After landing the top comedy series prize at the Critics’ Choice TV Awards last month, NBC’s underrated comedy series Community finally is getting some Emmy recognition. While the best comedy series and acting categories remain out of reach, Community today landed a prestigious writing for a comedy series nomination. It wasn’t for creator Dan Harmon, who was recently replaced as showrunner on the series, but for co-executive producer Chris McKenna for writing the Remedial Chaos Theory episode of the show. The comedy series writing field was very competitive this year, and even awards juggernaut Modern Family, which won the category the last two years, couldn’t make the cut. Community‘s only previous Emmy nom came last year in the Individual Achievement in Animation category, which the series actually won.
She’s considered one of the finest film actresses of this or any generation. Julianne Moore has garnered four Oscar nominations for such disparate roles in Boogie Nights, The End Of The Affair and in 2002 pulled off the rare feat of two nominations in both leading and supporting categories for Far From Heaven and The Hours. It seems only a matter of time before she finally nabs the Oscar itself because Moore is deeply admired by her fellow actors as someone not afraid to take risks and go into dark places. This year she took another risk, not only diving into a TV film, albeit HBO but taking one of the most iconic, polarizing and most recognizable political figures of our time, former vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin in the movie version of the best-selling book about that 2008 campaign, Game Change. Due to the uncanny portrayal by Moore she has catapulted herself into the Emmy race. But it wouldn’t be her first. She started in TV soaps in the mid-80’s and won a Daytime Emmy for As The World Turns in 1988. Make no mistake, this year Moore is definitely ready to move up to the Primetime contest. I recently talked to her about the challenge of taking on Palin.
Related: EMMYS: Jay Roach On ‘Game Change’
PERFECTING PALIN: “This was extremely different (playing a real person who is still alive). I mean, the people that I have played before have been deceased and not very well known. They were not certainly well known, public figures. This is somebody who is very, very much present in our lives, even now, so we didn’t even have a grace period of playing, even 10 years. There was no point at which she has faded from public view…So the responsibility to be accurate was really high. So, the first thing I did was call a vocal coach. And cleared my schedule of everything else I was doing because we only had two months to prep too. I wanted to devote as much time as I could to doing the research. The great thing today is that everything is available. Everything is on YouTube. Literally everything (Sarah Palin) ever did during the (2008) campaign have been documented. Because we were working specifically on that time period, those months leading up to the election, between her nomination and the concession speech. That was what I focused on looking at. So I looked at all of her appearances, all of the convention speeches, all of the press appearance, all of the debates and, listened to it over and over. Put it on my iPod, worked with my vocal coach and just did it. My kids made fun of me: I had nothing else on my iPod except for Sarah Palin. [laughter] Literally, I took all the music off so I would never ever be tempted to listen to anything else.”
Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
Jay Roach’s political movies span the spectrum: not from conservative to liberal, but from drama to comedy. Likely to be nominated at Emmy time is HBO’s Game Change, the story of Sarah Palin’s vice presidential nomination, written by Danny Strong, based on the book by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann. Roach also collaborated with Strong on HBO’s Emmy-winning Recount, about the 2000 presidential race. But Roach is casting a vote for comedy with his August 10 feature The Campaign, with funnymen Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis as two Southerners vying for a seat in Congress. He’s also developing a Watergate film based on the memoirs of the real Deep Throat, former FBI agent Mark Felt.
AWARDSLINE: For a series, an Emmy can save a bubble show from cancellation. What does Emmy mean to a made-for-TV movie?
JAY ROACH: Getting noticed by the Emmys for a TV movie is an even bigger deal. Series are up and running continuously, but a TV movie hits once and runs a few times and unless it gets noticed, it gets forgotten. On Recount the awards attention was very, very good for that film, people discovered it later down the line.
AWARDSLINE: It seems like TV is virtually the only place to see films about political subjects.
ROACH: There was a time in the ’70s when studios were making more movies that had more of a political point of view, The Candidate (1972), All the President’s Men (1976). It doesn’t seem very easy these days to set up these kinds of movies in the feature world. But I did talk about this story back during the campaign, even with a couple of studio people, before HBO bought the book. Even before I heard about the book, I was trying to convince people that being in the room where they made these decisions would be a really compelling film.
The pay TV sports behemoth had 55 nominations vs NBC Sports Group’s 32, CBS’ 26, and Turner Sports’ 22. You’ll find the full list of nominees here.
