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Toronto: What Oscar Clues Are Wrapped In Today’s Massive Announcement Of TIFF Films?

Pete Hammond

Toronto: What Oscar Clues Are Wrapped In Today’s Massive Announcement Of TIFF Films?Well, they are coming hot and heavy now. With Toronto International Film Festival announcing 13 Galas and 46 Special Presentations this morning in what is really just the first wave of their upcoming lineup, and  on top on New York Film Festival’s confirmation of their Opening (Gone Girl), Centerpiece (Inherent Viceand Closing (Birdman), BFI London’s opener of The Imitation Game and Venice Film Festival’s opener (also Birdman)  the awards season landscape is starting to fill in a bit more significantly. Venice in fact will announce their entire lineup tomorrow but today’s TIFF list gives us some further clues as to how the Oscar game is being played on the fest circuit. Of course Telluride is another factor, but they won’t officially announce anything until their fest begins just before Labor Day weekend.

Robert-Downey-Jr_-and-Robert-Duvall-in-The-Judge-2014-Movie-Image-2-750x499One player that I hear won’t be going to Telluride this year,  or it seems Venice, is Warner Bros which has used both fests significantly in the past (Warners had Oscar winners Argo and Gravity at the past two Tellurides and Gravity opened Venice last year). But, as predicted here, they are going to Toronto in a BIG way with World Premieres of three of their Fall films, The JudgeThis Is Where I Leave You and The Good Lie. Will TIFF mean the launch of an Oscar campaign for the trio, or is it just an effective way of getting the most media bang for your buck in releasing these early Fall titles? Certainly The Judge would seem to have acting potential for … Read More »

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Costume Designers Guild Sets 2015 Awards Date

By | Tuesday July 22, 2014 @ 8:55am PDT

Costume Designers Guild Sets 2015 Awards DateThe 17th Costume Designers Guild Awards will be held Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at the Beverly Hilton. The awards ceremony will be produced by JumpLine, executive producer JL Pomeroy and supervising producer Sarah Cowperthwaite. Nominees, honorees, host and presenters will be announced at a later date.

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Oscar-Nominated Film Now Aiming To WIN An Emmy For Netflix – How Is It Eligible For Both?

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 11:39am PDT
Pete Hammond

Oscar-Nominated Film Now Aiming To WIN An Emmy For Netflix – How Is It Eligible For Both?The Squarea harrowing documentary about the Egyptian revolution as seen through the eyes of six of its participants, was Oscar-nominated in the 2013 Best Feature Documentary race. So how come it is suddenly a major contender at the Emmys too? Inquiries have come to our attention, including one calling for its withdrawal from Emmy competition, so I decided to check it out.

Daytime Emmy Awards WinnersThe film, which accounts for four of the impressive 31 Emmy nominations Netflix received this year, was picked up by the streaming service and qualified last year for the Oscar race with a seven-day run, according to the Television Academy, which has assured me they thoroughly examined this one. “The Square was not in general release prior to it TV appearance; rather, it qualified for the Oscars under the ‘one week NY-LA limited screening rule’ which would not have affected Emmy eligibility. Please know that we and the documentary peer group vetted the hell out of this one, and it’s good to Emmy go,” according to John Leverence, SVP Awards for the TV Academy. Read More »

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‘Boyhood’ Sets Off On Awards Trek With Strong, Packed Weekend Screenings For Oscar And SAG Voters

