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EMMY WINNERS ANALYSIS: ‘Modern Family’ Comedy King, ‘Mad Men’ Still Drama King, Big Night For First-Timers, 20th TV, HBO

Nellie Andreeva

UPDATED: ABC’s freshman Modern Family was the big series winner at the 62nd Emmy Awards, scoring 3 awards for a total of 6 Emmys, including best comedy series, while AMC’s Mad Men was once again named top drama. In the top comedy category, Modern Family overtook three-time winner 30 Rock, which, in one of the biggest surprises on a night full of surprises, was completely shut out this year. Modern Family and fellow freshman Glee, which earned a total of 4 Emmys, including 2 tonight, brought the breath of fresh air many were predicting. It was a big night for first-time winners overall, with awards for Modern Family, its co-star Eric Stonestreet, Glee‘s Jane Lynch, The Big Bang Theory‘s Jim Parsons, The Closer‘s Kyra Sedgwick, The Good Wife‘s Archie Panjabi and Breaking Bad‘s Aaron Paul, as well as Ryan Murphy and Steve Shill for directing Glee and Dexter, respectively.

Things were mostly status quo on the drama side, with AMC’s Mad Men extending its winning streaks in the best series and best writing categories to three each and Bryan Cranston three-peating as best lead actor on a drama series for another AMC drama, Breaking Bad. Meanwhile, there was no farewell love for ABC’s Lost, which was completely snubbed tonight and ended up with one Emmy out of 12 noms, winning for best sound editing for the finale at the Creative Arts Awards.

Overall, HBO’s The Pacific and Temple Grandin scored the most awards with 8 and 7 statuettes, respectively, … Read More »

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EMMYS BACKSTAGE: ‘Modern Family’

By | Sunday August 29, 2010 @ 9:44pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Modern Family co-creator Steve Levitan looked like a single dad tonight, accepting alone the show’s awards for Best Comedy Series and Best Writing for a Comedy Series. Where was fellow co-creator Christopher Lloyd, the executive producer who co-wrote the pilot that won the writing award? ”He has an aversion to crowds and public speaking, but he supports the show and we will celebrate at the Governors Ball,” Levitan said backstage. UPDATE: Lloyd indeed was on the party circuit. I caught up with him at the Fox and FX’s shindig in Downtown. “I just don’t like going to awards shows,” he said in explaining why he’d skipped the ceremony. Levitan gave a shoutout to 30 Rock, which Modern Family dethroned this year. Noting that instead of female celebrities like Paris Hilton, “you need a role model make Tina (Fey). It’s still a damn funny show, and we feel lucky to be here.” There are no hard feelings between Levitan and Glee creator Ryan Murphy, either. “I saw Ryan afterwords, and we hugged,” Levitan said. “I really admire the fact that Glee has broken the mold. My daughter went to a Glee concert, and I think there is room for both shows.”

Asked why Modern Family has so clicked with audiences, Levitan said: “The show has embraced emotion. I think emotion in comedy has gone out of vogue, and maybe people were hungry for it a little bit. They wanted to laugh but they also wanted to feel something.”

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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 Supporting Comedy Actor Nominee Ty Burrell

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

Ty Burrell isn’t quite an overnight success. It only seems that way. He had been working steadily in Hollywood for nearly 10 years before shooting to the next level this past year with his career-defining role as the cluelessly hilarious dad Phil Dunphy on the freshman ABC comedy hit Modern Family. He found out on July 8 that he’d earned his first Primetime Emmy nomination for supporting comedy actor, one of three noms for Modern Family Read More »

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Emmy Voters Give ‘Modern Family’s Ed O’Neill The Al Bundy Treatment

Mike Fleming

modern-familyEven though Ed O’Neill is the patriarch of TV’s hottest show Modern Family, Emmy nominators today treated him like his Married…With Children lovable loser character Al Bundy. I told you in April that O’Neill made a magnanimous gesture by submitting himself in the Supporting Actor category even though he could have gone for Lead Actor for a sitcom that was built around him. (‘Modern Family’ Cast Will All Compete For Supporting Emmys After Ed O’Neill Gesture) O’Neill did it because he felt the show had evolved into a true ensemble, and the rest of the cast followed suit. So of course, O’Neill was the only adult cast member to not get nominated. Still a classy move on his part, I say. But next year, it would be better to divvy up categories because the whole cast is so good.

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