Wednesday, August 5th, 2009


A groundbreaking documentary that reflects history as it happened
on Sept. 11, 2001…

For Your Emmy® Consideration: Outstanding Nonfiction Special

From the first plane that hit the World Trade Center to the collapse of the second tower,
this special weaves together footage and sound taken by over 100 eyewitnesses, presented with no narration and no commercial interruption. Preserved for this generation, and for the future.


Cyn opsis presents: The Primetime Emmy® Awards 2009
In the category of Outstanding Drama Series


Good morning. It’s Wednesday, August 5, 2009, and this is the second in a special five-part series on this year’s Emmy® Awards.  Each weekly installment will concentrate on one or two award categories with information about each of the nominees as provided by the nominee and/or the nominee’s representatives.  Each installment will also open with an editorial about the category, as written for Cynopsis by P.J. Bednarski.  As always with any special edition, we hope you find the information relevant, interesting and informative, and encourage your feedback.

by P.J. Bednarski

Nothing much about television’s dramatic programming is like it was even a decade ago, but one of the biggest changes for the Emmy® Awards may be that voters now have an easier time seeing series they may have otherwise missed.

John Leverence, SVP/Awards for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, says DVDs sent to voters’ homes has widened the playing field and opened it up for different kinds of series in the last decade or so. Now members have the easy opportunity of seeing shows they ordinarily would have missed.  ATAS also started a protected website area with featured programs on it for members to screen. Showtime, a leader in Emmy® promotion, last year let Emmy® voters see shows on its website, and this year offered episodes via iPhone or iPod Touch devices.

“There are many popular shows that aren’t nominated,” Leverence notes, referencing the outstanding drama nominees. “The direct marketing of shows to Emmy® voters changes the options. We’re shifting away from general interest to art house or boutique shows. I think ‘for your consideration’ [DVDs] are responsible for that.”

The 2009 Emmy® drama nominations don’t include a cop show, only one legal drama and one medical drama.  

AMC’s Mad Men, which last year became the first basic cable network to snag the outstanding drama prize away from the big broadcast networks or premium cable channels, is nominated again this year, and also boasts four of the five Emmy® drama writing nominations. (ABC’s Lost has the other.) Also up for the top award is AMC’s Breaking Bad. Between them AMC boasts an amazing 23 nominations, more than any other basic cable network. 

This year, the Outstanding Drama nominees will look familiar; so is the complaint that SyFy’s Battlestar Galactica was once again snubbed, which some fans believe is a slap not just at that series, but at the genre.  Only HBO’s Big Love and AMC’s Breaking Bad are new to the nomination list.  And ABC’s Boston Legal, nominated in 2007 and 2008, didn’t make the cut this time.  With that said, it should be mentioned both Battlestar Galactica and Boston Legal are nominated in the Outstanding Director category.

In total, five of the seven nominees are from cable, quite a development in a category that in 2007 had just one premium cable series – the final season of The Sopranos – in the hunt; and 2008, when broadcast and cable split the nominations with three each.  


One of the greatest adventures in history, relived in the present.

For Your Emmy® Consideration

Outstanding Cinematography for a Nonfiction Program

Expedition Africa: Stanley & Livingstone

Equipped with just a compass and basic maps, four modern day explorers attempt to retrace one of the toughest expeditions of all time: Henry Morton Stanley’s search across the wilds of Tanzania to find Dr. Livingstone.

As visually epic as the historic journey itself .


Outstanding Drama Series:  Big Love
Network:  HBO
Studio(s):  Anima Sola Productions and Playtone in association with HBO Entertainment

Outstanding Drama Series:  Breaking Bad
Network:  AMC
Studio(s):  High Bridge, Gran Via Productions, Sony Pictures Television
Description:  Created by acclaimed writer/producer/director Vince Gilligan (“The X-Files”), “Breaking Bad” follows Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a milquetoast high school chemistry teacher who discovers he is dying of lung cancer. Desperate to secure his family’s financial future, Walt teams up with a former student, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), to turn a used RV into a mobile drug lab. Filmed on location in Albuquerque, NM, “Breaking Bad” stars 2008 Emmy® Award-winner Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, and RJ Mitte.

Outstanding Drama Series:  Damages
Network:  FX Networks
Studio(s):  FX Productions and Sony Pictures Television
For the second consecutive season, FX’s legal thriller Damages has been nominated for Outstanding Drama Series. Season 2 of Damages follows the turbulent lives of Patty Hewes (Glenn Close), the nation’s most revered and reviled high-stakes litigator and her bright, ambitious young protege Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne). After her unprecedented victory over billionaire Arthur Frobisher (Ted Danson), Patty Hewes has the legal world at her feet. Just as she’s pondering her next move, Daniel Purcell (William Hurt), a man from Patty’s mysterious past, storms back into her life, catapulting Patty into a new legal challenge. What starts as a domestic murder case, escalates into the highest reaches of government as Patty unearths a vast conspiracy by Energy giant Ultima National Resources and its CEO, Walter Kendrick. At the same time, Ellen is on a mission to take down Patty. She’s agreed to act as an informant for the FBI, assisting them in their criminal investigation of Patty and the firm. As Patty unravels the mystery surrounding Daniel Purcell, she must also negotiate the perilous minefield both inside and outside her office.

