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Emmy Scorecard: Drama Series Category

Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s 2010 Emmy coverage. Here’s his scorecard assessing the Outstanding Drama Series race:

MAD MEN (AMC – Lionsgate TV)

Why It Was Nominated: The critics rave. The fans swoon. But the masses yawn. Fortunately for AMC, the masses don’t get to choose the Emmy nominations. But no Industry type believes AMC’s Mad Men doesn’t deserve to at least try for a 3rd consecutive Primetime Emmy. After all, The West Wing won four Emmys in a row.

Why It Has To Win: The fact that the show launched its new season last month (and to raves) is a shrewd move on the part of AMC to create fresh buzz. As one producer told me: “At this point, the show’s reputation precedes it. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve to win.”

Why It Can’t Possibly Win: Roughly seven times more households tuned to the Lost finale on ABC in May than watched Mad Men‘s Season 4 premiere in July. That greatly shakes up the voting equation. More to the point, can Matthew Weiner shake off some bad press after last year’s win? (The young female staff writer who’d won the 2009 drama-writing Emmy with Weiner quit Mad Men before she could be let go by him.)

LOST (ABC – Grass Skirts Prod w/ ABC Network & Studios)

Why It Was Nominated: Had the voters failed to nominate it, Lost‘s multitudes of fans might have marched on the TV Academy headquarters. The show had a buzzworthy final season that dominated not just watercooler talk but also Industry dialogue.

Why It Has To Win: Before cable became the place where quality lives, voters would have easily anointed a show … Read More »

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Emmy Scorecard: Comedy Series Category

Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s 2010 Emmy coverage. Here’s his scorecard assessing the Outstanding Comedy Series race:

GLEE (FOX - Ryan Murphy TV Prod w/ 20th Century Fox TV)

Why It Was Nominated: Beside the fact it’s a buoyant but edgy show, it has the style and energy that voting members of the TV Academy rarely find among broadcast network fare. Creator/showrunner Ryan Murphy is seen as a trendsetter whose Glee appeals to tweeners and geezers alike. It’s also a plus that he couldn’t possibly have made a more different show from his very adult Nip/Tuck. That kind of versatility is rewarded, or in this case, awarded.

Why It Has To Win: Broadcast TV still employs a controlling number of voters, and they like to honor their own when at all possible. The Emmys also have a long tradition of rewarding first-year comedies, and this show is also bolstered by phenomenal casting which produced a breakthrough acting ensemble. Bottom line, as one producer put it to me, “It makes the people who vote on these things look young and smart, even if they’re neither. And the gay voters are going to flock to it.”

Why It Can’t Possibly Win: In the Primetime Emmys’ long history, only one hour-long comedy ever has won the biggest award: Ally McBeal in 1999. Desperate Housewives couldn’t do it. Neither could Ugly BettyGlee could well be too much of a hybrid for its own good. The TV Academy has also never given a top comedy prize to a show that’s anything like this one in terms of tone and … Read More »

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EMMYS: Q&A With Lead Movie-Miniseries Actress Nominee Claire Danes

Claire Danes hasn’t done much TV since making an all-too-brief but memorable splash in 1994-1995 as the precocious teen star of the ABC drama My So-Called Life. Several dozen feature film roles have followed. But the 31-year-old Danes came back to TV and received rave reviews for her starring role as the autistic title character in the HBO biopic Temple Grandin that premiered in February. Her competition in the Primetime Emmy category as lead made-for-TV-movie/miniseries actress is formidable: Maggie Smith (Capturing Mary), Joan Allen (Georgia O’Keefe), Dame Judi Dench (Return to Cranford) and Hope Davis (The Special Relationship). Media see Danes as the favorite to cart off the trophy on August 29th for the film which generated 15 Emmy nominations in all. Danes spoke this week with Deadline Hollywood contributor Ray Richmond about the difficulty of portraying a living person — yet how rewarding the experience turned out to be:

Deadline Hollywood: What were the challenges of portraying a character based on an actual woman who is still very much alive?

Claire Danes: It was quite daunting. That would be true of anyone who were living, but particularly so in the case of someone as complex as Temple. I respect her so completely. I didn’t want to fail her or the millions of people who cherish her. I was very aware of the dangers of disappointing Temple, and all of the people who care so much for her. Also, the lady has such an amazing eye for detail, like no one else. I could only attempt to interpret that, not duplicate it. No way could I be her. Read More »

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‘Breaking Bad’ Won’t Be Back Until July 2011: Plans For Mini-Episodes Online

Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s Emmy coverage.

