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Category: Emmys

'Boardwalk Empire' rules Creative Arts Emmys

Boardwalk_Empire

"Boardwalk Empire" ruled the Creative Arts Emmys by winning seven prizes. If it picks up two more next weekend at the main Primetime Emmys telecast, it will tie the record held by "The West Wing" for most series victories in a single year.

The HBO series won best art direction, casting, cinematography, editing, makeup and sound editing. It even claimed the prize for best visual effects, beating several heavily favored rivals that feature the kind of fantasy elements that usually pay off: "Game of Thrones," "Stargate Universe" and "The Walking Dead." Next week it has a strong chance of winning several lead trophies, including best drama series, lead actor (Steve Buscemi) and director (Martin Scorsese). If it takes all three, it will set a new Emmy record with 10. "Boardwalk" is also up for best supporting actress, but most pundits don't believe Kelly Macdonald can win.

Paul McCrane ("Harry's Law") and Loretta Devine ("Grey's Anatomy") won the awards for guest acting in a drama series, while the equivalent prizes in the comedy category went to Justin Timberlake ("Saturday Night Live") and Gwyneth Paltrow ("Glee"). Timberlake also shared in the victory for his "Saturday Night Live" monologue tune in the race for best song.

PHOTOS: Creative Arts Emmys red carpet

Devine's victory was a major upset over front-runners Julia Stiles ("Dexter") and Joan Cusack ("Shameless"). McCrane's win also was a surprise considering most pundits were betting on an easy win for five-time past champ Michael J. Fox ("The Good Wife").

In past years, "Deadliest Catch" lost best nonfiction series five times, but it switched to the reality program contest this year where it staged a win over "Hoarders," "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List," "MythBusters" and "Antiques Roadshow." It also prevailed in three other tech races, tying "Gettysburg" for second biggest champ at the Creative Arts Emmys. "Gettysburg" won best nonfiction special plus three tech slots.

"The Kennedys" continued its redemption at the Emmys after being dumped by the History Channel and being telecast on the rebound by Reelz. It tied "Mildred Pierce" for three wins. "The Kennedys" won for makeup, hairstyling and soundmixing. "Mildred Pierce" won for casting, music and art direction.

"Futurama" also reaped network revenge by winning best animated program after a previous victory in 2002. The program was dropped by Fox a few years ago, but later picked up by Comedy Central. "The Simpsons" had been heavily favored to win the race this year. "Futurama" also won the voiceover prize for Maurice LaMarche.

Jeff Probst continued his romp through the race for best reality host, winning it every year of the category's existence (four).

-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: "Boardwalk Empire." Credit: HBO


Creative Arts Emmys: Live coverage and chat

Creative arts emmys

Follow the Creative Arts Emmys today live via video stream as Envelope blogger Tom O'Neil and forum moderators Matt Noble, Chris Beachum, Daniel Montgomery and Adam Waldowski offer news reports and commentary from 4 p.m. to  7:30 p.m. Pacific time. Marcus Dixon reports breaking news from the ceremony at the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles, including all winners as they're announced. See full list of winners here. Pipe in below with your questions and, of course, any snarky comments.


Live broadcasting by Ustream

Photo: Academy of Television Arts & Sciences


Elisabeth Moss: There's more to be revealed about Peggy and Don

Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) and Don Draper (Jon Hamm) pull an all-nighter on Mad Men 

Granted, it has been a while, but do you remember Peggy Olson’s jaw dropping when Don Draper sprung his engagement news on the folks at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce in the Season 4 finale of “Mad Men”?

Turns out that reaction didn’t involve much acting on the part of Elisabeth Moss, the Emmy-nominated actress who so memorably brings Olson to life.

“Oh, yes, reading that script, that moment came as a complete surprise,” Moss says. “And I think Peggy’s reaction is there as a stand-in for the audience too. ‘You’re what?’”

