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Seth MacFarlane On His Oscar Approach: It’s Part Stewie, Part Gene Kelly

By | Tuesday December 11, 2012 @ 4:40pm PST

There has been plenty of arm-waving concern since Academy Awards producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan tapped Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane to host the Oscars that his poop jokes would stink up the Dolby Theatre stage. Of course, those aren’t the same people concerned about widening the tent and boosting viewership for the granddaddy of awards shows. In the middle is MacFarlane, a smart guy who seems to understand the balance. “This is not going to be “Family Guy Meets the Oscars”, he tells Rolling Stone in a recent interview. “Hosts who come in with a specific brand and try to turn the show into the brand, it never works (hmm, who could that be referring to?). You have to adapt yourself to the Oscars, not vice versa.” Also, about his hosting philosophy:

It’s about finding that balance between doing what I do but acknowledging that this is the Academy Awards, not the roast of Donald Trump. It’s walking that line between old-fashioned showmanship and allowing it to be contemporary with a little bit of bite. Johnny Carson and Billy Crystal are two hosts who walked that line. There’s a moment on “Family Guy” that’s just Gene Kelly dancing with Stewie — that’s what we have to achieve, a dance between the traditional and the new.

MacFarlane has started making the Oscar rounds of late, promoting a contest with mtvU to give film school students roles onstage … Read More »

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Tony Sirico To Recur On ‘Family Guy’, Bess Armstrong On ‘House Of Lies’

By | Tuesday November 20, 2012 @ 8:01am PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Tony Sirico has been tapped for a recurring role on the Fox animated series Family Guy. He will voice Vinnie the Dog, a pooch with attitude and possible criminal ties that the Griffins buy from a pet shop. I hear Sirico also sings the theme song for next season with Family Guy creator/lead actor Seth MacFarlane and the rest of the series’ voice cast. Additionally, Sirico is set to voice Tony “Peanuts” Sirico in the Adult Swim animated pilot Colonel Wallace, about an eccentric Southern fried-chicken magnate. Sirico, repped by Bob McGowan, recently wrapped the feature Zarra’s Law and Nickelodeon movie Nicky Deuce. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Once Upon A Time’, ‘Revenge’ & ‘The Amazing Race’ Hit Lows

By | Monday November 12, 2012 @ 10:01am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Once Upon A Time‘s impressive three-week streak of ratings increases came to a screeching halt last night as the ABC fairytale drama (2.7/7) dropped 23% from last Sunday to a series low. Football had a bigger effect on broadcast networks’ lineups last night as a Fox overrun bled deeper into primetime than usual, pushing the start of the net’s regular programming to 8:20 PM and providing an atypical competition for the others. Still, Once Upon A Time was steady from its first half-hour (2.7 in 18-49), which faced the football overrun, to the second (2.8), which didn’t, meaning that whatever regular viewers the series lost to football did not come back when the game was over. ABC’s America’s Funniest Home Videos (1.4/4), which took on the brunt of the football overrun from 7-8 PM, was down 18%.

ABC’s Revenge had already been on a ratings downswing even when its lead-in Once Upon A Time was climbing in the ratings over the past three weeks. Now with Once down, Revenge (2.4/5) dropped 11% to a season low. This is not good news for the sophomore soap, which has been a soft performer in its new high-profile Sunday 9 PM slot this fall. A little better news for newcomer 666 Park Ave (1.3/3), which may have finally found the bottom, even with last Sunday’s series low. As ABC is nearing back order decision on its freshman series, the question is whether a 1.3 demo rating would be enough to warrant an order for the supernatural drama, whose chances of continuing had diminished over the last few weeks. Read More »

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Comedy From ‘Ted’s Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin & Wellesley Wild Lands At Fox With Big Commitment

By | Friday September 21, 2012 @ 3:54pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: The trio behind Ted, the biggest comedy hit of the summer, are teaming for another project, this time in television. Fox has snagged the multi-camera live-action comedy, written/executive produced by Ted co-writers Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild and executive produced by Ted co-writer/director/star Seth MacFarlane, with a put pilot commitment that has a series penalty behind it. The untitled project, from 20th Century Fox TV where MacFarlane is under a rich overall deal, centers on two successful guys in their 30s who have their lives turned upside down when their nightmare dads unexpectedly move in with them.

