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Category: Justified

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 contenders: The nominees speak their minds

Sue Sylvester 
With all the excitement over their Emmy nods, the nominees have a lot to think about these days. But more important than what they will wear or who they will thank at the Sept. 18 ceremony were far more pressing questions such as, “Is Jane Lynch going to tease me?” The Envelope had a chance to run this and other thoughts past some of the Emmy contenders; here's what they're thinking:

As Sue Sylvester on “Glee,” Jane Lynch can be downright mean. With her as host, are you nervous that she’ll poke jabs at you during her monologue? And what would she tease you about?

“Who could be the meaner person.”
— Margo Martindale, “Justified”

“She probably could talk about my [character’s] terrible wardrobe. Or the fact that I never smile.”
— Mireille Enos, “The Killing”

 “I love her, I think she’s going to be incredible. But we should all be a little worried.”
— Connie Britton, “Friday Night Lights”

“Bring it! It’s all in good fun.”
— Matt LeBlanc, “Episodes”

Betty white “Oh, she’s a great gal; she’s fun. I’m not afraid of her. I’m a big fan.”
— Betty White, “Hot in Cleveland”

"I’ve known her for a long time. She’s certainly a searing character. She’s always been very sweet to me in person, so I’m hoping she might give me a 'get out of jail' card [otherwise] I’ll just have to roll with the punches."
-- Johnny Galecki, "The Big Bang Theory"

“If she brings me up in her monologue, I’ve got reason to be nervous. But she’s very funny. I hope I can be recognized by her. That would be an honor.”
— Kyle Chandler, “Friday Night Lights”

“I’ve worked with Jane. She’s a great broad and hilarious. She can do anything she wants. She can sit on my lap. Or maybe I can sit on hers.”
— Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation”

“I’d be so happy to get a hard time from Jane Lynch. She could say anything and I’d laugh. I adore her!
I’m sooo excited. I’m such a huge fan!”
— Evan Rachel Wood, “Mildred Pierce”

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'Justified' star Margo Martindale: Emmy front-runner for best supporting drama actress

Check out the Emmy predictions over at Gold Derby in the race for supporting drama actress and you'll spot something amazing. Little-known actress Margo Martindale ("Justified") is favored by both the site's editors and users to beat such notables as Christine Baranski ("The Good Wife"), Christina Hendriks ("Mad Men") and last year's champ Archie Panjabi ("The Good Wife").

Margo martindale justified TV newsIt's all because of Emmy's two-stage voting system. The first tier is a popular vote to determine the nominees, at which point the quality of the performances is only one of many factors influencing voters. Members of the TV Academy vote for their peer groups – directors vote for directors, writers for writers, and so on – and actors, presented with long lists of eligible candidates in each category, often check off the names of well-known, well-respected actors regardless of their performances. Consider the now infamous case in which Oscar-winner Ellen Burstyn was nominated for best supporting actress in a miniseries or movie for "Mrs. Harris" in 2006 even though she appeared on screen for only a few minutes.

Margo Martindale doesn't have the strong name recognition of a star like Burstyn, so it's impressive that she was able to nab a nomination. She's a veteran character actress who has played supporting roles in movies and television for more than 20 years, and despite appearances in films like "Million Dollar Baby," "Dead Man Walking," and "The Hours," she's not a household name. Her performance on "Justified" during its freshman series wowed TV critics, but Emmy voters didn't seem to be watching the series, which received just one nomination for its first season last year: best main title theme music (losing to "Nurse Jackie"). As this year's Emmy derby approached, award watchers wondered: Would voters single her out against more famous names like Sharon Gless ("Burn Notice"), Debra Winger ("In Treatment"), and Lorraine Bracco ("Rizzoli & Isles")? She recently won best supporting actress at the Critics Choice TV Awards and was nominated for a TV Critics Assn. Award, but she reaped those laurels too late to affect voting for Emmy nominations.

Nonetheless, this year it turns out voters were paying attention, and, now that she's got the nomination, she has an excellent shot to win. That's because familiarity and reputation are less important in the second stage of voting. To determine the winner, actors must submit a single sample episode, and history shows that the best episode usually wins, even when it means an underdog defeating a major star.

