FX is turning up the heat as Emmy voting kicks into high gear with a large campaign war chest designed to show off their prime contenders American Horror Story, which leads all shows with a whopping 17 nominations in the movie/miniseries categories, and Louie which nabbed 6 nods including Best Comedy Series. Last Friday FX and Fox TV threw a summer barbeque and cast and crew conversation on the Fox lot for American Horror Story Asylum, and last night FX rented out the TV Academy’s Goldenson Theatre for a screening of Louie and a rollicking on-stage conversation with Louis C.K. and moderator, comedian David Steinberg. The place was packed to the rafters, presumably with Emmy voters though in this phase of voting members sign up for specific panels and at-home viewing, so exactly how many of the 600 or so who crowded into the theatre can actually help the Emmy chances of Louie is questionable.
None of that seems to matter to FX President John Landgraf who told me at the lavish post-reception the hefty outlay of funds for billboards, trade and newspaper ads and events like this is worth it, not only because they might be hitting some of those relatively few mystery voters (he estimates there could be about 1000-plus who vote for Best Comedy Series) but also to make a public and industry statement that FX is indeed a major player now in the Emmys and proud of their shows. Certainly AHS which also nabbed 17 nominations last year too and Louie would seem to confirm that. Incidentally FXX, the brand new spinoff network is the broadcast partner for the Academy’s Creative Arts Primetime Emmy show this year and Landgraf is glad they landed it. Read More »
Six years after the TV Academy changed its rules to allow online series to compete in the Emmy race alongside traditional shows, series that have not aired on broadcast or cable TV made it to the top categories for the first time. Leading the breakthrough is streaming giant Netflix with House Of Cards, which landed 9 nominations, including best drama series and best actor/actress for Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, and Arrested Development, with a best actor nom for Jason Bateman. Netflix, which scored a total of 12 noms vs. none last year, employed some non-traditional Emmy campaign tactics, including lawn signs and a BBQ food truck. This marks Bateman’s second nomination for his starring role on the cult comedy eight years after he was first nominated for the series’ second season on Fox. But while the comedy earned best series noms for each of its three seasons on Fox, this time around it missed the cut in the top category.
Related: EMMYS: 2013 Scorecard By Show
Meanwhile, FX’s Louie continued its awards momentum with its first best series nom. Over the past year, Louis C.K.’s edgy comedy landed its first Emmy in September, then first SAG, Golden Globe and PGA nominations and the top comedy prize at the WGA Awards. Now Louie, which is on a prolonged hiatus, netted its most Emmy nominations, six, including third consecutive noms for lead actor Louis C.K., and writing, a category won by Louis C.K. last year; as well as second nom for directing, also for Louis C.K. The stand-up comedian/Renaissance man, who writes, directs, acts and edits, surpassed his record of seven Emmy nominations last year, landing as many individual noms this year spread over Louie, his HBO special Oh My God and his hosting duties on Saturday Night Live, plus a best series mention for Louie, on which he serves as executive producer. Read More »
Louie‘s momentum continues. After largely flying under the radar for the first two seasons, the FX series’ third season earned a first Emmy award in September, then first SAG, Golden Globe and PGA nominations. And tonight Louis CK’s semi-autobiographical series won the top comedy prize at the WGA Awards, its first major best series honor. Louie snapped Modern Family‘s two-year streak to win the best comedy series WGA Award. ABC’s hit comedy didn’t leave empty-handed, converting one of its three episodic nominations to win for Elaine Ko-penned Virgin Territory.
Even bigger was the breakthrough for IFC’s cult series Portlandia. In one of the night’s biggest surprises, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s off-beat, modestly budgeted comedy beat out heavyweights The Daily Show, Colbert Report and Armisen’s Saturday Night Live, which had won the comedy/variety WGA Award for the past six years, to land its first major award of any kind. The winner for best new series was not such a shocker, with Lena Dunham’s Girls adding another trophy to its recent best comedy series Golden Globe and DGA Awards. On the drama side, AMC’s Breaking Bad repeated as best drama series while AMC’s Mad Men returned to the winners circle after skipping last year to earn an episodic prize for The Other Woman, written by Semi Chellas and Matthew Weiner.
