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

Category: Two and a Half Men

Pssst! Here's how much Emmy nominee$ earn

August 13, 2010 |  9:02 am

As Emmy contenders slug it out to win fake gold statuettes, TV Guide just tattled on how much real gold they earn from their tube jobs. Poor Hugh Laurie has lost his four Emmy bouts in the past, but isn't indigent. His hefty consolation prize: $400,000 for starring in each episode of "House M.D." Here are the salaries of other Emmy nominees on the TV Guide list. Sums are per episode unless otherwise indicated.

Jon Cryer Two and a Half Men news-3

Hugh Laurie, "House M.D." - $400,000
Jon Hamm, "Mad Men" - $100,000

Mariska Hargitay, "Law & Order: SVU" -  $395,000
Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer" - $350,000
Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife" - $175,000

Steve Carell, "The Office" - $297,000
Matthew Morrison, "Glee" - $30,000
Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory" - $40,000

Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie" - $175,000

Ty Burrell, "Modern Family" - $50,000
Jon Cryer, "Two and a Half Men" - $550,000

Jane Lynch, "Glee" - $50,000

David Letterman, "The Late Show" - $28 million per year
Conan O'Brien, "The Conan O'Brien Show" - $10 million per year

Ryan Seacrest, "American Idol" - $15 million per year

Photo: WireImage

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Emmy predix: Jane Lynch looks like lock to win for 'Glee'

August 4, 2010 | 12:08 pm

Our Emmy gurus Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Rob Licuria (AwardsHeaven) are in agreement that veteran comedy actress Jane Lynch will win her first Emmy Award for her supporting work on the rookie hit "Glee." Beyond this top pick, they rank the other nominees with both believing Julie Bowen from another freshman series -- "Modern Family" -- to be a strong contender.

Below is their in-depth analysis of this contest. Rob and Boomer also share their insights on guest drama actor, guest drama actress, guest comedy actor and guest comedy actress. And the three of us weigh in on the top drama series and comedy series races as well as best TV movie, best reality/competition show and best reality show host.

1. Jane Lynch, "Glee" ("The Power of Madonna")
2. Jane Krakowski, "30 Rock" ("Black Light Attack")
3. Julie Bowen, "Modern Family" ("My Funky Valentine")
4. Holland Taylor, "Two and a Half Men" ("Give Me Your Thumb")
5. Kristen Wiig, "Saturday Night Live" ("Host: James Franco")
6. Sofia Vergara, "Modern Family" ("Not in My House")

BOOMER'S COMMENTARY: Jane Lynch wins the Emmy for this category within the first three minutes of the Madonna-themed episode and then just keeps adding on funny scene after funny scene. She also gets to star in a shot-for-shot remake of the famous "Vogue" music video. Easy prediction and a well-deserved victory after many years of great comedic performances.

I imagine actresses over 35 on this judging panel will be enthralled by Jane Krakowski's episode in which she faces the perils and horrors of moving from the ingenue to mother stage of an acting career. She has so many funny moments, it is kind of a shame she will probably never win for this role. Julie Bowen gives a charming performance on a Valentine's Day-themed episode where she and her husband go on a date and pretend to pick up each other in a bar. It's a nice blend of sparkling dialogue and physical humor.

Holland Taylor has already received several nominations for this character but no wins. I liked some of her previous submissions much more than this one, which is somewhat on the dry-humor side rather than physical. Kristin Wiig has only two moments on her episode that might appeal to voters (the Lawrence Welk parody and her impersonation of Kate Hepburn), but it can't top the other ladies in this category.

Sofia Vergara made a major error on her episode choice, in which she has little to do other than react to a stuffed dog butler in her home. She has such a high industry buzz right now, a win could have been possible with the right choice. COMEDY SUPPORTING ACTRESS: ROB'S PREDIX
1. Jane Lynch, "Glee" ("The Power of Madonna")
2. Julie Bowen, "Modern Family" ("My Funky Valentine")
3. Kristin Wiig, "Saturday Night Live" ("Host: James Franco")
4. Holland Taylor, "Two and a Half Men" ("Give Me Your Thumb")
5. Jane Krakowski, "30 Rock" ("Black Light Attack")
6. Sofia Vergara, "Modern Family" ("Not in My House")

ROB'S COMMENTARY: I think the episodes in this category are not nearly as strong as the comedy supporting actors' choices. Right off the bat, Sofia Vergara either isn't sure how the process works or simply is not interested in winning an Emmy this year. Her performance in her chosen episode is negligible, to say the least. And Vergara has some episodes in the can that make her very competitive.

Ditto for Jane Krakowski, who I found to be irritating in this episode. Not funny at all in my mind, and this is coming from a fan of hers. I'm not sure any actors from "30 Rock" are going to win this year, what with the relatively weak material they were given in the substandard fourth season. Similarly, Holland Taylor's nomination smacks of a filler to me. She has a couple of good scenes and is generally a well-liked veteran and excellent actress, but this performance is nothing to write home about.

