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Category: Steve Carell

Emmys 2011: What was the worst award snub? (Poll)

Steve-carell

When I exited the Nokia Theatre after the Emmys on Sunday night, a journo pal from a local TV station said that he just saw Steve Carell and Hugh Laurie walk by, looking upset and skipping the Governors Ball.

Both had good reason to be irked, if that's what was going on. After Carell lost for comedy actor five times, most pundits believed he'd win for his final year on "The Office" -– just as Sarah Jessica Parker won her first Emmy for her last year on "Sex and the City" (2004). Laurie ("House") had lost for dramatic actor five times too, but nobody thought he'd win this year. Still, Laurie has won two Golden Globes (2006, 2007) and two SAG Awards (2007, 2009), so he probably believes Emmy voters have a grudge against him.

That's probably how Jon Hamm feels too. "Mad Men" just won best drama series for a record-tying fourth time, but its lead star has yet to claim an Emmy. Hamm won a Golden Globe in 2008. Costar John Slattery just lost for a fourth time in the supporting race.

That's nothing. TV's top-rated "American Idol" just lost best reality competition show for a ninth time.

-- Tom O'Neil

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Photo: Steve Carell in "The Office." Credit: NBC


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
DRAMA SERIES
Prediction: "Mad Men"
Runner-up: "Boardwalk Empire"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TV MOVIE / MINISERIES
Prediction: "Downton Abbey"
Runner-up: "The Kennedys"

TV MOVIE / MINISERIES ACTOR
Prediction: Edgar Ramirez, "Carlos"
Runner-up: Laurence Fishburne, "Thurgood"

TV MOVIE / MINISERIES ACTRESS
Prediction: Kate Winslet, "Mildred Pierce"
Runner-up: Jean Marsh, "Upstairs, "Downstairs"

TV MOVIE / MINISERIES SUPPORTING ACTOR
Prediction: Tom Wilkinson, "The Kennedys"
Runner-up: Guy Pearce, "Mildred Pierce"

TV MOVIE / MINISERIES SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Prediction: Evan Rachel Wood, "Mildred Pierce"
Runner-up: Maggie Smith, "Downton Abbey"

REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM
Prediction: "Project Runway"
Runner-up: "Top Chef"

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

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-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: Academy of Television Arts & Sciences


Who we'd like to see as Emmy presenters

Married-children1
The Emmys are less than a month away, so it's time to start thinking about presenters we'd like to see bestowing awards to their peers on Sept. 18 when Jane Lynch ("Glee") hosts the kudofest on Fox. Here are a few choices for Emmy producers to chew over. If you have any other creative ideas, sound off in the comments section below.

Ed O'Neill with Katey Sagal
These former "Married ... With Children" lovebirds went their entire careers without receiving Emmy nominations. Both had a great chance of breaking that curse this year, but only O'Neill came away with a nod for "Modern Family." Sagal must make due with her Golden Globe win earlier this year for "Sons of Anarchy." It sure would be nice to see these veteran actors appearing on camera once again all these years later. Emmy producers should like this idea since "Married ... With Children" first appeared on Fox.

Walter Bishop with Walternate Bishop
Fans and critics blast the Emmys every year for snubbing "Fringe" star John Noble. Since the awards are airing on Fox, this is the perfect time for the network to ballyhoo its cult sci-fi hit to the masses, while at the same time giving Noble some overdue Emmy attention. There's no better way to showcase the craziness of the show than to have Noble appear as both of his characters -- the endearing Walter and the evil Walternate -- on the live telecast. With a little help from CGI, of course.

Steve Carell with James Spader
A passing of the "Office" torch seems like a no-brainer for the Emmy telecast. Steve Carell famously hands the reins of the popular NBC comedy over to James Spader this season, so pairing them up together would be fun for "Office" fans everywhere. This is Carell's last shot at winning an Emmy for "The Office," so he's already the talk of the town, and looking back at Spader's Emmy history suggests he'll be winning a trophy next year in the same lead actor category. (He replaced Dylan McDermott on "The Practice" and won an Emmy for it.)