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Emmys: 'Justified's' Walton Goggins is 'floating in a vat of liquid gratitude'

Walton Goggins

This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details.

With original source material by novelist Elmore Leonard, FX's "Justified" has been steadily gaining critical acclaim. Thursday morning, the series garnered four Emmy nominations including lead actor for Timothy Olyphant, who plays federal lawman Raylan Givens; and Walton Goggins, in the supporting actor category, for playing outlaw Boyd Crowder.

Congratulations on the good news.

I feel like I’m floating in a vat of liquid gratitude. It’s surreal. This may never happen again in my lifetime but to go through this experience now, it doesn’t get better than this.

Cable networks did very well this morning.

I’ve been with FX for a decade [first with "The Shield"]. I’ve been in the front row of everything they’ve accomplished. I’m pinching myself.

What has been the appeal of "Justified"?

People in this business were taken with this world, which is not exactly explored in entertainment. It’s like reading a novel. I think Margo Martindale had a lot to do with our show getting a lot more attention.

For the record, 3:33 p.m. July 14: A previous version of this post said "Justified" had been nominated for best drama series. It was not.


Emmys: Best drama nominees

Emmys: Margo Martindale on her 'Justified' role: 'I would have done it for free'

Show Tracker coverage of 'Justified'

-- Greg Braxton

Photo: Joelle Carter and Walton Goggins in a scene from "Justified." Credit: Prashant Gupta / FX

Emmys: Margo Martindale on her 'Justified' role: 'I would have done it for free'

Margo Martindale

What a way to go out. Margo Martindale's villainous Mags Bennett was poisoned to death this season on "Justified," but now she can take an Emmy nomination with her.

How did you hear the news?

I’m so excited, I’m beside myself. I got up to watch, but they don’t announce the supporting categories. So someone just called and read it to me.

Your performance has been so talked about. Were you expecting this recognition?

I know there was a lot of buzz about me and the show this season, but buzz doesn’t necessarily mean a nomination. The critics seemed to be on my side. But honest to goodness, I feel like I already won, just by getting this part. This kind of role comes along once in a lifetime. It’s a wonderful, poetic, fabulous show, and I would have done it for free.

What do you think the academy voters were responding to?  

I think it’s because Mags was a powerful older woman. People want to see more of that kind of thing. Mags is so true to herself. She’s a raw preacher.


Emmys: Best drama nominees

Emmys: Drama actor, actress nominees

Complete list of 2011 Emmy Awards nominees

— Greg Braxton 

Photo: Margo Martindale. Credit: Michael Nagle/For the Los Angeles Times.

6 episodes that 'Justified' considers Emmy-worthy

Justified brothers keeper

Last year, the FX drama "Justified" received only one Emmy Award nomination after its freshman season — in a crafts category (original main title theme music). After an outpouring of critical and viewer support for its second season, the show is now poised to do much better when nominations are announced July 14. But how much?

Elmore Leonard wrote the original source material adapted by Graham Yost ("Band of Brothers" and "The Pacific") about federal lawman Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) returning to his home area of rural eastern Kentucky. Just in the last few weeks, the show has garnered a Critics' Choice TV Award for supporting actress Margo Martindale and nods for drama series, lead actor (Olyphant) and supporting actor (Walton Goggins). The TV Critics Assn. has also nominated the show, Olyphant and Martindale for its annual awards this August.

In addition to these actors, "Justified" also has these supporting stars on the ballot: Jacob Pitts and Nick Searcy, Joelle Carter, Erica Tazel and Natalie Zea. Plus seven guest performers. Producers have chosen the following six episodes as their submissions to Emmy judges if the show is nominated for best drama series.