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Nothing funny about repeat winners in comedy supporting actress Emmy race

July 14, 2010 |  5:10 pm

Holland Taylor Supporting Comedy Emmy Awards Since the supporting actress comedy category was established at the Emmy Awards in 1979, just 19 women have taken home this award. Funny ladies Rhea Pearlman ("Cheers," 1984-86, 1989) and Doris Roberts  ("Everybody Loves Raymond," 2001-03, 2005) each won four awards for their classic sitcoms while Laurie Metcalf ("Roseanne," 1992-94) managed a three-peat. Double winners include Loretta Swit, "MASH" (1980, 1982); Bebe Neuwirth, "Cheers" (1990, 1991); Kristen Johnson, "Third Rock From the Sun" (1997, 1999); and Megan Mullally, "Will & Grace" (2000, 2006).

Among this year's nominees, only Holland Taylor is an Emmy champ with her 1999 supporting win for the drama series "The Practice." She is a four-time also-ran in this race for "Two and a Half Men." This is the second nomination in a row for both Jane Krakowski ("30 Rock") and Kristen Wiig ("Saturday Night Live") and the first Emmy bids for "Glee" featured player Jane Lynch and "Modern Family" co-stars Julie Bowen and Sofia Vergara.

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Emmys love only a few funny featured fellows

July 14, 2010 |  2:59 pm

Jon Cryer Supporting Actor Emmy Awards Since it was created in 1979, the supporting actor in a comedy series category at the Emmy Awards has been dominated by just a few good men. Indeed, only 18 men have prevailed in the 31 races, including four-time champs John Laroquette ("Night Court") and David Hyde-Pierce ("Frasier"), three-peaters Michael Richards ("Seinfeld"), Brad Garrett ("Everybody Loves Raymond") and Jeremy Piven ("Entourage"), and double winner Christopher Lloyd ("Taxi").

This year, Jon Cryer ("Two and a Half Men") is defending his title while Neil Patrick Harris ("How I Met Your Mother") is looking for his first win with his fourth consecutive nomination. The other four nominees are all first-time Emmy contenders and appear on two of TV's hottest freshman hits — "Glee" (Chris Colfer) and "Modern Family" (Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet).

Before this award was established for featured actors in comedy series, the wider race was even more restrictive with the winners. In the 1950s, Art Carney won three in a row for his work with the Emmy-snubbed Jackie Gleason followed by the first two Emmys of an eventual record nine for Carl Reiner ("Caesar's Hour"). In the 1960s, Don Knotts had a firm grip on the award with five consecutive wins for "The Andy Griffith Show. And in the 1970s "Mary Tyler Moore Show" cast-mates Ed Asner and Ted Knight won three and two apiece while the first of Rob Reiner's two wins for "All in the Family" in 1974 made history as all four of the cast of that classic were now Emmy champs.


Actresses make for dramatic supporting Emmy race

Drama supporting actors prove Emmy winners not always TV reruns

Emmys love for Oscars continues with 12 nominations

Poll: Will 'So You Think You Can Dance' upstage 'Dancing With the Stars' and the Oscars at the Emmys?

Poll: Will Emmy's biggest loser Bill Maher ever win?

What do Al Pacino and Maggie Smith have in common?

Drama series lead acting races: By the numbers

Emmy poll: Can 'Glee,' 'Modern Family' or 'Nurse Jackie' beat '30 Rock'?

Comedy series lead acting Emmy races: By the numbers

Photo: Jon Cryer at the 61st Annual Emmy Awards. Credit: CBS

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Emmy nomination surprises: 'Nurse Jackie' in, Charlie Sheen out

July 8, 2010 |  7:10 am

● No Emmy pundits foresaw the "Nurse Jackie" nomination for best comedy series. Meantime, Showtime's other laffer, which was Emmy nominated last year, got snubbed: "Weeds." Does that mean bohemian Hollywood has swapped love of marijuana for pills? Side note: Another big snub in a different category is the omission of last year's winner from the category of best reality program: "Intervention." Hmmm … one day after Lindsay Lohan goes before a judge in Beverly Hills for issues related to alcohol? Coincidence?

Nurse jackie emmy nominations

Charlie Sheen's bad-boy antics finally caught up with him. After four Emmy nominations in a row, the "Two and a Half Men" star was snubbed.

Bill Maher has four new chances to increase his lead as Emmy's biggest loser. His four new nominations were for variety series ("Real Time"), variety special ("But I'm Not Wrong") and writing for both. Currently, he has 22 losses, no wins.