Deadline Editor in Chief Nikki Finke is writing from on-scene coverage by Deadline’s Awards Columnist, Awardsline’s Anthony D’Alessandro, and contributor Ray Richmond. The 2013 WGA award winners are named here. There will be an update to this post on Monday morning:
LOS ANGELES… Refresh for latest… Speeches & Color To Come
The 65th Annual Writers Guild Awards Los Angeles ceremony tonight honored outstanding achievement in writing in film, television, radio, new media, and other awards categories. The presentation at the JW Marriott LA Live was going on simultaneously with the New York City ceremony. (WGA East Awards 2013 Ceremony - LIVE). Or at least it was supposed to. Instead, the LA event lagged NYC’s by almost an hour. Which meant award winners were being announced first by WGAE and then trickling into the WGAW audience to ruin any suspense. ”This is outrageous,” one audience member emailed me from the scene. “Word of Chris Terrio’s Argo win for Adapted Screenplay in NYC came in right after Lincoln nominee Tony Kushner accepted his Paul Selvin award from Steven Spielberg. No award for Adapted Screenplay still in sight in LA. WTF?” What a mess. Unfortunately, the WGAW had no control over the East’s announcements. Traditionally, NYC gives out some news and radio kudos that the West doesn’t. However, the WGAE took to tweeting all the winners, which is another reason why they started beating the announcements … Read More »
PGA Awards‘ weird eligibility window on the TV side made for another field with an outdated feel, like the comedy series nomination for HBO‘s Curb Your Enthusiasm, which has not aired originals for the past year and a half. The PGA Awards follow the Primetime Emmys calendar despite taking place six months later, honoring programs that aired between June 1, 2011-May 31, 2012.
With that in mind, there were only minimal surprises in the series nominations this year, most notably the omission of HBO’s freshman comedies Girls and Veep and last year’s best drama series winner Boardwalk Empire. Modern Family has a shot at a third consecutive PGA Award with another best comedy series nom alongside returning nominees 30 Rock and The Big Bang Theory as well as FX‘s Louie. This extends Louie‘s momentum. After largely flying under the radar for the first two seasons, the series’ third season earned a first Emmy award in September, its first SAG and Golden Globe nominations last month and now a first PGA nomination. Missing the cut this time are last year’s nominees Parks & Recreation and Glee, though Glee co-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk landed a TV movie/miniseries nom for the first season of American Horror Story. Read More »
FX and Louis CK are pushing the pause button on the comedian’s acclaimed comedy series Louie. During a conference call today, FX president John Landgraf and Louis CK announced that, instead of next summer, the upcoming fourth season of the comedy series will premiere in Spring 2014 to give Louis CK more time for prep work. Read More »
Last year’s Best New Show, HBO’s Game Of Thrones, was named Program Of The Year at the TV Critics Assn.’s Awards handed out tonight, succeeding last year’s top winner Friday Night Lights. Following in GOT‘s footsteps was Showtime’s hot freshman Homeland, which was named Best New Show and landed the individual achievement in drama acting award for star Claire Danes. AMC’s Breaking Bad won its second best drama series award (its first was in 2010), while FX’s critically praised Louie was recognized as best comedy, with its creator/star Louis C.K. earning the individual achievement in comedy prize.
PBS’ Downton Abbey was named best movie/miniseries, Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance won for best reality series, ABC Family’s Switched at Birth for youth programming, and CBS’ 60 Minutes for news and information program.
TCA’s Heritage Award was given to classic comedy series Cheers; the Career Achievement honor went to latenight host David Letterman.
Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston hosted the event held at the Beverly Hilton in conjunction with the TCA’s summer press tour which runs through August 3rd.
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
With seven Emmy nominations, Louis C.K. just broke the record for most noms for an individual in a single Emmy year — coming for both his acclaimed FX series Louie along with a stand-up special. He broke the record held previously by David Lynch for Twin Peaks. At an appearance at TCA this morning via satellite from Albany, NY he called the record “bittersweet” because he’s such a huge fan of Lynch. But at the same time, he said he felt that records are more of a sports thing and that “with creative and television and writing, it’s kind of silly a little bit. But it’s really nice to get FX a whole bunch of nominations. That’s what’s nice for me.” C.K. is known to have the greatest deal for a performer perhaps in television history, doing writing, performing, directing, and editing on Louie as well as having a hand in picking the music. He mentioned Chris Rock as someone else with the skill set to pull off doing what he does on his half-hour. The best part of having his deal is that not every one of the stories within the structure of his series has to be 22 minutes — or, if there are two, exactly 11 minutes. “That’s one … Read More »
At the top of its TCA executive session, FX‘s president John Landgraf announced that the network has renewed acclaimed comedy series Louie for a 13-episode fourth season. Additionally, it has ordered seven more episodes of Russell Brand‘s late-night show BrandX, which Landgraf said will undergo creative changes. As for comedy series Wilfred, which is up 12% this season, Landgraf said he feels “optimistic” about a renewal, noting that that a deal on that is still being hammered out.
