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Category: Steven Zeitchik

Emmys: 'Modern Family' gets a lot of support

Modern family
Comedy's supporting crew is keeping it all in the family, with "Modern Family" taking four out of the six supporting actor comedy noms when the shortlist was announced Thursday morning in Los Angeles.

Returning winner Eric Stonestreet from "Modern Family" will try to fend off a challenge from cast mates Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ty Burrell and Ed O'Neill. Chris Colfer ("Glee") and Jon Cryer ("Two and a Half Men") round out the field.

On the actress side, Julie Bowen and Sofia Vergara from "Modern Family" both grabbed nominations and will compete against returning winner Jane Lynch ("Glee") as well as Jane Krakowski ("30 Rock"), Kristen Wiig ("Saturday Night Live") and surprise nominee Betty White ("Hot in Cleveland").

The 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards will be hosted by Jane Lynch. Fox will broadcast it live Sept. 18 from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.

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Behind the scenes with 'Modern Family's' Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson

— Steven Zeitchik

twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Photo: "Modern Family's" Ed O'Neill, left, Julie Bowen, Sofia Vergara and Ty Burrell. Credit: Colleen Hayes / ABC


Emmys: 'Good Wife,' 'Mad Men,' 'Justified' dominate supporting drama category

Good wife
Good wives will square off against mad men.

Archie Panjabi and Christine Baranski from the CBS legal drama "The Good Wife" took two of the supporting actress drama nominations when the Emmys named the contenders Thursday morning, while Christina Hendricks was nominated from the Madison Avenue drama "Mad Men" and Margo Martindale was nominated for "Justified." Michelle Forbes ("The Killing") and Kelly Macdonald ("Boardwalk Empire") were also nominated for their roles in the first-year shows.

"Good Wife" didn't fare too badly on the male side, either, with Josh Charles and Alan Cumming both getting slots for their performances in the CBS legal drama. Rounding out the field are Andre Braugher ("Men of a Certain Age"), John Slattery ("Mad Men") , Peter Dinklage ("Game of Thrones") and Walton Goggins ("Justified").

The supporting actor drama field has been depleted this year as four nominees from 2010 — Aaron Paul ("Breaking Bad"), Michael Emerson ("Lost"), Terry O'Quinn ("Lost") and Martin Short ("Damages") — are not competing this year.

The 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards will be hosted by Jane Lynch. Fox will broadcast it live Sept. 18 from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.

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— Steven Zeitchik

twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Photo: Archie Panjabi, left, and Julianna Margulies in "The Good Wife." Credit: David M. Russell / CBS


Emmys: 'Mildred Pierce' is a front-runner in crowded movie-miniseries race

Mildred pierce

HBO's programs led a stacked field in the new category of movie-miniseries, with the network's"Mildred Pierce," "Too Big to Fail" and "Cinema Verite" all securing nominations.

PBS' "Downton Abbey (Masterpiece)," Starz's "The Pillars of the Earth" and ReelzChannel's "The Kennedys" also landed nominations. "Pierce" is considered a front-runner, with a leading 21 nominations at the Emmys.

The landscape is more crowded than ever, with the decision to combine movies and miniseries, previously separate categories, into one field. 

The 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards will be hosted by Jane Lynch. Fox will broadcast it live Sunday, Sept. 18, from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.

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-- Steven Zeitchik
Twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Photo: Guy Pearce and Kate Winslet in HBO's "Mildred Pierce." Credit: Andrew Schwartz / HBO


Emmys: 'The Office's' Steve Carell, 'Mike and Molly's' Melissa McCarthy earn acting nods

Steve carell
Somewhere in Colorado, Michael Scott (aka Steve Carell) could soon have a new piece of hardware for his desk.

Carell again nabbed a comedy actor nomination when the Emmys announced its shortlist Thursday morning in Los Angeles. Carell is considered the front-runner of a group that also includes Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock"), Louis C.K. ("Louie"), Johnny Galecki ("Big Bang Theory"), Matt LeBlanc ("Episodes") and Jim Parsons ("Big Bang Theory").

On the comedy actress side, Melissa McCarthy ("Mike and Molly") landed her first Emmy nomination, joining Martha Plimpton ("Raising Hope"), Edie Falco ("Nurse Jackie") Tina Fey ("30 Rock") and Amy Poehler ("Parks and Recreation").

Carell has never won an Emmy for his turn as a deluded Dunder Mifflin manager, but with his departure from "The Office," the end of the 2010-11 season has made him the favorite, say many pundits.

The 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards will be hosted by Jane Lynch. Fox will the show live Sept. 18 from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.