● Other snubs: Courteney Cox (the only star of "Friends" who didn't get nominated) was snubbed for "Cougar Town." "Married … with Children" costars Ed O'Neill and Katey Sagal were snubbed for "Modern Family" and "Sons of Anarchy," respectively. What's very odd about O'Neill's newest snub is that three of his costars made it into the race for best supporting comedy actor: Eric Stonestreet, Ty Burrell and Jesse Tyler Ferguson.

● We knew that Jeremy Piven might not get nominated again. After winning three years in a row, he suddenly wasn't nominated last year after that fishy story about mercury poisoning after eating sushi. But "Entourage" wasn't nommed after reaping three consecutive bids (2007-2009).

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I declare Emmy war on Mike Ausiello

July 7, 2010 | 11:08 am

Entertainment Weekly's Mike Ausiello really knows his Emmy stuff. I shouldn't pick on him, but, hey, we're all killing time waiting for nominations to be announced Thursday morning. We're in need of interim entertainment. Mike just issued his predictions — like a tempting target. Mike and I are good pals, so I'm sure he won't mind me taking aim with nuclear weapons of mass destruction.


"Breaking Bad" — Mike, Tom
"Damages" — Tom
"Dexter" — Mike, Tom
"Mad Men" — Mike, Tom
"The Good Wife" — Mike, Tom
"Lost" — Mike, Tom
"True Blood" — Mike

Oh, come on, Mike! You know that Emmy voters sleep with garlic cloves around their necks and silver crosses in their fists. Vampire shows never get close. Remember poor "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"?  That said, I admit "Damages" might also be among the walking dead. It was nominated last year but has been off the air for months and now is canceled. Instead, if we're both wrong, 2009 nominees "House M.D." or "Big Love" might return. Or else newbies "Sons of Anarchy" or "Treme" might sneak in.

"The Big Bang Theory" — Tom
"Curb Your Enthusiasm" — Tom
"Entourage" — Mike
"Family Guy" — Mike, Tom
"Glee" — Mike, Tom
"Modern Family" — Mike, Tom
"The Office" — Mike
"30 Rock" — Mike, Tom

Mike's playing it safe by sticking with perennial nominees "Entourage" and "The Office," and he may be right. But I'm sure he's wrong to ditch "Curb Your Enthusiasm," which has been nominated every year of its eligibility. (It sat out last year's derby.) "Big Bang Theory" wasn't nominated for its first two seasons, but that was also true of "Scrubs," "Two and a Half Men" and "Everybody Loves Raymond," which finally broke through for Season 3. My theory is that super-hit "Bang" will finally explode.

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

A temporary truce is called in this category, where we agree 100%!

Glenn Close ("Damages") — Mike, Tom
Sally Field ("Brothers and Sisters") — Mike
Mariska Hargitay ("Law & Order: SVU") — Mike, Tom
January Jones ("Mad Men") — Mike, Tom
Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife") — Mike, Tom
Katey Sagal ("Sons of Anarchy") — Tom
Kyra Sedgwick ("The Closer") — Mike, Tom

I may have to surrender here. Mike knows that TV academy members are suckers for film stars, especially Oscar winners like Sally Field, so odds are good that she'll be nominated again. I'm betting on the crazed fan support behind the highest-rated show in FX network history to carry Sagal.

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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:

"Breaking Bad"
"Mad Men"
"The Good Wife"

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

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

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

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")

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")

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: Katy Perry to host Teen Choice Awards | Charlie Sheen plea deal delayed | 'Mad Men' secrets revealed

June 9, 2010 |  7:04 am

Teen Choice Awards Katy PerryKaty Perry has been tapped to host the 12th edition of the Teen Choice Awards airing on Fox on Aug. 9. Perry is a four-time also-ran with these kudos, which determine winners via an online vote. She lost the Myspacer race in 2008 and her three music bids -- single, album, female artist -- last year. The Jonas Brothers hosted the 2009 festivities. "Twilight" set a TCA record, winning 11 of its 12 nominations, including best drama movie, actor (Robert Pattinson), actress (Kristen Stewart), villain (Cam Gigandet), lip-lock (Pattinson and Stewart) and rumble (Pattinson and Gigandet). Nikki Reed lost "fresh face female" to co-star Ashley Greene. Nominations for this year's kudos will be announced in the coming days.

