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Category: Jim Parsons

Secret behind Jim Parsons' and Julie Bowen's Emmy victories

Jim parsons

Most Emmy pundits bet that Steve Carell would finally win best comedy actor for his last season on "The Office" just like Sarah Jessica Parker finally won her overdue, elusive Emmy for her final year on "Sex and the City." In the race for best supporting comedy actress, most bets were on Emmy host Jane Lynch winning for "Glee."

But victories were scored by Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory") and Julie Bowen ("Modern Family") instead. How did they do it?

Both stars benefited from a quirk of Emmy voting: They were nominated against costars. Because winners are chosen by a small jury of voters evaluating single episodes, they get to be seen more than once. Parsons also gave judges a performance on costar Johnny Galecki's episode submission. Bowen gave judges an extra performance on Sofia Vergara's episode.

That's why it was no surprise that Ty Burrell won best supporting comedy actor, as widely expected. He was nominated against three "Modern Family" costars: Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ed O'Neill and Eric Stonestreet.


Emmys 2011: Red carpet photos

Emmys 2011: Complete coverage

Alec Baldwin confirms that his Emmy skit was cut

-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: Jim Parsons in "The Big Bang Theory." Credit: CBS

Emmys: Tom O'Neil's daredevil predictions

Of all Hollywood showbiz awards, the Emmy is most confounding to predict because winners are chosen by small juries viewing sample episodes submitted by nominees as examples of their best work. But I've investigated all entries and I enjoy jumping off cliffs ... so here goes.

Emmy Q
Prediction: "Mad Men"
Runner-up: "Boardwalk Empire"

Prediction: Jon Hamm, "Mad Men"
Runner-up: Steve Buscemi, "Boardwalk Empire"

Prediction: Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife"
Runner-up: Elisabeth Moss, "Mad Men"

Prediction: John Slattery, "Mad Men"
Runner-up: Josh Charles, "The Good Wife"

Prediction: Margo Martindale, "Justified"
Runner-up: Christina Hendricks, "Mad Men"

Prediction: "Modern Family"
Runner-up: "Parks and Recreation"

Prediction: Steve Carell, "The Office"
Runner-up: Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory"

Prediction: Laura Linney, "The Big C"
Runner-up: Amy Poehler, "Parks and Recreation"

Prediction: Ty Burrell, "Modern Family"
Runner-Up: Chris Colfer, "Glee"

Prediction: Jane Lynch, "Glee"
Runner-up: Betty White, "Hot in Cleveland"

Prediction: "Downton Abbey"
Runner-up: "The Kennedys"

Prediction: Edgar Ramirez, "Carlos"
Runner-up: Laurence Fishburne, "Thurgood"

Prediction: Kate Winslet, "Mildred Pierce"
Runner-up: Jean Marsh, "Upstairs, "Downstairs"

Prediction: Tom Wilkinson, "The Kennedys"
Runner-up: Guy Pearce, "Mildred Pierce"

Prediction: Evan Rachel Wood, "Mildred Pierce"
Runner-up: Maggie Smith, "Downton Abbey"

Prediction: "Project Runway"
Runner-up: "Top Chef"

Prediction: "The Daily Show"
Runner-up: "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon"


Uh-oh! Is 'Mad Men' in trouble at the Emmys?

Poll: What new TV series will be the next Emmy champ?

Emmy diva smackdown: Julianna Margulies vs. Elisabeth Moss

-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: Academy of Television Arts & Sciences

Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki: Emmys' new 'Odd Couple'

"Odd Couple" and "The Big Bang Theory"
Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki are Emmy's new "Odd Couple," so to speak. In terms of Emmy history, the "Big Bang Theory" actors are only the third set of costars nominated for lead comedy actor, following Jack Klugman and Tony Randall ("The Odd Couple," 1971-1975) and Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry ("Friends," 2002).

Parsons and Galecki star together on the CBS comedy hit series "The Big Bang Theory," but only Parsons has been recognized by the TV academy in the past. He was nominated for lead comedy actor in 2009 and won in 2010. Galecki received his first bid this summer, and together they face off against two-time winner Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock"), six-time nominee Steve Carell ("The Office"), three-time nominee LeBlanc ("Episodes") and first-time acting nominee Louis C.K. ("Louie").

Why in the 63 years of the Emmy Awards has this been such a rare event? In looking back over the major contenders, you'll notice that most of them focus on one male star rather than two or more (unlike female-based shows such as "Desperate Housewives," "The Golden Girls" or "Kate and Allie"). With shows such as "All in the Family" (Carroll O'Connor), "Cheers" (Ted Danson), "Everybody Loves Raymond" (Ray Romano), "Frasier" (Kelsey Grammer), "MASH" (Alan Alda), "Monk" (Tony Shalhoub) and so many others throughout TV history, there were easily recognized singular male stars, and all the other men were supporting players.

