With outstanding drama series being the Powerball/Mega Millions of the Primetime Emmy Awards, any change in this particular competition is bound to cause a certain amount of eyebrow raising in the TV industry. And, sure enough, the Television Academy’s decision this year to let HBO enter True Detective as a drama series, which is how HBO says it always envisioned the program, is being viewed by some rivals as an introduction of a large grain of sand in their spiritual spinach. Non-fans of the decision complain that the program has an unfair advantage and belongs in the miniseries race. True Detective, which will reboot with a new cast and storyline each season, is able to attract Hollywood heavyweights such as Matthew McConaughey because it only asks of them a one-season, eight-episode commitment. Ironically, that also might be the best explanation yet as to why the TV Academy did not balk when HBO submitted it as a drama. The program also stands to benefit from the TV Academy’s loosening of the “2 percent” rule for the drama series competition, which could open up the race to allow for seven nominees.
AN APPRECIATION: It not only was perhaps the most consistently popular and cool restaurant in Beverly Hills, Kate Mantilini which is located at the corner of Wilshire Blvd and Doheny and just two blocks from the headquarters of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, has in recent years become a key part of Oscar campaigning. Sadly, due to a dispute over higher rent with a greedy landlord more interested in lining their pockets than in pleasing Hollywood, Kate’s is closing its doors tonight after 27 years in the key BH location. The other Kate’s located in Woodland Hills remains open, but frankly it isn’t the same. This one was special.
The restaurant, founded in 1987 and owned by the Lewis family (Marilyn and Harry who also founded the famed Hamburger Hamlet chain and sons David, and Adam who has been running it since 2010) which is open late unlike just about every other place of its type in the area, became a real watering hole for many Hollywood types like Mel Brooks who has written his own obit for the place, and so many others. It was almost impossible to go in there and not run into someone you know. It was really a hopping place, both at lunch , dinner and late night. And it not only has been host to numerous premiere parties (including several for Matt Weiner and Mad Men, a Marilyn …
AMC should just forget about airing the final season of Mad Men on TV next year and release all the episodes in big theaters nationwide. Time and again during Emmy season, whenever Mad Men is shown on the big screen — such as Awardsline’s screening of the midseason finale “Waterloo” last night at the Landmark Theatre — it’s like watching a big summer film with a large audience. Last year at a TV Academy screening, there was a large gasp from the crowd when young Sally Draper walked in on her Dad bedding the neighbor, and last night was no exception with a hilarious uproar spurred from Pete Campbell’s excitement and Jim Cutler’s bristling over news of the ad firm’s latest merger.
Following the screening last night to a jam-packed theater, Deadline’s Dominic Patten led a panel with close to the entire Mad Men top players in attendance sans Jon Hamm and John Slattery: Christina Hendricks (Joan), Elisabeth Moss (Peggy), January Jones (Betty), Jessica Pare (Megan), Vincent Kartheiser (Pete), Kiernan Shipka (Sally), Robert Morse (Bert Cooper) and, of course, creator Matthew Weiner.
In May 2002, NBC’s Friends was coming off its eighth season, which chronicled Rachel’s pregnancy. Whether it was the resurgence of the Rachel/Ross storyline or the nation’s yearning for laughter following the 9/11 attacks, it was one of Friends’ most successful seasons, drawing its largest audience in four years. While Friends was embraced by viewers in a big way, the popular comedy seemed causa perduta where the Emmys were concerned. For its first seven seasons, Friends only had earned three Emmys (for supporting actress Lisa Kudrow, guest actor Bruce Willis and directing). In 2001 it missed a nom in the best comedy series category, after two consecutive mentions and four overall, and recorded its fewest nominations in any season with five. But the following year, voters gave the show a second look with 11 nominations, as well as wins for best comedy series and best actress in a comedy series for Jennifer Aniston.
Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner will receive the 2014 International Emmy Founders Award during the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ awards ceremony November 24 in NY. Weiner is no stranger to the Emmys: he’s been nominated for 11 for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series, and Mad Men won four consecutive Outstanding Drama Series Emmys from 2008-2011. “With Mad Men, Matthew Weiner redefined period television and created a global cultural phenomenon that has dramatically changed the television landscape,” said Academy president and CEO Bruce Paisner today. “We look forward to honoring his creative talent with our Founders Award, a few weeks before the final episodes of this great series.” Mad Men just wrapped the first part of its seventh and final season last week with 1.9 million viewers for the AMC drama. The Memorial Day weekend semi-finale was down from the 2.7 million who watched the Season 6 finale last June.