• Even her one-time "Grey's Anatomy" colleague Eric Dane was surprised that Katherine Heigl submitted herself for Emmy consideration this year. Taken by surprise when asked about the Emmy hopes of his often-absent co-star, Dane recovered and then deftly deflected the conversation. "I don't even know if I've ever submitted myself for an Emmy. I really honestly never thought about myself as getting nominated, or have thought about an Emmy at all to be honest with you. I've never given it much thought. But hey, it would be wonderful." Good news, Eric -- someone in your camp submitted your name to the academy this year E! ONLINE

• "Entourage" producer Mark Wahlberg remains committed to turning "Entourage" -- the TV show about movie actors -- into a movie with the TV actors. On the red carpet at Sunday's MTV Movie Awards, he admitted, "I am more focused on making that movie than my own films. I just think we can make a great movie. I think people always wanted [it] and have complained that the episodes are too short; they've always wanted more. I think we're going to do it. We just have to end strong, and this season is, by far, the best season so far." The HBO hit begins its sixth season on June 27. "Entourage" has lost the best comedy series race for the last three years in a row to "30 Rock." MTV

Charlie Sheen • "Two and a Half Men" star Charlie Sheen won't be behind bars when he finds out if he is an Emmy nominee on July 8. He has reaped a lead actor bid for each of the last four seasons of the CBS Monday night staple, but has yet to win. The actor was set to plead no contest Monday to a misdemeanor charge stemming from a domestic dispute in Aspen, Colo., last Christmas. However, Pitken County Dist. Atty. Arnold Mordkin told the court, "We need more time than is available for us to complete some of the finer points." The plea deal was worked out in part by Yale Galanter, who accompanied Sheen to court and also represented his wife, Brooke Mueller. Sheen was set to serve his 30-day sentence during this summer's hiatus for the show, which just wrapped Season 7. After initially vowing to bow out of the hit laffer, he just inked a deal for two more seasons for a reported seven-figure-per-episode payday. E! ONLINE

• Oscar-winning documentary "The Cove" has yet to be seen in Japan. As Yuri Kageyama reports, "three movie theaters that had been scheduled to show the film later this month canceled their plans last week after receiving a flood of angry phone calls and warnings of protests by nationalists, who have been screaming slogans outside the Tokyo office of the Japanese distributor in recent months. Protesters criticize the film as a betrayal of Japanese pride." The controversial documentary details a dolphin hunt in a Japanese village. AP

• First Facebook got Emmy champ Betty White a gig hosting "SNL." Now the online site is being used to campaign for an honorary Oscar for Doris Day. A top box office draw in the 1960s, Day lost her only Oscar race in 1959. Nominated for the smash hit "Pillow Talk," she was bested in the best actress race by Simone Signoret for "Room at the Top." Although Day did accept the Cecil B. DeMille Award from the Golden Globes in 1989, it is unclear if she would leave her beloved Carmel to attend the academy's new Governors' Awards ceremony.  FACEBOOK

Mad-men-logo-300x159Roger Friedman tattles on some of the secrets of the upcoming fourth season of two-time Emmy champ "Mad Men." He writes that "production has only now just wrapped Episode 5 of 13. This much is gleaned: the show picks up more or less right after it ended in Season 3. It’s the beginning of 1964. This could mean the arrival of The Beatles in America and on 'The Ed Sullivan Show.' It’s also the start of color TV. The first new episode is called 'Public Relations.' The second is titled 'Distress Signal,' followed by 'The Fine Print,' and 'Dominion.'" SHOWBIZ 411

• More than four decades after it closed on Broadway after a three-year run, the first rialto revival of "Funny Girl" is in the works. The 1964 show launched Barbra Streisand into the stratosphere. Though the Jule Styne-Bob Merrill tuner about Fanny Brice contended for eight Tony Awards, it was blanked by "Hello, Dolly!" Streisand went on to star in the film versions of both these musicals, winning the Oscar for the first and the enmity of role originator Carol Channing for the second. Patrick Healy reports that producer Bob Boyett has enlisted helmer Bartlett Sher -- who won the Tony two years ago for his restaging of "South Pacific" -- to tackle the task of finding someone to step into Babs' shoes. ARTS BEAT

• The Theatre World Awards -- now in their 66th year -- go to performers deemed outstanding in their New York stage debuts over the last year. By tradition, six men and six women are chosen for this honor by a collection of theater journos. Among those being feted Tuesday are four Tony Award contenders -- lead actor in a musical nominee Sahr Ngaujah ("Fela!") and featured play performers Jon Michael Hill ("Superior Donuts"), Scarlett Johansson ("A View From the Bridge") and Eddie Redmayne ("Red"). The other Broadway newcomers chosen were Chris Chalk ("Fences") and Stephanie Umoh ("Ragtime"). Capturing the committee's attention for their work off-Broadway were Nina Arianda ("Venus in Fur"), Bill Heck ("The Orphans' Home Cycle"), Keira Keeley ("The Glass Menagerie"), Andrea Riseborough ("The Pride"), Heidi Schreck ("Circle Mirror Transformation") and Michael Urie ("The Temperamentals"). PLAYBILL

Top photo: Teen Choice Awards logo. Credit: Fox

Middle photo: Charlie Sheen in "Two and a Half Men." Credit: CBS

Bottom photo: "Mad Men" logo. Credit: AMC

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Gold Derby nuggets: Bret Michaels to 'American Idol'? | Charlie Sheen to jail? | Green Day to Tony Awards

