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Category: United States of Tara

Can drama champ Edie Falco make Emmy history with comedy win?

August 11, 2010 |  1:26 pm

Both of our Emmy experts -- Rob "Rob L" Licuria (AwardsHeaven) and Chris "Boomer" Beachum -- are predicting Edie Falco to win the comedy actress category for the first season of "Nurse Jackie." Should she prevail, Falco -- who won three of her six Emmy bids for the series "The Sopranos" (1999, 2001, 2003) -- would join Carroll O'Connor ("All in the Family," "In the Heat of the Night") as the only lead regulars to have won Emmy Awards for both comedy and drama series.

1. Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie" ("Pilot")
2. Toni Collette, "United States of Tara" ("Torando!")
3. Tina Fey, "30 Rock" ("Dealbreakers Talk Show #0001")
4. Amy Poehler, 'Parks & Recreation ("Telethon")
5. Lea Michele, "Glee" ("Sectionals")
6. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "New Adventures of Old Christine" ("I Love What You Do for Me")

ROB'S COMMENTARY: Julia Louis-Dreyfus was fortunate to garner another nomination in this category for the final season of "Old Christine," as the show ended without much fanfare and some expected that she might be overlooked. This episode does not present us with anything really exceptional to judge, but is what we would expect from Louis-Dreyfus – great timing as the sassy and dysfunctional Christine. But in terms of range and impact, I was left wanting more.

In my opinion, Lea Michele should have chosen the vastly superior pilot episode over this one in which she is not given much in the way of comedy to do at all. She belts out a great number and is given some poignant feel-good dramatic material, but in comparison with some of the other actresses in this category, it comes off a little slight and forgettable.

Amy Poehler similarly could have chosen a number of episodes, and yet is given similar material as the bumbling and not-very-self-aware Leslie Knope. She is very likable, and has some funny moments, but I think she might have been better off submitting "Pawnee Zoo."

As for Tina Fey, she has a few more laughs up her sleeve, but I think the writing lets her down as the episode descends into the ridiculous (and not in a good way). I just kept thinking that both of these brilliant comedic actresses didn't have a winning episode to rely on this year.

I think that this category is really a showdown between the two Showtime powerhouses — Edie Falco and Toni Collette, both of whom bring a bit more gravitas and "acting" to their roles in comparison with the other four women. Collette won last year, and many might think that her win was a one-time deal, but going by her chosen episode, "Torando," I think she has a great chance of repeating. Admittedly, her performance is not an overtly "funny" one (and the same thing can be said for Falco), but when she transforms into the new alter ego "Shoshanna," I was absolutely dazzled by her characterization, accent and the dry humor that that particular character adds to the show. Trust me. Don't count her out just because the show itself is not the funniest thing on TV.

Similarly, Falco and "Nurse Jackie" are not belly-laugh inducing, but obviously, Emmy voters love the show (nominated for best comedy series), and they definitely love Falco (multiple winner for "The Sopranos"). Falco displays a wildly out of control character -- drug addict, liar, adulteress and unconventional nurse -- and is given some sharp-tongued lines to throw at those around her. There is also likability in some scenes that may be just enough to tip voters over the edge.

1. Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie" ("Pilot")
2. Tina Fey, "30 Rock" ("Dealbreakers Talk Show #0001")
3. Toni Collette, "United States of Tara" ("Torando!")
4. Amy Poehler, "Parks & Recreation" ("Telethon")
5. Lea Michele, "Glee" ("Sectionals")
6. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "New Adventures of Old Christine" ("I Love What You Do for Me")

BOOMER'S COMMENTARY: I had a pretty good feeling Falco would win this award way back when it was announced by Showtime that she would be starring in a new comedic drama. She certainly doesn't disappoint, especially in the premiere episode, in which the audience gets a real sense of who she is and why she is one of the hospital's best nurses. Voters will also discover a gifted comedic actress with some very funny moments as well as a couple of heroic ones. Falco is so good she even carried the show almost by herself into a somewhat unexpected nomination for best comedy series.