Some dedicated “Mad Men” bloggers have suggested that Peggy’s reaction betrays a hint of jealousy and concern that she might lose her place as Don’s confidante, particularly after their memorable (albeit platonic) night together in the episode “The Suitcase.”

“I think that’s a dangerous thing to say,” Moss says. “People are quick to think that Don and Peggy are an item that way. There are many forms of jealousy. [Don’s fiancee] Megan’s a beautiful woman. I don’t think Peggy wants to be the one engaged to Don. It’s just sort of a natural female jealousy.”

But will Don and Megan still be engaged -- or perhaps married -- when “Mad Men” returns for its fifth season in March?

Moss isn’t spilling the beans. But she does offer a tantalizing clue that tracks back to Peggy’s initial shock.

“I think there’s probably more to be revealed as to why she reacts that way,” Moss says, smiling. “But … um … that’s probably all I should say on the subject.”

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-- Glenn Whipp

Photo: Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) and Don Draper (Jon Hamm) pull on all-nighter on "Mad Men." Credit: AMC


Emmy nominee Amy Poehler says L.A. takes getting used to

Parks and Recreation star Amy Poehler in West Hollywood

With “Parks and Recreation” up and running for its fourth season, self-described “East Coast girl” and comedy actress Emmy nominee Amy Poehler has pulled up stakes from her New York digs and returned to Los Angeles with husband Will Arnett and their sons — Archie, 2, and Abel, 1. (Yes, when selecting names, alliteration was a plus.)

Poehler will never get used to L.A. weather. (“It confounds me,” she says. “People who live here like to tell you that there are seasons in L.A. because one week is rainier than usual. No. Sorry. That’s not a season.”) And she’s just getting used to the Southland’s sprawling layout, which she says makes it too easy to “hide in your house and never see anyone.”

“In New York, you feel like you have accomplished something just by doing an errand,” Poehler says. “You go outside and see all these people and you interact with them. You meet someone in the street, you make a plan. You feel very engaged.”

And those interactions, Poehler says, come with a directness often absent in Los Angeles. “I find California to be very sideways,” she says. “In New York, when you’re talking to someone in the street, you say, ‘Oh, I gotta go.’ ‘Why?’ ‘I’ve been talking to you too long. I gotta go.’

“Whereas there’s a certain fluidity and poetry in California that I’m starting to get into and find groovy and understand more. It’s taken a long time, though. I still feel like I’m always the one talking the loudest and fastest in the room.”

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Julianna Margulies and Amy Poehler to present Emmy Awards

Emmys: For 'Parks and Recreation's' Amy Poehler, it's about validation ... and 'Carmageddon'

— Glenn Whipp

Photo: "Parks and Recreation" star Amy Poehler in West Hollywood. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Time.


Julianna Margulies and Amy Poehler to present Emmy Awards

Margulies

Four nominees are among the six stars announced as presenters at the Primetime Emmys on Sept. 18.

They include "The Good Wife" star Julianna Margulies, who is up for lead drama actress; "Modern Family's" Sofia Vergara, nominated for supporting comedy actress; "Parks and Recreation" star Amy Poehler, contender for lead comedy actress; and her husband, Will Arnett, who is in the running for best guest comedy actor, for "30 Rock."

One night before Ashton Kutcher's debut on "Two and a Half Men," he will pitch in to dole out the Emmy statuettes. And Emmycaster Fox network will tout its new show "New Girl" by including star Zooey Deschanel at the kudofest's podium.

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Emmy smackdown: Who'll win best actor in a TV movie/mini?

Emmy race for best variety series: Can 'Daily Show' be beaten?