Related: Russell Brand Says ‘BrandX’ Will Become More “Conventional”
On the development front, the network has ordered The Bridge, a drama pilot based on the Scandinavian series Bron. The original series, created by Hans Rosenfeldt, follows a police investigation following the discovery of a dead body on the bridge connecting Denmark and Sweden. In the U.S. version, written by Cold Case creator Meredith Stiehm and fellow Cold Case writer Elwood Reid, two detectives from the United States and Mexico must work together to hunt down a serial killer operating on both sides of the border after a dead body is found on the bridge connecting El Paso and Juarez. The project hails from Shine America, marking Elizabeth Murdoch company’s first scripted financing effort as it moves from solely producing under the Reveille banner to financing and packaging projects on an opportunistic basis. Shine will co-produce The Bridge with FX Prods. and will distribute internationally. Stiehm and Reid executive produce with Carolyn Bernstein, … Read More »
Anthony D’Alessandro is managing editor/contributor to AwardsLine.
It would be an understatement to credit Louis C.K. as another stand-up who has redefined situation comedy like Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David. C.K. isn’t just making funny TV every week in Louie as a single New York City father. He’s revolutionizing it with an anthology of exceptional short films. After pushing the boundaries of multi-camera comedy on HBO with Lucky Louie, C.K.’s latest show on FX serves as an evolution to the festival and Showtime short films he created throughout the ’90s: The black-and-white jazz mockumentary The Legend of Willie Brown, the Elia Kazan-esque Ice Cream and the Depression-era talkie sendup Hello There to name a few. These bellwethers laid out the themes that C.K. harps on in Louie: Man’s challenge to conform to socially acceptable roles (i.e. not asking 19-year-olds out on dates as C.K. did in the episode ‘Duckling’) and the absurdity of urban life gone awry (accidentally tossing a lunatic vagrant into oncoming traffic in ‘Bummer/Blueberries’). The TV Academy is already more than OK with C.K. having lauded Louie last year with Emmy noms for comedy writing and lead actor.
Related: EMMYS: Comedy Series Overview
AWARDSLINE: How did the opportunity arise to do another half hour comedy series on cable?
LOUIS C.K.: After HBO I went on the road and just concentrated on stand-up where I filled up big theaters. [Soon after] I was asked [by network executives] if I wanted to have a show again. [FX president] John Landgraf easily had the most penetrating pitch. John offered me $200,000 which was 1% of what everyone else was offering. I said ‘I’ll do this if you give me the money and I make the show without you knowing what it’s about. I’ll do it in New York City and direct it myself without any involvement financially and creatively from FX. He said ‘For a pilot, that’s not a bad bet.’ Read More »
In 2001, Louis C.K. hit a low when his first studio feature, Pootie Tang, which he wrote and directed, bombed. A decade later the stand-up comedian cannot be hotter, with his FX series Louie enjoying critical and commercial success. But the two are strangely related, Louis C.K. said today during the TCA session for Louie.
“Pootie Tang was a huge mistake, it should have never have been made,” he said. “That experience was very painful, I was sucking at making the movie and got fired off of it, and they put my name on it anyway…. But failing at Pootie Tang is one of the reasons for why this show is good. The army of failures I’ve had are the reasons that I’m good at what I’m doing now.” That army included Louis C.K.’s previous series, Lucky Louie on HBO. “Information you gain from having a season of television that failed on Lucky Louie is incredibly valuable,” he said. Still, given his track record, Louis C.K. admits he would’ve hired himself. “If I was FX, I wouldn’t have given me what they gave me.” What the network gave him was free reign, and he wouldn’t have had in any other way. “If they won’t let me do a show the way I want it to be done, I won’t do it,” Louis C.K. said. “I don’t need it. I can go on the road and do comedy. I don’t need this shit.” Read More »
Comedian Louis C.K. finds himself an overnight sensation after 25 years in the biz. Now he’s earned four Emmy nominations for writing and acting on his critically praised FX comedy Louie as well as for writing and editing his stand-up special Louis C.K.: Hilarious for EPIX premium cable channel. But best of all, C.K. (a play on his last name Szekely) is widely hailed by his peers as the gold standard in stand-up. He spoke with Deadline TV Contributor Ray Richmond:
DEADLINE: How does it feel for Ricky Gervais to call you ‘The Funniest Stand-up Working In America’ or Chris Rock refer to you as ‘The Greatest Comic Mind Of The Last Quarter Century’?