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 12:09am PDT
Pete Hammond

‘Boyhood’ Sets Off On Awards Trek With Strong, Packed Weekend Screenings For Oscar And SAG VotersWe are still a little more than a month away from the official start of awards season, but for IFC‘s smash-out-of-the-box indie hit, Boyhood, it already began in earnest on Sunday with back-to-back screenings and Q&As for members of the newly chosen 2000-strong Screen Actors Guild Nominating Committee, and later its official Academy screening at the newly re-opened Samuel Goldwyn Theatre at the Acad’s Beverly Hills headquarters. The SAG nom comm is just beginning its long schedule of these kinds of screenings, and Sunday afternoon’s was the first big one in LA, although I am told there were a couple of smaller films for the nom comm early in June just as the randomly-chosen group of actors was formed for this year’s race. They packed the Pacific Design Center’s screening room and after the Q&A with stars Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke and young Ellar Coltrane along with writer/director Richard Linklater, the SAG crowd gave them all a heartfelt standing ovation. I moderated boyhood-poster and there was also much applause when I brought each of them on stage for the 40-minute conversation. The making of the film on 36 shooting days over the course of 12 years has been a well-publicized story this summer, and each of them offered detailed answers on various aspects of a film that is unique in motion picture history, particularly from the point of view … Read More »

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James Garner: An Appreciation Of A Great Acting Legend Who Never Looked Like He Was Acting

By | Sunday July 20, 2014 @ 12:47pm PDT
Pete Hammond

James Garner: An Appreciation Of A Great Acting Legend Who Never Looked Like He Was ActingJames Garner just made it all look too easy.

That’s the only explanation I can give for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences failing to vote him an Honorary Oscar over these last few years of Governors Awards.  More than once I wrote a column of “suggestions” including  those egregiously overlooked artists deserving of the industry’s top award, and always near the top was my annual reminder of Garner. But I guess it is just too late now.  Garner, who died Saturday night at age 86, probably just would brush off the honor anyway, thinking those more “obvious” choices were more likely to ever get an Oscar. But it is precisely because he made  it all seem so effortless that he was annually passed over.

Brett_Maverick_-_James_GarnerIt couldn’t  have been because he was also a major television star could it?  Nah. Maverick , The Rockford Files, those fine TV movies, and those magical Polaroid commercials he did with Mariette Hartley  were all great. And  no one can deny the power of those TV movies he did including Promise, Barbarians At The Gate , Breathing Lessons, Decoration Day, The Long Summer Of  George Adams and My Name Is Bill W to name a few. These showed off an actor of real range. If it were just a career in television, it would be incredibly impressive but all the obits this morning calling him a TV legend, which he certainly was, missed the point of just what Garner’s remarkable acting achievement … Read More »

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R.I.P. Writer-Producer-Director John Fasano

By | Sunday July 20, 2014 @ 12:33pm PDT

R.I.P. Writer-Producer-Director John FasanoWriter/producer/director John Fasano, best known for his work in the horror genre, died in his sleep Saturday night at the age of 52, his attorney Craig Baumgarten confirmed. No cause of death was available.

Fasano was nominated for a Writers Guild Award in 1996 for writing the teleplay for The Hunchback for TNT. He also had a hand in more than 40 other film and TV projects, including writing the hit Tom Selleck TV movie Stone Cold, Iraq war TV docudramas Saving Jessica Lynch and The Hunt for Saddam, and films including Alien 3, Meggido: The Omega Code 2, Darkness Falls and Another 48 Hours. Fasano also worked as a script doctor and screenwriting guest lecturer at AFI and the Writer’s Boot Camp. He was president of the screenwriting seminar at the Sony/Canal+ Equinoxe screenwriting seminar in France. He produced and directed several independent films, typically in the horror genre, including Rock ‘n’ Roll NightmareBlack Roses and The Jitters, all released in the 1980s.

John Fasano with friend at mealFasano, who was born Aug.24, 1961, had his first taste of filmmaking when his father, a friend of director John Cassavetes, brought him along on a visit to the set of Husbands, according to a frequently quoted story in articles about him. In high school, he worked on industrial films for IBM and other companies, and graduated from SUNY-Purchase with a degree in film. He initially worked as an editor or freelance editor for a variety of specialty magazines, but his work creating posters for exploitation films led … Read More »

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NY Film Festival Sets Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Inherent Vice’

By | Friday July 18, 2014 @ 7:04pm PDT
Mike Fleming

NY Film Festival Sets Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Inherent Vice’While Toronto doesn’t set its slate until next week, the New York Film Festival has slotted its second prestige pic. After setting David Fincher‘s Gone Girl to open the fest, organizers have now slotted the Paul Thomas Anderson-directed adaptation of Inherent Vice to be the festival’s centerpiece film, sources confirm a report from our sister publication Variety. Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Josh Brolin, and Benicio Del Toro star in the Warner Bros release.

