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Category: Tony Shalhoub

Dueling Emmy predictions: Mike versus Tom

August 13, 2010 |  1:25 pm
Emmy logo sparkle-1

Entertainment Weekly's Mike Ausiello and I mostly agree on who'll win Emmys in the top series races Aug. 29. However, there are significant differences in our rankings per category, and there is drastic disagreement over how we size up the contest for best comedy actor. I've got Tony Shalhoub ("Monk") in first place, Mike's got him in last!

Note: My predix are still a bit tentative. I haven't seen a few of the episodes submitted to Emmy judges by nominees as examples of their best work. When I finish up that viewing in a few days, I may make a few changes. Mike may want to make a few last-minute switcheroos too? Meantime, thank you, Mike, for piping in.


BEST DRAMA SERIES

Mike Ausiello

Tom O'Neil

1. "Mad Men" "Mad Men"
2. "Breaking Bad" "Lost"
3.

"The Good Wife"

"Dexter"
4. "Dexter" "The Good Wife"
5. "Lost"

"Breaking Bad"

6. "True Blood" "True Blood"


BEST DRAMA ACTOR

Mike Ausiello

Tom O'Neil

1. Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad" Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad"
2. Kyle Chandler, "Friday Night Lights"

Michael C. Hall, "Dexter"

3.

Hugh Laurie, "House"

Kyle Chandler, "Friday Night Lights"
4. Matthew Fox, "Lost"

Hugh Laurie, "House"

5. Michael C. Hall, "Dexter"

Matthew Fox, "Lost"

6. Jon Hamm, "Mad Men" Jon Hamm, "Mad Men"


BEST DRAMA ACTRESS

Mike Ausiello

Tom O'Neil

1. Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife" Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife"
2. Connie Britton, "Friday Night Lights" Connie Britton, "Friday Night Lights"
3.

Glenn Close, "Damages"

Glenn Close, "Damages"

4. January Jones, "Mad Men" Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer"
5. Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer"

Mariska Hargitay, "Law & Order: SVU"

6. Mariska Hargitay, "Law & Order: SVU" January Jones, "Mad Men"


BEST COMEDY SERIES

Mike Ausiello

Tom O'Neil

1. "Modern Family" "Modern Family"
2. "Glee" "Glee"
3.

"30 Rock"

"30 Rock"

4. "The Office" "Nurse Jackie"
5. "Curb Your Enthusiasm"

"Curb Your Enthusiasm"

6. "Nurse Jackie" "The Office"


BEST COMEDY ACTOR

Mike Ausiello

Tom O'Neil

1. Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory" Tony Shalhoub, "Monk"
2. Steve Carell, "The Office" Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory"
3.

Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock"

Larry David, "Curb Your Enthusiasm"
4. Larry David, "Curb Your Enthusiasm" Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock"
5. Matthew Morrison, "Glee"

Steve Carell, "The Office"

6. Tony Shalhoub, "Monk" Matthew Morrison, "Glee"


BEST COMEDY ACTRESS

Mike Ausiello

Tom O'Neil

1. Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie" Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie"
2. Amy Poehler, "Parks & Recreation" Toni Collette, "United States of Tara"
3.

Tina Fey, "30 Rock"

Lea Michele, "Glee"
4. Toni Collette, "United States of Tara"

Tina Fey, "30 Rock"

5. Lea Michele, "Glee"

Amy Poehler, "Parks & Recreation"

6. Julie Louis-Dreyfus, "New Adventures of Old Christine" Julie Louis-Dreyfus, "New Adventures of Old Christine"

Photo: Academy of Television Arts & Sciences

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Emmy favorites, according to Yahoo

August 12, 2010 |  1:54 pm

Never mind which TV shows and stars are favored by Emmy voters. Yahoo measured the lists of Emmy nominees according to which ones were searched most by their Web browsers during the eligibility period spanning June 1, 2009, to May 31, 2010.