-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: Julianna Margulies in "The Good Wife." Credit: CBS


Laura Linney is Emmy front-runner for best comedy actress

Laura Linney in "The Big C"

There are several reasons why most pundits predict Laura Linney ("The Big C") will win the Emmy for best comedy actress. For starters, the three-time past champ has never lost. Her first victory was for best guest comedy actress in "Frasier" (2004); her other two were in the contest for best actress in a movie/miniseries ( "Wild Iris" in 2002, "John Adams" in 2008). This year she competes for best comedy actress for her new TV series on Showtime, which has owned the category for the last two years with victories by Toni Collette for "United States of Tara" (2009) and Edie Falco ("Nurse Jackie") in 2010.

Linney gave Emmy judges the pilot episode, a potent mix of defiant comedy and high drama in which she battles her neighbor, students, husband and son while hiding the secret that she's got cancer. It's loaded with so much emotional impact, range and sympathy that she'll be hard to beat.

However, four of the other five nominees submitted episodes that give them a strong fighting chance. "Saturday Night Live" alums Amy Poehler ("Parks and Recreation") and Tina Fey ("30 Rock") both submitted strong material.

Poehler entered "Flu Season," in which her character -- small-town civil servant Leslie Knope -- comes down with the flu but insists on making an important presentation to the chamber of commerce anyway. The hilarity of her performance builds as, first, she battles flu symptoms, then the mind-altering effects of her medication. Poehler doesn't display Linney's gravitas, but she's a lot funnier. Her only problem may be that "Flu Season" is an ensemble-driven episode, which means she has far less screen time than Linney.

Fey might have the same problem in her "30 Rock" episode, "Double Edged Sword," in which she battles her boyfriend, airline pilot Carol (guest-acting nominee Matt Damon), during a lengthy flight delay. She's terrific while battling on the behalf of her fellow passengers, but she shares the episode with two major subplots -– one involving Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) winning an Oscar, and the other following Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) and his wife in Canada –- so she might also be at a disadvantage.

Ironically, screen time is not a problem for Martha Plimpton, who many thought would have been better off competing in the supporting category for "Raising Hope." But entering the lead race proved to be a shrewd move. She earned a nomination and submitted "Say Cheese," one of her best episodes of the season, in which she is shown in flashbacks trying to corral her family for the perfect family portrait photo. She's arguably more of a lead actress in this episode than Poehler and Fey are in theirs. Plimpton was a surprise nominee, but if she wins, don't say I didn't warn you.

Melissa McCarthy is also a potential spoiler. She came out of nowhere to secure a nomination for CBS' "Mike & Molly," undoubtedly helped by her increased notoriety from this summer's blockbuster comedy "Bridesmaids." She stands a fair chance thanks to her episode, "First Date," in which she, like Poehler, reacts strongly to a heavy dose of cold medicine. She wouldn't be the first star to upset at the Emmys with the help of a hit movie; Katherine Heigl won best supporting drama actress for "Grey's Anatomy" in 2007, the same year she starred in Judd Apatow's "Knocked Up."

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Who'll win the Emmy race for best drama series actor?

Buscemi hamm

Finally, there is suspense in the Emmy race for best actor in a drama series. Three-time champ Bryan Cranston is not in the contest since "Breaking Bad" didn't air new episodes in the eligibility period. The current nominees: Steve Buscemi ("Boardwalk Empire"), Kyle Chandler ("Friday Night Lights"), Michael C. Hall ("Dexter"), Jon Hamm ("Mad Men"), Hugh Laurie ("House"), and Timothy Olyphant ("Justified").

Hamm has lost all three times in this category to Cranston, so he has never known defeat to anyone else. Maybe he has been in second place all these years? For this past season of "Mad Men," he had his best showcase ever with the episode "The Suitcase," which was submitted to Emmy judges. In it, his character Don Draper gets drunk with coworker Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) one night while working late and finds out a friend has died in California. It is a surprisingly emotional performance from a character that normally keeps everything bottled up inside.

Most pundits believe that his closest competition is with Buscemi ("Boardwalk Empire"), who has already won this year at the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards. In the season finale "A Return to Normalcy," his character Nucky Thompson, a politician with mobster ties, lets down his guard on election day with Margaret (Kelly Macdonald) when he recounts the tragic deaths of his wife and baby years earlier.

