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Watch out, Ellen Degeneres: Emmy rivals Rosie O'Donnell and Oprah Winfrey are teaming up

August 6, 2010 |  7:37 am

Rosie_odonnell_2Rosie O'Donnell is returning to TV next fall with a talk show on OWN -- the new cable net owned by Oprah Winfrey. In making the announcement, the two TV titans formed a mutual admiration society. Oprah said, "Rosie is an undeniable talent who has captivated TV audiences for nearly 20 years. She’s a true original, who brings her authentic voice, dynamic energy and pure passion to everything she does." And Rosie added, "It's an honor and a privilege to work with Oprah Winfrey on her network. I’m excited to be back on daytime television."

When Rosie first revealed her intention in March to try her hand at another talk show, there was speculation she might even land in Oprah's time slot when the queen of daytime signed off next summer. However, as Joseph Adalian reports, "local broadcasters hate taking risks and were no doubt worried about just what kind of show the sometimes-controversial ex-Queen of Nice might be planning, even though O'Donnell and her partners had made it clear she wasn't looking to turn into the female Keith Olbermann."

The press release promises "a fun, uplifting show with Ms. O'Donnell's playful and energetic style," and that certainly sounds a lot like Rosie's original daytime talker. That self-titled show dominated the Daytime Emmy Awards during a six-year run that began in 1996. A year after Rosie signed off in 2002, Ellen DeGeneres began her own show, and this new queen of nice now reigns over the TV kudos. However, with Rosie's return, we could soon see a repeat of the smackdown that dominated the Daytime Emmys in the late 1990s.

Rosie's gabfest won best talk show five years in a row (1998-2002) and she took home the best host award for all six years of the show's run (1997-2002). Her initial victories were especially impressive because Oprah hadn't bowed out of the Emmys yet. In 1998, Rosie beat Oprah for best talk show and they tied for the hosting trophy. Oprah dropped out of the host race in 1999 and the show race the following year.

Ellen DeGeneres won best talk show from 2004 to 2007 and talk show host from 2005 to 2008. In 2008 and 2009, she lost best talk/entertainment show to "Rachael Ray" while the gaggle on "The View" took the hosting prize in 2009. This year, Ellen bounced back with a win for best talk/entertainment show but refused to submit her name for consideration in the host category. Will she continue to opt out of this race now that Rosie looms on the horizon?

Photo: Rosie O'Donnell at the 1997 Daytime Emmy Awards. Credit: Steve Fenn / Associated Press

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Gold Derby nuggets: George Clooney bounces reality hosts from Emmycast | 'Modern Family' sneak peek | 'Mad Men' fails to win over advertisers

August 2, 2010 |  2:43 pm

George Clooney Emmy Awards • The winner of the reality show host race won't be accepting on the prime-time Emmy telecast, which is live nationwide this year. As the show is scheduled to repeat on the West Coast at 8 p.m. PDT, the broadcast has to be over in exactly three hours. So, to ensure there is time for George Clooney to collect the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award, the host category has been bumped to the Creative Arts Emmys which take place eight days earlier and air, in an edited version, on the E! cable network. Also missing from the main telecast will be the awards for writers and directors of comedy music variety series, which alternate with the equivalent races for telefilms and minis. Ray Richmond reports on all this and more as per the show's exec producer Don Mischer, who explained, "On the long-form awards, for example, we didn't have the option of shifting the writers and directors for contractual reasons. And we really didn't want to think about taking the made-for-TV movie or miniseries award out. The reality host award was one we didn't have a commitment to in terms of keeping it in the telecast." DEADLINE

• After noting that "when the reality host category had been added to the derby two years ago, they'd been sold a bill of goods about how it was going to young-up the audience for the trophy show," Lisa de Moraes analyzes the rationale of shifting the award off the prime-time kudocast. "What the academy's not saying is that it wants to goose the show's numbers, seeing as how it does not yet have a closed contract to keep broadcasting the show on the broadcast networks. A new contract may not be a slam-dunk, given that the Emmys have become a big fat plug for cable networks, which annoys suits at the broadcast nets mightily. And, when you're trying to attract viewers to a show, you do not want to lose sight of the fact that Clooney is Clooney, while Jeff Probst is, well, Jeff Probst. And yet, despite this undeniable truth, Mischer and academy President John Shaffner continued to insist during their appearance at the Press Tour, that that is not why Probst's annual win will not be seen during the televised portion of the Emmy ceremony. The academy had no choice, they explained. Other categories you'd think would be high on the Whack-This List are protected from cutting by deals the academy has with networks and/or various guilds. Try to cut one of those categories and, for instance, a guild might decide you'd violated that pact and inform you that you're going to have to pay its members residuals on that boatload of clips you air during your trophy show. Ouch!" WASHINGTON POST