Writing team Wild and Sulkin have worked with MacFarlane for a while — they have been on Family Guy since 2005, rising to executive producers. Family Guy is one of three animated series MacFarlane has on Fox, along with spinoff The Cleveland Show and American Dad, as well as the upcoming reboot of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos.

Ted, starring Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis and MacFarlane as the voice of Ted, has become the sleeper hit of the summer, grossing $408 million worldwide to date. MacFarlane, Sulkin and Wild are repped by WME.

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Seth MacFarlane Says “I’d Be Open To Making Ted 2″: Comic-Con

Seth MacFarlane might be making a sequel to Ted. “I’d be open to making Ted 2,” the director today told fans at the American Dad panel at Comic-Con. MacFarlane didn’t elaborate on the possibility of he and Ted co-star Mark Wahlberg’s reunion. However, the fact that the film, which was released on June 29, has become one of the the biggest R-Rated comedies at the box office, a sequel makes sense.

Earlier on the panel, it was announced that Mad Men’s Jon Hamm will join Danny Seth MacFarlaneGlover, Sarah Michelle Geller, Harry Potter’s Rupert Grint, Danny Glover and former SNL cast member Will Forte as guest stars on the new season of American Dad. The guest stars announcement came on the American Dad panel that immediately followed the Family Guy panel in Comic-Con’s Ballroom 20 today.

MacFarlane, who is also Family Guy’s executive producer, creator and star also told the fans that his Flintstones reboot isn’t dead but it’s really not a priority right now. “It’s been put on the backburner, so we don’t know when it is going to happened. There’s no exact schedule,” Read More »

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EMMYS: Series Creators On Why We’re Laughing

By | Thursday June 14, 2012 @ 5:04pm PDT

Anthony D’Alessandro, Diane Haithman and Ray Richmond are AwardsLine contributors

Boardwalk EmpireAwardsLine staffers threatened to send singing telegrams to the offices of TV’s biggest sitcom creators and showrunners unless they agreed to participate in this feature and divulge their comedy secrets on some of our favorite episodes over the past season. Lucky for us, these big cheeses were game enough to pick over what bent and never broke in each episode. On the downside, four singing telegrammers were out of work that day as we cancelled the booking and lost our $200 deposit.

Episode: Family Guy’s “Back to the Pilot” (Season 10, Episode 5)
As deconstructed by series creator Seth MacFarlane
SYNOPSIS: Brian and Stewie Griffin travel back in time to the first episode of the series.
Six Reasons to Roar:

1. Peter (MacFarlane) is in court on welfare fraud charges and sentenced to 24 months in prison, inspiring the Kool Aid mascot to storm in.
Seth MacFarlane: “That was sort of a standout gag from Family Guy’s pilot episode in 1999. It was ironically a gag that at the time the studio insisted that we cut. We fought and fought to keep it in. It turned out to be the single most quoted moment from the pilot. It’s one of those completely disconnected and yet somehow connected moments.”

2. By time-travelling, Brian alters events that stop 9/11 from happening.
MacFarlane:Read More »

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EMMYS: ‘Family Guy’ Calls Academy Voters “Overprivileged Brentwood Jews” In Mailer

By | Tuesday May 29, 2012 @ 4:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Family Guy Emmy CampaignNever known for subtlety in its Emmy campaigns, Family Guy‘s mailer this year echoes the comedy’s provocative 2010 Emmy mailer that featured Peter Griffin as the girl from Precious and the slogan Vote For Us Or You’re Racist. Peter Griffin once again serves as a politically incorrect cover boy, addressing TV Academy voters directly. “Come on, you bloated, overprivileged Brentwood Jews. Let is into your little club,” the mailer reads, referring to an affluent part of Los Angeles where Family Guy Emmy Campaignmany high-level entertainment industry types live. Adds Stewie from the inside the mailer, “It’s a secret ballot. You can still tell people you voted for Modern Family.