LOUIS C.K.: It’s nice to hear, but also a little weird, you know? You can’t buy into any of it. Hearing it doesn’t make me better at anything and probably does the opposite. Plus, you know it’s all going to go away. No one is permanently chiseled onto anything. I’ve been doing this for 25 years and have been up and down a lot. You get hot for a while, then it turns right around. I remember doing the Young Comedians Special in Aspen in 1995 and that was the first time where I felt like I was on some kind of a roll. The lesson I took away was not to take any of it too seriously. Keep it in perspective.
DEADLINE: But you just took in more Emmy nominations than any other performer this year.
C.K.: Well yeah, the Emmy thing, that’s just crazy. I was honestly expecting nothing. Actually that’s not entirely true. I thought maybe I’d get something for writing the special. But the nominations for the FX series, I had no idea these voters were even aware of it. Yet now that it’s out there, I see it as an opportunity. And I’m doing all I can to try to win. It’s hugely important to me.
C.K.: Because winning hopefully helps to give the show a deeper foothold, and I start making some money for FX. I want to put cash in Rupert Murdoch’s coffers that are otherwise laying dormant. Emmys would give FX a payoff for having given me this gift of a show. I want the establishment to tell John Landgraf that he did the right thing, and that he should let me keep doing it. That’s what the Emmy is for me. I personally don’t need it. I’ve already won. It would also reward all of the amazing crew people who work so hard making Louie what it is and maybe give the crew job security and Landgraf even more credibility. I just want to bring any benefit to that guy that I can. So basically, I see the Emmys as a slot machine that pays off in reverse. Read More »
FX has renewed three comedy series. Elijah Wood starrer Wilfred, which has become the highest-rated first-season comedy on the network with a cumulative 5 million viewers a week, has been picked up a second season of 13 episodes. Louie, which just landed an Emmy nomination for star Louis CK and has averaged 3 million viewers a week, has been renewed for a third season of 13 episodes. Meanwhile, veteran It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia has been renewed for two more seasons — Seasons 8 and 9 — to become the longest-running live-action comedy on basic cable. The network also has an option for a 10th season, FX president John Landgraf said, adding that the show seems to have gotten a second wind in Season 7. Additionally, FX Prods. has signed a three-year exclusive deal with RCG, the production company of Sunny masterminds Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day and Glenn Howerton. I hear the deal is worth $40 million-$50 million for all services. “With Sunny, FX and FX Prods. and RCG reinvented the production model for television comedies,” Landgraf said. “In embracing a low‑cost production model and taking less money upfront, Rob, Glenn, and Charlie were afforded more creative freedom, a true financial partnership, and less pressure on ratings so there was time to let the show find an audience. Sunny not only became a hit, but the cornerstone of FX’s successful comedy brand, establishing a production model that has become favored by many in the creative community and has led to Archer, Louie, The League and Wilfred.” In addition to Sunny, RCG is involved in the new CBS comedy series How To Be a Gentleman, created by and starring Sunny player David Hornsby, and has two comedy projects in the works: Fox’s Living Loaded and FX’s animated Townies. Read More »
UPDATED: At the opening of FX’s executive session, president John Landgraf announced a 13-episode second season pickup of Louis C.K.’s new comedy series Louie five weeks into the show’s freshman run. Additionally, FX has greenlighted Alabama, a comedy pilot co-created and starring Reno 911! masterminds Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon. The pilot is set a thousand years in the future, aboard the United Nations peacekeeping spaceship: The USS Alabama. It follows the crew, who are in the sixth year of the their seven-year mission to maintain peace and enforce treaties between planets in their jurisdiction. Garant and Lennon are executive producing the FX Prods.-produced pilot with Peter Principato and Paul Young. It reunited Garant and Lennon with Landgraf who served as an exec producer on Reno.