Related: ‘Gone Girl’s’ NYFF Announcement Fuels Fall Festival Oscar Season Speculation

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‘Boyhood’ By The Numbers: What Else Happened Over 12 Years

By | Friday July 18, 2014 @ 10:37am PDT

‘Boyhood’ By The Numbers: What Else Happened Over 12 YearsAfter it debuted last week to the second-best opening of any specialty film in 2014, Richard Linklater‘s Boyhood is already considered an early Oscar contender that has a chance to cross over as it broadens its run to 10 markets today. It is unprecedented for a narrative film to be shot like this one was. It proved to be a time-lapse process that allows viewers to watch Ellar Coltrane and his castmates age naturally from age 6 to 18 and believably go through the joys and dramas, big and small, inherent in the lives of children. Linklater told Deadline he was lucky nothing unfortunate happened in the lives of the cast and crew, almost all of whom returned year after year. Here, Deadline looks at some of the things that happened to the participants over that span, including in Texas, where Linklater shot the film.

Boyhood chart

 

Number of other features, TV movies and shorts directed by Richard Linklater:  10
Number of TV episodes created by Richard Linklater: 6 (Up To Speed)
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Movie Academy Unveils Board Of Governors Election Results

Movie Academy Unveils Board Of Governors Election ResultsThe new members announced today after voting are re-upped for three-year terms. This comes ahead of the August 5 board meeting to elect the Academy’s officers. On that ballot will be current Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who is up for her second of a potential four one-year terms and is expected to be re-upped. Isaacs, from the Public Relations Branch, was among the eight governors re-elected today, a list that includes Academy Secretary Phil Robinson (Writers Branch) ; five new first-timers were also voted in. Here’s the release: Read More »

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WGA Awards Set For Feb. 14, 2015

By | Thursday July 17, 2014 @ 10:28am PDT

WGA Awards Set For Feb. 14, 2015It will be a very sweet Valentine’s Day indeed for the winners of the the 67th Annual WGA Awards next year. In a truly loving move, the scribes’ ceremony will be held both in LA and NYC that night at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel and the Edison Ballroom respectively. The WGA Awards come after the DGA Awards on February 7, SAG Awards on January 25 and PGA Awards on January 23th. Today we also found out the road that will get the writer to their awards with the Guild releasing a timeline.

Check out the complete WGA Awards schedule here:

2014-2015 WGA TIMELINE

Television-Radio-New Media Eligibility Period:

Long Form, Episodic, Animation, Children’s, and Short Form categories:
First broadcast or exhibited between Dec. 1, 2013 and Nov. 30, 2014

Comedy/Variety, Quiz and Audience Participation, Documentary, Daytime Drama,
News, Radio, and Promotion categories:
First broadcast or exhibited between Oct. 1, 2013 and Sept. 30, 2014

Series Eligibility Period:
First broadcast or exhibited between Dec. 1, 2013 and Nov. 30, 2014

Theatrical Screenplay Eligibility Period:
Exhibited theatrically in Los Angeles for one week during 2014

Documentary Screenplay Eligibility Period:
Exhibited theatrically in Los Angeles or New York for one week during 2014

Videogame Eligibility Period:
Originally released between Dec. 1, 2013 and Nov. 30, 2014

2014

OCTOBER

Fri. Oct. 10  - Deadline for submissions: Television-Radio-
New Media and Paul Selvin

Fri. Oct. 10 – Deadline for submissions: Drama, Comedy, and
New Series

Tue. Oct. 28  - Preliminary Series online voting begins

NOVEMBER

Fri. Nov. 14  - Deadline for submissions: Theatrical and
Documentary Screenplays

Mon. Nov. 24 – Deadline for submissions: Videogame Writing

Tue. Nov. 25 – Deadline for Preliminary Series online voting

Read More »