June 2, 2010 |  8:53 am

Bret Michaels American IdolBret Michaels appeared on the finale of "American Idol" last week and says he is in the running to replace Simon Cowell as a judge next season. The curmudgeonly Cowell even endorsed the idea that Michaels, who has battled back from a series of health crises, made mention of during a recent concert. Fox won't comment, but the Poison vocalist certainly has the music cred needed. That star-studded season closer is to be the Emmy submission for "Idol" this year. The songfest has lost the best reality-competition series race to "The Amazing Race" for the last seven years in a row. Among the other possible nominees in that category this year is "The Celebrity Apprentice," which Michaels won last month. Donald Trump is determined to avenge his Emmy losses for "The Apprentice" (2004, 2005) with a win this year for the third edition of the celebrity version of the show.

James Cameron has offered up his private fleet of submersible craft to help BP stop the flow of oil in the Gulf of Mexico. The Oscar champ was part of a group of deep-water experts who met with government officials in the nation's capital Tuesday. Cameron has been interested in oceanography since helming "The Abyss" in 1989. The creator of "Avatar" is also keen on space exploration. In January, he met with Charles Bolden, the head honcho of NASA, to persuade him to include a 3-D camera on Curiosity, a rover headed to Mars next year. PEOPLE

Patrick Stewart has been dubbed a knight of the British empire by Queen Elizabeth II. The respected British stage veteran, best known stateside for his work on TV ("Star Trek: The Next Generation") and film ("X-Men"), received the honor at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday. Said Stewart, "My heroes were Sir Laurence Olivier, Sir John Gielgud, and Sir Alec Guinness. Being in that company is the grandest thing that has professionally happened to me." AP

Charlie Sheen • "Two and a Half Men" star Charlie Sheen could well be behind bars when he finds out if he is an Emmy nominee on July 8. He has reaped a lead actor bid for each of the last four seasons of the CBS Monday night staple, but has yet to win. The actor is reportedly set to plead no contest next week to a misdemeanor charge stemming from a domestic dispute in Aspen, Colo., last Christmas. Reports are that Sheen is set to serve his 30-day sentence during this summer's hiatus for the show, which just wrapped Season 7. After initially vowing to bow out of the hit laffer, he just inked a deal for two more seasons for a reported seven-figure-per-episode payday. BBC

• To celebrate the silver anniversary of "Les Miserables" in the West End, producer Cameron Mackintosh is staging a massive concert version in the O2 Arena on Oct. 3. As Alistair Smith reports, this one-time event will boast "a company of more than 300 actors and musicians, including Alfie Boe as Jean Valjean, Nick Jonas (from the Jonas Brothers) as Marius, Norm Lewis as Javert, 'Little Britain' star Matt Lucas as Thenardier, Lea Salonga as Fantine, Jenny Galloway as Madame Thenardier, Camilla Kerslake as Cosette and the casts of the original production at the Queen’s Theatre, the new 25th anniversary production at the Barbican and members of the original 1985 London cast." THE STAGE

• Three-time Grammy champ Keith Urban will headline a July 23 benefit concert in Los Angeles for the charitable wing of the music academy. The evening, dubbed Starry Night, will fund the work of the foundation, which includes music programs for students as well as preservation efforts. Held in conjunction with the Farmers Classic tennis tourney, the event will also support tennis programs in Southern California. Said Urban in a statement, "I was so fortunate to have been exposed to music at such a young age. It touched my heart and opened up a world of adventure and possibilities beyond anything I’d ever known. Being a part of this concert, supporting the efforts of the Grammy Foundation and the Southern California Tennis Association Foundation, is something that I feel very strongly about, because I know firsthand what art, music and sport can do for our youth." GRAMMY AWARDS

Tony Awards logo • More details are emerging about the June 13 Tony Awards telecast on CBS. As is the custom, the four nominees for best musical -- "American Idiot," "Fela!," "Memphis" and "Million Dollar Quartet" -- will be showcased, as will the two nominees for best musical revival -- "La Cage aux Folles" and "A Little Night Music" -- that are still running. The Tonycast will also feature excerpts from all of the best play and play revival nominees. Previous attempts to present scenes from plays have fallen flat but the star wattage this year is high, including Tony nominees Denzel Washington and Viola Davis ("Fences") and Liev Schreiber and Scarlett Johansson ("A View From the Bridge"). The Tonycast is slated to open with a musical medley of popular songs featured in Broadway tuners and will include appearances by "Glee" stars Matthew Morrison and Lea Michele as well as "American Idiot" composers Green DayTONY AWARDS

