The 2010 Primetime Emmy Awards: The Post-Game Wrap-Up

First of all, I’d just like to say that it’s cruel of both “True Blood” and “Mad Men” to air new episodes on the same night as the Emmy Awards, especially when neither show is sending out advance screeners anymore. Yes, I’m a big whiner, and I don’t care. It’s 11 PM, the Emmys have just wrapped up, and now I’ve got to go blog both shows. I’m sorry, but there’s no way around it: this sucks.

Okay, enough of my bitching. Let’s talk about the Emmys.

As far as I’m concerned, Jimmy Fallon did a fine job as host. The “Glee”-inspired opening segment was awesome: Jon Hamm ruled that bit with his sweet-ass dance moves, but Joel McHale leaping in front the camera was pretty awesome, too, and once they switched over to the live performance, I laughed out loud at just how happy Randy Jackson seemed to be to get to play in front of the audience. Sometimes you forget that the guy’s got some serious studio-musician street cred.

The minstrel-in-the-aisles bit was hit or miss, but Stephen Colbert was hilarious, and I was pleasantly surprised at Kim Kardashian’s performance. Jimmy’s quick quip at Conan’s expense was pretty funny, too. I wasn’t as big a fan of the farewells to “24,” “Law & Order,” and “Lost,” mostly because all I could think was, “This kind of takes away from the seriousness of the farewells to the folks in the industry who really have died.” The segment with the “Modern Family” cast meeting with the network was hysterical, though.

And now on to the awards!

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TCA Press Tour, Summer 2010: Day 4

The 4th day of the TCA tour started out not with a panel but with a poolside breakfast with the cast of USA’s new series, “Covert Affairs.” Like several of my fellow critics, I’m not a huge fan of events where the network publicists divide with the cast members and conquer the room by bringing the actors by the various tables and saying, “Oh, have you met (INSERT ACTOR’S NAME HERE) yet?” I’m not saying it isn’t kind of cool to be finishing up your danish and have Peter Gallagher and Keri Matchett stroll up…which, as you might’ve guessed, is exactly what happened to me…but at the same time, my concentration is on my breakfast, not on whatever questions I might have for them, so it’s kind of a stilted conversation. I mean, c’mon, man, I haven’t even finished my coffee yet! I did manage to ask Keri if this new gig meant that we wouldn’t be seeing her pop up on “Leverage” again anytime soon, and, alas, she sighed and admitted that it probably did. Damn.

Before I headed back upstairs to the ballroom to get ready for the first proper panel of the day, I waited around for a few minutes in hopes of chatting with Sendhil Ramamurthy and Anne Dudek, but after loitering for 10+ minutes as they talked with someone from TV Guide, I could see no signs of their conversation abating. I finally gave up and decided that I’d just try to grab them at the NBC party that evening…which, FYI, I successfully ended up doing.

The Event

When I watched the pilot for “The Event,” a new sci-fi / action series that will immediately remind viewers of “Lost,” “Fringe,” and possibly even “24,” I was instantly captivated and loved every minute of it. Even as I watched it, though, I knew that my wife would be far less thrilled, owing to the fact that there is a tendency for the proceedings to bounce back and forth in time…and she hates that. Clearly, she’s not the only one, since the topic was addressed almost immediately during the show’s panel, but the show’s executive producers – Nick Wauters, Steve Stark, Evan Katz, and Jeffrey Reiner – reassured us as much as possible.

“It’s definitely something that we’re going to keep using, at least in the near future, as long as it serves character and story,” said Wauters. “But you may not see as much of it as we go along.”

“Also, I think if you look at the pilot, the pilot was about 50 percent flashbacks, believe it or not,” said Stark. “A little over that, actually. That’s not going to be the idea moving forward. In episode 4, there’s a whole series of just getting to know Sean and Leila from a character standpoint, but it’s just that.”

“Time will move forward from episode 2 on,” said Katz. “It will be a more linear approach, and there will be flashbacks, but the story will continue to thrust forward.”

I don’t know if that’ll make my wife feel a heck of a lot better, but it’s something, anyway. It also serves as a reminder that, although “The Event” has a tremendous cast, one which includes Zeljko Ivanek, Laura Innes, Jason Ritter, Sarah Roemer, Scott Patterson, and Blair Underwood (as the President of the United States), as a serialized drama, it’s the producers who hold the answers to all of the truly important questions. Heck, the actors don’t really know anything…and they’re not afraid to admit it!