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— Steven Zeitchik

twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Photo: Steve Carell, center, in "The Office." Credit: Chris Haston / NBC


Emmys: 'Mad Men,' 'Boardwalk Empire' score big in best drama

Mad men
AMC's "Mad Men" and HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" led the way at the Primetime Emmy Awards, capturing 19 and 18 nominations, respectively, including for best drama series, when the announcement was made Thursday morning in Los Angeles.

Joining them in them in the drama series category were CBS's "The Good Wife" and Showtime's "Dexter," as well as first-time nominees HBO's "Game of Thrones," and NBC's/DirecTV's "Friday Night Lights." 

"Mad Men," which has won the Emmy in this category the last three years, is centered on a 1960s Madison Avenue ad executive whose life is falling apart. The AMC show could, however, receive some tough competition from another period series: HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire,” which already won a Golden Globe for its depiction of Prohibition-era Atlantic City, N.J.

The 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards will be hosted by Jane Lynch and will be broadcast live on Fox on Sept. 18 from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.

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— Steven Zeitchik

twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Photo: Jon Hamm plays hard-drinking advertising executive Don Draper in AMC's "Mad Men." Credit: AMC.


Emmys: Jon Hamm, Steve Buscemi and Julianna Margulies among actor nominees; Kyra Sedgwick snubbed

BE

It could come down to Don Draper versus Nucky for the Emmy.

Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”) and Steve Buscemi (“Boardwalk Empire) each landed Emmy nominations Thursday morning in the actor drama category for their roles as a suave ad executive and corrupt political boss, respectively. They were joined by Kyle Chandler ("Friday Night Lights"), Michael C. Hall, ("Dexter"), Hugh Laurie ("House") and Timothy Olyphant ("Justified").

In the actress drama category, Kyra Sedgwick (“The Closer”) was snubbed for her performance in her seventh and final season as Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson. Instead, Julianna Margulies (“The Good Wife”)is considered a front-runner against Connie Britton ("Friday Night Lights") Mireille Enos ("The Killing"), Kathy Bates, ("Harry's Law") and Elisabeth Moss ("Mad Men")

The actor drama category is wide open this year, with Bryan Cranston, a three-time winner for “Breaking Bad,” out of the race because the AMC drama premiered outside the eligibility period.

The 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards will be hosted by Jane Lynch and will be broadcast live Sunday, Sept. 18, on Fox, live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.

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-- Steven Zeitchik
Twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Photo: Steve Buscemi plays Nucky Thompson in "Boardwalk Empire." Credit: HBO


Emmys: 'Big Bang Theory,' 'Parks & Recreation' new entrants among best comedy staples

Big Bang Theory

"The Big Bang Theory" and "Parks & Recreation" have joined what has become the familiar ranks of the Emmy Awards’ comedy series category, which were announced Thursday morning in Los Angeles.

“Modern Family,” “30 Rock,” “Glee” and “The Office”  all received nominations for the second year in a row, along with “Bang” and "Parks." "Nurse Jackie," nominated last year, was snubbed this year, while last year’s sixth nominee, HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” premiered too late to be eligible for this year’s prizes.

ABC’s “Modern Family” is considered the category front-runner. The Christopher Lloyd-Steven Levitan show about three related families won comedy honors last year, its first on the air, and continued to be a critics’ darling this season. It could, however, be challenged by “The Office,” which may garner goodwill for what was star Steve Carell's final season.

The nomination for “Big Bang” marks the first time in the nerd-themed sitcom’s four seasons that it has landed a slot in the comedy series category. Jim Parsons, who was nominated for comedy actor this year, took home that prize last year for his portrayal of literal-minded physicist Sheldon Cooper.

The 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards will be hosted by Jane Lynch and will be broadcast live Sept. 18 on Fox from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.

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-- Steven Zeitchik

twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Photo: Kaley Cuoco, Jim Parsons, center, and Kunal Nayyar in "The Big Bang Theory." Credit: Matt Kennedy / CBS


Oprah Winfrey as Oscar host?

Oprahstory She's given up her platform as a daytime talk-show host, but could Oprah Winfrey be back in front of a national audience as the host of the Oscars?

The Chicago Sun-Times reported Friday morning that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has Winfrey "topping the list of candidates" to host next year's show, which ABC will broadcast from the Kodak Theatre in late February. "Academy honchos firmly believe Winfrey could greatly expand the show’s audience," wrote columnist Bill Zwecker. An academy spokeswoman did not immediately reply to a request seeking comment.

Winfrey has a history with ABC, whose affiliates carried her long-running syndicated program before it went off the air earlier this year.