Hall has been nodded three times as Dexter Morgan, a secret, sympathetic serial killer employed by the Miami police on "Dexter." His riveting performance on last year's Emmy submission, the season finale "The Getaway," had tons of action and the surprise ending with his wife murdered in his bathtub. Since Hall couldn't win for that, it's doubtful that his latest episode submission can triumph: "Teenage Wasteland," which doesn't have that kind of energy but does feature a nice story arc depicting his search for a new set of killers while being worried that his stepdaughter is missing.

Olyphant ("Justified") is the only Emmy rookie in this field. In his episode "Reckoning," he portrays U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, who searches frantically for a murderer and ultimately drags the suspect out in the woods where he must decide whether he will live or die. It is a very compelling, forceful performance of a lawman distributing his own form of justice, not unlike the performance given by Kiefer Sutherland ("24") when when he won in 2006.

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Emmy race for best variety series: Can 'Daily Show' be beaten?

Jon-Stewart-the-daily-show

Can anybody, even Jon Stewart himself, stop "The Daily Show" from winning another Emmy Award for best variety series?

Stewart and his Comedy Central mock news show have won this category for eight consecutive years. To many Emmy watchers, it appeared that he was actually conceding the race last year when he submitted a ho-hum, run-of-the-mill episode with guest Roland Martin to be evaluated by Emmy judges. The program was unlike many of his earlier election-based or red hot episodes that had prevailed. When he didn't even show up for the ceremony in 2010, it seemed like he was throwing his support to his friend Stephen Colbert's "The Colbert Report," which submitted a powerful episode that included a visit from President Obama while Colbert entertained U.S. troops in Iraq. Stewart is an executive producer of that show too, so he would have won another Emmy even if "The Daily Show" lost.

When the ho-hum episode of "Daily Show" ended up winning, it beat the tearful, hilarious finale of "The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien" and the celebrated Betty White episode of "Saturday Night Live."

This year the Stewart team has submitted much better material with a December episode featuring guest Mike Huckabee. In the program, Stewart is visibly and vocally upset at Congress gumming up the works for a healthcare bill to benefit 9/11 relief workers. Weeks later, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York visited the show and gave Stewart credit for helping the bill become law. A ninth Emmy for best variety series might be his reward.

As for the other 2011 competitors, most are familiar faces with great submissions once again. "The Colbert Report" competes for the sixth time and entered a good episode from January with guest Cornel West. NBC's "Saturday Night Live" comes out swinging with its best episode of the season, featuring musical guest Lady Gaga and Emmy nominee Justin Timberlake hosting.

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Emmy smackdown: Who'll win best actor in a TV movie/mini?

Carlos

Edgar Ramirez is probably breathing a sigh of relief that Al Pacino has already won an Emmy Award for his performance in "You Don't Know Jack." Pacino beat Ramirez at the recent Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards, but because of different eligibility periods, Ramirez has a mostly new slate of competitors at the Emmys on Sept. 18.

According to many pundits' predictions, Ramirez is the front-runner to win lead actor in a TV movie or miniseries. His Sundance Channel miniseries "Carlos" featured his mesmerizing and volatile performance as Carlos the Jackal, a terrorist who became infamous in 1975 for his raid on OPEC headquarters in Vienna. The five-hour film originally screened at the Cannes Film Festival and actually was featured on several 2010 film critic lists and awards. Even though many thought Ramirez's performance could have been an Oscar contender, the film was not eligible for consideration because of its TV airings. Curiously, "Carlos" itself is not nominated as best TV movie or miniseries, so the overall support might be weaker than thought, leaving an opening for another nominee to prevail.

Oscar winner William Hurt ("Kiss of the Spider Woman") seeks his first Emmy Award on his second nomination. He starred as Secretary of Treasury Hank Paulson in HBO's "Too Big to Fail" and gave a world-weary performance of a man shouldering the responsibility of the 2008 financial meltdown.