Another CBS hit comedy, "Two and a Half Men," tried to place Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer as leads the first two seasons (2004, 2005), but neither man could get nominated. Then in 2006, producers kept Sheen as lead but moved Cryer to supporting, resulting in a four-year run of nods for Sheen, and six nods and counting for Cryer (plus a win in 2009). "Friends" allowed all six of its stars to submit in supporting the first few years and finally moved them all into lead in 2002 (resulting in the bids by LeBlanc and Perry). Currently, the "Modern Family" adult actors could certainly get nominated in either category, but they have all teamed up to go into the supporting slots (and all six were nominated this season).

Could this double "Big Bang" combo actually pay off in a win next month? It is basically a 50-50 proposition based on the previous results. Klugman won twice (1971, 1973) and Randall once for the final season (1975). Of the other three attempts, Klugman and Randall lost to O'Connor in 1972 and Alda in 1974; LeBlanc and Perry lost to Romano in 2002.


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-- Tom O'Neil

Photo (left): "The Odd Couple." Credit: ABC

Photo (right): "The Big Bang Theory." Credit: CBS

Can any comedy series dethrone 'Modern Family' at the Emmys?

Modern Family

"Modern Family" won a decisive victory at the Emmys last year, taking six awards out of 14 nominations including best comedy, and this year the series is considered an even stronger front-runner with 17 nods, which is more than any other comedy.

TV's top award certainly likes to act a lot like a TV repeat. "30 Rock" won three in a row from 2007 to 2009, "All in the Family" and "Cheers" won four apiece, and "Fraiser" won a record five in a row from 1994 to 1998. Most Emmy pundits are predicting "Modern Family" will continue the trend with a repeat win this year, but is its victory inevitable?

Previous winners "The Office" and "30 Rock" are back in the running this year, as well as last year's nominee "Glee." But this is the first time voters will have the chance to honor "The Big Bang Theory" or "Parks and Recreation" in the top series race. Could Emmy voters buck convention by rewarding new blood?

Support has been steadily building for "Big Bang" since it premiered in 2007. It didn't receive any nominations for its first season, but it broke through in 2009 with acting nods for lead star Jim Parsons and guest actress Christine Baranski. Last year it earned a total of five nods, winning its first Emmy for Parsons. And this year it earned another five bids: a repeat nomination for Parsons, along with a surprise nod for his co-star Johnny Galecki and the show's first-ever nomination for best comedy series.

Five nominations may seem like scant support compared with 17 for "Modern Family," but unlike the Oscars, where the most-nominated film usually wins best picture, at the Emmys sometimes less turns out to be more. Remember, in 1998 "The Practice" won its first Emmy for best drama series with only four nominations, compared with the 16 earned that year by "ER" and "The X-Files." And last year, even though "Glee" had more nominations than "Modern Family" (19 to 14), it still lost the top prize.

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Can anyone beat Steve Carell at the Emmys?

Steve carell the office emmy news

Most Emmy watchers put Steve Carell out front to win best comedy actor for "The Office." This is his sixth nomination for playing hapless boss Michael Scott on the hit NBC sitcom, in addition to four noms for producing, but he's never won. (The series won best comedy in 2006, but that was before Carell received a producing credit.) He left the show this year, and now he's hoping the Emmys will give him a farewell hug the way it did to Sarah Jessica Parker ("Sex and the City") and Michael J. Fox ("Spin City"), who both won for their last years in contention.

But Emmy voters are not always a sentimental bunch. John Goodman never won for "Roseanne" despite seven nominations, though he finally won his first prize for guest-starring on "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" in 2007. And more recently, Martin Sheen was sent away empty-handed after seven unsuccessful bids for "The West Wing."

This year Carell submitted a dynamic episode to Emmy judges: "Goodbye, Michael," in which he struggles to say farewell to his employees, leading to a teary moment with Jim Halpert (John Krasinski). Will that episode in addition to overdue sentiment be enough to propel him to victory?

Perhaps, but perhaps not. He faces strong competition from last year's winner, Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory"), who submitted "The Agreement Dissection," in which he battles Leonard (Johnny Galecki) over a violation of their roommate agreement and then goes dancing with the girls. But Parsons has another weapon in his arsenal: his costar Galecki, who was a surprise nominee in this category and submitted "The Benefactor Factor," in which Leonard is propositioned by a wealthy woman to exchange sex for research funding. But it also gives Parsons a second episode for voters to judge, which could help him pull off an upset against Carell.