Get up to speed with Deadline’s top TV stories of the week:
‘Mad Men’ Finale “Set In Stone”, Matthew Weiner Says; No Spinoffs Planned
By Dominic Patten
If you thought Matthew Weiner was going to let a teaser or spoiler slip for the upcoming final episodes of Mad Men next year, think again. “Can’t tell you that, you got to watch” is all the creator of AMC’s acclaimed series has to say on that front. “You’ll have to see how we bring it all together,” the reticent producer adds.
Kevin Reilly’s Departure Signals Start Of ‘Pick A Replacement’ Derby, With New Rules
By Lisa De Moraes
This morning’s confirmation that Kevin Reilly was stepping down as Chairman of Entertainment at Fox Broadcast Co. ends weeks of speculation he would exit in the wake of the March promotion of Rupert Murdoch’s son, James to co-COO at 21st Century Fox, giving him oversight of, among other properties, the Fox broadcast network. When the dust settled back then, Fox Networks Group chief Peter Rice, to whom Reilly reported, would now report to James Murdoch instead of president/COO Chase Carey.
‘True Detective’ Season 2: More Details Emerge As Casting Rumors Intensify
By Nellie Andreeva
The True Detective follow-up season has become the TV equivalent of the latest Star Wars sequel, with closely guarded and wildly speculated about script and casting process.
SPOILER ALERT: This story contains details of May 25’s Mad Men Season 7 midseason finale.
If you thought Matthew Weiner was going to let a teaser or spoiler slip for the upcoming final episodes of Mad Men next year, think again. “Can’t tell you that, you got to watch” is all the creator of AMC’s acclaimed series has to say on that front. “You’ll have to see how we bring it all together,” the reticent producer adds. “We don’t want to punch them in the face,“ says Weiner of Mad Men fans’ expectations for the end of the show. “We want them to walk away changed or better or at least entertained by it. That’s all I can say.” Speaking to Deadline the day after the Season 7 midseason finale of Mad Men aired, Weiner will say though that when the show is done in 2015, it’s truly over. “Yeah, that’s it. That’s it,” he admits, briskly putting to rest any idea of Sterling Cooper & Partners sequel or spinoffs. “I love that people are trying to project and guess what the storytelling is. I’m writing the finale today as I was yesterday and it’s set in stone.”
What’s not set in stone is Weiner’s heart about Mad Men reaching the end of the first 7 episodes of its seventh season. “You know what, I’m a little sad as I always am when the show goes off the air,” the multiple Emmy winner admits about reaching the halfway point to the end with the May 25 broadcast and the wait until the show returns next spring for its last 7 episodes. As every Mad Men finale has been, the midseason Season 7 ender of the series that launched the AMC Original Series brand was co-written and directed by Weiner.
The How I Met Your Mother star and Broadway and Mad Men regular will be among the players at New York Stage And Film’s Powerhouse Theater presentations this summer at Vassar College. Josh Radnor will appear opposite Leslie Bibb (Neil LaBute’s Reasons To Be Happy) in Richard Greenberg’s The Babylon Line (June 25-July 6), directed by Steppenwolf veteran Terry Kinney. That cast includes Tony winners Randy Graff (City Of Angels, Les Miserables) and Frank Wood (Clybourne Park, August: Osage County) plus Maddie Corman (Next Fall), Julie Halston (Hairspray), and Michael Oberholtzer. Tony winners Morse (for the original production of Frank Loesser’s How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying) and Debbie Gravitte (Jerome Robbins’ Broadway) are set for In Your Arms (July 5-13) along with Ryan Steele (Matilda) and the great Carole Shelley (Billy Elliot).
