The Season 3 premiere of HBO‘s drama Boardwalk Empire drew 2.9 million viewers at 9 PM last night, even with the series’ second-season debut. Across three airings (9 PM, 10 PM and 11 PM), the period mob drama averaged 4.6 million viewers, slightly more than the 4.5 million total viewers for the Season 2 premiere night.
Michael Kenneth Williams has been added to the cast of Twelve Years A Slave. The actor joins Michael Fassbender, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Brad Pitt in the Steve McQueen-directed film. Raising Hope‘s Garret Dillahunt, Paul Dano and SNL’s …
Anthony D’Alessandro is managing editor/contributor to AwardsLine.
For anyone who found the first season of Boardwalk Empire pedestrian with its decadent sets and deliberate pacing, well then, watch season 2: HBO’s Prohibition gangster saga is more breathtaking than a moonshine explosion, triggered in large part by its tin god Nucky Thompson, the crooked Atlantic City political boss played with pungent deftness by Steve Buscemi. In season 2, the beachside Camelot of bootleggers and politicians that Nucky propped up in season 1 emasculate him of his power with an election rigging scandal, leaving the fashion-plaid suited kingpin no choice but to off his rebellious protégé Jimmy Darmody (Michael Pitt) in a shocking finale. While some critics scratched their heads in season 1 over the idea of a character actor playing the lead, it couldn’t be more clear that Buscemi’s steely acting was meant for the part. Look no further than the accolades Buscemi has racked up: a best actor drama Emmy nod last year and a best actor SAG win in January. His coarse stares, machine-gun diction and cocksure swagger are Nucky’s underpinnings as the pivot in this gangland’s Ferris wheel. Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather taught that such unhinged behavior leads a man to his inevitable doom, i.e. Sonny Corleone. But in Boardwalk, such manners are prerequisite for survival.
AWARDSLINE: Did you realize early on in the season that Nucky’s murder of Jimmy Darmody was inevitable?
Steve Buscemi: No, it wasn’t obvious to me or anybody. When I talked to Terry (Winter) about why Nucky was taking this course of action,
There is a direct lineage between HBO’s The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire and it is personified by Boardwalk creator Terence Winter. A lawyer who wrote on series like The Cosby Mysteries, Xena: Warrior Princess and Sister, Sister, Winter found his true calling as a writer/producer of David Chase’s groundbreaking mob saga. Winter four Emmys for writing and producing Sopranos episodes, including one directed by Steve Buscemi. Winter’s followup, Boardwalk Empire, garnered 18 Emmy nominations and eight wins its first season. It’s back for more after completing a second season with shocking doses of killings, incest, bootlegging and treachery that culminated in Buscemi’s Nucky Thompson executing his surrogate son-turned rival Jimmy Darmody, played by Michael Pitt. Here, Winter discusses the season past, and carrying The Sopranos torch that has changed cable series permanently.
DEADLINE: When Steve Buscemi played Tony Soprano’s cousin in The Sopranos, how far into that season did it occur to you he could carry your next show?
WINTER: I didn’t start developing Boardwalk until a little after The Sopranos but I’d been a fan of Steve’s literally from the second I saw him in a movie called In the Soup. He directed three Sopranos episodes for us and I got to know him first on that level. When I wrote the Boardwalk script I really didn’t have any actor in mind; we had the real Nucky in mind, from photographs. When it came time to cast, Marty Scorsese and I decided it didn’t matter what the real guy looked like because nobody knew him anyway. Let’s just pick an actor we love. I said what about Steve Buscemi and about a week later, Marty called and said, I can’t stop thinking about Steve Buscemi for this. I couldn’t either, and that was that. Some saw it as an odd choice, but Steve has covered every color in the human spectrum of emotion and there’s nothing this guy can’t do.
Related: EMMYS: Drama Series Overview
DEADLINE: Did you know then that in Season Two he would evolve into a stone killer?
WINTER: Yeah. I knew. Based on the research, as prohibition unfolded the game got much darker and if you were going to survive in that world you had to step up your game. After starting with a guy who was a corrupt politician who dabbled in criminal behavior of a relatively minor sort, things had to get darker for him. It was foreshadowed in the pilot w19thhen Jimmy Darmody tells Nucky, you can’t be half a gangster anymore, because there are people willing to kill for this, and that’s why you need a guy like me. Eventually we had to see Nucky cross that line himself.
