As usual, CBS will be making only minor tweaks to its schedule in midseason. The network’s new mulch-ethnic family comedy series ¡Rob! starring Rob Schneider will air in the Thursday 8:30 PM slot beginning January 12. To make room, CBS just cut the order for Rules Of Engagement, which airs in the time period; Rules will return later in the spring following ¡Rob!’s eight-week run. Based on Schneider’s real-life experiences, ¡Rob! stars the actor as a lifelong bachelor who just married into a tight-knit Mexican-American family. (Thus the Spanish-style punctuation of the title) Meanwhile, CBS’ reality series Undercover Boss will return to Sundays, serving as a bridge between the two cycles of The Amazing Race at 8 PM. It premieres on January 15. No word yet when and where CBS’ midseason drama The 2-2 will air.
Emmys Live-Blog: ‘Modern Family,’ Dominates Comedy Field, ‘Mad Men’ Squeaks Best Drama Win, Big Farewell For ‘Friday Night Lights’ And Upsets Galore
We’re off and running. The much-talked-about opening number of host Jane Lynch features the Glee star in a massive pre-taped production number having her sing and dance through the stages of a slew of hit TV shows. It opens with Leonard Nimoy who, as network president, introduces Lynch to the house of television where all TV shows are housed. The part was originally taped with Alec Baldwin but was redone after Fox cut a line about the News Corp hacking scandal. The elements are uneven, but the best bit is Lynch walking into a scene of AMC’s period ad agency drama Mad Men and being asked by Jon Hamm’s Don Draper to go fetch coffee. When Lynch fires back that she is no secretary but the host of the Emmys Pete Campbell’s Kartheiser is not impressed. “What you should be doing is learning how to type and firing the guy that gave you that man’s haircut!” Lynch tells them that a lot has changed since 1965 and now women can marry each other, nodding, “Hi, Peggy….” “Does that mean women don’t have to sleep with men anymore to make it to the top?” wide-eyed Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) asks. “No, you still have to do that,” Lynch replies. She tells the group that people can now watch television on their phones. When she adds that in the future people can fast-forward through the commercials, everyone freezes. Ad man Don Draper turns to her and gives her a steely look. “You’re going to turn around, walk out of here, and we’re going to pretend we never met you.” Lynch obliges but not before one last jab at Kartheiser, “This haircut costs more than your house. “The number spilled into the stage with a big live finale featuring Lynch hoisted up by male dancers. “Try doing this with triple Spanx,” she said after getting down.
ABC’s Modern Family is on an early roll in the supporting comedy series acting categories, dismissing some projections that, with all 6 cast members nominated in the 2 categories, they might cancel each other out. The first winner of the night is the show’s Julie Bowen for best supporting actress in a comedy series. “I don’t know what I am going to talk about in therapy next week now,” she says.
A second after she thanked her TV husband, Ty Burrell, he too walked to the stage to pick up his trophy for best supporting actor in a comedy series. Burrell talked about his dad, who passed away before he got into acting, doing “a job where every day I go to work in makeup.”
Ricky Gervais presents the director for a comedy series category in a pre-taped segment. “Sorry. I can’t be live and in person. Not after the Golden Globes. I’m not even allowed on American soil if I say something rude or offensive.”
Modern Family is going 3-for-3 with a comedy series directing award for director Michael Alan Spiller for the Halloween episode.
And now it’s 4-for-4 as Modern Family also wins for best writing in a comedy series for the “Caught in the Act” episode written by Steve Levitan and Jeffrey Richman. Levitan, noting that the episode’s main story of the Dunphy kids walking in on their parents having sex was based on his own experience, thanked his “somewhat satisfied wife and 3 traumatized children.” The director cuts to Levitan’s wife who is rolling her eyes.
After the early Modern Family sweep, Lynch comes back from commercial with “Welcome back to the Modern Family Awards.”