Yahoo emmy

TOP SEARCHED BEST SERIES, DRAMA

1. "Lost"

2. "True Blood"

3. "Dexter"

4. "Mad Men"

5. "Breaking Bad"

6. "The Good Wife"
 


TOP SEARCHED BEST SERIES, COMEDY
1. "Glee"

2. "The Office"

3. "Modern Family"

4. "30 Rock"

5. "Nurse Jackie"

6. "Curb Your Enthusiasm"
 

TOP SEARCHED BEST ACTOR, DRAMA
1. Michael C. Hall, "Dexter"
2. Hugh Laurie, "House"

3. Jon Hamm, "Mad Men"

4. Matthew Fox, "Lost"

5. Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad"

6. Kyle Chandler, "Friday Night Lights"

Continue reading »

Early Emmy predictions: Best comedy series, actor and actress

July 16, 2010 |  2:10 pm
Modern family big bang theory emmys

Below, our experts Chris "Boomer" Beachum, Rob Licuria (AwardsHeaven.net) and I rank the nominees for best comedy series, actor and actress. All three of us expect recent Emmy winning streaks to end. "30 Rock" has won best comedy series for three years in a row, but we say "Modern Family" will prevail on Aug. 29. "30 Rock" star Alec Baldwin has won for the last two years, but Chris and I think three-time past champ Tony Shalhoub will get a parting gift now that "Monk" has left the airwaves. Rob predicts the gold will go to Jim Parsons ("Big Bang Theory"). Our predictions are largely based upon knowing which sample episodes have been submitted to Emmy judges by the nominees. See the list here.


BEST COMEDY SERIES

Tom O'Neil

Rob Licuria

Chris Beachum
1. "Modern Family" "Modern Family" "Modern Family"
2. "30 Rock" "30 Rock" "30 Rock"
3.

"Nurse Jackie"

"Curb Your Enthusiasm" "Glee"
4. "Glee" "Glee" "Curb Your Enthusiasm"
5. "Curb Your Enthusiasm"

"Nurse Jackie"

"The Office"

6. "The Office" "The Office" "Nurse Jackie"



BEST COMEDY ACTOR

Tom O'Neil

Rob Licuria

Chris Beachum
1. Tony Shalhoub, "Monk" Jim Parsons, "Big Bang Theory" Tony Shalhoub, "Monk"
2. Jim Parsons, "Big Bang Theory" Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock" Jim Parsons, "Big Bang Theory"
3.

Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock"

Tony Shalhoub, "Monk" Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock"
4. Steve Carell, "The Office" Steve Carell, "The Office" Steve Carell, "The Office"
5. Larry David, "Curb Your Enthusiasm"

Larry David, "Curb Your Enthusiasm"

Larry David, "Curb Your Enthusiasm"

6. Matthew Morrison, "Glee" Matthew Morrison, "Glee" Matthew Morrison, "Glee"



BEST COMEDY ACTRESS

Tom O'Neil

Rob Licuria

Chris Beachum
1. Toni Collette, "United States of Tara" Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie" Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie"
2. Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie" Toni Collette, "United States of Tara" Toni Collette, "United States of Tara"
3.

Lea Michele, "Glee"

Amy Poehler, "Parks and Recreation" Tina Fey, "30 Rock"
4. Amy Poehler, "Parks and Recreation"

Lea Michele, "Glee"

Amy Poehler, "Parks and Recreation"
5. Tina Fey, "30 Rock"

Tina Fey, "30 Rock"

Lea Michele, "Glee"

6. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "New Adventures of Old Christine" Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "New Adventures of Old Christine" Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "New Adventures of Old Christine"

Photos: "Modern Family" (ABC), Tony Shalhoub (Fox), "Big Bang Theory" (CBS)

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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 »

Experts predict Tony Award nominations

April 29, 2010 |  9:57 am

There's a lot of drama surrounding the Tony Award nominations, which will be unveiled Tuesday. Take, for example, the battle over best musical. The pundits cited below are split over eight contenders to take those four category slots. "American Idiot" is the favorite to win, but an upset is possible. The biggest drama of all is over best drama — there's no clear front-runner.

We've recruited predix from a team of savvy prognosticators: Melissa Bernardo (Entertainment Weekly), Martin Denton (NYTheatre), Thom Geier (Entertainment Weekly), Andy Humm (Gay City News, Gay USA), Kenneth Jones (Playbill.com), Brian Lipton (Theater Mania), Patrick Pacheco (L.A. Times, NY1), Paul Sheehan (TheEnvelope.com), David Sheward (Back Stage), Matt Windman (amNY) and me.

