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EMMYS: Deadline-TVline Drama Races

Here is the Deadline/TVline assessment of 2011 Emmy drama races:

Deadline/TVline: 2011 Drama Series Overview
This year’s Emmy race for Outstanding Drama Series will continue cable’s dominance in this most prestigious category. Cable claimed 10 of the 13 nomination spots over the past two years, and 13 of 19 since 2008. By contrast, cable earned a mere nine nods combined in the seven years between 2001 and 2007 when the networks still ruled. The shift from broadcast is so extreme in 2011 that CBS’ The Good Wife is considered the only network series with a solid shot to earn its second nomination in as many years. (Though not in that league, NBC/DirecTV’s Friday Night Lights, NBC’s Parenthood, and CBS’ Blue Bloods deserve consideration while ABC has entered a rebuilding phase.) The sad reality is that the broadcast networks, which just signed a new eight-year deal with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences to carry the Emmys, are facing a possible first-ever shutout from the top drama series category. That’s because of the continuing strength and ambition of programming on cable — in particular, HBO in a return to form, and AMC still on a roll.

Deadline: White Collar‘s Jeff Eastin Q&A
Deadline: Fringe‘s Jeff Pinker and Joel Wyman Q&A
Deadline: Men Of A Certain Age‘s Ray Romano and Mike Royce Q&A
Deadline: Mad Men‘s Matt Weiner
Deadline Boardwalk Empire‘s Terence Winter
Deadline: The Walking Dead‘s Frank Darabont Q&A
Deadline: The Good Wife‘s Michelle and Robert King Q&A
Deadline: Justified‘s Graham Yost Q&A
Deadline: The Killing‘s Veena Sud Q&A
Deadline: Friday Night Lights and Parenthood‘s Jason Katims Q&A
Deadline: Shameless‘ John Wells Q&A

Deadline: 10 Dramas Pick Best Episodes
Drama series producers agonize over their selection of up to six episodes for 2011 Emmy nomination consideration. Here’s insight from Deadline into why these particular episodes were thought to impress Emmy voters.

TVline: Sizing Up The Lead Drama Actor Race
Since Breaking Bad didn’t air during this year’s Emmy eligibility period, its star — three-time Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series winner Bryan Cranston — isn’t able to vie for a fourth consecutive statuette. In other words, the field is wide open for someone like the oft-nominated Hugh Laurie of House or Jon Hamm of Mad Men, or a sleeper like Kyle Chandler of Friday Night Lights, or an old favorite like Tom Selleck (now of Blue Bloods), to grab the gold.
TVline: Mad Men‘s Jon Hamm Q&A
TVline: Justified‘s Timothy Olyphant Q&A

TVline: A Look At The Lead Drama Actress Race

In 2010, the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series seemed destined to go to Julianna Margulies for The Good Wife. Everybody said so. Apparently everybody but the Emmy voters, that is. They decided instead, that after her fifth nomination, it was The Closer’s Kyra Sedgwick who finally deserved to win. This year the big buzz surrounds Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss. Come award night, will she or some other fresh face have the statuette in their hand?
TVline: The Good Wife‘s Julianna Margulies Q&A
TVline: Fringe‘s Anna Torv Q&A
TVline: The Killing‘s Mireille Enos Q&A Read More »

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EMMYS: 2011 Drama Series Overview

This year’s Emmy race for Outstanding Drama Series will continue cable’s dominance in this most prestigious category. Cable claimed 10 of the 13 nomination spots over the past two years, and 13 of 19 since 2008. By contrast, cable earned a mere nine nods combined in the seven years between 2001 and 2007 when the networks still ruled. The shift from broadcast is so extreme in 2011 that CBS’ The Good Wife is considered the only network series with a solid shot to earn its second nomination in as many years. (Though not in that league, NBC/DirecTV’s Friday Night Lights, NBC’s Parenthood, and CBS’ Blue Bloods deserve consideration while ABC has entered a rebuilding phase.) The sad reality is that the broadcast networks, which just signed a new eight-year deal with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences to carry the Emmys, are facing a possible first-ever shutout from the top drama series category. That’s because of the continuing strength and ambition of programming on cable — in particular, HBO in a return to form, and AMC still on a roll.