Jimmy Fallon made merry with the TV folk when he appeared at the TCA to tout his upcoming hosting gig of the Emmy Awards. As James Hibberd reports, the "Late Night" host was in fine form. " 'I want the TV academy to be happy, I want [producer] Don Mischner to be happy,' Fallon said of his upcoming Emmy stint, adding that 'I don't want to make anybody uncomfortable' with his jokes. 'You have to relate to different people as well,' Fallon said about appealing to the wider Emmy audience. 'I gotta get you to laugh and you to laugh and you to laugh -- they don't all laugh at the same thing.' " HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

Modern-family-posterEd O'Neill, the only adult cast member of "Modern Family" not to receive an Emmy nomination, told the TCA "that the show's child actors were the ones who really got snubbed by academy voters. 'The truth is, if you're nominated or you're not nominated, you don't have a lot of options. For all I know, the kids could have been nominated before me ... the kids were phenomenal.' " However, his younger cast mates demurred. "Asked if he felt left out of the Emmy race, 12-year-old Rico Rodriguez, who plays Manny on the show, said, 'They probably have something in store for us later in the years; it'll be great to even go to the Emmys.' " THE WRAP

• One of O'Neill's Emmy-nominated "Modern Family" co-stars -- Eric Stonestreet -- thinks that his character, Cameron, will eventually marry his gay partner, Mitchell (Jessie Tyler Ferguson). As he told Sean Daly, "I don’t know how that would happen with the real-life legality. Maybe it would be a destination (wedding). Us going somewhere that gay marriage is legal. But they have to save some of that stuff. We hope to be on the air for seven years." Show producer Christopher Lloyd admits, "Frankly we have stayed away from anything that feels overtly political. It is just not the style of our show. But we wouldn’t rule it out." NEW YORK POST

Nathan Lane has contended twice before for best guest actor in a comedy series and could well be a contender against next year for his just-announced turn on "Modern Family." Gary Levin reports from the TCA that the two-time Tony champ will play, "Pepper, the flamboyant older friend of Mitchell and Cameron,  who was referenced last season. He'll appear in one the early episodes in the fall. Lane approached producers about doing the show, and executive producer Steven Levitan says he fits the part perfectly. But mostly, 'We're toning down on stunt casting; we don't want to turn into a guest of the week. The audience loves our characters and we have enough of them' in the large ensemble." USA TODAY

• Fox is jumping on the country music awards bandwagon with the inaugural kudocast of the American Country Awards set for Dec. 6. As Andrew Wallenstein and Shirley Halperin report, "ACA will attempt to differentiate itself from the other shows by having the fans vote for the winners. The executive producer of the program is Bob Bain,who runs the Teen Choice Awards, another viewer-driven awards show for Fox. After years of decline, there seems to be renewed faith in awards shows given the resurgence of several key franchises, including the Grammys, which rocketed to 26.6 million viewers this year, up more than 7 million from 2009." THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

• The fourth film from theater visionary Julie Taymor -- a re-imagining of Shakespeare's "The Tempest" -- will close the 67th edition of the Venice Film Festival on Sept. 11 and will also be the Centerpiece selection for this year’s New York Film Festival, unspooling in Manhattan on Oct. 2. The picture stars Oscar champ Helen Mirren ("The Queen") as Prospera, a gender-bending take on the character of Prospero, a sorcerer marooned on an island with his daughter. The film features another Oscar winner -- Chris Cooper ("Adaptation") -- as well as Russell Brand, Alan Cumming, Djimon Hounsou, David Strathairn and Ben Whishaw. In making the announcement, NYFF selection chairman Richard Pena said, "Julie Taymor is one of the boldest, most innovative artists working in American theater and film, and her elegant adaptation of 'The Tempest' is a perfect illustration of her unique artistry." NYFF