The top comedic performance in this category is once again given by Fey. I think it might be her best submission yet, with great physical comedy and one-liners throughout as she attempts to launch her own talk show. In a different year, she probably would have won her second Emmy in this category. Collette certainly shows range in her episode, especially in the momentous basement scene in which she lets loose all of her alter egos within a short period of time. Unfortunately, for all of the buildup to that moment, I thought the writing and directing let her down a good bit with the pacing and delivery of the scene. It felt forced, flat and underwhelming.

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Again, Showtime ships first campaign mailer to Emmy voters

March 31, 2010 |  9:47 am

As usual, Showtime was the first pony out of the derby gate as Emmy season began. The shrewd kudos player shipped its campaign package to all 14,000 members of the TV academy in early March. The package is modest (and eco-friendly) in size and design, much like its campaign packages of 2009 and 2008. Its round box of 2007 was a much more ambitious approach.

Until recently, Showtime had trouble gaining traction at the award derbies, but it just had a breakout year with Toni Collette ("United States of Tara") winning the Emmy and Golden Globe and Michael C. Hall ("Dexter") nabbing the Globe and SAG Award. For the last two years, "Dexter" was nominated for best drama series at the Emmys, and last year "Weeds" snagged its first bid for best comedy.

In addition to shipping the DVDs of sample episodes to voters, Showtime posts all episodes of all of its series in competition at the TV academy's private website, accessible only to members. Showtime also has its own For Your Consideration site, plus the pay channel just launched FYC areas at Facebook and Twitter.

Below is a breakdown of the contents of the Emmy campaign mailer shipped to all voters. Note that, in the "Dexter" section, our forum posters really like the cheeky reference to last year's winner of best drama series: "All the 'Mad Men' You'll Ever Need." See more reax here.

The end of the eligibility period is May 31. Nominations are to be announced on July 8, winners on Aug. 29.

"United States of Tara" – Episodes 201, 202
"Nurse Jackie" – 101 (pilot), 110 ("Ringfinger"), 205, 206
"Weeds" – 501, 512

"Dexter" – 409, 410
"The Tudors" – 401, 403

"Californication" – 304, 308
"Tracey Ullman's State of the Union" – 301, 302
"Secret Diary of a Call Girl" – 301, 307

"Penn & Teller" – "Lie Detectors," "Organic Food"
"La La Land" – 101, 104
"Lock 'n Load" – "The Rockers," "Granny's Got a Gun"


Showtime Dexter Emmy TV news 1

Showtime Dexter Emmy TV news 2 



See Showtime's Emmy campaign mailer of 2009

See Showtime's Emmy campaign mailer of 2008

Do early awards foretell Emmy luck for 'Glee'?

Can Rosie O'Donnell grab her old Emmy crown from Ellen DeGeneres?

Upcoming Emmy diva smackdown: 'Nurse Jackie' vs. 'United States of Tara'

Emmy predix for best drama series: 'Breaking Bad,' 'Damages,' 'Dexter,' 'Mad Men' and ...?

Photo credit: Showtime

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

March 25, 2010 |  5:38 pm

Lips Together • Two-time Emmy champ Megan Mullally ("Will & Grace") is the talk of the rialto, but for all the wrong reasons. On Tuesday, she dropped out of the first Broadway staging of the Terrence McNally play "Lips Together, Teeth Apart" midway through rehearsals "because of frustration with the inexperience of a co-star, the comedian Patton Oswalt whom she tried to have replaced, according to four people familiar with her departure." Todd Haimes, artistic director of the producing Roundabout Theater, noted that Mullally was "in breach of her contract" and postponed the production until later in the year. One name that comes to mind as a replacement for Mullally is Julie White, who won the best actress Tony three years ago for her riotous turn in the play "The Little Dog Laughed." NEW YORK TIMES

• While this year's Tony Awards voters won't include the journos who cover theater, next year's will allow some of these scribes back into the fold. The Tonys -- which were unique among the major awards by allowing the fourth estate to take part in the determination of winners -- caused an uproar when it was decided to exclude the first night press list this season. As a compromise, members of the New York Drama Critics' Circle will be extended voting privileges for Broadway's top honor next season.