American Idiot Broadway Tonys Tony Awards nominations news 2

BEST PLAY
"A Behanding in Spokane" — Geier, Humm
"Enron" — Bernardo, Denton, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward
"In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play" — Humm, Windman
"Next Fall" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
"Race" — Denton, Jones, O'Neil, Sheward
"Red" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
"Time Stands Still" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, Pacheco, Sheehan, Windman

BEST MUSICAL
"The Addams Family" — Jones, Sheward
"American Idiot" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
"Come Fly Away" — Bernardo, Geier, Windman
"Everyday Rapture" — Lipton, Pacheco
"Fela!" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
"Memphis" — Denton, Geier, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
"Million Dollar Quartet" — Bernardo, Denton, Humm, Sheehan
"Sondheim on Sondheim" — O'Neil, Humm

BEST REVIVAL OF A PLAY
"A View from the Bridge" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
"Collected Stories" -- Humm
"Fences" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
"Hamlet" — Bernardo, Humm
"Lend Me a Tenor" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
"The Royal Family" — Denton, Geier, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman

BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
"A Little Night Music" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
"Finian’s Rainbow" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
"La Cage Aux Folles" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier,Humm,  Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
"Ragtime" — Bernardo, Humm
"Promises, Promises" — Denton, Geier, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman

BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
John Gallagher Jr., "American Idiot" — Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, O'Neil, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
Kelsey Grammer, "La Cage aux Folles" — Denton, Jones
Sean Hayes, "Promises, Promises" — Bernardo, Geier, Lipton, Pacheco, Sheehan, Windman
Douglas Hodge, "La Cage Aux Folles" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
Chad Kimball, "Memphis" — Bernardo, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
Nathan Lane, "The Addams Family" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheward
Sahr Nguajah, "Fela!" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman

BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Kate Baldwin, "Finian’s Rainbow" — Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
Kristin Chenoweth, "Promises, Promises" — Bernardo, Humm, O'Neil
Montego Glover, "Memphis" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
Bebe Neuwirth, "The Addams Family" — Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheward, Windman
Christine Noll, "Ragtime" -- Bernardo, Denton
Sherie Rene Scott, "Everyday Rapture" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
Catherine Zeta-Jones, "A Little Night Music" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman

Continue reading »

Emmy predix: Best lead comedy actor

April 16, 2010 |  9:29 am

Now that Ed O'Neill ("Modern Family") has declared his Emmy candidacy in the supporting race, that appears to clear up any confusion surrounding the lead race too. Our Emmy seers Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Robert "Rob L" Licuria (AwardsHeaven.net) agree on five likely nominees for best lead comedy actor. For the sixth slot, Boomer picks Larry David ("Curb Your Enthusiasm"), and Rob opts for Thomas Jane ("Hung"). They agree on who's ahead to win — Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock"), who's nabbed this trophy for the last two years.

Also check out their predix in these races: lead drama actor, best drama actress, best supporting drama actorbest drama series, and best comedy series.

Glee Matthew Morrison Alec Baldwin 30 Rock TV news


BEST COMEDY ACTOR: ROB'S PREDIX
1. Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock")
2. Steve Carell ("The Office")
3. Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory")
4. Tony Shalhoub ("Monk")
5. Thomas Jane ("Hung")
6. Matthew Morrison ("Glee")
 
Alternates: Charlie Sheen ("Two and a Half Men"), Larry David ("Curb Your Enthusiasm")
 
ROB'S COMMENTARY: This is a solid group, with Thomas Jane a possible threat and Matthew Morrison my left-field choice (and deservedly so). Could voters get lazy and reanoint Sheen or David? Probably.


BEST COMEDY ACTOR: BOOMER'S PREDIX
1. Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock")
2. Steve Carell ("The Office")
3. Tony Shalhoub ("Monk")
4. Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory")
5. Larry David ("Curb Your Enthusiasm")
6. Matthew Morrison ("Glee")

Alternates -- Charlie Sheen ("Two and a Half Men"), Thomas Jane ("Hung")

BOOMER'S COMMENTARY:  This would seem to be one of the easiest categories to predict, with the first five men on my list almost assured of nominations.