Mad-men-logo-300x159 • "Mad Men" may have won over the Emmy Awards but it is striking out with ad agencies. As Brian Steinberg writes, "airings of 'Mad Men' took in only $1.98 million in ad revenue in 2009, according to Kantar Media. In 2008, the show nabbed just less than $2.8 million, and in 2007, approximately $2.25 million. These are paltry amounts when one considers that a 30-second ad in an equally buzzy program such as '24' on Fox cost between $200,000 and $280,000 as the show, off its peak, headed into its final season." However, as Brian notes, "while ad dollars placed against 'Mad Men' may be small, AMC's use of the program can help it win more revenue from other sources. Since 'Mad Men' arrived, the amount AMC gets paid by cable and satellite operators per subscriber has increased to 24 cents from 22 cents, according to SNL Kagan. Before the show debuted, that fee had declined to 21 cents in 2006 from 22 cents in 2005. The channel is available in more than 95 million homes." AD AGE

• The red-hot Betty White is guesting on the season opener of the sophomore season of "Community." David Kronke visited the set to see "America's favorite octogenarian, who plays a deeply eccentric anthropology professor named Jane Bauer." She tangles with Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) in a smackdown that required the use of a stuntwoman at one point. And, as David reports, "White, the usual sugar in her voice, asks her, 'Honey, will you do me a favor?' The stunt double, as awed as the rest of the cast and crew by the iconic White, replies, 'Anything for you.' White says flatly, 'Don't screw up,' delivering her improvised joke for the sole benefit of those in attendance with the same élan as she does her punchlines in appearances seen by millions." TV GUIDE

• Although Will Arnett was at the TCA Monday touting his new Fox sitcom "Running Wilde," he found time to talk about his last series with Fox, the much-missed "Arrested Development," which won the Emmy for best comedy series for the first of its three seasons in 2004. Arnett told TheWrap that a film version of the caustic comedy is "definitely happening" and "that he'd spoken with other principals in the project over the weekend. 'We just had a meeting about it yesterday morning,' Arnett said. 'Timing we're still working on, but it's definitely going to happen.' " THE WRAP

Photos, from top: George Clooney on the "Hope for Haiti" telethon. Credit: MTV; "Modern Family" first season poster. Credit: ABC; "Mad Men" logo. Credit: AMC

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Conan O'Brien ousts Jay Leno and David Letterman from Emmys

July 8, 2010 |  8:08 am

Conan-obrien-and-jay-leno As expected, Conan O'Brien was rewarded for submitting himself with an Emmy nomination for his seven-month tenure at the helm of "The Tonight Show." While it isn't so surprising that he edged out the returning Jay Leno -- who won this award once (1995) during his first 17 years hosting this late-night staple -- it is a jaw-dropper that "Late Show with David Letterman" is missing from this race for the first time since it debuted in 1994.

"Late Show" won the Emmy for its first season and then picked up five in a row beginning in 1998. That winning streak was halted by "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," which has owned this category since 2003 and contends once again this year. O'Brien will face this Comedy Central hit head-on in the ratings when he launches his new chat fest on TBS in the fall.

It took O'Brien a full decade of hosting "Late Night" before his show landed its first Emmy bid in the variety comedy music series category in 2003. It contended unsuccessfully in this race for five years. In both 2008 and 2009, "Late Night" lost its slot in the list of nominees to the resurgent "Saturday Night Live," which is in the hunt once more.

The other two nominees have been perennial Emmy bridesmaids. "The Colbert Report" earned its fifth consecutive nomination and has an excellent chance to prevail this year thanks to an episode it plans to submit to Emmy jurors -- the host's hilarious and heartfelt trip to Iraq. "Real Time with Bill Maher" earned nom No. 6 but has failed to win a single Emmy, even in the crafts categories. Indeed, Maher is the new Susan Lucci, ranking as the biggest loser in the history of TV's top award, with 22 defeats and no wins for producing, writing and performance.

The new edition of "Late Night" -- helmed by Emmy host Jimmy Fallon -- was snubbed this year. Also missing is "The Mo'Nique Show," starring the "Precious" actress who swept the last film awards derby (New York Film Critics Circle to Oscars).

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Emmy Awards nominations: Who got skunked!

July 8, 2010 |  7:05 am

Ah, the Emmy Awards nominations that might have been! Below is a list of the programs and stars snubbed Thursday by the 14,000 voters of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Here is a list of nominees contending for the major awards at the 62nd annual edition of the Emmys, which will be handed out Aug. 29 on NBC.