The kids of "Modern Family"
While the main stars of "Modern Family" continue to rack up Emmy nominations, the hilarious kids on that show shouldn't be forgotten. Rico Rodriguez, Sarah Hyland, Ariel Winter and Nolan Gould are each wonderful performers, it's just a shame that Emmy has a bias against child actors.

The husbands of "Desperate Housewives"
Much like the above, all of the attention goes toward the main stars of "Desperate Housewives," and the lesser-known performers get overlooked. With the show ending next year, it's one of the last times for the Emmys to recognize this once-popular nighttime soap opera, and having James Denton, Doug Savant and Ricardo Antonio Chavira take the stage would be a creative way to honor the series.

Bryan Cranston
No matter what happens, Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad") must present this year's lead drama actor category. He's dominated this race for the past three years, and now that he's ineligible due to his show's extended hiatus, it'd be a real treat to see him bestow the award to one of the leading men that he's been keeping from winning.

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--Tom O'Neil

Photo: Ed O'Neill and Katey Sagal in "Married ... With Children." Credit: Fox TV


Emmys grant producer credit to Amy Poehler, Mark Wahlberg

Amy poehler

When the Emmy nominations were announced on July 14 the names of producers were not yet listed on the program categories. That's because it takes a few weeks for officials to confirm the producers' credits to make sure they qualify. Some stars such as Tina Fey, for example, work hard behind the scenes as writer-producers, but others do little while insisting upon producer credit as an ego trip.

Below is the list of some notable celebrities who picked up additional nods and could win a non-acting Emmy this year:

"The Office" -- Steve Carell, Ricky Gervais, Mindy Kaling, B.J. Novak

"Parks and Recreation" -- Amy Poehler

"30 Rock" -- Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey

"Boardwalk Empire" -- Martin Scorsese, Mark Wahlberg

"Dexter" -- Michael C. Hall

"The Good Wife" -- Ridley Scott, Tony Scott

In addition, the removal of the individual variety performance category two years ago means that hosts are now included with their program nominations. If the show wins, the host wins. That provides extra nods for Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Bill Maher, Conan O'Brien and Jon Stewart plus Ricky Gervais (Golden Globes), Sean Hayes (Tony Awards), James Franco (Oscars) and Anne Hathaway (Oscars).

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Blame Michael Scott if Steve Carell loses the Emmy again?

-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: Amy Poehler in "Parks and Recreation." Credit: NBC


Blame Michael Scott if Steve Carell loses the Emmy again?

Steve Carell has lost five Emmy bouts for portraying cringe-inducing boss Michael Scott on "The Office," which leads Emmy watchers to wonder: Is it Carell whom voters don't like, or Michael Scott?

Steve-carrell-the-officeWhen Emmy voters view sample episodes from nominated stars, sometimes they hold the bad behavior of their unlikable characters against them. That may be what prevented Jason Alexander from winning any of his seven nominations for playing annoying curmudgeon George Costanza on "Seinfeld." It may also have hurt Hugh Laurie, whose character on "House" is a wanton drug abuser who berates his staff –- and patients too. They're among TV's most famous characters, but Emmy voters don't want to hug them.

Of course, this factor didn't hurt James Gandolfini, who played sociopathic mob boss Tony Soprano on HBO's "The Sopranos" to the tune of three Emmys. He won the second of those awards for the third-season episode "Amour Fou," in which Tony beat up his mistress Gloria (Annabella Sciorra). Not only did voters not hold Tony's violence against his portrayer, they selected that performance over Martin Sheen, who that year submitted the "Two Cathedrals" episode of "The West Wing" in which he grieved for his beloved secretary by railing at God –- in Latin!