Family Guy is once again competing in the best comedy series category. It had been nominated four times for best animated series when in 2009 creator Seth MacFarlane opted to switch it to the best comedy series category. That year, Family Guy landed its first (and last for now) Modern Family Emmy Campaignbest comedy series nomination, becoming the first animated series in 48 years to accomplish that. Speaking of Emmy juggernaut Modern Family, which is produced by the same studio as Family Guy, 20th Century Fox TV, the series once again is using its cast photos for the current season’s promo campaign for its mailer. This … Read More »

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Fox Renews ‘Family Guy’ & ‘American Dad’, Postpones Decision On ‘Cleveland Show’

By | Thursday May 10, 2012 @ 11:49am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

American Dad RenewedFamily Guy RenewedEXCLUSIVE: Along with all the action on the live-action side at Fox this week, with the network picking up new series, renewing and canceling existing ones, Fox also has quietly made a move on the animated side. I’ve learned that within the last few days, Fox has renewed flagship animated comedy Family Guy for an 11th season and American Dad for an eighth. I hear the orders are for 22 epsiodes each. American Dad, which recently returned from hiatus, is in its sixth season on the air, with a full seventh season worth of episodes in the can to begin running in September. The pickups ensure that both Seth MacFarlane series will be on the air at least through the 2013-14 season. By then, Family Guy will have amassed 239 episodes.

Related:
Fox Picks Up Kevin Williamson, Mob Doc Drama, Three Comedy Series
Fox’s ‘Touch’ Renewed For Second Season

Cleveland Show Fox ScheduleMeanwhile, Fox has not picked up the option on a fifth-season renewal for MacFarlane’s third animated series, The Cleveland Show, which is finishing its third season on the air. The series is midway in production on a full fourth season worth of episodes for next fall. Because the show is still in production, the network has opted to postpone a decision on a fifth season … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Once Upon A Time’, ‘Desperate Housewives’ & ‘Pan Am’ Hit Lows

Nellie Andreeva

With a monster football overrun, Fox’s animated comedies posted double-digit increases last night, while ABC’s dramas posted series lows. Rookie Once Upon A Time (3.1/7) was down 9% from last week, veteran Desperate Housewives (2.6/6) was down 13% from its last original two weeks ago, and soon-to-be-grounded freshman Pan Am (1.6/4) was down 11% from its most recent episode three weeks ago. At 7 PM, America’s Funniest Home Videos (1.4/4) was down 22% from last week.

Boosted by the NFL overrun, Fox’s The Simpsons (4.0/10, 9 million) was up a big 54% from last week to match its season high in 18-49 and draw its largest audience in almost a year. The tide lifted all ships, with struggling Allen Gregory (2.4/6) up a whopping 60% from last week; it still was the lowest-rated member of Fox’s animated block. Family Guy (3.5/8) at 9 PM was up 25% from last week and posted its highest teen rating in almost a year. The Cleveland Show (2.5/6) was up 14% from American Dad‘s delivery in the 9:30 PM slot last week and up 47% from Cleveland‘s demo rating last week at 7:30 PM.

CBS’ fast nationals may be skewed by regional NFL overruns. 60 Minutes (1.8/5) was down 51% from last week, when it followed an NFL overrun. The Amazing Race (2.7/6) was down 7%. The Good Wife (1.9/4) was flat with its most recent original two weeks ago, and CSI: Miami (2.2/5) was up … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Once Upon A Time’, ‘Allen Gregory’ Hit Series Lows, ‘Hallmark Hall Of Fame’ Barely Registers On New Net

Nellie Andreeva

As Americans were wrapping up the four-day Thanksgiving weekend last night, some stayed away from their TVs, leading to depressed ratings for the broadcast networks. (We’ve yet to get numbers for The Walking Dead fall finale on AMC.) ABC may be having second thoughts about picking up the Hallmark Hall Of Fame original movie franchise after it was dropped by CBS at the end of last season. In the franchise’s first ABC outing, the telefilm Mitch Albom’s Have A Little Faith posted an underwhelming 1.1/2 in 18-49, down a whopping 48% from November Christmas, which aired on CBS on the same night last year. In 18-49, Have A Little Faith was by far the lowest-rated program of the night despite having the night’s highest-rated entertainment program as a lead-in: freshman drama Once Upon A Time, which slipped 11% from its last original two weeks ago to a series low but still robust 3.4/8. At 7 PM, America’s Funniest Home Videos (1.8/4) was up 6%.