* = nominee in 2009


"Big Love" *
"Damages" *
"Friday Night Lights"
"Grey's Anatomy"
"House" *
"The Mentalist"
"Rescue Me"
"The Tudors"

"The Big Bang Theory"
"Bored to Death"
"Desperate Housewives"
"Entourage" *
"Family Guy" *
"How I Met Your Mother" *
"Two and a Half Men"
"Ugly Betty"
"United States of Tara"
"Weeds" *

"Alice" (SyFy)
"Emma" (PBS)
"Occupation" (BBC America)
"The Prisoner" (AMC)
"Small Island" (PBS)

"Amish Grace" (Lifetime Movie Network)
"A Dog Year" (HBO)
"Einstein & Eddington" (HBO)
"Jesse Stone: No Remorse" (CBS)
Hallmark Hall of Fame: "When Love is Not Enough: The Lois Wilson Story" (CBS)
"Who is Clark Rockefeller" (Lifetime)

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Inside track on Emmys: Drama actresses

June 18, 2010 |  1:37 pm
Glenn close damages Julianna Margulies the good wife

Connie Britton, "Friday Night Lights"
Glenn Close, "Damages"
Sally Field, "Brothers & Sisters"
Lauren Graham, "Parenthood"
Anna Gunn, "Breaking Bad"
Mariska Hargitay, "Law & Order: SVU"
Holly Hunter, Saving Grace
January Jones, "Mad Men"
Melissa Leo, "Treme"
Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife"
Anna Paquin, "True Blood"
Katey Sagal, "Sons of Anarchy"
Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer"
Jeanne Tripplehorn, "Big Love"

SPOTLIGHT: "The Good Wife" star Julianna Margulies is a good bet to reign. Not only did she win a Golden Globe and a SAG Award earlier this year, but she was an Emmy fave during her heyday as nurse Carol Hathaway on "ER." Margulies was nominated six times (four in lead, twice in supporting), winning the supporting trophy in 1995.

Patricia Arquette, "Medium"
Regina King, "Southland"
Evangeline Lilly, "Lost"
Mary McCormack, "In Plain Sight"
Ellen Pompeo, "Grey's Anatomy"
Jada Pinkett Smith, "Hawthorne"
Kate Walsh, "Private Practice"

(Long shots)
Kim Delaney, "Army Wives"
Emily Deschanel, "Bones"
Marg Helgenberger, "CSI"
Anna Torv, "Fringe"

Khandi Alexander, "Treme"
Christine Baranski, "The Good Wife"
Rose Byrne, "Damages"
Calista Flockhart, "Brothers & Sisters"
Sharon Gless, "Burn Notice"
Rachel Griffiths, "Brothers & Sisters"
Christina Hendricks, "Mad Men"
Elisabeth Moss, "Mad Men"
Sandra Oh, "Grey's Anatomy"
S. Epatha Merkerson, "Law & Order"
Chloe Sevigny, "Big Love"
Chandra Wilson, "Grey's Anatomy"

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Betty White reflects on a golden career

June 17, 2010 | 12:50 pm

Betty White Emmy Awards Betty White is one of the true pioneers of television, making her debut on the nascent medium in 1939. More than seven decades on and she remains a star of the small screen, headlining a new sitcom, "Hot in Cleveland," which debuted to record ratings for TV Land Wednesday night. 

White was interviewed in 1997 by the Archive of American Television, an offshoot of the foundation of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. She is just one of scores of TV legends to have granted this invaluable resource in-depth video interviews. Other subjects include two of the other "Golden Girls" -- Bea Arthur and Rue McClanahan -- along with Dick Clark, Norman Lear, Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Newhart, Carl Reiner, Isabel Sanford, William ShatnerAaron Spelling, Ted Turner, and Barbara Walters.

The archive has released the embed codes so that compelling conversations, such as this one with White, can be shared with the blogosphere. In part one of this five-part interview, the actress discusses her early days in radio and television and her first Emmy win. See the other parts at the archive website

As White recounts, her connection with television dates to an appearance on an experimental Los Angeles channel in 1939. She and her high school classmate sang songs from the light operetta "The Merry Widow." They were sweltering in a small studio on the sixth floor of the Packard building while the viewing audience gathered in the ground floor auto showroom.

After WWII, White landed a variety of gigs on live TV shows on which she was spotted by local DJ Al Jarvis, who was transferring his hit radio show to television. Soon, White was playing "girl Friday" to Jarvis for 33 hours per week of live lively TV during the day. The pair also hosted a weekly variety show in the evening and from that evolved White's first half-hour situation comedy, "Life with Elizabeth."

As she recalls, the live edition of that show landed her an Emmy bid in 1952 where she was pitted against Zsa Zsa Gabor for "Bachelor's Haven." White won -- much to both their surprise -- and began a love affair with the Emmy Awards that has continued for nearly half a century.

Photo: Betty White with her local Emmy Award for "Life with Elizabeth" in 1952. Credit: Los Angeles Herald

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Can Betty White make it 'Hot in Cleveland'?