Fans of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire will be keen to know that Season 3 will pick up “15 months in the future from the end of season two,” as executive producer and series creator Terence Winter confided to a nearly packed house at the Leonard Goldenson Theatre tonight at the TV Academy in North Hollywood. “It’s New Year’s Eve 1922, going into 1923,” Winter teased the crowd. “The world has changed quite a bit,” Winter noted of the ongoing Prohibition era. “Things have gotten quite a bit more violent as Prohibition has gone on and people are running out of liquor. Hence Nucky’s world’s going to change.” Winter added that the upcoming season slated to begin in September will see a rise of gangsters like Al Capone and lots of “consequences and ramifications from what went on at the end of Season 2.” The young, now-orphaned son of the dead Jimmy Darmody who was played by Michael Pitt, will continue to be a part of the series, Winter added.
Is there a trumpet player in Boardwalk‘s future? Alluding to an earlier possible slip of tongue by actor Michael Shannon, Winter also jokingly promised that they’ve “got the band going.” Shannon, who plays disgraced Prohibition agent Nelson Van Alden, elicited sharp looks from Winter and star Steve Buscemi during the Evening With Boardwalk Empire event when he interjected, “Time to be someone else.” He quickly added, “Luckily I can play the trumpet,” to which Winter mockingly observed, “Oh. Thanks for giving it away.”
The liquor may not have been flowing speakeasy style, but the Atlantic City gang was all there. In addition to Buscemi, Shannon and Winter, the acclaimed Prohibition era series’ Kelly Macdonald, Vincent Piazza, Gretchen Mol, Michael Stuhlbarg and Michael Kenneth Williams took the stage at the Television Academy’s Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre to discuss the past and, many hoped, the future of Boardwalk Empire. While recently announced Season three regular Bobby Cannavale was not there, former series star Pitt was very much in evidence.
U.S. series nominees at the 52nd Monte Carlo Television Festival in the drama category are Boardwalk Empire (HBO), Game of Thrones (HBO) and The Good Wife (CBS Studios International). Comedy series nominees are 30 Rock (NBC Universal), The Big Bang Theory (CBS Studios International) and Modern Family (Twentieth Century Fox …
Paramount’s Rango dominated this evening’s 10th Annual Visual Effects Society Awards with four wins in animated feature categories — Visual Effects, Animated Character, Created Environment and Virtual Cinematography. Hugo, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes and Transformers: Dark Of The Moon took a pair of awards each in the feature categories. Boardwalk Empire and Game Of Thrones won two apiece in the TV categories. Stan Lee was honored with the VES Lifetime Achievement Award and visual effects pioneer Douglas Trumbull received the Georges Méliès Award. Ceremonies recognizing visual effects wizardry in 23 categories took place at the Beverly Hilton. The awards presentation will air at 7PM Pacific/10PM Eastern on ReelzChannel Sunday, February 19th. Complete list of winners follows:
Supporting Visual Effects in a Feature Motion Picture
Hugo: Ben Grossmann, Alex Henning, Rob Legato, Karen Murphy
Visual Effects in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
Rango: Tim Alexander, Hal Hickel, Jacqui Lopez, Katie Lynch
Visual Effects in a Broadcast Miniseries, Movie, or Special
Inside the Human Body: Phil Dobree, Sophie Orde, Dan Upton
Visual Effects in a Broadcast Series
Terra Nova – Occupation & Resistance: Kevin Blank, Colin Brady, Adica Manis, Jason Zimmerman
Supporting Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program
Game of Thrones – Winter is Coming: Lucy Ainsworth-Taylor, Angela Barson, Ed Bruce, Adam McInnes
A new man will be threatening Nucky Thompson’s reign on the upcoming third season of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. Bobby Cannavale has joined the cast of the mob drama as a series regular. He will play Gyp Rosetti, a charming but ruthless gangster who challenges Nucky (Steve Buscemi). The cast of Boardwalk Empire, created by Terence Winter and executive produced by Winter, Martin Scorsese, Tim Van Patten, Mark Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson, is a regular short following the demise of Michael Pitt’s character in the second season finale. The series repeated as a double SAG Award winner this past weekend in the best drama ensemble and best actor (Buscemi) categories.
