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EMMYS: ‘Nurse Jackie’s Brixius & Wallem

Liz Brixius and Linda Wallem were romantic partners who broke up, then did a few pilots together, and now are good friends as well as co-creators and showrunners for Showtime’s dark comedy Nurse Jackie. But they are going into the series’ second Emmy comedy nomination competition knowing that star Edie Falco confessed in her 2010 Lead Actress acceptance speech, “I’m not funny.” How to campaign after that? Wallem and Brixius talk to Deadline TV Contributor Diane Haithman about their series that looks at the lighter side of addiction, infidelity, malpractice, dysfunctional families, and death:

DEADLINE: Last year, Nurse Jackie received eight Emmy nominations, and Edie Falco won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. How important were those?
LIZ BRIXIUS: The first year that we were eligible for Emmys was after our second season of shooting, so for two years we didn’t know if we had the kind of show that the TV Academy would respond to at all. Suddenly we realized that, whatever we were doing, somehow we’d hit a vein of gold. That validated us.
LINDA WALLEM: It makes you raise your game throughout the year as you’re shooting.

DEADLINE: Some showrunners insist that Academy members vote according to what’s considered “hot” each season. What do you think?
BRIXIUS: I think they might go in with a few favorites in mind, but watch with a really open mind.  I know for a fact that happened our first year because we were not a … Read More »

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2011 WGA Award Nominations For TV

Nellie Andreeva

Only two new series, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and Showtime’s Nurse Jackie, were able to crack the top series categories for the 2011 WGA Awards for television, which remained largely unchanged from last year, with 4 out of 5 nominees in each category returning from last year. On the drama side, Boardwalk Empire replaced Lost, while Nurse Jackie took over for Curb Your Enthusiasm, which hasn’t aired a fresh season. Lost still got a nice farewell with a nomination in the episodic drama category for the series finale written by Damon Lindeloff and Carlton Cuse. After the comedy breakthrough last year when the New Series category featured four comedies, Glee, Modern Family, Hung and Nurse Jackie, and only one drama, The Good Wife, the pendulum swung the other way, with no comedy series making the cut in the field at all this year. Somewhat surprisingly, AMC’s breakout zombie hit The Walking Dead did make it, joined by another surprise nominee, Ray Romano’s buddy drama Men of a Certain Age, as well as Boardwalk Empire, Justified and Treme. Speaking of surprises, the canceled Sarah Silverman Program on Comedy Central scored a posthumous nom in the episodic comedy category. Overall, Breaking Bad, 30 Rock and Modern Family topped the list with the most nominations, 3 each. Here is the list of the 2011 WGA nominees for TV, news, radio, promotional writing and graphic animation:

TELEVISION NOMINEES

DRAMA SERIES
Boardwalk Empire, Written by Meg Jackson, Lawrence Konner, Howard Korder, Steve Kornacki, Margaret Nagle, Tim Van Patten, Paul Simms, Terence Winter; HBO
Breaking Bad, Written by Sam Catlin, Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould, Gennifer Hutchison, George Mastras, Tom Schnauz, John Shiban, Moira Walley-Beckett; AMC

Dexter, Written by Scott Buck, Manny Coto, Charles H. Eglee, Lauren Gussis, Chip Johannessen, Jim Leonard, Clyde Phillips, Scott Reynolds, Melissa Rosenberg, Tim Schlattmann, Wendy West; Showtime

Friday Night Lights, Written by Bridget Carpenter, Kerry Ehrin, Ron Fitzgerald, Etan Frankel, Monica Henderson, David Hudgins, Rolin Jones, Jason Katims, Patrick Massett, Derek Santos Olson, John Zinman; NBC

Mad Men, Written by Jonathan Abrahams, Lisa Albert, Keith Huff, Jonathan Igla, Andre Jacquemetton, Maria Jacquemetton, Brett Johnson, Janet Leahy, Erin Levy, Tracy McMillan, Dahvi Waller, Matthew Weiner; AMC

COMEDY SERIES
30 Rock, Written by Jack Burditt, Hannibal Buress, Kay Cannon, Robert Carlock, Tom Ceraulo, Vali Chandrasekaran, Tina Fey, Jon Haller, Steve Hely, Matt Hubbard, Dylan Morgan, Paula Pell, John Riggi, Josh Siegal, Ron Weiner, Tracey Wigfield; NBC

