Alec Baldwin has endured no small number of “very frustrating and unsatisfactory” interviews, so he’s eager to get it right when his MSNBC show launches Friday. “I want to do a show that was more like how …
Alec Baldwin’s MSNBC talker Up Late With Alec Baldwin -- aka Republican National Committee’s Talking Point No. 2 in its State of Upset Address about NBC’s now-defunct plans to air a miniseries about presumed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton — premieres October 11. Let the promos begin:
Broadcasting the Primetime Emmy Awards may seem a thankless task for the broadcast networks that take turns airing the ceremony. The license fee is pretty stiff, considering it’s a three-hour infomercial for the basic and premium cable networks (and now, Netflix) that have siphoned off a good chunk of their audience. Cable networks long ago took over the Emmy longform derbies, then they took over the best-drama derby, and now they’re moving in on comedy. CBS can expect to make a few million on the show, after factoring in the cost of production, etc. And, yes, it’s still a good platform for launching its new TV season, which officially starts the next night — not to mention the in-show plugs, like this year’s host Neil Patrick Harris, who’s the star of CBS’s How I Met Your Mother. And Allison Janney and Anna Faris are among this year’s lineup of notable female TV duos who are presenting — only because they star in the new CBS comedy series Mom. The other duos are far more newsworthy: Kerry Washington and Diahann Carroll are, respectively, the first African-American in nearly two decades to be nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series and the actress who broke color barriers when she starred in the 1968 series Julia; Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are the reigning TV-comedy co-queens; Zooey and Emily Deschanel are the Barrymores of Fox.
Still, the Emmy Awards ranks high on the Aggravation-o-Meter at times for the broadcast host. For instance, when the Academy decides to have Netflix’s House Of Cards star Kate Mara read off the names of nominees in July. As luck would have it, Mara’s plane had a mechanical malfunction, so she had to bail, and Harris stepped in — CBS plug!
Will Arnett, Alec Baldwin, Andre Braugher, Bryan Cranston, Claire Danes, Jimmy Kimmel, Margo Martindale and Sofia Vergara have been added to the presenters list for the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards. They join previously announced Diahann Carroll, Matt …
UPDATED WITH RATINGS: Alec Baldwin will host a new MSNBC current events and culture talk show, 10 PM Fridays, the cable news net announced. Up Late With Alec Baldwin will launch in October. The news ends months of speculation the actor was getting a new late-ish talker (though, back in April, when word first broke out, the NYT reported he was in talks with NBC broadcast network, and the show was Last Call, which continues to be hosted by Carson Daly. More recently, the speculation migrated to MSNBC). The prospect of a Baldwin-hosted show for the cable news network became a talking point in the Republican National Committee’s state of upset last month about NBC’s plans to air a miniseries about presumed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Specifically, the RNC cried “hooey,” when NBC News’ White House Correspondent Chuck Todd also complained about the miniseries, calling it a “total nightmare” of which the news division would “only own the negative” despite a firewall between it and NBC Entertainment, pointing out former 30 Rock star Baldwin, also a favorite Saturday Night Live host, was about to get his own show on MSNBC. The RNC went on to vote to block NBC from presidential primary debates during the 2016 election cycle because of the miniseries. And now it appears the Hillary Clinton miniseries likely is dead — and Baldwin has his MSNBC show.
Year to date in the Friday 10 p.m. hour — which, maybe not coincidentally, is also Bill Maher’s timeslot on HBO — MSNBC has been running well behind its cable news competitors, averaging 475,000 viewers to CNN’s 607,000 with Anderson Cooper, and Fox News Channel’s 1.41 million with Greta Van Susteren. In the news demo, 25-54, MSNBC has been averaging 171,000 viewers, trailing CNN’s 220,000 and FNC’s 271,000.
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
Although both lead acting races in comedy feature plenty of familiar faces from last year, lead actor is an especially tough category to gauge. A pair of previous winners (Alec Baldwin for NBC’s 30 Rock and Jim Parsons for CBS’ The Big Bang Theory) will face off against a heavyweight wild card (Louis C.K. for FX’s beloved Louie). In the case of C.K., the love and admiration the comedian receives for being a multihyphenate (writer, director, producer, editor, etc.) is rather unprecedented. But Baldwin and Parsons, who have made their roles iconic over the past several seasons, are unique talents in their own right. Their deserving competition includes Jason Bateman for Netflix’s resurrected Arrested Development, along with a pair of past nominees from Showtime series: Matt LeBlanc (Episodes) and Don Cheadle (House Of Lies). On the lead actress side, the big question is, how do you stop Julia Louis-Dreyfus from repeating? The actress is seen as having only strengthened her performance as Vice President Selina Meyer in the second-year HBO comedy Veep. Her chief competition comes from Laura Dern for the canceled HBO comedy Enlightened and previous winner Tina Fey for NBC’s departed 30 Rock. Plus, there are three repeat nominees looming as dark horses: Lena Dunham for HBO’s Girls, Amy Poehler for NBC’s Parks And Recreation and Edie Falco for Showtime’s Nurse Jackie. Let the speculation begin.
