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Category: Tina Fey

Laura Linney is Emmy front-runner for best comedy actress

Laura Linney in "The Big C"

There are several reasons why most pundits predict Laura Linney ("The Big C") will win the Emmy for best comedy actress. For starters, the three-time past champ has never lost. Her first victory was for best guest comedy actress in "Frasier" (2004); her other two were in the contest for best actress in a movie/miniseries ( "Wild Iris" in 2002, "John Adams" in 2008). This year she competes for best comedy actress for her new TV series on Showtime, which has owned the category for the last two years with victories by Toni Collette for "United States of Tara" (2009) and Edie Falco ("Nurse Jackie") in 2010.

Linney gave Emmy judges the pilot episode, a potent mix of defiant comedy and high drama in which she battles her neighbor, students, husband and son while hiding the secret that she's got cancer. It's loaded with so much emotional impact, range and sympathy that she'll be hard to beat.

However, four of the other five nominees submitted episodes that give them a strong fighting chance. "Saturday Night Live" alums Amy Poehler ("Parks and Recreation") and Tina Fey ("30 Rock") both submitted strong material.

Poehler entered "Flu Season," in which her character -- small-town civil servant Leslie Knope -- comes down with the flu but insists on making an important presentation to the chamber of commerce anyway. The hilarity of her performance builds as, first, she battles flu symptoms, then the mind-altering effects of her medication. Poehler doesn't display Linney's gravitas, but she's a lot funnier. Her only problem may be that "Flu Season" is an ensemble-driven episode, which means she has far less screen time than Linney.

Fey might have the same problem in her "30 Rock" episode, "Double Edged Sword," in which she battles her boyfriend, airline pilot Carol (guest-acting nominee Matt Damon), during a lengthy flight delay. She's terrific while battling on the behalf of her fellow passengers, but she shares the episode with two major subplots -– one involving Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) winning an Oscar, and the other following Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) and his wife in Canada –- so she might also be at a disadvantage.

Ironically, screen time is not a problem for Martha Plimpton, who many thought would have been better off competing in the supporting category for "Raising Hope." But entering the lead race proved to be a shrewd move. She earned a nomination and submitted "Say Cheese," one of her best episodes of the season, in which she is shown in flashbacks trying to corral her family for the perfect family portrait photo. She's arguably more of a lead actress in this episode than Poehler and Fey are in theirs. Plimpton was a surprise nominee, but if she wins, don't say I didn't warn you.

Melissa McCarthy is also a potential spoiler. She came out of nowhere to secure a nomination for CBS' "Mike & Molly," undoubtedly helped by her increased notoriety from this summer's blockbuster comedy "Bridesmaids." She stands a fair chance thanks to her episode, "First Date," in which she, like Poehler, reacts strongly to a heavy dose of cold medicine. She wouldn't be the first star to upset at the Emmys with the help of a hit movie; Katherine Heigl won best supporting drama actress for "Grey's Anatomy" in 2007, the same year she starred in Judd Apatow's "Knocked Up."

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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

Another fresh Emmy winner of best comedy actress?

Melissa mccarthy

If a recent Emmy voting trend holds, forget Tina Fey ("30 Rock") or Edie Falco ("Nurse Jackie") winning the award for lead comedy actress. They've already bagged the category in the past. The champ will be one of the other four nominees: Laura Linney ("The Big C"), Melissa McCarthy ("Mike and Molly"), Martha Plimpton ("Raising Hope") or Amy Poehler ("Parks and Recreation").

For the last 10 years, a different winner has claimed the category every time. No one has repeated. Patricia Heaton ("Everybody Loves Raymond") began the trend toward solo victors in 2001. Subsequent recipients: Jennifer Aniston ("Friends"), Debra Messing ("Will and Grace"), Sarah Jessica Parker ("Sex and the City"), Felicity Huffman ("Desperate Housewives"), Julia Louis-Dreyfus ("The New Adventures of Old Christine"), America Ferrera ("Ugly Betty"), Fey, Toni Collette ("United States of Tara") and Falco.


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-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: Melissa McCarthy and Billy Gardell in "Mike and Molly." Credit: CBS

Beware: Amy Poehler will get cutthroat to win that Emmy [Video]

Amy Poehler Parks and Recreation TV newsBeing nice didn't work last year when Amy Poehler got nominated for best comedy actress at the Emmys for "Parks and Recreation." She lost to Edie Falco ("Nurse Jackie"), who previously had won three Emmys as steel-nerved mafia mama Carmela Soprano on "The Sopranos." So I urge the former star of "Mean Girls" to get, well, mean this year.