Then it’s Charlie Sheen, presenting the lead actor in a comedy series category. Like on The Tonight Show earlier in the week, it was not the Warlock but the old Sheen — cool, collected and gracious — who showed up. “Before I present the award in my old category I wanna take a moment to get something off my chest and say something to all my friends from Two and a Half Men,” he said. “From the bottom of my heart, I wish nothing but the best for this upcoming season. We spent 8 wonderful years together, I know you will continue to make great television. Now on to the Emmy.”
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.” …
American Idol (Fox)
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Why It Was Nominated: They can’t very well not nominate the show. It’s now been cited nine times in succession — and is still searching for its first win. American Idol has altered the primetime landscape as television’s top-rated show for the past decade. And this year’s edition with new judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler — and without Simon Cowell — defied predictions of doom to enjoy a comeback of sorts. It landed 10 noms this time, its most ever.
Why It Has To Win: “We have our best chance ever this year,” believes executive producer Nigel Lythgoe. “If we don’t win it this time, we probably never will.” Quite possible indeed. Idol enjoyed a banner season replete with heavy new injections of publicity thanks to the new judges, who acquitted themselves better than expected. The competition from The Amazing Race and last year’s victor Top Chef isn’t so stiff that it’s likely to keep Idol from finally taking the big prize after eight years of trying in vain.
Why It Can’t Possibly Win: The prevailing wisdom this time is that unfortunately Idol has made the same mistake again — that is, submitting the season finale for consideration. The problem is that there’s no “competition” element in there in a category that has competition in the title. Oops. It’s got Beyonce and Lady Gaga, but then, what doesn’t? This is the same formula that’s failed eight straight times with voters, and perhaps it’s destined to remain forever thus.
2011 TCA AWARDS: ‘Friday Night Lights’ Wins Program Of The Year, ‘Game Of Thrones’ Named Best New Show
As a new NBC series, Friday Night Lights won Outstanding New Program at the Television Critics Association’s awards in 2007. Four years later, as a departing DirecTV show, Friday Night Lights tonight won the top TCA award, Program of the Year. HBO’s Game of Thrones was named outstanding new program during the non-televised ceremony hosted by Parks and Recreation co-star Nick Offerman at the Beverly Hilton. Oprah Winfrey got a career achievement TCA award to go with her recently awarded Oscar “for her influence through 25 seasons of The Oprah Winfrey Show,” while Offerman received an Individual Achievement in Comedy Award to make up for the Emmy-nomination snub last month. CBS’ The Amazing Race, whose best series Emmy-winning streak was broken last year, is starting a new one at the TCA Awards, winning the first award in newly established reality program category. Here is the list of the winners in 12 categories voted by the members of TCA, a media organization comprised of more than 200 professional TV critics and journalists from the U.S. and Canada:
Program of the Year
Friday Night Lights (DirecTV/NBC)
Outstanding Achievement in Drama
Mad Men (AMC)
Outstanding Achievement in Comedy
Modern Family (ABC)
Outstanding Achievement in Reality Programming
The Amazing Race (CBS)
No surprise here as CBS had already picked up a 19th cycle of The Amazing Race to air on Sundays in the fall. The network is now making it a full season of the globe-trotting reality series with a pickup of a 20th installment to air next spring. Phil Keoghan continues as the host. This past season’s 17th and 18th cycles of Amazing Race averaged 11.2 million viewers and a 3.4/9 in adults 18-49.
CBS has renewed its two Sunday reality series, The Amazing Race and Undercover Boss, for next season.
The Amazing Race, hosted by Phil Keoghan, is being picked up for a 19th cycle next fall. The recent fall edition of the 7-time Emmy-winning reality series delivered nearly 12 million viewers, matching the prior year’s performance, and was up 3% in adults 18-49. Jerry Bruckheimer, Bertram van Munster, Jonathan Littman, Elise Doganieri and Mark Vertullo are the executive producers.
Undercover Boss, which follows high level corporate executives as they slip anonymously into the rank and file of their own companies, is being renewed for a third season. The series premiered last February following the Super Bowl and went on to become the top-rated new series last season. The show has slipped in the ratings in its current second season but has still averaged a respectable 12.3 million viewers and a 3.4/09 in adults 18-49. Stephen Lambert, Eli Holzman and Chris Carlson are executive producing.