Following an NFL overrun, Fox’s The Cleveland Show (1.9/5) was up 6% from its 7:30 PM time slot premiere last Sunday. The Simpsons (2.6/6) was down a tenth, while rookie Allen Gregory (1.5/3) accelerated its ratings descent, down 15% to a new series low. How long before Fox swaps Allen Gregory and Cleveland? At 9 PM, Family Guy (2.8/6) was down 13%, and American Dad (2.2/5) was down 8%. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Once Upon A Time’ Still Strong, ‘Desperate Housewives’ Rises

Nellie Andreeva

ABC’s Once Upon A Time continued its impressive freshman run last night, posting a 3.8/9 in adults 18-49. That was up a tenth from the fairytale drama’s fast national the previous week (flat with the national) and the highest demo mark for any non-sports program last night. Even more impressive, Once Upon A Time accomplished that with the lowest-rated Sunday broadcast program as its lead-in, America’s Funniest Home Videos (1.7/4, up 13% from its most recent episode three weeks ago). Desperate Housewives (3.0/7) ended a run of originals on a high note, up 7% from last week, as the dramedy heads into a three-week hiatus. Rookie Pan Am (1.8/4), which is expected to find out its fate this week, posted yet another 1.8 fast national demo rating (it was adjusted down a tenth last Sunday).

NBC once again dominated Sunday’s primetime with Sunday Night Football‘s Patriots-Jets came, which drew a 14.5 overnight rating/23 share, up 2% from last week and from last year’s Week 10 game between the Patriots and Steelers. In another repeat from last Sunday, Fox’s comedies had an NFL overrun as a lead-in, making week-to-week comparisons fair: The Simpsons (3.5/8) was down 5%. Allen Gregory (2.0/5) shed another tenth as the newbie is yet to bottom out. Family Guy, which featured a controversial 9/11 storyline, was up a tenth from the show’s fast national last Sunday (flat with the national). American Dad was down a tenth. Read More »

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‘Family Guy’ On 9/11 Attack: “Let It Happen”

By | Sunday November 13, 2011 @ 10:30pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

No topic is taboo for Fox’s Family Guy, and Seth MacFarlane & Co. proved it again tonight by taking on the worst terrorist attack ever on American soil, the events of September 11, 2001. In the episode, Brian and Stewie use Stewie’s time machine to go back and prevent the 9/11 hijackings. TVLine has details on the storyline but, in short, Brian’s efforts backfire and lead to a Civil War, so he and Stewie keep sending clones of themselves back in time to try to fix the mistake until all they get together to vote whether to stop 9/11 or let it happen. The latter wins, leading to a round of high-fives. Unlike Family Guy‘s infamous abortion episode that didn’t make it to air but was performed live and released on DVD, the 9/11 one squeaked past the Fox standards and practices department but is sure to raise as many eyebrows as it airs two months after the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: NFL Football Tops The Night, ‘Once Upon A Time’ & ‘Simpsons’ Tied

Nellie Andreeva

The veteran and the rookie led the entertainment pack last night as Fox’s The Simpsons, the longest-running primetime scripted series on air, tied newcomer Once Upon A Time as the highest-rated non-sports program with a 3.7/9 in adults 18-49. For ABC’s Once Upon A Time, this is a modest 5% dip from last week; The Simpsons too was down slightly from last week’s Treehouse of Horror (8%). But The Simpsons had a 10 times bigger lead-in from the NFL game overrun vs. a Once Upon A Time repeat (1.1/3) for the ABC fairytale series, which also hit a series high in adults 18-34. Once Upon A Time‘s lead-out, veteran dramedy Desperate Housewives (2.8/6), was down 10% from last week, while freshman drama Pan Am continues to be stuck at a 1.8/4. The order was reversed at Fox, where the rookie was following the veteran. In its second week behind The Simpsons, new animated comedy Allen Gregory (2.1/5) was down 13% from its soft premiere to rank as the lowest-rated Fox series last night. Family Guy (3.0/7) was down 6%, followed by American Dad (2.5/6), down 7% from its last original seven weeks ago. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Pan Am’, Everything Else Down On Sunday