Count Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner and AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan among the long list of people who believe that this is a golden age for television. “If Dickens were alive today he’d probably be a showrunner,” the AMC chief said in a panel at The Cable Show. Weiner credits HBO’s The Sopranos, where he was a writer, for helping to establish television as a home for art as well as commerce. “There’s not one thing [in the show] that would pass a focus group, and it’s a billion dollar business.” That helped to interest AMC in Weiner’s Mad Men. “The word ‘Sopranos‘ was bigger on our first poster than anything else,” he says. Weiner wrote the pilot 14 years ago and the experience since then “has been life altering in every way….I got to grow up as [lead character Don Draper] has grown up.” Weiner praised AMC for taking a risk on his show, and others. “Breaking Bad and Mad Men have nothing in common. Why are they doing them? Because they’re both good. That’s an interesting strategy.”
It is the first film Weiner directed since What Do You Do All Day, the 1996 helming debut Weiner made before he developed his edgy voice on The Sopranos and then Mad Men, the celebrated AMC drama which begins its final season Sunday. The film stars Owen Wilson as bored TV weatherman Steve and Zach Galifianakis as eccentric shut-in Steve. The two childhood best friends embark on a road trip back to their hometown after the latter learns he has inherited a large sum of money from his recently deceased estranged father. There they do battle against Ben’s formidable sister (Amy Poehler) and deal with his father’s 25-year-old widow (Laura Ramsey). No confirmation on the deal, but I’m told reliably it’s happening and that the film will come out later this year. The film is produced by Gilbert Films’ Gary Gilbert, Jordan Horowitz, Scott Hornbacher, and Weiner.
Pic was packaged and sold by CAA and ICM Partners.
Are there any questions left to ask the cast and creator of AMC‘s Mad Men? ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer gives it a whirl on her World News tomorrow night; additional portions of the interview will follow on Nightline and Friday’s Good Morning America. Part 1 of Mad Men’s final season kicks in Sunday, April 13. Here’s a preview of the interviews:
In this week’s podcast, Deadline Awards Columnist Pete Hammond and host David Bloom, talk about whether seemingly awards-ready hits Noah and The Grand Budapest Hotel can overcome their early-year release dates and make a big run during Oscar season. We’ll also get Pete’s report from the premiere party for the last season of Mad Men and assess whether it has any chance to grab a few more Emmys against stiff drama category competition that now will include HBO’s True Detective.
Finally, Pete and David give their takes on the weekend’s notable movie debuts, which will be dominated this weekend by Captain America: The Winter Soldier. They also take up the Drake Doremus-directed romantic drama Breathe In, with Felicity Jones, Guy Pearce and Amy Ryan, and The Unknown Known, the latest documentary from Oscar winner Errol Morris, about former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
The M4A version of this podcast is designed to run on any device using Apple’s iTunes software, and includes enhanced graphics and links to stories and other resources. The MP3 version of this podcast is designed to play on virtually any device capable of playing digital audio.
Those with “podcatcher” software may subscribe to AwardsWatch and have it automatically downloaded to them at this …
‘Mad Men’s’ Season 7 Big Hollywood Premiere Buzz: How Does It All End? Why Can’t The Cast Win At Emmys? And Why Does Matt Weiner Welcome HBO’s ‘True Detective’ To Drama Series Race?
AMC threw a Hollywood premiere Wednesday night to kick off what was termed “the beginning of the end.” AMC president Charlie Collier, Mad Men creator Matt Weiner and cast and crew were at the Arclight Theatre for the “Time Zones” episode that begins the first half of Season 7 premiering April 13th. The season marks the final go-round of the landmark four-time Emmy-winning Best Drama Series. The protracted goodbye will be split between seven episodes this spring and the final final episodes in spring 2015.
It was all very bittersweet last night as production actually was just beginning on those even as the premiere was kicking off. In fact, executive producer Scott Hornbacher, who directed the “Time Zones” episode, was late to this party as he is also directing the first of those backend episodes. He told me later at the Chateau Marmont afterparty that it’s going to be tough to end it, pointing to several people in the room he described as “family,” people he saw every day. That was the general consensus I got from so many cast members and AMC execs who have been with this since Day 1. One exec told me he was 24 when he first saw the pilot script. He’s 35 now. Life goes on. And so does Mad Men – at least to the conclusion for this iconic group of characters. CAA’s Bryan Lourd was seated next to me (he reps Weiner) and told me he wouldn’t have missed this event — even though CAA is having its retreat this weekend at La Costa near San Diego and he had to postpone a run-thru there to 11 PM so he could make it down the 405 freeway after the screening.