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‘Gone Girl’s’ NYFF Announcement Fuels Fall Festival Oscar Season Speculation

By | Thursday July 17, 2014 @ 10:25am PDT
Pete Hammond

‘Gone Girl’s’  NYFF Announcement Fuels Fall Festival Oscar Season SpeculationThough it is still only July – and the summer movie blockbuster season is still in full force – all eyes are turning to awards season as much-awaited announcements of the four big Fall movie festivals that signal the beginning of the Oscar race are starting to drop. Following last week’s news that Fox Searchlight and New Regency’s Birdman would be launching the Venice Film Festival on August 27th, comes official word today from the Film Society Of Lincoln Center that David Fincher’s Gone Girl from Searchlight’s parent 20th Century Fox and New Regency will be launching the 52nd New York Film Festival on  September 26th. This selection was absolutely no surprise as the NYFF is very Fincher-friendly and most recently opened their fest in 2010 with the director’s The Social Network. Also, 20th has a strong recent relationship with the NYFF as both last year’s Oscar flameout, The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty and 2012′s Life Of Pi also had major showcases there. This continues the trend. In what might be counted as the firstnyff review of the much-anticipated adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s best seller starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, NYFF Director and Selection Committee Chair Kent Jones said: “Gone Girl  is so many things at once: sharp as a razor about many aspects of American life that have been untouched by movies, very tough and just as funny, brilliantly acted, and 100%  entertaining – a wild ride from start to finish. In short, a great … Read More »

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Art Directors Guild Draws Up Lifetime Achievement Award For Jim Bissell

Art Directors Guild Draws Up Lifetime Achievement Award For Jim BissellLegendary production designer Jim Bissell will receive the Art Directors Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award, which will be bestowed January 31 at the 19th annual awards ceremony at the Beverly Hilton. Bissell, the production designer for E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, is currently in pre-production on his second film in the Mission Impossible franchise, and was the production designer of four of the five films directed by George Clooney, including this year’s Monuments Men.

“Jim Bissell’s work as a production designer is legendary and we are proud to rank him among the best in the history of our profession,” said John Shaffner, guild’s council chairman. “He is an extraordinary artist and accomplished leader in the industry, and it is our pleasure to name him as this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.”
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EMMYS: PBS & CBS Lead Way In News & Docu Nominations

By | Tuesday July 15, 2014 @ 10:07am PDT

EMMYS: PBS & CBS Lead Way In News & Docu NominationsThe National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences unveiled nominations for the 35th annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards. They will be presentedSeptember 30 during a ceremony at Frederick P. Rose Hall at Lincoln Center. PBS led networks with 43 nominations followed by CBS with 42. The New York Times led newspapers with seven noms. Check out the full list here.

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HFPA & Dick Clark Productions Settle Long Golden Globes Lawsuit

HFPA & Dick Clark Productions Settle Long Golden Globes LawsuitThe long-running legal battle between the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and Dick Clark Productions over who controls TV rights to the Golden Globes is over. While seemingly impossible to imagine after all the rancor between the two sides, they have reached a confidential agreement that will see the Guggenheim Partners-owned dcp continuing to produce the annual awards for broadcast on NBC until 2018, sources confirm. This comes four years after the HFPA first filed, and dozens of courts dates, hundreds of filings, an early 2012 trial that saw the HFPA lose its case against dcpand an appeals hearing last month that still hadn’t issued a ruling. During the legal battle, the HFPA and dcp had a shotgun marriage to keep producing the awards show.