Also threatening Carell is another surprise nominee: Louis C.K., whose critically acclaimed FX series, "Louie," is the only program in this category currently airing new episodes, meaning he'll be the freshest in voters' minds. Also, he benefits from the Cool Factor that helped propel another edgy comic to a win in this category in 2007: Ricky Gervais ("Extras"). C.K. submitted the episode "Bully," in which a frightening encounter with a young punk leads him to commiserate privately with the punk's father. It's a sympathetic performance, not loaded with laughter, but dramatic-skewing performances have won comedy performances before — as Edie Falco ("Nurse Jackie") demonstrated last year.

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The actors' Emmy episode submissions: What we know so far

Mad men the suitcase news

The Emmy nominations won't be announced until July 14, but many acting contenders are already weighing which sample episodes they should submit to judges if they score a bid. Below is a compilation of what we know about their leanings so far, but the decisions are not final. This information has been gathered from the stars' publicists, our interviews with contenders and various Internet sources. Nothing is final until specific episodes are submitted officially to Emmy jurors.

Among the drama contenders, "Mad Men" might finally win an acting trophy (or two) thanks to Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss submitting "The Suitcase," which feels like a two-person play packed with drunken confessions. Speaking of boozing, two-time past Emmy champ William H. Macy gets big, grandstanding scenes in the season finale of "Shameless" when he must atone for his drunken behavior.

In her showcase episode of "Sons of Anarchy," Katey Sagal appears tough and tender as she reunites with her father (Hal Holbrook), who suffers from dementia. Timothy Olyphant ("Justified") is considering one of two final episodes of a season filled with great action scenes, murders and a suicide.

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Can Jim Parsons make a big bang at the Emmys again? [video]

Jim parsons big bang theory emmyIs "The Big Bang Theory" the new "Third Rock From the Sun"? That is, will it finally get an Emmy nomination for best comedy series after its star won the lead actor's prize? "Third Rock" didn't break into the series race till 1997, one year after John Lithgow led the way by winning his first of three best actor Emmys.

Jim Parsons' victory last year set off a real bang at the Nokia Theatre since it defied the longstanding prejudice Emmy voters often have against young-skewing TV comedies. It also jolted the Emmy recipient.

"It's very hard to get your feet on the ground and absorb the experience in the moment," Parsons says in our webcam chat about his win. "It has a real feeling of unreality to it and I found it hard to wrap my brain around."

Currently, Parsons stars on Broadway in "The Normal Heart," which just won the Tony Award for best revival of a play, but its victory was bittersweet. The enormous hubbub and critical praise surrounding the current production inevitably makes you wonder: Was a crucial opportunity lost? Why did it take 26 years for "The Normal Heart" to get its first Broadway staging? If it had made it to the Great White Way 26 years ago and had been greeted with the same wild acclaim, its message –- a desperate cry to halt the dawning AIDS crisis -– may have helped to save millions of lives.

But Parsons has a positive outlook toward its current Broadway debut: "In some ways, this production is offering people a chance to mourn, the chance to have enough perspective and distance to take in, emotionally, what that meant to go through."

We discuss "The Normal Heart" and "The Big Bang Theory" in depth in our webcam chat below.

-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: Jim Parsons at the Emmys. Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

'Game of Thrones,' 'Justified' and 'Parks and Recreation' rule bids for Television Critics Assn. awards

"Game of Thrones," "Justified," and "Parks and Recreation" lead with the most nominations (four) unveiled by the Television Critics Assn.

In the comedy lineup, "Glee," "The Big Bang Theory" and "30 Rock" were all snubbed, while there were surprise nominations for "Raising Hope" and "Louie" for best laffer.

Game of Thrones TCA Awards newsAmong TV dramas, "Justified" reaped its first bid for best series and "Friday Night Lights" gets a chance to score a final touchdown.

Oddities: "Boardwalk Empire" was not nominated for best drama series, but did make the list for program of the year. Conversely, "Mad Men" wasn't nominated for best program, but did make the cut for best drama series.

As usual, the Television Critics Assn. was heavily biased toward men in the performance categories. Out of the 12 nominations for best individual achievement in drama and comedy, only three females made the contests: Amy Poehler ("Parks and Recreation"), Julianna Margulies ("The Good Wife") and Margo Martindale ("Justified"). Surprisingly shut out: recent Golden Globe champ Katey Sagal ("Sons of Anarchy") and last year's TCA award winner Jane Lynch ("Glee").

It's interesting to compare the list of TCA nominees to the one recently issued by the rival group of tube journalists bestowing the new Critics' Choice Television Awards. While TCA considers "Raising Hope" to be among the five best TV comedies, it's not among the 10 Critics Choice contenders for best laffer. Critics' Choice nominees snubbed by TCA: "American Idol," "The Voice" and "Survivor."

