Amy Poehler and her brother Greg Poehler have launched Syskon, a production banner dedicated to developing half-hour comedies. The first series to come out of the company, Welcome To Sweden, created by and starring Greg Poehler and co-starring Lena Olin and Illeana Douglas and Patrick Duffy, has just been ordered by Sweden’s TV4. A fish-out-of-water comedy, Welcome To Sweden is based on Greg Poehler’s true-life story about a New York accountant, Bruce (Poehler), who falls in love with a Swedish girl, Emma, and follows his heart to Sweden. Making his acting debut, Greg will star along with Josephine Bornebusch (Solsidan) as Emma, Olin as Emma’s mother Viveka, and Douglas and Duffy as Bruce’s parents. Welcome To Sweden, which marks TV4′s first English-language co-production, will be produced by local Swedish producer FLX (TV4’s comedy Solsidan), with Entertainment One handling worldwide rights. Amy Poehler and Greg Poehler executive produce. READ MORE »
Amy Poehler & Her Brother Launch Production Company, Land Series On Swedish TV With Entertainment One
The debate rages on about this year’s Oscars. Not about the movies that won or lost, but the host. Poor Seth MacFarlane just can’t seem to catch a break. If you believe what you read he is either a misogynist, a gay basher, an anti-Semite hiding behind a stuffed teddy bear, or someone who is just downright disrespectful to Abraham Lincoln. And you thought hosting the Oscars was going to be all fun and glamour?
Somewhere along the way we seem to be losing our sense of humor. It’s just an awards show, folks. Even if you don’t think he was funny — and apparently many don’t — it’s no reason to completely eviscerate the guy. For fronting a show that was alternately class (Shirley Bassey, Barbra Streisand, musical numbers) and crass, he has been getting bashed from the right and the left for his Oscar-night performance where his routines, among many other charges, have been blasted as sexist (particularly for the musical number, “We Saw Your Boobs” which was meant to be a tasteless parody of a bad Oscar song number). For MacFarlane, who is known for edgy humor, this was relatively mild material. Yet critics like Amy Davidson in the New Yorker called it his “ugly, sexist, racist Oscars” and his performance, “a series of crudely sexist antics led by a scrubby, self-satisfied Seth MacFarlane”. Ouch. The Anti-Defamation League joined the chorus earlier this week protesting the appearance of MacFarlane’s Ted and what they said was anti-Semitic humor. Yesterday a couple of California female legislators even filed a formal protest with the Academy over what they saw as offensive treatment of women.
It’s ironic that several women are now coming to MacFarlane’s defense, including Victoria A. Brownworth today at the Advocate.com, who said his humor was pointing out Hollywood hypocrisy against women and in fact gave his performance a ringing endorsement. The Academy itself got pro-active in sending press members positive statements about MacFarlane’s Oscar gig, offering a strong defense. All of this brings up the point that perhaps a “double standard” was at work here when compared to the media’s effusive praise for Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, the two female hosts of this year’s rival show the Golden Globes — even though some of their comedy bits dealt with some of the same subject matter as MacFarlane’s including women’s difficulties with issues of weight. So is there a real double standard at work? Fey and Poehler gets raves, MacFarlane gets vilified.
It is a big year for TV talent as TV writers/performers are hosting the top movie awards shows this year: the Oscars, Seth MacFarlane, and the Golden Globes, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. (Additionally, Kelsey Grammer is hosting the DGA Awards and Nathan Fillion the WGA Awards.) With their NBC show Smash nominated for best comedy/musical series, Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, producers of the upcoming Academy Awards, had a front-row seat at tonight’s Golden Globes ceremony, and Meron, who attended, watched the proceedings up close. MacFarlane didn’t attend but he too watched the Globes, tweeting occasional comments. He later joined the Golden Globes crowd at the HBO party, accompanying his girlfriend, Emilia Clarke, who co-stars on the network’s hit drama Game Of Thrones. MacFarlane was effusive in his praise for Fey and Poehler’s performance as hosts. “Please give Tina and Amy high marks because they did great,” MacFarlane said. Does the duo’s strong showing increase the pressure on him? MacFarlane seemed unfazed. “It doesn’t matter how I do, Oscar hosts always get thrashed,” he deadpanned.
Former SNL Weekend Update co-anchors Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are reuniting for another joint hosting gig, this time emceeing the upcoming 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards. Long-time friends Fey and Poehler are only the second hosting team on the awards show, which went without a host until Ricky Gervais was tapped for the job the last three years. “Having both Tina Fey and Amy Poehler on board to host this year’s festivities is a major coup,” said Paul Telegdy, NBC‘s President, Alternative and Late Night Programming. “Tina and Amy have a proven chemistry and comedic timing from their many years together on SNL to their successful co-starring roles in Baby Mama.”
Comedy Central has given a pilot order to Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, the comedy duo behind the urban-set web series Broad City. The pilot will be based on the Jacobson/Glazer web series and will star the two Upright Citizens Brigade alums. Broad City will be executive produced by Jacobson and Glazer, along with UCB co-founder Amy Poehler, Poehler’s manager, 3 Arts’ Dave Becky, and Jacobson and Glazer’s manager Samantha Saifer. Tony Hernandez is Co-Executive Producer. The project was originally set up at FX last fall. “Amy Poehler told me this would be a great show for us, and that’s good enough for me,” said Comedy Central’s head of original programming Kent Alterman.
Broad City follows two girls, played by Jacobson and Glazer, throughout their daily lives in New York City, making the smallest and mundane events hysterical and disturbing to watch all at the same time. (see trailer below.) The series has been nominated for the ECNY’s Best Web Series award; Jacobson and Glazer also were nominated individually.