Two-time Emmy winner Laurence Fishburne gave a riveting performance as Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall to receive his fifth overall nomination. It was a filmed production of his one-man stage show, which also brought him a Tony Award nod last year. Other "live" performances nominated recently such as those by Kevin Kline ("Cyrano de Bergerac") and Ian McKellen ("King Lear") could not win this category.

Idris Elba garnered two Emmy nods this year, one in this category for the BBC America miniseries "Luther" and a guest acting bid for Showtime's "The Big C." For this nomination, he portrayed Detective Chief Inspector John Luther working for the Serious Crime Unit in London. Realistically, "Luther" should be classified as a drama series, but the same loophole that permitted FX network's "Thief" to compete as a mini in 2006 resulted in a win for Andre Braugher.

Rounding out the category are previous Oscar nominee Greg Kinnear ("As Good As It Gets") and former Emmy nominee Barry Pepper ("61*") as members of American royal family "The Kennedys," which aired on ReelzChannel. Kinnear does an able job portraying John F. Kennedy and Pepper is solid as Bobby Kennedy, but they don't give the kind of big, grandstanding performances that usually win here.

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'Mad Men' may tie record as Emmy's drama series champ

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— Tom O'Neil

Photo: Edgar Ramirez (right) in "Carlos." Credit: Sundance Channel.


Emmy battle: 'Mildred Pierce' vs. 'Downton Abbey'

Mildred vs downton

When it comes to the movie/miniseries categories, Emmy voters love to take a trip down memory lane. Just take a look back at recent winners like "The Pacific," "Temple Grandin, "Grey Gardens," "John Adams," "Recount," "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" and "Elizabeth I" to see the trend in action.

It is more apparent than ever this year because all six nominees are period pieces in the newly combined category of best TV movie/miniseries. Of the 2011 candidates, four are multi-part miniseries and only two are movies. They all come with healthy pedigrees in both their stories and creative talents.

Most Emmy pundits predict victory for HBO's "Mildred Pierce," which has 21 nominations, the most of all programs competing this year. Academy Award-nominated director-writer Todd Haynes ("Far From Heaven") adapted the book by James M. Cain that was a film in 1945, winning an Oscar for Joan Crawford. Another Oscar winner, Kate Winslet, stars as the title character as the story follows her romances, tragedies and estranged relationship with her overdemanding daughter (nominee Evan Rachel Wood) in 1930s California.

However, watch out for an upset by "Downton Abbey," which was the most buzzed-about, critically hailed show on the BBC last year. Airing on PBS in America, it focuses on aristocratic family members and their servants. Academy Award-winning writer Julian Fellowes ("Gosford Park") penned "Downton Abbey," which is set in England after World War I and is nodded in 11 Emmy categories. It is favored to win some major awards itself, especially for writing and supporting actress Maggie Smith.

Emmy voters are suckers for snooty British fare, as proved by recent upsets in this category by "Little Dorrit" (2009) and "The Lost Prince" (2005). "Downton Abbey" looks a lot like the original "Upstairs, Downstairs," which won the Emmy for best drama series three times (1974, 1975 and 1977) and best miniseries once (1976). However, "Downton Abbey" is vulnerable on the contemporary awards scene. Last year, when it competed at BAFTA as a drama series, it got usurped by "Sherlock." Now at the U.S. Emmys, there's much controversy over it being repackaged as a miniseries.

Another contender in this category, with 11 bids, is "Too Big to Fail," an HBO movie directed by Oscar- winning screenwriter Curtis Hanson ("L.A. Confidential"). Emmy nominee William Hurt leads an all-star cast, which also includes nominees Paul Giamatti and James Woods in the behind-the-scenes story of the 2008 financial meltdown and its effects on Wall Street and Washington.

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