EMMY ANALYSIS: Broadcast TV’s Big Awards Comeback

Nellie Andreeva

Emmys Live-Blog; Backstage At The Emmys; Emmys By The Numbers; Red Carpet Executive Arrivals

The broadcast networks staged a major comeback on a wild night at the Emmys, which started and ended with wins that were widely predicted but saw some real curve balls in between. Broadcast’s dominating performance was led by the five Emmys for ABC’s heavy comedy favorite Modern Family, which won every category it was nominated in, sweeping the first four trophy presentations of the night — for best supporting actor/actress and best writing/directing in a comedy series — and making the final award of the night, for best comedy series, a foregone conclusion. Modern Family won that too for a second straight year, and its sweep shut out rival Glee, leaving Emmy host Fox empty-handed. Broadcast shows also claimed the lead actor/actress in a comedy series categories, which provided two of the major upsets of the night. Melissa McCarthy of CBS’ Mike & Molly won for lead comedy actress despite most pundits having her as their fifth or sixth pick in the category and Golden Globe winner Laura Linney considered a strong front-runner for The Big C. Fellow CBS leading man Jim Parsons denied Steve Carell an Emmy for his iconic role on The Office. (The Office and fellow 30 Rock were left out completely tonight.) McCarthy’s and Parsons’ wins also meant a comeback for the multi-camera genre, which had its first double lead actor/actress win in a long time.

Broadcast’s big night continued with Julianna Margulies winning as best actress in a drama series for CBS’ The Good Wife. The Eye network scored again in the reality competition series, where The Amazing Race won for the eighth time in nine years in the category. Additionally, Friday Night Lights, which originated on NBC and continued to air second runs on the broadcast network, scored two big wins for its final season. One went to star Kyle Chandler for lead actor in a drama series and another to showrunner Jason Katims for writing. Add to that the strong showing of pubcaster PBS, whose Masterpiece Theatre mini-series Downton Abbey won four major awards: best TV movie/miniseries, best supporting actress, Maggie Smith, and best writing and directing for a TV movie/miniseries. Read More »

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Backstage At The Emmys: Martin Scorsese, Kate Winslet, Melissa McCarthy And More

Emmys Live-Blog; Emmys By The Numbers; Emmy Analysis: Broadcast TV’s Big Awards Comeback; Red Carpet Executive Arrivals

Deadline’s Diane Haithman and Ray Richmond were backstage at the Primetime Emmy Awards tonight to hear what the winners had to say.

Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell came backstage together after winning the awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress and Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. The Modern Family stars were asked first about being part of a show that is breaking ground for gays. Burrell said, “I don’t know, in terms of America, it feels very, very good to be on a show that seems like it’s slowly changing a lot of minds. Eric [Stonestreet] and Jesse [Tyler Ferguson] deserve all of the credit for that, and our amazing showrunners. It’s a great thing to just peripherally go to events and just basically start to talk about those characters like any other characters, relating to their life — it’s pretty cool.” Bowen joked, “As a straight woman, and part of a straight couple on the show, I feel marginalized.” On a more serious note, she added: “It’s absurd that it’s even an issue, but where it’s an issue, I’m glad that we are part of helping change minds.” Using the word “straight” in a different context, Burrell praised Bowen: “It’s even greater credit to what Julie does that the straight-person wins an Emmy, I don’t think that happens very often. In a couple there’s usually a straight-man and a wilder character. It’s due to her resourcefulness as an actor.” On going back to the set with an Emmy when other cast members were also nominated, Burrell said: “Eric won last year, and Ed [O'Neill] actually just said something really sweet right before the award, ‘whoever wins deserves it.’ I feel like we’re trying to enjoy this moment more than anything — we know this doesn’t last forever; we’re having a lot of fun.” Bowen said about her surprise win, “I kinda thought it was a lock on Betty White. If I didn’t have a dog in this fight, and I had two, I would have voted for Betty White. Claire is not necessarily fall-down funny every time.” She credits the writers for having found ways to make her character have many dimensions and “not just be the mom.” …

