‘Nurse Jackie’ At NY PaleyFest: A Cast Tweak, An Emmy Surprise And Why New Yorkers Are “Just A Little Cuckoo”
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
There was a bit of news unveiled today at the PaleyFest: Made in NY panel for Nurse Jackie: Tony Award winner Julie White has joined the Showtime comedy’s cast as a regular for Season 6. It had been announced last week that White would be recurring, but exec producer Clyde Phillips confirmed that she is “now a series regular,” beginning with the first episode. She is playing Antoinette, a brassy Southern real estate agent who becomes the AA sponsor of Jackie Peyton’s (Edie Falco) after the drug-addicted ER nurse falls off the wagon at the end of Season 5. The series is completing shooting on its second episode following a season-finale climax in which Jackie pops a pill stashed in her wedding ring box at a party celebrating the one-year anniversary of her sobriety. Concurrently, Adam Ferrara — whose cop character Frank was written into the series as Jackie’s love interest last season — is back for Season 6, cementing his status as a regular. Ferrara previously was a regular on the FX firefighter drama Rescue Me, and he was asked by audience member at the panel how it was different being on a show like Nurse Jackie that was decidedly less “testosterone-driven.” “It smells better,” he quipped, “but I’m very fortunate to have had both experiences — testosterone and estrogen.” He thought about this for a moment and then added, “I could probably create life by myself.”
UPDATE: Aida Turturro, who played James Gandolfini’s sister on The Sopranos, also has issued a statement. “I’ve not only lost a great friend, but a true brother, on screen and off,” she said. “James was the most generous actor to work with, but more so, a man with a heart …
Ten days before Nurse Jackie‘s fifth-season finale, Showtime has renewed the dark comedy for a sixth season to premiere in 2014. A co-production of Showtime and Lionsgate, Nurse Jackie stars Edie Falco in her Emmy-winning role as Jackie Peyton, a strong-willed and brilliant — but very flawed — emergency room nurse. Clyde Phillips, who took over as showrunner after Season 4, will be back, joined by fellow exec producers Caryn Mandabach, Richie Jackson and Tom Straw. Production for the sixth season will begin this fall in New York.
“Nurse Jackie is an essential part of the Showtime brand, and we are thrilled with the series’ growth in its fifth season,” said Showtime Entertainment President David Nevins. “Under the new leadership of Clyde Phillips, and with an amazing cast led by Edie Falco, this show is as sharp and compelling and entertaining as ever. I’m excited to get to see the next chapter in Jackie’s life.”
Ray Richmond is a contributor to AwardsLine
It was in 2010 that Edie Falco caused something of a stir at the Emmy Awards when – after winning the lead comedy actress Emmy for Showtime’s Nurse Jackie – she began her acceptance speech, “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!”
No one seemed to think that Falco was ungrateful so much as genuinely flabbergasted. And those who were regular watchers of her show may have agreed with her, underscoring how the definition of an Emmy-worthy comedic actress had so changed since the days of Mary Tyler Moore (a six-time winner in the category divided between The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show), Candice Bergen (who won for Murphy Brown five times) and even Helen Hunt (a four-time victor for Mad About You).
Related: EMMYS: Comedy Series Overview
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.
To commemorate the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11, a highly distinguished cast of film, TV & stage actors will gather for a benefit reading of Sarah Tuft’s “110 Stories” on September 8th & 9th at The Skirball Center for the Performing Arts i n Manhattan. The illustrious cast – including,
EXCLUSIVE: Ben Stiller is in talks with 20th Century Fox to play the title role in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty after the previous script was finally dumped and a new approach and screenwriter was put on the project. That produced a reboot that Stiller wants to make his next film. Stiller sparked to the new take by Steve Conrad, writer of the Will Smith hit The Pursuit of Happyness. Now that Stiller is coming aboard, Fox will move quickly to lock in a cinematic director who can mix action with a PG rating, and get the picture ready for a late fall start. Stiller is repped by WME.
Mitty is still based on the 1947 Danny Kaye film from the James Thurber short story first published in The New Yorker in 1939. The story of a perpetual daydreamer had been in development so long that it seemed like it might never be more than a daydream. Everyone from Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell and Sacha Baron Cohen flirted with that previous script, and directors who have circled include Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard and Gore Verbinski. Mitty‘s problems stemmed from that script which was never quite right. But then Conrad started fresh and Stiller felt he knocked it out of the park. Stiller, who has starred in the lucrative Night at the Museum and Meet the Parents franchises, might have another big one on his hands. His Red Hour Films banner is based at Fox. Samuel Goldwyn Jr. and John Goldwyn have been shepherding the project as producers for years.
Screen Media Films has picked up U.S. distribution rights to director Eric Mendelsohn’s 3 Backyards, starring Embeth Davidtz, Edie Falco and Elias Koteas. 3 Backyards dives into the lives of three residents of a small town over the course of one day. Screen Media is planning on a release date some time in the first half of 2011. Meanwhile, Phase 4 …
EXCLUSIVE: The latest in a parade of major stars being drawn to the Broadway stage: Ben Stiller and Edie Falco are making deals to star on Broadway next spring in The House of Blue Leaves, a revival of John Guare’s seminal stage play. Mark your calendar for an opening date of next spring, at the Walter Kerr Theatre, with Scott Rudin producing. For Stiller in particular, the stage turn is a homecoming. He made his Broadway debut in the 1986 revival of The House of Blue Leaves, a play that originated off-Broadway in 1971. This time, he’ll play the male lead role of Artie Shaughnessy, a frustrated zookeeper who dreams of making it big as a songwriter. The play takes place in 1965 on a day that Pope Paul VI is visiting New York. Falco will play his wife, Bananas, a schizophrenic who is headed for a mental institution. The play takes place in their Queens home. It is a 60s-centric storyline, with political bombings and the Vietnam War among the plot developments, but the 1986 production won the Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Best Revival.
Edie Falco’s lead comedy series actress Emmy for Showtime’s Nurse Jackie made Hollywood history. It marks the first time a television performer has won lead actor Emmy for consecutive regular series roles — Carmela Soprano on HBO’s The Sopranos and now for the title character of Showtime’s Nurse Jackie. She’s also …
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s 2010 Emmy coverage. Here’s his scorecard assessing the Outstanding Lead Drama Series Actor race:
TONI COLLETTE, UNITED STATES OF TARA
Why She Got Nominated: Collette won here last year. If the TV Academy votes separately for each of her personalities, that’s a lot of votes.
Why She Has To Win: …