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Category: The Big Bang Theory

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.

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-- 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
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


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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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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Emmys: Fans react to nominations

Commenters in our forum are delighted about top Emmy nominations for new TV shows such as "Game of Thrones." They're furious over the snubs of "Fringe" and "Sons of Anarchy" and flabbergasted that last year's winner for drama actress, Kyra Sedgwick ("The Closer"), was booted out. Below, sample comments. See more here.

DS0816: Glad for Melissa McCarthy. She really earned it! And so did Martha Plimpton.
Parks and recreations TV Emmy nominations news
sweetboroguy: I actually cut off a piece of my hat and ate it this morning because I am a man of my word. "Parks" was nominated for Best Comedy and so I ate the hat.

24Emmy: I'm glad Louis C.K. made it, but poor Joel McHale.

blueprint: Brenda Strong for voice over on "Desperate Housewives"?! How cool is that?

JJA91: All 6 cast members of "Modern Family" get in!!!

MadScntst: Thrilled for Margo Martindale, Walton Goggins, and Timothy Olyphant from "Justified" and Peter Dinklage and "Game of Thrones." Disappointed that Katey Sagal is not there, and downright xxxxed that John Noble is not there.

Marvelous Mr. Maker: No Kyra Sedgwick... Can't believe this...

AM_092: Martha Plimpton! Though not enough love elsewhere for "Raising Hope"

PaulHan: The Emmys ... where you need a federal court order to evict shows like "Mad Men" and "Dexter" and Hugh Laurie + Mariska Hargitay from the lineup.

Atypical: No Neil Patrick Harris? They can't get enough of Jon Cryer I guess ... Jimmy Fallon makes the cut in variety series over Letterman. Didn't expect that.

SkyLight: Go Kate Winslet! Get that Emmy!

Hybrid87: "SYTYCD" + Cat Deeley made me very happy. Disappointed though that Emmy voters can't seem to connect with "Parenthood" because Krause, Emerson, Graham and Whitman would have all made their categories stronger.

Sasha: January Jones, you silly blonde ... Had you gone supporting, you would have been nominated and had chance at winning.

Benito Delicias: "Community" ZERO, "Cougar Town" ZERO, "Weeds" ZERO. These people don't know comedy AT ALL.
 
Turtle: Poor Harry Shearer. At least he was nominated once (in TWO DECADES). But his continual snub is up there with yet another baffling Katey Sagal omission: How good do they have to be?!

oscarnutlen: same old boring names over and over again.

rp557: All the "Game of Thrones" love makes my day (though I would have liked more acting nominations), Well done, ATAS.

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-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: "Parks and Recreation." Credit: NBC


Emmys: 'Big Bang Theory's' Johnny Galecki 'couldn't be more ecstatic'

Johnny Galecki
Last year, Jim Parsons won the Emmy for his role on the comedy "The Big Bang Theory." This year, Parsons has some new competition — from costar Johnny Galecki, who received his first Emmy nomination  Thursday in the lead actor in a comedy category. 

How did you hear the news?

With the exception of my little sister, you’re the first one to congratulate me. I had no idea. Oh, my God. I thought the nominations were next week. I was with my girlfriend in downtown Los Angeles, I’m standing in her kitchen right now, actually. I was still asleep when they tracked me down through her phone.

Actually, I have been keeping track of the Emmys this year, because I couldn’t be more ecstatic for the show to be nominated. I’m very close with the 200-plus people in the show. I’m just absolutely very thrilled and humbled and honored.

How will you spend today?

Well first, I need to talk to my mother, take a nap, open a bottle of Champagne, but not necessarily in that order [laughs].

What is the best part of playing Leonard, and do you identify with him at all?

I enjoy the frustration that he wrestles with himself. The unwarranted ego, that to me is the funniest element of the character, that sense of ego without accreditation. That’s something we all have, and it makes the character a whole lot of fun to play. He’s a kick in the pants.

I can’t identify with the way he think. I’d say he’s much more intelligent than I am. I can only pretend to think like this guy. I can understand how he feels as [if he's] the underdog outcast. That is something I can relate to. I wasn’t the most popular kid growing up.

Who is your biggest competition?

I have no idea. It’s time for celebration, not competition. That kind of competitiveness never got me anywhere in 28 years. I’m just really, really happy for the show and everyone who was nominated. I know it’s very PR for me to say this, but that’s truly how I feel.

Who got overlooked?

It’s impossible to say. I honestly don’t really think that way. I am thrilled to meet Louis C.K. I think he does an amazing job, and I was excited to see his name in the list.

What are your other upcoming projects?

I did an arc on last season’s “Entourage.” And then there’s a movie called “In Time” by Andrew Nichols with Justin Timberlake.

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Emmys: Best comedy nominees

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Emmys: Comedy supporting actor, actress nominees

— Sophia Lee

Photo: Johnny Galecki, right, with "Big Bang Theory" costar Jim Parsons. Credit: Robert Voets / CBS.


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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'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:

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA
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)

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY
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)

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN NEWS AND INFORMATION
"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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