It remains to be seen whether Winfrey would accept the gig, of course; according to Zwecker it could come with preconditions for behind-the-scenes access for OWN, the Winfrey-founded network that has been struggling to attract viewers.

If Winfrey indeed presides at the Kodak, she'll join an elite group, becoming only the third solo female host in Oscar history. (Whoopi Goldberg has hosted four times and Ellen DeGeneres once.)

A Winfrey hosting would mark the latest attempt to expand the audience for the show; organizers attempted to draw a younger audience by choosing James Franco and Anne Hathaway to host the telecast this year. Winfrey appeared as a presenter at the 2011 ceremony, handing out the statuette for best documentary.

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Academy will nominate between five and 10 best picture candidates

-- Steven Zeitchik

twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Photo: Oprah Winfrey. Credit: John Gress / Reuters.


Academy will nominate between five and 10 best picture candidates

Oscars The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Board of Governors voted  Tuesday to change the number of films that could be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. Instead of the guaranteed 10 nominees of the past two years, it will allow as few as five nominees and as many as 10 in the best picture category. The number will be announced at the same time as the academy announces its nominations in January.

After nearly seven decades of a five-picture field, the academy in 2009 decided to expand the best picture category to 10 films. The news was generally greeted with approval by studios, which relished the chance to increase the odds of a nomination (if not always the pressure to spend money to support a campaign).

Still, some skeptics said that the number 10 was misleading since some films had little to no chance of actually winning. Tuesday's news, then, seems designed to eliminate films that are nominated just to fill out the field of 10. Indeed, in making the announcement, the academy said a film would need at least 5 percent of  votes to make the cut as a nominee.

“In studying the data, what stood out was that Academy members had regularly shown a strong admiration for more than five movies,” said Bruce Davis, the Academy's retiring executive director.  But, he added:  “A Best Picture nomination should be an indication of extraordinary merit.  If there are only eight pictures that truly earn that honor in a given year, we shouldn’t feel an obligation to round out the number.”

The final round of voting for Best Picture will still be determined by a  preferential system, regardless of the number of nominees, to ensure that the winning picture has the endorsement of more than half of the voters, the group said.

The academy said if the new system had been used over the past decade, there would have been between 5 and 9 films nominated each year. 

The news was the brainchild of Davis, the group said, though added it was welcomed by incoming chief Dawn Hudson.

One interesting consequence of the change will be how much studios choose to campaign if their research indicates they are not among the top five presumed nominees. Will they spend in the hope of expanding the field, or refrain on the assumption that there isn't an available slot?

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-- Steven Zeitchik

http://twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Photo credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times


Cannes 2011: Weinstein Co. set to buy Shia LaBeouf's 'Wettest County in the World'

Harvey Weinstein's the Weinstein Co. is making another major buy at the Cannes Film Festival, closing a deal to acquire the Shia LaBeouf-Tom Hardy period dramatic thriller "The Wettest County in the World" for between $4 million and $5 million, according to a source familiar with the deal who asked not to be identified because the acquisition had not officially been announced.

The movie, which is directed by John Hillcoat ("The Road"), tells the story of sibling bootleggers (LaBeouf, Hardy and Gary Oldman) who during the Depression begin to exact revenge on those who threaten their business.

It's a rare period role for LaBeouf and also teams him with an actor whose stock has risen significantly since he starred in "Inception" last year. A Weinstein Co. spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment.

Based on a book by Matt Bondurant, the film also stars  up-and-comers Mia Wasikowska ("Restless") and Jessica Chastain ("The Tree of Life"), both of whom have new films at Cannes. The script was written by singer-screenwriter Nick Cave, who previously collaborated with Hillcoat on a movie titled "The Proposal."

Though it's a period film, the source said the company would release the movie widely, hoping to capitalize on the thriller genre and the movie's star power.

Although the movie, which began shooting earlier this year, has not been completed, a promo reel shown to buyers stirred interest on the part of several major U.S. distributors. The Weinstein Co. appeared to emerge victorious as negotiations heated up Sunday evening, as seller Creative Artists Agency visited the Weinstein Co.'s apartment-complex offices on the Croisette to hammer out deal points and bottles of wine were ordered in, all as Weinstein Co.'s silent-film "The Artist" was set for its premiere.

The acquisition is Weinstein's third of the festival, as the company continues to flex its muscles after the fall and winter box-office success of "The King's Speech." It previously acquired Meryl Streep's Margaret Thatcher movie "Iron Lady" and in-competition crowdpleaser "The Artist," both of which are expected to be fall award-season contenders.

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-- Steven Zeitchik in Cannes, France



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