• Veteran columnist Liz Smith is set to host the seventh annual Theater Hall of Fame luncheon on Thursday that is saluting nine-time Tony Award champ Tommy Tune. Celebrating Tune's golden anniversary in show biz at the Friars Club in Gotham will be fellow hall of famers Angela Lansbury, Frances Sternhagen, Estelle Parsons, Dana Ivey, Roger Berlind, Lois Smith and Charles Strouse. PLAYBILL

Upper photo: Bret Michaels on "American Idol." Credit: Fox

Middle photo: Charlie Sheen on "Two and a Half Men." Credit: CBS

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

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Gold Derby nuggets: Charlie Sheen exiting 'Two and a Half Men'? | Lucille Lortel nominations | Busy Betty White

April 1, 2010 |  5:58 pm

Charlie SheenCharlie Sheen could be leaving his hit sitcom "Two and a Half Men" at the end of this seventh season. Sheen -- who has had his share of personal woes over the course of the series -- faces charges for a domestic dispute at Christmas and is currently in rehab. The actor has picked up four consecutive Emmy nods for his work on the CBS Monday night staple and makes a reported $850,000 per episode. Whether this is just posturing for an even better payday remains to be seen. PEOPLE

• While we will have to wait and see if Sheen does not return to his show, S. Epatha Merkerson definitely won't be reporting for duty if "Law & Order" is renewed by NBC for next season. She tells Mike Ausiello that after 16 years, "It’s time to move on. I’m doing other things and this will be a great way to leave what has been an extraordinary gig." Merkerson delivered one of the all-time great acceptance speeches when she won an Emmy in 2005 for her lead performance in the telefilm "Lackawanna Blues" and her notes disappeared down her decolletage. ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

Mike Fleming delivers the news that the three amigos at the center of all the fun -- Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms -- finally have signed  for the sequel to "The Hangover." The surprise winner of the Golden Globe for best comedy/musical of the year is the top-grossing R-rated comedy of all time. The trio are looking at $5-million-plus payouts each, while director Todd Phillips will make at least $10 million on the picture. DEADLINE

• LAT theater critic Charles McNulty extols the efforts of Valerie Harper to use new media like Facebook and Twitter to draw people to the old medium of live theater. The four-time Emmy champ is appearing on Broadway as the theatrical diva Talullah Bankhead in the new play "Looped." CULTURE MONSTER

Lortel_Awards_logo • While Harper could contend for a Tony as her show runs on Broadway, the off-Broadway community rewards its top productions with the Lucille Lortel awards. Nominations for the silver anniversary of these kudos were announced Thursday. The plays "The Glass Menagerie," "Pride" and "When the Rain Stops Falling" lead with six apiece. Among the performers contending are Oscar-winning songwriter Keith Carradine ("Nashville") and three-time Emmy champ Laurie Metcalf for their featured work in "A Lie of the Mind." Winners will be announced May 2, two days before Harper finds out if she is a Tony nominee. PLAYBILL

• Two-time Tony champ Nathan Lane, director Kenny Leon and Macy's Thanksgiving parade will be honored at the 2010 Drama League luncheon on May 21 in Gotham. PLAYBILL

• Oscar winner Anna Paquin declared herself to be bisexual in a PSA for the Give a Damn campaign, which promotes gay and lesbian equality. Paquin, who picked up a Golden Globe for the first season of "True Blood," is engaged to her on-screen paramour, Stephen Moyer.

• Oscar and Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson has a new gig as the spokeswoman for Weight Watchers. The "Dreamgirl" star gave birth seven months ago and credits the program with helping her shed the baby weight. She will be appearing in TV spots and print ads. On "Good Morning America" on Thursday, Hudson said, "No one recognizes me anymore. I wanted to go in a different direction and find a better lifestyle." E ONLINE

Betty WhiteBetty White is busier than ever. When not appearing in TV series, like the upcoming finale of freshman hit "The Middle," or preparing her own TV Land sitcom this summer -- "Hot in Cleveland" -- the five-time Emmy champ is picking up lifetime achievement awards. Last summer the TV critics honored her, in January SAG sang her praises and on April 14 she will be feted by the American Women in Radio & Television. Says Jay Leno, who will present her this latest prize, "This Golden Girl has won my heart and the hearts of many fans from around the world."

• Advertisers will pay a premium for a spot on the series finale of "24." Prior to the announcement that the 2006 Emmy winner for best drama series was signing off after eight event-filled years, Fox had been looking for a cool half-million per ad for the May 24 two-hour closer. That rate has jumped to $650,000, and there may be little inventory left already. AD AGE


Emmy gamble: 'Mad Men' star Elisabeth Moss drops to supporting

Poll: Does Miley Cyrus deserve a Razzie for 'The Last Song'?

Gold Derby nuggets: Matt Damon guesting on '30 Rock' | 'Law & Order' updates | Emmy-winner David Mills dies at 48

'Glee' and 'Modern Family' win Peabody Awards

Again, Showtime ships first campaign mailer to Emmy voters

Can 'Avatar' crush 'Twilight: New Moon' at the MTV Movie Awards?