UPDATE: Emmy-nominated AMC/Sony TV drama Breaking Bad won’t premiere fresh episodes for its fourth season until July 2011. That’s more than a full year after the conclusion of Season Three last June. “I think what AMC is thinking here is there will be less competition for us — particularly from the broadcast networks — if we launch our season during the summer than if we come back again like we did this time in March,” lead actor Bryan Cranston tells me. As a result, the show won’t be eligible for a third best drama series Emmy nomination next year. That also affects Cranston, who received his third consecutive Emmy nomination last month. (He won 2 years running and might three-peat on August 29). To bridge the 13-month gap between seasons, the plan is to produce short interstitial mini-episodes of 3-to-4 minutes apiece early next year after the show goes back in production in January. They’ll be posted on AMC’s website. “The idea is to keep people aware and interested in the show during the long time away,” Cranston says to me. “But I, for one, am eager to make these little interstitials important. I don’t want them to be simply filler or recap, but something that actually moves the storyline forward. If we’re going to do it, it ought to be a real part of the larger show.”

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TV Academy Honors Norman Brokaw & The Ad Council With 2010 Governors Award

North Hollywood, CA, Aug. 4, 2010 – The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Board of Governors has voted to bestow two prestigious Governors Awards this year, one to Norman Brokaw Chairman Emeritus of WME and one to the Ad Council. Television Academy Chairman-CEO John Shaffner made the announcement today. Created in 1978, the Governors Award salutes an individual, company or organization that has made a substantial impact and demonstrated the extraordinary use of television. The award will be presented to Norman Brokaw and to the Ad Council during the 2010 Creative Arts Emmy® Awards on Saturday, August 21st, at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE. The Creative Arts Awards will be shown as a two-hour special on Friday August, 27 at 1pm on E! Entertainment.

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EMMYS: Q&A With Lead Comedy Actor Nominee Jim Parsons

Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s 2010 Emmy coverage.

Jim Parsons is kinda sitting on top of the world these days after having just landed his 2nd consecutive Emmy nomination for his role as the brilliant nerdball physicist Sheldon Cooper on the CBS hit The Big Bang Theory. But it’s also a time of real anxiety for him as well. For one, he’s nervous about both winning and losing an Emmy category where he’s considered a frontrunner. And when his competition includes 3-time winner Tony Shalhoub (Monk) and 2-time victor Alec Baldwin (30 Rock) along with perennial nominees Steve Carell (The Office) and Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm) plus newcomer Matthew Morrison (Glee). Parsons is also a bit on edge because of the tense salary renegotiation going on right now between Warner Bros TV and the three Big Bang leads (Parsons and co-stars Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco). Parsons, 37, spoke with Ray Richmond for Deadline Hollywood about the Emmys, his finances, and the best thing about being a rich and famous TV star.

Deadline Hollywood: So, is this Emmy thing in the bag or what?

Jim Parsons: What? No! Of course not.

DH: It’s what those in the know are saying.

JP: Well, that’s great. But the way I see it, you can look at the Emmys two ways in you’re nominated. It’s either win-win or lose-lose. If things go very well and I win, you still have to get up in front of a group of people and risk having God knows what come out of your mouth. If you won’t win, you have to breathe deeply and smile and clap with a camera in your face. Last year, just before they announced my award, I was weak in the knees and had sweaty palms. It wasn’t because I was nervous about winning or losing. It was having to accept the trophy if I did win.

DH: And then you lost.

JP: Yes! So it all worked out. But I still don’t see the odds being with me winning. It’s…what is it? One in six. But you know, my competition is awfully good. My stomach is already in knots. The problem is that I don’t drink, so I can’t calm myself that way. I wish I could be better at pretending I don’t care.

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TCA: Paul McCartney Sends ‘Glee’ Mix Tape

Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.

Sure, 19 Emmy nominations are nice – but Glee co-creators Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan realized another significant job perk recently:  A pitch from Paul McCartney suggesting that Glee feature some of his songs. “I got a mix tape from Paul McCartney a couple of days ago. I thought I was being punked,“ Murphy said at TCA.  “It just sort of came out of the blue, in a package, hand-written: ‘Hi ‘Ryan, I am hoping you would consider some of these songs for Glee. I was gobsmacked. I grew up with that guy.” Ryan added that McCartney admires the show because it supports arts education, which is a draw for many artists hoping to have their songs covered by the Glee cast.  “Our show is an ultimate pop culture fan letter to all of those artists,” Ryan said, adding that Glee has also given older generation songs another life through the show. He wants to keep the number of songs to around 5 or 6 each episode, instead of going for the 9 featured in that Madonna theme episode. Read More »

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Emmys: So Many Awards, So Little Time

Ray Richmond in contributing to Deadline’s Emmy and TCA coverage.