The heart of the HFPA’s contention was that a 1993 extension of its deal with dcp was invalid. The agreement said that the production company, which was sold by then-owners Red Zone in the fall of 2012, had “the exclusive right to produce a live television broadcast for each of the years 1998 through and including 2005, and for any extensions, renewals, substitutions or modifications of the NBC agreement.” Federal judge Judge Howard A. Matz agreed. He also made a point of citing the disorganization among the HFPA leadership over the years. To that end, the two-week non-jury trial saw a series of past and current HFPA presidents and dcp executives take the stand. Dick Clark, now deceased, did not appear, but CBS Read More »

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TCA: NBC’s Bob Greenblatt On Broadcast TV’s Emmy Woes, Thursday Challenge, Abortion Ad Controversy, ‘Community’ Comeback

By | Sunday July 13, 2014 @ 1:43pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

TCA: NBC’s Bob Greenblatt On Broadcast TV’s Emmy Woes, Thursday Challenge, Abortion Ad Controversy, ‘Community’ ComebackDays after the broadcast networks slipped to a new Emmy low, with only two best series nominations between comedy and drama and no drama series in the top category for a third consecutive year, NBC topper Bob Greenblatt was asked about the struggle to get broadcast dramas that produce 22 episodes a season the same Emmy consideration that cable and online shows receive despite making only 8 to 13 episodes a year.

Cable can be darker, more interesting, feels cooler than some of the things we can do, it’s just a fact of life,” he said. The snubs for broadcast dramas included NBC’s freshman The Blacklist and its star James Spader. “Should we debate the fact that James Spader is one of the best actors working who is not nominated? At the end of the day, I’m not sure what good it does,” Greenblatt said.

Abortion was a main topic at the executive session in light of the controversy over NBC’s rejection of a trailer for the movie Obvious Child because of the use of the word “abortion” in it. Greenblatt recalled how, during his tenure at Fox, he and his team caved in and changed a storyline that would’ve had Neve Campbell’s character having an abortion. “I don’t think we cop out anymore but writers and producers are still nervous about it because it is an issue that divides people,” he said. “But we … Read More »

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TCA: TV Academy May Look At Primetime Emmy Categories Because Industry Has Evolved, CEO Bruce Rosenblum Says

TCA: TV Academy May Look At Primetime Emmy Categories Because Industry Has Evolved, CEO Bruce Rosenblum SaysThe TV Academy probably should take another look at the categories for its Primetime Emmy Awards, academy chairman/CEO Bruce Rosenblum told TV critics this morning at the TCAs summer press tour after TV critics began to flog him and the academy for not doing a better job “policing” which categories series and actors are competing.

Image (2) SHAMELESS-EMMY-BUS-AD__140521190126-575x119.jpg for post 734049TV critics nicked him for a number of this year’s nominees — one TV critic, for instance, noted,  “it’s nice Treme got nominated, but it’s in the miniseries category and it’s been on the air about five years.” Another expressed disbelief the academy would let Shameless submit itself for consideration as a comedy series for a season that included a storyline “in which a baby overdoses on cocaine.”  And harsh words were said about  “certain” actors who’d  submitted themselves as guest stars “even though they have regular series contracts.” Plenty more where that came from.

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Oscar Watching: The First Sure-Fire Best Picture Nominee Has Just Arrived And It’s Only July – Let The Race Begin

By | Friday July 11, 2014 @ 3:15pm PDT
Pete Hammond

Oscar Watching: The First Sure-Fire Best Picture Nominee Has Just Arrived And It’s Only July – Let The Race BeginEmmy nominations may only have been released yesterday, and I know it’s still just July, but with the opening of Richard Linklater‘s Boyhood today I am declaring July 11th the new official start of the Oscar season (at least for this year) with a film that I predict will occupy one of those prized Best Picture slots when Academy Award nominations are announced six months from now. It’s a bold statement considering last year’s first of nine eventual Best Picture nominees, Gravity, wasn’t released until October 4th, and generally with few exceptions of late , most of the nominees still come in the Fall season (although 2009′s Best Pic winner The Hurt Locker actually debuted in late June of that year and rallied later in the game to take it all). Boyhood’s  distributor IFC Films also has not been a major player in the Best Picture races, but Boyhood producer John Sloss told me they have made a complete commitment to this film like no other.