Later, Steve Levitan and Jeffrey Richman, winners for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, were asked how it feels for Modern Family to be sweeping the awards so far, with wins in every category they’ve been eligible for. Levitan: “We’re beyond thrilled with the way things have gone, obviously. It’s an embarrassment of riches, and from the bottom of our hearts we feel that Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen deserved to win. (Outstanding Director in a Comedy Series winner) Michael Alan Spiller, not so much. To tell you the truth, it’s a little surreal.” They were then asked what they did to ramp up the stories and quality of Modern Family in Season 2. Levitan: “We feel like we know the characters a little bit better this year. There was such dedication this year to keeping the quality up. We all live in fear of the quality dipping so we work extra hard to make sure that doesn’t happen. … I’ll also tell you that our kids are the unsung heroes of the show. What they do on this show is amazing. We ask them to do such complicated turns and they nail it constantly. They’re playing at the same level as the adults and that’s a rare thing.” … Read More »

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EMMYS: Miniseries Or Movie Handicap

Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s 2011 Emmy coverage. Here’s his scorecard assessing the Outstanding Miniseries or Movie race.

Mildred Pierce (HBO)
Killer Films & John Wells Prods w/ MGM and HBO Miniseries

Why It Was Nominated: Well, it was nominated for pretty much every other Emmy and so surely had to for this one. It hauled in a chart-topping 21 in all and already has won three award following last Saturday’s Creative Arts soiree. Todd Haynes’ five-part remake of the 1945 noir based on the James M. Cain book is another typically lavish, expensive, exquisite HBO multi-parter that the pay-cabler generally turns into real gold.
Why It Has To Win: Kate Winslet brings an Oscar-level cinematic cache’ to Mildred Pierce, which has historically proven to be catnip for the TV academy. The original won an Academy Award for Joan Crawford in 1945, and this one almost certainly will earn an Emmy for Winslet. Also, HBO doesn’t often lose with its big-budget miniseries, earning triumphs five times in the last 10 years (including last year for The Pacific). Plus, are voters really going to reject the year’s most decorated nominee in the most prestigious category?
Why It Can’t Possibly Win: Trust us that this one ain’t in the bag. Firstly, this is the first time the made-for-TV movie and miniseries categories have been combined with the elimination this year of the miniseries stand-alone. It’s also a fact that while HBO has won in TV-movie an astonishing 17 of the past 19 years, including seven years in a row, it only wins in alternate years with its miniseries (and it won last year). Then there is this: PBS’s Masterpiece project Downton Abbey suddenly looks unbeatable. Notes a voting writer: “I don’t know anyone who isn’t voting for Downton Abbey. It’s one of those things that if you fail to honor, you’ll feel really embarrassed about 10 years from now.” Read More »

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ANALYSIS: Newcomer ‘Boardwalk Empire’, Comeback Kid ‘Futurama’, Justin Timberlake & Jeff Probst Rule The Creative Emmys

Nellie Andreeva

2011 Creative Emmys Winners, 2011 Creative Emmys By The Numbers
The top of the standings at the Creative Emmy Awards tonight looked familiar: HBO leading the network pack with most wins, 15, and an HBO program scoring the … Read More »

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EMMY ANALYSIS: New Drama Series, Overlooked Comedies, ‘Friday Night Lights’, Jimmy Fallon And ‘SYTYCD’ Make A Splash

Nellie Andreeva

63rd Primetime Emmy Nominations
HBO’s new dramas Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones made a big showing in their first Emmy races, Friday Night Lights received a great sendoff for its final season, Modern Family solidified its position as the undisputed comedy king, The Big Bang Theory and Parks and Recreation landed first best series noms, and Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and So You Think You Can Dance broke into the major categories at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards. On the heels of its Golden Globe and SAG wins, Prohibition-era extravaganza Boardwalk Empire netted an impressive tally of 18 Emmy nominations — including best drama series, best actor (Steve Buscemi) and best director (Martin Scorsese) — second only to the drama series that has dominated awards races for the past four years, AMC’s Mad Men, which had 19 noms. HBO led the network pack with 104 nominations, followed by CBS, which was the most nominated broadcast network with 50 noms, NBC with 46, PBS with 43, and this year’s host of the Primetime Emmy ceremony, Fox, with 42. HBO’s miniseries Mildred Pierce was the most nominated program overall with 21 mentions, including one in the newly consolidated best movie/miniseries category.