Much of the comedy of "The Office" comes from the bumbling ineptitude of Michael Scott, but sometimes that quality is more a hindrance than a help to Carell, as in "The Injury," which he submitted for his first nomination in 2006; Michael spends the entire episode whining about burning his foot in a George Foreman grill. In his 2010 submission, "The Cover-Up," he is paranoid about his girlfriend and hires Dwight (Rainn Wilson) to follow her. And even though "Goodbye Toby" was arguably his best submission (it's the episode in which he first meets Holly, played by Amy Ryan), he spends much of its 60 minutes engaging in cruel celebration over the departure of Toby (Paul Lieberstein), an unassuming milquetoast in human resources.

But in this year's submission, "Goodbye Michael," Michael Scott is on his best behavior. What's more, he gets to bid a fond, tearful farewell to his employees, who, after all is said and done, are sad to see him go. It's Michael at his most sympathetic, and though the character is frequently hard to hug, Carell has never been so eminently huggable; he's a well-liked actor leaving his star-making role on a high note, and he has yet to win TV's top prize. Will he finally prevail, or will Michael Scott, once again, get the cold shoulder?

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— Tom O'Neil

Photo: Steve Carell in "The Office." Credit: NBC.


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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Will 'Crazy, Stupid, Love' boost Steve Carell's Emmy odds?

Crazy Stupid Love news

Sometimes the coincidental release of a new film -- especially a comedy -- can torpedo a star's hopes for winning an award for something else. Consider how "Norbit" may have helped sink Eddie Murphy's Oscar dreams for "Dreamgirls" (2006). Now here comes the release of "Crazy, Stupid, Love" while Steve Carell gets his last shot for winning an overdue Emmy for "The Office."

The key difference may be that "Norbit" was lambasted by film critics while "Crazy, Stupid, Love" is getting mostly good reviews, and both the film and his show are comedies. The film scores a respectable 67 at Metacritic and Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman gives it a perfect score, hailing it as "an enchanting light comedy of romantic confusion."

Carell's performance is not only good, it's surprising. Notes the L.A. Times, "Carell — renowned for big comedic parts in movies such as 'Get Smart' and 'Date Night,' and of course as television's insufferable-but-endearing boss Michael Scott on NBC's 'The Office' — switches to a lower gear as a more serious fortysomething with relationship woes."

"Crazy, Stupid, Love" will still be in theaters when Emmy voting gets underway Aug. 8. Assuming the film does well at the box office and thus is considered a success, it may help him. Lisa Kudrow and Jennifer Aniston won Emmys right after the releases of "The Opposite of Sex" and "The Good Girl," respectively. "Knocked Up" may have helped Katherine Heigl pull off an upset win for best supporting drama actress in "Grey's Anatomy" in 2007.

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'Goodbye, Michael" = Hello, Emmy for Steve Carell?

-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: Steve Carell in "Crazy, Stupid, Love." Credit: Warner Bros.


'Goodbye, Michael' = Hello, Emmy for Steve Carell?

The-office-goodbye-michael1

It official: Steve Carell has chosen "Goodbye, Michael" as the episode that he's submitting to Emmy judges who will decide the winner of the lead actor in a comedy race.

It was a tough call, considering Carell had another strong option too -– "Garage Sale," in which his character, Michael Scott, makes a tender-hearted marriage proposal to Holly (Amy Ryan) while surrounded by a sea of lighted candles. The fact that he's portrayed so sympathetically is key. One of the theories why Carell has lost five times in the past is because his Michael character can be off-putting. Finally, in "Garage Sale," Michael redeems himself and TV viewers actually root for him instead of, as usual, against him.

"Garage Sale" has another plus too, at least in terms of selfish appeal to Carell. He directed it. Rarely has he helmed episodes of "The Office." In fact, he'd done so only twice earlier. However, Carell didn't even bother to submit "Garage Sale" for consideration as a nominee in the directing category this year, so maybe it's no mystery that he chose not to submit it for acting either.

But he probably made the best choice by picking "Goodbye, Michael" for the acting contest. It has three positive factors:

1.) Michael is sympathetic again, this time as he bids farewell to his office colleagues.