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The 2010 Primetime Emmy nominations are in!

Bright and early this morning…by which we mean 8:40 AM EST / 5:40 AM PST…the nominees for the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards were announced by Joel McHale (“Community,” “The Soup”) and Sofia Vergara (“Modern Family”). It ended up being a worthwhile gig for one of them, at least, with Vergara pulling in a Supporting Actress nod for “Modern Family.” Maybe that’s why McHale seemed so stone-faced. (Seriously, did someone tell McHale that he wasn’t getting paid if he didn’t keep his smart-assery in line ’til after the nominees were read? The only time he cracked anything approaching a joke was when he preempted Vergara’s mangling of Mariska Hargitay’s last name.) Anyway, here’s a list of who got the glory…and, in the case of Best Actress in a Drama, who got the shaft.

Outstanding Comedy Series:

* Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
* Glee (Fox)
* Modern Family (ABC)
* Nurse Jackie (Showtime)
* The Office (NBC)
* 30 Rock (NBC)

My Pick: “Modern Family.” There’s no question that “Glee” is award-worthy, but not necessarily as a comedy, which is also where “Nurse Jackie” falters in this category. I feel like “The Office” and “30 Rock” coasted in on their past merits this year, but “Curb” got a huge boost from the “Seinfeld” storyline, so it’s the only real competition here. Still, the buzz on “Modern Family” is all over the place. I can’t imagine it won’t bring home the glory.

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2009 Emmys sticking to original format

Emmys

In an effort to add some needed entertainment, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and CBS had earlier decided to pre-record eight award presentations and play them in snippets throughout the ceremony. Now, because of dissent from the creative community and lack of public support from the other major networks, this “time-shift” is not going to happen.

The TV Acad had intended to pre-tape eight award presentations in the hour leading up to the 5 p.m. PT start of the live three-hour telecast from downtown L.A.’s Nokia Theater, and then run clips of those presentations throughout the telecast. Yet just two weeks after the board overwhelmingly approved the final changes, the Acad confirmed that this year’s telecast will include the usual roster of 28 kudos presented live.

The fight that erupted after the time-shifting decision was announced boiled down to a question of respect for various disciplines — the plan was to drop two awards each from the writing, directing, acting and producing fields — but also a case of critical darlings vs. mainstream hits.

It’s strange to think that 28 awards are handed out in just three hours. To me, the Emmys always seem much longer than they actually are. That’s obviously not a good thing, but the eight awards they were planning to pre-record would have been from the writing and directing categories. Since my favorite shows are nominated in those categories, I would be disappointed if they weren’t given their due in front of the national audience. After all, the writers and directors are the backbone of what makes great television. I’m all for adding extra bits of entertainment to the broadcast, but CBS never announced what they had in mind. If anything, get rid of the Guest Actor/Actress categories to make room for some extra music and comedy.

  

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The 2009 Emmy nominations are in…

Per TV.com…

Best Drama Series
Big Love
Breaking Bad
Damages
Dexter
House
Lost
Mad Men

Best Comedy Series

Entourage
Flight of the Conchords
How I Met Your Mother
The Office
30 Rock
Weeds
Family Guy

Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Simon Baker, The Mentalist
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Hugh Laurie, House
Gabriel Byrne, In Treatment

Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
Glenn Close, Damages
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Holly Hunter, Saving Grace

Lead Comedy Actor

Jemaine Clement, Flight of the Conchords
Steve Carrell, The Office
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Tony Shalhoub, Monk
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men

Lead Comedy Actress
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine
Christina Applegate, Samantha Who?
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Toni Collette, United States of Tara
Sarah Silverman, The Sarah Silverman Program
Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds

The biggest snubs? No “The Wire,” “True Blood” or “The Shield” for Best Drama…zero nominations in major categories for “Friday Night Lights” — especially Connie Britton, who should have cracked a weak field of Lead Actress in a Drama…”Battlestar Galactica” finishes its critically-acclaimed, five-year run with no major Emmy award nominations…at all…over the five seasons…ugh.

Click here to see the rest of the nominations.

  

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