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Envelope Emmy Week: 'Justified' exec Graham Yost talks about why the season finale was so, well, final [video]

Killing off Mags Bennett was a tough decision, says "Justified" executive producer Graham Yost at the Emmy Week screening and Q&A on Monday. But in adapting the books by Elmore Leonard for the series, he realized that's where the story had to go, despite how "fantastic" actress Margo Martindale was in the role. See what he had to say here.

   more RELATED:

Envelope Emmy Week: 'Justified's' Margo Martindale is pretty chipper for being killed off [Video]

Envelope Emmy Week: 'Justified's' Walton Goggins on creating Boyd Crowder and the language of the South [Video]

— Elena Howe

Envelope Emmy Week: 'Justified's' Margo Martindale is pretty chipper for being killed off [Video]

How would you like to show up to work one day and realize you're dead? That's what happened to Margo Martindale when she learned her much-loved Mags Bennett character was being killed off "Justified." Oops, forgot to make that call, executive producer Graham Yost said at Monday night's Emmy Week screening and Q&A with the cast. And, well, she did do some poisoning of her own.


Envelope Emmy Week: 'Justified's' Walton Goggins on creating Boyd Crowder and the language of the South [Video]

Envelope Emmy Week: 'Mad Men' creator Matthew Weiner takes us inside the show [Video]

Envelope Emmy Week: Are drunks funny? John Wells and William H. Macy of 'Shameless' discuss [Video]

-- Elena Howe

Envelope Emmy Week: 'Justified's' Walton Goggins on creating Boyd Crowder and the language of the South [Video]

For Walton Goggins, who plays Boyd Crowder on "Justified," the show's Southern setting and rich language from Elmore Leonard make him proud. The Alabama native says foremost in mind in joining the series was not to perpetuate any stereotypes of Southerners. And as for creating Crowder, well, Goggins says, the outlaw didn't have to be the smartest man in the room, he just needed to be on par with the smartest man in the room. Here's a clip from Monday night's Emmy Week conversation with the cast of "Justified." Check back later for more excerpts.


Envelope Emmy Week: 'Mad Men' creator Matthew Weiner takes us inside the show [Video]

Envelope Emmy Week: Are drunks funny? John Wells and William H. Macy of 'Shameless' discuss [Video]

-- Elena Howe

Emmy contenders: Where would TV be without its police shows? We talk to five top cops

Law enforcers have been patrolling television’s mean streets since even before LAPD detective Sgt. Joe Friday went about asking for “just the facts, ma’am” on “Dragnet.” But television long ago filed away those kind of black-and-white, simplistic Friday figures in favor of complex and conflicted cops and operatives. “We’re not necessarily telling new stories,” says “Southland” star Michael Cudlitz, “but we’re telling stories in new ways.”

Here, The Envelope talked to five of our favorite law-and-order types about their characters and their approach to crime fighting.

The character: Los Angeles Police Department senior lead officer John Cooper, an exemplary cop who also happens to be gay. Chronic back trouble leads to pain pill addiction, a condition he finally owns in the Season 3 finale.

Contribution to crime fighting: “John has a definite sense of right and wrong and likes to feel that he’s in control of himself when it comes to crossing that line,” Cudlitz says. “He has a sense of urgency in helping those in need. Like most cops, he wants to make a difference.”

Kindred qualities: “I was brought up with strong morals. When people get caught doing the wrong thing, they should suffer the consequences. It’s not a moral high ground. It’s just: Don’t make your mistake someone else’s fault. Cop to it.”

Could he do the job? “I could have easily gone into some kind of service — military, police or fire department. I don’t know if I’d be a good cop because I tend to get very emotionally involved in things. It would eat me up.”

Emmy chances: Even after a remarkable third season, “Southland” remains one of TV’s most underappreciated dramas.


The character: Old-school, Southern-fried U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, a man given to dispensing justice on his terms rather than by the book.

Contribution to crime fighting: “He was born 100 years too late. And he knows that and wonders how he’d size up against the Old West marshals,” Olyphant says.

Kindred qualities: “I often wonder how I would do on stage in 1890. Nah … I don’t know. I’m not as cool, I can tell you that. But, having read the [Elmore Leonard] books, I can imagine what it’s like. And that’s given me enough confidence.”

Could he do the job? “I’d be scared. The marshals I’ve met seem like a fun bunch. And none of them ever thought about the job until someone offered it to them. But me? It crossed my mind to be a teacher or a coach, but not law enforcement.”

Emmy chances: After being criminally overlooked for its first season, justice may be served for a follow-up year that was even better.

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