Awards will be bestowed on Aug. 6 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Below, the full list of nominees:

Steve Buscemi ("Boardwalk Empire," HBO)
Peter Dinklage ("Game of Thrones," HBO)
Jon Hamm ("Mad Men," AMC)
Julianna Margulies ("The Good Wife," CBS)
Margo Martindale ("Justified," FX)
Timothy Olyphant ("Justified," FX)

Ty Burrell ("Modern Family," ABC)
Louis C.K. ("Louie," FX)
Nick Offerman ("Parks and Recreation," NBC)
Amy Poehler ("Parks and Recreation," NBC)
Danny Pudi ("Community," NBC)
Jon Stewart ("The Daily Show," Comedy Central)

"If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don't Rise" (HBO)
"Restrepo" (National Geographic Channel)
"60 Minutes" (CBS)
"The Rachel Maddow Show" (MSNBC)
"30 for 30" (ESPN)

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'The Office' farewell present to Steve Carell: Emmy?

The Office Steve Carell newsWhile appearing on "The Office," Steve Carell lost five Emmy bouts: twice to Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock"), once, most recently, to Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory"), once to Tony Shalhoub ("Monk") and once, quite ironically, to Ricky Gervais, who created the original British version of "The Office" but won his Emmy for "Extras" while competing against the U.S. version of "The Office."

Blame part of Carell's poor luck on the episodes submitted to the Emmy juries. They just didn't have the emotional oomph sufficient to knock voters' blocks off. But now Carell has two episodes that might prove victorious. For weeks, our forum commenters have been hyping his sweet marriage proposal to Holly (Amy Ryan) as a real winner. However, his farewell from the series was a heart-tugger with a plus: Being a special one-hour episode, it will be twice as long as most sitcom entries in the category.

Which one should he submit this year? Below, what our forum writers said when I posed the question. See more responses here.

Brilliance inmorbid: It was a good episode and a solid goodbye, but it could come off as overly sappy if you don't have an emotional connection to the series. Carell is the front-runner, but this isn't unbeatable.

LadyHathor25: Carell absolutely needs to go with "Goodbye, Michael". He would be a total fool to not to. This is a winning tape.

Hodag129: Tom, you're great and I appreciate all you do here, but this is a dumb question. Definitely "Goodbye Michael."

tv_freak: The goodbye episode because of screen time, sentiment, and it's equally emotional as the proposal. He may not even have the most LOL tape of the six nominees, especially if you have not watched this show from the start. All things considered, this is his episode from beginning to end.

GoMe91: I love Alec Baldwin, but if the Emmy voters give Alec the Emmy over Steve, they are not doing anyone any favors. Not the show 30 Rock. Not Alec. Because whoever weirdly beats Steve this year, will be criticized unmercifully until the next ceremony. So JUST GIVE STEVE THE EMMY ALREADY and make everyone happy. Jim Parsons already has one. Alec has two. Let's spread the love and give it to Steve after 7 amazing seasons!

-- Tom O'Neil

Photos: The farewell of Michael Scott (Steve Carell) from "The Office" (top) and his proposal to Holly (lower). Credit: NBC


Steve Carell: Farewell, 'The Office' -- Hello, Emmy?

Steve Carell: Goodbye, 'The Office' -- Hello, Emmy?

Steve Carell The Office news

Steve Carell has never won an Emmy, but now four of our six forum moderators believe he'll finally prevail for his final season in "The Office" -- Marcus Dixon, Darrin Dortch, Rob Licuria and Matt Noble. According to their newly updated rankings in the Emmy race for lead comedy actor, our moderators are split on who else may be out front to win: Chris Beachum believes two-time champ Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock") will triumph again while Matthew Cormier is betting on the return of last year's champ Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory").

Of course, it all comes down to the strength of the sample episode that the nominees decide to submit to the Emmy jury. Most of our pundits are betting on Carell because they assume he'll submit Michael's sweet marriage proposal to Holly (Amy Ryan) or else, if it's strong enough, his final farewell to the Dunder Mifflin gang.

Notice how many of our Emmy pundits believe Ed O'Neill ("Modern Family") will move up to the lead race after he failed to be nominated last year in supporting. Such a switch is speculation, not official. Also notice how none of our pundits includes past nominee Charlie Sheen ("Two and a Half Men") in their rankings. How telling is that, eh?

-- Tom O'Neil








Alec Baldwin, ‘30 Rock’







Steve Carell, ‘The Office’







Matt LeBlanc, ‘Episodes’



Danny McBride, ‘Eastbound & Down’





Joel McHale, ‘Community’





Matthew Morrison, ‘Glee’







Ed O’Neill, ‘Modern Family’





Jim Parsons, ‘Big Bang Theory’







Matthew Perry, ‘Mr. Sunshine’


Jason Schwartzman, ‘Bored to Death’


William Shatner, “.... My Dad Says’


Photo: NBC


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