Gold Derby nuggets: 'Glee' gives back | Tonys a no-go for Conan O'Brien | 'Avatar' rules Empire awards | 'Lost' finale finds big bucks

Shocker: 'Squeakquel' beats 'Twilight: New Moon' at Kids' Choice Awards

Gold Derby nuggets: Megan Mullally exits stage left | Chloe Sevigny: No love for 'Big Love' | Simon Cowell Int'l Emmy honoree

Top photo: Charlie Sheen in "Two and a Half Men." Credit: CBS.

Middle photo: Lucille Lortel award logo. Credit: Lucille Lortel Foundation.

Bottom photo: Betty White at the SAG Awards. Credit: TNT

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Best supporting comedy actor: Neil Patrick Harris, Rainn Wilson or Jon Cryer?

August 10, 2009 |  9:50 am

Our forums moderators and crafty Emmy seers Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Robert "Rob L" Licuria ( agree that there are two front-runners in the Emmy race for best supporting comedy actor, but clash on which one is ahead. Boomer picks Rainn Wilson ("The Office"); Rob opts for Emmycast host Neil Patrick Harris ("How I Met Your Mother").

They also disagree on who could be the spoiler. Boomer warns us about Tracy Morgan ("30 Rock"), while Rob is leery of Jon Cryer ("Two and a Half Men").

It's important to note that these assessments are based on close scrutiny of the same material being viewed by Emmy judges: the episodes chosen by nominees as samples of their best work from the last TV season. Each contender picks one, which is noted in parentheses in the lists below.

1) Neil Patrick Harris, "How I Met Your Mother" ("Benefits")
2) Rainn Wilson, "The Office" ("Heavy Competition")
3) Jon Cryer, "Two and a Half Men" ("Sir Lancelot's Litterbox")
4) Tracy Morgan, "30 Rock" ("The Funcooker")
5) Jack McBrayer, "30 Rock" ("The Bubble")
6) Kevin Dillon, "Entourage" ("Tree Trippers")

Neil Patrick Harris Rainn Wilson Jon Cryer news

ROB L'S COMMENTARY: As with every category, the eventual winner will depend on whether voters watch the episode submissions (like they are supposed to) and base their vote on that, or whether voters read through the nominated actors and tick off a name based on other factors, such as popularity, that intangible "buzz factor," or maybe a sense that the actor in mind is overdue for recognition.

I think Neil Patrick Harris chose wisely with his submission, and don't quite understand why some tend to think it is not as strong as it could be. He has enough screen time to make a lasting impression, is very likable and has some very funny scenes. He is what I have been calling a scene stealer ever since this show began a few years ago. Coupled with him being all over the airwaves as host of this awards show and that awards show, and a general sense that he should have won already (but for the Jeremy Piven three-peat), I think Harris is the well-deserved front-runner.

Rainn Wilson also submitted well -- his episode features his character front and center, and he really delivers the laughs. My only problem with this submission, and perhaps his character in general (both of which may hurt his chances for the win), is that Dwight Schrute is not as likable a character as Neil Patrick Harris' Barney Stinson has become -- and, in this episode, he doesn't allow the audience to really want to see him succeed in his quest to take Michael Scott down. Still, Wilson probably has never had a better shot, and it is still possible for him to fend off what is perceived in Emmyland as 2009 being Neil Patrick Harris' turn to grab the gold.

Special mention must go to Jon Cryer -- he has never had a better episode than this one as far as I'm concerned. I am not a big fan of this show, but I recognize funny when I see it, and Cryer is hysterical in this one -- likable (perhaps even pitiful) Allan suffers humiliation after humiliation, and takes a fair amount of pratfalls and bruises in this slapstick-fest. If voters feel like finally awarding Jon Cryer after a few fruitless nominations, then this might be the surprise of the category.

Tracy Morgan's nomination is probably a couple of years too late for me -- I didn't see much at all to be terribly excited about in his episode, and he doesn't really even benefit from any scenes in Jack McBrayer's episode to really warrant having a genuine shot at the win this time around. Similarly, McBrayer doesn't really deliver the laughs and likability needed to topple the favorites in this category in his episode. A win by either of the "30 Rock" gentlemen would be more about a "30 Rock" sweep as far as I'm concerned, and I am not even sure whether either of them would have enough "30 Rock" votes anyway, given that fans of the show have two actors to choose from (the dreaded “vote split” theory).

Finally, this will almost certainly not be Kevin Dillon's year. In his episode submission, he doesn't do anything Emmy-worthy to warrant the other guys in this category being worried about an upset. In fact, it is interesting that Jeremy Piven seems to outshine Dillon in the scenes they share in this episode, but he gets to sit this one out (probably because of Sushi-gate and perhaps voter fatigue).