boyhood__140507074117A top awards veteran consultant Cynthia Swartz and her Strategy P.R. have been on the movie for months, slowly positioning it for a run. Just last week IFC President Jonathan Sehring, who greenlit it and supported it for a dozen years, told our indie box office reporter Brian Brooks that the film is his favorite project of his entire professional career. “It’s not like anything I have ever been involved with and is my crowning professional achievement no matter how it performs,” he told Brooks. … Read More »

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Jodie Foster On ‘Orange Is The New Black’ Directing Emmy Nom: ‘Dramedy Is What I Do’

Jodie Foster On ‘Orange Is The New Black’ Directing Emmy Nom: ‘Dramedy Is What I Do’Jodie Foster is carving out a nice, new career as a TV director.  Though she hit a bump with her last feature directorial, the Mel Gibson drama, The Beaver ($971K),  she rebounded today with an Emmy nomination for her comedy series helming work on the third episode of Jenji Kohan’s Orange Is the New Black entitled “Lesbian Request Denied”. It’s actually Foster’s second Emmy nod overall, her first being for the Showtime 1999 movie she executive produced, The Baby Dance, starring Stockard Channing and Laura Dern.  It would be an understatement to say that the word ‘bold’ is always associated with Foster’s oeuvre, whether it’s playing a child prostitute in Martin Scorsese’s 1976 iconic Taxi Driver to producing and acting in the 2007  femme vigilante film The Brave One. Orange Is the New Black is arguably the first time that Foster as a director has dealt with the subject of lesbianism on screen.  She also returned to direct the second season premiere of Orange Is The New Black with the episode “Thirsty Bird” and also went behind the camera for Netflix‘s House of Cards episode ”Chapter 22″.   Frequently, feature directors are finding creative redemption in TV, read Doomsday British helmer Neil Marshall who was behind two Games of Thrones episodes, this season’s being “The Watchers on the Wall”. Read More »

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EMMYS: Producer Don Mischer’s Show Nightmare – And Why The Golden Globes Can Thank ‘SNL’ For Its Emmy Love

By | Thursday July 10, 2014 @ 1:59pm PDT
Pete Hammond

EMMYS: Producer Don Mischer’s Show Nightmare – And Why The Golden Globes Can Thank ‘SNL’ For Its Emmy LoveAfter this morning’s announcement of the Emmy nominations, Don Mischer, the veteran (and much awarded himself) executive producer of this year’s 66th annual Emmy Awards jokingly suggested to me that maybe there should be an awards show that only honors other award shows! God help us. We almost have that now. At the Emmys, the only awards show not eligible to win one of the golden winged statuettes is Emmy herself.

And what’s significant awards-show wise in this year’s lineup is how far the Golden Globes, of all shows, have come into industry respectability. Not only did it grab an Outstanding Special Class Seth-Meyers-bowed-Andy-Samberg-while-presenting-his-Golden-GlobeProgram nomination against the Tonys and the Oscars this morning, but it also landed a nod for Outstanding Writing For A Variety Special. It will compete there again with the Tonys there but – OUCH – not perennial writing nominee Academy Awards; Ellen DeGeneres and her crew of writers who so memorably sent out for pizza and took selfies this year were snubbed this time out.

Of course the Globes have really smartened up in the writing department in the past couple of years with strong SNL influence and participation from hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as well as Seth Meyers among other members of the Lorne Michaels wolf pack.  Meyers may not have been nominated for his own newoscars-producers-blog630-jpg_043502 NBC late-night talk show, but this year’s Emmy host has a chance to win one  for his Globes writing gig, and that category WILL be presented this year on the primetime broadcast. Still in sheer numbers of nominations today, The Oscars lead the Tonys 8-7, with the Globes grabbing the aforementioned two. Impressively, Oscar show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who will be returning for a third consecutive stint on next year’s show, are competing directly against themselves in the Special Class category with their NBC musical special The Sound Of Music Live! And they also nabbed a nomination for their Lifetime miniseries, Bonnie And Clyde. Big day for that busy pair, who got Emmy love for all of their TV projects last season, even if critical reaction was mixed. Who’s laughing now? Read More »

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