Julie Taymor -- who won a Tony in 1998 for her staging of "The Lion King" -- will be feted by the New Dramatists on May 18 with a lifetime achievement award. Presenting the prize will be Dame Helen Mirren, who stars in Taymor's upcoming film adaptation of "The Tempest." Next up for the visionary director is the long-delayed legit tuner "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" now set to come to Broadway next season rather than this one.

Chloe SevignyChloe Sevigny sure knows how to talk up the series that won her a Golden Globe in January. Asked about the recently wrapped season of "Big Love," she said, "It was awful this season, as far as I’m concerned. I’m not allowed to say that! [Gasps.] It was very telenovela. I feel like it kind of got away from itself. The whole political campaign seemed to me very far-fetched. I mean, I love the show, I love my character, I love the writing, but I felt like they were really pushing it this last season. And with nine episodes, I think they were just squishing too much in." AV CLUB

• With socko ratings for Monday's second season premieres, Showtime already has renewed both "Nurse Jackie" and "United States of Tara." Expect the stars of these shows -- three-time Emmy winner Edie Falco and defending champ Toni Collette -- to do battle at this year's Emmys.

• The awards calendar continues to get updated. Along with Thursday's announcement from AMPAS that the Oscars will be handed out  Feb. 27, comes news from the Producers Guild that its kudos will be awarded on Saturday, Jan. 22.

• Two-time Tony champ Patti LuPone is set to host the 55th annual edition of the Drama Desk Awards on Sunday, May 23. Nominations for these kudos will be announced May 3.

International EmmySimon Cowell has yet to win an Emmy for "American Idol" but he is to be feted by the International Emmys with the Founders' Award. Cowell will pick up the prize at the 38th annual awardsfest Nov. 22 in Gotham. In making the announcement international academy president Bruce Paisner said, "Simon Cowell is an entrepreneur and performer in equal measure. He has built an international empire and in so doing has changed the face of television around the world." Cowell -- who will be leaving "Idol" this year to produce the upcoming American version of "The X Factor" -- said, "I'm delighted. I've been very lucky to be able to make shows that I love." Last year's recipient was another Brit, Sir David Frost.

• Recent Oscar nominee Carey Mulligan ("An Education") could be playing Eliza Doolittle, another ingenue made over by an older man, in the long-rumored remake of 1964's best picture champ "My Fair Lady." Oscar-winning adapter Emma Thompson ("Sense and Sensibility") -- who is working on the script for director John Madden ("Shakespeare in Love") -- let this news slip Wednesday and adds she would love to see her good pal Hugh Grant in the role of the curmudgeonly Henry Higgins. BBC


Why will the Emmys be telecast in August instead of September?

Robert Culp never cracked Emmy's secret code

Do early awards foretell Emmy luck for 'Glee'?

Tony Awards battle for best musical: 'American Idiot' vs. 'Fela'?

Gold Derby nuggets: Honors for Stephen Sondheim and Matt Damon | Good debut for 'Breaking Bad'

Can Rosie O'Donnell grab her old Emmy crown from Ellen DeGeneres?

Upcoming Emmy diva smackdown: 'Nurse Jackie' vs. 'United States of Tara'

Emmy predix for best drama series: 'Breaking Bad,' 'Damages,' 'Dexter,' 'Mad Men' and ...?

Top Photo: "Lips Together, Teeth Apart" poster. Credit: Roundabout Theater Company

Middle Photo: Chloe Sevigny at the 2010 Golden Globes. Credit: HFPA

Bottom Photo: International Emmy Award. Credit: IATAS

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As usual, Showtime launches first major campaign of Emmy season

March 12, 2009 |  5:50 pm

Awards-savvy Showtime is the first network to launch its Emmy campaign this year by continuing the digital innovation it introduced last year. Again TV academy members may watch episodes of Showtime's Emmy contenders on line.

