Monday, June 3rd, 2013

A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM AMC


something to consider

MAD MEN
New episode this Sunday 10/9c

“one thing is for sure: Mad Men is the greatest TV drama of all time” – Rolling Stone

AMC something more


Cynopsis Media Presents: Primetime Emmy Awards – Before the Ballot: Actor/Actress
06/05/13

Who’ll get the gold at The 65th Annual Primetime Emmys?
By Michael Maloney

Returning host Neil Patrick Harris won’t be the only familiar face at the Primetime Emmys later this year on September 22nd.

Emmy voters are creatures of habit who tend to vote for the same performers and shows over the years, so we can expect to see some of the same contenders from 2012.

Still, academy members are also known for honoring newcomers, like last year’s sweep for freshman series Homeland (Showtime). Voters also have been known to finally honor long-deserving folks — Ted Danson finally won for Cheers (NBC) after eight excruciating nominations.
How will this year’s ballot shake out? Cynopsis spoke to three experts — Tom O’Neil of Goldderby.com (www.goldderby.com), Joel Keller, co-editor of Antenna Free TV (http://antennafree.tv), and longtime entertainment writer and critic Scott Huver — for insights into expected candidates, potential upsets, and other surprises in store for this year’s Emmy race. 


A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM AMC


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AMC something more



Funny Ladies

O’Neil says that most of last year’s nominees will probably repeat with nods for 2013, given the strong years each actress had.

“The locks are Julie Louis-Dreyfus (Veep, HBO), Lena Dunham (Girls, HBO), Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation, NBC), and Zooey Deschanel (New Girl, Fox)  but that fifth spot is open,” O’Neil says. “It could go to Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie, Showtime) or Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly, CBS), who were also both nominated last year. However, there’s a new competitor in the race – Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project, Fox). Is she the new Lena Dunham?”

“Mindy Kaling is a deserving long shot,” Huver concurs. “If she gets nominated, it’ll confirm that insiders really like the show and are rooting for it.”

“Julia Louis Dreyfus has the best chance of repeating,” says Keller. “The academy would give her awards for reading her Twitter feed – and she does a lot more than that on Veep; it’s the best performance of her career.”

“You can usually count on contenders coming back,” O’Neil notes. “But there are often surprises. Eric McCormack, for example, wasn’t nominated the year after he won for Will & Grace (NBC).”


A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM AMC


something to consider

THE WALKING DEAD
Returns this October

“the flat-out scariest, best, most unusual show” – New York Post

AMC something more


Men who Make Us Laugh

Alec Baldwin has won two Emmys for his role on industry darling 30 Rock (NBC) so a nod for him again in the show’s last year of eligibility is highly probable. However, there will definitely be at least one new face in this year’s grouping Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO) didn’t air last season, so 2012 nom Larry David is ineligible.

Other changes to the ballot are possible, but not guaranteed. Voters could swap out Jon Cryer (last year’s winner for his role on CBS’ Two and A Half Men) for his co-star Ashton Kutcher, and re-admit previous nominee Johnny Galecki for CBS’ The Big Bang Theory in favor of his co-star Jim Parsons (a two-time winner), but insiders aren’t counting on either scenario.

“Jon really picked up the baton and helped Two and A Half Men survive (after Charlie Sheen left),” says Huver. “Plus, Jim still fuels The Big Bang Theory. Johnny’s great, but Jim plays such a singular TV character. It’s hard not to feel that the show is built around him. His character, Sheldon Cooper, is practically iconic already.”

Actors switching categories, and entries from new content platforms may result in a reshuffling in this group.  

Max Greenfield (New Girl, Fox) was nominated in supporting actor last year,” O’Neil says. “He’s now in lead. There’s also Jason Bateman (Arrested Development, Netflix) to consider.”

“Netflix is the big story,” O’Neil says. “They’re competing in (major categories) with both House of Cards and Arrested Development, which won when it was on Fox in 2004. Performers from Netflix’s shows are now eligible for Emmys. So it’s quite possible that Netflix’s programming could win both Outstanding Drama Series and Comedy Series at the Emmys this year.”


A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM AMC


something to consider

HELL ON WHEELS
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“better than ever… more lyrical in telling its epic tale” – The Associated Press

AMC something more



Serious Women

The dramas category’s another one that O’Neil says we’ll see filled with repeat contenders, including Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss (who is overdue for her work on the AMC series) and last year’s winner Claire Danes of Homeland (Showtime).
 