More than 170 nominees were announced in 33 categories including outstanding live sports special, live series, sports documentary, studio show, promotional announcements, play-by-play personality and studio analyst. The Awards will be given out at the prestigious Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center located in the Time Warner Center on April 30th, 2012 in New York City.
This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Sports will go to the Sports Commentator and Essayist, Jack Whitaker.
New York, March 5, 2012 – The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences today announced that Hasbro Studios, the Los Angeles-based production and distribution division of Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS), will serve as a presenting partner of its new International Emmy Kids Awards. The previously announced awards ceremony, which breaks new ground for the Academy, will be solely dedicated to recognizing excellence in children’s television programming produced and initially aired outside of the United States.
“We are delighted that Hasbro Studios and its president, Stephen Davis, saw the importance of these new International Emmys and stepped forward as a presenting partner,” said Academy President & CEO Bruce L. Paisner. “We thank Stephen, a respected industry veteran, for his support.”
EXCLUSIVE: Stephen David Entertainment, producer of documentary-style shows for History Channel, TLC, Lifetime and others, and award-winning feature and TV effects house Brainstorm Digital have established an exclusive strategic partnership to create pioneering event TV. First up is History’s The Men …
Deadline TV contributor Ray Richmond files this urgent report:
UPDATE 7 PM: Deadline has just learned that a new deal to telecast the Primetime Emmy Awards is imminent and that Fox will host without any radical changes to the show. This is the reason for Wednesday night’s Academy of Television Arts and Sciences calling an emergency meeting of its Board of Governors at 7 PM. Sources also tell Deadline that ATAS lawyers are assuring the Writers and Directors Guilds staff that the Academy’s waiver agreements for free clips contractually in place with the WGA and DGA which expired with the last Emmys will be renewed and stay essentially the same. This means that ATAS won’t dare to even try to knock the writers’ and directors’ categories off the primetime Emmy show or else they’d have to pay through the nose for clips. Everyone in the TV community can breathe a sigh of relief…
6:30 PM: The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Board of Governors has called an emergency meeting for 7 PM Wednesday. Sources tell me the confab is to resolve any remaining issues standing in the way of a new deal to telecast the Primetime Emmy Awards after nearly 9 months of protracted negotiations. The TV community’s patience is wearing thin for a new agreement to be finalized by ATAS and its chief negotiator, powerful showbiz lawyer Kenny Ziffren who did the last bargaining, and presented to the Academy board for approval. After all, it’s just 4½ months before the 63rd Primetime Emmys ceremony airs live on September 18th from Nokia Theatre, yet the kudosfest still remains an event in search of a television home. So what are the problems?
– Problem #1: The lack of a competitive cable network player stepping up to host the Emmys similar to HBO’s $10 million-a-year offer from 8 years ago. That wild card drove up initial lowball offers from the networks in the $3.5 million to $4.5 million range. HBO is said not to want to be a bidder this time, nor apparently TBS which a source confirmed to me had its own bid 8 years ago to beat any other offer by $1 million. So what prevents the TV Academy giving exclusive broadcast rights to a single network in the same way that the movie academy does to ABC? Only the inevitable outcry from the other networks. Because the Emmycast is still prestigious, and very much a marketing opportunity for fall shows, and still annually pulls in a tidy profit in the low 8-figures, as a network source confirmed to me. But as one insider close to the negotiations believes, “The longer they wait to get the deal done, the greater the likelihood of a fire sale.”
– Problem #2: I’ve learned that the deal on the table pretty much mirrors the most recent 8-year “wheel” deal that expired last August with broadcast networks NBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox taking turns hosting the show on a rotating basis and paying the TV Academy $7.5 million annually in rights fees. If nothing changes, then it’s Fox’s turn to carry the Emmys this September. But while the Academy is more than happy to keep the status quo, the networks aren’t. Stagnant ratings and the ATAS requirement that the primetime show must hand out 27 trophies in three hours isn’t sitting well anymore. As a source tied to the negotiations tells me: “The networks want to make it a faster-moving, more youth-skew show, which means taking out categories and adding entertainment elements more like the Grammys. They’re also sick and tired of hosting a show that annually turns into a big promotion of cable.” Last year’s Emmy telecast attracted 13.5 million viewers and a 4.1 rating in adults 18-49 on NBC (matching the 2009 numbers). By contrast, the Grammys earlier this year pulled in 26.7 million viewers, its biggest audience since 2001.