June 16, 2010 |  2:28 pm

Hot_in_cleveland_betty_white Betty White was all over the tube this week promoting her new sitcom "Hot in Cleveland," which debuts on TV Land on Wednesday night. This first foray into an original sitcom for the cable net earned respectable reviews from the likes of the New York Times -- "This is not perhaps the most daring or avant-garde comedy on television, but there is nothing shameful about 'Hot in Cleveland.' It’s actually kind of fun" -- and the Los Angeles Times -- "Like the women in it, the show is solid and professional and holds together well."

That White is red-hot is evidenced by her top billing on the TV Land website above nominal stars Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick. While Bertinelli won two Golden Globes for "One Day at a Time" in the early 1980s and Leeves and Malick reaped one and two Emmy noms for "Frasier" and "Just Shoot Me," respectively, in the 1990s, it is White who is the awards darling of the group.

Though White has made memorable appearances in movies as of late, most notably as Sandra Bullock's sassy grandmother in last year's smash hit "The Proposal," her connection with television dates to an appearance on an experimental Los Angeles channel in 1939. Since then, White has conquered every aspect of the medium, including hosting five hours of live TV per day in the 1950s and guesting on countless game shows in the 1960s -- such as "Password," where she met her husband, host Allen Ludden -- and starring in classic sitcoms of the 1970s ("The Mary Tyler Moore Show") and 1980s ("The Golden Girls"). More recently, White has cornered the market on crazy-as-a-fox guest roles.

Along the way, White won four of her 16 prime-time Emmy bids as well as a daytime Emmy for hosting the game show "Just Men!" and even a local one for her first sitcom, "Life With Elizabeth." White took home her first prime-time Emmy in 1975 for her supporting work on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and got a matching bookend award the following year. She was the first of the "Golden Girls" to win an Emmy prevailing as lead actress for the first season of the smash hit in 1986 and earning a nomination in each of the remaining six years. White talks eloquently about both those hits -- as well as her self-titled misfire that came in between and the flop follow-up "The Golden Palace" -- in a fascinating interview with the TV academy (below).

Betty White won the last of her four prime-time Emmys in 1996 for playing an exaggerated version of herself on "The John Larroquette Show." The veteran scene-stealer also contended in the guest comedy actress category for appearances on "Suddenly Susan" in 1997 (Carol Burnett won Emmy no. 7 for "Mad About You") and "Yes, Dear" in 2003 (Christina Applegate won for "Friends").

Her heralded appearance last month hosting "Saturday Night Live" could land White with her 17th Emmy nomination. When the Emmy Awards eliminated the individual performance in a variety series category last year, "SNL" hosts became eligible to contend in the guest-acting races. Emmy darling Tina Fey and Justin Timberlake both won for their stellar turns at the helm of this late-night staple. White, nominated for her over-the-top appearance as Crazy Witch Lady on "My Name is Earl," was one of those felled by Fey.

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TBS touts Conan O'Brien in edgy Emmys campaign

June 8, 2010 | 11:48 am

Conan O'Brien Emmy Awards TBS NBC Tonight Show Jay Leno Ad 1 Last month, Conan O'Brien surprised awards watchers when he submitted his ill-fated edition of "The Tonight Show" for Emmy consideration. NBC did not include the show on its campaign DVD, opting instead for the return of "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno." However, O'Brien's Emmy bid got a boost Tuesday when his new employer, TBS, ran several sassy "For Your Consideration" ads in Variety.

As Turner exec Steve Koonin explained in a statement: "Conan’s great work in 2009 and 2010 deserves Emmy consideration. We’re very excited to have him join TBS later this year." O'Brien inked a deal in April with the cabler for a Monday-Thursday 11 p.m. show set to debut Nov. 8.

That time slot is currently filled by a talker hosted by George Lopez. Lopez welcomed being bumped to the midnight hour if it meant securing O'Brien as a lead-in. "Lopez Tonight" is also among the 27 variety comedy musical series contending on the official Emmy Awards ballot. Choices range from "Attack of the Show" to "X-Play" (both of which run on cable channel G4). Voters are instructed to: "VOTE FOR NO MORE THAN TEN achievements in this category that you have seen and feel are worthy of nomination. (More than ten votes in this category will void all votes in this category.)"