Primetime Emmy executive producer Don Mischer expressed some frustration at a TCA session hyping NBC’s 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards telecast: so many awards and so little time. “We’ve got to hand out 27 of them in 2 hours, 6 minutes, and 54 seconds — and we’re already running over,” he said. Mischer was responding to questions about categories already moved from the primetime telecast to the Creative Arts Ceremony eight days before. This includes the top reality host competition as well as writers and directors of comedy, variety and music series. All had been included in 2009 but will now be out of the telecast in favor of writers and directors for specials.

“We also have included the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award for the first time in six years,” Mischer added, “which will take another five minutes during the telecast.” (George Clooney will be receiving it.) Mischer maintained that he and the telecast don’t have nearly as much flexibility as people imagine. “On the longform awards, for example, we didn’t have the option of shifting the writers and directors for contractual reasons. And we really didn’t want to think about taking the made-for-TV movie or miniseries award out. The reality host award was one we didn’t have a commitment to in terms of keeping it in the telecast.” Read More »

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EMMYS: Waiting For That Producer List…

Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s 2010 Emmy coverage.

Word is that the Academy of TV Arts and Sciences could release as soon as today its list of both eligible and ineligible producers on programs nominated for Primetime Emmy Awards. It would dovetail with the common practice of burying controversial or unpopular information just when everyone’s heading out for the weekend. The buzz continues to be that the TV Academy is toning down its stand fueled by the Producers Guild in targeting allegedly undeserving producers and capping the number permitted on nominated comedy and drama series rosters in particular. That said, Ann Farriday, the WGA’s lead field rep in television, tells me that many of the same concerns that have bubbled up in recent years continue to be on the table in terms of the series role of writer-producers and the perception of their being minimized in the process. “We’re hopeful that we see some progress on that this year,” she notes, “but we’re obviously not going to really know until we see the list.” She said it’s her understanding the Academy has opted this year not to re-target producers who already have been once vetted. “This year, it’s more about looking at new producers and those on new shows rather than ones who have already been looked at in the past,” she says. “That’s what the questionnaire sent out to showrunners indicated this time, anyway. I think there’s the hope at the Academy that things will go smoothly this time, … Read More »

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EMMYS: Producer Credits Still Controversial

By | Thursday July 29, 2010 @ 12:01am PDT

Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s 2010 Emmy coverage:

It’s an anxious annual guessing game – the vetting of producers for the outstanding series Primetime Emmy Award nominees. Now it’s nearly complete inside the Academy of TV Arts & Sciences, with those who are ruled ineligible notified sometime this week. The Academy has aggressively cracked down on the producer lists submitted by nominated series contenders since about 2000, with the joint goals of weeding out the undeserving and capping the producing team’s size. Though there appears to have been a certain moderating of its stance by the Academy over the past couple of years.

Previously, the caps on the number of individual producers who can be nominated for a comedy series (11) and drama series (10) were viewed throughout the industry as arbitrary and punitive. This year, the program producer maximums are based, according to the 2010 Primetime Emmy Rules and Procedures, on “the average team size of eligible producers in the category over a prior five-year period.” But that still seems too random. Read More »

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Is This Any Way To Judge Emmy Awards?

Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s 2010 Emmy coverage:

emmyThe Primetime Emmy screeners and ballots for at-home judging are in the mail. It happens that the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is one of the last organizations in the land to depend wholeheartedly on the U.S. Postal Service in the Internet Age. The first of two mailings have been going out this week from the Academy offices in North Hollywood to those judging the creative arts (or technical) categories for this year’s Emmys. Next week, those assessing the categories being announced during the August 29th telecast on NBC receive their packages that include DVD nominee discs and a Scan-Tron voting sheet for marking choices. Yes, the TV Academy is still utilizing the same technology that we all used in high school and college to take multiple choice tests.

So here’s a question that needs to be asked: Is the Emmy judging process itself as antiquated as the Academy distribution and technological procedures?

Both to its credit and detriment, the TV Academy has kept the Emmys in a near-constant state of retooling to supposedly remain relevant. But, clearly, that doesn’t always work. Much of the Academy’s futzing is done in the interest of keeping the telecast fresh and the competition open. But for a lot of the categories, that hasn’t much mattered — as we’ve seen with the seven consecutive wins of both The Amazing Race and The Daily Show and the three in a … Read More »

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EMMYS: Do Cable Dramas’ Scheduling Patterns Give Them An Emmy Advantage?