Showtime claims that last year's Internet campaign "resulted in academy members tuning in at a rate of approximately four full episodes per member," according to Richard Licata, executive VP of corporate communications. Result of the awards push: 21 Emmy bids, including an historic bid for "Dexter," which joined "Damages" and "Mad Men" as the first non-HBO cable series to be nominated for best drama or comedy series.

On Feb. 28, a new version of the site was unveiled for this year's derby and last week the network shipped out its campaign box directly to voters' homes and offices. Inside each box is a passcode that grants voters access to the "online screening room" (which promises broadcast quality viewing) plus there are four DVDs that include three sample episodes of "Californication" (201, 204, 210), "United States of Tara" (101, 102, 103) and "Weeds" (401, 402, 413). Also inside: two sample episodes of "Brotherhood" (304, 308), "Dexter" (305, 310) "The L Word" (601, 606), "Penn & Teller: Bull…!" (603, 604) "Secret Diary of a Call Girl" (201, 202), "This American Life" (205, 206) and "The Tudors" (301, 302) and one sample episode of "Tracey Ullman's State of the Union" (201).

In April, Showtime will heighten its digital innovation by making its episodes accessible to Emmy voters via iPhones and iPodTouch devices.



Peek inside Showtime's campaign box for 2008-2009 SAG Awards

See Showtime's campaign box for 2008 Emmys

See Showtime's campaign box for 2007 Emmys

Emmy voters view 10,000 Showtime eppys in 10 days (2008)

Photo: Showtime

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Can Toni Collette spin 'The United States of Tara' into Emmy gold?

January 16, 2009 |  2:03 pm

Looks like The United States of Tara" — written by Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody ("Juno") and starring Oscar and Emmy nominee Toni Collette as a woman besieged by multiple personalities — will be a formidable force at the Emmys, Golden Globes and other awards ahead.

The parent network of "The United States of Tara," Showtime, has emerged as a major player at the Emmys and Golden Globes in recent years. Examples: Last year David Duchovny won the Globe for best TV comedy actor for "Californication," which was also nominated for best series. Both got repeat noms this year. "Weeds" and star Mary-Louise Parker also scored double bids. Ditto "Dexter" and star Michael C. Hall, a program that just pulled off a historic breakthrough at the Emmys where it joined FX's "Damages" and AMC's "Mad Men" as the first non-HBO cable shows ever to be nominated for best series.


Voters of showbiz awards are suckers for these kind of split-personality roles we see in "The United States of Tara." Maybe they feel like they're getting a real bargain — several performances for the price of one vote?

Joanne Woodward won at the Oscars for ("The Three Faces of Eve," 1957). Daytime Emmys champ Erika Slezak of "One Life to Live" claimed her fourth and fifth daytime awards in 1995 and 1996, respectively, for acting out six personalities, one of them a 10-year-old boy.

At the prime-time Emmys, Sally Field pulled off an upset for best actress in a made-for-TV movie in 1977 over Jane Alexander ("Eleanor & Franklin: The White House Years") by the sheer force of personalities — 16 of them in "Sybil" — and stunned award pundits who had been betting on an easy win for Alexander.

At the most recent Emmys, Cynthia Nixon prevailed for portraying multiple personalities in the "Alternate" episode of "Law & Order: SVU." But no victory for this kind of role is more notable than Lindsay Wagner of "The Bionic Woman," who stunned kudos watchers by beating Sada Thompson of "Family" as best TV drama actress of 1977. Lindsay's secret weapon: She played good and evil twin versions of her role.

While reviews for "The United States of Tara," debuting this Sunday, are mixed, most made mention of the show as a showcase for Toni Collette. The Australian actress plays a Kansas artist, wife and mother of two who by turns becomes a troublesome teenager, a proper '50s housewife and an improper good old boy. Collette earned a 2000 supporting actress Oscar nod for "The Sixth Sense" (she lost to Angelina Jolie for "Girl, Interrupted"); a 2000 Tony nom for best actress in a musical for "The Wild Party" (she lost to Heather Headley for "Aida"); and a 2007 Emmy bid for supporting actress in a movie/mini for "Tsunami: The Aftermath" (she lost to fellow Aussie Judy Davis for "The Starter Wife").

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