Screen shot 2010-06-08 at 12.13.09 PM

Emmy voting began June 4 and runs until the 21st of the month. Nominees will be announced July 8, and the winners will be revealed Aug. 29 during the NBC telecast of the 62nd Emmy Awards. Hosting the kudos will be Jimmy Fallon, O'Brien's successor at "Late Night."

While Fallon's first season at the helm of the 12:35 a.m. gabfest made it onto the NBC disc, also missing from that mailer was Jay Leno's disastrous foray into prime time ("The Jay Leno Show"). As Curt King, senior vice president of Universal Media Studios, explained at the time: "In the DVD campaign packages, typically we do not include shows that aren't returning."

It took O'Brien a full decade of hosting "Late Night" before the show landed its first Emmy bid in this category in 2003. It contended unsuccessfully for five years, always losing to "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," which O'Brien soon will face head-on in the ratings. In both 2008 and 2009, "Late Night" lost its slot to the resurgent "Saturday Night Live," while "The Daily Show" kept winning.

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Can 'Lost' find its way back to the winner's circle at Emmy Awards?

May 24, 2010 | 12:58 pm
Lost Cast 2005 Emmy Awards

As 20-million viewers now know, not all of the questions posed by the six seasons of "Lost" were answered in Sunday's finale. One more mystery that won't be solved till July 8 is whether the show can contend one last time at the Emmy Awards for best drama series.

"Lost" won this top prize in 2005 for its first season, then went missing for two years. In the second of those, "The Sopranos" won the Emmy for its farewell season, having signed off in 2007 with an equally enigmatic ending. Like "Lost," it had just one Emmy win for best series before picking up that bookend award.

"Lost" returned to the series race in 2008 and 2009, losing both times to "Mad Men." Our two Emmy Awards experts -- Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Robert "Rob L" Licuria (Awards Heaven) -- agree that "Mad Men" will contend again this year, as will "Breaking Bad," "Damages" and "Dexter." Only Boomer is buzzed about "Lost," as well as "The Good Wife," making the ballot. Rob thinks "House, M.D." and "Big Love" will round out the roster.

"Lost" leading man Matthew Fox has never been nominated for an Emmy, and neither of our experts expect him to make it into the crowded lead actor category this year. Neither do they see any of the actresses from the series finally breaking through and earning an Emmy bid.

However, both Boomer and Rob are sure that the two supporting actor champs featured on "Lost" -- Terry O'Quinn and Michael Emerson -- will be back in the race this year. O'Quinn and costar Naveen Andrews went down in defeat to William Shatner ("Boston Legal") in 2005. After winning in 2007, O'Quinn bowed out of the competition, but he told Boomer last month that he will submit himself again this year. Emerson lost to O'Quinn in 2007, and Zeljko Ivanek ("Damages") in 2008 before prevailing last year. Henry Ian Cusick scored a guest nod in the second season -- which he lost to Christian Clemenson ("Boston Legal") -- before joining the show as a regular.

Should any of the "Lost" cast find themselves on the Emmy ballot, they will be able to submit the 150-minute finale as a sample of their work. Performers do well with the Emmy Awards when showcased in an extra-long episode. Previous Emmy champs Helen Hunt ("Mad About You"), Michael J. Fox ("Spin City"), Eric McCormack ("Will & Grace") and Jennifer Aniston ("Friends") all won with double-length episodes.

Last Wednesday, the TV academy announced that the board of governors had approved an exception to the rule restricting entry of extended episodes to just twice the normal length of the show. If "Lost" does earn a series nomination, it is unclear whether this super-sized episode -- if submitted -- will count as two or three of the six episodes used to judge overall production.

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'Lost' super-sized finale will be Emmy-eligible

May 21, 2010 |  9:04 am

Among all of the "Lost" cliffhangers to be (hopefully) answered in Sunday's finale, one was beyond the control of producers -- would the 150-minute episode qualify for Emmy consideration? On Wednesday, the TV academy announced that the board of governors had approved an exception to the rule restricting entry of extended episodes to just twice the normal length of the show.

Thus, this super-sized episode of "Lost" -- a one-time winner as best drama series (2006) -- can now be submitted in all categories at the Emmy Awards, though whether it will count as two or three of the six episodes submitted for overall production is unknown.

Lost Series Finale Emmy Awards We do know that performers do well with the Emmys when showcased in an extra-long episode. Previous Emmy champs Helen Hunt ("Mad About You"), Michael J. Fox ("Spin City"), Eric McCormack ("Will & Grace") and Jennifer Aniston ("Friends") all won with double-length episodes. 