That's a problem for Poehler because she's sweet by nature and she's usually nominated against pals like Tina Fey ("30 Rock"). "Yeah," she agrees with a nervous giggle (video below), "in fact, I just saw Tina yesterday and we were laughing about it."

But Poehler understands that seizing the highest honor of her profession is no laughing matter. "I know I should be more cutthroat and competitive about it," she sighs. "I've got to start thinking about these people as my sworn enemy. I'm going to start training like that girl from 'Hanna.' I'm going to shoot deer in the forest and get ready for the Emmys."

Rallying to the challenge, she says facing off against Carmela Soprano/Nurse Jackie Peyton doesn't scare her. "Edie Falco is really tough," she notes, "but she's little."

Poehler's toughest challenger this year may actually be three-time champ Laura Linney ("The Big C"), who's never lost an Emmy race. "Laura Linney is such a great actress and such a lovely person," Poehler concedes, "but I will take her out at the knees if I have to."

We offer our help and she's grateful because Poehler follows The Envelope, including our forums. "I can't read all of the comments because they're not always positive," she says with a wry smile, but she likes to track the discussion of what episode she should submit to the Emmy jury. So I just set up a special thread in our message boards to focus just on that topic -- pipe in if you've got some thoughts.

"The viewers sometimes have a better perspective than the actors, so I'm open to suggestions," she adds. "So you tell me. I trust your analysis and judgment much more than my own when it comes to this kind of stuff. I'm depending on you to tell me what to wear, where to show up and whose knees to take out with a pipe."

-- Tom O'Neil

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

Emmy inside track: The race for best comedy actress

Edie Falco laura linneyFive of the six 2010 Emmy nominees for best comedy actress are likely to be nominated again: Toni Collette ("United States of Tara"), Tina Fey ("30 Rock"), Lea Michele ("Glee"), Amy Poehler ("Parks and Recreation") and last year's winner, Edie Falco ("Nurse Jackie"). That sixth slot was held last year by Julia Louis-Dreyfus for the now-cancelled "New Adventures of Old Christine." Who'll nab it next: Laura Linney ("The Big C"), Courteney Cox ("Cougar Town"), Patricia Heaton ("The Middle"), Wendie Malick ("Hot in Cleveland") or Mary-Louise Parker ("Weeds")?

Our forum moderators have just updated their predictions, which rank the contenders by likelihood of winning. Three of them are betting on Linney to win: Marcus Dixon, Rob Licuria and Matt Noble. Three are backing recent champ Falco: Chris Beachum, Darrin Dortch and Matthew Cormier. Beachum and Licuria explain their views in the webcam slugfest below.

Personally, I think Linney's got this in the bag because of the strong emotional wallop of the pilot episode of "The Big C" as her character wrestles with cancer and a dying marriage. Remember how Emmy winners are selected –- by about 50 or 60 judges viewing a sample episode submitted by each nominee. None of Linney's rivals has an episode with as much oomph.

Also, check out our handicapping of the Emmy races for best drama series, lead drama actor, supporting comedy actor and supporting comedy actress.

-- Tom O'Neil








Toni Collette, ‘United States of Tara’






Courteney Cox, ‘Cougar Town’


Edie Falco, ‘Nurse Jackie’







Tina Fey, ‘30 Rock’






Patricia Heaton, ‘The Middle’


Laura Linney, ‘The Big C’







Wendie Malick, ‘Hot in Cleveland’



Lea Michele, ‘Glee’






Mary-Louise Parker, ‘Weeds’


Amy Poehler, ‘Parks and Recreation’








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Emmy cliffhanger: What'll win best TV drama series?

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

Photos: Laura Linney, left, in "The Big C" and Edie Falco in "Nurse Jackie": Credit: Showtime

Elton John on 'Saturday Night Live': Going for the EGOT

Eltonstory Elton John's appearance on "Saturday Night Live" tonight could be historic. If it results in an Emmy victory like past "SNL" guest turns by Justin Timberlake, Tina Fey and Betty White, he could become the 11th person to win the EGOT: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony.

In his lengthy career, Elton John has received just about every honor and award imaginable for a music performer.  He won an Academy Award (for "The Lion King"), a Tony Award (for "Aida"), six Grammy Awards (plus the honorary Grammy Legend), Kennedy Center Honors, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and a knighthood from the Queen of England.