HBO’s Prohibition-era hourlong Boardwalk Empire drew the most critical attention this Emmy season because of its pedigreed producer team, headed by the legendary Martin Scorsese and creator/showrunner Terence Winter, a Sopranos alum. How interesting that the pay channel’s expensive serial will compete against another period drama from that other Sopranos alum Matt Weiner. AMC’s first acclaimed original series, Mad Men, has won this category three years running and is bidding this year to be the first series to win four in a row since NBC’s The West Wing (2000- 2003). Though the frontrunner, Mad Men could be hurt by a long hiatus.

AMC has seized the mantle from HBO as TV’s preeminent quality-drama purveyor with a pair of newcomers that could crack the series field this year: the zombie-themed hour The Walking Dead, and the dark murder mystery The Killing. Even though two-time category nominee Breaking Bad is not eligible for 2011, AMC could still land three nods, becoming the first network in 10 years to do so in this category, after NBC scored the hat trick in 2001 with The West Wing, ER, and Law & Order. No cable network has ever managed the feat to date.

And then there’s Showtime, whose Dexter is in the running for its fourth consecutive Outstanding Drama nomination, along with first-season Shameless. FX is pushing its increasingly buzzed-about Western, Justified and, to a lesser extent, Sons Of Anarchy. TNT wants attention for The Closer, Men Of A Certain Age, and Southland. USA is pressing Covert Affairs and White Collar. Here’s our assessment of the chances for this year’s drama series in alphabetical order: Read More »

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EMMYS: 10 Dramas Pick Best Episodes

Drama series producers agonize over their selection of up to six episodes for 2011 Emmy nomination consideration. Here’s insight from Deadline TV Contributor Diane Haithman into why these particular episodes were thought to impress Emmy voters:

BOARDWALK EMPIRE – PILOT EPISODE
Story line: It is January 1920, on the eve of Prohibition. Atlantic City’s treasurer Enoch “Nucky”Thompson (played by Steve Buscemi and based on a real-life crime boss) publicly condemns alcohol while plotting to make a tidy profit selling bootleg liquor.

The period drama entered the 75-minute pilot episode because it was directed by Martin Scorsese and reportedly cost $50 million (which would make it the most expensive pilot episode ever produced). About the selection of this and the other episodes, creator Terence Winter explains, “We wanted to make sure we gave a representative selection of the show and be sure that the narrative arc didn’t leave voters completely confused.”

MAD MEN – “THE SUITCASE”
Story line: This episode deconstructs one evening in the life of Don Draper and Peggy Olson, weaving the fictional events with a real-life May 1965 World Heavyweight boxing match. Don forces Peggy to work all night on her birthday, Duck Phillips has a drunken fistfight with Don, and Peggy comforts Don when he learns of Anna’s death.

“The Suitcase” is generating buzz not only for the drama series but also for Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss to strut their Emmy stuff. “It’s about two lost souls who, through the course of one alcohol-infused evening together, slowly shed their protective veneers to reveal their raw, messy cores,” says Jennifer Getzinger, who directed the episode written by show creator Matthew Weiner. “The beauty … Read More »

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EMMYS: ‘Fringe’s Jeff Pinkner & Joel Wyman

By | Thursday June 23, 2011 @ 9:30pm PDT

Jeff Pinkner and Joel Wyman are more than just co-showrunners of the Fox science fiction hour Fringe. They’re also the gatekeepers of its genre-expanding premise that’s been described as a hybrid of The X-Files, Altered States, and The Twilight Zone. Despite being a critical darling through much of its first 3 seasons, however, the series has come up short with the TV Academy, generating only Emmy nominations in 2009 for special effects and 2010 for sound editing. Its stars Anna Torv, Josh Jackson and John Noble remain otherwise unrecognized from Emmy (though Noble just this week won a Critics’ Choice Television Award). Pinkner and Wyman spoke with Deadline TV Contributor Ray Richmond about the show’s distinct sensibility and its third season:

DEADLINE: How was the decision made to introduce to Fringe the premise of having the action alternate between parallel universes this past season?
JEFF PINKNER: One of the things we’d said to our studio and network partners from the beginning is, this is very much a series that has to move forward and keep changing in order to be successful. It’s an unfolding story as opposed to a condition. It isn’t about a hospital where bodies come through or a police precinct with suspects. We knew early on that the series and saga involved two universes. But it was important
to let it unfold relatively slowly, to have it open up to characters and viewers over time as opposed to the middle of season one. Because … Read More »

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EMMYS: Ray Romano And Mike Royce Of ‘Men Of A Certain Age’