And we know that Terry O'Quinn (winner, supporting actor in a drama, 2007) is returning to the derby this year. His role as the demonic "Man in Black" during this final season of "Lost" has been so prominent that he could certainly opt to jump up to the lead race. However, O'Quinn told our forums moderator Chris "Boomer" Beachum last month that he's staying in the supporting category because "all roles are supporting … whatever one calls them." "Lost" stars Matthew Fox and Evangeline Lilly might disagree with their castaway cast mate, though neither has ever been nominated at the Emmy Awards in the lead races.

Four supporting actors on "Lost" have reaped nominations at the Emmys. O'Quinn won on the second of his two nods in 2007 and then bowed out of the competition. He and Naveen Andrews had lost in 2005 to William Shatner ("Boston Legal"). Michael Emerson lost to O'Quinn in 2007 and Zeljko Ivanek ("Damages") in 2008 before winning last year. Henry Ian Cusick scored a guest nod in the second season -- which he lost to Christian Clemenson ("Boston Legal") -- before joining the show as a regular.

The board of governors approved an exception to paragraph 8 of the judging panels section of the rules: "The length of an episode submitted for individual achievement may exceed, by as much as double, the standard running time of the series episodes. If the episode airs in two parts, both parts may be selected as long as they do not cumulatively exceed twice the standard running time of the series episodes."

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Case closed: 'Law & Order' canceled on brink of setting TV record

May 14, 2010 | 12:39 pm

Law-and-Order-Cancellation-Season-20 NBC canceled "Law & Order" Friday after two decades on the air. When the procedural drama signs off May 24, it will be tied with "Gunsmoke" as prime-time's longest-running drama series. Olympic gold medalist Lindsay Vonn is one of the show's last guest stars. The ski champ features in the series finale as a key witness in a terrorism case.

Two of the three "Law & Order" spinoffs -- "SVU" and "Criminal Intent" -- were renewed for seasons 12 and 10 respectively; "Trial by Jury" lasted just 13 episodes in 2005. And a new "Law & Order" series set in Los Angeles is scheduled to debut on NBC next season.

The original "Law & Order" debuted on NBC in September 1990. Although the series was a solid ratings performer for most of its run, it failed to win over the Emmys very often, taking home just six awards for its 52 nominations so far.

Beginning with the second season, it earned 11 consecutive Emmy Award nominations for best drama series, winning the award only once, in 1997. Elaine Stritch won the guest actress Emmy in 1993 and the series has won four technical awards -- sound editing (1992) and cinematography (1993, 1997, 1998).

Over the years, "Law & Order" starred three different lead actor contenders -- Michael Moriarty (1991-1994), Sam Waterston (1997, 1999, 2000) and Jerry Orbach (2000) -- but none of them made it to the winner's circle. Neither did either of the two supporting actor nominees -- Steven Hill (1998, 1999) and Benjamin Bratt (1999).

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Gold Derby nuggets: 'Lost' finds on auction block | Woes for Oscar winners | Stamp of approval for Katharine Hepburn

May 13, 2010 | 12:21 pm

Lost_Logo • Fans of "Lost" will be able to own a piece of memorabilia from the Emmy Award-winning drama series. This summer, more than 100 props used on the show will go up for auction. As James Hibberd notes, "There's plenty of iconic memorabilia from the show (Charlie's guitar, Locke's death certificate, Hurley's Lotto ticket) and plenty of less-than-iconic (hey, who wants Ana Lucia's ID card? Anybody? How about Kate's toy airplane?)." The penultimate episode of "Lost" airs in the regular Tuesday night time slot on Tuesday. On May 23, ABC is airing a two-hour retrospective and then the 150-minute finale. FOR THE RECORD: This post previously gave the wrong date for the "Lost" finale. The correct date is May 23. THE LIVE FEED

• Stars of two of TV's freshman hits -- Joel McHale ("Community") and Sofia Vergara ("Modern Family") -- will join TV academy chairman and CEO John Shaffner to announce the nominees for the 62nd annual Emmy Awards on July 8. The kudocast is scheduled for Aug. 29 on NBC with "Late Night" host Jimmy Fallon as emcee.