The momentum for female TV comedy writers continues. On the heels of the recent success of comedy series created/co-created by women — including Fox’s New Girl, ABC’s Suburgatory and CBS’ 2 Broke Girls – and a second consecutive upfront with multiple pickups of new series from female creators including Fox’s The Mindy Project from Mindy Kaling and ABC’s How To Live With Your Parents from Claudia Lonow, female comedy writes are now making big strides in the boy’s club known as the writing for a comedy series Emmy category. Lena Dunham, creator-star of HBO’s new comedy series Girls, and Amy Poehler, star of NBC’s Parks And Recreation, today landed comedy series writing Emmy nominations alongside Parks & Rec co-creator Michael Schur, Louie creator-star Louis C.K., and Community’s Chris McKenna. Film prodigy Dunham is nominated for the Girls pilot, while Poehler is recognized for writing ”The Debate” episode of Parks & Rec. I counted only a handful times in Emmy history when two female writers have received comedy writing nominations, the last time in 2002 when Jennifer Crittenden was nominated for the “Marie’s Sculpture” episode of Everybody Loves Raymond and Julie Rottenberg & Elisa Zuritsky for the ”My Motherboard, My Self” episode of Sex And The City.
Related: 2012 EMMYS NOMINATIONS
Saturday Night Live host Jimmy Fallon and fellow former Weekend Update co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler join Seth Meyers for a joke-off.
Disney has released the official trailer for its February 17, 2012 U.S. opening of The Secret World of Arrietty. The Studio Ghibli production is directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi from a screenplay by the legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki and Keiko Niwa. It’s based on the novel The Borrowers by Mary Norton. …
Laura Linney, The Big C
Why She Was Nominated: Because, well, the TV academy couldn’t very well not nominate her. Her role as the cancer-stricken Cathy Jamison in The Big C showcases Linney’s mesmerizing acting range and depth. And she’s also a three-time Oscar nominee. That fact alone earns Linney significant brownie points and makes her Emmy nomination a foregone conclusion no matter the project or role. Having a past cinematic pedigree remains plenty huge.
Why She Has To Win: Simply stated, Linney never loses. She’s been nominated for Emmys three times: lead actress in a movie/miniseries twice (2002 for Showtime’s Wild Iris, 2008 for HBO’s John Adams) and as guest comedy actress once (2004 for Frasier). She’s won every time. Moreover, Linney’s The Big C submission is the pilot episode that finds her shifting effortlessly between high emotion and dark humor. Oh, plus the past pair of winners in the category — Toni Collette and Edie Falco — hailed from similar Showtime dramedies.
Why She Can’t Possibly Win: Someday, somebody will figure out that if you’re doing a seriocomic turn in a half-hour series, it’s likely more serio than comic. Falco said it herself onstage after winning last year for Nurse Jackie: “Oh this is just the most ridiculous thing that has ever happened in the history of this lovely awards show. Thank you so much. I’m not funny.” Linney isn’t as purely funny in her role as are her competitors here — and, well, this is supposed to be a comedy award. If that matters.
Hammond On Emmy’s Hottest Races: Comedy — Can ‘Glee’ Come Back & Will Steve Carell Finally Get Some Emmy Love?
We’ve tackled the hot races in Movie/Minis (Movies & Miniseries Race Is On) and Drama series (‘Mad Men’, Bad Men And A Good Wife). Now it’s time to laugh. And it is the Big Four networks who are having the last one.
Comedy is the one place the four broadcast networks reallly shine this Emmy season as they have reversed the drama series trend to cable by nabbing all six off the nomination slots for Best Comedy Series with each net represented in the category. It’s an encouraging trend upward for a format that was almost comatose on the nets just a few short seasons ago, but crafty scheduling including the continued revitalization of NBC’s once — and now future – ”Must See” Thursday night sitcoms, ABC’s major critical and growing audience smash Modern Family (which won this category in its first season last year) and CBS’ successful switch of The Big Bang Theory to compete on Thursdays means good times for the nets on Emmy night. And then there’s Fox’s Glee in there, too. We’ll get to that.
Ballots are due back Friday, Aug. 26, from the select group of Television Academy members voting in this and the other major comedy categories. Here’s a primer for all of you and anyone else trying to figure out where these races are headed.
Best Comedy Series
Despite Steve Carell’s much-talked-about swan song on The Office and the first ever nod in this category for The Big Bang Theory, this grouping is probably the easiest of all the major programs to call. Last year’s champ, Modern Family leads the field with a whopping 17 nominations and certainly didn’t lose any of its creative mojo this season. And since its win at the Emmys for its debut season it has swept all the major guild prizes including SAG, DGA, PGA and WGA, stumbling only at last January’s Golden Globes where Glee was victorious. Let’s face it, this race is Modern Family’s to lose. It is on a roll. Producer 20th Century Fox television probably knows this but publicly is once again running an even-handed campaign between its two darlings in the lineup here, the other obviously being Glee.
Of course, the Fox Network, which is airing the Emmys this year with Glee co-star Jane Lynch as host, is hoping for a different result and earlier this week even dragged out cast members again for another live concert event aimed at TV Academy members in Santa Monica, an advantage their show has over Modern Family, which likely does not have an ensemble of such accomplished singers. But unfortunately just as voting was getting underway the film division of Fox released what is essentially a slickly produced (but entertaining) 80-minute Gleekfomercial for the show, Glee The 3D Concert Movie. The resounding thud you heard was at the boxoffice (despite an “A” Cinemascore rating), a flop that may have tarnished the cool image of the series which has also been battling critics and some viewers complaining the show was uneven last season.
It was a big Saturday Night Live reunion on Jimmy Fallon’s Jersey Shore spoof video last night, with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler joining Fallon and fellow former SNL cohort Rachel Dratch. Fey and Poehler guest starred on the latest edition of Jersey Floor, the popular video series on Late …