New faces could include Keri Russell, who stars on The Americans on FX.

O’Neil was first to note that if Kerry Washington is nominated  and wins — for ABC’s Scandal, it will be the first victory for an African-American actress in this category. “Scandal has really engaged its audience,” agrees Huver.

There’s also Emmy buzz from the prime time soap world for Madeline Stowe (Revenge, ABC) and Connie Britton (Nashville, ABC).

Of the three ABC actresses, Britton has the best and worst going for her.

“Connie’s an Emmy darling,” notes O’Neil, pointing out the actress’ previous nods for her performances on Friday Night Lights (NBC) and American Horror Story (FX). “But the one thing that’s constant about the Emmys is what snobs those voters can be. What will hurt Connie’s chances for a nomination is Nashville’s ‘hillbilly’ sensibility. Look at Justified (FX). It’s a great show, but it has no Emmy hopes because it’s all about hillbillies.

“One of the most celebrated television series of all time was about two brothers who argued over opera and vintage wine – Frasier (NBC),’ he continues. “It’s the same with Emmy darling programs like The West Wing (NBC). The Emmys seldom let ‘trashy’ shows in. Will Nashville – and Connie – be cursed by that? Connie’s a fascinating wild card. Academy voters love her so much… but are they even watching the show?”

One deserving and potential newcomer to this lead category won’t be making the cut. Monica Potter, who gave a series of Emmy-caliber performances as her character, Kristina Braverman, battled breast cancer on the NBC-ensemble drama Parenthood, has opted to compete in the supporting category. 

“It was a wise move,” O’Neil observes. “There are already 8 to 10 strong contenders in lead. If she’s nominated in supporting, then she can win.”

Whether Potter earns the accolades of her fellow actors or not remains to be seen, but Parenthood executive producer Jason Katims says she’s already a winner.

“I’m not sure I would have even attempted this storyline without knowing Monica Potter would be playing this role,” Katims tells Cynopsis. “This was difficult subject matter and deeply personal to me, and knowing the depth and honesty she would bring to the role is partly what gave me the courage to go forward with the story. I knew she’d be outstanding, but what Monica delivered was beyond anything I could have imagined.”

Dramatic Guys

There’s a wealth of riches competing in this category as well, and we’re likely to see familiar faces from last year’s race, including 2012 winner Damian Lewis (Homeland, Showtime).

Some say that actors from broadcast dramas are being locked out from getting on the ballot in this category because cable can include more explicit content and language.

“I don’t really buy that argument,” O’Neil says. “Yeah, they can swear on cable, but the problem with broadcast is that they’re not taking the type of artistic chances that we’re seeing elsewhere.”

In decades past, actors playing leads on police procedurals could and would land in this category.

However, actors and their complex roles on cable (like Bryan Cranston on AMC’s Breaking Bad and Steve Buscemi on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire) have pretty much edged those players out.

“I could see voters going for Jonny Lee Miller for Elementary (CBS), and Kevin Bacon for The Following (Fox),” says Keller. “They love to nominate stars ‘slumming it’ on TV.” This brings us, of course, to two-time Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey, who’s turned in a magnetic performance on House of Cards (Netflix). Usually, Emmy voters like over-the-top content, and Spacey’s doing that, (pardon the pun) in spades. Add to that the attention being poured on Netflix’s business model of releasing all thirteen episodes at once, and many say that Spacey’s chances look even better.
The other one to beat may be Jeff Daniels (Newsroom, HBO).

“In the first episode, Jeff had a 15 minute monologue – the writing was (series creator) Aaron Sorkin at his finest. His speech was like the ones that gave James Spader his Emmys for The Practice (ABC) and Boston Legal (ABC). All you need is that kind of soliloquy and Jeff has that,” says O’Neil.

Ironically, Mad Men (AMC), one of Emmy’s most nominated series has yet to win in an acting category.

“I don’t think in the minds of Emmy voters that there’s been a season in which any part has been greater than the whole,” analyzes Huver. “They haven’t said, ‘Oh, that was Elisabeth Moss‘ season’ or ‘that was John Slattery‘s season.’ It’s always Jon Hamm‘s season, though. That’s the big shocker to me  that he hasn’t emerged (with an Emmy) yet. He certainly has done the work and has earned it.”

Later,
Michael Maloney
06.05.13

Roberta Caploe: Editorial Director
Denise O’Connor: Group Publisher, Cynopsis Media
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group

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