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Category: Connie Britton

Jon Cryer and Connie Britton to present at Creative Arts Emmys

Emmy Statuette Detail ZoomStatuettes doled out at the Creative Arts Emmys on Sept. 10 will be presented by some interesting pairings of on-screen and off-screen talent, including Jon Cryer and Chuck Lorre ("Two and a Half Men"), Connie Britton and Jason Katims ("Friday Night Lights"), Mitzi Gaynor and Bob Mackie ("Mitzi Roaring in the 20s"), Alison Brie and Dan Harmon ("Community"), Phil Keoghan and Bertram Van Munster ("The Amazing Race"), Noah Wyle and Robert Rodat ("Falling Skies"), Nick Tweed Simmons and Gene Simmons ("Gene Simmons: Family Jewels"), Kiernan Shipka and Matthew Weiner ("Mad Men"), and Jeff Probst and Mark Burnett ("Survivor"). More names are to be announced soon.

The ceremony will be held at the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles. An edited version of the telecast will air Sept. 17 at 8 p.m Eastern and again at 8 p.m. Pacific on Reelzchannel. The Primetime Emmy Awards will be held Sept. 18.

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Photo: Academy of Television Arts & Sciences


Will 'American Horror Story' be cursed at the Emmys?

'American Horror Story'

Ryan Murphy's new FX series is no laughing matter. While his current project "Glee" just racked up 12 Emmy nominations in various comedy races, Murphy's newest venture, "American Horror Story," is a frightening, sexual thriller -- and not the Michael Jackson kind of "Thriller" that the "Glee" kids sang about.

Murphy is no stranger to risky content. His previous FX series, "Nip/Tuck," constantly pushed the envelope in regards to sex and gore. That show was rewarded as best drama series at the Golden Globes in 2005, but didn't fare too well at the Emmys. It never received a series nod, nor any recognition for its main actors. Will "American Horror Story" have what it takes to break into the tough race for drama series?

Typically, genre shows have had a hard time being recognized by the Emmy Awards, but in recent times, things have started to shift slightly. Just this year, fantasy series "Game of Thrones" made it into the top race, and last year sci-fi series "Lost" and "True Blood" were both contenders. "Lost" even won the top drama prize for its first season (2005).

If "American Horror Story" can't make it into the drama race, perhaps some of its award-worthy performers can. Previous nominee Dylan McDermott ("The Practice") leads the cast alongside Connie Britton ("Friday Night Lights"), who received her second consecutive nomination for lead actress this year. Also among the cast are four-time Emmy nominee Frances Conroy ("Six Feet Under") and two-time Academy Award winner Jessica Lange ("Tootsie" and "Blue Sky").

After screening the pilot, critics are having mixed reactions to Murphy's newest series. Matt Roush (TV Guide) described the series as "a hot mess, a berserk and luridly overstuffed mash-up of hyper-sexualized and psychologically perverse haunted-house jolts." Conversely, while Linda Holmes (NPR) saw the pilot as "very, very over-the-top," she also found it "wildly entertaining."

Though the Oct. 5 premiere date is still months away, check out this just-released trailer below for "American Horror Story."

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Photo: "American Horror Story." Credit: FX


Is 'Friday Night Lights' the new 'Barney Miller' at the Emmys?

Friday Night Lights Barney Miller News

In your wildest imagination, would you compare "Friday Night Lights" to "Barney Miller"? If it wins as best drama series next month at the Emmy Awards, the programs would certainly have one critical achievement in common: They'll be the only multiple-season TV series ever to win best drama or comedy once, for their final seasons.

Back in 1982, ABC's police-station comedy "Barney Miller" stole the Emmy as best comedy series  from three-time champ "Taxi," previous winner "M*A*S*H," "Love, Sidney" and "WKRP in Cincinnati." Previously, "Barney Miller" had lost the top race six consecutive times but then finally got the last laugh as it left the airwaves.  There is no other case like it in the history of the Emmys. ("My World and Welcome to It" won best comedy series for its only year on TV, 1970.)

The first three years for "Friday Night Lights" on NBC yielded virtually nothing at the Emmys: five technical nods with a win for casting in 2007. But a big campaign by its new home on DirecTV in 2010 started the ball rolling toward new recognition. For its fifth and final season, the Texas football-themed show brought in major bids for series, acting (Connie Britton, Kyle Chandler) and writing (Jason Katims for the overall finale "Always"). The show also won the program of the year award bestowed by the TV Critics Association this month.

Of course, it will be hard to defeat three-time reigning champ "Mad Men," Golden Globe and SAG ensemble winner "Boardwalk Empire," as well as "Dexter," "Game of Thrones" and "The Good Wife." But if "Friday Night Lights" does it, the cast and crew should give a tip of their helmets to Hal Linden and the boys from New York's 12th Precinct when they accept their award.

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Photos: "Friday Night Lights" (DirecTV, NBC), left, "Barney Miller" (ABC).


Emmy contenders: Connie Britton's 'FNL' love affair

Connie Britton as Tami Taylor 
“Friday Night Lights” was a show full of delightful surprises, not the least of which was its continued existence. Almost every year of the show’s five seasons, first on NBC and then in a deal between the network and DirecTV, the question arose whether the acclaimed but low-rated drama would return. But a rabid fan following and good critical reviews kept it alive for five full seasons.

“We had no reason to ever believe that we would come back, and yet we always believed we would,” says Connie Britton, who played Tami Taylor, wife to high school football coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler). She originated the role in the 2004 feature film “Friday Night Lights” before joining the TV cast at the urging of Peter Berg, the movie’s co-writer and director. (Berg created the television show, which was then helmed by Jason Katims.)

Emmy nods came for Britton and Chandler last year for their work on Season 4, just after they had finished shooting the fifth and final season. They were nominated again this year, along with Katims and the show itself. “There’s a certain level of poetry to this whole experience,” Britton notes of all the post-cancellation nominations. “Nothing happened on this show in the predictable television ways.”

Critics and fans have been calling Tami and Coach the best couple on TV since the show started. Did you expect that reaction?

Listen, when I was kicking and screaming with Pete Berg at the beginning of this thing, saying this is a terrible idea for me to play this part, I never could have imagined that this would be a football show that was actually about a marriage. That was a shocker.

 Why didn’t you want to take up the role again?

I thought it was going to be the most thankless part. If you watch the movie, there’s not a lot there [for the wife]. I had three scenes in the pilot. So to have the first season end where Tami becomes pregnant, with this beautiful moment between Tami and the Coach, involving so many complex marital and life issues, that was the most surprising thing of all.

Were there any other big revelations that first season?

That Kyle and I had such an immediate liking for each other, and chemistry with each other, was a total surprise to everyone.

You two conveyed so much, often without saying a word to each other.

That was one of our favorite parts. We’d get the scripts, and look at our scenes and say OK, how can we express all this in the most simple, honest way to each other? So we would reduce a lot of long speeches to looks.

You took away your own lines?

I know, how often does that happen, where an actor is like, ‘Actually I’d like to have fewer lines.’

I think it’s just you guys and Clint Eastwood.

It’s all about economical communication.

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