Nellie Andreeva

UPDATED: After a promising start, ABC’s 1960s drama Pan Am (2.5/8 in adults 18-49) fell 19% in Week 2. It closed a night of across-the-board declines for ABC. America’s Funniest Home Videos (1.5/4) set the tone with its season premiere at 7 PM, down 21% from last fall. Unscripted veteran Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (2.1/5) and departing Desperate Housewives (2.9/7) were both down a more modest 9% from their premieres last week.

With the late Sunday football game ping-ponging between Fox and CBS, week-to-week comparisons for the two networks are rather meaningless in the fall, especially for the shows immediately following the overrun. Fox, whose comedy lineup was boosted by the late game last week, saw expected across-the-board declines: The Simpsons (3.0/8, down 23%), The Cleveland Show (2.6/6, down 16%), Family Guy (3.5/8, down 15%) and American Dad (2.7/6, down 10%). Family Guy was the highest-rated non-sorts program of the night in 18-49.

We’re yet to get reliable Sunday overnight ratings for CBS this season. The network had local NFL overruns on Premiere Sunday, and last night, the network carried the late NFL game, which pushed its primetime lineup to a 7:23 PM start. Here are approximate ratings for last night: Following the NFL overrun (5.5/16) was 60 Minutes, featuring the final regular appearance of Andy Rooney (3.5/9); The Amazing Race (3.0/7); The Good Wife (2.1/5); and CSI: Miami (2.3/6). Besides 60 Minutes, which saw a major bump from football, the … Read More »

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Extended ‘X Factor’ Preview After ‘NFL On Fox’

By | Thursday September 8, 2011 @ 3:51pm PDT

Fox is debuting an extended preview of Simon Cowell’s The X Factor following the NFL On Fox late doubleheader matchups and during an expanded Family Guy this Sunday. Then the singing contest debuts with a two-night premiere on September 21st.

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Report: Prime Time Cartoons Show Kids “Shocking Levels” Of Sex and Drugs

The Parents Television Council fired another volley today at one of its favorite targets: adult-themed cartoons that also attract kids. The activist group called for “sweeping reform” of the TV content rating system as a study it released points to what it says are “shocking levels” of sex and drug references in primetime on animation channels that are popular with kids between 12 and 17. “Adult content isn’t just creeping into the cartoons that kids today are watching the most; it has overtaken much of that animated programming,” PTC president Tim Winter says. “Our data demonstrates that today’s norm is profanity-laden storylines involving everything from rape and cocaine to STDs and crystal meth.” PTC is especially upset with programming on Turner’s Cartoon Network and Adult Swim: The report, titled Cartoons Are No Laughing Matter, gave each an “F” grade for their handling of adult-themed animation. Disney Channel and Nick At Nite each received an “A”. Read More »

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EMMYS: 2011 Comedy Series Overview

Competition for Emmy nominations among this year’s Outstanding Comedy Series contestants is no laughing matter. The showdown between two 20th Century TV hits is more intense than ever, with Modern Family showrunners Steve Levitan and Christopher Lloyd trying to score their second consecutive Emmy win, while Glee executive producer Ryan Murphy is hoping to edge them out. That is, if one or more of a duo of up-and-comers — Community or Parks and Recreation — don’t act as spoilers. Then again, past Emmy stalwarts 30 Rock or The Office could resurface. Or Showtime’s bold, female-skewing dramedies Nurse Jackie or newbie The Big C might seize the spotlight. And don’t rule out the possibility of CBS’ The Big Bang Theory finally scoring a nod in its fourth season, or How I Met Your Mother receiving recognition in its sixth. And then there are the underdogs. As The Middle’s co-showrunner Eileen Heisler (with DeAnn Heline) says about ABC’s Wednesday night lineup, “We’re really grateful to Modern Family for bringing attention to family shows. We’ve benefi tted from their success, but I think it takes a little longer for people to realize the next door neighbor in The Middle is edgy and wry.”