Lynette Rice chats with reigning Emmy champ Cherry Jones about her second season in a supporting role on "24." The wide-ranging conversation includes talk "about President Allison Taylor’s trippy story arc this year (like how she’s overlooking the Russians’ involvement in the assassination of Omar Hassan and focusing on a doomed peace agreement instead)." And, as Lynette warns,"spoiler alert fans! Though the longtime stage actress doesn’t give away too much about the ending, she does tease a thing or two about where her character is headed." ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

• While Jeff Bridges was obviously thrilled to find his name in the best actor envelope on Oscar night, he may have been less pleased to see his name on a notice from the tax man. As Robert Snell reports, "the IRS filed a $23,997 lien against Bridges on April 7 with the Los Angeles County Recorder of Deeds. According to the lien, he owes federal employment taxes from 2002 and 2004." DETROIT NEWS

Kathryn Bigelow The Hurt Locker Oscars • "Triple Frontier" -- Kathryn Bigelow's follow-up film to her Oscar-winning "The Hurt Locker" -- is about the South American region where the borders of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay meet. The area is reputed to be a center of terrorism financing. However, as per this report, "the focus on the region has angered the tourism ministers of Argentina and Paraguay, who fear the movie could damage their countries' reputation with foreign visitors. 'We discussed this subject with Paraguay's tourism minister and the governor of Misiones (an Argentine border state),' said Argentine Tourism Minister Enrique Meyer. 'We all agreed that we were deeply indignant when we discovered that this project seeks to negatively portray this region shared by three South American countries.'" AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

• This fall's return of Donald Margulies' current Tony contender "Time Stands Still" has completed casting. Tony nominee Laura Linney will reprise her role as a photographer who returns from covering the war in Iraq, wounded physically and psychologically. Also back are Brian D'arcy James as her beau and Eric Bogosian as her mentor with Christina Ricci now set to make her Broadway debut as Bogosian's much younger girlfriend. That role was played in the original run by Alicia Silverstone.

Maria Elena sings the praises of composer Michael Giacchino -- an Emmy winner for "Lost" who picked up an Oscar this year for his score for "Up." As Maria reports, "Thursday night, the 'Lost' score will take center stage at UCLA's Royce Hall in a farewell event to the ABC series that will feature Giacchino conducting a 47-member orchestra. Composed of students from the Colburn School of Performing Arts and nine members of Giacchino's "Lost" ensemble, the 'Lost Live' orchestra will perform seven songs from "Lost." Several 'Lost' actors -- Jorge Garcia, Daniel Dae Kim, Naveen Andrews, Michael Emerson and Nestor Carbonell -- will also participate in the program." SHOW TRACKER

Katharine Hepburn Stamp • Four-time Oscar champ Katharine Hepburn was feted on what would have been her 103rd birthday Tuesday with a new stamp from the U.S. Postal Service. The first-class stamp uses a publicity still from her 1942 pic "Woman of the Year" and was unveiled at Hepburn's local post office in Old Saybrook, Conn. Speaking at the ceremony was Postmaster General John E. Potter who said, "With the Katharine Hepburn commemorative stamp as the newest in our 'Legends of Hollywood' series, we continue our proud tradition of honoring the special people who epitomize our nation’s character and aspirations." "Law & Order" stalwart Sam Waterston -- who co-starred with Hepburn in the 1973 TV adaptation of Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie" -- served as master of ceremonies, and Anthony Harvey, who directed Hepburn to her third Oscar in "The Lion in Winter," also attended, as did her nephew Mundy Hepburn and Chuck Still, executive director of the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center.

Dave Itzkoff reports, "the International Documentary Association and a group of filmmakers that includes 20 Academy Award winners and many more nominees have issued an open letter in support of Joe Berlinger, the director of 'Crude,' and objecting to a judge’s ruling that Chevron could subpoena Mr. Berlinger’s footage from that film." The documentary details the lawsuit brought by Ecuadorians against Texaco (now owned by Chevron) claiming that its oil field contaminated their water supply. Chevron says the footage could be helpful to the company's case. ARTS BEAT

• Perennial Oscar player Pixar has canceled production of "Newt," a story about the last two surviving blue newts who are brought together to breed but don't have the requisite chemistry. As per this report, "Without any accompanying explanation, Pixar's 'Newt' was quietly deleted from the May 2010 supplement to 'Disney A to Z: The Official Encyclopedia' by Disney archivist Dave Smith. This means that 'Newt' is clearly on hold for now, if not permanently canceled as has been rumoured. Originally scheduled to be released in Summer 2011, then moved to 2012, the film was supposed to be the first Pixar feature directed by sound designer Gary Rydstrom, who previously directed the short film 'Lifted.'" PIXAR BLOG

Top photo: "Lost" logo. Credit: ABC.

Middle photo: Kathryn Bigelow at the 82nd annual Academy Awards. Credit: AMPAS

Bottom photo: Katharine Hepburn first-class stamp. Credit: USPS

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