Kerry Washington and Diahann Carroll, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, Zooey Deschanel and Emily Deschanel, and Allison Janney and Anna Faris are pairing up as presenters for the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards. The telecast will air live …
EXCLUSIVE: Twenty million viewers can’t be wrong. Following the warm critical reception and big ratings for Tina Fey and Amy Poehler‘s first hosting turn at the Golden Globes earlier this year, the comedy stars have been approached for a second go as emcees of the awards show. Unlike Ricky Gervais’ original deal, which had an option for a second turn as Globes host, I hear Fey and Poehler originally agreed to host this year’s ceremony as a one-time thing with no obligation to come back. But, given their success, it’s no surprise that NBC and Golden Globes producer Dick Clark Prods are asking them to return. I hear there are no active conversations between the network and the funny ladies who have received an informal invitation versus a formal offer as NBC and DCP are looking to gauge their interest.
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.
It was completely appropriate that AFI‘s 41st Life Achievement Award honoree Mel Brooks made his entrance at the Dolby Theatre to the Steven Sondheim song, “Comedy Tonight”. It set the tone immediately for a very different evening than any that had come before at this annual event. Look at the list of the 40 previous AFI honorees, and there’s not a single solely comedic filmmaker or actor in the whole bunch. Yes, there are some — like Billy Wilder, Mike Nichols, Shirley MacLaine and Tom Hanks — who have made a few classic comedies but no one whose whole screen career is built on laughs. The AFI finally corrected that glaring omission Thursday night.
“Ladies and gentlemen, tonight the American Film Institute honors the art — and the farts — of American film,” said AFI Board Of Trustees Chair Sir Howard Stringer in welcoming the star-studded crowd. “When I telephoned Mel to tell him the AFI had voted him in as the 2013 recipient, he responded instantly, ‘What took you so long?’ Fair enough. Comedy is routinely short-changed at many awards ceremonies , particularly the Oscars. It is often said comedy is harder than drama because funny is like trying to catch lightning in a bottle. That makes Mel, without question, Hollywood’s principal lightning conductor.”
Amy Poehler & Her Brother Launch Production Company, Land Series On Swedish TV With Entertainment One
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.
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.