Nellie Andreeva

emmyIt’s hard to look around and not come across an ad for the upcoming fourth season of AMC’s drama Mad Men. There are billboards, promos, reviews, stories, and interviews with the cast and creator Matthew Weiner seemingly everywhere this week, which leads to the Sunday season premiere. This week also happens to be when TV Academy voters receive their ballots for the Creative Arts Emmy Awards. And on Monday, the day after the Mad Men season premiere, they will start receiving the ballots for the categories featured in the main telecast, including best series. Of course, Mad Men will be judged for Season 3, but is all this attention to the new season helping the series’ Emmy chances? Mad Men won multiple awards including the top drama series statuette at the Emmys in the past 2 years. Both times, a new season of the show launched just before the final voting phase, with fresh episodes airing throughout. In the year before Mad Men’s first Emmy appearance, 2007, The Sopranos won best drama series. The series was also fresh in voters’ minds, having concluded its run with the much-talked about finale in June.

In comedy, it’s mostly about the characters, the situations and laughs, but in drama, it’s about the emotional connection with the show. That’s why I think having a series fresh in your mind while voting is important. I think it’s not a coincidence that in the month after the end of … Read More »

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EMMY: Agency Breakdown For Actor Noms

emmysI can’t do a full agency breakdown of the Emmy nominations yet because the series producers have not been announced. For now, here’s the rep breakdown of the acting categories floating around the tenpercenteries:

WME: 22 Nominations
Amy Poehler, Andre Braugher, Claire Danes, Hugh Laurie, Connie Britton, Dennis Quaid, Elisabeth Moss, Julianna Margulies, Jonathan Pryce, Larry David, Lea Michele, Lily Tomlin, Martin Short, Matthew Fox, Michael C. Hall, Patrick Stewart, Sofia Vergara, Steve Carell, Tina Fey (2 nominations), Toni Collette, Will Arnett.

ICM: 17 Nominations
Al Pacino, Jon Hamm (2 nominations), Aaron Paul, Ann Margret, Catherine O’Hara, David Strathairn, Edie Falco, Elaine Stritch, Eric Stonestreet, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Joan Allen, Kathy Bates, Maggie Smith, Michael Sheen, Susan Sarandon, Ty Burrell.

CAA: 13 Nominations
Alan Cumming, Alec Baldwin, Beau Bridges, Glenn Close, Ian McKellen, Jeff Bridges, John Lithgow, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Kristen Chenoweth, Matthew Morrison, Mike O’Malley, Rose Byrne, Ted Danson, Tony Shalhoub.

UTA:  8 Nominations
Bryan Cranston, Christine Baranski (2 nominations), Hope Davis, January Jones, Jon Cryer, Kristen Wiig, Kyra Sedgwick.

Gersh Agency: 7 Nominations
Holland Taylor, Jane Krakowski, John Goodman, John Slattery, Julia Ormond, Kyle Chandler, Mary Kay Place.

Paradigm: 6 Nominations
Dylan Baker, Julie Bowen, Mariska Hargitay, Michael Gambon, Neil Patrick Harris (2 nominations)

Innovative Artists: 3 Nominations
Brenda Vaccaro, Jim Parsons, Sissy Spacek

Domain Talent: 3 Nominations
Jane Lynch (2 nominations), Sharon Gless

Julian Belfrage Associates: 1 Nomination
Dame Judi Dench

APA: 1 Nomination
Betty White

IFA: 2 Nominations
Terry O’Quinn, Elizabeth … Read More »

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EMMYS: George Clooney To Receive ATAS’ Bob Hope Humanitarian Award

By | Wednesday July 21, 2010 @ 8:30am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

george_clooneyNorth Hollywood, CA, July 21, 2010 – The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced today that it has selected George Clooney to be the recipient of the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award.  The award will be presented — for the first time in six years — to Clooney on Sunday, August 29 at the Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE during the Primetime Emmy® Awards telecast on NBC.

