your favorite here.

Photo credit: CBS

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An 'Amazing Race' for host Phil Keoghan

February 25, 2009 |  2:26 pm


"The Amazing Race" host Phil Keoghan is about to embark on a cross-country bicycle trip to raise funds and awareness for multiple sclerosis. Keoghan will set off from Los Angeles on March 28, average 100 miles a day, and arrive in New York on May 9 — the day before "The Amazing Race" finale airs on CBS. The 14th edition of the show started two weeks ago and even managed to hold its own in the ratings last Sunday opposite the Oscars.

"The Amazing Race" has won all six Emmy Awards handed out for best reality competition series. Surprisingly, Keoghan was not nominated last year for the inaugural category as reality show host -- "Survivor" wrangler Jeff Probst won that Emmy Award. The only upside to that snub was that it meant Keoghan avoided the embarrassment that befell the nominees, who flopped miserably as hosts of the Emmy Awards.


Reality bites, critics of Emmys show say

George Clooney returns to 'ER' - to nab that elusive Emmy?

Photo: CBS

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