2.) It's 50 minutes long rather than the usual 30-minute episode. Often size matters at the Emmys, although added screen time didn't help Carell in 2008 when he submitted the one-hour "Goodbye, Toby" in which Michael first meets Holly and takes her on a romantic ferris wheel ride in the Dunder Mifflin parking lot. Carell lost to Alec Baldwin, who submitted a 30-minute segment of "30 Rock" ("Rosemary's Baby").

3.) It's historic. The fact that Carell is saying goodbye to TV viewers as Michael Scott bids adieu to his Dunder Mifflin cohorts is, let's face it, one of the milestone moments in modern television lore. It will probably be irresistible to Emmy voters. In 2004, when Sarah Jessica Parker submitted her final episode of "Sex and the City," which was titled "An American Girl in Paris, Part 2," she finally won her elusive Emmy.

Carell has made some very bad choices in some past Emmy derbies that contributed to his string of losses, including "The Injury" (2006) and "The Cover-Up" (2010). His other choices were OK –- like "Business School" (2007) and "Broke" (2009) –- just not quite strong enough.

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-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: Steve Carell in the "Goodbye, Michael" episode of "The Office." Credit: NBC


Can Louis C.K. pull off an upset at the Emmys?

Louis c.k. louieAlthough  Ricky Gervais wants Steve Carell to win the Emmy as best comedy actor for his final season on "The Office," he's worried about one rival in particular.

"Steve could face big trouble from Louis C.K.," Gervais warns Awards Tracker. "He's the most exciting standup/writer/comic working in America today."

It doesn't matter that Louis C.K. ("Louie") is a little-known underdog compared with Carell. Gervais beat Carell at the Emmys in 2008 when Carell was a red-hot film star slumming it on TV and obscure British comedian Gervais starred in the low-rated HBO series "Extras."

Curiously, there are a lot of parallels between Louis C.K. now and Gervais then. Both play quirky characters loosely based upon themselves in TV series that they write and direct. Gervais was nominated for best comedy writing when he won for lead actor; Louis C.K. is nominated for writing now.

Emmys are decided by a small pool of judges who view a sample episode. If Louis C.K. chooses well, he has a realistic shot of pulling off a Gervais-type upset.

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Photo: Louis C.K. in "Louie." Credit: FX


Ricky Gervais: Give Steve Carell the Emmy!

Ricky Gervais: Give Steve Carell the Emmy!

Add Ricky Gervais to the long list of Emmy watchers who believe Steve Carell should finally, after five defeats, win the Emmy for best comedy actor. "Steve deserved an Emmy before this, so he certainly deserves one now," Gervais tells Awards Tracker.

Ironically, Carell lost the race in 2007 to Gervais for his work in "Extras." Gervais didn't attend the ceremony, so award presenters Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert gave the statuette to Carell as a gag. Lots of mad hugging ensued on stage as a result. One year later Gervais mounted the Emmy stage for revenge.

"Couldn't actually win one of his own so he stole someone else's!" Gervais groused as Carell sat in the front row.

"Have you got it on ya?" Gervais asked Carell. "I've heard you carry it around with you to get in restaurants and stuff. ... I made you what you are and I get nothing back!" Gervais marched up to Carell in the audience and demanded, "Give me the Emmy!"

After a brief tickle and tugging match, Carell produced the Emmy and handed it to Gervais. See video below.

Gervais created the original version of "The Office" that aired in the U.K. from 2001 to 2003. When NBC retooled it for Yankee TV viewers with Carell in the lead as the cringe-inducing boss of a dysfunctional workplace, the new "The Office" won the Emmy as best comedy series of 2006. It's nominated again after its high-profile seventh season that saw Carell exit with much media fanfare. Gervais believes it deserves to win again because the U.S. version has held up admirably throughout its run.

"It's still doing provocative and subversive work," Gervais says. "It's lost some of its darling status over the years because it was so good all the time that people took it for granted, but 'The Office' has been like an art factory consistently cranking out great episodes. It's one of those juggernauts -- like 'M*A*S*H' and 'Seinfeld.'"

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-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: Ricky Gervais wrests back his Emmy from Steve Carell. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times



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