If Modern Family does repeat, no ABC sitcom has managed that feat since Taxi more than 30 years ago. Of course, NBC’s won three years running. And Frasier took home a record five in succession between 1994 and 1998. So it can be done. But that doesn’t mean Modern Family’s Christopher Lloyd thinks it’s a shoo-in. “Among certain segments of the blogosphere who first anointed the show that everybody is supposed to be watching, there’s another rush to declare that it stinks now. And then there will be others who’ll want to say ‘I told you so’ when it wins again.”

There’s general agreement it would take a miracle for any freshman broadcast network comedy to crash this year’s top comedy series’ Emmy party, with the possible exception of Fox’s Raising Hope. Though there’s a sliver of daylight for a newbie cable show like The Big C, despite the fact it’s a dramedy. Cable continues to make inroads in the comedy series categories, evidenced by Showtime’s Nurse Jackie capturing eight Emmy nominations last year, including one for top comedy; with Showtime’s Weeds as well as HBO’s Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm landing series nods in recent years. This year, TV Land’s Hot in Cleveland has Emmy buzz. But only one cable comedy has ever won: HBO’s Sex and the City in 2001.

Here’s our assessment of the chances for this year’s comedy series in alphabetical order:

30 ROCK
Although the NBC hitcom’s three-year winning streak ended last year (done in by ABC’s freshman breakout, Modern Family), it remains an industry darling — with good reason. While not as consistent as its earlier seasons, its comedy quality never seems to wane. So, without ever actually going away, it could be primed for a comeback. But the show, which celebrated its 100th episode this season, may also be mistakenly placed in the “been there, done that” category, even with red-hot writer/producer/actress/author Tina Fey at the helm (the recent Tracy Morgan scandal notwithstanding). But if the Academy revisits NBC’s quirky workplace comedies, they just might opt for the newer Parks and Recreation or Community.

THE BIG BANG THEORY
As popular as this CBS smash is, it has yet to be Emmy nominated despite originality in its scripts and ensemble. Kudos to the producers for broadening the cast this season and stepping up the romance for Mayim Bialik’s and Melissa Rauch’s roles, especially after Jim Parsons was acknowledged as last year’s Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series winner for nerd-chic hilarity. If you’re going to vote for a Chuck Lorre show this year, this one’s decidedly less baggage-laden than Two and a Half Men, which lost its Sheen.

THE BIG C
With lead Laura Linney considered a shoo-in for an Emmy nod, a side effect is that her show’s chances of breaking into the Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy race likely increases as well. Question is, did they increase enough? Is the TV Academy ready to honor a dark comedy centering on a woman’s battle with cancer? Perhaps it’s time. If so, there could be two Showtime noms in this category for the first time, assuming Nurse Jackie repeats. Says showrunner Jenny Bicks, “It’s not going to be an easy fight for us.”

CHUCK
Forever floating on the renewal bubble (it will live on for a fifth and final short season of 13 episodes next season), Chuck has a well-earned reputation as The Little Show that Could. But, plucky as it is, the unlikely spy yarn remains a significant Emmy long-shot. Besides, NBC already has a couple of potential sleeper contenders at the ready in Parks and Recreation and Community.

COMMUNITY
What is arguably NBC’s most innovative comedy shoots high creatively but has yet to land commensurate ratings. Critics, however, have been quick to sing the show’s praises, perhaps loudly enough to help get it noticed by Emmy voters. Remember when Fox’s Arrested Development used critical praise to trump low viewership? Showrunner Dan Harmon likens Community’s comedy to “Krispy Kreme — we just have to get it into people’s mouths.” Or, in the case of Academy voters, into their DVD players.

