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.
Laura Linney, The Big C
From Ray Richmond, who is contributing to Deadline Hollywood’s TCA coverage:
It happened again today during a lunchtime Funny Women of 20th comedy panel – staged as part of the TCA event on the Fox lot – that featured Jimmy Kimmel moderating a lively Q&A session with Julie Bowen and Sofia Vergara of ABC’s Modern Family, Jane Lynch and Lea Michele of Fox’s Glee, Alyson Hannigan of CBS’s How I Met Your Mother, and Martha Plimpton of Fox’s Raising Hope.
The moment in question happened toward the end of the 45-minute discussion when a question was asked about what the women saw as the trick to having a successful late-night talk show appearance. Kimmel mentioned how absurd it’s gotten with the need to be funny, that “it doesn’t matter if you bring Dr. (Jack) Kevorkian on. It’s, like, what anecdotes does he have to share with us?”
That’s when Hannigan chimed in that, well, it all really depends on the host. “Certain hosts have you do your pre-interview and then you have to go on the show and retell every story verbatim or you’re not coming back,” Hannigan said. “Every show is different that way.”
And which show is it that forced you to repeat every pre-interview anecdote verbatim? “I’m not saying,” Hannigan replied, …