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EMMYS: No Conan Snub In Writing Category

Nellie Andreeva

This can be chalked up to a pure misunderstanding magnified by the power of Twitter. Deon Cole, one of the writers on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, created some shock waves online after he tweeted yesterday that the show’s writers had been informed that the writing for variety, music or comedy category won’t be televised this year. “Someone with power has kicked us in the nuts again,” he wrote. The situation got additionally heated by the fact that the Primetime Emmys air on NBC,  the network that let O’Brien go. But there is no conspiracy. It is true that for the first time, the writing and directing for VMC categories will be presented at the Creative Arts Awards a week before the Primetime Emmy telecast on NBC. That is part of an agreement the TV Academy made with the WGA and DGA last summer when it announced the split of the writing and directing for VMC series or special into separate categories for series and specials. It called for the series and specials categories to alternate between the Primetime and Creative Arts ceremonies. The series categories were awarded during CBS’ Primetime Emmy telecast last year, with the specials awards given out at the Creative Emmys. This year, the roles are reversed, which I’m sure will present a challenge for the NBC telecast producer Don Mischer as the series are way better known and their writing staffs often provide funny clips to go with listing the nominees’ names.  By the … Read More »

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‘Nurse Jackie’ Moves Writers Room To NYC

Nellie Andreeva

UPDATED: Showtime’s set-in-New York and filmed-in-New York dark comedy series Nurse Jackie will now also be written in New York. I hear that the writers’ room of the show, which recently landed 8 Emmy nominations in its first year of eligibility, is being relocated from Los Angeles to New York with the idea that a team of New York-based writers would better reflect the city and its storylines on the show. Co-creators/showrunners Liz Brixius and Linda Wallem will continue to run the writers’ room, joined by one of the 5 writers (3 writers and one writing team) that were on staff during Nurse Jackie’s second season, New York-based playwright Liz Flahive. I hear it was deemed financially prohibitive to relocate the other scribes who are staying behind, and the move is also being used to “freshen up the writing team” going into Season 3. The vacant writing positions are being filled out of New York. One of them just went to Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph who has joined Nurse Jackie for Season 3. Also hired as new writers on the show are playwright Ellen Fairey, Alison McDonald (Accidentally on Purpose) and Wyndham Lewis.

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FX ‘Damages’ Saved By New DirecTV Deal

Nellie Andreeva

damages_DirecTV has become the patron saint of lost TV causes, saving yet another high-quality series from untimely death. Following its deal with NBC Universal for Friday Night Lights, DirecTV has inked a pact with Sony Pictures TV for the Emmy nominated Damages taking over the ratings-challenged legal drama with an order for 20 new episodes to run over two consecutive seasons, the show’s fourth and fifth, in 2011 and 2012. But unlike the deal for FNL, in which the original network, NBC, got a second window on the series, Damages‘ new episodes will only air on DirecTV. DirecTV has also acquired the rights to Damages‘ first 3 seasons, which ran on FX. Here is the official release on the deal, which had been in the works for the past several months with Sony as the driving force: Read More »

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EMMYS: PBS, ’60 Minutes’ Dominate News and Docu Emmy Nominations; Jailed Letterman Extortionist Gets a Nom Too

Nellie Andreeva

emmyPBS once again leads the News and Documentary Emmy nominations announced today with 37 noms, followed by CBS with 31 noms, including 16 for venerable newsmagazine 60 Minutes, the most nominated program by a mile; HBO (20); National Geographic (19); NBC (17); ABC (9) and CNN and History (6), including 2 for History’s WWII in HD series. Among evening newsmagazines, the lower-rated CBS Evening News With Katie Couric led with 8 nominations, followed by NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams with six and ABC’s World News with Charles Gibson with 1.

Among the CBS News nominees was former 48 Hours Mystery producer Robert “Joe” Halderman, who is serving a six-month jail sentence for trying to extort CBS late-night host David Letterman. (Ironically, Letterman himself was snubbed at the Primetime Emmy Award nominations earlier this month.) Halderman was part of the producing team of a nominated 48 Hours Mystery segment about Amanda Knox, the American exchange student convicted of killing her roommate in Italy. The winners will be announced on Sept. 27th
at a ceremony at the Lincoln Center where Frederick Wiseman will receive this year’s lifetime achievement award.

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Jay Reacts To Conan’s Emmy Nominations

Nellie Andreeva

UPDATED: A relatively self-deprecating response from Jay Leno to the 4 Emmy nominations for his interim replacement at the helm of The Tonight Show that would’ve been pretty classy had Leno at least mentioned Conan O’Brien by name. At the opening of tonight’s show, Leno said, “The Emmy nominations were announced today. The good news — Tonight Show got 4 nominations. The bad news — I didn’t get one of them.” (Leno was shut out of the race.) ”And David Letterman didn’t get nominated either. Oh man. I guess Dave and I will be watching the Emmys at Oprah’s house this year,” he said, a reference to the trio’s Super Bowl commercial.

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