Outstanding Drama Series:  Dexter
Network:  Showtime
Studio(s):  Showtime Presents in association with John Goldwyn Productions, The Colleton Company, Clyde Phillips Productions

Outstanding Drama Series:  House
Network:  Fox
Studio(s):  Universal Media Studios in association with Heel and Toe Films, Shore Z Productions and Bad Hat Harry Productions

Outstanding Drama Series:  Lost
Network:  ABC
Studio(s):  Grass Skirt Productions and ABC Studios
Description:  A horrific plane crash leaves 48 passengers alive, and stranded on a remote island in the South Pacific. The survivors include an incredibly diverse group of people from different walks of life;  a doctor, an escaped fugitive, a con man, an Iraqi interrogator, a married Korean couple and a man formerly confined to a wheelchair who is now inexplicably healed.  As we track the castaways attempt to get home, flashbacks (and forwards) illuminate their troubled lives before and after the crash as the island they find themselves stranded on begins to slowly reveal its mysterious nature.  Faith, reason, destiny and free will all clash as the island offers opportunities for both corruption and redemption … but as to it’s true purpose?  That’s the greatest mystery of all.  

Outstanding Drama Series:  Mad Men
Network:  AMC
Studio(s):  Lionsgate Television
Description:  “Mad Men” burst onto the scene when it debuted on AMC in July 2007 and quickly became one of the most talked about series on television. Set in 1960s New York, “Mad Men” is a sexy and provocative original drama that follows the lives of the ruthlessly competitive men and women of Madison Avenue advertising. Created by Emmy and Golden Globe-winner Matthew Weiner, the show’s cast includes: Golden Globe-winner Jon Hamm, January Jones, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser, Christina Hendricks, and John Slattery and guest stars legendary stage and screen actor Robert Morse.  Lionsgate, the leading independent filmed entertainment studio, produces the series with AMC.  “Mad Men” Season 3 premieres Sunday, August 16 at 10pm ET.


Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series:  Battlestar Galactica
Episode Title: Daybreak (Part 2)
Network: Syfy
Studio(s): R&D TV in association with Universal Cable Productions
Director’s Name:  Michael Rymer

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series:  Boston Legal
Episode Title: Made in China/Last Call
Network: ABC
Studio(s):  A David E. Kelley Production in association with Twentieth Century Fox Television
Director’s Name:  Bill D’Elia

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series:  Damages
Episode Title: Trust Me
Network: FX Networks
Studio(s): FX Productions and Sony Pictures Television
Director’s Name:  Todd A. Kessler
Description:  Todd A. Kessler, co-creator/executive producer of Damages, received his first-ever Emmy nomination as a director the series’ second-season final episode, “Trust Me.” In the episode, Patty Hewes (Glenn Close) goes to extremes to win her case against energy giant UNR and it nearly gets her killed, while Ellen Parson’s (Rose Byrne) quest for revenge against Patty builds to an explosive conclusion. Damages, for the second consecutive year, received seven Emmy nominations including Outstanding Drama Series.  In 2008, Glenn Close won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series; Zeljko Ivanek won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series; and the show won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series, all first-time victories in those respective categories for a basic cable series.

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series:  ER
Episode Title: And in the End
Network: NBC
Studio(s): Constant c Productions, Amblin Television in association with Warner Bros. Television
Director’s Name:  Rod Holcomb

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series:  Mad Men
Episode Title: The Jet Set
Network: AMC
Studio(s): Lionsgate Television
Director’s Name:  Phil Abraham
Description: Phil Abraham is a director and cinematographer best known for his work on THE SOPRANOS and MAD MEN. He most recently received his 6th Emmy nomination for directing “The Jet Set” episode for MAD MEN in season 2. In 2008 Abraham won the Emmy for best cinematography for his work on the MAD MEN pilot. He has received four Emmy nominations for his cinematography on THE SOPRANOS. Other honors include an ensemble AFI award for creative distinction in 2002. He has also shot numerous pilots for directors including Spike Lee, Rodrigo Garcia, Miguel Arteta and Ken Olin. His most recent feature work was for director Chris Columbus on 20th Century Fox’s I LOVE YOU, BETH COOPER. He has also photographed Disney’s ANNAPOLIS for director Justin Lin as well as the indie films TROUBLE ON THE CORNER (starring Tony Goldwyn and Edie Falco) and CHERRY (starring Shalom Harlow and Jake Weber). In addition to his cinematography Phil Abraham is a director with credits on MAD MEN (6 episodes including the 3rd season premiere), THE SOPRANOS, CRASH (Starz), BREAKING BAD (AMC) and SONS OF ANARCHY (F/X).


Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series:  Lost
Episode Title:  The Incident
Network: ABC
Studio(s): Grass Skirt Productions and ABC Studios
Writers’ Names: Carlton Cuse, Damon Lindelof
Description:  Damon Lindelof graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.  Damon then worked for a literary agency, Paramount Studios, and as a creative executive for producer Alan Ladd Jr.  His television credits also include “Wasteland,” “Nash Bridges” and “Crossing Jordan.” Damon then co-created “Lost” with J.J. Abrams. He continues to write and produce “Lost.”  Damon also produced J.J.’s “Star Trek” reboot, and will be writing the sequel with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci.
Carlton Cuse attended Harvard University and started his career in feature films with writer, Jeffrey Boam, with whom Cuse developed LETHAL WEAPON 2, LETHAL WEAPON 3 and INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE. Cuse’s television credits include “The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.,” “Nash Bridges,” and “Martial Law.   In partnership with Damon Lindelof, he has been the executive producer, showrunner and writer of LOST.
Lindelof and Cuse have won an Emmy, Golden Globe, Producers Guild Award, and Writers Guild Award for their work on LOST.

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series: Mad Men
Episode Title:  A Night to Remember
Network:  AMC
Studio(s):  Lionsgate Television
Writers’ Names: Robin Veith, Matthew Weiner
Description:  Robin Veith met Matthew Weiner in 2000 when he hired her to be his creative personal trainer as he wrote the original pilot script for “Mad Men.”  Over the next seven years, she worked extensively in theatre as a stage manager. She then traveled with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey as associate production manager for the 136th Blue Unit.  In 2007, Weiner hired Veith as the writers’ assistant on Season 1 of “Mad Men,” for which she and Weiner co-wrote the Emmy®-nominated season finale, “The Wheel.”  She was promoted to staff writer for Season 2, wrote “The New Girl” and co-wrote with Weiner “A Night to Remember” and “The Mountain King.” 
Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series:  Mad Men
Episode Title:  Six Month Leave
Network:  AMC
Studio(s):  Lionsgate Television
Writers’ Names: Andre Jacquemetton, Maria Jacquemetton, Matthew Weiner
Description:  Andre and Maria Jacquemetton are a husband and wife writing team who has managed to work together and stay married for nearly two decades.  Don’t ask them how they do it.  Andre was born and raised in Lyon, France, and studied creative writing at Wake Forest University and Loyola Marymount University.  Maria grew up in suburban Boston, MA, where she earned an M.S. in Film from Boston University College of Communication. The Jacquemettons have written for numerous television drama series including “Star Trek: Enterprise” and “Highlander.” 

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series:  Mad Men
Episode Title:  The Jet Set
Network:  AMC
Studio(s):  Lionsgate Television
Writer’s Name: Matthew Weiner
Description: Matthew Wiener is the series creator and executive producer for the AMC drama “Mad Men,” now in its third season.  Weiner was an executive producer and writer on “The Sopranos” on HBO.  Along with the other producers, the show won the Emmy in 2004 and 2006 for Outstanding Drama Series and garnered Weiner an Emmy nomination with co-writer Terence Winter for Outstanding Writing in the 2004 episode “Unidentified Black Males.”  Weiner earned another Emmy nomination in 2007 for writing the episode “Kennedy and Heidi” with David Chase.  He also won a 2007 Writers Guild Award for the series and three PGA Golden Laurel Awards for Television Producer of the Year in Episodic. Before working on “The Sopranos,” Weiner wrote for various television series, including “The Naked Truth,” “Becker,” and “Andy Richter Controls the Universe.”  He also wrote and directed the independent feature, What Do You Do All Day?
Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series:  Mad Men
Episode Title:  Meditations in an Emergency
Network:  AMC
Studio(s):  Lionsgate Television
Writers’ Names: Kater Gordon
Description:  Kater Gordon earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia with a double major in English and Theatre.  Following graduation, she worked in theatre at Williamstown and in New York City.  She went on to work in various aspects of film and television production on shows such as NBC’s “Third Watch” where she met “Mad Men” Executive Producer Scott Hornbacher.  Her work assisting the director and producer of Disney’s film “Enchanted” brought her to California.  At the end of post-production, Gordon was hired as the assistant to Matthew Weiner.  She was quickly promoted to writer’s assistant and co-wrote the Season 2 finale, “Meditations in an Emergency,” with Weiner. 

Emmy® Fact:  At the Emmy® Awards ceremony, the Outstanding Drama Series category has always been known as one of the “main awards”.  Furthermore it has changed category names seven times since 1951.  It has gone from Best Dramatic Show to Best Dramatic Series.  In 1958 it was split into two separate categories Best Dramatic Anthology Series and Best Dramatic Series with Continuing Characters and again changed to Best Dramatic Series – Less Than One Hour in 1959.  At one point it was known as Outstanding Program Achievement in the Field of Drama and managed to hold onto that name for four years.  In 1966 had its sixth name change to Outstanding Dramatic Series or Outstanding Series-Drama and has finally landed a home for the past 43 years with Outstanding Drama series. 

Later — Cyn

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