– Problem #3: But what categories do you cut? If the ATAS Board of Directors had its way, they’d buckle to the networks and reduce the primetime telecast by a third, to 18 categories. The Academy this year deep-sixed the Outstanding Miniseries stand-alone category and folded it into top Made-For-TV Movie, to the great consternation of those TVmakers. That, however, is seen as a Band-Aid at best on what needs to be a show re-cast. Right now, insiders report that the chief battleground is in the writing and directing and longform categories which both the networks and ATAS would like to delete from primetime.
For all TV folk enjoying the three-day holiday weekend and the few curious film people: a look back in pictures at the executive arrivals for the Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday at the Nokia Theatre LA Live. There are top network and studio executives and occasional agents. (Photos by Lysa Nalin Studios)
NBC Uni’s Jeff Zucker & wife Caryn Disney’s Anne Sweeney & husband Phil The night’s big winners: 20th TV’s Dana Walden & Gary Newman with Walden’s husband Matt and Newman’s wife, attorney Jeanne Newman
Modern Family co-creator Steve Levitan looked like a single dad tonight, accepting alone the show’s awards for Best Comedy Series and Best Writing for a Comedy Series. Where was fellow co-creator Christopher Lloyd, the executive producer who co-wrote the pilot that won the writing award? ”He has an aversion to crowds …
Tom Hanks was beaming backstage after having picked up the Emmy for Outstanding Miniseries for his work producing the HBO 10-parter The Pacific, the $200 million-plus project that was the most expensive in TV history. Hanks, who with Playtone partner Gary Goetzman exec produced the mini with Steven Spielberg, began …
Modern Family‘s comedy supporting actor Eric Stonestreet said that it wasn’t going to be uncomfortable going back to the set as the only actor to have won. After all, the show also won several other awards, including top comedy series. “We’d all joked before the show that if one of us won, the …
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 …
Welcome to the behind-the-scenes business of Emmys fashion. And it is definitely a business, a lucrative one, not just fodder for insipid E! hosts and Joan Rivers to praise or pan as TV’s finest parade down the Nokia Red Carpet from 3 PM to 5 PM today. All the fashion designers, stylists, retailers, jewelers, publicists, on-camera talking heads, and bloggers know that these TV awards involve big stakes and big bucks. Style over content? In this venue, style is the content. Unfortunately, the Emmys don’t rate with the major design houses the way that the Globes and Oscars do. Over and over, stylists tell me off the record that the Emmys are “maybe slightly below B-list” in the Red Carpet sweepstakes.
The reasons are myriad. August is a tricky fashion time of year: new Spring dresses haven’t been shown yet, and last season’s Fall dresses are yesterday’s news. Also, celebs going to the Emmys have to streamline to stay cool so they avoid a ton of beads and yards of fabrics. Where’s the show in that? Especially for a U.S. awards telecast not aired around the globe. The European fashion houses like the rest of the continent refuse to work in August. Plus the most desirable European luxury brands like Chanel, Dior, Versace, and Lanvin wouldn’t know Modern Family from The United States of Tara.
European aesthetes are only interested in TV actresses with overseas style cred, like the fashionista stars of Gossip Girl or Mad Men or Glee, who can create the same excitement as Sex And The City did when it was a TV series. January Jones, Christina Hendricks, Heidi Klum, Tina Fey, and Jane Lynch, will get star treatment. ”I would love to dress Juliana Margulies, or Toni Collette, or Rose Byrne, or Christina Hendricks. They are all very fashionable,” says Cameron Silver, owner of LA’s Decades vintage which dresses many Oscar, Globe and Emmy winners, plus major stars for after-parties. “But the woman I’d love to dress the most? Jane Lynch! She’s my favorite!”
It doesn’t matter if today’s Emmys don’t have quite the glamour quotient of the Oscars and Globes. Fashion addicts back from vacation are hungry for eye candy, and they’ll take what they can get this awkward time of year. So the media will video and photograph Jennifer Westfeldt, significant other of Mad Men‘s leading man Jon Hamm and who’ll get access to the same prestige labels he will just because of the association. And Olivia Wilde, though just a 5th lead on House, has been a top TV actress to dress from the fashion perspective ever since Sarah Jessica Parker went from small to big screen. Why? Wilde is gorgeous and has style. In other words, she rates pages. She moves merch.
Each awards show has its own fashion niche. Marilyn Heston of MHA Media, a PR/branding firm that helped put Jimmy Choo, Elie Saab, and Reem Acra on the Hollywood radar, says ”the Emmys attract American designers looking for free advertising, and European brands only for maintenance.