Baldwin has been nominated seven straight years for his sublime performance as Jack Donaghy, winning twice (in 2008 and ’09). Sentiment figures to be on his side to win a third for 30 Rock’s final lap. His divisive politics and frequent controversial outbursts (most recently via Twitter in early July) work against him. He’s his own worst enemy. If Baldwin weren’t so good, he’d be easy to hate.
EXCLUSIVE: When I saw him in Cannes while he and Jim Toback were unveiling their hilarious documentary Seduced And Abandoned, Alec Baldwin made it clear that any roles he takes in the near future would have to square …
The bombing of so many franchise movies this summer will lead studio suits to become even more timid and conservative, forecast James Toback at TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2013. They’re sure to conclude that the reason so many of them bombed was because they “tried too many different things” and need to “go back just to cartoon characters…We were too adventuresome,” he predicted they were saying to each other in meetings at studios as he spoke. He said he thought the “crisis” in the movie industry was “much bigger” than the pundits are saying. Oh, and movie theaters? Dead.
Toback came to press tour with Alec Baldwin to discuss their upcoming “cinematic romp” for HBO, Seduced And Abandoned. Toback and Baldwin star in the docu, about their attempt to make a film deal during the Cannes Film Festival, for a new version of Last Tango In Paris, set in the Middle East. Among those with whom they met: Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, and Roman Polanski. Among the actors they approached: Ryan Gosling and Jessica Chastain.
SAG Awards TV: ‘Modern Family’ Leads, ‘Homeland’ Lands First Noms, Alec Baldwin And Betty White Keep Rolling, Edie Falco Ties Record
More than any other awards race, the SAG Awards have proven to be a popularity contest. Alec Baldwin and Betty White have won the best actor/actress in a comedy series SAG Award every year their current shows have been on the air — a whopping six consecutive times for 30 Rock‘s Baldwin and two for Hot In Cleveland‘s Betty White. Both are nominated again, with Baldwin having a chance to complete his streak with a seventh statuette for the seventh and final season of the NBC comedy. With Baldwin and White having a stronghold on the comedy categories, awards darling Modern Family is yet to win an individual award. (It won for best comedy ensemble the past two years). The ABC comedy has three more chances this year as it once again leads the list of series nominees with four noms: best ensemble and best actor/actress mentions for Emmy winners Ty Burrell and Eric Stonestreet as well as Sofia Vergara. Two-time Emmy winner Julie Bowen, nominated last year, did not make the cut this time.
Related: SAG Awards Nominations Announced
There was very little fresh blood in the series SAG nominations — no Lena Dunham or the Girls cast, no Emmy winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus of Veep, no mention of any new broadcast series. The only first-year shows to land nominations were HBO’s The Newsroom for star Jeff Daniels and USA’s short-lived Political Animals for Sigourney Weaver in the movie/miniseries category.
But the SAG Awards did correct some anomalies from last year. The guild had many scratching their heads last December where it completely ignored Showtime’s drama Homeland, which would go on to dominate the Golden Globes and Emmy Awards. No snub this years as Homeland landed three noms — best ensemble and best actor/actress for Emmy winners Claire Danes and Damian Lewis. Despite four Emmy nominations and two wins, The Big Bang Theory‘s Jim Parsons had never received an individual SAG nomination until today. (His show nabbed its second consecutive ensemble nom.) Also, FX’s Louie finally got on the board with a first nomination for creator/star Louis C.K.
EXCLUSIVE: As he is wrapping his first starring TV series role on NBC‘s 30 Rock, Alec Baldwin is staying in business with the network and the studio behind the departing Emmy-winning comedy. I’ve learned that Baldwin, whose turn on 30 Rock has earned him two Emmys, has signed a two-year overall deal with Universal Television. Under the pact, Baldwin, who also serves as a producer on 30 Rock, will develop and produce series projects for the studio, including potential new starring vehicles for him. Baldwin joins his 30 Rock co-star, the series’ creator Tina Fey, who recently signed a new four-year overall deal with Universal TV. The pact assures Baldwin’s continued presence in the TV business. He had indicated that he may leave acting post-30 Rock for “more of a normal life,” and also has been constantly rumored for a potential political career. The current seventh and final season of 30 Rock ends January 31.