Continue reading »

What Emmy judges see: Alec Baldwin in 'Rosemary's Baby' episode of '30 Rock'

August 25, 2008 |  7:19 pm

Considering that Alec Baldwin has already won a Golden Globe and two SAG Awards for his role on "30 Rock," it's surprising that he still hasn't nabbed an Emmy for the show voted best comedy series last year.

Ricky Gervais ended up pulling off a jaw-dropping upset in that race for best comedy actor in 2007, but Gervais is currently shuttled off to the lineup for TV movie actors because that's where the "Extras" finale qualifies. Now Baldwin competes against Charlie Sheen ("Two and a Half Men") and three chaps who have, literally, a big advantage over Baldwin and Sheen. They compete with one-hour episode entries over half-hour rivals. In the last eight years, stars with one-hour episodes won five times. To read in-depth analysis of the sample episodes they chose to submit to Emmy judges, click on their names: Steve Carell ("The Office"), Lee Pace ("Pushing Daisies") and Tony Shalhoub ("Monk").

But don't write off Baldwin hastily. In "Rosemary's Baby," he gives the flashiest performance of all nominees in this category, and it's a dangerous performance that risks being slammed as racist if it wasn't so over-the-top ridiculous. It's a shocking comic riff that really shows off Baldwin's gifts as a comic actor.

The gist: Baldwin's smug TV exec Jack Donaghy must stop his star Tracy (Tracy Morgan) from doing everything he's told not to — like organizing dog fighting. Tracy says he can't help himself because he's still rebelling against the ne'er-do-well dad who deserted him when he was young. Jack sets up a powwow with the network therapist, who suggests that Jack help Tracy to act out role playing so Tracy can confront these ghosts from his past.

Jack agrees but enacts outrageous African American TV roles. When portraying Tracy's dad, he channels Redd Foxx as Fred Sanford in "Sanford and Son" and, when being Tracy, he's Jimmie Walker as J.J. in "Good Times." Jack cranks up the racial stereotypes so high that the therapist is flabbergasted and offended, but not Tracy. He gets seriously absorbed in the exchange.

JACK (AS FRED SANFORD): "Hey, dummy! I'm mad at you too! Why you gotta act out that way?"

TRACY: "Cause you left me, Dad!"

JACK (AS FRED SANFORD): "I was young and confused and your mom didn't want me around no more. Now pass me dem damn collard greens."

TRACY: "Is this true, Mom?"

JACK (AS TRACY'S MOM): "He gambled away my welfare check!"

JACK (AS FRED SANFORD): "I got a mind to smack you upside the head!"

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Could Steve Carell's creepy role in 'The Office' hurt his Emmy hopes?

July 30, 2008 |  3:59 pm

Sometimes I'm tempted to dismiss Steve Carell 's shot at winning the Emmy for two reasons. He portrays what we all (including Emmy voters) hate the most — the creepy boss from hell — and he's already lost the race for best comedy actor twice. How can he possibly have any hope now?

This year Carell gave Emmy judges a special, one-hour episode of "The Office" titled "Goodbye Toby" as the sample of his best work. As everybody knows, size matters in Hollywood and it really, really matters at the Emmys. In the race for best comedy actor, which is usually reserved for the stars of half-hour sitcoms, one-hour episodes have won five times Steve_carell_pull_quote1 over the last eight years. Tony Shalhoub won three times for his one-hour show "Monk" in 2003, 2005 and 2006. In 2000, Michael J. Fox won for submitting his one-hour special farewell eppy of "Spin City" titled "Goodbye/Conclusion." In 2001, Eric McCormack won for "Lows in the Mid-Eighties," the one-hour flashback episode that reveals how the title characters of "Will & Grace" met.

This year we have three one-hour entries — Steve Carell, Tony Shalhoub and Lee Pace ("Pushing Daisies") — plus an extremely strong half-hour entry by Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock"). Charlie Sheen's 30-minute performance in "Is There a Mrs. Waffles?" is quite good too, but the lightweight nature of "Two and a Half Men" probably sinks him.