In its final Emmy hurrah, high school football drama Friday Night Lights earned its first best series nomination for its final season on DirecTV, along with the second consecutive best actor and best actress noms for stars Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton. In the best drama series category, Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones and FNL joined returning nominees Mad Men, Dexter and The Good Wife, which was once again the sole representative of broadcast TV in the top drama series category. Game of Thrones took a spot occupied by another genre series last year, HBO’s vampire drama True Blood, while notable omissions in the best drama series field include AMC’s high-profile new entries The Walking Dead and The Killing as well as FX’s Justified, all considered strong Emmy contenders, though the last two landed acting noms for stars Mireille Enos and Timothy Olyphant, respectively, and standout supporting players Michelle Forbes (The Killing), with her co-star Joel Kinnaman overlooked, and Margo Martindale, Walton Goggins and Jeremy Davies (Justified). Left out in the cold were Showtime’s drama Shameless and HBO’s Treme, as the TV Academy continues to show little love for Treme co-creator David Simon.

Following its complete dominance of the awards races following its best comedy series win at last year’s Emmy Awards, ABC’s Modern Family was once again the top comedy dog with 17 nominations, including best comedy series as well as acting nominations for the entire adult cast of the show, all of whom submitted themselves as supporting: last year’s winner Eric Stonestreet, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Sofia Vergara, Julie Bowen and Ed O’Neill, who was surprisingly left off last year’s nominee list. With no new comedy series making a big splash this past season on broadcast or cable, Emmy voters took a second look at series that had been passed over for best series recognition in the past. Both NBC’s Parks and Recreation and CBS’ The Big Bang Theory landed their first best comedy series nominations this year for their third and fourth season, respectively, but NBC’s offbeat sophomore Community and its cast were once again overlooked. Both Parks & Rec and Big Bang already had had lead actor nominations for stars Amy Poehler and Jim Parsons, who won for best comedy actor last year. Both are back in Emmy contention this year. However, Poehler’s co-star Nick Offerman was snubbed, while in another Emmy gain for Big Bang, Parsons is facing fellow star Johnny Galecki, who earned his first Emmy nomination. Joining Modern Family, Parks and Recreation and Big Bang in the best comedy series category are last year’s nominees Glee, The Office and 30 Rock.

It wasn’t a strong year for new broadcast series, so it is not surprising that none broke the best series categories. But three actresses from freshman sitcoms — Melissa McCarthy of CBS’ Mike & Molly, Martha Plimpton of Fox’s Raising Hope as well as Laura Linney of Showtime’s The Big C, which just started airing its second season — made the cut for best actress in a comedy series, where they will compete against returning nominees Tina Fey of 30 Rock, Poehler and last year’s winner Edie Falco of Nurse Jackie, though Showtime’s medical dramedy failed to repeat as best series nominee. Read More »

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‘Mildred Pierce’ Premiere Ratings Fall Between ‘John Adams’ & ‘Generation Kill’

By | Tuesday March 29, 2011 @ 2:15pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Its Depression Era setting puts HBO’s new miniseries Mildred Pierce between the events in John Adams and Generation Kill. The premiere ratings for the mini starring Kate Winslet (1.3 million viewers) fell between those two HBO minis, too (1.8 million for … Read More »

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TCA: James Gandolfini On ‘Sopranos’ Movie & Reality TV, Kate Winslet On Doing TV

Nellie Andreeva

- Cinema Verite is about the groundbreaking 1970s PBS series An American Family, considered the first reality show. Reality TV “was such an intellectual exercise in the beginning, and it’s turned to such shit,” Gandolfini said. Asked if he watches reality TV, he said that he has … Read More »

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HBO Sets Premiere Dates For ‘Game Of Thrones’ & ‘Mildred Pierce’

Nellie Andreeva

HBO’s upcoming fantasy series Game of Thrones will premiere on April 17. Todd Haynes’ miniseries Mildred Pierce starring Kate Winslet will debut on March 27.

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UK’s Bankside Signs Deal With Killer Films

By | Friday September 10, 2010 @ 8:51am PDT

The London-based sales agent has closed a first-look deal with the indie New York-based producer. Bankside Films will have an exclusive first option to co-finance, and, where appropriate, executive produce movies with indie doyennes Christine Vachon and Pam Koffler. Projects covered include Read More »

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