Therefore, I am going with Neil Patrick Harris to finally win that Emmy that has so far eluded him.

1) Rainn Wilson, "The Office" ("Heavy Competition")
2) Neil Patrick Harris, "How I Met Your Mother" ("Benefits")
3) Tracy Morgan, "30 Rock" ("The Funcooker")
4) Jon Cryer, "Two and a Half Men" ("Sir Lancelot's Litterbox")
5) Jack McBrayer, "30 Rock" ("The Bubble")
6) Kevin Dillon, "Entourage" ("Tree Trippers")

BOOMER'S COMMENTARY:What kind of judging panel will this category have?  If it has the type that rewards the best episode, there is absolutely no question that Rainn Wilson will win. He has the only submission with tons of screen time and the sort of over-the-top moments that traditionally win this category.

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Gold Derby's official racetrack odds: Who will win the Emmys

September 19, 2008 | 10:50 am

OK, you've seen who all of the experts predict will win the Emmys (CLICK HERE), including me, but you haven't yet seen my careful breakdown of all contenders in each top category. Below: Gold Derby's racetrack odds. Please note: they're issued for entertainment purposes only and should not be used for gambling. Missing are the two reality races, but soon I'll add those odds too. Right now I haven't finished watching all of the episodes each nominee submitted to Emmy judges as samples of their best work.


My evaluations rely heavily on episode submissions. For example, note that I think "Saturday Night Live" is a real threat to "The Daily Show," which has won best variety series five years in a row. Granted, "SNL" hasn't won since 1993 and I still put "Daily Show" out front, but "SNL" submitted the same blockbuster episode that's likely to pay off with a win for Amy Poehler as best supporting actress: Tina Fey's return as host. Jon Stewart's episode is fantastic too — it's 20 minutes of ranting against the White House (of course) followed by a brief, fun chat with Judd Apatow.

But I don't think, like many of my peers, that Tina Fey will win best comedy actress. Three of her opponents submitted episodes that involved some element of split personality and that usually pays off with a victory. (Never again wonder how Lindsay Wagner won best drama actress for "The Bionic Woman" in 1977 — that's when she suddenly discovered her evil twin, remember?) In this year's derby, America Ferrera goes bonkers when sprayed with a poisoned perfume, Christina Applegate goes psycho when she hears the song "We've Got the Beat" on the radio and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, pumped up on testosterone, threatens to kick the "sorry, tanned, bleach-blonde, Botoxed" butts of rival school moms. The reason I give the best odds to Ferrera is because she stars in a one-hour program. The longest shows usually win — as Ferrera proved last year.

To see a full list of all episode submissions, CLICK HERE. Click through the subsequent pages of that forum to read the predix of our posters based upon what they think of those episodes. If you're curious to see what episodes were entered at past Emmy derbies, CLICK HERE. Remember: actors submit one sample episode; ditto for contenders for best variety and reality series. Nominees for best comedy and drama submit six that are paired off into three groupings that are randomly submitted to voters. Actors vote on actors, writers on writers, everybody gets to vote in the program categories. Roughly 250 to 300 voters volunteer to judge submissions in the races for best comedy and drama series. The typical acting category has about 50 to 75 judges.

"Mad Men" - 5/4
"Damages" - 7/5
"Lost" - 8/1
"House" - 9/1
"Dexter" - 10/1
"Boston Legal" - 50/1

"30 Rock" - 1/3
"The Office" - 8/5
"Entourage" - 20/1
"Curb Your Enthusiasm" - 30/1
"Two and a Half Men" - 40/1

Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad" - 2/1
James Spader, "Boston Legal" - 11/5
Jon Hamm, "Mad Men" - 13/5
Hugh Laurie, "House" - 8/1
Michael C. Hall, "Dexter" - 8/1
Gabriel Byrne, "In Treatment" - 35/1
(NOTE: I changed this prediction from James Spader to Bryan Cranston on Sept. 19.)

Glenn Close, "Damages" - 2/1
Mariska Hargitay, "Law and Order: S.V.U." - 3/1
Sally Field, "Brothers and Sisters" - 7/2
Holly Hunter, "Saving Grace" - 4/1
Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer" - 9/2

Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock" - Even
Steve Carell, "The Office" - 5/2
Lee Pace, "Pushing Daisies" - 7/2
Tony Shalhoub, "Monk" - 6/1
Charlie Sheen, "Two and a Half Men" - 50/1

America Ferrera, "Ugly Betty" - 2/1
Christina Applegate, "Samantha Who?" - 7/3
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "New Adventures of Old Christine" - 5/2
Tina Fey, "30 Rock" - 3/1
Mary-Louise Parker, "Weeds" - 50/1

"John Adams" - 1/2
"Cranford" - 7/5
"Tin Man" - 30/1
"The Andromeda Strain" - 40/1

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