COUGAR TOWN
In its second season, the wine-soaked “Friends for grownups” really came into its own as an ensemble comedy rather than just a Courteney Cox vehicle. And it’s even poking fun at the icky title that long ago ceased to have anything to do with the series premise. Nonetheless, it’s probably not ABC’s Wednesday night show with the most heat in this comedy category because of Modern Family.

EASTBOUND & DOWN
This back-to-fi rst-base comedy about a washed-up baseball player enjoys the prestige of HBO and the marquee value of Will Ferrell as a producer. But it’s perhaps too raunchy for older TV Academy voters. Given that producer-star Danny McBride says this forthcoming third season will be its last, Eastbound & Down likely will strike out Emmy-wise.

ENTOURAGE
After landing nominations in the top comedy category for three years running, HBO’s Hollywood insider send-up didn’t make the cut the last go-round. If shut out again, it’s because Academy voters have moved on from an aging series that returns for its shortened eighth and final season on July 24th. It didn’t help when news leaked out in May that HBO pulled it from broadcast syndication by Warner Bros Domestic TV.

EPISODES
If the television industry’s insiders love anything more than laughing, it’s laughing at itself (see 30 Rock, Curb Your Enthusiasm). And there’s been buzz about how this Showtime Brits-out-of-water comedy reinvented Matt LeBlanc. But, even if he might, the series probably doesn’t have a high enough profile yet to garner an Emmy nod.

FAMILY GUY
In 2009, the Fox show that wouldn’t die became the first animated series in nearly half a century to win an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Comedy Series. But it was shut out the very next year. So expect the next TV Academy recognition for Family Guy around 2060. One question mark is whether the toon’s unique in-your-face way of campaigning for Emmy helps or hurts to sway voters. Then again, this is the comedy series category.
Read More »

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EMMYS: ‘Family Guy’ Pleads For Emmy Love

By | Wednesday May 25, 2011 @ 11:14pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

For years, Family Guy producers had been asking for, sometimes even demanding, Academy votes in the show’s Emmy mailers. They’ve now switched to begging. Following Stewie’s turn as President Obama under the Vote For Change! slogan in the 2009 mailer and Peter Griffin’s cover boy stint last year as the girl from Precious with the motto Vote For Us Or You’re Racist, it’s Stewie in the spotlight again. But gone is the cockiness, as the sad-looking prodigy is staring at the spider web-filled Family Guy trophy case.

Now in its ninth season, Family Guy has yet to win a best series Emmy. It was nominated four times for best animated series and once, in 2009, for best comedy series. That year, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane famously pulled the show from the animation field to go against its live-action brethren in the top comedy series category. It worked, as Family Guy in 2009 became the first animated series in 48 years to nab a best comedy series nomination. The previous series to accomplish that was none other than The Flintstones, the Hanna-Barbera classic that MacFarlane is rebooting for a 2013 launch.

After landing the landmark best comedy series nomination in 2009, Family Guy stirred controversy with the second phase of its Emmy campaign, which included staff writer Patrick Meighan breaking protocol by sending an email to TV Academy members begging them to vote for his show and the show producing six … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ Season Finale Down From Last Year

Nellie Andreeva

After announcing on Monday that he won’t run for U.S. president, Donald Trump returned to NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice for the season finale last night. It drew a 2.9 rating in 18-49, up 16% from last week but down 15% from last spring to rank as the lowest-rated spring Apprentice finale ever. Still, Celebrity Apprentice was the second-highest-rated program of the night in 18-49, tied with the 2011 Billboard Music Awards on ABC, which returned from a five-year hiatus up 7% vs. its last telecast in 2006 and helped ABC win the night in 18-49. Topping the demo ratings leader board last night was Fox’s Family Guy, whose season finale was down 6% from last week and 3% from last season’s finale. The finale of American Dad (1.6) was down 11% from last week, Bob’s Burgers finished its freshman season with a 2.1, down a tenth from last week, and veteran The Simpsons (2.5) was even with last week and last year’s finale. On CBS, the latest Jesse Stone movie, Innocents Lost, drew a typically for star Tom Selleck’s large but older crowd: a paltry 1.3 rating in 18-49 but a sizable audience of 13.3 million viewers.

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