The detestable nature of Carell's character Michael in "The Office" is probably what's sunk him twice in the past. Now it's back big time. In "Goodbye, Toby," Michael has an irrational, unfair hatred of his personnel director and he's caught giving Toby a cruel farewell present — a rock with the note marked "Suck on this!"

Unfortunately, Michael gets caught in front of the new personnel director, Holly, with whom he's utterly, hopelessly in love. The fact that Michael is so ridiculously smitten throughout this episode does help to blunt his offensive nature — sometimes — like when he and Holly take a ferris-wheel ride out in the parking lot where the whole office gang throws Toby a farewell party.

"It's love at first sight," Michael confides to Jim (John Krasinski) about his hots for Holly. "Actually, no, it was when I heard her voice. It was love at first see with my ears!"

Carell's big, theatrical, knock-out scene comes when the party starts and Michael lets loose with a knock-off version of Supertramp's "Goodbye, Stranger" sung to the words of "Goodbye, Toby" with the help of a local rent-a-band at the shindig. Carell surrenders shrewdly to the silliness of the scene while he hops around, screeching and overselling every absurd lyric. He's great.

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Can 'Naked Man' help Tony Shalhoub to win Emmy No. 4?

July 29, 2008 |  3:56 pm

"Monk" star Tony Shalhoub won three Emmys and only lost twice because he usually has two advantages over his rivals in the race for best comedy actor. Tony Shalhoub stars in a one-hour program ("Monk" is twice as long as the sitcoms competing against it) and he gets to wig out in big, grandstanding scenes thanks to his character being a nut job.

Tony_shalhoub_monk_emmy

This year Tony Shalhoub is a major contender again, but has three serious rivals. Lee Pace may be the front-runner because he has the one-hour advantage too, and gives a full-bodied, sensitive performance in the pilot episode ("Pie-lette") of "Pushing Daisies." But, beware: two-time past loser Steve Carell gave Emmy judges a special one-hour eppy of "The Office" too ("Goodbye Toby" — read our analysis HERE). Alec Baldwin doesn't reveal much emotional range in his 30-minute "30 Rock" submission, "Rosemary's Baby," but he sure does wow Emmy judges with his audacity as he launches into jive-pumped imitations of Redd Foxx/Fred Sanford ("Hey, dummy! I'm mad at you too!") and Jimmie Walker/J.J. ("Dyn-o-mite!") that might offend African Americans if the imitations weren't so over-the-top ridiculous.

Frankly, Forget the fifth nominee. Charlie Sheen submitted the superb "Is There a Mrs. Waffles?" episode of "Two and a Half Men." It's his best perf ever, but, considering the shallowness of the role, that's not saying much. Besides, it's creepy too -- it portrays the scum-bum rascal as a hero to kids when he becomes a hit singer of their favorite, silly ditties.

One of the biggest questions looming over this Emmy race is how that wild card Tony Shalhoub will play out. On one hand, it's tempting to dismiss him now because his episode, "Mr. Monk and the Naked Man," doesn't have the same gravitas as episodes that resulted in his three previous wins: "Mr. Monk and the Airport" (2003), "Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine" (2005) and "Mr. Monk Bumps His Head" (2006).

But it does have one touching scene before it explodes into utter absurdity. In this episode, Monk is so freaked out by the sight of skin that he can't solve the murder of a girl on a nude beach. When he sits down to sort this out with his therapist, he grabs a Kleenex to prepare for a teary chat, then he reveals, "Something I never told you. Something happened when I was a boy. There was an incident with a man. I'd never seen him before, a stranger. I was young, so small , I remember, I remember, I was naked, so naked. I hated being naked. I was crying. He hit me. There was blood, blood everywhere. I was screaming, wanted him to stop. My mother was smiling. Why didn't she stop him? She was supposed to protect me. He kept hitting me. Swinging me around, upside down. I never wanted to be naked again!"

Now here comes the absurd part when his therapist interrupts, noting, "That man was a doctor. You're remembering your own birth."

"Oh, come on!" I gasped at that point of viewing this episode. Emmy voters too?

As if that scene's not ridiculous enough, consider the scene that TV academy voters see a few minutes earlier, one so preposterous that it may dash Tony Shalhoub's newest Emmy hope.

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