During the Q&A portion, Ladgraf also “broke” news related to sibling broadcast network Fox. Mixing together the two subjects that had been taboo at the ABC (Steve McPherson’s resignation) and Fox (judge changes on American Idol) TCA presentations over the past two days, Landgraf said: “(Fox entertainment chairman) Peter Rice told me I could deny that Steve McPherson is becoming a judge of American Idol.”
Landgraf was asked to define the difference between a broadcast and cable drama series. ”There are 13 episodes a season for a cable series, 22 for a broadcast series. I’m not sure if there is any other distinction,” he said. But don’t expect FX to gradually morph into a network with a broadcast-size slate of original series. While FX has been rapidly expanding its series … Read More »
The sixth and penultimate season of FX’s Rescue Me will premiere June 29, along with the cable network’s new comedy series Louie. Rescue Me will the air at 10 PM, followed by Tuesdays at 10:00 PM ET/PT leading into the premiere season of Louie at 11:00 PM ET/PT. Louie, starring Louis CK as a successful stand-up comedian and newly single father raising his two daughters in New York, was originally slated to launch Apr. 1 but FX moved the date to pair the new comedy with Rescue Me. “The pairing of Rescue Me and Louie this summer will create an hour and a half of the funniest and most ruthlessly honest comedy and drama about men ever seen on commercial television,” said FX president and general manager John Landgraf. The single-camera Louie, a mix of Louis C.K.’s stand-up comedy and scripted stories, features guest appearances by Ricky Gervais, Louis C.K.’s Luckie Louie co-star Pamela Adlon and Bobby Cannavale.
The WGA Awards‘ TV nominations this morning provided a stark contrast to the PGA Award nominations on Tuesday, proving again how out of date the PGA Awards are on the TV side with their June-May eligibility window. The WGA Awards, on the other hand, are keeping things as current as possible, recognizing series that have aired between December 1, 2012-November 30, 2013. That’s why its list of nominees includes the three most well-received new shows of the past six months: Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black and Showtime’s Ray Donovan and Masters Of Sex. Orange Is The New Black was the most nominated series with 4 noms, tied with this year’s best drama series winner Breaking Bad — for best comedy series, best new series and best episodic comedy (for the pilot). Masters Of Sex and Ray Donovan also landed new series noms, with Masters Of Sex additionally recognized for its pilot. Also recognized by the WGA is the excellent current fifth season of CBS’ The Good Wife, which returned to the WGA Award nomination field after being left out last year with two noms, the first multiple nomination haul for the veteran series — for best drama and best episodic drama for the standout “Hitting The Fan” episode.
Related: … Read More »
Netflix‘s march into the major TV awards circles continues. After an impressive showing at the Primetime Emmy nominations, the streaming service, which has been an original programming player only since January, today received two Producers Guild Awards nominations: for best drama series, House Of Cards, and best comedy, Arrested Development. The double nomination puts Netflix in the same category as awards juggernaut HBO as the only two outlets with multiple scripted PGA nominations. (HBO’s contenders are drama Game Of Thrones and comedy Veep.) For House Of Cards, this is a first PGA nom, while Arrested Development continued its streak of four consecutive PGA nominations for each of its seasons — three on Fox and one on Netflix. Ironically, Netflix’s most buzzed about original series, Orange Is The New Black, didn’t make the cut, exposing again the PGA Awards’ outdated eligibility window — which includes series that aired between June 1, 2012-May 31, 2013, a month before Orange premiered.
Related: PGA Awards TV Nominees Unveiled
House Of Cards provided the only change from last year in the best drama series field. But it was a significant one as the newcomer replaced AMC veteran Mad Men, which had been nominated every year it had been eligible so far and won twice. Once the most dominant drama awards contender, Mad Men also was shut out from winning Emmys the past two years. Joining House Of Cards are returning PGA nominees Showtime’s Homeland, which won the award in January; AMC’s Breaking Bad, hot off winning the best drama Emmy; PBS’ Downton Abbey; and Game Of Thrones. U.S. commercial broadcasters were shut out completely for a second straight year, underlining the awards struggle for network drama.
Related: Development Season 2013: Fewer Dramas Among Trends
There were no snubs on the comedy series side, with Arrested Development and Veep taking the spots vacated by Curb Your Enthusiasm and Louie, both not eligible this year. They join last year’s nominees, ABC’s Modern Family, which is aiming at a fourth consecutive PGA win; NBC’s departing 30 Rock; and CBS’ mega hit The Big Bang Theory. Read More »