6a00d8341c630a53ef014e872090df970d-800wi What he is missing, however, is an Emmy. If he wins this year, he'll join these 10 EGOT giants:  Mel Brooks, John Gielgud, Whoopi Goldberg, Marvin Hamlisch, Helen Hayes, Audrey Hepburn, Rita Moreno, Mike Nichols, Richard Rogers and Jonathan Tunick. See our photo gallery of other stars close to getting the EGOT.

  John is the guest host on "Saturday Night Live" for the first time in the show's 36 seasons.  He did perform two songs as the musical guest on a 1982 episode hosted by Johnny Cash. As host, he will star in several comedy sketches, do a monologue and perform two or three songs (at least one with special guest Leon Russell).

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Eddie Murphy to receive Comedy Icon Award at first annual Comedy Awards

Eddie murphy Eddie Murphy will be the inaugural recipient of the Comedy Icon Award at the first Comedy Awards, which will be presented April 10 on multiple MTV Networks outlets, including Comedy Central, Spike, CMT, TV Land, Logo and Nick at Nite.

Murphy, who got his start on "Saturday Night Live" and made his film debut in 1982's "48 HRS," will be honored for his work in stand-up, sketches, film and television.

"Eddie Murphy's impact in the world of comedy is immeasurable," Casey Patterson, an executive producer at MTV Networks Entertainment Group, said in a statement Monday. "From the characters he created on 'SNL,' to his groundbreaking stand-up performances and unforgettable film roles, Murphy changed the game forever.''

Several presenters and attendees were also announced Monday, including Tina Fey, Jon Stewart, Jimmy Fallon, Tracy Morgan, Matt Stone, Stephen Colbert and Kristen Wiig.


Comedy Central /MTV Networks Comedy Awards nominations announced

New Comedy Award will salute Johnny Carson

Comedy Central to revive American Comedy Awards

-- Susan King

Photo: Eddie Murphy in 1983. Credit: Entertainment Studios / Anchor Bay Entertainment

Comedy Central/MTV Networks Comedy Awards nominations announced

So you thought the awards' season was officially over on Feb. 27, Oscar Sunday?

Think again. Comedy Central and MTV Networks have created the Comedy Awards, which will be telecast on April 10 on Comedy Central, Spike TV, TV Land, VH1, CMT and Nick at Night.
 Nominations in 15 categories were announced Tuesday. The nominees were chosen by the "Comedy Awards' Board of Directors,'' which includes director James Burrows, Stephen Colbert, Brad Grey, Whoopi Goldberg, Joan Rivers and Seth MacFarlane. The winners will be chosen by an invitation-only voting body from members of the comedy community.

The nominees are:

Comedy Series

"30 Rock"

"Eastbound & Down"

"It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"

"Modern Family"

"The Office"

Comedy Actor-TV

Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock"

Ty Burell, "Modern Family"

Steve Carell, "The Office"

Danny McBride, "Eastbound & Down"

Tracy Morgan, "30 Rock"

Comedy Actress-TV

Tina Fey, "30 Rock"

Jane Krakowski, "30 Rock"

Jane Lynch, "Glee"

Betty White, "Hot in Cleveland"

Kristen Wiig, "Saturday Night Live"

Comedy Actor-Film

Russell Brand, "Get Him to the Greek"

Will Ferrell, "The Other Guys"

Zach Galifianakis, "Dinner for Schmucks"

Paul Giamatti, "Barney's Version"

Jonah Hill, "Cyrus"

Comedy Actress-Film

Tina Fey, "Date Night"

Anne Hathaway, "Love & Other Drugs"

Helen Mirren, "Red"

Chloe Moretz, "Kick-Ass"

Emma Stone, "Easy A"

Late Night Comedy Series

"The Colbert Report"

"The Daily Show with Jon Stewart"

"Jimmy Kimmel Live"

"Late Night with Jimmy Fallon"

"Late Show with David Letterman"

Sketch Comedy/Alternative Comedy Series

"Children's Hospital"

"Funny or Die Presents"

"Saturday Night Live"

"Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job"


Stand-Up Special

"Aziz Ansari: Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening"

"Bill Maher...But I'm Not Wrong"

"Louis C.K.: Hilarious"

"Ricky Gervais: Out of England 2"

"Whitney Cummings: Money Shot"

Comedy Film


"Easy A"

"Get Him to the Greek"


"The Other Guys"

Animated Comedy Film

"Despicable Me"


"Shrek Forever After"

"Toy Story 3"

Animated Comedy  Series

"American Dad"


"Family Guy"

"The Simpsons"

"South Park"

For a complete list of nominees, go to

-- Susan King

Photo: Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin star in NBC's "30 Rock," which garnered seven Comedy Awards nominations. Credit: Nicole Rivelli / NBC Universal


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