Los Angeles, January 9, 2012 – The Visual Effects Society (VES) today announced the nominees for its 10th Annual VES Awards ceremony recognizing outstanding visual effects artistry in 23 categories of film, animation, television, commercials, special venues and video games. Nominees were chosen Saturday, January 7 by distinguished panels of VES members who viewed submissions at the FotoKem screening facilities in Burbank and New York, FotoKem’s Spy in San Francisco, and other facilities in London, Sydney, Vancouver and Wellington, NZ. As previously announced, Stan Lee will be honored with the VES 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award and Douglas Trumbull with the Georges Méliès Award. The 10th Annual VES Awards will take place on Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel and will air exclusively on ReelzChannel. The nominees for the 10th Annual VES Awards are as follows:
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature Motion Picture
Captain America: The First Avenger
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
The broadcast networks staged a major comeback on a wild night at the Emmys, which started and ended with wins that were widely predicted but saw some real curve balls in between. Broadcast’s dominating performance was led by the five Emmys for ABC’s heavy comedy favorite Modern Family, which won every category it was nominated in, sweeping the first four trophy presentations of the night — for best supporting actor/actress and best writing/directing in a comedy series — and making the final award of the night, for best comedy series, a foregone conclusion. Modern Family won that too for a second straight year, and its sweep shut out rival Glee, leaving Emmy host Fox empty-handed. Broadcast shows also claimed the lead actor/actress in a comedy series categories, which provided two of the major upsets of the night. Melissa McCarthy of CBS’ Mike & Molly won for lead comedy actress despite most pundits having her as their fifth or sixth pick in the category and Golden Globe winner Laura Linney considered a strong front-runner for The Big C. Fellow CBS leading man Jim Parsons denied Steve Carell an Emmy for his iconic role on The Office. (The Office and fellow 30 Rock were left out completely tonight.) McCarthy’s and Parsons’ wins also meant a comeback for the multi-camera genre, which had its first double lead actor/actress win in a long time.
Broadcast’s big night continued with Julianna Margulies winning as best actress in a drama series for CBS’ The Good Wife. The Eye network scored again in the reality competition series, where The Amazing Race won for the eighth time in nine years in the category. Additionally, Friday Night Lights, which originated on NBC and continued to air second runs on the broadcast network, scored two big wins for its final season. One went to star Kyle Chandler for lead actor in a drama series and another to showrunner Jason Katims for writing. Add to that the strong showing of pubcaster PBS, whose Masterpiece Theatre mini-series Downton Abbey won four major awards: best TV movie/miniseries, best supporting actress, Maggie Smith, and best writing and directing for a TV movie/miniseries.
Deadline’s Diane Haithman and Ray Richmond were backstage at the Primetime Emmy Awards tonight to hear what the winners had to say.
Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell came backstage together after winning the awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress and Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. The Modern Family stars were asked first about being part of a show that is breaking ground for gays. Burrell said, “I don’t know, in terms of America, it feels very, very good to be on a show that seems like it’s slowly changing a lot of minds. Eric [Stonestreet] and Jesse [Tyler Ferguson] deserve all of the credit for that, and our amazing showrunners. It’s a great thing to just peripherally go to events and just basically start to talk about those characters like any other characters, relating to their life — it’s pretty cool.” Bowen joked, “As a straight woman, and part of a straight couple on the show, I feel marginalized.” On a more serious note, she added: “It’s absurd that it’s even an issue, but where it’s an issue, I’m glad that we are part of helping change minds.” Using the word “straight” in a different context, Burrell praised Bowen: “It’s even greater credit to what Julie does that the straight-person wins an Emmy, I don’t think that happens very often. In a couple there’s usually a straight-man and a wilder character. It’s due to her resourcefulness as an actor.” On going back to the set with an Emmy when other cast members were also nominated, Burrell said: “Eric won last year, and Ed [O'Neill] actually just said something really sweet right before the award, ‘whoever wins deserves it.’ I feel like we’re trying to enjoy this moment more than anything — we know this doesn’t last forever; we’re having a lot of fun.” Bowen said about her surprise win, “I kinda thought it was a lock on Betty White. If I didn’t have a dog in this fight, and I had two, I would have voted for Betty White. Claire is not necessarily fall-down funny every time.” She credits the writers for having found ways to make her character have many dimensions and “not just be the mom.” …
Later, Steve Levitan and Jeffrey Richman, winners for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, were asked how it feels for Modern Family to be sweeping the awards so far, with wins in every category they’ve been eligible for. Levitan: “We’re beyond thrilled with the way things have gone, obviously. It’s an embarrassment of riches, and from the bottom of our hearts we feel that Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen deserved to win. (Outstanding Director in a Comedy Series winner) Michael Alan Spiller, not so much. To tell you the truth, it’s a little surreal.” They were then asked what they did to ramp up the stories and quality of Modern Family in Season 2. Levitan: “We feel like we know the characters a little bit better this year. There was such dedication this year to keeping the quality up. We all live in fear of the quality dipping so we work extra hard to make sure that doesn’t happen. … I’ll also tell you that our kids are the unsung heroes of the show. What they do on this show is amazing. We ask them to do such complicated turns and they nail it constantly. They’re playing at the same level as the adults and that’s a rare thing.” …