Glee, Written by Ian Brennan, Brad Falchuk, Ryan Murphy; Fox

Modern Family, Written by Jerry Collins, Paul Corrigan, Alex Herschlag, Abraham Higginbotham, Elaine Ko, Joe Lawson, Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd, Dan O’Shannon, Jeffrey Richman, Brad Walsh, Ilana Wernick, Bill Wrubel, Danny Zuker; ABC

Nurse Jackie, Written by Liz Brixius, Rick Cleveland, Nancy Fichman, Liz Flahive, Jennifer Hoppe-House, Mark Hudis, Linda Wallem, Christine Zander; Showtime

The Office, Written by Jennifer Celotta, Daniel Chun, Greg Daniels, Lee Eisenberg, Brent Forrester, Amelie Gillette, Charlie Grandy, Steve Hely, Jonathan A. Hughes, Mindy Kaling, Carrie Kemper, Jason Kessler, Paul Lieberstein, Warren Lieberstein, B.J. Novak, Peter Ocko, Robert Padnick, Aaron Shure, Justin Spitzer, Gene Stupnitsky, Halsted Sullivan, Jon Vitti; NBC

NEW SERIES
Boardwalk Empire, Written by Meg Jackson, Lawrence Konner, Howard Korder, Steve Kornacki, Margaret Nagle, Tim Van Patten, Paul Simms, Terence Winter; HBO

Justified, Written by Dave Andron, Wendy Calhoun, Benjamin Cavell, Fred Golan, Gary Lennon, Benjamin Daniel Lobato, Chris Provenzano, Graham Yost; FX

Men of a Certain Age, Written by Bridget Bedard, Warren Hutcherson, Rick Muirragui, Jack Orman, Ray Romano, Mike Royce, Lew Schneider, Mark Stegemann; TNT

Treme, Written by Lolis Eric Elie, David Mills, Eric Overmyer, George Pelecanos, Tom Piazza, Davis Rogan, David Simon; HBO

The Walking Dead, Written by Frank Darabont; Charles H. Eglee, Robert Kirkman, Jack LoGiudice, Glen Mazzara; AMC

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EMMYS BACKSTAGE: Edie Falco

Edie Falco’s lead comedy series actress Emmy for Showtime’s Nurse Jackie made Hollywood history. It marks the first time a television performer has won lead actor Emmy for consecutive regular series roles — Carmela Soprano on HBO’s The Sopranos and now for the title character of Showtime’s Nurse Jackie. She’s also only the third actor — and the first female performer — to win for both comedy and dramatic series roles. The other two: Carroll O’Connor and Robert Young. To say she was legitimately shocked to have won would be an understatement.  Her backstage comments reiterated what she said in her acceptance: namely, that she isn’t funny and had no idea what she was doing accepting an Emmy. ”The whole comedy world is new terrain for me,” she said. “When I’d found out I was nominated for a comedy series, I laughed my head off. Then I pulled a dress on and came here. But the women I was up against are hysterically funny, talented comediennes…I’m not playing coy here, I’m just really dumbfounded by the events of this evening. Tina Fey? I mean for heaven’s sake, it’s ridiculous.” She added that she hasn’t yet been inside a hospital since she started playing her Nurse Jackie role, so it would be difficult to compare hers to a real life nurse. “I certainly have met nurses who had only good things to say,” Falco said. “Of course if they didn’t, they probably wouldn’t say anything.” — Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline Hollywood’s Read More »

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‘Nurse Jackie’ Moves Writers Room To NYC

Nellie Andreeva

UPDATED: Showtime’s set-in-New York and filmed-in-New York dark comedy series Nurse Jackie will now also be written in New York. I hear that the writers’ room of the show, which recently landed 8 Emmy nominations in its first year of eligibility, is being relocated from Los Angeles to New York with the idea that a team of New York-based writers would better reflect the city and its storylines on the show. Co-creators/showrunners Liz Brixius and Linda Wallem will continue to run the writers’ room, joined by one of the 5 writers (3 writers and one writing team) that were on staff during Nurse Jackie’s second season, New York-based playwright Liz Flahive. I hear it was deemed financially prohibitive to relocate the other scribes who are staying behind, and the move is also being used to “freshen up the writing team” going into Season 3. The vacant writing positions are being filled out of New York. One of them just went to Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph who has joined Nurse Jackie for Season 3. Also hired as new writers on the show are playwright Ellen Fairey, Alison McDonald (Accidentally on Purpose) and Wyndham Lewis.

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