By | Thursday June 23, 2011 @ 8:44pm PDT

Deadline TV contributor Diane Haithman files this report:

TNT’s second-season series Men of a Certain Age, created by Ray Romano and Mike Royce, is all about the L word to describe three middle-aged males (portrayed by Romano, Scott Bakula, and Andre Braugher) who are stumbling through mid-life together on the show. “It’s an old adage – write what you know, and we knew loser men,” Romano cracked, quickly adding: “No, don’t write that. How about not loser men – lost men.” Romano, 53, and Royce, 46, also place themselves in the “lost” category when the long-running Everybody Loves Raymond came to an end in 2005. At first, Romano says, they thought a break would be fun. And it was, for a couple of months. Then it wasn’t. They were sitting around talking about it when they decided to write about it instead. “The reasons for getting together was, ‘Let’s do something because we’re not doing anything,’ and then we thought, why not write about how that’s affecting us?” Royce said. Romano adds that, since no one would relate to the tragedy of losing one’s hit comedy series “except for Seinfeld,” they decided to translate their sense of crisis to guys with less glamorous lives.

TNT programming chief Michael Wright was calling the drama “a very special show” for the network and was upfront that it represented a departure for TNT. Romano and Royce struggled with TNT executives to concoct the right blend of drama and comedy: “I think at the beginning they were more concerned about lightning things up a little, to make them less gloomy,” Romano said. Added Royce: “They were nervous about bumming everybody out.” But Men of a Certain Age quickly became a critical and ratings hit for TNT. (The New York Times called it a “funny, elegant meditation on midlife.”) And although the ratings have not been as strong in the show’s second season, Wright told January’s Television Critics Association press tour: “We couldn’t be happier with the show. We look for a lot of different metrics on TNT. Obviously we want big ratings success, but we also want attention and good reviews from critics. This show works on a lot of levels for us.”

The show has snagged a Peabody Award in May and a 2010 Emmy nomination for Andre Braugher. With 6 new episodes that began airing in June, Romano and Royce are thinking about the Emmys. “It feels like the show needs to get on the radar more,” acknowledged Romano.  Read More »

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EMMYS: ‘Boardwalk Empire’ Terence Winter

By | Thursday June 23, 2011 @ 3:45am PDT

Terence Winter won four Emmys for the HBO mob drama The Sopranos — two for writing, two as executive producer. Less than three years after that iconic series wrapped, he went back into the world of organized crime (albeit nearly 90 years earlier) as showrunner of HBO’s Prohibition themed Boardwalk Empire alongside the legendary Martin Scorsese. The 12-episode, mega-budget show is already a WGA and DGA and SAG award winner, and now Emmy frontrunner. Winter talked to Deadline TV contributor Ray Richmond:

DEADLINE: You’ve already had quite an awards season with Boardwalk Empire.
TERENCE WINTER: It’s been very gratifying. But it’s the work, of course, that’s the real reward. And the greatest thing about doing TV is that you can see actual results in a relatively short period of time. You’re driving to work with a story idea, you make it happen, and six months later, there it is on the television screen. It comes to fruition. People see it. That’s so satisfying. There are so many writers out there for whom nothing
gets produced. They are forever in development hell. It’s mind-boggling. Their heart is consistently broken. But in TV, you often get to see the fruits of your labor. It’s like, ‘This is what Daddy does, honey.’

DEADLINE: Is the feedback similar to what was generated for The Sopranos?
WINTER: To some degree, it’s the same. Like Sopranos, people watch Boardwalk for different reasons. For some, there’s too much gangster. For others, there’s not enough. You hear: too much blood, not enough blood, just the right amount of blood. And then people get all bent out of shape because we … Read More »

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‘Mad Men’ Ladies Elisabeth Moss And January Jones In First Emmy Faceoff

Nellie Andreeva

In a move that may shake up the lead drama actress Emmy field this year, for the first time since the launch of Mad Men, co-stars Elisabeth Moss and January Jones will go head to head at the Emmys by competing in the same category, according to TVLine. For the first two seasons of the AMC drama, Moss was submitted as lead actress, Jones as supporting, with the two switching for Season 3. Now Michael Ausiello reports that Moss, whose character Peggy was very prominent in Season 4, and Jones are  both being submitted for lead actress, which could jeopardize their chances to both land nominations like they did last year. The two also entered the most recent Golden Globes race in the same lead actress category, with only one, Moss, getting a nom.

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